Curate and aggregate

ZiteYou have choices! You can outsource your curating and aggregation to things like Flipboard and Zite or you can do it yourself with things like Pinterest and Springpad but aggregate and curate you must because we live in a world that is churning through information and where the technology changes are coming rapidly. Building a habit of curating and aggregating information means you always have new ideas and trends coming your way which keep you current. As a classroom teacher you need to stay current. Our technological society is developing at a rapid rate now in the same way we did after the industrial era start up. We just have to keep moving. Resistance is useless because we need to be able to observe and manage the changes. We are teachers. We have sound critical skills and we know how to be discerning and can then influence sound aggregation and curation choices. So, outsource or DIY? I say both. Zite is one of the newest, trendiest aggregators which will bring you news and information from all sorts of interest areas. It is up to you to decide what you are interested in and then Zite will aggregate it for you in a very user friendly way. It is well suited to tablet use but in no way dilutes the content. SpringpadSpringpad is more like Pinterest or Livebinders. You can find things of interest on the web and store them in your note books and share them. Like Zite, it is very tablet friendly. You are working on your own resources but are automatically part of a sharing community. You can follow other people’s notebooks and benefit from their curation. Your research can grow exponentially. As a teacher you are probably familiar with Evernote and if you are not, it is well worth investigating. Evernote is not the same but it does serve the purpose of saving and curating information. it can serve a bigger educational purpose which is explained well here at lifehacker. There are all sorts of curation and aggregation apps to suit your needs but Flipboard, Pinterest, Zite ,Livebinders and now Springpad are the most widely known and used and so will help bring you the most information and choices.

10 things ESL students can do with Evernote on their tablets

Thank you to @joedale for the link to this great use of Evernote .

Oxford University Press

Tablet in handsMohamed El-Ashiry takes a look at how Evernote can be used in the classroom

Portfolio assessment in the ESL classroom offers many benefits. On the Prince George’s County Public Schools’ website, a portfolio is defined as ‘a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits the student’s efforts, progress, and achievements in one or more areas of the curriculum’. Brown & Hudson (1998) have also described portfolios as a ‘family of assessments’. Some of the benefits of using portfolios, as described by Brown & Hudson (1998) include: (1) focusing student attention on learning processes; and (2) increasing student involvement in the learning processes. I have always been a fan of such ‘alternatives in assessment‘ because of the fact that they focus a lot more on the ‘process of learning’ as opposed to the ‘product of learning’ (Brown & Hudson, 1998).

Now that iPads and tablets are spreading into many…

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Evernote for everything

evernote Evernote is a great tool for learning and managing your learning. It can be used for other things and it runs across all platforms and devices. I show it to my students and a lot of them are happy to adopt it because the information stored on Evernote can be accessed from anywhere. It is very comprehensive and functional in its approach. Students will often use their mobile phones with Evernote information and have them propped up against their laptops so they can use that information to create assignments. They prefer that to accessing the information on their laptop. It’s a good use of their mobiles. The Evernote tutorial site has so many ideas, tips and tricks but it currently has a free slide presentation you can download and show in class or share with students in another way. Just click on it and it will download. It covers a lot of good ways of using Evernote so that you and your students can get started. .

Make your iPad go to work!

Documents Free app An iPad can present a challenge because we have been brought up on or have migrated to computers. So we are used to leads, wires and things to plug in. We don’t feel right without them. An iPad requires you to rethink how you are going to achieve your ends. Three apps help you create pieces on your iPad which you can store there or online. Evernote I have blogged about before because you can use it to be a one stop shop for ideas and the creating of ideas. On the iPad it is a lifesaver because you can record things, put in pictures , write notes and text. it is an amazingly flexible application. Evernote Peek is designed for the iPad2 smart cover and based on the look, cover, learn technique. It has a number of topics and subjects which it covers . It doesn’t seem to work without the smart cover. It’s a very easy way to learn basics. The last app for today is Documents Free which is a pocket rocket office suite which is really easy to use and has some nice features. With Evernote and Documents Free you do not feel so alone on your iPad!

EverNote for Everything!

Every so often you come across an application which you find so useful it just becomes a part of your life. EverNote is one of those really handy applications which will keep you organised, but it is not a PIM nor a diary. you can organise to to help support your daily routine but you can do more than that. It will organise study notes, pictures, webshots, web scraps. You can cut and paste what you need to remember as you build information on a topic, but you can write notes and organise them to pay bills, remember dental appts. Once you sign up there is a lot of support and great tools to get you going with projects. You can run it like a word processor but cut and paste as you need to to make information collection easy. The Mac version is here. The Windows version is here. The iTunes version is here. The other advantage of this application is that it runs in several languages.

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