Notes for Day Three
PLE note of the day: bookmarks. Rather than save bookmarks locally, consider using a tool like del.ici.ous, diigo, or another tool. Your bookmarks are stored on the web and accessible anywhere. We will set up accounts and then use the new tools to save the resources we find today.
Today, we read two chapters about using various kinds of software in teaching. During the first hour of the class, instead of going over all the chapter topics, I want us to look for software and discuss potential tools.
There are a couple of sources the book mentions for finding software. I will also add Merlot (http://merlot.org). Although geared toward college level courses, there are plenty of animations, simulations and other tools that will likely be useful at least at the high school level.
Also, for Word Processing and Spreadsheet programs, I want to mention Google apps and Open Office. Google apps are a collection of tools–word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software that resides completely online. I use it often. It means I can access it any time and anywhere. My son, a high school student, also uses Google apps. It means he can work on a project in the school library, save it, and finish it at home without having to email it or print it out.
Open Office (http://openoffice.org) is a downloadable suite of software that’s free to use. This, too, can be a great option for schools or individuals who can’t afford Microsoft products. Both Google apps and OpenOffice documents can be saved in a variety of formats, including Microsoft formats.
The most common database students, or anyone, will use is a library database. Most people use databases of any kind to find information and don’t often use databases to collect information. Doing both can reinforce ideas about information organization.
OpenOffice includes a database application. Many schools also provide access to Microsoft Access or another database application.
Today, we will work in 20 minute intervals, finding and using tools and then discussing them. You may, during the second half of the class, begin putting together your mini-project that is due tomorrow.
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