Ch-ch-ch-changes! Using the net to keep in touch with students

Posted: November 4, 2010 in Websites
Tags: ,

I just canceled our television subscription. We just don’t watch tv anymore, and we decided that what we do watch we would probably be better off without.

Now, I know what you’re thinking- what does this have to do with education technology? Well, I’ll tell you in on the secret.

Years ago, when I was in school, my parents would have never dreamed of canceling the tv. In my childhood the tv was our link to society. We watched the news on it, learned about pop culture from it, and discussed it with our friends and colleagues. As I was canceling my satellite dish, I wasn’t worried about this at all… more importantly I wasn’t worried about falling out of touch with my students as a result of my sudden lack of television.

I frequent a variety of websites that help me keep in touch with what’s new in the world. I’m pretty confident that I won’t be loosing touch any time soon. Here’s some of my favorite websites:

Reddit– Users provide all the content and up and down vote to determine where it is in the listings. Links are always fresh and you can select from a vareity of categories like “funny”, “politics”, “science”, “worldnews”, and “technology” If it’s happening on the internet, you’ll find it here.

Wimp– A great source for videos of all kinds

Digg– Similar to Redditt, but with less random user content.

Google News– (From the website) “Google News is a computer-generated news site that aggregates headlines from more than 4,500 English-language news sources worldwide, groups similar stories together and displays them according to each reader’s personalized interests.”

I also go to Youtube every few days and check out the front page. The “most popular” and “trending” videos are usually interesting (and my students almost always have heard about them).

These are the big ones, but I also check out my local newspaper’s website every once and awhile, and subscribe to a dozen podcasts that keep me up to date (I love podcasts, it’s like your own personal radio station).

What do you do to keep up to date with what’s going on in your students’ worlds?

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