Raise your hand if you’ve ever shared some great web resources with your colleagues and students? That’s all of us isn’t it? But if you’re anything like me, you may not have taken the time to sort through all the resources you follow and the sharing tools you use and come up with a process that works efficiently for you and for your audience.
This lesson challenges you to do just that by bringing together resources and tools you’ve already mastered (and maybe some new ones?) to create a method for sharing information that suits your school community and your own discovery and sharing patterns.
There are several steps to this lesson, so do take notes as you go! You might even consider writing your blog post for this lesson in stages – sharing your notes about what tools and resources you’ve explored and how they work.
Step 1: Pick an Audience
Who do you want to share resources with? Your school colleagues as a whole, a subject-based group of teachers, administration, the Board of Ed, students in a particular class or project group, parents, etc. Pick a real audience that you can connect with by creating ongoing resource tool.
- What information do you want to share? What info do they want and need?
- How best to reach them? Do they read their email? Do they use RSS feed readers? Will they read a newsletter if you email them a link now and then? Do you have school mailing lists, forums or a learning managment system that people have really bought into and are using?
- Consider multiple ways to distribute the same content. Anything with an RSS feed will give you multiple ways to reach people. They can subscribe via email, an RSS feed reader and content can be embedded in any site that supports an RSS feed widget (blogs, wikis, LibGuides, etc.)
Step 2: Tools for Sharing
What sharing tools are your favorites AND are easy for others to use? Pick something that your audience can refer back to over time, someplace a well curated collection can grow. Some ideas: a Pinterest board, a Scoop.it collection, a Padlet board, a collection on EdShelf, a tumblr blog, LibGuides, a newsletter site, etc.
Whatever tools you decide to use, make sure you install the apps on your mobile devices so you can easily share content on the go. And also add bookmarklets for the tools to your browsers. This makes it quick and easy to new content to the tool you’re using.
Step 3: Gather Resources
What are your favorite sites for finding education news, teaching resources, great apps, etc? Do you use an RSS feed reader like Feedly, to quickly scan the headlines from all your favorite sites? Or do you rely on your Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter and Facebook to share great resources? Are there sites you visit over and over for updates?
- Select appropriate resources. No doubt you already have some favorites and there are some more ideas listed below in the Resources section.
- Decide how you will monitor them. (Feed reader? Visit sites on a weekly basis? Monitor PLN?)
Step 4: Share, Promote, Maintain!
Make your collection worth visiting by building an initial collection of at least 10-20 resources. Then make sure your audience knows about it. Promote it to the target audience by whatever means makes most sense in your school. And keep it going by adding a few new resources each week.
BLOG POST: For your blog post, share what you created, how you created it, how you plan to keep it going, any reactions to it from your target audience, etc.
Don’t forget to log your blog post when you’re done! When you finish this lesson by fill out the log form. You’ll need the URL of your first blog post to complete the form.
RESOURCES FOR THIS LESSON
Don’t feel you have to look at all of these! This is by no means a comprehensive list of resources! We’re couting on each of you to share your favorite resources in your blog posts and in the comments section below.
RESOURCES FOR STEP 2: This section is a selection of tools and tips for collecting and sharing resources.
- Feedly is a great RSS feed reader to help you monitor lots of resources quickly.
- Use Smore or Tackk to create newsletter types of pages where you can add new resources and news over time. (examples: Smores from WSWHE BOCES MultiMedia Library and QuestarIII BOCES SLS weekly newsletters)
- Popular Curation Tools – Listly, ScoopIt, Flipboard Magazines, Pinterest, etc. Create collections of articles, links to resources, images, news and more. Users can subscribe and get updates in a variety of ways, depending on the source. You can also browse through other people’s collections for mor resources.
- Create a tumblr blog – it’s easy to add notes, photos, links to articles to a tumblr. Your audience can subscribe to update through their own tumblr account, visit it via it’s URL or via an RSS feed
- LibGuides – if you have access to this service, it’s a great place to aggregate all your resources and news.
- Diigo Groups – Bookmark items in Diigo and add items to a diigo group that your audience can subscribe to updates via email or RSS.
- Padlet boards – Easy to create and simple to add others who can edit. Has a browswer bookmarklet to quickly add items. Not a lot of flexibilty in organizing resources though.
- Video Playlist – Locate videos on a topic and create a playlist on YouTube or Teacher Tube
- RSS magic – Anything with an RSS feed gives you lots more options. Readers can subscribe via their own feed reader or email. And you can display updates in a widget on your web/wiki pages.
- Apps & Bookmarklets – Make sure you install the apps you choose on your mobile devices so you can easily share content. And add bookmarklets for the apps to your browsers. This makes it quick and easy to new content to the tool you’re using.
- Polly’s example: The “Tips, Tools, Resources” section at the sidebar of our Cool Tools web site is created using an RSS feed from the Cool Tools diigo group. I have the diigo bookmarklets and apps installed everywhere. When I find something I want to share, I can add it to the diigo group in just a few seconds. Then it automatically shows up on the Cool Tools website.
RESOURCES FOR STEP 3:
A selection of lesson plan sites, education news sources, twitter hasthtag links, places to look for curated collections of resources, etc.
Twitter hashtags with great resources: Remember, you can add other subject keywords when you search twitter. eg: #tlchat curation to find what curation tools the teacher librarian folks are sharing. Or #edchat assessment to find information about assessment that the more general education folks are tweeting about.
- Huge list of education hashtags (not all are terribly active, but worth checking)
Lesson Plans, Resources, News, Blogs
- PBS Learning Media – lessons plans, news, resources
- Edutopia – Lots of education news, nicely broken down by topics and grade levels.
- Curriki – Free to use teaching and learning OER (open educational resource) content from educators around the world.
- ReadWorks – “ReadWorks provides research-based units, lessons, and authentic, leveled non-fiction and literary passages directly to educators online, for free, to be shared broadly.”
- LearnCloud – “A crowdsourced library of free learning content where you can find, rate and share learning resources”
- ShareMyLesson – Over 300,000 free teaching resources and lesson plans. Created by teachers for teachers.
- OER – Open Educational Resources. Search for teaching and learning resources by subjects, grade levels and more.
- DPLA – The Digital Public Library of America is a treasure trove of resources from libraries, archives, museums and more. Lots of historic images and documents.
- Best Websites for Teaching and Learning – From AASL
- Graphite – Reviews of educational resources and tools, with ideas for how to use them in the classroom.
- Free Tech for Teachers – Great blog with lots of tips and resources. Several posts a day and great backfile of ideas.
- CoolCatTeacher – Vicki Davis shares great teaching resources, tips and ideas.
- The Edublog Awards – Check here for nominees and winners for all sorts of education resources. Best blogs, best tools, etc.
- Edudemic – Education and Technology news.
- Education World – Great news articles, teaching tips, resources and more.
- EdSurge – Latest news about Ed Tech.
- Finding Your Go-To Educational Resources Online – An Edweb webinar (free!) chock full of lesson plan and other educational resources.
- Diigo – Search for resources that match your interests or Search for groups that match your interests. Then explore the resources shared by group members. eg: Google in Education
- EdShelf – Another treasure trove of great resources, tools, apps and more. Search for specific tools. Follow collections of resources that are of interest. eg: Lesson Plan Resources collection created by Joyce Valenza