Useful links

Cassini: The Grand Finale The latest news, images and videos from the Cassini mission, exploring Saturn and its moons since 2004.

Turn Students into Fact-Finding Web Detectives | Common Sense Education Show students where to look for credible information on the web. Explain that professional fact-checkers may already have done this important work for us. Use the resources in this post as references for finding vetted and fact-checked information.
Strategies for Students With Scattered Minds | Edutopia Teachers can help students strengthen their brain’s executive function with “workouts” in which they practice pausing, prioritizing, improving their working memory, and mapping their options.
Cognitive flexibility is a form of higher-order thinking that students can apply in creative problem solving and in weighing the pros and cons of multiple alternatives. Students with ADD may grab on to the first idea or answer that comes to mind. You can teach students to map their options with a graphic organizer that places the problem or question in the middle and encourages them to surround it with two or more solutions — and the more the merrier. Option mapping reinforces that there is often more than one way to solve a problem or think about a concept.
Quotable | 9 Ways to Spot Bogus Data |Some ideas from Geoffrey James’ “9 Ways to Spot Bogus Data” in Inc., subtitled “Decision-making is hard enough without basing it on data that’s just plain bad. Here are a few questions to ask. If you don’t know what some of these questions are asking there will nbe more articles to follow

“Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News” Kicks off SLJ ISTE Webcast Series | School Library Journal The first in the season of SLJ’s webcast series in conjunction with ISTE starts this month with “Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News.” It is an hour-long program on March 16 and will feature four experts who will weigh in with their perspective and provide resources and tips to address this critical topic.

The program will cover how to vet information, consider point of view and bias, establish best practices for students, and manage the digital fire hose of information.
Fake News Triangle – The Association For Media Literacy As part of its continuing efforts to support media literacy and the critical thinking that drives it, The Association for Media Literacy invites you to use the questions in this triangle to assess the news you encounter and formulate your responses to it
Free Technology for Teachers: Thunkable – Design and Publish Your Own Apps “Applications for Education. A service like Thunkable and MIT App Inventor could help your students become the next great app inventor. Both services let students test, develop, and publish their own apps. Your students might make an app that helps them study better like George Burgess who developed Gojimo did.”
10 ways to electrify class with Kahoot! | Ditch That Textbook Ideas that use Kahoot! in the classroom and various places in the school. There are 10 ideas suggested here that could easily be adapted for most classrooms.
Have You Provided Students Enough Feedback for Growth? – Work in Progress – Education Week Teacher Ongoing communication about learning is essential, not just for students and parents, but for teachers too. This thoughtful exchange allows for teachers to norm what is being said and meaningfully adjust and modify lessons to appropriately address the needs of all students
Shut the Front Door! Digital Differentiation With Google Forms  A teacher discusses how they use Google Forms. One of their favorite features allowsyous to differentiate a form for students, meaning you can send students to different questions and pages of information based on how they answer each question
Coding in the Classroom | Edutopia Ideas for teaching students to create and make with code? Explore and share resources and strategies, including activities, games, and apps, for teaching kids programming skills and computer science concepts
Spreadsheets come alive | Digital Technologies Hub Using the ‘Odds and evens’ problem as a springboard, students construct interactive spreadsheets designed to address particular needs. This lesson also demonstrates an approach to programming known as rapid application development (RAD Yr 9-10)
The Enigma Machine Explained – YouTube Science journalist and author Simon Singh demonstrates the German enigma machine, a typewriter-like device used to encrypt communications. He demonstrates not only its operation, but both the strength and fatal flaws in its method.
Home › PrimaryPad This is a web-based word processor that is designed for use by schools. It allows pupils and teachers to coordinate and work together on a real-time basis. For what is primary pad useful?: “Getting ideas, collaborating, sharing and quickly posting pieces of information when working in a group or collaborative environment. Improving important typing and English skills as well as critical thinking.” This web-app has an initial three month trial period.
Online Word Processor | Create & Edit Documents Online – Zoho Writer This is a feature packed, cloud based, collaborative word processor. It is designed to make collaboration easy with a better final document as the likely result. The interface on this app is appealing and very intuitive. It is easy to share and track collaboration as the document goes from draft to review to distribution

Games@NOAA NOAA’s Games Planet Arcade offers twenty-six educational games for young students. The games are intended to help students learn about oceans, wildlife, and weather. Twenty of the games address topics related to marine life.

