Useful links

Buzzing about Hexagons | Pete Sanderson’s @LessonToolbox Blog “The post describes a number of ways in which hexagons have been used to support learning in the classroom.”
The @DavidGeurin Blog: Adaptable Learners Will Own the Future “We must develop skills that are transferable to unknown situations. To quote Alvin Toffler, the ultimate 21st Century skill is the ability to “learn, unlearn, and relearn.” It is a tremendous advantage to be creative, innovative, and adaptable.”
5 Great eBook Libraries for Kids ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “The list here offers some options for some popular eBook libraries where parents and teachers can access a wide variety of reading materials designed specifically for young readers. From storybooks to comics and interactive games, these websites will absolutely help you curate the best reading materials for younger readers. “
63 Things Every Student Should Know In A Digital World Many of the things listed here have always been advisable but also apply to the digital world. It is also more apparent in the online spaces when students do not understand the fundamentals of being in that world.

Beautiful questions… and a whole school unit of inquiry – What Ed Said “A beautiful question is an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we perceive or think about something—and that might serve as a catalyst to bring about change.’ Warren Berger ~ A More Beautiful Question. This generally starts with a ‘why?‘ question which identifies the need for change, followed by ‘what if?‘ which imagines new possibilities, and moving onto the ‘how?‘ which leads to action.”

Seven Ways to Cultivate Joy and Empathy in Math Class | Greater Good “One educator shares tales of teaching life lessons to her students, alongside integrals and exponential.”
This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News On Facebook – BuzzFeed News Interesting discussion about the growth of “fake news” in today’s world. “In the final three months of the US presidential campaign, the top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News, and others, a BuzzFeed News analysis has found.Up until those last three months of the campaign, the top election content from major outlets had easily outpaced that of fake election news on Facebook. Then, as the election drew closer, engagement for fake content on Facebook skyrocketed and surpassed that of the content from major news outlets.”
Diversity, Cybersecurity and the Future of Libraries: Day 2 Recap From Educause | EdSurge News “Timothy Chester, who won the Educause 2016 Community Leadership Award, says that the overwhelming amount of information available at our fingertips causes humans to react in two ways: shut down or follow the crowd. “People simply follow the voice that is the loudest,” he said, pointing to the current U.S. presidential election and the rise of the Arab Spring as examples. Chester told faculty that, like mass media organizations and governments, they are no longer gatekeepers of information but rather stewards and facilitators that help students make sense of the information around them.”

Save Time with Social Media Tools | Knowledge Quest “Many of us feel time poor. The If This Then That (IFTTT) website, discussed here, does not provide more time but it may save what we have by cross-promotion. It allows users to dive deeper into promoting our work/ideas with a variety of social media tools with the one action. Social media can be a great way to share your journey and advocate for the things you do that impact your school community.

If This Then That (IFTTT) website connects different social media tools by using “recipes.” For example, You may link your YouTube channel to a Google spreadsheet to keep track of what you put there or you may post to your Instagram account and the same post will automatically appear on your Twitter account too.” The how-to is also discussed.
In the war on fake news, school librarians have a huge role to play – The Verge An interesting article that explains some of the problems and how the skills of teacher librarians can assist in informing readers about how to better understand what they seeing/hearing
AASL Defines “Effective School Library Program” for ESSA Implementation | Knowledge Quest “The national association for the school library profession, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has defined the term “effective school library program” to assist with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at the state and district level:”
AASL Position Statements – School Libraries & ESSA AASL site. This page has links to their definitions and statements. The first is a definition that is the new position statement, “Definition for an Effective School Library Program,” published by AASL as guidance for administrators, school boards and school librarians in the implementation of ESSA. It provides the elements of an effective school library program as a fundamental component of college, career and community readiness.
Statement on information literacy :: ASLAFrom the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and Australian School Library Association (ASLA). Its purpose”:To describe what is information literacy in the context of an information literate school community.”
Children and Reading – The Facts – National Reading Campaign National Reading Campaign Sept 2013. “Interested in what the research says about children and reading? All of the reading facts are relevant to how reading shapes children’s futures. But here’s a synopsis of the child-specific research:”
Virtual LC – SLAV LEARNING COMMONS “The new vision of the learning commons sets the library as a hub of activity in the school – a magnet for a range of teaching professionals to connect with students and to extend their own professional learning and practice. The teacher-librarian is a facilitator in this setting, coaching other professionals, connecting them with each other and with resources. The library’s virtual space can be as much of a hub as the physical space, where resources, technology, user-focused design and innovative teaching practices mingle to empower learners. “
Year of the Learning Commons The Libguide for  “Celebrating the Transformation of School Libraries and Computer Labs into a Learning Commons  April, 2015 ~ May 2016. Celebrate, initiate, advocate and create opportunities all year.”
The Research Files Episode 24: Innovative Learning Environments | Teacher | ACER “An interview with the with a member of a research team that will be investigating how teachers are using their learning environments to improve student learning outcomes. They will be sharing strategies and best practice.”
Teaching Questioning in Reading – Before, During and After Lesson – Australian Curriculum Lessons “A good way to get children to think about creating questions as they read, and in turn, builds their comprehension. In this lesson, students use computer software (Inspiration 9) to map out their questions and spend time at the end of the session answering their questions to build their understanding.”

Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Primary Teacher Resources “The Budd:e Cybersecurity Education package consists of two activity-based learning modules, one for primary school students, and one for secondary school students.  Both modules contain engaging, media-rich activities and resources, developed in consultation with teachers and subject matter experts. You will also find comprehensive Teacher Resources for Budd:e including background and contextual information, a video demonstration of the modules, lesson plans with learning outcomes for each activity, and curriculum maps for all Australian states and territories. Budd:e is part of the broader Australian Government cybersecurity initiative, aimed at creating a safer, more secure online environment for all Australian children”

ThinkUKnow “ThinkUKnow is a free, evidence-based cyber safety program that provides accessible cyber safety education to parents, carers and teachers through schools and organisations across Australia. It uses a network of trained law enforcement members and accredited volunteers from our program partner organisations to deliver the cyber safety education presentations nationwide. Originally developed in the United Kingdom by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, ThinkUKnow Australia was established by the AFP in 2009.
ThinkUKnow is a partnership between Microsoft Australia, Datacom and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and is delivered in collaboration with the New South Wales Police Force, Northern Territory Police, Queensland Police Service, South Australia Police, Tasmania Police, Western Australia Police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.”

Stay Smart Online “Stay Smart Online provides all Australian online users with information on the simple steps they can take to secure themselves online. This includes information and advice on how to secure your computer and your transactions online. This website contains a free alert service that provides easy to understand information on the latest cyber security threats and vulnerabilities, a free interactive education resource for primary and secondary school students, videos with useful tips on protecting your computer, a self assessment tool for small businesses, and information for parents.” Yehnay
Home | Scamwatch Scamwatch is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.
What I’m Reading—Jeff Wilhelm | edu@scholastic If we want to cultivate lifelong readers, and for our students to gain the benefits and access to civil rights that come from this, what do we need to do? The article suggests that by cultivating all five pleasures (identified i y surveying readers) necessary we can promote lifelong reading. “These are already central to our engaged reading and we must make them all central to our teaching”.
Vaughan Memorial Library : Tutorials : Plagiarism An interactive tutorial that explains plagiarism. It is a big problem with serious consequences. Point out that “Researching ethically is also researching efficiently: not only will you learn how to avoid plagiarism, but you’ll also pick up some good research tips too.”
Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles” | TED Talk | TED.com “As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy”

Reading and Audiobooks

img_7512-html-smlThe SLAV conference, Engaging teen readers, last Friday was very interesting and informative. We had great presentations. Many of the presenters were practising teacher librarians who gave many examples about how they support and encourage reading in their schools. The last session was a panel discussion about the definitions of  “a reader” and  “what constitutes reading” where panelists discussed their ideas. Playing the Devil’s Advocate, I asked the question “Is listening to Audiobooks cheating?” The panel answered and it also got quite a reaction from the floor. It certainly livened up the following discussion when we opened up the discussion to the conference delegates. Their ideas were collected on a Padlet for use later.

