Friday, October 31, 2008

What have you signed up for this week?

A recent conversation with colleagues at school has prompted this post. They were concerned that there are just 'too many' things to sign can one person cope with it all? ...what is the relevance to everyday classroom education and life as an educator? How can you remember all the passwords and login information?

My response to this is:
  1. Don't 'fear' the multitude of online membership opportunities. Embrace them as being part of what you do as an online, connected educator.
  2. Make sure when you sign up for something new you a) Bookmark the home page using Delicious and/or Diigo and b) Tag your confirmation email for future reference as it often contains vital login and PW information. I use GMail and 'label' these emails as 'Software'
  3. Try to use the same user name. I always use julielindsay now for everything. If you prefer a nickname rather than full name, so be it, but use it consistently. Two reasons for this, you will be easily identified by your online name, and it is easier for you to remember when you go to login in if it is consistent.
  4. Do not try to remember more than 3 or 4 different passwords! In particular have a different password for your email account to other sites. Rotate your passwords, and change them over time, but for the sake of sanity do not have to cycle through more than 4 to get into anything!
  5. Share your new found online resources with friends/colleagues so that together you may interact and decide if the tool etc is worth using or not. It is easier to evaluate if others can join the conversation.
What have I joined this week?
  1. Edmodo - an educational tool for microblogging. Just joined today, looks like it has potential. Can't work out how to add friends. Love the feature to upload assignment/files and to have the calendar. Will experiment with colleagues and see if it is worthwhile transplanting to a class.
  2. EdTalks - a New Zealand initiative shared by ITGS colleague Andrew Churches. NZ and international educators are talking about learning in individual videos. I am having trouble accessing some of the clips but will persevere. Excellent idea, lots of potential.
  3. Woices - This one I love! have just joined today but the idea and practice of sharing voices around the world, of sharing unique 'sound walks' and experiences takes me back to my undergraduate music student days! I also love the changing image in the top banner and this one of the young child caught my attention. Thanks to friend Anne Mirtschin for sharing this today!

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Anonymous said...

I look forward to the day when all sites allow the use of Open ID, then we truly wouldn't need to maintain multiple users names and passwords.

Jeff O'Hara said...

Thanks for posting about edmodo, we really aren't a tool for "friending" random people. There's twitter, plurk, facebook for that. Edmodo is a tool for creating private groups with people/students you know. Once you create a group a code is generated and you send that to your students to join with that code.


Durff said...

I noticed some middle school kids start the year with this attitude, but they got over that by the beginning of October. Sadly, many adults never do.............

etalbert said...

This is a very important topic. I can understand how teachers new to web2.0 tools feel. I have signed up to stacks of applications.
I regularly use about 5 and I visit 2/3 occasionally.
The user name and password issue is also a big one from the security angle.
Recently, I signed up to edmodo also. I think this one has lot of potential. I also wasn't sure about how to invite people, but I have used the code with one person and plan to try more. I have shared the tool with others, who are also enthusiastic.
I also signed up to some utterli groups. Harder for me to sustain that activity.
I am very reluctant to sign up to new things now, since I know I can't manage any more connections.

Lisa said...

This post was really helpfulp. Trying to keep up with all the new tools and applications can be really overwhelming. I am an elearning enthusiast myself, but I often talk with collegues who sometimes seem to think that it's not worth the effort to try out new stuff. I might reblog this topic in Norwegian (I'm working in a Norwegian High School) for them to see if I can create some curiosity and interest.

Anonymous said...

I am a starting user of edmodo too... May I just tell you that the link in your post points to the wrong site?

loonyhiker said...

Great post! I really like your comment on using the same name and password which makes it much easier when I am using a tool that I saved but hadn't used in a long time. I like the link to woices and plan to check it out. Thanks.

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