Okay, I've decided what to do first. In an earlier blog, I noted how overwhelmed I am with the abundance of Web 2.0 tools that are out there. Taking some advice from a comment Bud the Teacher left me, I've decided to start slow and pick one tool to focus on....blogs! Now, I've been blogging for a little less than a year and am really enjoying it. When I first started, one of the things I did to keep up with some of my fellow bloggers was to list their blogs on my blog page. If I came across a new blog I wanted to read, I copied the URL, went to my blog, edited the layout and added the blog to my list. Then, I'd visit all the blogs and see if they wrote anything new - some did, some didn't, but I checked every one. I ran my total up to 29 blogs listed on my blog page as "Things I Read." Some of you might be thinking - hey dummy genius, there's an easier way!

You're right, there is. I discovered Bloglines and have been using that as a great way to keep track of the new feeds from my blogging friends. This has really been a great tool for me. Earlier this week, I made another discovery - Google Reader. Sure, Google is behind a wide variety of 2.0 tools, but some of them are pretty good. Currently, I've divided the blogs I read and subscribe to into 2 groups - Educational Technology and Other Stuff. I'm using Bloglines for one and Google Reader for the other. I figure this way I'll use both for a while and then decided which one I like better. Perhaps I'll like them both and continue with my current plan. Either way, I'll have to agree with a comment from Darren at Drape's Takes that these tools can make your online time more efficient. I now have way more than 29 blogs I'm keeping track of and I'm probably spending less time doing it now than I was before. In addition, when I come across a new blog that interests me, I can simply click on a button in the toolbar of my browser and it's instantly added to Bloglines or Google Reader.

Now, my next tool to learn more about is going to be del.icio.us! I've played around with this personally and have an idea on how to use this at school.

Please give me your thoughts on this. I'm in charge of our school web page. Among other things, I manage lists of links for our parents and students to use. Every time I want to add a new site, I either add it to the general list of links or put it on the specific grade level page. We use Contribute for creating the web pages and I must do all updates from the computer in my library. This can be a pain the butt because sometimes I find things to add when I'm not at school. If teachers want something added, they tell me about it in the hall (wonderful stupid idea) or email it and then I add it when I have time. I was thinking about using del.icio.us as a better way to keep track of the links we use. I could create a link to a del.icio.us page I've created for our school from our school site. Updating or adding links could be done from anywhere. In addition, if I properly trained the teachers, they could also add links to the list. We could label grade level specific sites with specified tags for better organization. Teachers, students, and parents could narrow the list to the grade level or subject area they need by selecting a specific tag. This sounds like a great idea and just might work, but perhaps I haven't thought of everything. If you've got a thought on this, let me know - I need your collective brainpower!

4 comments

  1. Ms. Mize // December 1, 2007 at 6:26 PM  

    I am working on this too. I am enjoying it. I had to do the readability test for my blog too.

  2. rookie teacher // December 2, 2007 at 1:24 PM  

    I love Google Reader and that's what I use to keep track of the blogs I read. Wow your school website is much more indepth than ours.

  3. .mrsdurff // December 3, 2007 at 5:06 AM  

    yes, create a pseudo for the school and add links to delicious as live webcasts on edtechtalk do. we save links we come across to their "for:pseudo" in delicious. Also you could create a pseudo for the school and create an RSS Reader, adding links there. Or better yet, use the same pseudo, create a delicious, an Google Reader, & a Diigo. Nothing like giving 'em choice. If you add-on these websites to your Firefox browser, the buttons make it quick and easy for you to save and really no more time...

  4. IMC Guy // December 3, 2007 at 7:46 AM  

    Wow, thanks for the comments and ideas. I'll starting putting together our links on del.icio.us and take it from there. I have no idea what a Diigo is, but I supposed a little Google search will help.

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