19 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2014 11:55 AM by staceylazarus

    Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem

    staceylazarus

      Taming and Training of the Technophobe, a monthly posting helping people go from the simple to more complex in the use of technology is on hold for this month, pushed aside by a different type of pressing issue. Instead of dealing with “how to”, I am asking for help in determining “the best for” website for a very specific purpose.

       

      Looking through some old posts I have noticed some great websites were mentioned…but are now lost because they are buried in a post long forgotten. One of the problems with technology is keeping current, so if we can create an ongoing list of suggested websites, we can compile a wonderful list of resources! In an early post of Taming and Training of the Technophobe I explored social bookmarking sites. Now I am asking you to be my “hero” and help solve this problem I am posting.

       

      The specific needs of the winner website must meet:

      1. Ease of input of website, description, URL and tags
      2. Sortable and searchable database of these bookmarks
      3. Viewable by the public, but only Forum Moderators can edit the list
      4. Ease for public to adapt using this resource and possibly combining with theirs’ already in use.

       

      Possible contenders:

      1. Delicious
      2. Diigo
      3. Symbaloo
      4. Pearltree
      5. Pinterest
      6. Google Form to Google Spreadsheet
      7. ?

      If we can recover all of the previous listed websites, how should we store them for you to use? Please take a look at the requirements and the possible solutions… Please list the possible solution with its pros and cons from the list.

       

      Thanks from the techno_solver, writer of Taming and Training of the Technophobe

      Stacey

       

      This portion has been added on February 16, 2014

      Special Inquiry Survey:


      Many of the members in the Teacher's Engage Community share links to various web sites and resources.  There is a movement to find a way to bookmark all of these useful links in one place.  I alone have shared numerous sites and resources.  Please consider taking a quick moment to answer the questions in this survey to let us know your thoughts on how we should curate the links shared in the Teacher's Engage Community.


      Please click here for the survey.

        • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
          deb_norton

          Hi Stacey,

          One possibility is List.ly. Which I believe meets all of the requirements.  I love that this site is very visual and has a bookmarklet.

          I am also quite partial to Pinterest as well as Scoop.it.    These should also meet the requirements. 


          One requirement I would consider adding is popularity.  I would think that using a site that has a large following and is popularly used would be the best since most bookmarking sites require the user to have an account.  More people would be familiar with the site and would probably already have an account.  So by adding the requirement that we use a very popular site, I think Pinterest should win. 

          • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
            glen_w

            Stacey,

             

            Your list of "needs" makes it difficult to consider the "contenders" as possible solutions. These "contenders" use a "single moderator" to edit data as opposed to "forum moderators." IMHO, input of data by multiple people would best be done using a Google Form. Sharing the form data would allow multiple moderators to access and sort data. The data can be set to "viewable" but not editable by non-moderators. I find Google Docs are more collaborative in nature than the other "social bookmarking tools." (I, however, am the first to admit the Google Doc is much less "visual" than most of the other tools.) Is visual appeal high on your "must have list?"

            • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
              staceylazarus

              Deb, Glen, and others,

               

              Thanks for thinking about this problem I presented.This simple question actually has several layers to it, so thanks for jumping in.

               

              Last month, Taming and Training of the Technophobe talked about "transfer of knowledge" to help someone move from one application to another. This is layer one... knowing the material before moving on.

               

              In a different session we discussed multiple learning styles. As Glen has pointed out, some options are less visual than others. This is layer two... method of presentation/learning

               

              As educators we have been hearing that we are becoming less sages on the stage as mentors on the side. Do we prepare on bookmarking list that suites our (Moderators) needs, or the needs of the Community? This is layer three... teacher or student driven instruction and presentation of material.

               

              So... no easy answer, no one answer, but let us explore more solutions and determine which one would best serve the most people.

               

              I leave you with two questions:

              Did comparing this technological challenge to educational terms make it easier to "digest"?

              When you list your favorite website to this problem, please explain why it fits so nicely as "the" answer.

               

              Looking forward to some more great thoughts!

                • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                  glen_w

                  Stacey,

                   

                  Based on this post, I suggest LiveBinders. The reason for the change is to help the learner. LiveBinders shows the webpage (not just a representational image.) The binder can be divided into multiple sub-binders allowing for better organization. My choice is based on the Middle School students I work with. If they have a bookmark list, they go through each link quickly looking for "the right answer." When I provide them the entire webpage, they compare pages and then look deeper to find comparisons. LiveBinders should be an excellent choice for helping the technophobe become more confident as well.

                   

                  If the intended audience does not include technophobes, I'd recommend Google Forms (and link to the results) so the audience can see results either before or after they share a link.

                   

                  My follow-up question: How big do you think a Google Doc would become if all links in our Engage community were added?

                    • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                      staceylazarus

                      Glen,

                       

                      Livebinders is a good resource for looking at live pages and the visual would help those less comfortable with looking through lists. My question would be how to organize tags, especially if a website fits into several categories.

                       

                      Google Forms and Docs seem doable, but I have the same concern about tags. Your final thought about how large this bookmarking list will be.... wow... in this thread alone we have about 5 links. How many threads do we have! To give you a different view on this number, as an instructional integration specialist dealing with all subjects, I have 4,000 bookmarks!

                       

                      Stacey

                        • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                          glen_w

                          Stacey, so...... is there a "correct answer" given your 4,000 links? I'm guessing we may have somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 or more here in the Engage community. (I, however, think there may be many duplicates among all those links.)

                            • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                              staceylazarus

                              Glen,

                               

                              Always have a Plan B because Plan A never works. Is there a "correct" answer to my question? I am looking for best fit, but I don't know if that is possible.

                               

                              I do know that many of the bookmarking sites permit importing from others, so if there is more than one, this might satisfy those that have a strong preference. It is the sites that don't migrate well that I am worried about.

