What are you doing?

There’s a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon that has Calvin hammering nails into the coffee table. His mom comes in and freaks, saying “What are you doing?” There is a pause and then Calving replies “Isn’t it obvious!”

Sometimes, this is how I feel when I’m working with the various tools that I use each day at school. I think it’s obvious what I’m doing, kind of like hammering nails into a coffee table. And it may be obvious to others who are using similar tools and doing similar work. However, I think that many teachers react like Calvin’s mom – in some type of disbelief and shock. It looks like we’re hammering nails into their coffee table.

So, I wondering, in the same vein of my previous posts, what 5 tools do you think would be the best to use with teachers so that they don’t think we’re hammering nails into that coffee table.

My list looks like this:

1. pbwiki – staff wiki of information and events with calendar of school-wide activities.

2. eye-jot – introduced to me by Alec Courosa – just something fun that teachers can do. It is amazing how you can get teachers using things just for fun.

3. Audacity – recording using the computer lab instead of tape-recorder. Students like wearing headphones and having a microphone!

4. Zoho business – introduction to online desktop. Slowly beginning to look at using online document sharing.

5. Google Earth – there’s just so much to do with this program.

Okay, I now pass this on to the following three: Julie Lindsay, Mrs.Durff, David Truss

They can choose to participate or this will die a quick and sudden death.


  1. Reply

    LOL love this post! Far too many teachers think as a school teacher librarian all I do all day is sit and read books and shush students. Hmmm am thinking of my five. Liking your five ALOT.

  2. Nate Lowell


    (some ‘gator – googlereader, sage, something)

  3. Reply

    Love your choices. Mine would have to include VoiceThread…for instant collaborative ideas and Bubbleshare or the like…for easy photo display (parents love this one). Stress …ease of use, quick understanding of purpose.

  4. Reply

    Del.icio.us or other social bookmarking site, maybe diigo – my computer-life has seriously changed since I started doing this instead of “Favorites” in IE! ALL teachers will find this valuable and it’s a good way to introduce the sharing part of networks as well. Then Google Reader – maybe just to start out show how to get their favorite news there…..

  5. Reply

    Let’s not forget the wide selection of digital video, and camcorders and the like.

    Podcasts — as a class project — are fun if you do them once or twice.

    There’s also YouTube as a resource. You’d be surprised how much historical video there is up there. Search the name of any U.S. president on that site, and you’ll be sure to have a few class-worthy hits.


  6. Reply

    Ning as an easy way to set up a customized community space. Voicethread for its versatility. Gtalk for the same. Blogger now available in Hebrew, gmail, ig

    You’ve probably noticed my list is mainly google. This is because one google username includes so many different services and also because Google are slowly translating their services to Hebrew including right to left directionality.

  7. Reply

    Thanks everyone for your contributions to the lists. I know that my staff will eventually need to look at social bookmarking and maybe Voicethread but right now the 5 I listed are ones that we are using at the school to get the teachers into using various tools. Some of the teachers are still a bit hesitant in using the different tools but we’ll continue to plug along. Thanks for the the ideas.
    Susan – I’d use google more if they had a desktop that included all the tools. I like Zoho because everything is contained in a desktop that teachers and students can access and use at one time.

    eyeingtenure – I know that youtube has so many great things but it is blocked in our school. I’ve just recently figured out how to download the videos using Safari and then converting them using Zamzar.com. This has been very helpful in getting videos that we can then show at school.

    Lisa – I’ll be including Voicethread for a few teachers who are wanting to move on. The eyejot email is going to really help when it comes to sharing with other classes.

    Cahty – we all know that librarians are worth their weight in gold.

    Nathan – like your choices. We’ll be looking at an RSS in the future when we begin to examine professional reading.
    What is bluehost?

    kolson29 – thanks for the input. I know that the students that I have introduced to delicious are very happy! Will be working with teachers in the near future.

  8. Reply

    My list would include Voice Thread, Slideshare, Google Earth, Flickr and podcasts. As a foreign language teacher, I am contemplating ways to use these sources.

  9. Reply

    missprofe – I am also looking at Voice Thread but in a way to help staff with different things. I think that it could be a great way to help those less “adventurous” to try some of the tools – creating Voice Thread or Slideshare productions.

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