Can sharing a film stop bullying? Interesting question. The makers of this film have created a little film with a meaning. The film is a plaintive black and white animation with the simple message that sharing bullying – talking about it – will end bullying. Every time you share it the film gets a little shorter, metaphorically wiping bullying out. Check it out (but don’t use Chrome – it crashed my Chrome browser several times).
Next week, we will participate in what writer Maya Bernstein calls “a model of creative education.” I’m talking, of course, about the Seder. Read more here.
Looking for SMART Board lessons? Check out Modern Chalkboard.
Tackk is an online space to create, well, anything you want to share with anyone. It kind of reminds me of Glogster, except that you don’t need to register (but your Tackkboard will expire in 7 days if you don’t), and Tackkboards can be any size. They kind of expand as you add more stuff to them. It’s super easy to add text, videos or photos. Layout options are limited (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Visit Tackk using a computer or an iPad for more information.
Check out this article about Google Drive and how to make it work like desktop software.
Students love to play games in class! Here’s a great site that will create random Bingo cards from a user-defined vocabulary. If Jeopardy’s your thing, this can help.
Litpick is an awesome site with reviews of preteen and teen literature. Kids can become reviewers!
Visuwords is a cool graphical dictionary. Put in a word, hit enter, and a graphic with similar words will appear. Double click on any of the linked words to expand the illustration. Very fun!
…You deserve a break today…Want to give your class a brain break? Check out GoNoodle. Sign up for a free account, specify your grade level, and choose from among a list of break activities. Whether you’re looking for a calming exercise (Flow is a nice one), an active one (Zumba kids, anyone?), or a stress reliever, GoNoodle has colorful, entertaining videos that will be fun to show on your SMART Board or projector. The site does require Flash, so it can’t be played on an iPad.
Have you been following The Story of the Jews on PBS? The companion website has featured videos, photos, extension lessons on such topics as the Cairo Genizah, Zionism and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Well done!
A restaurant with no cash register…think about a different kind of “soup kitchen.” Read about Masbia, a restaurant chain in New York that feeds the hungry and endeavors to preserve their dignity at the same time. Feast on it here.
Interested in flipping your class? Free Technology for Teachers has some terrific suggestions.
Remembering those we lose…my friend Esther Kustanowitz writes about inheriting a gold ring, and the memories that come with it in her essay here.
Happy 25th birthday, World Wide Web! Yup, a quarter century ago, Tim Berners-Lee wrote a decidedly unexciting proposal for “a “hypertext project” called “WorldWideWeb” in which a “web” of “hypertext documents” could be viewed by “browsers.”” Yeah, that’s so sexy sounding, right? Anyway, if you’re interested in reading a little more about the origin of the web, check out the article (with Berners-Lee’s original diagrams). True geek observation: I love that the slide show features Next computers (the company Steve Jobs founded during the time he was ousted as Apple’s president).
Here are a few sites that are useful for student collaboration or mind mapping: Padlet - create a wall and your students can put sticky notes on it. Today’s Meet is a more linear display – comments will appear in chronological order. It’s super easy to use. Bubbl.us is terrific for mindmapping, but it is Flash based, so you’ll want to use it on a laptop or desktop.
Similar Site SEarch is a great way to search for sites that are, well, similar to another site. Let’s say you’re looking for YouTube alternatives. Type YouTube.com into the search bar, and alternatives will appear. Nice!
It’s Purim time! Time for some shtick(ers)… download G-dcast’s Shticker App and put, well, shtickers all over your photos. You know you wanna!
GoIsrael has a nifty new Discover Israel Interactive Movie, which you can access from a computer or via mobile device app. Check it out.
Instagrok is a really cool way to research anything. Type in your search term, hit the “Grok” button and watch the fun! You’ll see key facts, links to websites and online videos, images and more. Register for a free account and you can even save search results to an online journal and even share results.
A colleague and I presented a six-hour workshop on using ARIS from the University of Wisconsin to create digital scavenger hunts. That’s what we used to create the digital Purim quest in 2012. If you’re interested in seeing what materials we shared, check out my wiki.
Funded in part by the PresenTense Group, The Jewish Teacher Project is a new website that aims to connect teachers in Jewish settings. Check them out!
Canva is the only place you need to go if you want to design awesome posters, presentations or cards. There is a large library of graphics from which to choose, or you can easily drag and drop your own. Once you’re done, you can download or print your creation or generate a weblink.
We all know that showing YouTube videos in class goes much more smoothly when you don’t have related videos or comments appear. ViewPure is a great tool for that! Drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar and use it whenever you want to show a video to get rid of distractions.