While the games are not terribly complex or fancy, they do offer some solid information for young students. For example, the Humpback Whale Migration game isn’t much more than a board game that provides students with information about Humpback whales. As students move across the board they are stopped at spaces offering facts about the annual migrations of Humpback whales.
3 Fast, Free Lesson Plans to Fight Fake News @coolcatteacher This blog post is part of the CM Rubin World Global Search for Education which poses a question each month to leading educators for reflection and sharing. This month’s question is “how do we fight the fake news epidemic?”
ICT and Digital Technologies Good explanation of the differences between digitech and iCT skills
9 Key Things to Know Before You Buy a New Computer Useful article for students to read for Digitech class
Rewordify.com | Understand what you read Rewordify allows you to dump in text and hit ‘parts of speech’ and it colour codes the parts of speech you have used in your writing. Link is below. You can also only highlight the parts of speech that you would like to focus on. Are you using enough adjectives in your writing?etc.
Assessment – Digital Technologies Hub This page provides links to advice for secondary teachers about how to assess student progress against key elements of the Digital Technologies curriculum. Links to some useful rubrics in the lesson ideas featured in the Secondary ‘Getting started’ sections of the site. Also refer to the formative and summative assessment advice in the effective teaching section.
ASCII – What is It and Why Should I Care? ASCII, pronounced “ask-ee” is the acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It’s a set of characters which, unlike the characters in word processing documents, allow no special formatting like different fonts, bold, underlined or italic text. All the characters used in email messages are ASCII characters and so are all the characters used in HTML documents. (Web browsers read the ASCII characters between angle brackets, “<” and “>”, to interpret how to format and display HTML documents.)
The first programmable system Programmable systems are by no means a modern invention. In fact, many regard the first to be Ktesibios’s water clock, which was invented approximately 2250 years ago. In this activity, students apply what they know to state inputs, processes and outputs of unfamiliar programmable systems.
Doc bot game You can try out the Faratron Space Mission Control game to see how you can help save the world! Part of the” communication over distance” educational tools
Workshop: Simulate computer – Children and Technology by Misha Leder Draw a computer and look at computer components. Use children to simulate mouse, IO controller and a processor on the example of Calculator program. Before simulating the whole system, let kids get a feel of each individual component. For younger students
BBC Bitesize – KS3 ICT – ICT systems Class Clips Short Video clips on a range of topics

Applications of programmable systems Activity info, teachers’ notes and curriculum links

An engaging activity in which students work in teams to research details about one programmable system from the past. They then present their findings and work as a class to build up a timeline. Students can then work independently using this timeline, plus other key inventions, to describe and explain patterns in the development of programmable systems.
The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Analysing the Game This resource explores the use of Opta Sports data – the technology behind football match analysis.

Opta Sports Data uses leading edge technology to compile team and player performance data for a range of sports and has quickly become a staple for a variety of organisations. These range from broadcasters using the data to develop innovative television graphics solutions, to coaches using the information to monitor and compare team and player performances from week to week.
Every touch of the ball can be monitored live from over 2,000 games of football a year resulting in over 4,000,000 individual events. Opta provides the full analysis from the English Premier League, Italy’s Series A, the German Bundesliga, France’s Ligue One and the UEFA Champions League.
Plotting a Plan to Improve Writing: Using Plot Scaffolds – ReadWriteThink To facilitate students’ thinking and problem-solving skills, this lesson tasks students with turning a plot scaffold into a written narrative. Students learn kinesthetically by acting out the scaffold “script” while collaborating with others to determine character motivations and dialogue. Students transition from actors to writers by having mental conversations with the characters they have created and letting their characters dictate how the story will evolve. Students are also prompted to insert imagery and use proper grammar in their written narrative.
Computational Thinking: Number Hive Puzzles | Teaching London Computing: A RESOURCE HUB from CAS LONDON Computational Thinking: Cut Hive Logic Puzzles is a booklet on computational thinking based on logic puzzles. Try and solve some simple logic puzzles while learning about computational thinking and especially logical thinking. The booklet is written by Paul Curzon of Queen Mary University of London.

CodeCombat – Learn how to code by playing a game Encourages you to practice the hollistic abilities you need as a programmer – Problem solving, creative and critical thinking and patience.

When you sign up, you get to create your own profile and set your own character up for play. I love a bit of personalisation. This is important to get players engaged. Code Combat is excellent at this. The beginning levels are well scaffolded with examples in the code and a bank of “spells” – or Java that I can use. As the levels get harder the scaffolds for skills we’ve already practised start to disappear and you find yourself just doing it on your own. You even get tempted to start experimenting.
Student Competitions & Challenges – Aussie Educator Throughout each year academic and other competitions and challenges are available for students and schools. These cover all curriculum areas from Language to The Arts. Some are run by subject organisations, some by governments, some by private organisations, some by international groups.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Advertisements

Useful Sites

poets.org | Academy of American Poets This American site can be search by looking up a poet or poem. It includes featured thematic lists such as “love poems” and “black history month.”
Famous Poets and Poems – Read and Enjoy Poetry This site offers an eclectic mix of poetry, both modern and classic. There is a list of the top 50 poems, famous quotes by poets and you can search thematically.
Poetry Foundation This site includes established and classic poets. You can click on “poems and poets” and browse for poems. Searches can be done by themes or by browsing by poem type.
poetryarchive.org | Poetry archive This an archive of poets reading their own work. It isaccompanied by the written text. It also contains lesser known poets and is searchable by theme, the poet, or a poem.
Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide This is Purdue University’s Citation site, and links directly to the MLA section. It is a valuable resources for all students who are looking for citation information!
R U 4 R.E.A.L? Strategy for Website Evaluation Slideshow that sets out how to evaluate websites using the pneumonic R.E.A.L. Explains how you tell if a website is credible or could be used for a school research project by explaining the R.E.A.L. strategy. Puts up the sorts of questions students should ask to evaluate a website’s credibility before using its information for a school project.
Critical Evaluation – Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Kathy Schrock has created a long list of links to iuseful information about how to critically evaluate information found on the Web. This page includes forms for teaching the process, articles for learning about the aspect of literacy, and a list of bogus sites to use to showcase that all things on the Web are not real.
Evaluating Internet Resources This post outines the Criteria for Evaluation of resources. “Students need to learn to evaluate the quality of information they find on the web as well as other information resources such as books, magazines, CD-ROM, and television.” Students should be skeptical of everything they find. They need to be encouraged to compare and contrast different information resources. Also has links to hoax sites that can be used to to explain how to evaluate information.
Evaluating Sources – Use the C.R.A.P. Test! — Mercer University Libraries When undertaking any research you will need to evaluate all of them to determine whether or not they are reliable and relevant to whatever your project is. It does not matter if you have a book, article, website, or other source, you can use the C.R.A.P. Test* to decide whether or not it’s worth including in your resource list. This piece outine what is involved in the “C.R.A.P.” test.
Getting ‘REAL’ with web evaluation – tips and tools to develop information literacy | LinkingLearning Using the ideas of Alan November, who presents a great strategy for students to apply whenever they are researching and need to confirm the reliability of the source of their information. The pneumonic ‘REAL’ illustrates the step that can be used to test the any site.
5 Components of Information Literacy – YouTube“Published on 29 Jan 2014. Information literacy can be divided into five different categories: Identify, Find, Evaluate, Apply, and Acknowledge. View academic and real world examples for each component to discover why information literacy is important to success in college or university and in life.”
Why can’t I just Google? – YouTube “Uploaded on 9 Feb 2010 Information is everywhere! Its just so easy to Google and use something that looks relevant… so why cant you just Google?”

Why Technology in Classrooms Doesn’t Always Boost Scores An interesting look at how technology should be used in the classroon for it to be effective. “HAVING technology means nothing. You have to: 1. Have technology in the classroom, 2. Students must have access, and 3. Teachers must know how to teach with tech.  A number of different ideas for “using Technology in Ways that Improve Classroom Learning” are then explained

Free Technology for Teachers: Streamline Your Feedback Process in Google Docs “JoeZoo Express doesn’t limit you to using just feedback phrases that they have listed. You can create your own feedback phrases and explanations.

Teachers who want to use rubrics to give feedback and grades can do so within JoeZoo Express. JoeZoo offers a free rubric builder tool. You can customize the rubric to meet your specific needs. The rubrics that you create can be saved and inserted into students’ documents when you are grading their work.”

Evaluating Websites: Using pneumonics to remember C.R.A.P. AND R.E.A.L.

Working with students in year 7 (and after some research sessions with parents) I created this slideshow to help students (and parents) remember the things we spoke about and investigated. The students used in in conjunction with someweb research they were doing in respone to a variety of English tasks where they were to recommend several websites that would be useful to the characters they chose to work on. The students had to find and evaluate the sites then explain why they were sites their characters would have used.

