One of my favorite and most useful websites has been http://first-5.tumblr.com/ – the website that asks: What are the first five websites you visit every day? Unfortunately, the site has been inactive for a while, however this does seem to be a temporary thing:
@GlenFCochrane yes, been busy lately and new changes are coming. Thanks for your interest!
— Tamsyn Gilbert (@tamsyngilbert) July 10, 2013
Despite having a slant towards Art and Design, First Five is a great resource to sift through, browsing some of the essential websites and communities for various professionals from around the world. It would be great to get one of these going for Language Learning Professionals or just for Education in general. I’m going to post my First Five below, and although it doesn’t fully reflect the Language Learning profession (or educational technology profession) that I work in, hopefully it slants that way. If you have a blog, post about your First Five and drop the url in the comments, or tweet it at #First5 and #ESL or #edtech
My First Five does change frequently, so maybe I’ll post about this again down the line. (click on images for link)
1. I often listen to music when I write or do other data related tasks. On typical days I arrive at the office around 7:40 and try to get as much done as I can in the first hour or two before distractions set in. I usually put on techno, beats or other mellow instrumentals…and lately I’ve been starting my mornings first thing by listening to Ben Harper’s live version of Ground On Down hosted at Grooveshark. It sets my momentum for these first few hours, reminding me to produce and get things done, rather than simply to have good intentions. It’s a powerful song. (Although, I recently read something not so good about grooveshark and copyright, so I should really look into this and reconsider visiting everyday)
2. Along with my most visited pages, my chrome browser opens two other websites when I start it. One of these is Boing Boing. I set this up a while ago because I felt I was always too busy to catch up with interesting stories and general happenings in the world of the online world (if that makes sense). There’s so much cool stuff happening out there these days, and checking BB, even quickly a few times a weeks keeps me a bit more entertained.
3. The other website that open automatically when I start my browser is iKnow. I study Japanese vocabulary with iKnow, and actually enjoy the rote learning here. It’s not as effective as I would hope, but it does introduce me to new vocabulary that I can use in daily conversation at home. This has been much more important since I moved back to Canada.
4. I go through spurts of use, but often check my Feedly to skim headlines and collect articles to send to my kindle (via instapaper.com) so that I can read later, in transit or at lunch. More often than not, I let articles build up and do a mass survey of my subscriptions when I’m in between reading books…which I still feel is a priority. Feedly had been a nice substitute for me since google reader shut down. I try to keep it exclusive for non-twitter feeds, but many of the content here doubles up with my Twitter follows and lists.
5. I check Tweetdeck early and throughout the day as a type of RSS fed and a way to communicate or engage with people. I prefer the Tweetdeck version of Twitter because I can follow lists and searches in columns. For example, my ESL Canada list is to my extreme left, which makes it easy to gain information from trusted language professionals in Canada. I also follow two “Winnipeg” columns, to get a sense of what’s going on in the city. I have a column specified for a random city, for education, for media, comedy, science, various NBA (in season), edchat, and for my own messages, among many others. I do add and move things around in here often, as my Tweetdeck is in constant refinement.