We all can sometimes get in a rut. Ruts can make us feel comfortable. We use the same book, the same video, the same lesson plan, the same activities, the same tools. I’m no different. I read the same sites, browse the same authors, use the same online tools. I’m a big fan of Flipboard and Zite. I spend time scanning the same RSS feeds every day.
And there’s not anything wrong with that . . . unless there is something better out there. It’s easy to get fat and happy with the way things are. And that’s not a good thing.
So today? Five great sites that you can use to spice up your technology tool library.
This one is new to me and I already love it. Created by a small group of educator/techie people, edshelf is designed to be an easy to use, easy to search directory of websites, mobile apps, and desktop software “rated and reviewed by educators, for educators.” It has a huge database of stuff that you can browse through or filter down by grade level, subject, platform, category, and price.
You can also save your favorite tools and create a “colleague” list of like-minded people to help you search and save more effectively. Plus the site looks good and is easy to use, so . . . what’s not to like?
EdSurge is a community resource for all things in edtech. Their goal is to help educators make informed decisions, and help developers make products that matter.
EdSurge is a user community and information resource for the emerging education technology ecosystem. Our goal is to help accelerate the adoption of innovation in education.
Sounds a bit pretentious but it’s really not. The basic idea is that you and others share ideas, resources, suggestions, new sites, new tools and together, everyone gets smarter and edtech products get better. You can also research and handy articles on EdSurge. If you’re looking for specific tools, click Products. You can filter your results in much the same way as edshelf. But your choices also include topics and organizations – all cross-referenced with one another. Pretty slick.
A relatively new site, ClassroomWindow “is on a mission to make teachers the new power brokers in K-12 education.”
Built by a group of friends passionate about education, ClassroomWindow wants to help teachers make sense of the “chaotic” world of education technology, textbooks, and tools. It claims to be the first education directory of its kind and features trusted reviews by and for teachers around the globe.
In some ways, ClassroomWindow is a lot like Yelp or TripAdvisor. All sorts of people can add resources, web sites, web 2.0 tools, mobile apps and then review them. A nice way to find and evaluate a huge variety of edtech stuff. You can search by keyword or browse through small categories such as American History or large categories like Web Tools. Lots of ways to filter results.
And it’s teacher driven. I like that.
101 Web 2.0 Teaching Tools Every Teacher Should Know About
This is a much simpler site the first three. It’s a slideshow.
Yup. Just a slideshow. But it’s a good slideshow. And because it’s just a slideshow, you can quickly scan through the slides and find exactly what you’re looking for. No filters. No colleagues. No ratings. It’s just a slideshow.
The Go2Web20 directory has been around forever. And it’s been around forever because it lists hundreds of handy online tools while making it easy to find tools that you can actually use.
You can find quick descriptions, screenshots, and similar links.
So get out of your rut. Go find something new.