Useful links

 Creativity and Knowledge | @TeacherToolkit The author considers the question: Can creativity be cultivated in our current school system? He shares his thoughts on “Why real creativity is based on knowledge” by Tim Leunig from TEDxWhitehall.. Some interesting ideas and observations. Concludes with “This therefore concludes, that creativity has its foundations built upon a knowledge base, but with anything delivered in the classroom, it requires the skills of a good teacher to ensure outcomes are met.” And puts up some questions that based on the article.

What should parents know about Steam? From CommonSenseMedia. team is a place to buy, play, discuss, and learn about games on the internet. It works differently from other websites in that it requires you to download the Steam “engine” to run the games. Once you install the engine and create an account, you can play free games, chat with other users, play multiplayer, join forums, learn about new games, play demos, and even create games for others in the site’s Workshop section — all for free. Most popular games require an additional download — and they often cost money.

While sites such as Twitch and YouTube Games are popular places to watch others play games, Steam is mainly about playing your favorite games against others, including friends you know from real life. Kids who have Steam accounts regularly exchange Steam “handles” so they can meet up online.”
Teaching with Technology: Using Microsoft Excel in the Classroom This piece looks at some of the ways teachers could integrate the application Microsoft Excel into the classroom is becoming more and more prevalent in many schools across the world. The guide offer assistance to teachers who want to this tool in classes with students. “Also listed are some unique ideas for ways in which to use spreadsheets in different lesson plans.” There are a range of tutorials and basic guides for both novices and more experienced users.
Creating games using Microsoft Excel: Tic Tac Toe | The Piffle Lab An explanation about creating a simple game using Excel
How To Create A Game In Excel – YouTube YouTube video, published 10/04/2015, that aims to explain how you can create a simple game in Excel. Useful for teachers to use with students

Mapping the online world – Nominet “The international nature of the internet was affirmed in the mid-eighties, when a system was agreed for allocating each country its own space online. Each would get a two-letter code within the Domain Name System, the address book of the internet. In 1985, the first three were delegated: .us for the USA, .uk for the UK, and .il for Israel. The internet’s reach would go on to expand well beyond the confines of the globe, as astronaut TJ Creamer showed in 2010 when he tweeted from the International Space Station.

At Nominet they have been looking for a way to visualise global internet use. The result is our map of the online world, an atlas redrawn according to the number of registrations within each country’s internet domain* — whether .uk for the UK, .de for Germany, .cn for China, and so on.”
Feedback Q & A Infographic | An Ethical Island An Infographic about useful feedback – asking for it and what to give
https://anethicalisland.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/lesson-ideas-3.pdf Some useful ideas for organising lessons. This outline provides a great framework for teachers from any learning area.
elements.wlonk.com Keith Enevoldsen has created an interactive periodic table that illustrates exactly where you may encounter even obscure elements on the chart.
K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum | Common Sense Media Links to their digital citizenship resources
Parents ‘oversharing’ family photos online, but lack basic privacy know-how – Nominet “Mums and dads are sharing nearly 300 photos online on average every year, with the top three destinations for these being Facebook (54%), Instagram (16%) and Twitter (12%). Nominet’s study polled 2,000 parents who have children 0-13 years old, revealing other findings including”
Cyberbullying – A guide for parents | Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner “Cyberbullying support tool from the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. Sometimes cyberbullying feels like a minefield. As a parent it can be hard to know if a situation qualifies as serious cyberbullying. Work your way through our support tool for guidance on how we can help you.”
Report Cyberbullying | Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner “Make a cyberbullying complaint. Select “Make your complaint” to open the form in a new browser window.”
Keep Calm and Carry On (reporting) | Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner One parent’s post about dealing with cyber bullying. It also has links to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner where there are several places offering an online complaints system to deal with serious cyberbullying. These can assist individuals with their own decision-making.
Rewrite Your Story | Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner “You can’t undo the past, and you can’t change the actions or words of other people, but you can Rewrite Your Story. With all the information around online and at school about cyberbullying and how to handle it, in real life for some reason it’s different.

The Future of Collaboration Spaces Encompasses Video, Interactive, Mobile — Campus Technology “The future of classrooms, is moving toward models where students are doing more problem-based learning, working together in teams, and sharing what they’re learning with peers and professors. This is the type of teaching and learning our new classrooms must support.” A recent learning space renovation at Indiana University focused on informal learning, collaborative technology and sharing ideas and content across multiple devices and users.

