Right now I am quite inspired to search out ideas and inspiration. I want to become a better teacher, to grow and to become more efficient. I find that I need some tricks to keep track of all the amazing ideas that I find. I do it mainly in three ways: Though bookmarks, through Pinterest and though mindmapping my ideas online. This is how I use each tool:
One evening I found that my mind was birsting with ideas, so I figured I better write this down. I decide that I better do it online (I am horribly unorganized when it comes to paper), so I looked into the mindmapping options and settled on Realtime Board. It has some extremely useful features, such as their build in icon library. The ability to zoom way out to get an overview is extreamly useful or you can go in close and work on an area of the board. Currently all of my board look like this:
I organize the board via posts so that each subject I am interested in has its own area. Earlier today I was gathering ideas for building in more variation into the class. As I add each idea I try to add a little icon so that I visually can find the idea that I am looking for later. If it is an idea I found online I tend to use the images from their site to jog my memory. I bold the main idea and add arrows to other ideas if they are connected. I also add a small star if it is idea that I have tried and it worked. Some of those ideas will show up at here at a later day.
I find it extremely useful to bookmark interesting pages as I run into them. I use Chrome so I got a visual bookmark overview, which does make the bookmarks way more useful. I do not only use them for teaching ideas and inspiration but also for articles that I might want to use in class.
Here is how my bookmarks look right now. I need to do some more organizing but that is a task for summer break.
By having images to go with the site names, it is much easier to remember what each site was about. I can also write a short description of the site or change the title that Chrome put on there.
EDIT: Since this really neat option has been turned off again and I can’t figure out how to get it back. If anyone knows how please leave a comment!
Pinterest is such a wonderful well of ideas and inspiration. When I run into an idea or article that looks interesting I just pin it to my Teaching board to look at later. Next time I am board grading papers I will reward myself between papers by exploring these ideas. The ones that turn out not to be great gets deleted and the rest saved. I plan to make some more boards (to organize things more) over the summer break.
You can find me on Pinterest if you are interested in exploring my board.
How do you keep track of your ideas for classes, pedagogy or didactic techniques?