Favorite Quote of the Week

“Technology alone can make us neither free nor self-directed. The key lies with the individual, not the institution.” – Ken Carroll

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Week 10 -- Interactive and Collaborative Learning

At this point in the semester, I am feeling excited about the many tools available for educators today.  This week, we have focused on some tools for collaboration.  Some of the resources I have discovered this week include:
http://www.watchknow.org/ -- a portal of videos for educators and students to use and create
http://nwf.org/ -- a site for the National Wildlife Federation, where students can even post their own wildlife observation data

Some other resources I have learned about throughout the entire semester are:
http://www.khanacademy.org/ -- a great resource of free teaching on a variety of subjects
http://www.freerice.com/ -- fun supplemental site for a variety of subjects
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm -- online teaching and learning materials
http://cnx.org/ -- Rice University’s Connexions
http://www.coudal.com/moom/ (Museum of online museums)

The list could go on and on… I feel excitement, sure – but also a bit of intimidation.  How is it possible for me to make sense of the many resources available? I could spend all of my time just looking at resources, which would leave no room for me to ever use them!  It reminds me of the way I felt after attending my first home school convention – seeing the exhibit hall, with all of the vendors and resources, almost made me leave it all behind.  There is just too much to choose from! 
What is important, though, is not how many resources are available, but choosing the most appropriate ones to use in a given situation.  Maybe it would be best for me to start with a few recommendations from my peers (like I’ve been given in this class), use those for awhile, identify other areas of need, then start looking for more resources to fill those gaps.  I’m sure I will not know about every resource, but if I identify some helpful ones, then I have gained something.
This all gets me thinking about how I might be able to serve the home school community in the area of technology.  Is there a resource I could develop that could gather a bunch of resources together, categorize them into topics/areas, and then give ideas for how a home school parent could best use the resource?  Surely I’m not the only parent out there who feels overwhelmed by choice.  A “starting place” resource would be great!  Maybe for my final project….we’ll see…

Jennifer Demeski (2010, August). Web 2.0: 3 for 3. Ed Tech Experts Choose Top Tools
Which web 2.0 tools are best suited for enabling collaboration in teaching and learning? A trio of ed tech experts offer up their top three choices apiece, 07/28/10, THE Journal, 37(7), pp. 32-37. Available: http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/08/01/3-for-3.aspx


  1. Lynn,
    Sounds like a great final!
    This class last year inspired me too, to do more with the knowledge I gained from Curt, all the resources he provides, his books and my classmates. As an aside to my final I committed to starting a professional learning community. It took me a while to get it organized but Purdue has a local, regional campus in my city and was willing to give me a room to use and Internet connectivity for free. We meet twice a month for about an hour - we could easily meet longer. It is great!

    I know however you decide to use your talents to serve your community of home school providers, you will undoubtedly be a success. I will be interested to see how your passion manifests itself in accomplishing this goal.


  2. I am chiming in very late here. Noticed that you did not make that "starting place" resource for your final project. But I would like to encourage you to do that on your own - maybe after you get a little room to breathe. It seems like it would be such a welcome tool to the home school community. Maybe you could create it as a wiki and encourage others to add resources and ratings, too. That would be SO Web 2.0!

  3. Yeah, I decided that a project like that was too overwhelming for me to take on right now. So, I went with the video, in hopes that it might provide some inspiration to others to explore all that the web has to offer. I still would like to put together some kind of resource, and the wiki idea is a great one. One of these days...yes, when I get time to breathe :)