Diigo – Bookmarks to Go

I came across a free web 2.0 tool called Diigo through my Media Enhanced Learning forum and immediately wondered if it might save me hours of emailing myself bookmarked links that I could then access from any computer. I started experimenting with the Diigo expanded toolbar on Firefox and have been very impressed! Not only can you create an online library of urls with descriptions and tags, you can highlight and comment on text and save those annotations with the url. You can also save screen captures. You can mark urls as something to read later. You can then search through your bookmarks using tags or the text within the bookmark. This means no more combing through my email account for hours trying to find the one link I may or may not recognize by the url! No more going to my bookmarks folder to refer to a resource only to realize it’s in the bookmarks folder on another computer! And, as much as I love Pinterest for storing my thousands of cooking recipes and DIY projects, I haven’t found it to be a great tool for storing research resources as many of them do not include any kind of pinnable image and the search feature seems somewhat limited.

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Reflection on social networking as a teaching tool

This is a piece I wrote using the four questions of the focused conversation in response to Jose Antonio Bowen’s writings on social proximity and the virtual classroom. It focuses on the use of social networking (e-communications) as a way to build an interactive community of learners. Warning: extensive referencing to journal articles and research reports contained below. 🙂Image

Objective
Technology has changed not only the ability to access more information and knowledge than ever before and to do so instantaneously, but has also expanded the concept and makeup of communities and networks to an unparalleled breadth. The generation of students born in the 1990s or later is characterized as the most communicative to date and have redefined communication through virtual avenues (Mills, 2011). E-communication through platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype, RSS feeds, LMS, texting and blogs are part of every day life for these students. While many instructors rely heavily on e-mail or learning management systems to contact students virtually, their use of other technologies has lagged. This may be in part due to the lack of training on how to integrate technologies effectively. For example, a U.S. report from 2007 surveyed institutions with teacher training programs and found that although courses on technology were present in the majority of programs, faculty members were not well prepared to actually teach them. Both faculty lack of interest and lack of time remained major barriers to their own demonstrations and applications of using technology to show teacher candidates how to integrate technology in their classrooms (Kleiner et al., 2007). Students’ expertise and use of social networking to build, connect and interact with communities will continue to drive demand for similar experiences in their educational environments.

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Welcome

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Welcome to the ChemTechEd blog!

Given the increasing demand from post-secondary students for accessibility and flexibility in learning, traditional education institutions are needing to adapt to a competitive market in which for-profit universities and e-learning companies are aggressively pursuing student “consumers”. How are we as educators adapting to effectively incorporate technology that will allow us to engage students completely fluent in social networking and raised with a 24/7 connectivity to a worldwide knowledge base that is assumed to be as elemental as breathing?

As a full-time tutor and part-time instructor at a community college, I want to explore current trends of technology and social media in education particularly focusing on adult education and Chemistry 11/12. I am interested in ways technology could facilitate tutoring, enhance teaching and in both areas build and support learning communities. To be perfectly  honest, I am a novice in this area so this blog will be a definite learning experience of identifying useful resources on teaching & technology, other blogs or platforms focused on the same topic, and refining my own teaching philosophy with regards to technology.

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