Personally, I love listening to audiobooks. I especially appreciate them when I am travelling in the car on long journeys. I particularly like the unabridged versions of novels and also the BBC radio plays.  I still read a lot of print books and I have both versions of the books. Both pique my imagination and I can remember just as much about the book no matter whether I use my eyes or ears. I teach some dyslexic boys who really appreciate having audio as well as text available to them. Digital technologies have made it even easier to support these students with audio as they all have their own personal devices with which to obtain their audiobook.

Some of the links provided/shared supporting audiobooks  were excellent.

One of the infographics I liked is below. It seeks to describe the benefits of audiobooks by debunking some of the myths that circulate. It also offers some ideas that teachers could pick up on and use with their students.

It was published by Learning Ally and We Are Teachers

We Are Teachers offers educators inspiration for lessons as well as professional development resources. Their mission is to promote innovation in education through collaboration and connection to the most effective classroom resources

Learning Ally offers more than 80,000 human-narrated audiobooks through an easy-to-use online platform. Audiobooks are proven to help students with reading disabilities become better readers and learners. Find out more about how Learning Ally helps students with reading disabilities achieve academic success.

audiobooks-forget-the-myths-infographic-html

Engaging Teen Readers: SLAV Conference 25th Nov 2016

The final School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) Conference for 2016 looked at how to keep students engaged & develop and/or continue to develop a culture of reading into adulthood.

We were welcomed to the State Library of Victoria (SLV) by Andrew Hiskens (Manager, Learning Services) who explained the SLV’s Strategic Plan for the next few years.

Will Kostakis, the acclaimed author of YA literature, gave the Keynote address, Being Brave: ‘Difficult’ Topics in Literature and Writing. His presentation was fantastic. Honest and humorous, he had the audience spellbound and totally focussed on the experiences he had when starting out (he began to write very early in primary school) and how he has developed and grown into his writing

The program included over 10 Concurrent Sessions that gave practical examples of how we can engage teen readers. Those presenting gave us so many ideas about how to approach reading with our teen readers. There were so many interesting things going on in the schools they came from that it will take me some time to reflect on them. I can see so many ways they  will be useful in my school.

The tweets are collected in this Storify

Book Review: Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens

I had the chance to read a few novels over the past 2 weeks and especially enjoyed the newest addition to the Wells and Wong series. These books are a great read for girls who enjoy the crime genre with the added bonus of the Boarding house life (so no annoying adults to stifle the protagonists adventures.)

Jolly Foul Play (A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery, #4)Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another delightful tale about our two young detectives, Daisy and Hazel, who again have to deal with another murder in their school Deepdene, a year after their first investigation. This is the fourth book in the Wells and Wong series by Robin Stevens .
In this classic whodunit mystery set in the 1930’s, Elizabeth, a mean-spirited Head Girl has been found dead next to the bonfire on the fireworks night at Deepdean School for Girls. Although the teachers think that it was an accident, Daisy Wells and Heather Wong, aka The Detective Society, immediately see that it she was murdered and get on to the case.
This year’s Head Girl Elizabeth Hurst, who together with her team of prefects, the Big Girls, loved to terrorise the younger students, seemed to have been in possession of other students secrets and was especially fond of using them to leverage her power. After Elizabeth’s death, some may have felt safe but then the secrets of Deepdean start to surface, one at a time, written in pieces of paper and spread all around the grounds. The plot revolves around these secrets and the consequences that occur once they are revealed. Many friendships and loyalties are tested and Kitty, Beanie and Lavinia, the other girls from Daisy and Hazel’s dormitory, have bigger roles to play in solving the crime this time.
As usual the book is packed with red-herrings and suspicious behaviour. There were the twists and turns as the loyalties between the girls is tested. Silly small things blew up into major arguments and jealousies raged at times but the determination and spirit in this English boarding school overcame them in the end when the clues finally dropped into place and the danger was successfully alleviated.
This story was a good romp, complete with bun breaks, midnight feasts, gym-knickers, hockey sticks, and other “jolly japes”. The narrative has an excellent pace, likeable characters and seems right for the period, with several references to what is happening beyond the Deepdean world. Modern language is used with occasional period words, explained in the glossary at the end, thrown in for effect so younger readers can easily relate to the character and events.
There were occasionally references to previous adventures but nothing that gets in the way of the story for a new reader. Anything important from the past was explained as events unfolded in the story. A great addition to the series and the genre.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Kicking Goals with Goodesy and Magic

Teaching in a boys school, I am always on the lookout for books that will appeal to my students. Kicking Goals is one that meets many of the requirements I have to make me recommend a book to my students as a “should read”.

