This lesson allows you explore and experiment with personal technologies for learning. You can build your own personal learning toolkit based on your explorations.
Before we explore the OER world further, it would be a good idea for you to begin to select tools with which to build your own personal learning tool kit. With these tools you'll be able to explore the Internet, keep notes and capture ideas from web sites you visit.
Becoming a networked teacher and learner
The Couros diagram of the networked teacher illustrates the many ways that teachers interact with students, colleagues, peers and other resources, both human and digital across the Internet. In each case, these interactions are software and network-enabled.
What is important is for networked teachers to assemble a personal learning toolkit of software applications that will allow them to communicate with peers, assemble and manage digital resources, publish and share digital resources with others.
Your personal learning toolkit
One of the ways to begin to assemble your own personal toolkit is to seek advice from others who may have more knowledge. Another way to assemble your toolkit is to explore free or open source tools that might be useful to you by searching for them using the Internet.
A shortcut would be to explore collections of tools that other educators have found useful in the context of becoming a networked teacher and/or learner.
Included are lists of software tools for:
A very good starting point would be to download and install a set of open source Office tools such as those available free from OpenOffice.org.
Activity: Exploring personal learning tools
For each of the categories below, explore the suggested free web-based tool to find out if it would fit your personal style.
If so, consider making the tool part of your personal toolkit. If not, use the Internet to search for tools like the ones below to determine if there are others that might better suit your style or context.
Couros, A. (2008). The networked educator. Available: http://www.flickr.com/photos/courosa/2922421696/
Wiley, D., Ed. (2008). OER Handbook. Available: http://wikieducator.org/OER_Handbook/educator_version_one