Infographics are everywhere – they’re great for displaying a lot of information on a screen or in a poster. For an easy way to create them, visit Easel.ly. Pick a theme, drop in your information and go!
LibriVox is a great website with free audiobooks from the public domain. You can listen online or download them.
If you’d like to record a 30-second audio clip, or have your students record one, visit Croak.it. Like similar audio recording websites, it’s easy to use and pretty intuitive. Unlike other websites, however, Croak.it stores your audio clip on its own web server and gives you a URL where you can find it later. Very nice! It’s limited to 30 seconds, though, so you (or your students) need to be concise! There are also free iOS and Android apps.
Haiku Deck is a nice easy-to-use app that creates slide show presentations. Here’s a good article about Haiku Deck and its possibilities.
A number of my colleagues and I attended a terrific workshop last week on Burley School’s iPad program, given by first grade teacher Kristin Ziemke. Kristin blogs about Burley’s iPad journey – it’s a great resource!
ThingLink is a website where you can upload an image and add video and audio. Think of it as a tool to turn a static image into an interactive graphic. There’s a great toolkit to explore how to use it as a teaching tool and a slide show that explains more. I love it!
Here’s a terrific article at TeachThought about how to promote student self-direction in your classroom.
Yeshiva University has created a useful network for Jewish educators using technology in the classroom called YU2.0. There are blogs, forums and groups for special interest such as Apps in education, connecting with Israel via technology and SMART Boards in the classroom.
There are a few good websites to use if you want to create a timeline, but one of the nicest is Preceden. A basic account is free, but you should know that timelines are viewable by the public. Timelines are interactive and can include media.
And now… math in action (literally). Mindshift has a great article about how one fifth grade teacher blended math and dancing to teach about patterns.
Proving that you can find beauty in anything, Professor Gary Greenberg invented high-definition, three-dimensional light microscopes that he uses to take unbelievable photographs of the most mundane of subjects…sand. Viewed – and photographed – through Dr. Greenberg’s invention, sand becomes a real work of art. View his gallery here.
Happy Tu B’shevat! Per the Open Siddur Project, The first ever published seder for Tu Bishvat — Pri Etz Hadar (The Fruit of the Majestic Tree) — can be found in a kabbalistic text, first published as a pamphlet in Venice in 1728. The first three sections have been translated. Go hug a tree!
I know I’ve told you about education blogger Will Richardson before. Will has a new company and they’re offering one of their eBooks for free. Visit Powerful Learning to download your free copy of The Connected Teacher: Powering Up, filled with “22 brief articles that…will inspire more educators to become connected learners and transform their practice to better serve iGeneration kids.”
If you’re interested in finding lesson plans that can be used with any of Google’s resources (you know… like YouTube, Sketchup, Docs or GoogleEarth), GO HERE NOW.
Speaking of lesson plans: did you know that the Library of Congress (yes…that one…) has a terrific website with tons of resources for using the LOC primary sources? Check it out - hey, it’s our tax dollars at work! And, if you’re looking for Common Core standards, you can filter the resources that way!
Speaking of Common Core standards, did you know there’s an app for that? If you’ve got an iOS device, you can download a free app here.
And, finally, here’s another one of those great websites where you can remix web videos. Be sure to share these with your students when appropriate – they love them!
Just how do we SEE light? This YouTube video explains it all… in less than three minutes. This video is created by YouTube user MinutePhysics who has posted over sixty such videos!
If you’re just dragging photos from the Internet you could be guilty of copyright infringement! If you or your students need to add photos to a project, check out this website with more than 250 FREE stock photography sites.
Created by a former Whitney Young High School teacher, noredink is a really interesting concept. Create a free teacher account, create a class, and create a quiz or assignment. Choose the grammar category you want (options currently are commonly confused words, apostrophes, subject/verb agreement, or commas, fragments and run-ons) and noredink will create the quiz or assignment for you. Students log in and take the quiz – and you don’t use any red ink! What’s really cool about noredink is that your students set up profiles and include the things that are important to them – hobbies, TV shows, friends, etc., – and the website creates assignments that relate to them. Once students have completed the assignments, you can log in and manage the class and see where weak areas are. It’s really new, so I’m sure we’ll see some more improvement (and probably a more aggressive pay model) in the future. This one has some real potential!
You might find this article in The Jerusalem Post about Jewish farming interesting. Apparently there’s an educational farm in Maryland that teaches educators how to make pickles with their students. Anyone up for canning?
If you’re a SMART Board user, you might want to check out Notebook Gallery. It has games, templates, videos and more. And while I’m talking about SMART Boards, let me mention that the long-awaited Notebook app for the iPad is finally here. There’s a review of the app here. We’ll be downloading one for testing – stay tuned!
Sometimes ya just have to convert (from one kind of file size to another, that is…). Did you get a WordPerfect file but you only have Word? Or do you have a movie that you’d like to have formatted for the iPhone? Check out OnlineConvert for all your converting needs!
And while we’re talking about converting… was there ever a time that you needed an audio file from a YouTube video? Easy as pie (just how easy is pie?) – copy the URL from YouTube, and paste it here. Poof – you can download the mp3 file!
