I just finished an online class my school district sponsored using the website, Lynda.com. Lynda.com is an online library of technology videos. Professional development at your finger tips. They have hundreds of high quality videos. I am a visual learner and I like to learn by doing, especially with technology. So, if someone can show me how to do something and I can take notes, then I am more successful. The videos are broken into precise small snippets so if you are looking for a specific answer to something it can be easily found. These small snippets are also nice for re-watching when clarification is needed. When it comes to learning about things my K students could do, I didn't find what I was quite looking for. There is nothing on VoiceThread, Pixie, or Animato. However, I grew more in my own technology knowledge and in turn created projects to help our community.
I loved learning about Evernote and created a notebook for each class and then a page for each new student. I'm excited to start clipping and saving things about our learning and then building notebooks for planning.
I use twitter and love my PD community I have there along with a little personal interest things. So, I decided to create twitter class accounts. I picture shared writing or interactive writing fitting within 140 characters to tweet out to our parents and hopefully some tweet K pals we will connect with. I also found authors and illustrators to follow and created a list of local interest to help families know about resources in our own backyard to help us grow and learn with resources on the web. Watching Twitter Essential Training helped me fine tune my twitter ease and provided me with some little hints and tricks. For my classroom accounts, I learned I can turn off retweets from those we follow for example. You can find us @MrsRobekKMW or @MrsRobekKTTh.
I love my google calendar at home and couldn't live without! I've been frustrated with a calendar system the district has for us to use when communicating with parents. Again, I created a classroom account and hopefully parents will find this resource helpful.
I spent some time learning about Google Docs and hope to have parents contribute to a slide show we can make about a tradition they have at home. Really focusing in on traditions as something we repeat and maybe not holiday oriented. Thanks to my Katie at Creative Literacy for that idea.
I also have not been a youtube user and just learned our district has unblocked it from our filtering system for classroom use. I learned a lot about youtube and am discovering there are things out there for classrooms. I created a channel and hope my families will visit it too. If you have suggestions for my channel I would love any ideas.
These are just some highlights for things I've discovered. The quality of the videos and the presentation is very high. Knowing this and experiencing learning from lynda.com for just a month I began wondering if I could use it on my own. My district is only offering it to five people for a month at a time. I began thinking it might be a bit expensive but worth every penny. Come to find out, I can or you can purchase a month membership for $25.00. Hands down, worth the investment if you are looking for professional development that you can do on your own time.