How has the way you work changed over the last ten years?

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s ProfHacker asked today how the way we’ve worked has changed over the last ten years.  My answer is with regards to teaching is… in almost every single way.

1.  Ten years ago, I was making audio cassettes for my students to purchase through the bookstore.  Now I give them links to free sites on the Internet.

2. Ten years ago, I collaborated with very few faculty in my department because our schedules didn’t mesh.  Now we collaborate via the Internet in a variety of ways, email, instant messenger, Facebook, Skype, and a new favorite, Google Docs, as needed or desired.

3.  Ten years ago, if I collaborated at all, it was with teachers in my own school primarily in our shared office.  Now, with all these new technologies, I  collaborate with people all over the world 24/7 .

4.  Ten years ago, two-way video conferences needed to be scheduled well in advance in order to get the equipment.  Now many of us have the equipment at home.  I’m videoconferencing on Skype almost daily.

5.  Ten years ago, people weren’t very willing to share their work.  Now we put our projects, both big and small, on sites such as YouTube, TeacherTube, Facebook, Twitter, SlideShare and on blogs and wikis to share with the world.

6.  Ten years ago, our work used to be saved on our hard drives and always backed up on a floppy.  Now our work is primarily saved in the clouds and backed up on a flash drive.

7.  Ten years ago, teachers got nervous if there were no overhead projectors in their classrooms or transparencies to use (colored ones had to be purchased by us since they were too expensive for the schools to purchase).  Now we have multimedia systems in our classrooms that project right from the computers.

8.  Ten years ago, nearly everything was printed on paper.  Now we are endeavoring not to use paper in order to save our natural resources, not to mention our budgets. Now we are encouraging our students as well as ourselves to design and create using technology rather than paper and pencil.

9.  Ten years ago, I had to carry extra handouts with me for students who had been absent, or the students had to go to my office for them.  Now these handouts are posted online for the students.  Likewise, students submit their work online so there is less chance of conflicts regarding if and when the work has been handed in.  It is also less likely to be lost by either the student or the teacher.

10.  Ten years ago, I worked equally hard, but had access to much less information.  Ten years ago I had to wait to get answers to my questions until I could get to the library or at least to a computer.  Now the answers to most of our questions are at our fingertips wherever we are via our cell phones.

What can you add to this list?  It’s fun to ponder.  It’s even more fun to ponder how our work will change over the next ten years.

Watch Your Time with Online-Stopwatch!

Recently teachers have been asking me about timers to individualize instruction and put students on timed tasks at different points during the class period without losing track of the allotted time for each one.  But, rather than buy equipment, I encourage everyone to try one of my favorite online tools, .  It couldn’t be simpler to use, it is easily accessible on all computers with Internet access, and it offers a variety of fun online timing devices such as egg timers, time bombs, alarm clocks and more.  Online-Stopwatch can serve as a timer or a stopwatch with a long ring, short ring, or no ring at all.  It has fifteen different sound options (applause, air raid siren, laughing, horse race bugle, and more) if you want to add variety to the alarm sounds.  It even has a metronome if you want to keep the students on a steady rhythm for those grammar raps or chants!  Additionally you can decide to use a full or small screen, digital or analog format, and it can be set to time one person/one group or two people or two groups whichever is needed.  Online-Stopwatch is piloting a “stay-on-top application” that be downloaded to be used without needing an internet connection.  It is designed to stay on top of all open applications to help easily keep track of the time.  Another option for using Online-Stopwatch is to add it as a gadget to your iGoogle page and set it so that it continues to keep time even after leaving that page to work on a different site or application.  Best of all Online-Stopwatch is a free application and with the budget constraints most of us and our schools are working under, any time we find something that helps us work optimally without incurring additional costs, we have a win-win situation!

The Evolution of Classroom

Today’s Twitterific Tweet

@dianadell The Evolution of Classroom Technology – Interactive Feature – – 

From wooden paddles to the Ipad and nearly everything in between, this is an interesting interactive time line of the evolution of our beloved educational technology.  Thanks, @dianadell, for bringing this article to our attention!

A Brief Audio Post from Rita!

What Deux Yeux Have Teux Deux Teuxday?

At this crazy but wonderful time of year, there are so many things to do with one distraction after another that it is very difficult to remember everything you have to do.  Wouldn’t it be helpful to have somewhere to write those things down in a place that you could access from anywhere?  Take a look at this video demo of a new web 2.0 tool called Teuxdeux.  It is simple to use and accessible from anywhere you can get Internet reception-especially helpful if you have Internet access on your cellphone!  You’ll never forget to do anything again-except maybe take your cellphone with you!  =)

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more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod