At this point I feel like I am so far behind in knowing and using technologies (the shame is that I've always felt like I was on top of technology, now its kicking my butt!).  Our district is a suburban, high achieving district but we don't receive any technology training at all. Few teachers have their own websites, they would have no clue what Glogster, wikis, and other such applications are.  Everything I've done is through my own research, joining nings and mailrings and "stealing" from others. 

I really want to try to use some of these applications more - such as voicethread and glogster but have to find training on my own.  Any thoughts on how to do this and how are you receiving information to help keep you up to date?


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Yes! There is an online Web 2.0 class lead by Shelley Paul called 23 Things. Many of my co-workers have taken it as well. It is fantastic. I believe she offers this 10 week course about three times a year and it is relatively inexpensive. Here's the link:
http://k12learning20.wikispaces.com/23Things
Dont know if these will help or not, but here are a few user guides/walkthroughs for some popular Web 2.0 tools that I have written. They may be of use to you in getting started with some new tools.

How to Use Glogster EDU

Creating a Website with Weebly
Using Animoto for Education
Using Online Comic Creators in the Classroom
Social Bookmarking in Education with Diigo
Top 10 Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom
Sharon: you are mentioning a couple here that I haven't heard of (Glogster and Voicethread).

3 THINGS!

ONE- don't get overwhelmed...focus on using the tools that work for you to be more productive. A new tool for the sake of adding it to the collection and never being used is wasted energy. Just because it's new doesn't mean it is valuable.

TWO- If you need a tool you don't have, search for it...chances are you will find something on google. As all of this stuff is becoming more popular, expect to see 37 different flavors of "Twitter" and "YouTube".

THREE- Here is my personal secret weapon...www.twit.tv I have learned more from Leo LaPorte than anywhere else online. Specifically, these three podcasts: TWIT, Net@Night, and TWIG...Time well spent every week!

I wasn't going to let this one out of the bag but you twisted my arm ;) Hope they help you out!

Jay
Thank you all for the great ideas, I'm excited about checking them all out!
Hi Sharon -

Well you're not doing anything any differently than the rest of us in terms of training - the beauty of Web 2.0 is that it is extremely user-friendly - and you can self-teach everything! I'm shocked that you have no technology training happening, but that's not an insurmountable obstacle, especially with someone like you in the building who is trying to keep current with emergent trends.

Twitter has been a primary source of education and resources for me since last June. I can't even begin to tell you how much I've learned, and how much more educated I've become as a result of creating an account, typing in what I'm interested in and reading 140 characters per message. Once you start finding posts from people that interest you, you begin following them and you will not believe the WEALTH of resources and information that come to you. Of course, as you find things on your own, it's only appropriate that you tweet them out to your PLN (Professional Learning Network - the people you're following and who are following you) - this is how the information, ideas, resources keep flowing. Your PLN won't be exactly the same as everybody else's so for some, what you tweet may not interest them, but for others it could be EXACTLY what they'd been looking for! I got to the point where I was receiving SO MUCH information that I was on overload and had to quit reading for a while. But it is an INVALUABLE tool for educators if used properly.

Give it a try - www.twitter.com

As for learning how to use different things, keep self-teaching, that's the best way to learn anyway! Just make sure to share what you learn with your staff - find a couple who are on the same page you are and build an internal support system. Not everyone in my building is on board with technology, but start with a small group and it becomes infectious!

Good luck and stay in touch -

Deb

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