It is an entertaining and inspiring book. What is there not to love about it? Kicking Goals is about two well-known sportsmen who have set high standards, not only concerning their sport but also about how they live their lives. The author, Anita Heiss has the ability to write books with insight and humour that young readers enjoy and can relate to.  The fact that they are all indigenious and one dollar of every purchase of this book goes to the GO Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to indigenous children, adds to the worth of the book.

There are also Teaching Notes to accompany the book for teachers who may be interested in the book as a class novel. The story would best suit readers in upper primary or lower secondary schools.

Kicking Goals with Goodesy and MagicKicking Goals with Goodesy and Magic by Anita Heiss  My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is aimed at younger readers, and I think that the boys I know would particularly like it. The book is about Adam Goodes and Micheal O’ Loughlin, who were amongst the best footballers to ever play for the Sydney Swans AFL club. Anita Heiss interviewed both men separately and their responses to her questions are written alternatively on the pages of this short book. The character of the men comes though their responses as they voice their ideas about growing up, the importance of friendship, goal setting, sport, family, etc. This is a book that many young boys, and especially many young Indigenious readers,  boys or girls, would respond to as they set their own goals.

Although as an adult I notice and acknowledge many of the former issues, younger readers should simply find it fun to read as well as giving them an insight into the lives of some well-known sportsmen. It is fun to read with a lot of banter and humour as well as the more serious stuff.

View all my reviews

Useful Links

From concept to classroom – STEM research | Teacher | ACER  “While the need for STEM-related expertise in the workforce is growing, the number of students choosing STEM subjects at secondary and tertiary level in Australia is stagnating. Although decisions about future pathways are made later on in a student’s school career, teachers in the primary years have an important role to play.A new review offers practical ideas for primary STEM teaching. “Translating STEM education research into practice” also looks at useful programs for teachers and frameworks for curriculum integration.” linked article

How to Take Digital Citizenship Schoolwide During the 2016 17 School Year | EdSurge News Students need to learn Digital Citizenship skills. There are some suggestions here about how to approach a program for instruction.
Make an infographic – Lucidchart “Infographics have recently seen a huge uptick in popularity. They combine the visual appeal of images and diagrams with the educational qualities of facts and figures. You can make an infographic in any medium—by hand, with specialized software, or online. If you’re looking for an intuitive canvas for designing infographics, try Lucidchart!”
Top 5 Apps for Coding – Top 5 edtech Children in schools are no longer passive consumers of technology. They are creators of content, using building blocks of code to design their own games, their own apps and tackle big issues. There are many different ways to use iPad to generate content and explore coding. So three authors share their top 5 apps for coding. They suggest iPad versions
NAPLAN ‘meaningless’ as a test of creative writing skill, says 65-Storey Treehouse author Andy Griffiths – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Two of Australia’s best-selling children’s book authors Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton question the value of the NAPLAN testing. They wonder why attributes such as creativity are not considered. They doubt the NAPLAN testing can offer any offer valuable insights into kids’ reading and writing skills. They also make a final statement about the importance and value of teacher librarians.
Instructional Fluency: 10 Activities with Google Slides Ideas for putting together slides to work in new ways. Even by having students do it. There ae some ideas here on how to use Google Slides beyond the traditional use.

Building Community With Attendance Questions | Edutopia “Taking attendance is usually a five-minute task at the start of a class period, but it can sometimes take much longer. On rare occasions, taking attendance can take up an entire class period.”

