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.”

Useful Links

Texting in the Classroom (or using Fake texts to connect & engage students). The Brown Bag Teacher A discussion about different ways to use the tool “ifaketext” It allows users to create faux iPhone text conversations. The website lets you fit between 35 and 50 words on one screen (a conversation between 2 different people). Then, you can take a screen shot of the conversation or right-click to save the picture as a Jpeg. Here are three different ways I see myself using this free resource.”
50 Insanely Useful Websites College Students Need To Know – SOCIETY19 “There are many apps and websites for college students that make the learning process a lot easier. Here it has been simplified by consolidating 50 good websites for college students into one list you can access any time, any place.”

Cultivating Mindfulness in the Classroom | Getting Smart “Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness is about more than the stereotypes that might pop into your mind when you hear words like “meditation” and “guided visualization.” Teaching kids how to be more mindful and aware of their thoughts and feelings has been shown to improve memory and attention, boost learning outcomes, decrease behavior issues and more.”
What Constitutes Plagiarism? § Harvard Guide to Using Sources “While it may seem obvious that copying someone else’s words verbatim and submitting them in a paper with your name on it is plagiarism, other types of plagiarism may be less familiar to you. These more subtle forms of plagiarism are actually more common, and you should make sure you understand all of them, as well as how to avoid them by conducting your research and writing carefully and responsibly.”
Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Makerspace Needs | Getting Smart Some makerspace components are very commonly known. Educators planning makerspaces know they can start small with simple circuitry materials, cardboard and hot glue guns, or go to the biggest level with 3D printers and laser cutters. The level of sophistication/extravagance of the space will vary enormously depending on each institution’s choices and funding but there were a few surprises as we developed our space, noticing or finding unexpectedly critical makerspace components that have made our space more successful. Here are 10 unexpectedly critical makerspace components, clickbait countdown style!
EdTechTeacher | How to Design Your Own MakerSpaces – From Courtney Pepe “What is a MakerSpace?  Makers build, fix, and create.  They are students, teachers, tinkerers, cooks, technology buffs, architects, crafters, performers, hobbyists, builders, artists, engineers, scientists, and writers.  They use the MakerSpace to solve real life problems with access to tools and materials.  A MakerSpace is not confined to a school setting but can also be a community space like a public library where community members of all ages, means, and abilities can design, prototype, and create original works.”
Adding value: Principals’ perceptions of the role of the teacher-librarian | QUT ePrints “This paper reports on a study into principals’ perceptions of the role of the teacher-librarian. Nine principals in Australia were interviewed about the role of the teacher-librarian and library in their school. The findings indicated a range of ways in which the teacher-librarian adds value to the school, including in their role as teacher, providing the principal with a broad perspective on the workings of the school, providing advice and ideas, and providing leadership in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) at the school. It also identified a number of personal qualities valued by principals.”
How to STEAM ” Once you have the foundations of what STEAM is and why it’s important, the next step is to understand how to implement STEAM with integrity.  Many schools claim to be “STEAM Schools”, and yet their model of implementation is weak or simply brushes the surface of what STEAM truly requires.  The authors’ core belief is that STEAM has a foundation of integration at it’s core, which means that each curricular area should be both taught in its own right, as well as connected through standards and assessments when used in tandem.”
8 digital skills we must teach our children | World Economic Forum   “How can we, as parents, educators and leaders, prepare our children for the digital age? Without a doubt, it is critical for us to equip them with digital intelligence. The digital world is a vast expanse of learning and entertainment. But it is in this digital world that kids are also exposed to many risks, such as cyberbullying, technology addiction, obscene and violent content, radicalization, scams and data theft. The problem lies in the fast and ever evolving nature of the digital world, where proper internet governance and policies for child protection are slow to catch up, rendering them ineffective. 8 skills suggestions and a great infographic to visually set out different area.”
5 Ways to Make YouTube Safer for Kids – YouTube Youtube short pPublished on 1 Jul 2015 by Common Sense Media. Kids love watching funny videos, learning cool stuff or uploading their own creations on YouTube. Discover 5 ways to make YouTube Safer for kids, whether they are watching or creating a channel. “
5 Social Media Rules for Teens & Tweens – YouTube Short video published on 2 Oct 2015 by Common Sense Media. “Social Media is a way of life for many teens, and even some tweens. Here are 5 rules to share with your kids before they start posting, uploading or sharing online”
12 Reasons To Teach Searching Techniques With Google Advanced Search… Even Before Using The Basic Search | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “Google Advanced Search, when used correctly, can facilitate student’s to expand their digital abilities while promoting productivity and learning in the classroom.”
20 Awesome BYOD and Mobile Learning Apps | Edutopia Post from Vicki Davis. “Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) have been in her schhool for three years. Students certainly took to it. They bring it all! We have iPads, Surface, iPhones, Droids, Chromebooks, Macs, and PC laptops. Here’s her thinking about some of the tools she likes.”
Smithsonian Learning Lab :: Discover. Create. Share A great resource. “The Smithsonian Learning Lab is about discovery, creation, and sharing. ” The Smithsonian Learning Lab contains more than one million resources (videos, photos, and documents, etc.) on topics from the Discovery space shuttle to the French and Indian War. Students and teachers can organize content into “collections” and set up quizzes or assignments, among other things. The Lab’s Senior Digital Strategist Darren Milligan also says that the array of content will grow over time, both with user-generated resources and new digital museum artifacts.
Part 2: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 40 Amazing STEM Resources | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “Welcome to this second post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.”
Hanyu@Narralakes: Screencasting on a budget Screencasting (making a video recording of your computer or tablet screen” can be used for making a presentation.  Teachers can find this resource valuable as it is a recording that can be used by students to learn or revise lessons or can be reused for future use. It can also be edited if need be.
Upper Elementary Snapshots: Reading Strategies that Work! “6 simple strategies that we can teach our students to drastically improve reading comprehension.” Link to downloadable posters
Google Arts & Culture A useful resource. An aggregator like Google Cultural Institute can bring together collections from multiple institutions from around the world.
A Handy Infographic Featuring 10 Things Every Teacher Should be Able to Do on Google Classroom ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “An Infographic that features 10 of what we believe are basic things every teacher should be able to do on Google Classroom. Instructions included are only for Classroom on the web, check out Google Classroom Help to learn more about how to use these features on mobile devices.”
Three schools reforms that will lift student outcomes Analysis piece. “A federal election is an opportunity to take stock of how Australia is doing, 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.”
Part 4: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Turning STEM to STEAM… 24 Resources | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “It is the STEAM that allows students to not just be technology consumers, but technology creators! Proper infusion of the Arts will create a STEAM culture that engages and promotes intrinsic learning. In the post the author has included some sites that may just allow educators to integrate the Arts, allowing STEM to become STEAM! While there is a lot of talk on STEAM Education, it is difficult to find a lot of material.”

