Browse Month: February 2016

Curating Your Professional Learning: Participate Learning

After spending the last few weeks talking about ways to collect and organize the information and resources you find as you learn, I will shift the discussion to websites that have already curated information for you.  These websites, often containing reviews written by practicing educators, are a great starting point when looking for new tech tools and learning opportunities.

Participate Learning Logo

Participate Learning contains a database of free and paid educational resources (apps, videos, and websites) that are reviewed by teachers.  These resources  are linked to standards and can be searched by keyword and filtered by content type and grade level.  By registering with the site, users have the ability to create their own bookmarks and collections of resources.  Search results will also show the resource collections of other educators.  There is also a Chrome Extension that allows users to save resources into their Participate Learning account directly from the browser.  The School Library Journal recently reviewed Participate Learning and highlighted the collaborative features of the site including ParticipateChat, which maintains a calendar of educational Twitter Chats and hosts an interface for participating in Twitter Chats.  ParticipateChat also allows users to create resource collections from the links and resources shared during a Twitter Chat.

Curating Your Professional Learning: Storify

chalkboard-620316_1280Storify is a web curation tool that allows you to collect content from Twitter and other social media sites into a timeline that can be shared through a URL.  After logging in with your Twitter account (you don’t have to create a separate account for Storify) begin your timeline by clicking the New Story button.   Use the search window on the right to select the social media site, enter your search term or user information, and then drag any posts from the search results on the right to the edit window on the left side of the screen.  You can also add text boxes to separate the timeline into sections.  When you are finished, click publish and then the view and publicize link.  The preview screen offers options for customizing and sharing your timeline.

A few possible uses of Storify:

  • Curate Tweets related to particular topic to save for future reference and share with your colleagues
  • Curate Tweets from a conference or professional development event
  • Curate Tweets containing a hashtag your regularly follow
  • Curate your own Tweets to include in your professional portfolio
  • Curate Tweets focused on a current event to share with students.  This allows you to share the best Tweets and ignore any inappropriate content.  The content from Tweets in Storify is still blocked for students through the filter, but can be shown using your SmartBoard Computer.
  • Curate Tweets focused on the political process to share with students
  • Curate Tweets posted by an author, reporter, leader, or public figure to share with students

To demonstrate a finished timeline, I created a Storify using a few tweets containing #OTFalcons and #FOProud from the month of February.

Highlights from #METC16

I attended the METC (Midwest Educational Technology Community) Conference this week and heard many great educators tell their stories and how they have successfully engaged students and teachers through the use of technology.  While I was there, I became reacquainted with Storify and started thinking of ways to curate and share social media posts.  My first Storify story will include a mere fraction of the many Tweets shared during the METC conference.  If you want to see more, search for #METC16 in Twitter.  Hope you find something thought-provoking and useful!

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Curating Your Professional Learning: Evernote Web Clipper

Last week I covered Evernote as a tool for collecting notes and information from the web.  As I said then, Bookmarks are a possible solution for curating web content, but Bookmarks can quickly become overwhelming and they only work as long as the bookmarked web page is maintained.  The Evernote Web Clipper is a Chrome extension that saves web content directly into Evernote.  Once in Evernote, you have permanent (and searchable) access to this information through a browser, iOS and Android mobile devices, or the Windows or Mac application.  As you collect more information, your notes can be organized in notebooks and these notebooks can be organized into stacks.  You can also tag notes with searchable keywords.

With the Web Clipper, you can save web information in the following formats:

  • Web Pages
    • The Web Clipper takes a picture of the page as it appears at that time.  If the web page is updated in the future, your Evernote note will not reflect those changes.  If the web page is removed in the future, you will still have your copy of the web page in Evernote.
  • Articles
    • The Web Clipper saves only the article or text of the blog post on the web page.  Advertisements and other information along the margins of the page are omitted.
  • PDF Files
    • The Web Clipper creates a note and attaches the PDF file to that note.  You can later open the PDF in Evernote and annotate the PDF with text, shapes, and highlighting.
  • Bookmarks
    • The Web Clipper creates a bookmark for the web page.  This works like a traditional bookmark.
  • Screenshots
    • After selecting a portion of the screen, the Web Clipper takes a picture of your selection and places it in a note.  You can also annotate the screenshot with text, shapes, or highlights before saving the screenshot.

Each time you clip something into Evernote, you are able to select the notebook where the information will be placed, along with adding tags and remarks.  Once the content is in Evernote as a note, the note can be organized into Notebooks and searched.

Google Expeditions Pioneer Program

The Google Expeditions Pioneer Program visit was a huge success and provided teachers and students an opportunity to experience a new Google technology.  It is not currently available to schools, but the feedback we provided during and after the visit will be used to make the program better.  While the science department was exploring products for their upcoming textbook adoption on February 2, one of the textbook sales representatives brought a Google Cardboard with them and talked about how their company is working with Google to develop Expeditions to enhance the content of their print and digital resources.  Although this product is still in development, it appears to be gaining momentum and attracting the attention of educators and educational content providers.


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