The Strategic Education Research Partnership has a nice tool for teachers that provides a series of discussable dilemmas designed to promote students’ academic language and argumentation skills. It begins with questions like “What is the purpose of school?” Supporting materials for teachers and students are provided free of charge. There are resources for fourth through eighth grades.
From the University of Michigan…”ImagineNation Matters “virtual tour” modules are like storybooks come to life, in which upper elementary students can explore the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, experience the human drama of the Underground Railroad, or traverse the history of Mackinac Island. Each of our modules is in the form of a story that involves protagonists of the approximate age of our student participants.”
Spark101 features engaging, well-developed STEM video case studies for classroom use. Each video focuses on a problem and how it was approached in a professional context. For instance, a nine minute video on the Innovation Process at the Garfield Center described challenges facing healthcare and investigated how technology could provide a solution. Teacher resources and student packets are provided.
Like its sister website, haggadot.com, Custom and Craft gives you the tools to create a customized service. Just create an account and click “Create a service,” and begin!
Need to type something quickly in Hebrew? Pop over to Lexilogos for an easy, web-based keyboard.
If you’re looking to learn something new about EdTech and Google Apps, check out ControlAltAchieve. Free webinars are posted as well as blog posts with tips and tricks.
“Digital news platforms make it easy to find any information about any topic on any device. But they also push us into a “filter bubble”, a silo of information that validates our opinions more than informing or challenging them…” Such begins a fascinating article about how social media and online news platforms ironically make our world smaller. Read the article here and to see a great TED talk by author Eli Pariser here.
TeachThought is an easy-to-navigate website with lots of great information for teachers, “dedicated to supporting educators in innovation in teaching and learning for a 21st century audience…with ideas and resources for K-20 teachers through our site, and extends to our design of school models, learning models, curriculum, technology, apps, and other learning tools through collaborations with other organizations.”
Check out the TeachersFirst website. Sign up for a free account, and you can search for lesson plans, projectables, articles and more.
The Maccabeats and Naturally 7 teamed up to do a lovely cover of James Taylor’s Shed a Little Light. What a great video to share with students! And if you want to share the lyrics as well, I’ve created a Google doc with them.
Creative Commons. Creative Commons. Creative Commons. I can’t say it enough. What’s Creative Commons? That’s the licensing protocol that allows creators to share their creations and say it’s okay (or it’s not okay) for people to use/reuse/remix their stuff. With our digital citizenship curriculum materializing, we’re doing our students a disservice if we continue to allow them to simply do a web search for images and use whatever they find. One solution is to use a search engine that only returns results that are copyright-free. One such resource is Pixabay. You can do a search and then filter by photos, videos, or illustrations. Give it a shot!
Got plans this summer? Check out the National Endowment for the Humanities summer programs website for an impressive listing of summer programs. Stipends are available.
NoCamels is an innovative name for an innovative website about, well, innovations in Israel. It’s ad-supported and a little annoying, but there’s good info on there and it would be a great destination for a student seeking current events articles.
The Google Cultural Institute website is an extraordinary collection of works that are searchable and browsable. A search of “Chagall” returned information about the artist, links to four exhibits and 278 items. There are 950 collections in this impressive resource, including museums, Carnegie Hall, Yad Vashem, the Metropolitan Opera, Life’s photo collection and more.
I love stuff in the public domain – don’t you? ICYMI – the public domain means materials for which intellectual property rights don’t apply. In other words, it’s stuff you (and your students) can use in documents, videos, and other products. The New York Public Library has over 670,000 items that are in the public domain, and many of them are available online. For more info, visit the NYPL’s digital collection.
Here’s an iBook you can download to your iPad to help with finding educational content for iPads.
Ever wonder what nightingales singing by a river in Spain sounds like? How about American Tree Frogs in Indiana? To answer all your burning nature sound questions, visit Nature Soundmap, a collaborative project of over ninety professional nature recordists. For instance, here’s a lovely recording of marsh birds on a Sunday morning in Oregon:
All too often, students (and, um, adults) don’t ask questions because they don’t want to sound dumb. Here’s a great video about some research that says otherwise.
Here’s a fun link: go to Google, and search for “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.” Be sure your sound is on.
If you’re a Google Classroom user, you might want to check out this list of 20 ways to use Classroom in your, well, classroom. And, speaking of Classroom, this blog post discusses strategies for using Classroom to support differentiation.
Think innovation! Here’s a good list for teachers looking to up their innovative classroom game.
Don’t Google it…Grok it! Go to Instagrok, type in your search terms, and you’ll get an interactive and customizable map. This is very cool.
February is around the corner, and with it comes the Illinois Computing Educators Conference! Lots of great workshops, keynotes and general technology hilarity. It’s close, it’s cheap and it’s usually worth spending a day or two traveling to St. Charles. Check it out here.
Who remembers PacMan? Now you can create your own PacMan quiz for your students. Check it out here.
Looking for Chanukah resources? Jacob Richman has assembled an impressive list of web resources, including coloring pages, videos (over 500 at last count), songs and more.
ComicMaster is a really nice looking website for creating your own short graphic novels (or, as we used to call them, comics). Signing up is free and you can save or print.
At EdJEWcon we used backchanneling a lot. That’s where you use a website where participants can add their thoughts during a presentation. If you like the idea and would like to explore using it in class, check out this blog post.
This is fun! If you’d like for your students to create their own Facebook-type pages, you can download a PowerPoint template that they can modify as needed. Download it here. If you’d like to stick with a Google doc, here’s a tutorial you can use.
I wanted to remind everyone about Newsela. Newsela is a great site for current events articles. You can sign up using your Google credentials, create classes, and assign articles. You can even choose the right reading level for your students.
Here’s a terrific way to get notifications every time a Google folder is changed. This is big, folks!
Hour of Code is coming! In honor of Computer Science Week, tens of millions of students spend one hour during the week between December 7th and 11th learning how to code. If you’re interested in committing an hour of class (and it doesn’t have to be an hour at one time) to having your students delve into some aspect of coding, here are some great resources:
The brain is the coolest! Here’s a great article with nine things teachers should know about it.
Oooooh – this awesome (if somewhat geeky) article presents a great set of tools to use to discover if that viral news story is really true. Not only are some of these sites useful if you want to just verify if something is true or not, but they could form the basis for a terrific lesson plan on media literacy.
Love Excel but want to use Google Sheets for sharing ease? Here’s a nice selection of Excel-like tools that you may not have known are available in Sheets.
You know how I’m a big fan of copyright-free image sources for students. Photos For Class is a terrific search tool to find appropriate images that include proper citation. For instance, I downloaded this image and you can see that the source info is embedded at the bottom. Very nice!
Slate has an interesting article about how artificial intelligence is changing schools. What do you think?
If you’re a fan of Explain Everything on the iPad, check out this article with tons of links to resources.
And… a couple of reminders about our friends the iPads:
Doing a hard reset:
If an iPad isn’t responding, and you’ve tried everything else, try a hard reset.
This is how you do it:
- hold down the home button
- hold down the power button
- Wait until you see the Apple logo – it’s about 10 seconds.
You don’t have to do it often, but when you have to do it, you have to do it.
Add Hebrew to the keyboard:
- Tap on Settings
- Tap on General
- Tap on Keyboard
- Tap on Keyboards
5. Tap on Add New Keyboard