Character Scrapbook Teaching Guide | Scholastic.com Character Scrapbook, produced by Scholastic, is a web resource that is a simple to use. It offers a reader’s response activity that students can use to analyse any character in a book or story.

The template allows them to include details and reflections about a character through text, but it also provides the students with an opportunity to create a visual representation of that character. Once created they can save or print it as a type of scrapbook. .
It offers is a simple way to engage students and also offers an opportunity to help them form a deeper understanding of a book’s character(s).
Character Scrapbook could be utilized with fiction or non-fiction text as an individual, small group and/or even whole class assignment
There is a detailed teacher’s guide on the Scholastic site that has a detailed how-to as well as lesson extensions.
STEM
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful Links

Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character by rhondda.p, on Flickr

Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  rhondda.p 

Learning to Code: New Possibilities Through Collaboration at School | EdSurge News Discussion piece. “When you drill down to the(US) school level, only one in four schools in the United States teach computer science. For some school districts the resources are simply stretched too thin. And while there are websites that offer coding tutorials, many of which are free, some teachers may also be unaware that so many resources exist for their students. In other districts, the resources may be available but there is still a desire to find new opportunities for students to interact with technology professionals. One way to overcome these hurdles is for school districts to collaborate with outside organizations and companies, many of whom are thrilled to provide volunteers and support. This can be accomplished by looking to organizations and companies in your local community and/or best in industry, and reaching out to them to see if they would be interested in working with your school. Additionally, seek out and learn from colleagues in other school districts who have fostered these relationships, with a focus on best practices and collaborations that were particularly successful.”

