Saturday, February 2, 2008

Week 4 "Thing" 8 and 9

How did I ever live without RSS? Reading blogs is one easy component of professional development that is quick and free. Before I signed up for RSS feeds, checking blogs (I used to read over 50) for new content was time consuming and annoying. Using Bloglines makes the most of my time and now I am able to take 15 minutes (about once a week) to check in with all my favorite blogs. I've been able to get many lesson ideas, resources, links, etc. from the top educational technology leaders and librarians in the world.

As an extra bonus, my school district set up customizable employee portals (home pages) for every teacher so we can add widgets and find feeds that we can use for professional development or for instruction. It automatically opens whenever we log in to one of the district computers. It's been interesting to see teachers use this portal in a variety of ways. Most have embraced it and have tabs and tabs of widgets and feeds. I have pages for professional blogs, library blogs, world news, and local news. I'm definitely lucky to work in a district that is promoting this tool and giving teachers the opportunity to explore new technologies. I'm attaching a screen shot of my MTLSDHome page (it will maximize if you click on it) to show how I learn every day.

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