My top e-learning tip is not specifically for mathematics teachers alone, or perhaps not even just teachers:
New technology is, by definition, fast moving and rapidly changing. There’s a lot of interesting stuff out there and it is very easy to get overwhelmed by it all. I try to handle it by letting the technology take the strain. For example:
Sign up to delicious.com or another social bookmarking site and add the delicious bookmarking buttons to your browser. As you wander the web, add favourite pages to your delicious account. This has three advantages over using ‘normal’ bookmarks:
- You can access your bookmarks anywhere – so when you’re next in the classroom, you can go straight to delicious.com and see all of your bookmarks. You don’t need to remember the weblinks; you don’t need to remember to bring that piece of paper you wrote the weblonk down on.
- You can organise your bookmarks in the way you want. By ‘tagging’ your bookmarks with keywords, delicious.com categorises your bookmarks how you want.
- You can share your bookmarks. By giving people your delicious.com account name, they can see your bookmarks. This is great for teachers – for example, you can search through the web for good revision sites, adding them to your delicious bookmarks as you go and tagging them ‘Y11Revision’. Then all you havd to do is tell your Y11 students to go to delicious.com/yourusername/Y11Revision. One word of caution though – make sure you only bookmark the sites you don’t mind other people knowing you read!
For example, see my mathematics bookmarks at http://delicious.com/sjwilk/mathematics
YouTube has lots of good revision videos for Calculus. You could create a document and copy and paste all of the weblinks across from YouTube; you could create a webpage and embed the videos into it. The smarter way is to create an account on YouTube and add the best videos to a Calculus Revision playlist that you create. You can embed that playlist into a website or virtual-learning environment.
Other Web2.0 Tools
Social bookmarking and YouTube are two types of Web2.0 tool. You can normally also use the other Web2.0 websites in a smart way to save you time and effort and so make learning more effective and efficient.
- SlideShare is a great place to find useful presentations.
- TeacherTube is getting better and better and now contains lots of useful videos for (surprisingly) teachers!
And of course you can always write a blog so that you can keep your notes for lessons online so that you can access them anywhere and your students can see them afterwards!