Useful Links

 

Innovations in Education » Developing Future Workskills Through Content Curation “The skills a student employs  to successfully curate information include curiosity, media literacy, ability to make connections across disciplines, information literacy, the ability to evaluate and understand perspective, synthesize and evaluate information, and a good dose of self-direction.  Here is how they line up with the 10 skills identified in this study.”

EducationHQ Australia – Maker movement gathers steam “In an educational setting, ‘making’ is a technology driven response to the widespread absence of ‘doing’ in many classrooms. In essence, it’s what psychologist Jean Piaget and other ‘constructionists’ see as experiential learning. American educator Gary Stager, author of Invent to Learn, reminds us that we are fortunate that: “this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing”. Make sure you access Stager’s website inventtolearn.com for more information on this.”

20 Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking This is from the TeachThought blog. “This is part 1 in our #iteachthought campaign. This is our equivalent to “back to school,” and is intended to help you focus in the 2015-2016 school year on taking a thoughtful approach to your craft as a teacher. Among these shifts we’ll talk about is turning our focus from content and teaching to thinkers and thinking. This is a student-centered approach to pedagogy (and heautagogy), and will consist of three parts:
Part 1: Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking
Part 2: Learning Profiles: What Great Teachers Know About Their Students
Part 3: 50 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of Schoo”

5 Creative Strategies to Facilitate Student-driven Learning | Imagine Easy Solutions “21st century learners who are digitally literate and determined to take charge of their learning. Consequently, teachers need to adjust their strategies and give students more voice and ownership.
When the classroom moves from teacher-centered to student-centered, more learning takes place and students tend to be more engaged in the lesson. The student-centered classroom allows for more differentiation and personalized learning.
Making the transition into a student-centered classroom can be a challenge. This post looks at some strategies for getting started with creating a successful learning environment”

Key Conditions for Suspense: Part 14 – Put Your Plot Together with the Story Cycle – SFWA “It’s good to know you need to make the problem hard to solve, but how do you use all the obstacles to develop the plot? How do you layer them in? How do you start and move forward?
You follow the story cycle, which is simply a model of how we humans go about solving problems, and apply the techniques we’ve been talking about in ways that make sense to you and spark your interest. You can move forwards or backwards around the cycle, whatever is most productive to you at the time.”

10 Collaborative Mobile Apps For A Creative Classroom “Trainer, Naomi Harm shares 10 free mobile apps that will allow students to engage in rich content activities and digital projects in his training video Mobile Apps For The Classroom.”

Digital Citizenship Scope & Sequence | Common Sense Media From Common Sense Media. ” Scope & Sequence tool to find age-appropriate lessons that address digital literacy and citizenship topics for your classroom. You can browse by grade band or click a category to highlight the lessons that address that topic. From professional development materials, to student interactives, to lessons and assessments, and family outreach materials, our comprehensive curriculum is turnkey to implement.”

Why Should We Teach Storytelling? 5 Reasons to Start Today | Getting Smart “five reasons why we should be creating storytelling opportunities for students today.”

ICT is failing in schools – here’s why “National data released this week confirms an ongoing trend that now sees nearly half of Australian secondary school students failing to meet minimum digital literacy standards. Current data underpinning decision-making and the new digital technologies curriculum isn’t working for ICT in schools for these four reasons:”

Storyboard Maker – Outline a Story With Visuals | Android 4 Schools “Storyboard Maker is a free Android app.It lets you to set out your story. In the app you can outline story scenes by sketching frames then writing text to outline action and dialogue in each scene. ”

Draw Notes on Your Android Device With Google Keep | Android 4 Schools “this is an Android appthat allows you to write short notes and set reminders. It can also used be used as a mindmapping tool of sorts through the use of sticky note sorting. Google Keep for Android also allows you to draw notes in the app.”

Some Very Good Tools and Apps for Creating Educational Comics to Use in Class ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “Using comics in your instruction can be a great way to engage students in learning activities and boost their motivation. There is a wide variety of web-based tools and mobiles apps that make comics creation a simple and easy drag and drop process. Students can use them to unleash their imaginative potential and experiment with a number of various multimodal creative activities. In this post there are some examples of web tools and apps teachers can use with students in class to create great educational comics.”

