Overwhelmed

I’m staring at this list of resources. There’s some great stuff here. In delicious, I have a “2checkout” tag that I use for things I want to learn more about. At the moment, the list has 23 items. Some of these are really great, exciting resources. I want to learn more about them. Others are just fun things. Some of them are probably sites that look nice but don’t have a lot of content behind them.

OverwhelmedI was looking, for example, at the Open Educational Resources site.  Jack Nieporte posted this link on the Ohio Tech Coordinators’ listserv. It looks like it’s a shared resource for all subjects and all grade levels. Teachers can use it to look for activities targetted to specific learning objectives at specific grade levels. They can also contribute their own ideas, links, and resources so othes can use them. Very cool. I should pass this along to my teachers.

Then, there’s the Ohio Treasure Chest of Technology Resources.  North Canton’s technology integration guru, Eric Curts, has created this site and its accompanying blog and podcast to showcase valuable resources that correlate with Ohio’s academic content standards. The site has thousands of resources, and all of them have been reviewed and submitted by teachers. My teachers need to know about this.

Meanwhile, the EduTech Wiki is a collaborative resource for using technology in education. Providing more than just links to resources, this site goes into much more depth on learning theory, pedagogical strategies, metacognition, instructional design, and all of those other things I would have learned if I had paid attention in grad school. In a field where we often ignore current research and best practices in favor of teaching the way we’ve always taught, this could be a valuable resource for my staff.

All of this reminds me of Marco Polo. A few years ago, we were all abuzz about the wonderful resources on this site. Major players in education (National Geographic Society, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and others) all worked together to create this one-stop shop for quality online resources for teachers. A few years later, I had a hard time finding the link (now that Worldcom, the former primary sponsor, is gone). Our teachers should be reminded that this resource still exists.

I don’t have time to look through all of these sites to find the relevant, useful bits. And I’m not trying to teach all day — I just mostly sit around and play with computers. 🙂 I can’t imagine being, for example, a fifth grade teacher, and trying to wade through all of this. I know filters help — and using quality annotated lists of resources will help narrow the search. But these are all narrowed lists as it is. I almost feel like we should have a group of people to blog just about online resources — highlight one for each subject area every day. Then, we can use the feed from the blog to make more teachers aware of what’s out there in smaller pieces.

In the meantime, I’ll be checking out some of these resources, and probably posting about some of the things I find.

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Author: John Schinker

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3 thoughts on “Overwhelmed”

  1. John, you are absolutely correct. As a third grade teacher, I wish I had the time to sit around and read informative blogs all day and then apply the information within my classroom. Your statement about- (In a field where we often ignore current research and best practices in favor of teaching the way we’ve always taught, this could be a valuable resource for my staff) is very true due to the fact of on-going daily pressures to teach the curriculum and state mandates. I want to be “on top” of the game but with the vast amount of new information out there- it tends to be overwhelming even to me – someone who loves technology and novel approaches to teaching.

    Your idea (about having a group of people to blog just about online resources — highlight one for each subject area every day. Then, we can use the feed from the blog to make more teachers are aware of what’s out there in smaller pieces) is fantastic and if you ever start one I would love to be one of those resources. Again, if everyone chipped in with just one effective and realistic goal/lesson/blog/novel approach… we would have one heck of a resourse on our hands.

    I like your idea of tagging your “to do” on delicious. Again, as a classroom teacher I need to balance my time of reading my “to dos” and still teach my class and curriculum. One can go crazy trying to keep up with all of the new information presented everyday within the news feeds- hence your title to this post- OVERWHELMED- I am living it…

    Mr. Wasil

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