Are Your Students Learning The Digital and Social Literacy Skills Needed to Succeed? | @LearningDotCom · TeacherCast Educational Broadcasting NetworkbyJeffrey Bradbury “Jeff Bradbury sits down with Risa Snethen from Learning.com to talk about the many resources offered to provide students the digital and core literacy skills needed to get them ahead in the classroom.”

Tech Tips for Teachers: 4 Ways to Use Google Forms | EdTech Magazine “The latest version of Google Forms, for instance, can not only simplify administrative tasks but also give teachers new outlets for connecting with parents and students. Jennifer Carey, the director of educational technology at the Ransom Everglades School in Miami, Fla., offers a glimpse of recently added features in a post on Daily Genius. She writes that Google Form users can now: View responses as they are submitted. Insert videos and images into survey questions. Create multiple choice grids that prevent respondents from selecting the same column twice. Publish Forms with pre-filled responses. Insert useful add-ons, such as formLimiter and Choice Eliminator 2. As educators begin to master these new capabilities, they can also explore a few of the tried-and-true ways teachers already use Google Forms in the classroom:”

Geo Map » Show What You Know with Media A Geo-Map media project can include text, hyperlinks, images, and videos connected to locations on virtual maps. Geo-Map projects can provide windows into events, concepts, places and stories which join disparate media elements into a cohesive digital narrative. Some great ideas about how to use this in the classroom.
The secret to successful use of technology in the classroom – ICTEvangelist “In order to get impact with technology in the classroom, for me it’s really quite simple and involves three easy to remember elements; technology for learning shouldn’t be about bells and whistles, it’s about what works”
The @DavidGeurin Blog: 7 Reasons To Use Social Media In Your School (INFOGRAPHIC) “Social media is here to stay. Never before have people been able to connect, share, and learn from one another as we do now. As a result, our students need skills to win at life in a digital world. The ability to use social media to support life goals and possibilities can be a game-changer. I know it has been very powerful for me in my professional life.” & reasons are discussed by the author.
4 Strategies to Bring History to Life For Students | Getting Smart “You can tansform students from passive to active learners through the power of archives. Timelines, textbooks, PowerPoint presentations and even Wikipedia articles have a role in learning about the past, but it is time to open the archives and unleash the power of primary sources to bring history to life. ” 4 strategies for educators explained.

15+ Ways of Teaching Every Student to Code (Even Without a Computer) | Edutopia “The resources discussed in this post will assist in teaching programming to every student and every age.”

How can school libraries use a makerspace to support learning? A set of presentation slides that explain an investigation of what a makerspace is and identify criteria for an effective makerspace. It examines how an effective model of a makerspace in a school library can support and develop digital literacy skills in the context of a connected learning framework.

When Tech Meets Project Based Learning | EdSurge News Paul Curtis, Director of Curriculum for the New Tech Network, is confident that project-based learning can happen without much technology. But use it right, he adds, and technology can change the “tone” of the classroom in powerful ways. “It asks teachers to give up ‘the script’ for the classroom,” he says. Curtis sees technology shaping project-based learning in multiple ways. First technology can fuel students’ curiosity and put them in charge of learning and exploration. Next: technology can provide teachers a construct or scaffolding for doing project-based work. A well-built learning management system, Curtis says, is an essential tool for helping teachers structure classroom time and manage work.”

An Introduction to Google Sites | TeacherCast University A good introduction to how to go about using Google sites in the classroom
The Best Online Resources for Coding Instruction “In this article they talk about fostering logical thinking through coding instruction for kids. They also have a look at some of the best online resources out there for coding instruction. Other than a possible career in computer sciences, what does coding knowledge have to offer students?”