One way a teacher has changed the idea about how to take a class roll. The discussion makes it sound easy but students would need to get used to it. It also offers a way to reflect on the learning that each has been happening in the class and no technology is needed.
Student-Led Conferences: Resources for Educators | Edutopia “Student-led meeting formats that engage students in the process. These student-led conferences between teachers and parents can provide powerful opportunities for students to advocate for their own learning.”
5 Ways Teachers Can Encourage Deeper Learning With Personal Devices | EdSurge News “To ban or not to ban, that is always the question when it comes to personal devices in the classroom. But rather than fight this uphill battle (Generation Alpha is forecasted to be more technological than any previous), let’s figure out how to leverage these little machines. If used intentionally, mobile devices can be an express pass to exploring beyond the walls of our schools. While pushing students to learn outside our classrooms is a step in the right direction, how do we ensure that these experiences lead to deeper learning? Here are 5 ways to get to curate that practice by making your class a BYOD zone.”
Hacking Design Thinking For Education Part 3: Design Thinking In School – Edwords Blog – BAM! Radio Network 9 Places You Can Learn How to Code (for Free) | Inc.com “Coding isn’t just for the supergeeks anymore–getting a little code under your belt is an incredibly valuable skill for marketers and any other members of a business team.” Annotated list and links
Internet Sacred Text Archive Home This is the largest archive of free books on religion and spirituality on the internet. You can find information about mythology, religion, folklore, alchemy, parapsychology, and much more.
How to Take Digital Citizenship Schoolwide During the 2016 17 School Year | EdSurge News Ideas about how to implement digital citizenship start with the why – “Since our students are using technology to play, learn, and communicate while at home and at school, they should be learning how to use that technology responsibly. Full integration of digital citizenship (or DigCit) curriculum into every class and every content area—at every grade level—should be the goal to meet this need.”
Assessment – Events in Instruction- Event #8 | An Ethical Island Infographic: “Students have performed something to demonstrate understand but how do you assess that performance? Was the assessment of the performance reliable and valid? There are 27 tips here to reliably and validly assess the performance.
14 Bloom’s Taxonomy Posters For Teachers “Bloom’s Taxonomy is a useful tool for assessment design. In this post they look at better use of Bloom’s taxonomy in the classroom. During research for the post it became interesting how many variations there were of the original work. Included in this post are some of the many charts they found – some that only show aesthetic changes compared to others, most are concept maps of sorts–with graphic design that signifies extended function (power verbs), detail (clear explanations), or features of some sort (Bloom’s Taxonomy tasks by level).”
ASCD Express 9.21 – Alternatives to Traditional Homework An instrumental music teacher discusses some ideas about “homework.” . “Practice is essential to a student’s success although it is true that some students can get by on pure talent alone, this is rare and unreliable. The benefits of putting in the time to learn include getting to know what works and what doesn’t, benefitting from perseverance, and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Traditionally, the instructor teaches the lesson and then gives students practice exercises to complete later as homework.” She offers some alternatives to this traditional approach outlined in the post.”
http://tep.uoregon.edu/pdf/assessment/Ways_to_Assess_Student_Learning_During_Class.pdf A document that discusses 5 different ways to assess student learning during class.
Top 16 Tech Tools to Try in 2016 – edutechchick “Edtech continues to evolve and grow, with new players entering the ring all the time. It can be hard to keep up with, particularly when so many of the tools may accomplish the same end goal.” Some suggestions here that are worth looking at to see if they meet your needs.
Computer Science Goes Beyond Coding | EdSurge News “Computer science is about solving problems using computers and coding (or programming) is about implementing these solutions. Computer scientists can be like architects who design the house—but do not have to build it.”
What’s the Difference Between Coding and Computational Thinking? | EdSurge News A useful explanation. “What is Computational Thinking (CT), and how does it differ from Coding and Computer Science, especially when it comes to classroom practice and instruction?”
Life of an Educator: 10 questions every teacher should ask themselves: #edchat #ntchat An interesting list of questions that ae simple but effective as teachers reflection tool .
Education Update:Syllabus-ted: Preparing Students for the Rigors of College Reading:Flipping Math to Engage Curiosity “Flipping math instruction saves class time for what matters: engaging, enriching projects that foster student learning, and more important, students’ desire to learn” Tips on how to go about fostering the curiosity of students.
3 Top Tips to Make Writing Exciting When You Teach Writing ‘Vicki Davis with Cynthia Alvarado discuss getting your students to enjoy writing can be challenging. In this segment, we look at how we can make writing more relevant and engaging to students. Learning writing can be exciting! Kids can love writing. Now, students can easily join writing communities. After joining, students find that commenting on another student’s writing can be fun. Teacher-librarian, Cynthia Alvarado, shows us how to make writing exciting for kids. Additionally, she’ll also teach us her tips and tricks for coaching kids to level up writing.”
Free Technology for Teachers: Teach Your Monster to Read Teach Your Monster to Read is a great series of online games designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters and sounds. The website gets its name from the friendly monster avatars that students help learn to read through the course of the games.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Wearables for Learning! Oh My! – Teacher Reboot Camp “Students can experience new cultures, history, and understand the world in better ways with virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearables. Teachers are using these technologies to send learners on virtual field trips or getting students to keep track of their steps, cardio, and health with fitness bands. These technologies help engage learners by providing sensory learning and sparking curiosity and imagination. For your next classes, go beyond getting students to read and learn only from worksheets and books. Integrate virtual reality, augmented reality, or wearables to create meaningful learning experiments for students. This post has a slide presentation (free to download) followed by bookmarks filled with activities and resources.”
Titles for Great Library and Classroom Bulletin Boards and Displays “Ideas for creating displays in libraries and classrooms. It’s important to create a stimulating and inviting space for user, and draw attention to available media and people resources, showing that libraries are not merely a luxury, but a true necessity. Displays are important for teaching, creating a stimulating environment for students and staff, encouraging great student work, and raising self-esteem by displaying student-created items.”

