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.
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.
If you’re looking for apps to help run your classroom more smoothly, check out this blog post.
Intrigued by Pinterest? Here’s a great list of museums that share on this social networking site.
Here’s a list of 100 sites with information on gamification. These are great resources if you’re interested in using game elements in your classroom.
If you’re interested in using Google Forms in your classroom, visit this post. You’ll find forms you can reuse, articles about using Google Forms for rubrics, and how to create self-grading quizzes. Very cool!
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:
If you’re a dog lover like me, you’ll enjoy this heart warming video about guide dogs being trained by Technion students:
Who doesn’t love a good story? Check out these TED talks on telling a great story
Looking for Judaic texts online? Check out these great resources: http://www.library.upenn.edu/cajs/etexts.html, http://www.hebrewbooks.org/, and http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/109864/jewish/Classic-Texts.htm.
If you’ve got a little time to do some reading, check out this New York Times article on the best-selling education books of 2013.
Popuparchive is a really cool resource. You can explore the categories for sound clips, including an awesome collection of interviews done by Studs Terkel. You can also search by tag – the “African American Civil Rights” tag alone has 94 items.
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.
Studio Jew endeavors to “provide access to Jewish learning, even on the most basic level.” It’s the brainchild of Leah Weiss Caruso, who’s looking for people to participate in the content creation. D’var Torah, anyone? C’mon, you know you wanna…
Journalist Clive Thompson believes that digital writing is making kids smarter. Read his article here. Kathleen Costanza unpacks it – and adds her own resources for digital writing here.
Do not blame me if this website sucks you in! Check out Moovly to create animated videos. Know that cool effect where it looks like you’re writing on the screen? Yeah, you can do that there – along with animated presentations. This could be a good one to use with your students. You can add sound effects or record your own voice. I love this!
Apparently interactive whiteboards haven’t become the darlings of the edtech industry that they were expected to be. Read more here.
Edtech guru Wes Fryer has developed a website that lets you choose what kind of media you want to create (e.g. a narrated slideshow, or video or five photo story) and then get step-by-step directions to set it up. It’s a unique way of approaching creating media with your class. Check it out!
Some of you are already using Google docs in class. Here’s a great article with some ideas that integrate Google docs with teaching writing.
Knowmia is a site that provides a place for you to store videos, search for lessons created by other teachers or assign interactive lessons for your students. If you have an iPad, you can download their free app for lesson creation as well. FlippedClassroom is another great resource if you want to explore this teaching model.
The Science of Everyday Live is a Discovery Education site that provides videos and lessons connecting science to real life. While Discovery Education itself is a subscription service, this site offers lesson plans and videos at no cost (at least for right now).
Did you upgrade to iOS 7 and now you feel like you don’t know how to do anything with your iPhone or iPad? Check out this Forbes magazine article at for tips and tricks.
You may have heard about newest research study on U.S. Jews published by The Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. Among other things, the study shows that nearly one-third of Jews under age 32 do not identify as Jewish by religion. The JTA has their take on it and what funders think – read more at here. The Jewish Education Project is hosting a webinar on what all that means for Jewish educators – registration is closed (the webinar filled up within hours), but it will be recorded and posted for us to watch later on. You can read the study itself here.