What Are Your Ideas For Incorporating the “Maker Movement” In Teaching English Language Learners? | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… “The best way to activate your classroom is for your students to make something. This might an amazing high-tech invention or it might take the form of costumes for a historical reenactment, homemade math manipulatives, a new curtain for the local auditorium, toys, a pet habitat, a messy science experiment, or a zillion other things. Best of all, you don’t need expensive hardware, or to start by mastering a programming language. You can begin with found materials: buttons, bottle caps, string, clay, construction paper, broken toys, popsicle sticks, or tape (hint: Google “tapigami” or “duck tape projects”). What are you having your students “make” to help them learn English?”

How to create digital homework that students love | “Let’s redesign homework. When’s the last time your students got excited to do homework? Or said things like, “Wow…just WOW. It is amazing how much is out there that we just don’t know about”? What if every homework assignment could expand a student’s worldview while engaging a kid’s natural curiosity? One middle school teacher took on this challenge — so you don’t have to. For her TED-Ed Innovation Project, US History teacher Jennifer Hesseltine created a digital homework space that students love. Here are her step-by-step instructions on how you can do it too:”

Librarian Approved: 30 Ed-Tech Apps to Inspire Creativity and Creation | MindShift | KQED News “Tool discovery is often a challenge for teachers interested in finding ways to use technology that will change the way they and their students work. With so much going on in the classroom, many teachers don’t have the time to test out various apps and find the perfect tool to meet their needs. Luckily, several tech-savvy librarians have been curating the apps their colleagues find useful and sharing the all-stars with one another through personal learning communities (PLC) and edWeb webinars.”
Education – Culture Victoria – Linkis.com A great source of information about life in the state of Victorian
The Other 21st Century Skills: Educator Self-Assessment | User Generated Education Jackie Gerstein designed useful chart featuring 12 attributes and skills that teachers should tend to in their instruction. ” This post provides links and resources about these skills as well as an educator self-assessment. This assessment contains questions to assist the educator in evaluating if and how s/he is facilitating these skills and attributes in the learning environment.” It could be used as a self-assessment checklist to help evaluate teaching practice. Jackie’s set of attributes featured in this chart link in with Giroux’s view of education as a way of producing citizens who are ‘critical, self-reflective, knowledgeable and willing to make moral judgements and act in a socially responsible way.
5 Excellent Rubric Making Tools for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning This is an annotated list of 5 useful applications. “Rubrics are helpful for both teachers and students: teachers can use them when designing lesson plans and grading assignments; students can use them to make sure they meet the learning expectations and requirements of an assignment or project work. Rubric making should not be a complicated task, it should only speak to the core requirements of a given task while channeling focus to the learning outcomes. There are  a wide variety of web tools and mobile apps teachers can use to create rubrics.”
How to Start a Blog – ReadWriteThink “No matter what kind of entries teens write, blogs give them a chance to communicate with their readers. Like any kind of writing, composing a blog entry gives teens practice in organizing and presenting their ideas effectively. Once a teen posts an entry, readers can ask questions, make comments, and provide encouragement. This process teaches teens the importance of paying attention to what readers say and think. Teens can later apply these skills to every other kind of writing that they do.”
Free Technology for Teachers: How to Use the New Version of Padlet Richard Byrne exlainshow teachers can make the best use of the 2016 version of Padlet. “Padlet introduced a revamped version of their online corkboard tool. The core functions of Padlet are still the same, but the user interface has changed a little bit. The primary changes are in the way that you customize your Padlet boards. In the video that is embedded in the posthe provides an overview of this version of Padlet”
[3934] 3 Things Every Teacher Must Know About Digital Citizenship An “Every classroom matters” program presented by Vicki Davis where Gord Holden discusses with her three important things about digital citizenship and young people.
Things Every Teacher Should Know About Digital Citizenship @coolcatteacher An “Every classroom matters” program presented by Vicki Davis where Gord Holden discusses with her three important things about digital citizenship and young people.
8 digital skills we must teach our children | World Economic Forum A short piece about how we can assist you people to better understand how to make the best use of the digital world. It looks at “Digital intelligence or “DQ” whixh is defined as the set of social, emotional and cognitive abilities that enable individuals to face the challenges and adapt to the demands of digital life. These abilities, that can broadly be broken down into eight interconnected areas are explained”
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Technology Addiction Research Executive Summary | Common Sense Media “The executive summary of our research brief Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance highlights the six key findings from the report; presents findings from a poll of over 1,200 parents and teens examining how families feel about their mobile device use and how that use is affecting child-parent relationships; and offers advice for creating balance in this “always connected” world.”

