I love the Internet and all the help that it has given me as a teacher and a learner. By far the biggest "gain" for me has been connecting with other teachers/bloggers. I've learned so many new things, discovered new ways to do things, and "met" some of the greatest people.
I've also discovered that connecting and interacting with others online is like drinking from a fire hose - lots of stuff coming at you in an overwhelming fashion. Along the way I've found a few tools that have helped me keep some of that under control. Here are a few of my favorites.
1-2. Facebook and Twitter. I would have to put these two at the top, of course. These have helped me keep track of my new friends and to find all kinds of information. I had to list these first.
3. Google Reader. At first, I tried to keep up with reading blogs by bookmarking them and making the rounds regularly. That quickly grew to be a problem. I love Google Reader, feeding all my blogs to one place. And if I don't get to it each day (or a few days), then the new posts are all still waiting for me. I can keep track, even if things are too busy. Or I can just hit "mark as read" and those posts are gone. I also like that Google Reader will suggest other blogs similar to what I already follow.
4. Evernote. I find so many great ideas and so many things I want to remember. I tried to take notes or print out ideas to keep and use. But then I discovered Evernote. I can "clip" blog posts for later review...and even file them away in categories. And I can go back to the original link if I want. And I can access it from whatever computer or place I am. And I can create notes to myself of other things - like those ideas that may hit at an inopportune time. It's a great tool.
5. Hoot Suite. This one is a relatively new one for me. It keeps track of Twitter and Facebook in one place. (And can keep track of other things, too. I'm just learning.) Also, I can tell it to track a certain list or subject and it will create a "stream" of just those tweets. It's a great tool to keep track of various interests in addition to my general feed. I look forward to finding out more about it.
These are some of the tools that help me online. And I still find things falling through the cracks sometimes. But I wouldn't trade the info overload for anything. I'm having fun learning so much new stuff.
What tech tools have you found helpful?