Monday, November 24, 2008

Week 5

I'm actually enjoying blogging. Didn't know I would like it so much. You can share what you want, no more, no less. I'm sure some folks have blogs that don't make any sense, and maybe this is one of them. (lol) But I am trying to using this blog as a means that steers eStudents and eTeachers alike towards resources and tools available that can enhance learning. Sadly, some educators use the new tools in their classrooms like they would the old exercises and assignments. It's just simply replacing the pen and paper with a keyboard and computer. Just because someone is using technology doesn't mean they learned more. Too often assignment are simply make work projects, or busy work. The learning outcome is not the priority.

I need to be careful to be understood that I am promoting technology, especially since I am the ePrincipal of Credenda. I love technology, but I am not in favour of just using technology to replace old bad habits. There needs to be purpose in using it.

That leads me to my ramblings this week on how can we have eStudents use techonology to share the work they are doing with their peers that encourages connections. I'm not talking about Facebook, Bebo, Tagged, or MySpace. I think one of the greatest tools for eStudents to share work is blogging. It's simple, it's easy, and it's free. Now if I may self-indulge for a moment, but allow me this, because it relates. My younger daughter, Bailey, is at University of Lethbridge, AB. She is taking a Sociology course, where she and 4 other classmates were required to keep a weekly blog about any topic they wished as long as it related to their class. I want to share that blog, because it is a great example of how this tool can used very effectively by students.

Digitally Delicious This a group of socially and politically conscious young people that care about food and what they eat. They get to share their opinions with their peers and know that there voice is being heard. One week, they featured a restaurant that specializes in organic food from New York City. The owner, contacted them afterwards and thanked them for the plug. They were delighted. And rightly so too. I'm really proud of the work they are doing, and they get a lot of visits to their site now. They are very creative and it shines through.

There are a variety of blogging tools out there, but here are a few to mention: Blogger. If you have a gmail account, you can sign up very easily for this blogger. The reason I use this one is because I have a gmail account, but I also can blog from my Treo700 Smartphone directly to my account. So I can do this from the road, literally. Preferably when I'm not driving. The other one that is often highly recommended is WordPress. This is one my daughter, Bailey, uses. She likes it and finds it very easy to use as well. It's important, when you select a blogger account, that it can embed video and images easily. WordPress does both of these well.

In closing, I'm embedding a YouTube video that explains blogging in very simple terms. Check it out and have a good week.

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