Photo by Teacher Dude
In keeping with the spirit of this time of year I’ve decided to compile my own top ten sites on the internet for 2007. They are in no particular order and represent no more than my own personal preference. They are all ones I’ve visited or used regularly over the last 12 months.
1 - YouTube. Whether it’s looking for an obscure music video or finding a forum to display your latest mini - epic then this is the place. For me the site has given my two great opportunities; as a teacher it allows me to show students a way to share their own videos and so gives them an incentive to get to grips with the often complicated technology involved. As a budding film maker (hey, stop giggling there at the back!) it has meant that I can try out ideas that I’ve had floating around for years and see what people think.
2 - Flickr - Since I got broadband my use of Flickr has really taken off. It has reawakened my love of photography that has lain dormant for nearly 20 years. I’m now starting to use the site in my teaching practice, both as a means of getting student reaction and a way for them to reach out to the outside world by sharing their photos. See here and here to see some examples.
3 -In Our Time - This BBC podcast, hosted by Melvyn Bragg has been a source of joy for me over the last year. Every week Bragg hosts a discussion on different topics, which range from the role Indian mathematics to the fall of Constantinople. Philosophy, science, art, history and politics are all discussed in way that neither excludes the non - expert nor patronises them.
4 -Ted Talks - I can’t remember where exactly I came across the link to this site, but I do remember the blog saying if you listen to two or three of these ( you can either see them as video or listen to them as a podcast) in a row then it will change the way you see the world. A big claim but one I feel is true. Every year TED holds a conference and ask people with new and innovative ideas to talk for just 20 minutes. The results are amazing. What to recommend first? Check out Bono’s acceptance speech (he won a Ted award in 2006) or Negroponte on the 100 dollar laptop. Do yourself a favour and set aside time to see two or three talks - you won’t regret it.
5 - Cool Cat Teacher’s Blog - Whenever I want to know what I would like to do in the future as far as the web and teaching goes then all I have to do is go to this wonderful blog full of inspiring and practical ideas. It shows what “ordinary” teachers can do if they have drive, enthusiasm and imagination. If anyone is pushing the envelope in education then it is Vicki Davis. I wonder if her students realise how lucky they are?
6 - Mabryonline.org. This school site, or to be more accurate collection of blogs cobbled together to look like a unified site is another inspiring story. Originally set up by the headmaster of the Georgia middle school it gets more than 1,5 million visits per month. It is a great example of how a few dedicated people using limited resources can produce a fabulous place for their students to express themselves. It has really opened my eyes to what I could do with blogs.
7 - Sitemeter - This addictive site is everything a narcassistic blogger could want for. Find out everything about people visiting your site from what screen resolution they’re using to how they found you on Google.
8 - Skype video - I still find this technology as amazing as if they’d brought out a tractor beam or matter transporter.Chatting with my family In England on their video service is an awesome experience, epecially when you consider that it costs nothing!!!!!!!!! Also try out Skypecasting as a way of getting in touch with other people across the globe.
9 - Dekita.org is a site dedicated to allowing student bloggers to get in touch with one another wherever they are in the world. I have just started to exploit the possibilities this offers with my students. Next year is going to see some really exciting possibilities as far as my own student bloggers are concerned as they start to get feedback on their class and individual blogs.
10 Technorati is to blogging what Google is to search engines and so has been one of my favourite destinations on the web. It’s a wonderful way to see into thousands of disparate lives, to flit across the face of the planet in a matter of minutes or truly discover what it is to be a different person for hours.
What about you? What's your top ten for 2006?