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: https://drive.google.com/a/schechter.org/previewtemplate?id=1-nCxDCLcEAuge4wac5I5F_83GH9QNZpXpKCGMRl2utk&mode=public&ddrp=1#. 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.
- 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.
Most of us are old enough (cough, cough) to remember when there were no food allergies. When we could throw a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter into a bag so kids didn’t go hungry on field trips . . . Well, Stanford University is making some fascinating inroads into bringing those days back. Read more about Stanford’s medical trial in oral immunotherapy here.
The folks at TED-Ed have created a video and lesson for every element on the periodic table. You can view them by starting here. Not only are there videos, but there are also accompanying lesson plans with questions to deepen understanding, suggestions for further research, and, in some cases, guided discussion questions. This is obviously a great resource for teaching the periodic table, but also a good model for how to use video as a starting point for lessons.
I’m super excited about this article on digital learning. The author, Dr. Tim Clark, focuses on the various elements of a classroom (essential questions, assessment, classroom environment, etc.) and how technology can support them. I like this so much that I’m thinking about structuring a series of classes around this concept – let me know if you’d be interested.
Oh my! Wait’ll you see THIS! Here’s a beyond awesome Google tip: Did you notice that there’s a “Web clipboard” command under the Edit menu in many Google apps like Slides, Docs and Drawing? Do you have ANY idea what that means? Check it out: select the thing you want to copy to the web clipboard, and go to Edit > Web clipboard. Select “copy selection to web clipboard.” Unlike the invisible Mac clipboard that can only hold one item at a time, Google will save all the things you copy. Then you can paste whatever you’ve copied at a later date. But wait! There’s more. That elegant little web clipboard is available on any computer, any time you log in using your Google account. How sweet is that? I also tested this with Google Docs on the iPad . . . it worked as long as I used Chrome to edit the Google Doc (as opposed to using the Docs app). If you need a tutorial on this, here’s a good video:
Check it out – 15 strategies for teaching vocabulary. There are some great ideas here!
I’m fascinated by introducing alternate reality and gamification into the classroom – here’s a really interesting article about a teacher who did just that.
Chrome tip: check out this article for a list of great extensions to download and install to make Chrome even better.
Email’s awesome, right? Well, not always. Check out CoolCatTeacher’s blog post with some great email etiquette tips.
Remind (which used to be Remind101) is the coolest thing ever! I’ve talked about this before: set up a class, ask parents and/or students to join online, and you can text (or email) everyone with one click of a mouse! It’s also the coolest because it was developed by my former student Brett Kopf. Remind has instituted some big changes this year – learn more here.
Newsela is a news site that’s designed to help build reading comprehension. Like so many sites, there is a free and not-so-free version. The free version, though, does provide multiple news articles every day at various reading levels.
If you’re planning to create a class webpage, here’s a great article that talks about what you should and should not be putting out there.
This is a great idea – here’s a website where you can share photos without jumping through a lot of hoops. Create an event, invite friends, and everybody can upload. Genius!
Food for thought…here’s an interesting article about why flunking is good.
GAFE tip of the week: if you’re doing a research paper in Google docs and want to locate and cite scholarly sources, go to Tools > Research and search for the source. Want to cite it? Click either Cite as Footnote or Insert.
GAFE tip of the week: This is not for the faint-of-heart, but those who are bold enough to hop over here to learn about how to use canned responses in their Google mail. Very cool!
Planning to organize your smart phone or iPad apps this summer? Check out Mashable’s guide to creative organization strategies.
We’re so excited that we’re “going Google” next year! If you’d like to learn a little more about Google Apps for Education, visit Google’s overview. There are some great tutorials here.
What happens when you show kids an Apple II computer? Check it out:
For a fascinating look at how quickly data is generated on the Internet, check out The Internet in Real Time.
SAMR is a method of integrating technology into your teaching (SAMR – Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition). This graphic takes apps and websites and arranges them in a way that helps you decide what is the best technology to use to achieve your goals. Love it!
More free art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art! Full size images! Copyright-free for non-commercial use!
The Yivo Institute has just released their digital archive featuring some fascinating artifacts from life in pre-Holocaust Poland. There are photos, amateur videos, audio clips and more. Access it here.
If you’ve used PowToon before with your class, take a moment to check out the changes. If you haven’t used it, give it a glance. PowToons are animated presentations – think PowerPoint with oomph. My 7th graders are using it right now, and I think they’re really enjoying it!
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: