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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Exploring & Learning: Good Reads & Twellow

Image representing Twellow as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
Summertime is the time to learn new things and today I've been playing with Good Reads and Twellow.

Good reads is a website for those who love books.  Now, I still love blippr which is sort of a place for short reviews of all types, this seems to let us go a little deeper.  This site was on my summer learning list because so many librarians have recommended this via twitter and in conversation this year.  It is all about your friends in these places so I'm jumping in and learning from those who are already there.  I'm cool cat teacher over there.  (Surprise.)

 So, far, there are some groups with not so good names.  This was actually an issue I had with blippr. Although I want my students to connect in this way, I don't want them exposed to some of the language over there on blippr and it looks like Good reads may also have some of that here. We really need a way to have ratings of both users and reviews in order to use this more widely in education. I still think let users be the filter - something I wish they'd do on youtube.

Note: Just got this message on Twitter from my friend Craig Nansen:
cnansen.@brasst @coolcatteacher Goodreads vs Shelfari - I have been using Shelfari and like it better - http://www.shelfari.com/cna...
And this one:

janstearns@coolcatteacher Most teacher lib. I know use GoodReads instead of LibraryThing or Shelfari. Librarian recommended it to me also.

Like yellow pages for twitter - if you're on twitter, you're probably already in twellow, except you may want to go over there and add an enhanced profile and links to your other accounts.  Why?  Just to aid connection like linked in, I guess. Still learning about this one, but have read enough to know that it is a place to not only check out but find people. Trying to find an easier way to find and follow teachers as that is my focus. It is important not to just follow people with a lot of followers but some of the freshest, most exciting conversations for me are with people who are new to everything.

They remind me of myself NOW and are just real.  Like keeping your ear to the ground.  Really have to dig deeper on the search for the word teacher to really get to teachers, but it was worth it.  Lots of "motivational experts" call themselves teachers, so you have to dig!

Just kind of a neat place to add a little more profile information that twitter doesn't have.  Checked out some people and readded some and removed others.  If you want to know a little more about a person this is a good place to go.

I went a few other places like Identi.ca and Squidoo but not really anything there I was excited about (yet.)

You gotta mess around
A couple of things that you need to remember when you ask: "What do these sites have to do with the classroom?"
  1. Maybe something, maybe nothing.  I don't know.  
  2. Gotta mess around and play with things before you take them to your students.  For every 20 websites I try I might find one that fits with what I want to accomplish or what I already know about good teaching and differentiated instruction.
  3. It is OK to play!!  To me, this is relaxation and play and sometimes I have to do it.
  4. Some of this is frivilous but sometimes in the strangest places you'll learn something.

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