Saturday, July 11, 2009

Great Resources for Educators I

There are a host of fantastic sites that provide useful information and support for teachers and learners in ICT. (After all, we are all learners these days). These are a couple of the places I look to for information on leading technologies and the impact they might have on education. I'll add others in later posts, because there are so many good sources, and they should be shared.Educause - although its mission is to promote "intelligent use of information technologies" in the higher education environment, it has a couple of projects that are really useful for those of us in the K-12 space.
First is the Horizon Report - 2009 saw the first K-12 Horizon Report, a report looking at 6 technologies likely to impact K-12 classrooms in the next 1 - 5 years. A joint production with the New Media Consortium, the annual Horizon Reports provide great insight for emerging technologies and what they might mean for teaching and learning. Indeed, Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis have used them extensively for their Flat Classroom projects over the past few years.

The second cool offering from Educause is the "7 Things You Should Know" series. This series began back in 2005 and basically provides a concise 2 page report each month about some new technology. What makes this series a great resource is that they break each technology into simple language and discusses
  • what it is
  • how it works
  • where it is going
  • why it matters for teaching and learning

Recent additions include Twitter and Voicethread, but you'll find everything from QR codes to Second Life in a language that everyone can understand.

If you haven't used this site, I highly recommend it.

BECTA - This UK organisation is the government's agency leading the national drive to ensure effective and innovative use of ICT in learning. It has done some excellent work for a long time. It's emerging technologies for learning section draws together research, news, analysis and views around technologies for learning. It has a wide range of research papers and its Tech News section is always up to the minute with news, views and reviews.

Similar to the Educause "7 Things to Know" series, many of Becta's articles have some useful synopsis of just what the technologies are and how they might apply to education. This article on QR codes is an example.

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