Kevin Blissett: Out of the Cave

Leadership, Classroom 2.0, Curriculum, China

Top eLearning Tools

Jane Hart at Jane’s E-Learning Tip of the Day lists her compilation below of the top 10 e-tools for learners and top 10 e-tools for professionals (hat tip: David Hopkins at eLearning Blog//Don’t Waste Your Time).

Top 10 Tools for Learners

The current Top 10 list of tools for learners, based on contribution of 47 Learners AS AT 4 APRIL is:

  1. Google Search
  2. YouTube
  3. Firefox
  4. Twitter
  5. Delicious
  6. Facebook
    Google Reader

Top 10 Tools for Learning Professionals

The current top 10 tools for learning professionals to use in their own professional practice for creating learning “solutions” for others and their own productivity is AS AT 4 APRIL as follows, based on the contributions of 21 learning professionals

  1. Delicious
  2. Twitter
  3. Skype
  4. Slideshare
  5. Google Reader
  6. Google Docs
  7. Audacity
    Google Search

I’m currently using almost all of these tools, and I’m slowly introducing more of them to my students. Many of the tools have had a profound impact on the way I teach and keep up to date in education, and on the way my students learn and produce. 

I might also add Digg to the list as I use it often to find top articles on topics of interest.


April 21, 2009 Posted by | social media, strategies, technology, tools | Leave a comment

Oh, no! My Internet’s Down!

Kevin Purdy at Lifehacker gives some sage advice on what to do when–insert prayer of your choice here–the internet is down. Among his suggestions are:

  1. Take a look at your lengthy to-do list.
  2. Organize pc files and folders.
  3. Do some old-fashioned work.
  4. Use your mobile unit.
  5. Clean out your workspace.

As resourceful educators, it’s not hard to find things to do offline:

  • Talk with a colleague.
  • Work on lesson plans/units of inquiry.
  • Mark assignments/assessments.
  • Call some parents.
  • Read one of those things used at one time in the classroom–a book.
  • Teach!

April 15, 2009 Posted by | strategies, technology, tools | Leave a comment

Classroom Use of GoogleApps

Helen Barrett explains how GoogleApps can be a one-stop shop for creating centralized, dynamic, and effective e-portfolios. I’ve been using Blogger for my students’ blogs and had considered using other applications alongside, but Helen does a great job here showing how it can all work together. I’ll definitely plan on working more applications into my curriculum map. She has also created a group site where educators can share ideas about how one fully can use GoogleApps in the classroom.


April 13, 2009 Posted by | strategies, technology | Leave a comment

Another Look at Laptops in Class

Should we or shouldn’t we? We should! The ongoing debate about the wisdom of using laptops in class gets a fresh look in this article by John Timmer.

Many schools are now adopting a 1:1 laptop to student ratio but not without hiccups.  The benefits are numerous, and the flaws tend to center around the machines causing distractions, be it from aimless surfing, chatting, game-playing, etc. In my view, it’s nothing that a vigilant teacher cannot solve for the m0st part. And just when you get the laptops under control, another distraction will be lurking right around the corner. 

In any case, whatever solutions are found now are likely to be a temporary fix, and the shrinking of laptops and rise of smartphones are going to provide the next generation of students with a wealth of new, and harder to manage, distractions.

(Come on, haven’t these distractions existed since the dawn of man? When I was young, the distractions were throwing paper airplanes, passing notes–love or otherwise–and drawing caricatures of the teacher. Isn’t this just a hi-tech version of that?)

April 3, 2009 Posted by | strategies, technology | Leave a comment

Keeping Up with Technology

This is an excellent video highlighting the incredible need to adjust our teaching approach to the evolving needs of our students.

This video was created by Tom Woodward of Henrico County schools in Virginia. Tom used the work of Karl Fisch from Colorado who created a PPT using various quotes and statistics from “flat world” thinking.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | strategies, technology | Leave a comment

Electronic Manipulatives in the Classroom

Amazing video highlighting new manipulative classroom technology. Thanks to Jo McLeay at The Open Classroom.

March 22, 2009 Posted by | strategies, technology | Leave a comment

Blogging in Class

I’ve been using classroom blogs for some time now and have found it very effective, both in terms of student interest and academic value. I was inspired to employ this strategy after reading this post by Darren Kuropatwa in his blog A Difference. I have found great success with the process, and I highly recommend it to educators.

March 21, 2009 Posted by | strategies | Leave a comment