Redesigning Thinking in Libraries with Hamish Curry (with images, tweets) · camillaelliott · Storify Storify “Redesigning Thinking in Libraries with Hamish Curry. At this workshop hosted by School Library Assoc of Victoria, Hamish Curry of NoTosh guided library staff through a design thinking approach to exploring the future possibilities for their individual school libraries.”

Makerspace Ideas & Resources For Maker Education “Makerspaces.com is made up of makers, geeks, educators, technology/stem leaders, library media specialists, librarians, school principals & superintendents, instructional technology specialists, edtech leaders, maker educators, makerspace operators, 3d printing enthusiasts, robotics club and so much more. Our mission is to bring makerspaces into the educational system, so we can bring the educational system into the 21st century. “
Take Charge To Maximize Your Library’s Online Presence | School Library Journal All libraary staff want to provide excellent library services for users, to be more integrated into the fabric of our communities, and to impact student engagement and achievement. This article looks at what you can do to improve your online presence to work towards accomplishing this. Recommendation: “Start small, learn from others, and make your online presence a priority. Your students, staff, and community deserve it!”
Architect Andre Chiote’s Minimalist Library Illustrations Focus on the Buildings’ Architectural Details – CityLab These posters offer artists impressions of the library buildings – with no books, but plenty of architectural details.
How Google Impacts The Way Students Think Interesting reflection on how we use Google and what thinking goes with that.
Moving at the Speed of Creativity | Comparing Risks and Benefits of a PreTeen YouTube Channel Wesley Fryer reflects on his daughter’s foray into the digital world. “While Shelly and I acknowledge the risks Rachel is facing by publishing a YouTube channel and using social media channels like Twitter and Instagram, at this point I do think the benefits of her learning, literacy development, and identity formation outweigh them. Decisions like these are definitely going to vary by family and by parent. I’m thankful we have open lines of communication to continue talking about what she’s doing and encountering. It’s certainly a dynamic situation that could change at any time”
What Does Learning Commons Mean for Your School? | PFAU LONG ARCHITECTURE  A reflection about one school library faculty’s goal of creating a positive learning environment with space that would help students and teachers develop real-world connections and the approach they took to creating it. The ideas for the space included housing the collection, helping students and teachers collaborate, being a hub for learning with a flexible floor plan and supporting newly developing areas in educational technology. The school decided to create a learning commons to move beyond traditional thinking about libraries and respond to what the kids and teachers really needed. The faculty envisioned their environment to be developmentally appropriate for their young students, as well as to foster a sense of creativity, inspiration, and encourage dialogue and a sense of community. The new learning commons library offered more space for stacks, added conference rooms and a lounge area, but the learning commons concept informed more than the library. These design changes increase opportunities to be inspired by student work and performances and create stronger interpersonal connections among students and faculty.
Free Newspaper Template Pack For Word. Perfect For School “Post has links to newspaper templates. it includes some good designs that students can choose from to create their own newspaper. They are all for Microsoft Word.
Student-Made E-Books: A Beautiful Way to Demonstrate Learning | Cult of Pedagogy
How to Use Padlet in the Classroom: A Fantastic Teaching Tool “Padlet is a versatile and easy-to-use tool. The post offers a great way to learn the basics.
So Many Fun Ways To Use Blabberize In The Classroom — Emerging Education Technologies “Blabberize is a free online tool that allows you to quickly create talking images. It provide opportunities to improve student engagement and collaboration. This post offers some ideas and examples of how it coould be used.
How Game-Based Learning Can Help Students of All Ages Learn | Edudemic
http://www.edudemic.com/game-based-learning-help-learn/

