One of my jobs as a tech integration specialist is helping teachers find resources for their content area. This can be very difficult because I am not certified in every area of education. I developed a plan of action that helps me help teachers of all content areas. Here are 4 tips that you can use to help any teacher find what they need.
1. Ask some questions
Sometimes I will get an email asking for help with a specific content area, but it really doesn't tell me what they are looking for. "Something to teach electricity" sounds like enough information, but there are so many more factors. By asking questions like, "Do you want an interactive site?" or "Are you looking for something the students can do on their own or do you want to guide them through the process?" can be very helpful in narrowing down the search. Asking questions and listening can save you time and allow the teacher to really think about their lesson a little more in depth.
2. Google is your friend
Google is where I always start most of my searches. After asking the questions, I will have a better idea of what I'm looking for in a lesson. I will usually find a handful of possible lessons that meet the needs of the teacher. I will always send some specific sites and the Google search URL. This way, teachers can see the search I used and check out some of the other sites I did not send. It is also good to show them that I used Google and that they can also use it for searches in the future.
3. Bookmark it for later
Sometimes, I find a handful of sites that are not what I'm looking for at the moment, but they could be helpful down the line. I use Diigo, but there are other social bookmarking sites that you could use. By creating bookmarks for these different sites, I could send entire collections of bookmarks to teachers in addition to sites I find in my Google search.
4. Tweet it out
If I'm struggling to find the resources I need or am looking for expert opinions, I will ask for help from my PLN. My PLN is filled with amazing people that have used or even created amazing resources on every possible topic out there. I know I can count on them for a host of resources that will help any teacher in any content area. This is one of the many reasons why I love my PLN and suggest that everyone join Twitter.
By using these four tips, you will be able to help any teacher find the perfect resource for their lesson.