This guest blog post was written by the amazing Jennifer Alexander, Publishing Manager for Oregon State University (@) Extension & Experiment Station Communications. She shares very useful tips, advise, and ideas on how to integrate technology at work, you should definitely follow her on Twitter @editor_jennifer – Paul Hill
I joined #EdTechLN because I wanted to lurk. You know, pick up tips, check out the blog, and find people to follow on Twitter. I also wanted to see what it was like to be in a learning network.
I quickly realized that lurking wasn’t working. It was clear from the first #EdTechLN tweetup that everyone has something to learn and something to share.
Today, it’s my turn. Here are three tools I use every day that have changed how I publish, collaborate, and stay organized.
- Drupal is an open-source content management system (CMS). I’ve worked at three institutions, each with a different CMS. Drupal is by far the most intuitive and user-friendly. Our department uses Drupal to create interactive, mobile-friendly websites, including the OSU Extension Catalog, a bilingual Christmas tree pest website, and Oregon’s Agricultural Progress magazine. We’re making Extension and research information available in the way the public expects: fast, easy, on their time, on their device of choice.
- Google Drive (also Google Docs and Sheets) is my go-to tool when I’m on a team that needs to share notes and working files (e.g., conference committee) or write collaboratively (e.g., newsletter article). These tools keep everyone on the same page, save time, and simplify file management. No more emailing attachments back and forth! I access Google Apps for Education through Oregon State, but these tools are also available free if you have a Google account. When choosing tech for your teams, check out @sjudd’s webinar on Leveraging Technology in Collaborative Work.
- Evernote helps me stay organized at home. At work, I use it to save (and later, find) my notes from professional development activities and articles. Because Evernote tags and searches everything, I can focus on learning and critical thinking rather than filing.
These tools have three things in common:
- Access: They’re free. And I can use them anytime, anywhere, from any device.
- Intuitiveness: They’re easy to use “out of the box.”
- Support: If I want to learn more, I can find help docs, experts, and tutorials.
I’m curious to know how others in #EdTechLN are using these tools. Let me know in the comments.
@editor_jennifer uses Evernote to stay organized at home and capture professional development resources and learning at work.
Oregon’s State University’s Extension and Experiment Station Communications department is using Drupal, an open-source CMS, to create intuitive, interactive, mobile-friendly websites, such as the OSU Extension Catalog.