Effective integration of technology into education entails from us to be constantly updated about the novelties in the world of educational technology and it also requires us to have a solid network of like-mined educators from whom we can both learn how to improve our teaching practices in the light of the technologies used.
As a teacher keen on using technology in his/her teaching, you definitely need to consider the following: First ask yourself if you are familiar with the concept of Personal/Professional Learning networks and whether or not you have set up your own, if you don't then here is a guide to walk you through the different steps to follow to create your PLN together with the web tools you will need for this purpose. Next, think about the Ed Tech blogs you are interested in or you want to follow. Are these blogs written by fellow teachers and educators ? How much authority ( and therefore credibility ) these authors have in the field they blog about ? I know this might be time consuming to go about investigating every blog out there and this is why we have curated a list of trusted and well reputed blogs in educational technology, check it out here and make sure you keep track of what those bloggers post. What about social networking ? Do you know how to use social media to enhance your professional growth and what social media outlet to use? In case your answer is negative then check out this guide, it will help you leverage the power of social media for professional development purposes.
All the things I have been talking about in the previous paragraph is called resource mining. It is like preparing your Master thesis or Doctoral dissertation and you need references; what you actually do is you go hunting for these references from peer reviewed and journal articles.....etc this hunt is called reference mining. This is the same strategy every successful teacher and educator employs be it in regard to integration of technology in education or anything else. Resource mining can help you expand the repertoire of your accumulated knowledge in any particular area and provide you with the know-how necessary to thrive in it.
Below are some great guides to help you with your Ed Tech resource mining. These guides are from Microsoft and are all geared towards giving you a hand in implementing technology in your classroom. I am adding them to the Best Ed Tech Guide List I have been compiling here.Check them out and share with us what you think of them.
1- Windows Live Movie Maker in The Classroom
"Learn how to use Windows Live Movie Maker to turn your photos and video clips into great-looking movies and slide shows for teaching."
2- Free Tools in The Classroom
"Free tools from Microsoft. Engage your students, energize a lesson plan, and save time using free tools for photos, videos, collaboration, and education"
3- Digital Storytelling in The Classroom
"When students create a movie or interactive slide show to tell their story, learning becomes personal."
4- Microsoft Office in The Classroom
"Improve collaboration and increase productivity with Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote."
5- Microsoft Web Apps
"Get helpful teaching tips on how to use Office Web Apps to access and share your documents."
6- Microsoft OneNote in The Classroom
"Microsoft OneNote 2010 gives teachers the ideal place to store their myriad resources and materials in a single, easy-to-organize location"
7- Windows 7 in The Classroom
"Download an e-book, watch videos, and learn to use Windows Live Movie Maker to make learning more personal with pictures and movies in your classroom."
8- Bing: Internet in The Classroom
"Bing is the decision engine that helps teachers and students quickly use Internet in the classroom to find what they need in a visual and organized way."
9- Microsoft Mathemathics 4.0 In The Classroom
"From basic math to pre-calculus, Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 helps you visualize mathematical concepts."
10- Accessibility in The Classroom
"Technology can help make your education environment more accessible to those with special needs."