Thursday, October 28, 2010
Getting The Best Elementary Web Tools
I have discovered in the past couple of months that there is an ever growing need for more categorization of Web Tools. It also a no-brainer that the "desired-user" needs to see real, practical uses for the tool. In other words, show me how I can use this right now and you sold me.
With categorizing, a post will become more exclusive to a certain subject or grade level. The problem some may have with being more specific in a Web Tool's use is that they reach a smaller audience through keywords. Yes, you may have less people visit your site. Get over your numbers game. With a better focus on categorizing, it would be my hope that we have smaller, detailed, and example based sites and posts. Instead of having a large cloud (aka: Top 50 Lists, etc.), where educators have to spend oodles of time signing up for tools they may not be able to use, I would love to see a site dedicated to Web Tool Reviews and Categorization. I think they folks over at IEAR have started in a great direction. It would be great to see something similar down for Web Tools. Obviously there are the tools that reach across multiple subjects and grade levels, and they can certainly be categorized as such. In that case, the focus should become practical uses clearly shown for various grade levels and subjects.
The need for showing practical use is one of the main reasons it is hard to get older teachers to jump on board. Web Tools are often seen as just the "next thing," because they are not shown ways that they could use the tool in their classroom tomorrow. I realize that there are the teachers who are stuck in their ways, but in my little time in teaching I have come across many who simply need to be slowly taught. You can make them a believer if you go slow and show them how the tool fits perfectly with their curriculum.
In closing, let me say again, be more specific! We don't really need a million "Best..." lists. We need focus and practical use.
*Twitter Tag: #elemtools to join the discussion!
Photo by Margolove
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