13 January 2009

Tech Tips for Teachers 102

[The second post in a series?]

I used to spend far too much time in front of a computer. Then I learned that I was a happier person when I spent less time in front of a screen (duh, right?). Anyway, my goal is now to get what I need from a computer and then get off as soon as possible. Here are two tools that I have found to make my professional life (and personal life) easier and get that information more quickly.


Delicious is a web-based application that stores your bookmarks so that you can access them from any computer. I used it for personal bookmarks for a couple of years, but this past summer I lost all of the bookmarks that I had been acquiring here at school since moving to 4th grade. So I began using Delicious for my teaching bookmarks as well. Here are the great things about using it:
  • They have a handy toolbar that you can install into any browser that you use (you can see it in the screen shot of Google Reader below)
  • You create tags that allow your bookmarks to be more easily searched
  • Other people can view your book marks unless you decide to keep it private. You can view my public bookmarks if you wish.
  • When you first sign up, it will ask if you want to import your bookmarks from your computer. I imported from multiple computers, getting some overlap (and some of my wife's bookmarks), but all of my bookmarks are in one place.
Google Reader

There are many different web-based applications (aka aggregators) available for keeping up with reading blogs or other web pages with RSS. My favorite is Google Reader simply because it integrates with my Gmail account so easily. Once you've added subscriptions, you can quickly view any new posts from any of your favorite blogs all from one page. Check it out.

02 January 2009

Everything is connected

I have been enjoying the process of putting my thoughts into words as I have been posting over the past few weeks. In years past (pre-blogging) I considered writing something, but never took the time to do it. Blogging is a creative solution as it allows for short writings and instant publishing.

However, I began this blog as an outlet for my reflections on teaching and learning and am now finding that it is difficult to compartmentalize my thoughts and ideas only to education. My views on life, parenting, and faith are all a part of who I am in a classroom. So, I am going to allow myself (I know, I don't need permission) to blog on topics other than my life in the classroom.