Check out these online games that help students learn about phonics, grammar and other reading skills.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
- Posterous: Thanks to the fact that students and teachers can post content by simply emailing all manner of media to their custom blog address, this tool is now at the top of my list. Automate the embedding of audio files, documents, and recorded video on your custom site.
- ScrapBlog: In using the concept of electronic 'scrapbook', this tool may be the easiest for your charges to understand. Rich templates professionalize the photo and video work of students, and the results can be shared in many ways.
- PBWiki: The humble wiki can play a lead role in allowing students to gather their work either individually, or as members of a group. Through a universally understood edit and share format, a variety of wiki tools are available, for use by schools.
- WetPaint: My favourite wiki tool can be made 'ad-free' for educational purposes by simply drafting an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. WetPaint wikis make it easy to create community around evolving projects, and the inviting 'easy edit' button and WYSIWYG editor make it easy for anyone to contribute.
- Wix: If you want a look and feel that's sure to be a hit with young people, this site engages animated menus and rich templates to embed all types of media. Although the site is in beta release, you can do things you can't do in traditional wikis & blogs, like rotating media to play on custom angles!
- Carbonmade: One of only a few tools designed specifically for e-portfolios, this free online app allows you to showcase images, flash media, or video. Creators can conveniently add text explanations or artist statements to pieces that appear on the site.
- Weebly: If you're looking for simple drag and drop utility in a web-based interface, this page creation tool can help you to highlight your digital work, or to bring attention to the multimedia creations of your students.
- WebNode: This tool is another free WYSIWYG page editor that allows you to post media into a number of ready-made templates.
- SimplyBox: If you require your students to pull together pieces from across the world wide web, this solution can be leveraged to highlight one's own online work, while referencing other sources that may have inspired the work.
- Google Sites: If you're a fan of Google services for email and document creation, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the free site creation tools available to registered users. Before going in too deep, familiarize yourself with the terms of service.
- Viewbook: If you're looking for a place to host photos, or scans of student artwork, and have a budget to do so, this tool's professional-looking interface may be your solution.
- Jalbum: This free alternative allows you to organize photos or scans in an offline layout, and then to post your work in the Jalbum community or elsewhere. The album creation software is free to download and to use.
- Drop.io: More than file sharing, this site uses a simple and clean interface to embed all types of media for playback or download.
- DropBox: While this resource is traditionally effective for sharing desktop files 'in the cloud', it can also be used to help students collect their work into one online location.
- For those looking for an e-portfolio reference to share with colleagues, you might find what you're looking for in the JISC document Effective Use of e-Portfolios.
Monday, February 16, 2009
This wiki contains ideas, resources, guidelines and instructional applications for using cell phones at school and for digital storytelling.
Cell phones are rapidly becoming ubiquitous in many school communities, but their presence in the classroom is commonly viewed as disruptive and unwanted. Modern cell phones offer a variety of capabilities, which are being used effectively by educators in different schools to support curricular learning objectives and boost student achievement. Explore reasons some school districts are embracing the use of cell phones for learning both inside and outside the classroom and examine specific guidelines school districts are utilizing for student cell phones. Explore specific applications of cell phones for learning, including use as electronic response systems, data access, media recording, homework tracking and social networking.
Build Your Wild Self is a collaborative project between the New York Zoos and Aquarium and the Wildlife Conservation Society. It allows users to build wild creatures by selecting from a wide variety of attributes. There are some great choices even if you choose to have the computer choose some random bits.
This site has sections on student and youth leadership, community leadership, team leadership and others.
Whether you want to work on standing out as a leader or just want to improve your confidence and charisma for all aspects of life, you can find some great guidance and advice on the Internet. These bloggers, some of whom are well-known writers, CEO’s and business professionals, can help you discover the leadership potential that exists in you so you can be more successful, productive and happy in any role in your life.
This post by Dean Shareski, a teacher in Moose Jaw, reminded me so much of the work of Russell Bishop's work.
What was formerly seen as nice, but not necessary, must now be first and foremost: teachers who care and relate to students. Teachers who will seek out what specific needs each student has and leads them in the right direction. What great lectures and content can never provide is relationship and caring. I don’t necessarily define caring and relationship as a seen in the movies, but rather someone who recognizes that their job is to create opportunity for students to not only learn content but pursue and find their passions. While that may seem like rhetoric, to me it’s become my mantra. I see all my students as desiring to be teachers, I see all the teachers I work with as teachers desiring to be better. I realize that may not always be the case, but that’s the premise I begin with.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Lessons on Cyber Bullying for Grades 5-12. To help educators address this issue in their classrooms, Media Awareness Network has developed a series of lessons, in English and in French, to give students a better understanding of the ethical and legal implications of cyber bullying and to promote positive Internet use. This group has included lessons intended to support and enhance school-based anti-bullying and empathy-building programs.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
In this day of high-stakes testing and frequent complaints from teachers that they “don’t have time to use technology” in the classroom, this wiki seeks to bridge the gap to help teachers see that technology doesn’t have to be an add-on that distracts them from focusing on the curriculum. Rather than accepting an either/or mentality, we can begin to connect technology to the accepted “best practices” that our districts expect to see in our classrooms.
Readers and contributors will learn and share information about specific Web 2.0 tools that can be used by teachers, and strategies that can be used with those tools that align with and support research-based effective instructional methods. Reference will be made to specific instructional strategies and a variety of examples will be shared covering all content areas from K-12 to college/university levels.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
From our good friends at Edutopia - the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Links include:
GLOBE at Night
Find easy-to-follow instructions for participating in this project at this site, where students can also record their observations of the night sky. Prior to the star-hunting event, students can log on to learn about Orion's role in Greek mythology, star magnitude, and other topics.
International Year of Astronomy 2009
A list of global projects designed to promote awareness of astronomy and dark skies. Some activities are too advanced for elementary school students.
The GLOBE Program
Abundant resources for integrating related lessons about such topics as atmosphere and climate, clouds, and hydrology.
400 Years of the Telescope
Information about a new documentary that follows astronomical discoveries starting from Galileo's first peek through the telescope. The site offers a viewing schedule and "Profiles in Astronomy" that may serve as excellent bases for history lessons.
Six modules for teaching about optics. Lessons range from studies of lasers to magnification and communicating with light.
The International Dark-Sky Association
Lessons about the solar system and the effects of light pollution on wildlife, as well as science, writing, and art projects for students ages 7-12.
National Optomical Astronomy Observatory
Contact Connie Walker at (520) 318-8000 to apply for a Light Pollution Education Tool Kit, which contains instructions, CDs, tips for demonstrations on light pollution, and a sky-quality meter.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
This wiki collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) conduct research more efficiently or creatively. Whether you need software to help you manage citations, author a multimedia work, or analyze texts, Digital Research Tools will help you find what you're looking for. They provide a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools in which we not only describe the tool's features, but also explore how it might be employed most effectively by researchers.