How big is infinity (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-big-is-infinity)? Just how small is an atom (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/just-how-small-is-an-atom)? How powerful can simple words be (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-power-of-simple-words)? All these videos – and more – can be found at TED-Ed: Lessons worth sharing. An obvious spin-off of the popular site, TED, TED-Ed promises videos that “aim to capture and amplify the voices of the world’s greatest educators.” Have a great lesson you’d like to see animated? Write a script and submit it at http://ed.ted.com/get_involved#/suggest_a_lesson. I love me some TED!
Have you been to SpellingCity? Besides generating spelling test and games, the website also provides interactive whiteboard ready games like hangmouse, word-o-rama and more.
And, finally…can you believe that Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner? To get you in the mood, check out Latma’s video below. I gotta feeling…That this year’s gonna be a good year…This year’s gonna be a good, good year…
MathMovesU is, as you might guess, a math site created by the folks at Raytheon. It’s slick, it’s free, and its goal is to excite kids about math. There are math games, free worksheets, and links to scholarships and grants.
I remember the job board from my elementary school days very well. It included jobs for kids like erasing the chalkboard, feeding the fish, and writing out the date in cursive. Inquiry Live in the Classroom has a timely blog post with jobs for the 21st century here.
Need your students to record audio? You may remember me telling you about Vocaroo, the terrific website where students can record audio and email it right to you. There are a number of different websites to accomplish that – all with different features. Check out the list here.
Did you know that 70% of students ages 2-5 can use a mouse? That 40% of elementary teachers use computers during in-class instruction? Check out this most interesting infographic on tech use in class.
Quiet time for everyone! Read how one school turned itself around using daily meditation.
If you’ve got an iOS device (like an iPhone, iPad or iPod) or an Android phone, you can now magically transfer photos or contacts using the app Bump. Read more about it here.
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too… Shel Silverstein rocks! Did you know there’s a Shel Silverstein YouTube Channel?
Inspire, improve and innovate – here’s a selection of SlideShares that will get you thinking about what you do and how you do it!
Summer’s coming, and I know my “to read” list is growing and growing. How about you? Is there such a thing as Jewish fiction? Moment Magazine asked a bunch of authors including Geraldine Brooks, A. B. Yehoshua and Shalom Auslander what they thought.
Ever create that perfect lesson plan and think “I could sell this”? Now, maybe you can. Teachers Pay Teachers has the answer – you can sell (or buy) lesson plans!
If you’ve got an hour to spare, watch David Bryfman speak on “what is Jewish experiential education?” He’s terrific and this is an important topic.
You may know that I’m a big fan of my morning coffee. A recent study concludes that coffee drinking is “was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality.” That’s a good thing… You can read the summary here - and if you can read it at Starbucks, even better!
The hype for the summer Olympics has begun… The torch is flying to Cornwell today to begin its 8,000-mile pre-games relay. You can keep track of the torch’s progress here. You can find out all you want to know about the Olympics by checking out the resources at Larry Ferlazzo’s blog.
Everybody who writes (that’s pretty much all of us…) can benefit from this awesome lists of websites.
If you’ve ever wanted to have your students peruse a selection of websites that you predetermine, check out Jog the Web. It’s also a great way to organize websites for yourself. There’s a nice tutorial here.
I know you know how much I love TED talks… The AVI CHAI Foundation has launched a Jewish version – ELI Talks. There are only a few right now, but more are coming.
WWGS (What would George say?). George Washington vowed that America would give “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance…” Washington’s iconic letter avowing religious tolerance will be displayed in a special exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia opening in June. There’s a nice article in The Forward at about the letter and how it was acquired by the museum.
Are we stifling creativity in the classroom? “The urge to create has never been stronger, and the ability to create is unprecedented, yet a new global study shows that most people feel they are not living up to their own creative potential,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe (the premier creative software manufacturer). You can download Adobe’s study here.
Got a Torah in your pocket? If you have an iPad, iPhone or Android device, that’s not as hard as it sounds. You can download the app or even better – if you want to access PocketTorah via the web, boot up Safari or Chrome (it doesn’t work in Firefox yet) and click here. Click on any parshah (they’re divided by aliyah) to hear the trope.
Who says money doesn’t buy happiness? Not Michael Norton. Check out his TED talk about money and how spending it on other people can make you happier:
Maybe you’ve heard about the concept of “flipping the classroom.” In a nutshell, flipping means having your students watch a lecture online in advance of class, and then use classroom time to work on something together. This was popularized by Salman Khan and Khan Academy. If you’re interested in flipping your classroom, TED and YouTube have a great tool for you. Visit TED-Ed, find a YouTube video that you’d like to use for your flipped classroom, and use the integrated tools to add a description, some related resources and discussion questions. Anyone wanna flip?
“Our ultimate goal as teachers is to create curious problem-solvers and critical thinkers.” Agree? There’s a great article at Creative Educator that addresses the question of, well, questions, and how asking great ones can inspire and motivate your students. Read the whole article here.