Useful Links

 How to Deal When Things Go Wrong in Your Makerspace The author has a realistic view of her makerspaces and her students. She shares her wisdom here. ” in the real world things can go wrong. There are days when there’s a lot of mess and days when students rebel and refuse to work on any projects. The fact of the matter is that things go wrong in my makerspace all the time. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about how to deal with them and not let them get me down”
Create Your Own Printable Board Game “Board games can be great fun and a good educational tool too. From this site you can try creating your own game with a range of printable versions available. It can be fun and it is easy to do using these templates.

249 Bloom’s Taxonomy Verbs For Critical Thinking “Bloom’s Taxonomy’s verbs–also know as power verbs or thinking verbs–are extraordinarily powerful instructional planning tools. In fact, next to the concept of backwards-design and power standards, they are likely the most useful tool a teacher-as-learning-designer has access to.

They can be used for curriculum mapping, assessment design, lesson planning, personalizing and differentiating learning, and almost any other “thing” a teacher–or student–has to do”
Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt ” Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt”
Create a treasure hunt “This website creates the most exciting treasure hunt games you can imagine. All of the puzzles and clues are included, all you need to do is print the clues and hide them around your house and back yard.”
How to be a Scholar. 6 Steps to Encourage Critical Thinking | College Ready This is a simple infographic that could be used as a poster in the classroom. It would serve as a reminder to students to ask themselves the type of questions that will lead to them developing their critical thinking skills and become better learners.
Authors and Their Day Jobs: INFOGRAPHIC | GalleyCat “An infographic that gives the day jobs of several high-profile authors including Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Harper Les
22 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Keyboard Ninja An infographic that offers some useful keyboard shortcuts.
Common Sense Digital Compass | Educational games for kids to help teach digital citizenship and digital literacy skills. “Digital Compass is a choose-your-own adventure, interactive game developed with 6th to 9th graders in mind, in which students step into the shoes of one of eight characters to experience the twists and turns of daily digital life. Invite students to explore digital dilemmas, make good (and not-so-good) decisions, and try out possible solutions through stories and mini-games – all without risking their real-world reputations. Discover how Common Sense Educational’s award-winning digital literacy and citizenship curriculum seamlessly integrates into blended-learning environments.”
Teaching Students to Self-Monitor their Behavior – Education to the Core “Self-monitoring allows students to take charge of their behavior in order to earn “reinforcers”. This is a great tool for a student (or students) that have trouble staying on task, remembering to raise their hand, or even just following the general rules of the classroom. Students are in charge of recording their behavior. This helps keep them accountable and helps them understand what they need to do in order to earn a “reinforcer”. It’s also great for the teacher, since it can be difficult to teach and take data on student’s behavior at the same time.”
Homeschool Unit Study: Coding Games Unplugged! “These unplugged coding activities is that you can really see why each line of code is important. This is especially true in the activities where you are writing code for another person to follow. Simple but effective”

