A quick update about a product that we discussed earlier, Diigo has updated to a 3rd version with some great looking updates. A lot of features that Delicious had, but Diigo didn't. This may give them a higher share of the social bookmarking market.
A great article came through our email last week from 21st Century Connections on the importance of asking "why" when planning a lesson or unit. Way too often, too many of us are guilty of just wanting to use the newest and coolest toys, especially with how quickly new web 2.0 materials come about. I'll admit it. Sometimes I have to take a step back, clean off my desktop, and start over. Our goal, as educators, is to give our students the best education possible so that they are ready to be an integral part of their society, no matter what part of society they end up in. Whether your students work at McDonald's or Microsoft, they will be using technology. So it is in your (and your district's) best interest to give them experiences in manipulating and interacting with technology while they are mastering your curriculum. That being said, too many of us think of the technology first. The curriculum needs to be the basis for everything that happens in your classroom. That is the why. Why are you using the technology? Because it gives your students the best opportunity to become engaged in the curriculum. When you look at your curriculum objectives you should be thinking of how technology could be used to engage students, allow for more interaction with the material or concepts or make your life easier. Don't make it something extra. If you make the technology an extra activity, you lose "why" you are using technology. You don't have time for extra, trust me.
I'd love to hear from all of you about your thoughts on the "why" or what steps you take to make sure that technology is used without making it a hassle for everyone involved. Please share!