Need some storage on “the cloud?” Check out Copy – you get 15 gb (that’s 15 GIGABYTES!) for free and more if you refer others. It’s a great way to share photos and more with friends, family and colleagues.
Timelapse is an amazing resource featuring three decades of satellite photography. Think there’s no climate change? Check out the pictures that show otherwise.
Classcharts is a free resource to create seating charts based on behavior criteria. There are some cool features including the ability to collaborate with colleagues and to note positive and negative behaviors.
Professional development seems to be getting a lot of attention these days. Edsurge is on a mission to understand the field of professional development for educators (harder than it sounds) and to share their findings. They’ve started the conversation here.
The Digital Public Library of America is a brand new website that “…strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science.” No small feat! You can do a search, browse through exhibitions, or explore by place or timeline.
Is reading the same when you’re using a book or a screen? Research says it’s not! Want to know which one wins? Check out the article in Scientific American.
Fuel The Brain is an online resource for games, interactives and printables for elementary math, science and language arts. The website also features a mini book creator which allows your students to create their own mini books with images and different text styles and then download and print them. Cutest thing ever!
ARKive is a charity that endeavors to create “an awe-inspiring record of life on Earth.” Their website presents information about the world’s endangered animals, plants and fungi and why we should protect them. There is also a section for teachers to get free resources that is categorized by age (of the students, not the teacher). There are also images on the site that you can use in your own classroom materials (and you know how I love when we use images with permission!).
Some of us were fortunate enough to attend EdJEWcon in Jacksonville, Florida this week. To learn more about this unique conference, visit their website. If you’ve got some time, watch Chris Lehmann’s keynote “Creating the Schools We Need.” Chris is the founding principal of Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy.
One of the highlights of EdJEWcon was watching middle school students sitting in the front of the room backchanneling during the closing keynote. Backchanneling is a fancy term for using technology to, well, “discuss amongst yourselves.” Some colleagues have been experimenting with their fifth graders using online resources to discuss what they’re reading. One of the websites we like for backchanneling is Today’s Meet. For some ideas on ways that you can use backchanneling in the classroom, check out this article.
Monday morning our 7th graders will be embarking on the annual 7th grade trip to Washington DC. To prepare for the trip, they researched the monuments and memorials they’ll be seeing and created short films to teach others what they learned. The films are on YouTube and our students will be able to view them while touring by using their smartphones on the trip. I created QR codes for the films’ URLs so our travelers can easily navigate to the films. We have lots of teachers using QR codes these days (and saw evidence of that at the Gottlieb school in Jacksonville, too!). Here’s some great information about QR codes in the classroom.
“Placing a list of “have to’s” at the top of a rubric is like building a wall at the bottom of a slide.” This intriguing quote is from a thought-provoking blog post on rethinking rubrics. Read more here.
Here’s a nice lesson for using photos to inspire student writing. A terrific online resource for activities like this is PicLits .
Have you (or your students) really thought about the digital footprints you’re leaving behind? Digital Dossier is a video timeline of a fictional character’s digital lifespan:
I’m pleased to welcome guest poster Laurie Sendler Rappeport. Laurie made aliyah in 1983 from Detroit and has lived in Safed, a northern Israeli town, since 1985. She has been involved in various types of formal and informal education throughout the years and is presently entering the world of Jewish distance learning with JETS Israel.
Online learning is slowly entering the world of Jewish education. today there are a wide range of unique applications for online learning that are specifically relevant to the Jewish community.
Jerusalem EdTech Solutions (JETS), a Jerusalem-based project of Jewish distance learning, is expanding the opportunities for online learning to increase the students’ engagement with their Jewish/Israel studies. JETS courses are applicable for classroom situations as well as for situations in which students do not have access to Jewish education opportunities.
JETS distance programs meet the needs of school groups, adult learners and individual students in the areas of Israel Education, Jewish studies and Hebrew Language. Classes “meet” the JETS instructor who teaches from Israel and utilizes both synchronous and asynchronous learning to create compelling lessons that are relevant and meaningful to the students’ lives. JETS works with Jewish Day Schools as well as with public and parochial schools to offer lessons which include core curriculum courses of Tanach themes and Gemarah as well as individual classes and series about subjects ranging from Contemporary Jewish Issues, the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Jewish and Israel history to Israel archaeology, Ancient Israel and the Ethiopian Jewish community.
The JETS Shutafut program partners Israeli and Diaspora classrooms, Students in each location collaborate on shared projects and follow their peers’ progress on virtual blackboards. Students can work individually on their assignments, in pairs or in groups to as they complete the course material and observe the work that their partners are doing on the other side of the ocean. English-speaking students often write in Hebrew as they converse with their Hebrew-speaking peers while the Israeli children write in English as they strengthen their language skills while they complete their assigned coursework.
An additional JETS program, JConnecT was created to provide an interactive Jewish learning model to students who do not adapt well to traditional frontal classroom situations or who live in remote areas in which there are few or no Jewish educational opportunities. JConnecT students meet from their own homes and explore Jewish ideas and concepts in an open manner that enables each student to proceed at his or her own pace. Students may initiate subjects that interest them or may join in an existing distance learning class.
