Sites I’ve joined over the past few months:
Blip.fm–like Twitter, but with music. I love how it gives you “props” and also stores everything you’ve played. I’ve also found many wonderful mashups and covers, such as this bluegrassy one of Blu Cantrell’s “hit em up style”
Pandora radio–for when I don’t want to hear a specific song and just need some background music. I used to rely on radio stations I found in iTunes, but they seem to repeat the same playlists over and over. Pandora gives you more control over what you want to hear and finds similar sounding artists.
Second Life–the Director of our Nakatani Teaching and Learning Center is all about getting UW-Stout a presence in SecondLife, so I’ve been to a few information sessions to see what it’s all about. Thankfully, for people like me who can barely get my avatar to walk or sit, there are two sub-groups: one for beginners to get comfortable using SL, and the other for experienced in order to start students using our space. My avatar’s name is PhDaisy Quandry for anyone interested in looking me up.
Twitter [again]–I established a separate account for teaching. As I mentioned a month or so ago, I’ll be presenting a paper on teaching with Twitter at 4Cs this March. So far, I’m not requiring students to follow people or build a community outside of our class, which is what I find most appealing in my own Twitter use. But I have asked them to maintain their Twitterstream as an informal, public journal focused on documenting their semester-long experiences with technology and literacy, both in my class and others. I’ve been learning a lot from my students, especially how attached they are to their laptops, as well as their lives as freshman. I know more now about what other required classes they’re taking and frequently hear them talk about going home on the weekends, which is nothing like my college experience [I lived at home all 4 years, in New Orleans mind you, so who wanted to leave that?!] I can’t wait to read more over the next month–While it was clear students were struggling to learn the course management software in September, I think this push to be critical of their web use is something they’ll take with them the rest of their 4 years here.
And to keep me more connected than ever before, I recently purchased an iPod Touch. Hands down, it’s the best thing I’ve bought in a long time. Were I not trapped in my T-Mobile contract for another couple years, I’m sure I would be an iPhone owner too, although I do wonder if my constant social media use & updating would run the battery down! One of the best parts about it is that is has a built in speaker so you don’t even have to wear the headphones, say, while you’re sitting in your office and grading papers. 🙂