On Monday, May 27, Kwantlen Park held a Pro-D day. Kwantlen Park has made it a priority to provide workshops and guest speakers. The goal of these Pro-D days is to support ongoing teacher and administration learning and development. The teachers were happy to welcome guest speaker, Shelley Wright.
Shelley Wright is a high school educator based in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. She is currently a PhD student in Curriculum and Technology. Shelley’s philosophy is based on student-centred teaching techniques that use embedded technology. This approach to teaching is compatible with the Pro-D theme of problem based, project based learning. Check out this video to get a better feel for Shelley’s unique approach to technological integrative learning.
As part of her instructive lecture, Shelley shared two very useful websites/apps for teachers and students. These two websites are a great example of the way that technology can be used to support student and teacher online learning and collaboration.
Diigo is a social bookmarking website. “Diigo” is an acronym for Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other Stuff. Diigo allows users to bookmark and tag entire web pages, or even specific paragraphs. The Diigo homepage is a play on cloud based organisation, or the more traditional mind maps. As you can see, Diigo saves and organised files using thematic categorizations.
Diigo is a social site because saved pages and annotations can be kept private, shared with one person, or shared between an entire group. The group function can have several applications in the classroom. Students might use Diigo accounts for a specific project, or a teacher could create a Diigo account to provide specific material or websites to an entire classroom.
Diigo is a commercial venture and there are varying levels of access. Free accounts have access to the more basic saving and annotating functions. Premium user accounts can provide extra services, such as full-text searches of saved sites and annotations. Diigo can be used on a variety of desktop browsers, iPhones, Androids and iPads.
Like Diigo, Symbaloo is a highly visual, social bookmarking website. A basic membership is available for no cost. Symbaloo can link to endless websites in addition to difference types of media files. Again, you can see the potential instructional uses. Symbaloo offers more in terms of versatility. The user can personalize the tiles.
Symbaloo will get you started with a number of pre-loaded tiles including YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Flickr etc. These tiles are highly customization You can created tiles that thematically link your resources. For example, you might choose tiles to reflect medical search engines, Canadian history articles, and instructional language videos. In a school setting, a teacher could set up links to quizzes, resources, and other learning media. Symabloo has created an edition specifically for teachers called Symbaloo EDU. The EDU version allows teachers to connect with other educators using the forum in order to shares ideas and mixes.