Sunday, February 22, 2009

The One-Stop Resource – Does It Exist?

It was really awesome to be at this conference and to be surrounded by so many other educators sharing awesome resources and ideas for the use of technology in the classroom.  Although, the afternoon came and I was sitting down at my roundtable discussion on finding resources and came across this one big question that was lingering in my brain: Is there a one-stop resource?  Meaning, can I as an educator go to one source and look up all the ideas, technology, and Web 2.0 tools all in one spot? 

So does something like that even exist?  Looking at my table there was one educator who had been working on a very well put together website for over six years and had a variety of ideas and lessons to go with it.  Another teacher had a list of ideas and places to go on her del.icio account.  Yet another had just a list in Microsoft Word.  The table moderator was looking through her syllabi and pulling out her resources from there and I had a Google document that had a bunch of ideas on there too.  It was so cool to see all these different ideas all coming together at one table.  I really felt that we had a great connection and that we were really sharing effective ideas, but one question kept running through my head: Where is the one-stop resource? 

What if all the great educational ideas, sample lesson plans, and student examples of work for a whole variety of technology and 2.0 tools could be found in one place?  What if there were descriptions for all the tools explaining if it needed to be downloaded or was on the Internet, if it was free or cost something, and then if there were actual helpful thoughts on how this resource could be used in the classroom?  What if a source, one source, like that existed?  What would happen to educators?  Would that be helpful? 

The problem right now, at least as I see it, is that there will never be, nor would it be even possible to have, just one source.  Everyone has their own ideas about what is useful and what is not, what is a good Web 2.0 tool and what is not, and everyone seems to have their own creative way of putting that out on the web for the world to see.  What if we all collaborated, shared or ideas, and then put together a site that contained all of our ideas and gave credit to all of us for putting it all together?  Going back to The 5-95 Question, then hopefully the five can help the 95 along with a resource like this. 

So that leads me back to my overarching question for this post: Does a one-stop resource for educational technology ideas exist?  I don’t think so, but what if one was started to contain some of the greatest resources know to the five percent?  What if that website, Wiki space, or some other format was created, would it be helpful?  What form would it take?  Who would it be targeted at?  Who would maintain it?  

I struggle with this question because I want a one-stop source.  It seems like the resources are out there and that people are sharing them with one another, but how do we take one of these ideas and create them into a source that is easy for educators to come to and that they know about?  

Maybe that is where my summer project lies – create this one-stop source based on the ideas from the collective five percent.  Or has this already been done and no one knows about it?  Then the problem arises of driving people to the site and obtaining information to update it, but I guess that can be a hurdle to be crossed at a later point and time. 

In conclusion, does a one-stop educational technology resource database of tools exist?  If so, where is it?  If not, would it be helpful if I put together a list of collective ideas from the five percent to help the 95 percent out?  

What do you think?  Leave your comments and feedback below.  Thanks!