While searching for FREE resources for the staff I am responsible for supporting, I often get sidetracked by how many cool things there are available. This inevitably leads to hundreds of integration ideas using these free tools to meet the Core Curriculum Standards that have been adopted in my state. Which always leads to a panic attack when I realize there is no way to organize, plan for, teach with, and evaluate all of these great website tools in a teaching career, much less a school year.
Teachers get excited about stuff like this...and when you morph a tech geek with a 21 year veteran teacher, as in my case, you can understand if I get twitterpated about stuff like this. So after I hyperventilated, I realized I need to cut myself a break - and so do you.
It has been stated in many comments on blogs I follow that teaching today, due to the overabundance of testing, necessarily focuses on material that is miles wide, but only inches deep. In the same vein, all the cool free resources and hardware involved in tech integration can encourage you to do the same.....squish in everything, with no site ever explored in depth. So let's change that.....
Identify the one or two free resources that you like the most and use them to death, with the kids. Once everyone is complaining about using it again, and you and the kids have done everything you can think of with the site...find ONE new one.
Some parameters for those web tools:
FREE (Completely! While trials are good, it's usually just enough time to frustrate you when it ends.)
Cross platform (PC and MAC)
Integrated help (For when the kids try it at home, which is what you want)
NOT CONSUMPTION BASED: CREATIVE (Ooh, all caps! My bias against consumption-only sites is showing, but that's another blog topic - coming soon!)
Don't know where to start? Here's a good first spot to browse. Comment and tell me what great site you've decided to focus on!
Out on a Whim,