Sunday, March 1, 2015

Educational Blogs

In searching for relevant blogs to add to my RSS feed, I found several of interest. However, I have decided to focus on a few that I am using on a regular basis.  While we have PC monitring programs in the PC lab, I would like to have one for my laptops in the classroom. I rotate within groups in 20 minute chunks between 2 groups. I also use this time as a "study hour" for groups not on the laptops to ask questions on math packets, readings, or get feedback on longterm projects. Because of this, I am not necessarily able to monitor what students are doing on the laptops as closely as I'd like. They know this and take advantage.
In my search on open source laptop monitoring software, I found several blogs, but chose (School Computing screen monitoring wikia). I chose this blog because it has several links. I am looking for more than a free trial because I would need to spend my own money and I am already using too much of my own funds to meet the needs of my students. I will need to allocate some time to research each of these links.
Another blog I found interesting is Open software for schools at (PM technology blog). I would also like to research these and complete sign ups for sampling. A problem I have seen is that an web based program is available for free for a time, then without warning they are no longer accepting new sign ups and you must now purchase a subscription. Those who already signed up for an account previously continue to have free access. I saw this with Glogster. I hadn't signed up and when I had a project I planned to use, I could not without purchasing a subscription.

Twitter Followers:

Due to the fact I had been following some educational twitter accounts, I had some teachers following me. After viewing their profile, I in turn followed them. I have posted these in the edit portion of the PLN activity with a brief description.

Reflection on Resources/Tools:

There were a few that I had already followed or subscribed to. Emerging Ed Tech is one that I have regularly used. I had originally subscribed to their newsletter to receive the free ebook offered on free ed tech resources for teachers. I also receive a print publication from them as well. I had created a classroom wiki back in 2010, but at the time found it cumbersome. Since then, I had found weebly which was very easy to use and many types of media available. I;m sure wikispaces has updated since then, so we'll see how user friendly it is.

Update 10/2015:
I had to use wikispaces for another collaborative project, Horizon Report Trends. There are some improvements, although I found some aspects still cumbersome. Although, it is an exceptional tool for group projects as it logs each activity by each group member.

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