Just back from our ICT cluster lead teacher day, and was good to catch with people after Learning @ School conference last month in Rotorua. We talked about the focus of the cluster this year and where we were heading. Most importantly we brainstormed some ideas for our Expo to be held in the July school holidays for everybody.
We also had Lisa Allcott from the National Library come and discuss with us, the digital resources available through EPIC and the national library. Some were appropriate for our primary aged students like the Online Encyclopedia Britannica but others were more aimed at a Secondary school (or above) level.
There are many many resources available to us online, some appropriate for our students, some not so much. But to use these fantastic resources with your class you need a purpose otherwise it becomes just another "whizzbang" thing to use once or twice and then forget about.
I have found in the past year of being part of the ICT cluster that there are so many tools available that I have really had to decide which ones are actually serving a purpose in my classroom and not just there for the sake of it! Also difficulty with Network access (eg on snail speed) has cut out a lot of these. Somethings I have tested beforehand at home before introducing them to my class has worked efficiently but at school has not been a viable option for this reason.
I guess the answer is small steps, start by introducing and using something that will meet a purpose, will work for you and will become embedded in your practice and build on from there.
I feel very inspired and motivated to incorporate some new tools into my classroom practice again after being a bit disheartened with network difficulties last year!