ComicMaster is a really nice looking website for creating your own short graphic novels (or, as we used to call them, comics). Signing up is free and you can save or print.
At EdJEWcon we used backchanneling a lot. That’s where you use a website where participants can add their thoughts during a presentation. If you like the idea and would like to explore using it in class, check out this blog post.
This is fun! If you’d like for your students to create their own Facebook-type pages, you can download a PowerPoint template that they can modify as needed. Download it here. If you’d like to stick with a Google doc, here’s a tutorial you can use.
I wanted to remind everyone about Newsela. Newsela is a great site for current events articles. You can sign up using your Google credentials, create classes, and assign articles. You can even choose the right reading level for your students.
Here’s a terrific way to get notifications every time a Google folder is changed. This is big, folks!
Hour of Code is coming! In honor of Computer Science Week, tens of millions of students spend one hour during the week between December 7th and 11th learning how to code. If you’re interested in committing an hour of class (and it doesn’t have to be an hour at one time) to having your students delve into some aspect of coding, here are some great resources:
The brain is the coolest! Here’s a great article with nine things teachers should know about it.
Oooooh – this awesome (if somewhat geeky) article presents a great set of tools to use to discover if that viral news story is really true. Not only are some of these sites useful if you want to just verify if something is true or not, but they could form the basis for a terrific lesson plan on media literacy.
Love Excel but want to use Google Sheets for sharing ease? Here’s a nice selection of Excel-like tools that you may not have known are available in Sheets.
You know how I’m a big fan of copyright-free image sources for students. Photos For Class is a terrific search tool to find appropriate images that include proper citation. For instance, I downloaded this image and you can see that the source info is embedded at the bottom. Very nice!
Slate has an interesting article about how artificial intelligence is changing schools. What do you think?
If you’re a fan of Explain Everything on the iPad, check out this article with tons of links to resources.
And… a couple of reminders about our friends the iPads:
Doing a hard reset:
If an iPad isn’t responding, and you’ve tried everything else, try a hard reset.
This is how you do it:
- hold down the home button
- hold down the power button
- Wait until you see the Apple logo – it’s about 10 seconds.
You don’t have to do it often, but when you have to do it, you have to do it.
Add Hebrew to the keyboard:
- Tap on Settings
- Tap on General
- Tap on Keyboard
- Tap on Keyboards
5. Tap on Add New Keyboard
From my friends at Behrman House:
Hack Jewish Education
We’re seeking ideas for a NEW digital experience that can help reboot Jewish education
Have you been tinkering with an idea for an app or other digital learning experience for Jewish education? Would you like get ongoing mentoring about your idea, and take it to a month-long workshop in Israel to bring it to life with help from professional coders, designers and ed tech developers?
Behrman House and MindCET, the innovation department of Israel –based Center for Educational Technology, are seeking a North American team with a great idea to mentor in a pilot accelerator program funded by a grant from the AVI CHAI Foundation. The program will include working with developers and other teams in Israel for a month, hosted by MindCET; workshops and mentoring hosted by Behrman House to focus on the Jewish educational market; and access to professional design, coding, art and other tech development talent.
Applications, which are due November 20, 2016, can be accessed at www.jlearninglabs.com under ‘submit your idea.’ The chosen team will work with Behrman House and MindCET for six months, beginning in December 2015, will head to Israel in mid-February (exact dates to be announced). For more information, contact Jeremy Poisson.
I’ve written about Haiku Learning before, but I wanted to remind people about this amazing product where you can create class webpages, post assignments, embed activities, support collaborative projects and more. Basic teacher accounts are free. I used it this summer and I like it a lot.
I love the Newseum! Check out their redesigned website for educators. You can download lesson plans and posters, take online classes and more.
You know how I love TED talks. Well, ELI talks (the AVI CHAI Foundation version) are coming to Chicago – and you can be part of the studio audience. Register and find out more here.
Design thinking, the “formal method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result” (Wikipedia) is something that’s been intriguing me for some time. If you’re interested in a 90-minute crash course on this method, check out Stanford University’s site.
Put some Zing! into your classroom! Zing is a new free eBook site that you can use with your students. You can browse by category, language or reading level and monitor student progress. Sign up for a free account and let me know if you want to strategize about Zinging with your students.