JETS courses were developed to meet the needs of a pluralistic Jewish community. They are non-denominational and provide quality distance learning options to learners of all ages and backgrounds.
“… the mindset of a teaching staff devoted to giving students time for creation and reflection…” What a great quote from a fascinating article on The Smart Way to use iPads in Education! It’s not about the apps, folks!
Did you know that Popular Science magazine has been around for 140 years? Whoa! And…did you know that you could peruse each and every issue that was published over those 140 years? Incredible, right? You can browse issues, search for terms, or use an awesome tool to graphically plot the occurrence of a term throughout the years.
20th vs. 21st century learning…it’s a topic that often comes up at conferences. Here’s a nifty graphic that really gets to the heart of how education has changed from last century to this one.
We are Teachers has a nice post with some creative ideas for end-of-year assignments.
I thought I’d pass along this thought-provoking article about a principal who decided that academics should take a back seat to social/emotional learning. Very, very interesting.
Here’s another site with an abundance of math videos and mini-lessons, searchable by topic.
The Kid Should See This is a curated collection of videos that, well, kids should see. The site is maintained by a mom and her two kids and is browsable by topic. It’s a fun resource if you’re looking for a video to illustrate a topic.
Ever feel like you want to be able to text your students? We know they don’t really check email any more, but it’s not like you’re going to text each and every one of them individually. First of all, you don’t have that kind of time, and secondly, you don’t really want to have a texting relationship with your students! The solution is a free subscription to Remind 101. It couldn’t be easier: set up your free account, and create your class. Have your students text their information (or their parents’) to the phone number provided…and, like magic, you’ll be able to text them whenever you want to remind them to study for a test, turn in an assignment, etc. What’s even better is that the product is the brainchild of SSDS alum Brett Kopf, who surprised me when a colleague and I were at the ISTE conference in San Diego this past June. Great kid…great idea – we’re testing it with fourth graders!
A friend posted the following photo to Facebook today:
It’s cute. I get it.
But what I don’t get is what I perceive to be a pretty constant need to compare digital life and “real” life.
I totally understand – and agree – that there is no digital substitute for canoeing, making s’mores and hiking. Or getting mosquito bites and shvitzing in the humid summer air (in a good way).
But when are we going to just deal with it and allow that one does not substitute for the other, and that the two can happily coexist?
I remember a time when a friend who is a professional in the camping world told me that there would never, ever, be computers at his summer camp. Fast forward about fifteen years – the camp now has a vibrant media program that does a tremendous amount to add to the life of the summer camp, and to the lives of the kids who go there.
There may not be an “app for that,” but there’s an app to record great photographs of the hiking expeditions, a fun video of the kids making and eating s’mores (and fishing marshmallows out of the fire, and stealing chocolate…) and for getting the email/Facebook/cell phone numbers of all those friends so they can keep in touch during the winter.
And that’s okay.
Let’s stop making it either/or.
Venerable Jewish songster Craig Taubman is giving away some more music. You can download his acoustic Shabbat album FREE!
I totally love the Library of Congress! We should – we pay for it… Check out their guide to using Primary Sources. It includes a lovely analysis tool as well.
How would you like Albert Einstein to read to you? REALLY! You can hear Einstein’s 1941 radio address on “The Common Language of Science.”
The Anti-Defamation League just put out an inspirational video “Imagine a World Without Hate.” Do not watch without a box of tissues handy!
Finally, speaking of videos… if you’re looking for a Passover video to liven your holiday preparations, check these out:
The Maccabeats‘ take on Les Mis and Pesach:
Muppets’ Matzah in the House:
And, from Aish – if today’s media told the Passover story:
Chag Pesach Sameach!
Animoto’s got educator accounts again! If you haven’t used it before, Animoto is an awesome website where you can upload a bunch of photos, choose your background music, and it makes a great slide show for you. They had discontinued educator accounts for a while…but they’re back. As an educator, you can get a free PRO account, which allows you to create videos longer than 30 seconds.
I don’t know about you, but I think these awesome NASA Pod transports look an awful lot like what George Jetson used (oy… I am dating myself). Tel Aviv is looking to become the first city where you can zoom around in some ultra cool two-person vehicles.
The World Digital Library is a collection of primary materials from all over the world. There are maps, newspapers photographs, illustrations and more.
Remember flash cards? There are a lot of online sites to create and review flash cards. Check out StudyStack, where you can use flash cards created by others or create your own.
I love this site! Create text messages as if they were sent by fictional characters. So fun! Text messages can be saved for future editing, downloading or embedding in other sites.
Every teacher knows that maintaining a classroom library can be a chore. Book Retriever, an iOS app, promises to make that job easier. The $.99 app uses the book’s ISBN code to generate a listing, keeps track of which students have “checked out” which books, and can even email overdue reminders.
If you’re using Croak.it please complete this survey to help improve the product. It’s nice when the developers care what we teachers think!