9 digital tools for your classroom toolbelt | Ditch That Textbook “Finding a new digital tool can open up new opportunities for you and your students. This is an annotated list of tools created by one classroom teacher gathered from interactions with other educators.”
Windows 10 deployment (for educational institutions) – Free step by step guide – Microsoft UK Schools blog “A step by step guide together for upgrading to Windows 10 from a previous version of Windows, such as Windows 7. This definitely caters more for the IT pros within an educational institution, but those more tech savvy educators will find this pretty accessible, also.”
Building a Common Understanding of the 4Cs. Season 3: Episode 2 – TLTalkRadio In this podcast, two teachers are talking about the 4Cs. “Our focus this school year is to build a shared understanding of the 4Cs. In this podcast, we introduce the 4Cs – Communication. Collaboration. Critical thinking. Creativity.”
Top Tips for Fast Formative Assessment that Works @coolcatteacher In this podcast Vicki Davis and Steven W. Anderson discuss formative assessment, the ability to know what you students know the moment they know, and how it allows you to adapt your teaching and increase your effectiveness. They also discuss the benefits of and how you go about updating what you’re teaching in real-time.
Entry events for project-based learning – Innovation: Education Some ideas about how to get a class started on PBL. “Take students someplace outside the classroom, either into the community or around the world, and ask them a challenging question. Ask them to consider something that might never have occurred to them, such as, “What would the community do if this resource was not here, or was unusable?”  At a historical site, ask “How could our community engage more with this place?” At a landfill you could ask, “What will happen when this landfill is full?”

Teaching copyright with video mashups – Innovation: Education The meaning of the concepts of copyright and fair use, as applied to creative work, has broadened dramatically in the digital world. Students are some of the biggest consumers and creators of work created on digital platforms, but they don’t often understand: 1. what they may legitimately use. 2. how they may use it. 3. What protection exists for their own creative work. 4.Introducing “fair use” concepts. The authors of the post explain how they took the excellent Rework, Reuse, Remix lesson from Commonsense Media to create the foundational lesson plan for an 8th grade Digital Learning class hat St. Francis Xavier School, in Winooski VT. It introduces the concept of fair use and how to apply it to case studies”

EducationHQ Australia – Five ways to get started with STEM It is easy to be practical with STEM studies. “There are so many benefits and as we get further down the track of understanding that whilst STEM will always be a combination of those four core disciplines, it is just as much about interdisciplinary work and collaboration. As a teacher, we don’t have to provide all the answers for students. We just need to create the problem, the context or the inspiration, and great things can happen” There are 5 ways discussed here to get started with STEM with examples linked back to the Key Learning Areas.

Useful links

How to Teach Coding Like a Granny – Joel Speranza“The digital technologies curriculum is here and everyone is trying to figure out how to teach the thing. Particularly the coding bit, that’s the steepest learning curve for most teachers and with good reason. As students we experienced math, science, english, humanities, PE. But coding is different. Most of us are simply too old to have experience with coding in a school setting. We haven’t seen teachers teach it before and suddenly we’re being asked to teach it ourselves?”