How to Storyboard in Scrivener “Storyboarding as it pertains to novels and short stories is the process of mapping out your story, often using index cards, in a high-level way that allows you to see your story visually and rearrange it. Scrivener’s corkboard view provides the perfect interface to storyboard your novel digitally”

Ninja Guide to Content Creation: Top 10 Writing Tools A piece that brings together, in an annotated list, a number of useful tools for writing purposes. There are also a number of other mentioned in the comments that follow the post.

Research revolution in schools | District Administration Magazine An interesting article about the skills today’s students need. “teaching students to find reliable sources, synthesize research findings and communicate results is more urgent than ever in a world where every blogger with a keyboard can pose as an expert.”

How to Build a Growth Mindset into School Culture | Getting Smart “For all of us as educators, a growth mindset must be a prerequisite belief and an easy one to champion. However, where Dweck’s idea presents us with a narrow gap in comprehension, the divide between comprehension and practice can be quite wide. As school leaders, how can we bring awareness to this gap and implement practices to cultivate a growth mindset within our schools?”

24 Ways for Students to Showcase Their Best Work (With Tech) – InformED : There has been a lot of research that supports student learning being enhanced by using online presentation methods. This post offers an annotated list of 24 favourites.

What is Collaboration for Professional Learning? | My Island View “The time investment to accomplish this can be as little as twenty minutes a day. The warning here however is that often times a learner may actually get caught up in the learning and spend more time than planned on a given topic. Social media opens educators to the pedagogy, and methodology of others. It offers transparency to policies. It questions the status Quo. It forces reflective thinking. It acts as a megaphone for new ideas. It gives educators a voice in the discussion of their own profession. None of this will happen however unless an educator comes to the table with a collaborative mindset and a willingness to spend time collaborating. Educators should never expect less from themselves than they expect of their students. A good teacher is also a good learner, and a good learner can always become a great teacher”

Empathy and libraries – Home – Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog “Building cultural understandings by building empathy is now more urgent than ever in our classrooms and libraries if we wish to create a more empathic community. I am re-posting a column about building empathy through reading below.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Educational Postcard: ”Collaboration is by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Ken Whytock 
South Orange Middle School Library – Twitter Style Book Review How to create Twitter style book reviews. This activity can be easily adapted and students of all abilities can have fun trying to create a good tweet about their book.
Transforming assessment and feedback with technology | Jisc “JISC page that provides ideas and resources to help colleges and universities enhance the entire assessment and feedback lifecycle.” There are many transferable ideas for secondary school teachers.

20 Ways to Engage Students “A research study was carried out at PROCAT to investigate students’ expectations and experiences when using technology at college. You can read the research report here. The E-Zine below is a further resource, which follows on from the research report. It provides 20 key messages for Instructors, which summarises feedback direct from PROCAT Students on how to engage learners. The magazine provides a useful checklist for teaching staff and is a resource they can keep referring to for ideas and to check they are on track. You will need flash to be installed to view the e-zine.”

Developing students’ digital literacy | Jisc A quick guide to a very good and comprehensive report on Improving the student digital experience
Growth mindset for teachers | Education Evangelist Offers a nice graphic to encourage a “Growth Mindset for teachers using technology”
‘Which Book Reader Species Are You?’: INFOGRAPHIC | GalleyCat “In this post, we’re describing and classifying close to 50 reader species-from the folks who see books as precious display objects to those who sort of hate reading.”

Kelly Fitzgerald ~ EdTech Nut: Using Collections in TweetDeck to Save Tweets I use TweetDeck. It is a useful tool for following along during a Twitter chat as it allows you to build columns that help to keep track of the many different feeds, notifications, mentions, etc. It can be difficult to check out the resources shared and keep up with it all. There are many methods for ‘saving’ the resources shared. Kelly Fitzgerald @LISDTechie uses the collections feature in TweetDeck to gather those resources to review at a later time. Here she offers advice about how to add a collection and start saving those wonderful resources people are sharing.

The Epic BYOD Toolchest (51 Tools You Can Use Now) | Edutopia Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) has shared the apps or app categories that she recommends for other teachers in their schools. “There are lots of apps, and these are just my opinion based on what I’ve used with my students or successfully tested.”