Looking for some Jewish educators’ blogs to follow? Here’s a list of some, as crowdsourced by the Schechter network’s Jon Mitzmacher.
Well, this is interesting…here’s an interesting article about how a synagogue used technology to answer “every question it had.” I wonder if this solution could be applied to other institutions!
I’m a big fan of Kiva – the microfinance site that allows you to make small loans to individuals in generally underdeveloped areas. Every year my religious school students take part of their tzedakah collection and make a Kiva loan, which gets paid back so we can loan it out again! If you’d like to explore using Kiva with your students, check out the resources at Kiva U.
H.S.I.: Historical Scene Investigation is a pretty intriguing site. It was “designed for social studies teachers who need a strong pedagogical mechanism for bringing primary sources into their classroom,” but what intrigues me is the modality it uses to encourage inquiry among students. I’d love to know what you think!
Speaking of primary source docs, the LOC (Library of Congress) is hosting a free online conference about that very topic. The conference will be October 27-28, and the sessions will be recorded for later viewing. More information can be found here.
What exactly does a teacher do in a blended classroom? Khan Academy and the Clayton Christensen Institute teamed up to provide a series of videos that explore that very topic. If you’ve got some viewing time, check out their videos here.
On1Foot is a terrific site to start with if you’re looking for Jewish texts regarding social justice. You can browse by category, search, create a source sheet and share lesson plans.
If you’re interested in incorporating more iPad use into your classroom, a great place to start is by observing a teacher who already uses them. And if you’re going to do that, blogger Lisa Johnson has some tips for you in this great post.
We Are Teachers has a nice graphic organizer for young readers for you to print – get it here.
ScienceUnderground is a new site featuring a weekly 2-minute science podcast hosted by scientist and science communicator, Ainissa Ramirez. It’s really new, so there isn’t a lot up there yet, but you can check out the site or subscribe to the podcasts.
Eyewitness To History is an ad-supported site where you can browse by event and then read first person accounts. Because of the ads, I found the site to be a little distracting, so you may not want to have students use it, but it could be a great resource for you to find supporting documents or photos.
Interested in learning more about blended learning? According to the Christensen Institute, blended learning “involves leveraging the Internet to afford each student a more personalized learning experience, including increased student control over the time, place, path, and/or pace of learning.” Their website offers videos, articles and resources.
Lots of teachers are surprised to find that what they think is project-based learning isn’t really PBL. Read more here.
Move over, Steven Spielberg…now everyone can build their own dinosaur (I hope that reference is clear…). BrainPop Jr’s Contruct-a-Saurus site gives you the tools to build a dinosaur by choosing a head, body, tail, etc. You then test the beast to see if it’ll stand up – and get feedback from the site as to what needs to be changed. This is a great site for young kids, and there are lessons plans for teachers, too.
Edsurge has a great opinion piece on raising kids in the age of tech. Stanford Dean of Freshmen Julie Lythcott-Haims offers some surprising thoughts on micromanaging teens’ social media accounts and more.
Quizizz is fun free site where you can generate multiplayer quizzes. Students can participate using mobile devices or laptops.
I love Google forms! If you’re not embracing Google forms, read this post to see why you should!
Did you know that you can use your laptop as a “transmitter” to beam from your iPad to a SMART Board? Just plug your laptop into the SMART Board and use an application called Reflector to mirror what’s on your iPad to your laptop (and therefore the SMART Board). You won’t have the interactive features, but it’s a great way to share what’s on your iPad without having to switch dongles.
I love me some robots! All the cool folks are playing with them…see this Rosh Hashanah video from the Technion.
Speaking of videos – here’s a very cool video explaining the why and how of sewers. This would be great when discussing innovating thinking with your students.
If you’re new to the iPad – or just want to see how you can improve your skills – check out this blog post on 12 iPad tips for teachers.
The gang at ClassDoJo has just come out with a nifty way to privately share photos and stories with parents. It’s called Class Story and it’s free. Check it out here.
Elmad is an online learning library hosted by the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. You can access podcasts, browse by topic or faculty member, or visit one of the channels. There’s even a quiz for every parsha.