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.
October is Connected Educator Month. How can you become a connected educator? One way is to attend the first ever Chicago area JEDcamp on October 20th right here. Visit our website for more information. Or go directly to the registration site.
Want to use QR codes? Here’s a nice roundup with 12 ideas for using QR codes in your classroom.
YouTube has launched a library of copyright free music that your students can use for their projects. Learn more about it or visit YouTube’s audio library.
Funded in part by AT&T, Educade is a collection of lesson plans that you can browse by grade, subject, tool and/or platform. It’s very cool – and you can add your own!
Interested in building your digital classroom this fall? PBS is offering free webinars on awesome topics like incorporating social media (as in Twitter) into your classroom and how to integrate tablets (as in iPads). The webinars will be recorded so you can view them afterwards. Check out the “get your tech on” site.
The good folks at Edutopia have a great article on primary source documents and how to find them. Millions of images from Life Magazine? I’m in! Check it out!
Shoutout to my colleague Natalie for finding this fun YouTube video about kindergartners and how they created movies using the iPad about butterflies.
If you’re interested in learning how to use iMovie for the iPad, check out KQED’s video tutorial. What a great resource!
Here’s a lengthy but thought provoking read on “Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?” The name says it all. You can read it here.
I love, love, love this article about a real life physics teachers who uses iTunes U to create courses for his students. He’s really pushing the envelope on integrating technology! Oh, and by the way, he’s my colleague Hallie’s son-in-law. Read more here.
Want to explore using iPads in class? Check out our newly created wiki.
JEDcamp is coming to SSDS and we couldn’t be more excited! Check out our website and “like” us on Facebook. Click here for more info about the JEDcamp movement.
You know that I’m a proponent of teaching kids from a young age that you should always use copyright-free images from the web (just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s okay to use). Here’s a great article with lots of resources for finding public domain images.
I know everybody in my school would have been delighted if we could have given each class a dedicated set of iPads, but, alas, that’s not possible. Sometimes, though, sharing is just fine. Ed blogger Royan Lee posts here about how he manages iPad sharing in class.
More on exploring mobile learning – in this Edutopia five-minute film festival there are videos about how educators are embracing mobile devices in the classroom.
We all knew this anyway… but here’s a nice article about the impact music learning has on higher test scores.
App worth watching: I’m intrigued by the TouchCast app – a free app that lets you create iPad presentations that integrate video, Twitter feeds and more. Check out their intro video here.
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:
“… 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.