Coding in the Classroom: A Problem Solving Framework | Edutopia “Learning to code means stepping out of your comfort zone, dealing with frustration, and leaning into discomfort. For a student that is new to programming, it’s easy to give up and walk away from it all when you encounter a bug (a logic or syntax error) in the code you’ve written.To that end, one of the first class lessons is the importance of problem-solving. Good problem-solving boils down to two main components: asking the right questions and doing research well. ”

Teach Your Kids to Code: 6 Beginner’s Resources for Parents | Edutopia “Introducing computer programming to your kids can be a challenge, especially for those who aren’t familiar with the nuances of code. Fortunately, in the last few years, a number of apps, software, and guides have been produced that make the often-complex subject of computer coding easy to grasp for young learners. These are a few resources that parents can share with their kids to help them start learning about programming.”
Buckling Bookshelves: 1001 Children’s Books “This is the list from 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.”

Assessing Digital Literacy: Standards, Tools, & Techniques — Emerging Education Technologies “Digital literacy is like any other core curricular subject. It is no longer an option, just as reading and math are not. Students must be digitally competent if they are to be successful in school and in their professional and personal lives as adults. Indeed, many of the best jobs for years to come will involve digital expertise. Educators have spent years developing reading and math curricula and crafting, as well, all sorts of assessment tools for these subjects. State departments of education have developed state-wide competency testing in core subjects; national testing services have spent years developing and refining assessments. Computer literacy, however, because of its newness, has not been an area in which standards and assessments have been articulated, codified, and developed.”

Quizizz: Fun Multiplayer Classroom Quizzes This is a fun online quiz game. It is similar to Kahoot but it is not speed-based. Students can move at their own pace. These to tools offer similar classroom experiences but whereas Kahoot is great for fast thinking and suits the quick-thinking student, QuizIzz, it offers the online quiz game excitement without the stress of having timed in your responses
Ways to Make Your Classrooms Introvert-Friendly – Julie Smith A few of the ways this author has tried to make their classes more comfortable for introverts.

5 ways to motivate different kinds of students with digital learning tools – Microsoft in Education blog “Motivation is crucial to learning. Without motivation, students are prone to just memorizing information or crunching for an exam instead of immersing themselves to really learn about the topic. Ideally, with high motivation, surrounded by a culture of learning and supported by a community of experts, students can learn deeply, actively share information, and even create new knowledge. One quite detailed motivational model relevant to schools (Tapola, Veermans & Niemivirta, 2013), categorizes students into five different achievement goal orientations. Each type of goal orientation responds to different ways of motivating, which is made easier by personalized learning and tools in a digital learning environment.”

Do YOUR Kids Think that Being Right is More Important than Being Curious? | CTQ #CTQCollab Some good discussion here. “Questions with no clear right answer should be fun to think about and wrestle with.” “Our educational system has failed if it has trained students to think that “there must be only one answer, and the teacher knows what it is, and they have to be the first to guess what it is.”
Stopping hate: how to counter hate speech on Twitter “Get The Trolls Out has developed the guide “Stopping Hate: How to Counter Hate Speech on Twitter?” which contains useful tips and advice on how to counter hate speech on Twitter.”