Think about this: Google is 12 years old, which means it’s been around for the entire lifespan of many of our students. What are the implications of teaching the “Google Generation?” That’s just what this article addresses.
Another thought-provoking article about how we approach student work can be found here.
If you’re interested in exploring how to use technology to teach reading, check out this article.
Do you think Jewish kids need to have “ethical tune-ups?” This thought-provoking post explores that.
Looking for free iPad apps? Bookmark Appsaga and HappiPapa for free apps and reviews. And how about Apps Gone Free, an app that lists daily free offers…
EDpuzzle is very, very cool. It gives you the opportunity to find an online video, crop it, add a voiceover and embed quizzes along the way to track student understanding. Awesome for teachers… or for students to use! Free (for now).
If you’re looking to follow some awesome teacher blogs, here are some suggestions.
Word Hippo is a cool resource if you’re searching for synonyms, antonyms, definitions, rhyming words and more.
For a fascinating trip back in time, check out these brief video clips explaining (or not explaining, as it were) what the Internet is (was):
Today show hosts off camera trying to figure out what the “@” sign means:
A 1981 news piece about newspapers exploring delivering content electronically:
Here’s a 1995 Newsweek Tech & Science article on why an online database will never replace your daily newspaper.
And, finally, Steve Jobs in 1980 predicting what people might be doing with the computers they were designing:
Citelighter is easybib on steroids. The basic version (free) allows you to create a project, search, highlight and organize your research all in one place.
Love poetry? Check out Poets.org from the Academy of American Poets. You can submit your email if you’d like the poem of the day emailed to you, connect with poets.org using social media, and read beautifully written articles on the act of writing (well, they are poets, after all…).
If you’re interested in exploring how to integrate digital tools into traditional lesson plans, check out Graphite. This website provides a useful framework to start with your objectives, designate a “hook,” integrate direct instruction, guided and independent practice, and end with a wrap up. At each point, you’re able to state which digital tool you want to integrate and articulate how the product fits into your plan. If you’re intrigued by this tool, you can check out app-flows that have been created by other teachers to get some ideas.
Happy Hanukkah! Happy Thanksgiving! Of course you know that the two best-fed holidays happen to coincide this coming week (latke stuffing, anyone?). This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Check out Dr. Joel Hoffman’s explanation on why this will never, ever happen again.
Those of us in the trenches realize that a teacher’s role has shifted dramatically over the last few years. This edweek article sums up authors Will Richardson and Marc Prensky’s take on the topic (hint: teachers must become learners first, and teachers second).
Ooooh…this site is fun. Metta allows you to create multimedia stories incorporating video, text, still photos, polls and voiceovers. It’s all stored online, and you can connect it to your Google drive. The free version allows you to create unlimited stories, but polls can only get 10 responses. If you think you’ll need a beefier plus account which accepts up to 100 responses per poll, it’s only $30/year for teachers. Check it out – I think it’s a winner!
I know many of you have used Socrative in the past and have enjoyed creating online quizzes for your students. They’ve come out with a new version. It’s still in beta (which means it could be glitchy and not work exactly as you expect), but you might want to check it out.
If you’re a Prezi fan and use it with your students, you might want to consider becoming a Prezi educator. Perks include a free PRO account and access to exclusive resources. Click here for more information.
We’re all thinking about everyone in the Philippines these days. A great resource is the Jewish Association of the Philippines. Check out the trailer from the movie “Rescue to the Philippines,” which tells the story of 1200 Jews who escaped Nazi Germany and immigrated to the Philippines.
What’s 150 years old this year? The Gettysburg Address! To celebrate, famed documentarian Ken Burns (many of your students are familiar with his legacy “Ken Burns Effect” in iMovie that zooms in or out of a still photo) has launched a national effort for Americans to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech. Visit the site to see celebrities (Stephen Colbert as Abe Lincoln, anyone?) in action. This is something your students can do!
We worry a lot about the abundance of “screen time” in which our student indulge, and the lack of face-to-face interaction. There’s a nice article at Edutopia on teaching your students to converse. This is a powerful complement to “Language is Power.” Read the article here.
In the “of course they are…” department: apparently Facebook is “amazed at the amount of (tech) talent in Israel.” So amazed, in fact, that Facebook’s first R&D center outside of the US is going to be there. Read more here.
Just because it’s a project doesn’t make it “project-based.” Read more about the difference here.
This is awesome. Apparently there’s a new thing on the ‘net where people color old b&w photos. Some of the results are just stunning! Check out the Reddit colorized history site.