Tuesday, June 12, 2018

LBS 850 Module Three- Tools

“Men have become the tools of their tools”
Shut up, Thoreau, we're trying to learn here...

The above notes from our class materials made me laugh. This week we delved into tools and apps, a huge umbrella under which so many different things can fall. We roughly split things into three types of tools- things for organizing, things for finding new things, and things for keeping track of your books.

I'm going to be honest- this type of week/exploration can be very overwhelming for me. So many great resources and as I explore each one, I start to ping around- "I could use this for X, Y,  and Z, and should probably go check with administration right now let me immediately sign up." To avoid this, I tried to be very selective with what I dove into, but I also was worried that I'd have some FOMO about the other apps I didn't spend time with this week. For that reason, I am going to group some resources in general lists below so I can revisit.

Even though is is an area where I have a lot of organization already in place, I was really drawn to the book organization tools shared this week. I'm already an active Goodreads user (my account is here!) and I was really excited when a classmate shared that you can set up your email signature to show your currently reading selection. This is such a good idea. I also use a reading spreadsheet developed by a Book Riot contributor, Rachel Manwill, to keep track of my statistics within a year. I wanted to share it here so others might experience the magic I have this year tracking so far! There are tons more details in this article.

For further tool research, I felt most comforted by the articles and posts that rounded up a ton of links for exploring down the road. The list of best websites for teaching and learning from AASL is definitely one I'll be returning to. I was also really drawn to Livebinders- especially the examples set up to walk students through certain units or summer reading programs. This is something I can see myself setting up as I gather resources for grade levels or teachers around standards and yearly projects.

More for further reading later:
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. 31 Educational Web Tools Every Teacher Should Know About. http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/12/the-31-educational-web-tools-every.html Links to an external site.
Google Tools for Educators - https://www.google.com/edu/products/productivity-tools/ Links to an external site.
Joquetta Johnson. Google LiveBinder. - http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=3803 Links to an external site.
In summation, from the Kellet article: If you have multiple tools/apps to do the same job something is wrong. DAMN!

Basically, I'm going to need to secure my learning targets before I commit to certain tools. I'm far too susceptible to the flashiness of new things to trust myself as all this terrific technology is presented to me. Teaching on a weekly schedule in the library as opposed to teaching on a daily schedule in the classroom really lets me set up units and use universal design to set up my year. For my first year in the library I kept a printed monthly calendar and a single paper notebook, keeping notes as things popped up that I either wanted to avoid, repeat, or anticipate for next year. As I look ahead for 2018-2019, I'll return to both my notes and these posts to pick and "perfect" (as much as possible) the tool I want myself and my students to use.


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