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Keeping Up With What’s New in the Digital World!

I’m always amazed at the knowledge of colleagues and wonder, How did they learn about that app or this site!?! Digital tools and trends are growing exponentially, however their quality and usefulness are not all created equal! It’s a real challenge to keep up!

How can a team of teachers stay abreast of new developments in the digital world in order to incorporate great instructional tools that will engage and empower their students?  Chances are there is a wide range of knowledge and skill with digital tools on a team.  However, all teachers must embrace the digital world if they want to remain relevant to their students whose lives often center on the variety of opportunities presented by the web. This chart from the Pew Internet and American  Life Project shows the degree that teenagers are using the internet.

Chart showing 88% of teenagrs are using the internet

Teams with common planning time can develop their own professional learning experiences around the use of digital tools when they

  • designate one team member as the “scout” who finds new sites and apps and shares them with teammates
  • use two or three meetings a month to explore together one or two of the scout’s discoveries
  • commit to using one new digital tool each marking period across all of your classes
  • recruit a team of students who will help you with your digital plan
  • reflect with students about the usefulness of the new tool.

Team teachers must take responsibility for developing their own expertise in digital learning.

Here’s great resource for keeping up with what’s new and helping you identify useful digital instructional strategies.  I found it because I  follow a couple tech integrators on Facebook who are always posting useful links.  A post from Shawn Kimball, a technology integration specialist at Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine led me to Scoop.it! Into the Driver’s Seat “Building the independence of learners through thoughtful uses of technology”– it’s an online magazine.  With just a click you can follow it and receive the “Scoop of the Day” via email!

Some of the articles online right now are:

  • National STEM Video Challenge: Student Video Game Design Challenge
  • 12 Educational Trends to Watch in 2012
  • QuadBlogging “In terms of young children developing as writers, this is the most interesting development in 20 years.”
  • How to create a collaborative class eBook
  • Download and Convert Web Video from the 100 Best Video Sharing Sites

There are other sites out there that will help teams stay current.  What are your favorites?

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