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.
I've set up personal magazines on everything from music education to parenting to paleo recipes, which I can access from any device and share with friends, colleagues, or students. I can also subscribe to other "flippers'" magazines.
|My Flipboard home page, with the menu pulled out|
|A page of my personal Music Education magazine|
|My Twitter feed. See the pictures and web links already turned into an article from a tweet? Cool.|
There's more, but that's my primary workflow for online professional development and planning. Besides, my brain hurts just proofreading that! One of my favorite things about all the tools I've listed above is that, with a little initial time investment, they quickly become invisible. They're so easy to use and seamlessly integrated with one another (except Planbook, but it's used for a bit of a different purpose) that I can spend 99% of my time leaning, not sorting or fiddling with settings.
I'm also reading some fascinating books on our increasingly tech-craving students. More on that soon! Please don't be shy--leave a comment if you have a PLN tool to share.