Todd Seal, the best ELA blogger you don’t subscribe to, responds to Scott McLeod’s recent provocation (paraphrased), “Can you identify 10 excellent web sites for your grade / subject area, and if not what’s wrong with you?”
Todd: What we want isn’t out there. My typical search finds me cobbling lots of different pieces together with an idea I’ve had for the last two years along with a little something I got from watching SNL this weekend attached to the core of an idea I got from a discussion with some friends last month. I rarely find resources online that fit right into what I’m doing or that hit on what I want to address. I wish they were out there, but not even Discovery Education or any of the lesson plan warehouse sites cut it. Lots of chaff to sort through there and I worry about my return on time invested.
If I had to compile a list of sites essential to my day-to-day practice, you’d find Google Search, Google Reader, Google Images, and not a whole heckuva lot else. I spend much of my planning time lately curating media of the kind Todd lists in his awesome run-on sentence there: TV shows, photos I find, photos I take, video I capture, iPhone applications, current events, commercials, and, if I must, my assigned textbook.
I curate this media. I arrange it sensibly and structure questions and activities around it. It’s time-consuming and it’s challenging and the only way I can remotely justify the expense is by posting those lesson packs here, for others to download, deploy, and improve upon, thereby propping up an initially weak return on my investment.
As magical as these Internets are, I haven’t been able to outsource that curation to one website, or ten.