Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is Big Brother Watching?

I recently had the most interesting conversation with one of the technology support gurus for my school district. He told me that he does not nor will he ever have an iAnything, Twitter, blog, wiki, Facebook or Google account. He urged me to quickly shut down my accounts as "big brother is watching."  For a moment I thought I was talking to Will Smith in Enemy of the State. 

When did we become so paranoid about social networking?  As an educator, I adore the ease in which the aforementioned sites allow me to communicate with others.  As an educator I love for Big Brother to watch me use:
  • Twitter to stay abreast of educational trends by following leaders in the field.
  • Blogs/Wikis to provide an open forum about issues in my content area for colleagues, students and parents.
  • Facebook to communicate with students and parents as well as provide a relaxed forum to educate my charges about upcoming events within my curriculum.
  • Google to utilize gDocs to show students that you do not have to buy the overpriced Microsoft Office suite to prepare a PowerPoint.  Or use Google+ for communication, project management and collaboration.  Please see the previous post for more on Google+.
  • My Smartphone to detail how apps can improve the value of their educational experience. Or how to do a quick Google search when all of the computers in the library are in use.
Please watch me, Big Brother, as I make strides in education the right way without putting my job in jeopardy yet maintaining strong relationships with my childhood friends. 
If you're not sure where to begin, tweet me as I'm happy to help.  Until then, continue to make strides and don't be afraid of Big Brother.  The more we use these tools, the more secondary schools will allow their use on campus. 

Happy Social Networking!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Google+ Redux

I've talked about Google+ a few months ago but people still have their doubts.  However, many of my colleagues ask me on a weekly basis if we can get Facebook approved on campus.  The answer from our tech gurus will now and for many moons to come be "NO!"  I love Facebook as much as the next person but there are several alternatives that go beyond the realm of simple communication with students and Google+ is the way to go.  There are three stages of integration that I think many of you will find handy whether you're a teacher looking for a an LMS alternative to a student looking for ways to collaborate.  Take a look at the presentation I presented to our staff and contact me should you have additional questions or if you started a Google+ page for your students. 

Click Google+ below to view the presentation.  You'll find my talking points in the NOTES section.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Do you Voicethread? No worries, here's your handy dandy how to guide prepared by myself, the other library diva and our awesome intern, Jess. Please add your comments to the Voicthread as we can all use a little inspiration this time of the year. If you need additional help, e-mail me and I'll walk you through creating your own Voicethread for your students. I look forward to collaborating with you soon.

Voicethread on the go: Not only is Voicethread accessible online but you may update your presentations via your iPhone, iTouch or iPad.

Account information: There is no need to sign up for the educator account. SAVE YOUR MONEY! Each free account comes with 75MB of storage with allows you to make dozens of presentations. Additionally, you may browse the Voicethread library and use them in your lessons. As for students, it is wise for them to create their own accounts. As Voicethread grows in popularity, so will its use in educational institutions. Get your students started on the right path today so they may continue to be technology savvy tomorrow.