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Sharing with the World January 6, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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   Image: Spruce along Beaver Pond Trail 
I have been experimenting with using Flickr (http://www.flickr.com) to add manage and share photo streams. You can use other decent tools like Hello and Picassa to add images to your blog as well.  

I took this particular photo in Algonquin Park in Ontario last October. At the time, I was looking for a scene right out of a Tom Thomson painting and this scene was the closest. For teachers, this technology improved their ability to share images with students, their families, and colleagues. 

Sharing information is going to be big in the world of education soon. Although I have been writing about it and showing teachers how to use technology to get the most information out to parents with the least amount of frustration or wasted time, the message now seems to be building up some steam. An article in the Washington Post trumpets a school district in Maryland hoping to use the web and other communication tools to bring parents more into the educational process.  

I will be watching with interest to see if teachers buy into the process. I have seen many workshops for teachers end with excitement for using new communication tools. The excitement soon gives way to an additional chore for teachers and they lose both interest and enthusiasm for keeping up web pages and blogs if their ever overcame initial inertia in the first place and made them.

Feedback from parents is just as important to keeping this process alive. Simply putting up static pages for parents to read, like information consumers, will not encourage teachers to keep working at it. The teachers need to know that someone is actually engaging with the words. To make these information projects work what is needed are, at a minimum, interactive forms, perhaps an online poll, a hit counter, or a mail link. If teachers are going to expend any amount of energy on these projects, they need to know someone is at the other end of the web page. 

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