                               

                              I guess it also boils down to what types of tags are used. I have some sites that I consider "collaboration", "presentation" and "assessment". If we use Google Docs or Livebinder (love the visual), how do we handle multiple tagged items?

                               

                              This thread might end with a poll to see what site people favor and go with the majority.

                               

                              Stacey

                                • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                                  glen_w

                                  Stacey,

                                   

                                  I like the idea of closing your discussion with a poll. This provides the opportunity for many to share their thoughts (even if they have not shared them in the discussion.) I agree there are conflicts regarding duplicate tags. Perhaps these "bookmarks" will be shared more than once (unless the choice allows multiple tags to be used.)

                                   

                                  I always plan my lessons to include technology (and then have a Plan B because I know if something can go wrong with the technology, it will.) Are you considering using two bookmarking tools for the project?

                                    • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                                      staceylazarus

                                      I have worked out a poll that Deb will post in her chats. I have also posted it here. Can't wait to see the results and then start to work on collecting all of the wonderful links everyone has contributed to the community.

                                       

                                      Special Inquiry Survey:


                                      Many of the members in the Teacher's Engage Community share links to various web sites and resources.  There is a movement to find a way to bookmark all of these useful links in one place.  I alone have shared numerous sites and resources.  Please consider taking a quick moment to answer the questions in this survey to let us know your thoughts on how we should curate the links shared in the Teacher's Engage Community.


                                      Please click here for the survey.

                          • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                            deb_norton

                            I vote for Pinterest.  It's allows for saving content in pins and organizing those pins on boards.  I like that it is visual and easy to navigate.  Pinterest has a bookmarklet which makes saving a site easy.  And it has a nice feature which allows a person to send a pin by email.  If I were going to save a collection of tools, Pinterest would be my choice. 

                              • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                                glen_w

                                Deb,

                                 

                                You provide great logic on how and why Pinterest is an excellent choice. I'm wondering how to convince male educators that Pinterest is NOT just for females. I find conversations with male teachers about Pinterest are similar to talking to the brick wall of my classroom. Suggestions to change this attitude will be greatly appreciated!

                                  • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                                    deb_norton

                                    Hi Glen,

                                    You bring up a valid issue.  I could share that some of my male friends, both teacher friends as well as non-teacher friends are on Pinterest. I could share their Pinterest accounts to promote that Pinterest is not just for women.  It would be interesting to see what the ratio is of men to women on Pinterest.  Once a person takes a look at how useful Pinterest is for finding and sharing educational resources, I would hope they would be interested.  Demonstrating the site is probably the best way to change a person's attitude. 

                                     

                                    I suppose it is no different than people shrugging off Twitter because it has a reputation for being used to follow celebrities.  Or people shrugging of Facebook because it has a reputation for being used to share personal information.  Yet both Twitter and Facebook are awesome tools for sharing educational resources and technology. And they can both be used as online communities for educators to connect.

                                     

                                    And, of course, creating or sharing a video about how Pinterest can be a great resource for sharing technology and educational resources would be a great place to start.  You know how I feel about videos.

                                      • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                                        NaomiHarm

                                        When I showcase a tech tool that male educators are apprehensive about, I first find out what is their professional niche or teaching interest to make them tick. Is it blogging, is it a science experiment, is it an outdoor activity etc. Then from there I have them do a keyword search using specific keywords/ tag words about their interest and include the keyword  "Pinterest". Once they see the immediate visual results, it is game on and I got them, hook, line and sinker....that is all it takes. It is the personal connection to their learning and professional interest of new ideas displayed visually and immediately that basically sells it self, whether for a female or male end user.

                                          • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                                            glen_w

                                            Naomi,

                                             

                                            You hit the nail on the head when you mention finding out what makes them tick. Like you, I find those who are willing to try a tool (Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) based something they relate to are more acceptable of the tool. I guess this is an example of helping them in the back door.

                                             

                                            What tech tool have you seen the greatest resistance to? What do you think cause people to shy from the tool?

                                            • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                                              staceylazarus

                                              Naomi,

                                               

                                              Getting that personal connection is important.

                                               

                                              Recently I had an opportunity to teach graphing an equation to a 11th grader that did not understand how to get y=mx + b onto a graph. What were all of these terms he had to know? I found out he was a basketball player, so I challenged him to a game of moving the ball. "b" was where the ball was located on the court (y intercept), and "m" was the movement pattern across the court (slope). He got it! Of course drove some students crazy when he would answer and use words like Ball and Movement! Mind you that was day one. Eventually we got the "real" words into play.

                                               

                                              What has been your wildest story of getting someone "hooked"

                                               

                                              Stacey

                                                • Re: Help a techno_solver solve a techno problem
                                                  glen_w

                                                  Stacey,

                                                   

                                                  I'm going to share your basketball idea with my advanced math teacher tomorrow. He's into basketball and will quickly get the idea. I agree with how important it is to link new learning to something the student already understands.

                                                   

                                                  My favorite "hooked" story relates to the most behavior disordered student I've ever taught. We did an activity relating to the water cycle. Students were assigned to begin at one part of the water cycle and then move around the room as they represented water molecules. Halfway through the activity he blurted out "This game's not fair! We've got to start over." I waited a short time and then allowed students to begin again. Each student was assigned a different part of the water cycle than previously. During this second experience, the student again blurted out "This game's still not fair! We've got to do it again." I put on a stern face (inside I was grinning) and agreed to his request. Within two minutes, he blurted out "Why is there so much water in the clouds and the ocean?" WINNER WINNER WINNER!!! He got it (even thought no technology was used.)

                                                   

                                                  I'm excited now to hear about other "hooked" stories. Please share .