Tech Task #10 – Is it Really the End?!

31 Mar

The end of the semester is nearing a close and I’m just entering into some involuntary (required) reflection about some of the useful tools that I have picked up from this class.

I am typically one of the people found in the following Hyundai commercial:

For whatever reason I am hardwired to stay at least a year or two behind every technological trend. Perhaps I’m just waiting to see if the rest of you implode or vapourize before I dole out my cash and put my trust in the latest thing. At any rate, I found it ironic that I ended up in this class.

Having said all of that…ECMP 355 has provided me with many useful tools that I know I will actually utilize in my future classes, perhaps without even waiting the standard 2-3 year “safety net”. Here follows some of my personal favourites…

Top 20 Websites No Teacher Should Be Without – Thank you to whoever you are out there that decided to put this page together. The site includes links to pretty much all of the tools that I am actually going to be using as a teacher. Sites like Edmodo (classroom version of Twitter), Aviary (online picture editing), Diigo (online bookmarking and such) and Voicethread (great tool to use when working with students with special needs).

In terms of resource sharing, this class has turned me on to the idea of creative commons. It’s pretty wonderful to be able to find content online that creative people are open and willing to have shared. It makes life easier, plus it’s always nice to stick it to the man once in awhile by doing legit things that don’t actually seem legit…like using other people’s photos in various assignments.

The idea of “online identity” is still very strange to me. It bothers me that many people create online identities that give them a boldness they would otherwise lack. A fellow classmate, Sara Campbell, blogged a post that was similar to my thoughts on this topic. I recognize that there are many positives to building a sense of identity through online interactions…but then there are identities being built like Rebecca Black …which are just… odd. I think the important thing here is to encourage students to be critical of the identities they encounter online and to be prudent in terms of the identity they themselves are creating.

All in all this class has been quite beneficial….and so far none of us have vapourized so it’s like a double plus.

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