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.
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.
I know lots of you are finding creative ways to use Google Drive in your classrooms. This article lists 12 ways to use Google Drive and features a link to a really nice glog which serves as a visual guide to Google Drive. I’m not always a fan of Glogster, but this one is a great example.
What does gifted really mean? Here’s an interesting article about redefining gifted and talented.
Einstein – we’ve all heard of him – is a name now associated with a science tablet for schools that has been developed in Israel. The tablet boasts sensors that can be used with science experiments. Read more here.
And, speaking of tablets, read about how tablets are becoming standard classroom accessories in this New York Times article.
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.
Gaming in education is a favorite topic of mine. Here’s an interesting resource from Israeli edtech lab MindCET on kids and digital games. You can download the PDF file.
Speaking of games, MIT has unleashed a new online game for math and science. Read more here.
Need to atone? Wanna atone online? Wanna atone online with a virtual scapegoat? Check out G-dcast’s Atone with the eScapegoat!
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.
Every year my seventh graders create movies about the monuments and memorials that they’re going to visit while touring Washington, DC. I, ahem, like to call them the “Monumentaries” (insert groan here). The students do their research and then create a Keynote presentation teaching others about the inspiration for the monument and process of creating and building it. They then turn the slide show into a self-running presentation by adding a voiceover with timing and background music. Then we export it as a movie. It’s a pretty seamless and glitch-proof way to make a movie (they do a lot with iMovie in 8th grade so we focus on presentation software in 7th).
In past years I’ve burned the movies onto DVDs so the kids can watch them while on the bus, but since we allowed the students to bring their cellphones on the trip this year we chose to put them on YouTube. I created QR codes by monument or memorial, so the students can easily scan the QR code to see the movie at the appropriate location.
Easy, peasy – QR codes in DC!
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!).