Thursday, July 8, 2010

What I Have Done (So Far) on My Summer Vacation

This summer I have elected to abandon traditional professional development commitments.  This does not mean I have abandoned learning.  To the contrary, I have spent a good portion of our very long summer engaged in activities that should prove helpful throughout the school year.  For example:
  • I've been keeping up on my feeds with Google Reader.  Using Reader ( a totally free service, by the way), I subscribe to a variety of blogs, mashups, Twitter searches and more that help me stay updated on technology or whatever the subscription describes.  Setting up a Reader feed is easy.  Here's how: (But please excuse the crappy sound.)

  • I have explored Glogster .  Glogster is a cool way to make interactive posters for your students.  It would be an even cooler way for your kids to make posters for projects!  I hope to make more glogs to coincide with the pathfinders for various units. Here is a glog I made for my AskMrsMartin page:    

  • I have used to update all my posts at once.  This allows me to reach my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger and other services without having to update individual services.  This is  not always a practical way to use each of these services; sometimes updating specific services is more appropriate.  For example, it is more appropriate to update personal accounts individually.  If I want to reach a maximum number of faculty, parents and students, however, Ping is the way to go!
  • I have been exploring ereading platforms, as I mentioned in a previous blog.  I have downloaded Borders and Kindle apps to my laptop.  Neither have worked successfully on my cell phone - yet.  I suspect enhancements will come any day and make these apps more usable. 
  • I have held Open Library Nights each Thursday since June 17.  During that time Mrs. Malone and I have been decorating for the upcoming year's theme, Reading Rainforest.  It is definitely a work in progress, and I  have spent a lot of evenings working on the finer points of these decorations (if you can call them that).
  • What else?  Well, I have been reading.  But don't you know my reading list keeps getting longer, thanks to recommendations from friends on services like Shelfari and Good Reads.  Oh, yeah.  I have been writing blog posts and updating Brookhaven Technology Center.  
There are, of course, many things I haven't done.  For example, I can't bring myself to think about instructional design for the year.  I know there are topics, such as cybersafety and information literacy, that I need to cover more in depth.  I just haven't decided how.

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