Thursday, January 24, 2013

Getting Organized

I jumped into ETMOOC without much preparation. So now I am going back and thinking things through. 

What do I want from this experience?
* I am hoping this will push me to try out some new things - to push myself to put myself out there.

Some years ago I was involved in teaching philosophy for children. One of the notions we tried to get across was that once an idea is put out there, it is there to be examined. A disagreement, a building on it, can be done by anyone including yourself. Funny how as teachers we often ask students to do things we don't ask of ourselves. So I will have to put my ideas out there - to be examined, critiqued, and expanded upon. And be willing to examine them myself and, after thought, may retract or change them. It's not only OK to do this - this is the path to growth.

* I have been toying with blogging for a number of years and have wanted to do more reflective blogging. I get started and then peter out. I hope this will push me to write and reflect more, both on my own ideas and those of others - getting inspiration and seeing where it takes me.

In terms of technology -
  • I want to use twitter more, both as a contributor and consumer.
  • I want to explore curation tools I have not yet used - storify, livebinders - how to keep this flow of information and ideas organized...
* I want to make more connections with educators who are thinking about the changes needed in education. How can we make those changes real (and not just grumble about the current situation).


Some thoughts on curation.

I have been a long time user of delicious and then diigo. I really appreciate social bookmarking because I can easily re-find articles, sites etc. that I save. I can also create lists of links on a specific tag or tag bundle and embed them on a web page


This is one way to supply links on a specific topic.

I have played with Pinterest. While I like the visual aspect, topic curation can get unwieldy, especially as more and more sites are added. What seemed like a good way to organize at first may have to evolve. The advantage of social bookmarking is that the multiple tags allow you to sort in multiple ways.

I have also been using Again - it creates a nice visual artifact. If you are not tagging large quantities or sites on a specific topic (e.g. favourite reads on digital storytelling ) this is a nice tool. I have used this when giving workshops. However, I discovered that you can only have 5 topics with the free version, so that really limits its use.

I'll be exploring other possibilities and share my reactions. The amount of information being shared through etmooc is massive. I need to keep organized.


  1. Anonymous6:06 p.m.

    I really appreciated your comment that we often ask students to do things which we wouldn't really try ourselves. I also admire your desire to put it out there.
    One of the technology tools you mentioned wanting to try is livebinders.
    Since September I have started to share live binders with my students. I appreciate that I can create a living document which I can share with students, that will automatically be updated (verses handouts which become obsolete).I created a binder on high school counselling apps and often access this during a session with a student in order to make quick recommendations, with out the hassle of looking up each site."
    I do find however that the more precise a person is when labeling and sorting their live binder the more useful that binder becomes (kind of like your files in your desk).
    Thanks for the info you share on Scoop it and My Diigo. I’ll have to try out those sites.

  2. I was glad to hear you were involved in Philosophy for Children, as that is something I'm very interested in but haven't done much with yet. I loved your reflections about it. Are you still doing anything with P4C? What were you doing?

    I agree with your thoughts about social curation getting unwieldy. That's why I've done some stuff on Learnist instead of Pinterest, e.g. It asks you to really think about how to *teach* something to someone, step by step, so you think about the order in which you present things. It helped me think about the best resources on a topic, and how to present them (rather than just collecting everything I found useful, which I think is too much!). Then I use Diigo for the "everything I've found useful" stuff. That is, I've just started using collection is small as yet!

  3. @Christina Hendricks I taught in a private elementary school both P4C and technology. Unfortunately they cut the P4C programme (this goes back more than 15 years ago). A good friend of mine was very active in P4C for many years and trained me.

    I'll have to look at Learnist. I have been reluctant to go to yet one more place - but I guess that is part of the journey.

  4. I relate to your thought on your students, and I feel that participating in Etmooc is a good way of putting ourselves outside our comfort zone, and becoming a visible learner - it seems easier to learn on your own than to do so in full view. I, too, jumped in with no preparation, which is creating some problems now!