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Links You’ll Love

From Richard Byrne:

Unfiltered News is a new site that uses an interactive cartogram to help you find trending news stories from around the world. Open the website and click on a topic listed within one of the circles on the map. Once you’ve made a selection a list of stories will appear on the right side of your screen. Click on a story to read it in full. From the menu on the right side of the screen you can choose a different location and a new list of stories will appear.

JoeZoo Express is a free Google Docs Add-on that could change the way that you grade students’ work in Google Documents. JoeZoo enables you to give feedback on students’ Google Documents by simply highlighting text then selecting feedback statements from a huge menu of options. This is awesome!

Here’s a great template to use if you want your students to create fake social media profiles for historical figures: As a reminder, it’s against Facebook’s TOS (terms of service) to allow your students to use Facebook for fake profiles, and Facebook is developing some sophisticated tools to ferret them out, so use this instead!

And from my “Tech Tuesday” column on SAMR:

The Technology: SAMR

SAMR is a framework for integrating technology into teaching. Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, SAMR tackles the use of technology in the classroom through four-steps:

Substitution, Augmentation, Modifcation, and Redefinition.

SAMR can be a useful blueprint for teachers who are interested in infusing technology into their classrooms in a thoughtful way, rather than just throwing in, “technology for technolgy’s sake.”  In this four-part series, I’ll look at different kinds of technology that can help you with each of the four SAMR steps.  

Note that my above explanation of SAMR is very cursory. You can find much more information about SAMR here.


The first step in the SAMR framework, “substitution”, simply refers to taking something that you regularly do in your classroom with traditional tools, and shift to using new technology tools in their place. This is a great place to start for teachers who may be a little wary of using technology, and it’s typically fun for students to try something new and different. 

Some suggestions:

  • Instead of writing things out longhand, invite your student to create documents with a word processor. Google is a free and easy tool for this. For more information about Google and its uses, see this Technology Tuesday.
  • Electronically distribute handouts. The Handouts app, which Technology Tuesday covered last week, is terrific for this.
  • Use  a Google form in place of exit slips. At its simplest, this is merely a substitution activity. There is an added benefit, though, for the teacher, since the students’ answers populate a spreadsheet, making it easier to assess.

March 25, 2016 - Posted by | Links, Uncategorized |

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