Aug 15, 2011

An Informed Educator is an Effective Educator

Being a well-informed educator is crucial and technology can certainly help you accomplish this. Knowing a few simple tools to collect and organize your information can not only save you hours of web surfing, but also give you access to a ton of information.

Collecting Information
Learn to save your bookmarks online so that you can access them from any Internet-connected computer. Many social bookmarking tools allow you to share with colleagues and to share through social tools such as Facebook, Google + or Twitter.

Social Bookmarking Tools:
Social bookmarking tools are an amazing way to save you time and effort as you start to collect all those great educational sites. Many social bookmarking tools also allow you to share and search so you can actually access many related sites as you start saving your sites and connecting with other users. If you are not comfortable with technology, I would recommend you simply pick one tool and get acquainted with it. They all work quite similarly so you don't need to create accounts in each one and try to learn and compare. I would recommend Delicious.

Social Bookmarking in Plain English (need help with the concept? Watch this video)

News Readers:
The concept of News Readers has long been a confusing one to non-technical users. I always try to use the analogy of a magazine or newspaper subscription. You know how you could go to a bookstore or convenience store periodically to get the latest news or magazine? But if you want to read it conveniently (and frequently), you actually subscribe to it and make it be delivered to you. That is exactly what news readers do for you...the difference is the material you are subscribing to comes from websites. There are tons of different tools that let you collect (aggregate) this information in one location - here are a few. Again, I would pick one. I like Google Reader.

Home Pages:
Home Pages are amazing tools for people who are getting serious about staying informed with Internet resources. Not only can these tools collect all your bookmarks for you (social bookmark tool), but they can also subscribe to changes to a site (news reader). The Home Page can do quite a bit more as well. You can have games, educational activities, music, photos and more all categorized to your tastes. If you have a google account, you already have access to a home page, called iGoogle.

Don’t Forget EverNote

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