15+ Ways of Teaching Every Student to Code (Even Without a Computer) | Edutopia Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) put forward the following resources that you can use to teach programming with every student and every age

Professional Conversations | Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership “The formal and informal dialogue that occurs between education professionals including teachers, mentors, coaches and school leaders, which is focused on educational matters.What do teachers talk about professionally? Where do these conversations happen, when do they happen, and what are the conditions that are needed to make them more effective? Most importantly, what is the impact that they can have on developing teacher expertise and improving student outcomes?
he Professional Conversations Project sought to answer our questions about professional conversations by exploring the literature and asking teachers in schools across Australia about their experiences with professional conversations”

Digital Citizenship: Resource Roundup | Edutopia This id a great list that iffers many ideas babout how to approach the topic.  “Edutopia’s collection of articles, videos, and other resources on internet safety, cyberbullying, digital responsibility, and media and digital literacy.”
Designing Learning That Matters | Edutopia Deep learning often happens when learners encounter experiences that challenge them to figure something out, explore new information, and create a product.
Challenge yourself with Reading Bingo 2014 (pictures) Printable Reading Bingo containing 24 reading challenges that will help you read more and have more fun with it.
Short Stories with a Twist Ending  “A list of some short stories with surprising endings that could be used for learning or teaching careful reading. Sometimes the author tries to give the reader a fair chance to figure out what’s going to happen. Even though a twist ending is supposed to give the reader a jolt, in hindsight it should seem perfectly reasonable. The best ones seem inevitable and seamless.”
Books for Kids Who Don’t Like to Read | eBay Useful list of titles (and series).
8 Excellent Google Sheets Add-ons to Create Smarter Spdreasheets ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning“A post that looks at a collection of important add-ons to use on your Google Sheets to create smarter spreadsheets with beautiful designs and more sophisticated functionalities. Using these extensions will enable you to add different styles and fonts to your spreadsheets; remove duplicate values between two tables or in one sheet; find and clean up data; split names to several columns, search in values, formulas, notes and hyperlinks in all sheets at once; easily generate Gantter schedules from your sheets; add reminders to your sheets; smart autofilling of data into other columns based on the values of the other columns, and many more.”
Five Research-Driven Education Trends At Work in Classrooms | MindShift | KQED News Increasingly, educators are looking to research about how kids learn to influence teaching practices and tools. What seemed like on-the-fringe experiments, like game-based learning, have turned into real trends, and have gradually made their way into many (though certainly not most) classrooms.
10 Tech-Savvy Web Teaching Apps Students (& Other Teachers) Will Love — Emerging Education Technologies Ten great apps are listed and their use demonstrated with 3 Minute Tutorials for each. These videos show you how to get started and the rest is up to you

3 Ways Mobile Technology Boosts Instruction | The Edvocate The piece offers a discussion around the benefits for teachers as well as students. Three ways that teachers can benefit from mobile technologies are discussed.

” Administrative plans must go beyond simply purchasing mobile devices, or implementing bring-your-device policies that include teacher empowerment of the technology. Mobile technology has potential to change the student-teacher dynamic for the better but only if implemented correctly”
How Games Lead Kids to the Good Stuff: Understanding Context | The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning | MindShift | KQED News A good discussion about the benefits of using games to assist learning in the classroom. “Game-based learning is an instructional method that allows students to experience, understand, and solve problems in the world of a particular subject, or system, from the inside. Imagine a game that works like an instrument, but teaches mathematics. That’s how “
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Always do your best by rhondda.p, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  rhondda.p 

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Need a science project? Try Science Buddies

We challenge our Year 7 and 8 science students to do an investigative study in science and technology.  The  year 7 boys have to find something to do with the topic “light”, chosen because this year is the International Year of Light.

Members of the library staff have been working with the classes to assist with developing their information literacy skills. It has been going very well and the boys love the idea that the have some choice with their topic.

When we were preparing tips for the boys I came across the Science Buddies site.

Science buddies - homepg

This is a great website for teachers and students. Science Buddies is a very useful resource that offers many ideas about science projects. The people behind it are a non-profit making group who are concerned with developing science enrichment tool for young people.

It ranges from helping with the choice a project and a framework for investigations and experiments to an ask an expert forum and a Science Fair Project Guide..

Last week a student had to change his topic and he used the topic selection wizard to help him come up with a new idea. This little tool asks the student a lot of questions about their interests and understandings and capabilities.

Once you give some basic information you start the selection survey

topic selection

The answers are either yes, sometimes or no. After completing the questions you are offered an annotated list of suggested topics that fit with the answers given.

topic selection survey

The recommendations are clearly described with the most relevant coming up first.

Recommendations

There are more then 1,100 project ideas, organised into categories and levels of difficulty.

It is a great way for students to develop their understanding of science through well-designed, scientific experimentation.