Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Updating my PLN for the new year

It's that time--everyone is gearing up for the new school year! My older two kids are carrying their new backpacks and lunch bags wherever they go; my baby is getting used to his daycare a few hours at a time (sniff). My house is a mess of new supplies and instruments!

I'm also updating my PLN and checking out a bunch of new apps and websites. One website that's recently caught my attention is Common Sense Media's Graphite. Graphite is a site for teachers, featuring reviews of computer apps, mobile apps, games, and websites for use in education. Each listing is reviewed by Common Sense Media writers, but educators can also add their own "field notes," a combination of ratings and classroom suggestions, and detailed lesson plans. The selection of resources isn't huge at the moment, since it only includes things reviewed by Common Sense Media itself, but there is a form for teachers to suggest apps and sites for review, as well as a submission form for developers. I think this site has lots of potential and I look forward to seeing it grow!

The Graphite beta home page

Another PLN tool I've been enjoying this summer is a new-ish feature in the popular iOS app Flipboard, which allows you to "flip" articles into your own magazines. These magazines can be private or shared with the community. Though I'm in the habit of saving articles and lesson ideas with my all-time favorite Evernote, Flipboard offers a beautiful reading interface and the ability to view your Twitter feed (and RSS feeds, and many more) in a magazine format, with links and photos already pulled up for you into articles.