What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I went to a class called Technology in the Modern Media Center at the UGA/Gwinnett Educational Technology Center.  It was great!

We had a room full of media specialists and UGA School Library Media students.  That alone was fun.  The course was taught by the ETC staff, headed by Dr. John Wiggins. They did a fabulous job.  I couldn’t believe how packed the course was – 5 solid days of wall-to-wall technology.

Here’s a partial list of things we learned about:

  • GALILEO (with guest Karen Minton)
  • Issuu – an online presentation tool
  • Diigo – a bookmark manager, more scholarly and powerful than Delicious
  • Edublogs – a blog platform that can do some things that WordPress won’t!
  • Voki avatars – I made a talking library cat.
  • Wordle – something you must try because it’s easy and fun
  • Google Earth and Lit Trips
  • Google Docs, including Forms
  • Power tips for Word 2007
  • Twitter
  • Netvibes
  • Irfan View (a free photo editor)
  • PhotoStory
  • Movie Maker
  • GaDOE’s Library Media site (and guest Judy Seritella)
  • Thinkfinity.org – a vast collection of lesson plans and materials
  • Audacity (for recording audio)
  • Podcasting
  • Google Reader and RSS feeds
  • Equipment: cables, projectors, document cameras, “clickers” (Classroom Performance Systems), wireless slates, digital cameras, video cameras (Flips), interactive whiteboards

Most of these tools (except for equipment) are free.  I didn’t bother to link them, but instead will direct you to this NetVibes page, built by the ETC staff for this course.  Everything mentioned here is already linked there, plus much more.

I liked NetVibes so much (as a student, and as a builder) that I’ll be using it in my courses next year.

My final favorite discovery during this course is a new feature of the Digital Library of Georgia, which we quickly saw during Karen Minton’s presentation. (She zips through about a million things during an hour – always go to her presentations about the ever-changing GALILEO, whenever you have a chance!)  In the Georgia Newspaper Project collection, several new titles have been added. My hometown newspaper is now there – the Macon Telegraph and News – full text from 1826 to 1908.  This is amazing for a local history buff!  For fun this summer I’ve explored 19th-century historical events and read about them through the eyes of my own hometown newspaper.

Technology is truly amazing.  Even in these hard economic times, there’s always something new and free out there to explore!

And, this course is offered every summer for both graduate credit and for PLU credit.   You can plan now to attend for summer of 2010!

Mary Ann Fitzgerald, University of Georgia

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Posted on August 5, 2009, in Technology. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Emily Hodge, UGA ETC

    Mary Ann, thank you for your wonderful comments! The class was really fun, and we at the UGA ETC feel privileged to be a part of it. Media specialists are the best! I can’t wait for next year’s class where there is sure to be even more amazing discoveries of free technologies that can engage 21st Century students and teachers.

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