I subscribe to four RSS feeds on my Blogger site; the US Department of Education feed, Edutopia, Education Next and the NPR news feed. The US Department of Education feed puts out information regarding federal education policy. This feed keeps me in the loop about federal funding, state initiatives, and legislation. Edutopia, whose podcasts I also subscribe to, is a product of the George Lucas Educational Foundation which is dedicated to improving educational strategies through the dissemination and discussion about collaborative projects which will prepare students to thrive in both their school and adult lives. This feed gives me information about innovation and methodology that practiced educators have been able to successfully implement. Education Next provides news about school reform and innovation. I like this feed for its contributor opinions. The Nation Public Radio news feed keeps me up to date with world and national news; I like the international slant of the reporting, as well as the way the stories are told.
Thus far, I only use Twitter as a news source; I have yet to tweet actively because I don’t have many things to say yet which are worth tweeting, in my opinion. I mostly follow my course colleagues and educational accounts. I really enjoy a woman named Patty Bode’s tweets; she is a visiting associate professor at The Ohio State University Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy. I discovered her in Sonia Nieto’s book, Why We Teach, and I think that she has some very interesting insights into education and the arts. I also follow TED Talks Updates, which provides links to recent discussions regarding technology, education and design.
Whenever one of the accounts that I follow posts something that I find interesting, I follow the path of the hash tags. I think that the ensuing conversations are often insightful and interesting. Though there are a lot of opinions, advertisements and self-promoting accounts to look out for, I see the value in Twitter as a social media platform that is portable in easy to navigate.
Similarly to Twitter, I have only used Diigo as a tool for this class, so I only follow fellow classmates and our instructor, but the information that I have used from that small network has expanded my internet source library. I definitely see it as a helpful tool for networking, organizing information and bookmarking articles to look at later. The internet has so many resources available and it can be difficult to navigate to relevant sources of information. Building a Diigo library helps to sort through digital information as well as to keep that information organized.
I joined The Educator’s Personal Learning Network. The site is an online community for educators with blogs, videos, and articles related to education. The first video that I watched was called “Bloom’s Taxonomy According to Seinfeld;” it used clips from the popular sitcom to show different aspects of the philosophy. I thought it was an interesting and relevant way to demonstrate the different points using pop culture. I also read several blogs specifically related to technology in education. One, called “The Big Lie in Education,” was about whether teachers who do not use technology in the classroom are really preparing their students for the “real world;” the author, Thomas Whitby, also created the Ning group and posted the aforementioned video.
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Ning groups, Diigo, Twitter and RSS feeds are equally useful in networking and exploring new ideas and methodologies. I think that being connected to other teachers, especially veteran teachers and other novice teachers, is important in building a career; I will definitely be returning to most of these sites. I think that my personality is generally averse to social media as a recreational pastime, but I think that using Web 2.0 resources is a necessity for career building and professional networking. I appreciate being exposed to these different resources and being able to connect with my fellow students in a way that will last throughout our careers.