Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Final Seminar Project-Moodle Website

I would like to improve on what I have done with Moodle this past year and make it a lot more useful and interactive. Next year I will be the Resource Teacher at my school so I want to explore how to use Moodle as a tool for the intervention of our at risk students. I think this will reach more students than we can normally tutor in a given year. I also like the fact that Moodle can be customized to meet the needs of your class or students. I would like to add forum topics to get kids writing and have them follow links to sites that will help them review or research topics of study. I hope to meet the needs of more students through the use of Moodle.

Book Review on Technology Book

Book Review
Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
by Will Richardson

Margarita Gonzalez
EDIT 490

Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms by Will Richardson is a guide for teachers who want to expand the use of technology in their classrooms. Each tool is explained in simple English with examples of how it can be used in real classrooms. Furthermore, Richardson is very thorough in his evaluation of each web tool. He gives the reader an overview of uses for education, pedagogy, safe usage with kids, software, details on how to get started, case studies from other classrooms, and links to the pertinent websites. All in all, this book is perfect for teachers who are new to these web tools and their educational applications.
One of the applications Richardson goes into detail on in this book is RSS. RSS means Real Simple Syndication. This web tool allows the user to subscribe to websites or blogs and have them send you their updated data. For example, if you want your class to do research on natural disasters then more than likely you will want them to use the internet. After setting up a feed reader (site that will receive the updates for you), the sites you have subscribed to will send you their updated information as soon as it’s available. Natural disaster (or any other chosen information) articles will be sent to your aggregator (RSS site you have set up to receive your information) as soon as they post to the respective websites. This eliminates the need for you to visit many websites to search for new information and will save a lot of time. Another benefit would be that teachers will have plenty of new and relevant information to share with their students.
There are many other uses for RSS feeds in education. First of all, RSS can be used to check your students’ weblogs for appropriate content without having to visit each individual blog. Secondly, you can have your students set up RSS readers to collect research information on topics of study or connect to your teacher blog. RSS feeds can also be used to search for news, weblogs, websites, and news groups. Bottom line, RSS makes a teacher’s search for resources more efficient, current, and relevant.
RSS tools are a very useful and user friendly tool for educators. Based on the examples given for their uses by Richardson, this would be a tool used mainly by upper elementary through high school teachers in the classroom with students. Primary teachers would use it more for looking up resources but it would have limited use with students. Richardson also details how adults would use this tool to eliminate the need for paper newspapers and magazines. Its potential is further enhanced by the efficiency that is built into its use. This tool epitomizes the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” In the future, all students can use RSS to find their research information and eliminate the need to run to the library to get books. Teachers can also use it to keep up with current research in education and to see what educators around the world are doing in their classrooms.
In closing, I am impressed with the amount of information that is given in this book. Richardson has done an excellent job of teaching the teachers in a non-threatening way. Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms is very user friendly and includes everything a new user would need to try these tools. I would recommend this book to colleagues without reservation and look forward to trying these tools myself.


Richardson, Will. (2006) Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

Welcome to Central Resource Notes!

This blog will be used to keep you informed of all the exciting things going on at Central School. I will also post important information here in case you need a reminder. If I said it in a meeting or put it in a memo, you should be able to find it here.