There are many links and downloadable statistical analysis software accessible through the internet. Brightstat and Statpages were my two favorite tools because they were easy to navigate and input information. Vassarstats is another tool that allows you to pick one category to analyze and input data. These sites also provide links and references to navigate further into other, suggested software. SOFA seems to be user-friendly and displays results that can be shared. These are useful when teachers need to present data or support their findings to an administrator or when assessing a class. These resources can be very useful in managing statistical information for various classes, especially measurements in physical education.
I have found many pros for using professional portfolios. Online resources like LinkedIn and personal web pages, have create a space to have all of your information in one place. This has created easier access to you as the professional in the recruiting world. When I was applying to local public schools I had a e-portfolio, as well as a binder that possessed multiple works from my experiences. I found the e-portfolio to be more convenient and better prepared the interviewer before I even showed up for the interview. There is little guesswork, in the sense that whatever you add into the portfolio is exactly what the viewer sees. These professional portfolios are automatic, ever changing, and can be searched by anyone looking for someone with your qualifications.
There are a few downfalls of these types of professional portfolios especially with the spike in popularity. There are endless options of candidates for recruiters. It is hard to stand out or promote yourself when everyone is profiled alike, especially on LinkedIn. Also, even with minimal guesswork, the creator may make assumptions about a piece of work that viewers may not be able to understand. So clear and detailed explanations are necessary.
I live in a very rural, small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Not many people leave, and if they do, most come back. Everyone knows your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. When I decided to pursue a career in Physical Education, and also coach, I knew this is where I wanted to be! There is an abundant amount of community support, and athletics is one of the major focuses in the area. I work with another female PE teacher who is from out of town. We decided to put together a fitness program after school, for athletes during their off season, or just any student who wanted to participate.
We began by talking to our classes, and students we saw in the hallway, sent letters home, and talked to our supervisor to tell other teachers in the area. Then we decided to begin a facebook fan page, and a PWP. Making our information and ideas available to the public has allowed the community to become involved. There have been parents and other teachers trying to provide us with ideas to expand and fund our program to provide more opportunity to promoting an active lifestyle! I noticed we needed to utilize our supportive community to make a successful program. Twitter, facebook, PWP’s, letters home, and word of mouth have all made this possible!
Wikis have really grown in the past few years. I remember teachers/professors telling us not to use Wikipedia in our research, because anyone could edit the pages. After reading these articles, I have realized there are varieties of wikis, some being very educational. Like any website, you will need to do your research to validate sources and support your findings. These wikis are easy to use, simplistic, and can be private. I am on a Wellness Policy Committee, where we have one meeting a month, go through the policy, make changes, and get multiple e-mail of the same policy with a few changes. This is tedious and has begun to challenge us to keep track of what we have changed. I have made the suggestion to my supervisor that a wiki would be a good way to get everyone’s input and on the days when someone can’t make it, they can add their input in through the wiki. This would save a lot of time on his end, because he wouldn’t have to go through each e-mail, identify the modifications, and then change them for each of us on the committee.
I recently went to a professional development seminar at my school, where we went over a few apps that were placed on our new iPads. There were a lot of apps for the students to use as an educational tool. We had a few that were focused around organizing and collecting data for teachers. eClicker was one we used during the seminar to provide feedback to the speaker about the presentation. This would be valuable for the teacher to use to increase feedback on interests from students. Teacher’s Assistant Pro and Teacher Kit seem to be useful programs used on iPads and cell phones. A teacher can add a quick comment or describe the students behavior that day. This can also be sent to the parents and administrators which comes in handy and can be very convenient. Dropbox is a very helpful tool used for organization and file storage! It helps me keep files in order and keep track classes and sports information easier.
A few years ago I was invited to join LinkedIn by my real estate agent. There were a few instances where I used the site, because I didn’t think it was very user friendly. I found it hard to follow and boring! I think LinkedIn is definitely a more professional use of connecting to social media where Facebook has created a more laid back setting. Facebook tends to focus more on pictures and status updates, where LinkedIn is more informative, and can provide updates on current news articles. LinkedIn offers job opportunities and companies to follow, where as Facebook creates fan pages. LinkedIn could be very beneficial when looking for recruiting schools, or new job opportunities. I think Facebook is more beneficial in staying updated in the social world.
The Top 100 list did not surprise me especially with the social media tools. The students were introduced to twitter, facebook, and things like blogs in a social facet. Professors and teachers have began to put a spin on these as instructional tools instead of just using them just for social reasons. Twitter was number one, and this surprised me because I felt there were more useful tools that would be more beneficial to education than twitter. Recently my employer made all employees attend a technology professional developmental session. At the session they introduced dashboards we will be using and the importance of incorporating technology and tools like, dropbox, glogster, powerpoint, and wikispaces into our classrooms. There have been a group of teachers who are working together to figure out lessons and ways to make this happen. I will be able to use this list at our next meeting!
Web 2.0 has opened a lot of doors for education through convenience and accessibility. There are more options allowed for online education as well as tools we can use to enhance the educational process. Online schooling, blogs, presentations, projects, will all be more meaning full as we grow with our youth. The students I have now depend highly on technology and they find doing more hands on or visual instruction (prezi, videos, etc.) to be more beneficial to real life application than reading a textbook. Interaction between all consumers is made easy through Web 2.0, feedback and instruction can be found conveniently and through a simple blog. There are sites like Prezi that I have used to make learning more creative. Then there are sites like Little Bird Tales, that allow ELL students to have equal access to certain materials.