Game-based learning offers an approach where learning and play aren’t at odds with each other; in fact, games are the vehicle and environment for learning.
Printing Press A way for students to create a more professional version of their work. Works (short/stories/poems) can be published using the ReadWriteThink Printing Press. It is interactive and uses 3 simple templates. Students can save their draft then share it or publish it when they are happy
B’s Book Love : Technology-Based Poetry Activities for Poetry Centers and Poetry Stations A how-to about creating digital blackout poems. “These can help struggling readers focus on the MOST important words in the poem to find the main idea/theme of the poem in a fun and artful way:” There is an example of how to use You Doodle as well as a non-technology option.

Create Time-stamped Multimedia Notes on Your Android Device | Android 4 Schools This looks to be a promising app for ome of the students i work with who have difficulties with text but very good auditory and thinking skills. “Mic Note is a free Android app that allows you to create voice recordings, text notes, and image-based notes on one concise notebook page. The notes that you record with your voice can be time-stamped by clicking on your Mic Note note page while you’re recording. You can also take notes without recording any audio. ”

Top 100 education apps by subject and grade – Microsoft in Education A useful curated list of 100 microsoft education apps that you can get frokm the Windows Store. Downloadable PDF doc.
100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators This is a very comprehensive post from Vicky Davis. It is a consolidation of the many things that Google can offer teachers and students. They are categorized under useful headings, many links to follow up and some useful videos are also embedded.
How to Use Padlet in the Classroom: A Fantastic Teaching ToolA very comprehensive explanation about how teachers could use Padlet with their classes making it a very versatile tool. Includes links and video
What Counts as Civic Participation? | Harvard Graduate School of Education A discussion that considers what we have included in our citizenship courses and what should/might be included now that the on-line world is so readily available to most.
Word Mover – ReadWriteThink Word Mover (By ReadWriteThink) is designed to help students develop poems and short stories Students can use word banks already created or they can also add new words to the list. They can then drag onto a canvas they have selected to construct their poem or story. They are also able to manipulate and move the text as they wish to creatively publish poetry. There are six different categories and 12 canvas backgrounds students may select. Useful lesson plans that use the app for a variety of learning levels and subjects are also shared.
Should I Download That App? A Ten Question Checklist for Choosing Tools Worth Your—and Your Students’—Time | EdSurge News Advice worth looking at. “Whether you are a classroom teacher, instructional coach, or administrator, ask yourself these ten questions before going any further”
Teaching literacy is more than teaching simple reading skills: it can’t be done in five easy steps | EduResearch Matters A good article about developing literacy skills. “All Australian children and young people becoming literate I believe it is vital we understand and define the complexity of literacy. Literacy encompasses the knowledge and skills students need to access, understand, analyse and evaluate information, make meaning, express thoughts and emotions, present ideas and opinions, interact with others and participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school. “
Make a Book Map with Google Maps – Reading By Example “A nice class activity when the books, being read by the students, have specific locations for the settings. You can create a book map using My Maps from Google to highlight the settings in which these texts took place.”
Your Library@CSU: The Wonders of Trove “Trove was created and ismaintained by the National Library of Australia (NLA). It allows users to find and use resources relating to Australia, from more than 1000 collections; spanning libraries, museums, galleries, archives, govt agencies, research orgs, and other unique Australian content.  There is a useful how-to video embedded in the post”
Note Taking Skills for 21st Century Students @coolcatteacher “Note taking skills aren’t just automatic. We tell students “take notes” but they have no idea what that means. What makes “good notes.” What do they write down? How should notes look?” Lesson plans and teaching ideas for teachers
Worlds of Learning | Makerspace Vision Statement “What makers this process unique is that it offers a thematic approach to planning and creating a makerspace.  After deciding upon the themes you want to advance in your makerspace, and procuring the necessary equipment, materials and supplies to support each theme, attention can be given then to designing the physical aspects of your makerspace.  A good place to start this process is to think about your school’s mission statement and vision and then think through how your makerspace can be seen as a physical representation of that strategy.  “
What is a Makerspace? | Create, Collaborate, Innovate Author looks at the universal ideas/themes that lie behind different types of successful makerspaces.
21 Digital Tools To Build Vocabulary – Annotated list of tools. “Digital tools must coexist alongside more traditional tools. Online tools, compared to their more traditional counterparts, can provide a broader array of information about words and word meanings. Some tools also allow teachers to customize words so that students can practice, review, and play games with content or unit-specific words. “
EdTechTeam: Get coding in your classroom! Enter the Challenge.“Do your students code?” Some ideas to get you started – not all digitech heavy and many other resources are freely available.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Character Scrapbook: responding to Wonder

