Tech-i-ya 2.4

Adrian Durlester

Pinterest! That’s the latest rage. (Well, as the ads say, that may be so 27 seconds ago.)

Pinterest is yet another variation on the “social bookmarking” application theme, but unlike previous attempts at similar services, Pinterest is catching on because it is so easy to use. There are tools like Diigo, Delicious, Evernote and many more that attempt to extend the value and usability of all the bookmarks/favorites you collect in your wanderings of the the web. Pinterest is a great way to do this with more of a visual component.

Pinterest calls itself an “online pinboard” that lets you “organize and share things you love.” When you visit a web page, Pinterest is able to detect any image, video, or media file on the page, and when you select the option to “pin” something from that page, you have the choice of those images, videos, etc. You can label the picture or media, add your own comments. Pinterest even parses your comments and notes if you;ve entered a price, and highlights that with a banner across the image. Pinterest started out with people sharing decorating ideas, recipes, campy chatchkes, nostalgic items, etc. Now educators, teachers, and even school systems are discovering ways to use Pinterest. How about images for class projects? Articles for research or papers? Some teachers are using it to organize lesson plans. Like other social networking tools like Twitter, FaceBook, etc. it’s also a great way to share ideas with colleagues. Here’s a collection of sites on using Pinterest in Education.

Peter Eckstein (@redmenace56) shared a fascinating “Technology Covenant” created by Rabbis Shawn Fields-Meyer, Gordon Bernat-Kunin, and Sara Brandes at the Milken Community High School . It’s something we all ought to be thinking about as we embrace and incorporate technology into our work.

Digital Storytelling allows learners to use videos, animations, slide shows and other forms of interactive digital media to share their stories. Here’s one of the best and most comprehensive resources I’ve found about using Digital Storytelling.

Mission To Learn has this great list of alternate social networks for life-long learning in an article called 20 Social Networks for Lifelong Learners by Jeff Cobb.  There are networks for all kinds of interest areas. One of their recommended networks is another of my favorites: We The Teachers.

Are you using your smartphone to help you teach? You may be amazed at how helpful it can be. I happen to use an Android phone, but you’ll find many apps on both Android and iOS. There are attendance-taking apps available for Android and iOS. Just enter your class in a Google Spreadsheet and these apps make taking attendance a snap. The iOS app “Attendance” which sells for $4.99, also has a feature that allows you to add photographs of students and a flashcard function to help you learn/memorize names and faces. Voice recorder features on Smartphones make taking notes quick and easy to do while you’re teaching. The cameras are great for recording class moments, making a record, noting a setup or project so it can be later restored to the same state, etc. I’ve mentioned Smartphone in Education guru Liz Kolb before. On her Toys to Tools website she has a great list of resources for using Smartphones in the classroom in From Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning.She has the resources nicely categorized-which by itself is enough to give you ideas.

Looking to creative multimedia or interactive timelines? Here are few resources for that:

Coming in future columns, we’ll begin to explore the many possibilities using tablets — both for yourself as a tool, and eventually, for use by your learners.

As you use technology tools in your work, I’d love to hear about your experiences! Do you have a favorite online resource that might be unknown to others, or simply one that’s so useful you want to share it anyway to be sure as many people as possible know about it? I’d love to help you share the love. Need more information, some hand-holding, some translation of techo-jargon? You can reach me at my contact points for my Technology in Jewish Education consulting work: e-mail Twitter: @yoeitzdrian I also blog and tweet as @migdalorguy and @havanashira.

Adrian A. Durlester (aka MigdalorGuy or Yoeitzdrian)