The Heart of Digital Citizenship | Anne Collier | TEDxGeneva – YouTube Bullying & harassment online? Empower youth to make the Internet better! This YouTube video published on 16 Jun 2016. “Digital citizenship is an intriguing but still very abstract idea with a dark past and great potential. A journalist who has followed youth Internet safety and citizenship for nearly 20 years, Anne Collier looks at what digital citizenship is, the struggle it emerged from, and five ways adult society can make it engaging and useful to young citizens, the heart of any digital citizenship discussion about youth. [There ia a link to the research references in her talk: http://www.netfamilynews.org/tedxgene…%5D”

School Librarians and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) | American Association of School Librarians (AASL) This page is updated regularly with new documents. “AASL continues to examine ESSA, unpack the provisions for school libraries within the ESSA, and communicate how they will impact the school library community. AASL’s ongoing work with the ALA Washington Office, as well as the association’s partnerships with other educational organizations, will highlight opportunities within ESSA language for school library programs. Read more about the next steps in the link below for ESSA Opportunities for School Librarians.  “
Definition for effective School Library Program http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslissues/positionstatements/AASL_Position%20Statement_Effective%20SLP_2016-06-25.pdf The American Association of School Librarians supports the position that an effective school library program has a certified school librarian at the helm, provides personalized learning environments, and offers equitable access to resources to ensure a well-rounded education for every student
Instructional role of the school librarian http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslissues/positionstatements/AASL_Position%20Statement_Instructional%20Role%20of%20the%20SL_2016-06-25.pdf The role of the school librarian is to guide students and fellow educators through the intersection of formal and informal learning. The instruction the school librarian offers is integral to a well-rounded education. As educators and instructional partners school librarians are critical to teaching and learning in the school community. The school librarian plays a prominent role in instructing students, faculty, and administrators in a range of literacies, including information, digital, print, visual, and textual literacies. As leaders in literacy and technology, school librarians are perfectly positioned to instruct every student in the school community through both traditional and blended learning.
Infographic: The 9 Rules of Digital Citizenship “Citizenship is the qualities that a person is expected to have as a responsible member of a community. Therefore, digital citizenship is the qualities a person is expected to have as a responsible member of the digital community.” ( rules explianed)
20 Cyber Bullying Quotes That You Must Spread Right Now – EdTechReview™ (ETR) “Children should be able to live a life free from bullying and harassment and it is time that we all took a stand against this. ” Everyone has the above right. Some ideas about starting the conversations that might hepl to alleviate some of hte problem.
3. Integration of Blooms’ Taxonomy and Multiple Intelligence in English Classroom — Rao – The ELT Practitioner “integration of both Blooms Taxonomy and Multiple intelligences gives a teacher a wide spectrum of knowledge that can be successfully implemented in an English class to develop a learner who is a thinking and creative individual. The combination paves the way to holistic development of the child. This implies that students generally may engage in higher order thinking and problem solving in an area of intellectual strength and only lower order thinking in an area of relative weakness. For example a student gifted in linguistic intelligence may produce a creative and original poem but may struggle with a task that demands high-level spatial ability. The planning needs to be done very carefully by the teacher. The points suggested here may be taken care while planning a lesson.”
Is it original? An editor’s guide to identifying plagiarism – Poynter “Plagiarism is a serious charge. If true, it has the potential to upend a career and mar a journalist’s reputation for life. And yet, in today’s world of aggregated news, plagiarism is an imprecise word that stands for a spectrum of offenses related to unoriginal work. And its severity varies dramatically depending on a variety of circumstances.”
Three schools reforms that will lift student outcomes “Take stock of how Australia is doing in the field of Education, where it’s going, and what governments can do about it. This series, written by program directors at the Grattan Institute, explores the challenges that Australia faces and advocates policy changes for budgets, economic growth, cities and transport, energy, school education, higher education and health”
Positive, Negative or Neutral? Crucial Conversations on Digital Citizenship | Connected Principals “The whole notion of “digital citizenship” is a messy conversation, but it is definitely one we need to have with our students to ensure that they have all of the opportunities to find and create their own path moving forward.”
6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 201 6 | Cult of Pedagogy “An up-dated list. Each of these tools can make teaching more efficient and effective, and student learning deeper and more engaging.”
Future Ready Librarians – Future Ready Schools “As schools seek to become Future Ready, it is necessary to identify and cultivate leadership beyond district and building leaders. School librarians lead, teach and support the Future Ready goals of their school and district in a variety of ways through their professional practice, programs and spaces. If properly prepared and supported, school librarians are well-positioned to be at the leading edge of the digital transformation of learning.”
Get your Ditty on “This little tool allows you to create digital music. This post discussed a few challenges you can do with your students and classroom.”