code-it | Junior Computer Science “This site offers computing resources produced by Phil Bagge. You can click on the CS Planning link for a selection of computer science and information technology resources suitable for primary pupils.”
What makes an excellent programming curriculum? | code-it “Programming projects should reflect a wide range of different programming genres, those that arise for example from mathematical, literacy, music or gaming backgrounds. Variety helps a broad spectrum of students to realise that programming can be relevant to their lives.”
Ideas for Using Minecraft in the Classroom | Edutopia “Minecraft is no longer a new tool in the field of game-based learning. Because Minecraft has such open possibilities and potential, teachers have been experimenting with different ways to use it in the classroom for a while now. Some teachers use it to teach math concepts like ratios and proportions, while others use it to support student creativity and collaboration. (Minecraft Education Edition, which launched on November 1, 2016, has additional features for collaboration.) There are some ideas here about some of the ways you can use Minecraft in the classroom:”
Designing Quality Infographics: Tips, Resources and Inspiration “Infographics are graphic visual representations of data and information. They can assist in explaining complex information, numbers or data quickly and effectively. There are some tips for designing quality infographics as well links to some resources and ideas for inspiration.”
88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners. Learning Specialist and Teacher Materials – Good Sensory Learning: 88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners This post talks about 15 different types of assistive technology that can benefit struggling learners with links to the authors favourite tools. There are links to a more comprehensive discussion of these technologies as well.
Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills – Tony Wagner These skills are familair to thise in educations, Each of the seven are defined by business leaders in their own words. They are: Critical thinking and problem-solving. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence. Agility and adaptability. Initiative and entrepreneurship. Effective and written communication. Accessing and analysing information. Curiosity and imagination.
A Great Visual To Help You Integrate Visible Thinking Routines in Your Class ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning One way to create a thinking cuture in class is to use “Visible Thinking, as a learning approach. This makes extensive use of thinking routines in class.These routines are simple structures( eg a set of questions or a short sequence of steps, that can be used across various grade levels and content. The way they become routines, versus merely strategies, is to use them constantly in the classroom so that they become part of the fabric of classroom culture. The routines become the way students go about the process of learning.” Included here is a great infographic created by Langwitches.
eSafety Homepage | Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner Australian Govt site: “Enhancing online safety for children” The Cybersmart Schools Gateway is a great resource for teacher planning and houses a wide range of cybersafety information and teaching resources for primary and secondary schools. These accessible and engaging materials are designed to help schools develop and implement a holistic approach to cybersafety. Includes the popular Cybersmart Outreach program to book professional presentations to teachers, parents and students on cybersafety. Administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Word Search Generator :: Create your own printable word find worksheets @ A to Z Teacher Stuff Simple to use this enables you to create your own custom word search worksheets. There are a variety of options available including font size, font style, lowercase or uppercase letters, grid shape, word placement, and more to customise you creation.
Puzzle Choice – Crosswords, online and printable puzzles and games “PUZZLE CHOICE offers online and printable puzzles and games. Choose from many different types of printable and online CROSSWORDS. There is also a daily US style crossword. You can play WORD SEARCH puzzles or see the WORDPLAY section for anagrams, offers brainteasers and other printable word games. The ONLINE GAMES section has jigsaws, mazes, memory games and a choice selection of classic puzzles and games. Kids young and old can visit the KIDS’ CHOICE section for a variety of puzzles and games for all ages.”
Lawstuff Australia – Know Your Rights – – Topics – Sexting This page explains the legal implications for sexting in Victoria. For example – If under 18, you will not be put on a sex offenders register in Victoria unless you are already on a sex offenders register in another state. Not all states have the same law. In NSW you will be put onto a register even if under 18 years.

Lawstuff Australia – Know Your Rights – – Topics – Photos & Videos on Your Phone “This page explains the laws that apply when you use the photo or recording functions on your phone. It also explains what you can do to stay out of trouble and your options if someone has an inappropriate photo or video of you.”

Digital Literacy and Learning in the United States | Pew Research Center “In this report, we use newly released Pew Research Center survey findings to address a related issue: digital readiness. The new analysis explores the attitudes and behaviors that underpin people’s preparedness and comfort in using digital tools for learning as we measured it in a survey about people’s activities for personal learning.”
8 digital life skills all children need – and a plan for teaching them | World Economic Forum Today digital skills are an essential part of a comprehensive education framework. The challenge for educators is to move beyond thinking of IT as a tool, or “IT-enabled education platforms”. Instead, they need to think about how to nurture students’ ability and confidence to excel both online and offline in a world where digital media is ubiquitous. Like IQ or EQ – which we use to measure someone’s general and emotional intelligence – an individual’s facility and command of digital media is a competence that can be measured. We call it DQ: digital intelligence. And the good news is that DQ is an intelligence that is highly adaptive. DQ can broadly be broken down into three levels: Digital citizenship. Digital creativity. Digital Entreneurship”
Diigo – Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Secondary Teacher Resources The secodary tschool teacher page that discusses how to use Budd:e site. Created for Australian students the Budd:e Cyber Security education package comprises a series of media-rich and interactive learning activitie. The package comprises two learning modules – one for primary students and one for secondary students. These can be used to assist students adopt safe and secure online practices.
Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Secondary Created for Australian students the Budd:e Cyber Security education package comprises a series of media-rich and interactive learning activitie. The package comprises two learning modules – one for primary students and one for secondary students. These can be used to assist students adopt safe and secure online practices.
Bullying. No Way! Bullying No Way! is an educational website for Australian school communities and the general public. As well as providing information for individuals, the website provides online curriculum and other resources to support the bullying prevention work of schools. Cybersafety resources and information aimed at children, parents and teachers are provided on the website.
eSmart Schools | National Centre Against Bullying “Developed for Australian schools, eSmart is an easy-to-use, evidence based and tested system to help schools manage cybersafety and deal with cyberbullying and bullying. The eSmart system provides a framework for schools to implement whole-school culture and behaviour change relevant to the smart, safe and responsible use of digital technologies. eSmart is an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.”
What We Do Offers a cybersafety module for middle primary students delivered in schools by Life Education. bCyberwise has been developed in partnership with McAfee to educate children on how to stay safe online and develop positive online communication skills. bCyberwise includes online resources to support teachers in the classroom.
Student Wellbeing Hub – Home This is a one-stop shop for information and resources underpinned by the National Safe Schools Framework. The Hub assists school communities to nurture student responsibility and resilience, build a positive school culture, foster respectful relationships and support students who are impacted by anti-social behaviour, including bullying and cyberbullying.
Top 10 Tools for Creating Digital Quizzes ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning An annotated list that is a “collection of some of the most popular quizzing tools that have covered in this blog. Be it a flipped, blended, virtual or even traditional classroom, the tools  below will enable you to easily create interactive quizzes, questionnaires and polls to share with students in class. “

