Getting Tool’ed up for ITGS

On August 16, 2010, in Madeleine Brookes, by Madeleine Brookes

Today was our first ITGS lesson where we focused on a cyber-orientation.

We started with our internal system, WAB Moodle which is our virtual learning environment where each physical class has a corresponding Moodle course. At WAB we use Moodle as a repository for class-specific resources, a place where homework is submitted and interact with the large variety of tools such as forums, wikis and glossaries. Now that Julie and I are flattening our classrooms and sharing our resources and collaborating in a variety of activities, I can see that the school-specific course is not going to get much mileage this year as I am hoping the most of our resources, forums and wikis will be open and available for all interested schools and ITGS students and I don’t want to be double-posting. Suggestions please!!

In terms of productivity tools, I had students set up Evernote and delicious accounts. The good news was that many students already had these in place thanks to some of our tech-savvy teachers from last year.

Evernote is a powerful note-taking tool and is free. It allows students to make numerous notebooks – we suggest at least one for each subject. Each note can be tagged and are automatically sync’ed to the server so that even if students lose their laptops or forget to backup, the notes can be accessed online and through other devices such as iPhones and iPads. This year we are promoting the use of Evernote throughout the MS and HS and have Evernote on our school image so that all students in MS and HS already have Evernote installed.

We also set up delicious accounts for our social networking. We would like to use diigo as this is the social bookmarking site used for ITGSopedia, however diigo is blocked here in Beijing. So this is our work-around for now until diigo is unblocked or we can access ‘legally’.

Finally we looked at ITGSopedia. I didn’t have time today but I will introduce the ITGS global tagging system used for the ITGSopedia diigo in hope that the students start to use these conventions in both delicious and Evernote. Time will tell!

I strongly encouraged students to use their school email addresses for these two accounts as they do have a tendency to use a number of email accounts and often forget the account name and/or passwords. One great new feature of Evernote allows encyption so students can enter their usernames and passwords into an Evernote accounts, highlight the password and then right-click to Encrypt Selected Text.

Next lesson we will look at the external ITGS resources: our ning and this blog so that we can get started with our first collaborative activity.