It’s been awhile since I’ve published a U Tech Tips newsletter…I hate it when my paying job gets in the way of my hobbies . But just because I haven’t been posting or producing newsletters doesn’t mean the exploration into this new web world has stopped. So I offer you the Utecht Brain Dump from the past couple of week.
Twitter: I’ve been spending more time thinking about twitter than using it lately. We used it at the Learning 2.0 conference and a lot of people came to me and said “I don’t get it”. Which is a common response to something new that you don’t quite understand. In order to understand how twitter works as a learning network I think two things need to happen.
1) You have to follow other people on twitter. You can use my twitter account as a place to find 200 other educators who are usually twittering about educational topics, looking for help, asking though provoking questions and learning together.
2) You also need to use a twitter application that does not require you to have your web browser open all the time. There are some great apps that you can use. Twitterair and Twitbin (if you are a Firefox user) are two great programs for the PC. If you are a Mac user try Twitterrific which seems to be the twitter application of choice for Mac users. If you use Netvibes as a RSS reader you can add the twitter widget into your page as well.
Once you are connected into the network, have some friends that you follow and that are following you see how the network works for you. There are many different ways I use the network here are some examples of how my Twitter network works for me.
I found this great program the other day called WiziQ. It looks really promising as a way to hold free online meet ups for classes and discussions. I needed other people to help test the program with me so I put a call out to my Twitter friends and soon there were 10 people in the program with me learning how to use the program. Twitter: Instant access to test subjects.
Before the Learning 2.0 conference I was playing with Twittercamp. A very cool program with a lot of potential that shows twitter is a very cool way. I was having issues hacking up some of the coding to customize the look of the program. So, I went to my Twitter network and asked if anyone knew how to hack up Twittercamp. Within 15 minutes someone in my network had created a video (using Jing) and twittered back the link to me. It was a video with step by step instructions of how to hack the files in Twittercamp. Twitter: Instant access to help
How will Twitter work for you? I don’t know..but if you’re willing to take the risk I think you’ll find that there is some power there. You don’t have to follow it all the time. It’s like a conversation…you can jump in and out as you feel you need to.
Yesterday a 5th grader also introduced me to this cool new search engine. It allows you to search two different search engines at the same time. What a great site to use when talking about search skills and looking at relevant information while doing projects. Being able to compare results from Yahoo and Google at the same time and having discussion of why the search results are different could lead to a great conversation at all leaves. From who do you trust? What is the best site? To ethics of search results by companies. Either way a great idea when looking for information.
So there you go…a brain dump of tools and thinking from the past couple of weeks. Hopefully I’ll be producing newsletters more regularly now. Of course you could always start an RSS reader and subscribe to our feed…then you wouldn’t need the newsletter!
[tags]twitter, wiziq, polycola, learning networks[/tags]