This week we examined RSS readers, photo sharing, google sites, and twitter. I found all of these resources to be useful for either professional development or student use.
Google Reader - google reader is a RSS aggregator. This means that it collects all of the posts from the blogs that you subscribe to into a single location. This is a huge time saver. Instead of checking numerous websites/blogs, you can just check your google reader. I found this to be a beneficial way of following useful blogs that discuss educational topics. I primarily follow science or educational technology blogs written by quality instructors or professionals. Google reader has allowed me to do more professional reading in the last month than I have done in the last year. It is such as easy way to obtain and filter useful information and I know it will help me grow professionally.
Google Sites - Google sites allow users to create their own webpage and control who has access to it. It is incredibly user friendly. The best part is how easy it is to incorporate any of your goole apps (documents, spreadsheets, forms, etc.). Google sites has removed the fear of creating and managing a webpage. I recently created one for our girls basketball team. It was easy to set up and is a great way to share information. If I didn't use moodle and edmodo, I could see myself utilizing google sites as an easy way to create a class webpage. I can also envision students creating a website to present their research projects instead of a powerpoint. They could then share their knowledge with the world and obtain feedback from others. What a great alternative!
Photo sharing - I created a flickr account a long time ago. I have finally started to utilize it. It is a great way to store, organize, edit, and share your pictures. I can see my students taking pictures/videos of labs or demos and then having them post comments. I believe that they will enjoy this more than doing post lab questions. It also makes students more accountable because their work is public and can be viewed by others.
Twitter - I have continued to utilize twitter as a source of professional development. I have increased the people I am following and I am starting to get updates on some really useful information. It has been another easy way to obtain new resources. I could also see using this as a way to mass communicate with students about information that is relavant to class.