Friday, September 26, 2014

What Do You Look For in a Go-To Site?

The @TeachThought 30 Day Challenge Prompt for September 26 " What are your 3 favorite go-to site for help/tips/resources in your teaching?"   feels like it could yield to some hurt feelings! There are so many great 'go to sites" and I can't imagine narrowing it down to 3 - because there are so many "it depends" on what I'm trying to do. So instead I'm going to reflect on what are my 3 features of my favorite go to sites.

#1 It has to be searchable

Sometimes I'm looking for something specific and being able to use keywords or tags to bring the best of the best to the surface not only helps me be efficient, but it helps me discover amazing new people to add to my PLN or fabulous new ideas. Diigo continues to be one of my favorite way to organize my digital resources and discover new ones. It might not be as "sexy" as some, but its searchability is multi-dimensional and allows me many ways to access valuable resources that are valued by others (others like me).

#2 It has to have a good blend of text and media that make you think deeply and imagine possibilities

I need a well balanced diet of 'words' that someone else used to articulate an idea, fact, or story that makes me think. I don't alway want to "listen" or "view" a video. Sometimes pictures feel like a surface look at a topic and makes me wonder how much real thinking is happening beyond curating and posting a picture. That is one of the reasons I still prefer Diigo to Pinterest. 

I also need to be able to skim through the narrative to decide
 if I want to spend more time "hearing" or "watching" a video. I also need visual images to draw me into the story or to allow me to decide if I want to read more. For example, there are times when I will use Google Image search to stimulate my thinking about a topic. Great images usually bring me to great websites that have good content about the topic.

#3 It has to be accessible on a mobile device

Although I usually work from a laptop or computer, my time to explore resources is often found time in between meetings, while waiting for an event to start, or other times when I have my mobile device with me. If a site or resource is not mobile friendly, its not as valuable to me.

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