In Wonder by R. J. Palacio. the author has provided the reader with details not only about the main character August (Auggie) Pullan), but several other characters who

The information about the characters has been written down by the author in descriptive sentences, events that directly involve charactesr, and by how the characters behave, think and say about each other and especially the main character.

There will be several ways for students to show what they have identified about a character from the novel. They will begin by createing a digital scrapbook for a character of their choice.

Character Scrapbook is produced by Scholastic and is a web resource that is a simple to use. It offers a reader’s response activity that students can use to analyse any character in a book or story.

The template allows them to include details and reflections about a character through text, but it also provides the students with an opportunity to create a visual representation of that character.

Character Scrapbook (Scholastic)

On the left-hand “page” they can choose from a selection of options (including some animal options) to build up an “identikit” image of their character.

On the right-hand side they list the character traits. There are 6 different “pages” that the students need to fill out to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the character. These include:

  1. Ten things I know about XX
  2. Ten words that describe XX.
  3. Ten facts about XX’s personality
  4. Ten details about XX’s personality
  5. Ten challenges XX faced in the story.
  6. Ten accomplishments XX achieved.

Once created they can save or print it as a type of scrapbook. .

It offers is a simple way to engage students and also offers an opportunity to help them form a deeper understanding of a book’s character(s).

Character Scrapbook could be utilized with fiction or non-fiction text as an individual, small group and/or even whole class assignment

There is a detailed teacher’s guide on the Scholastic site that has a detailed how-to as well as lesson extensions.

Some of the suggested Character Discussion Questions, designed to help students deepen their understanding of their characters, included the following:

  • How would this book be different without this character?
  • How did this character affect the events in this book?
  • How did this character affect the other characters?
  • How was this character shaped by the setting of the book?

Responding to the class novel: Wonder by R. J. Palacio.

Wonder wordlist-on cover image

Created using Tagul https://tagul.com/

This term our year 7 students are reading Wonder by R. J. Palacio. I have been working on different activities that our teachers could use with their classes. This week I have been working with one of the year 7 classes and they been the first to trial the some of the activities.

One of the first activities, for those that had finished reading the book, was to think about the vocabulary used in the novel, creating a list of words that the boys then created their own word searches. We use Word Search Generator that allows you to create your own printable “word find” worksheets. It is very simple and easy to use. There are several options that allow you to tailor the style of word search very easily. Some boys worked in pairs and others preferred to create one on their own. Some have already been shared with boys from other classes. Both groups have been totally engaged in their work and there has been some great discussion.

Wordsearch

An example of a word search

Wordsearch-Wonder

 

These same boys have now gone away to create crosswords using Eclipse crosswords. This is a tool I have used many times to generate crosswords as extension activities. Our student book club boys have created some, based on books they have been reading, recently as well.

These new crosswords will be shared with the class next week. Eclipse offers another very simple tool that allows boys to explore the language used in the novel.

Eclipse crossword 2016-html

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