Monday, March 3, 2008

Google Notebook

I have been playing with Google Notebook and have decided to show it when we start researching our Othello character sketches. I am going to require that my students use Tumblr because I want a class-created resource list. But I am just going to show them Notebook and see who decides to use it. Since most of my students use g-mail, I feel like they may actually use other Google features on their own, and this is the idea I am playing with as I work to define my own philosophy as a teacher in this new world.

As I am sifting through all of the technology I COULD use in my classroom, some applications (like the Turn It In discussion board) make my teaching better by taking my classroom to a new level. But some tools are not necessarily better -- just different ways of doing the same thing. I am struggling with defining for myself why I might choose to use these tools. I would like to show my students how to use technology to aid their learning rather than just as for social networking. Their college professors and future bosses are probably not going to insist they use Notebook, so that old adage, "We are doing this to prepare you for college" is not true. Instead, I hope I am introducing tools they find useful enough to choose to use on their own. I am trying to pick carefully the tools I show then use those tools in various ways so the students come to really understand them. Maybe this is just my old 20th century brain working :), but with so much available to them on the web, I hope to help them focus on some really useful things I have found.

Thus ends another blog that was just to be about a new tool ...

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