Read Write Web has an interesting article on Facebook users showing that they are more open and friendly than non-Facebook users. They are also, contrary to popular belief, more engaged and more likely to be politically involved.
Well, I have got my WordPress app up and running on the iPad so I can now blog directly from wherever I am (with the pad of course!)
One of the things I’m most interested in is portable devices like the iPad and iPhone. They have the potential to alter the way we teach and learn, especially as more apps become available for teachers and students.
Certainly the blogging apps like this one and the blogger one for google users are very handy. I also really like the Posterous one that allows you to upload images from webpages to your Posterous account.
There are also lots of great newsreaders, and my favorite is Pulse so far. You can customize the news that feeds in and even create your own feed which follows all of your favorites. TheFlipboard app also deserves a mention. It’s fairly new and allows you to hook up to Twitter and Facebook as well as lots of other caves and you can read it all just like a magazine. Facebook has honestly never looked so good.
This article contains some timely advice for those of use who have become slightly addicted to these sites. Common sense really, but still worth a reminder. It may be really tempting to let off steam when you have had a rotten morning with 8F and you have a blank box in front of you asking you how you feel. It is tempting to just go for it and complain about little Johnny’s foul manners and useless attempts at writing/fractions/painting, but does little Johnny’s mother, father or big brother know your name? Could they find you online? Sometimes it is difficult to remember that the demon who is making your life hell on period 6 on Friday is someone’s child, but they did not spring fully formed into your classroom and so there are people somewhere who may not see the humour or pathos in your situation if you complain about them online. Best to keep the rants to the staffroom.
The thing that I have learnt about moving is that not only do you reorganise your files, folders and books, but you also take a fresh look at your online presence because you are now doing things slightly differently. What I have found is that this helps me to redefine the criteria for good online programs. I have decided that I really need something that helps me to simplify how I do things, not make things more difficult. I want a blog where I can post documents and files for students to use. This was not possible so I had to search for a way around it. I decided on Sribd as I mentioned earlier. Then I decided that I wanted a homepage that helped me to stay organised, I decided on Page Flakes as I can have my Facebook, Twitter, post it notes, calendar, news feeds and music updated by the minute.
The process has allowed me to take stock and realise what is important for the current situation I am in. This is useful for our students as they can do the same while they are trying to organise themselves for learning. They could keep their notes on an online storage page or cloud computing site and share them with their peers if they wished. They can update their resources on Diigo or Delicious and again, share them. Organisation is one of they key skills necessary for students (and teachers) and we can help them to learn this skill by using good online tools.