Useful links

44 New Cool Websites and Apps to Learn Something New A post for anyone who might be interested in digital educational content. It shares some interesting places to go to for learning.
Smart Strategies That Help Students Learn How to Learn | MindShift | KQED News Some ideas to assist students in understanding about their learning. “Research has found that students vary widely in what they know about how to learn, according to a team of educational researchers from Australia writing last year in the journal Instructional Science. Most striking, low-achieving students show “substantial deficits” in their awareness of the cognitive and metacognitive strategies that lead to effective learning—suggesting that these students’ struggles may be due in part to a gap in their knowledge about how learning works.”
Word Search Generator :: Create your own printable word find worksheets @ A to Z Teacher Stuff Simple to use this enables you to create your own custom word search worksheets. There are a variety of options available including font size, font style, lowercase or uppercase letters, grid shape, word placement, and more to customise you creation.
Critical Evaluation – Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Kathy Schrock has created a long list of links to useful 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 outlines 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 explain how to evaluate information.
R U 4 R.E.A.L? Strategy for Website Evaluation Slide show 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.
88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners. Learning Specialist and Teacher Materials – Good Sensory Learning: 88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners This post talks about 15 different types of assistive technology that can benefit struggling learners with links to the authors favourite tools. There are links to a more comprehensive discussion of these technologies as well.
A Great Visual To Help You Integrate Visible Thinking Routines in Your Class ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning One way to create a thinking culture in class is to use “Visible Thinking, as a learning approach. This makes extensive use of thinking routines in class.These routines are simple structures( eg a set of questions or a short sequence of steps, that can be used across various grade levels and content. The way they become routines, versus merely strategies, is to use them constantly in the classroom so that they become part of the fabric of classroom culture. The routines become the way students go about the process of learning.” Included here is a great infographic created by Langwitches.
Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills – Tony Wagner These skills are familiar to those in educations, Each of the seven are defined by business leaders in their own words. They are: Critical thinking and problem-solving. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence. Agility and adaptability. Initiative and entrepreneurship. Effective and written communication. Accessing and analysing information. Curiosity and imagination.
THE BRAIN RUMMAGER A site that has English activities, including games and puzzles on topics such as English Language, writing, thinking, creativity. For a range of year levels.

Do Learning Styles Exist? So as long as our senses or brains are not damaged, we are able to process in all ways. But remarkably, even those with “broken” sensory inputs or head injuries can compensate. Other senses and parts of the brain become more acute and we are now learning, for example, that even a blind person can utilize their visual cortex and sound to create mental imagery or a “map” of their surroundings. We need to think about teaching students in kaleidoscopic ways, or using a multisensory approach to teaching that honors all 12 ways of processing information as outlined in the Eclectic Teaching Approach

The Boat | SBS Link to award-winning interactive graphic novel based on the story by Nam Le. The multimedia adaptation offers some insight into the Vietnamese refugee experience was adapted by Matt Huynh. There are suggested classroom activities and background information deigned for yr 9-12 students.
Stories from the Web This site has ideas and activities for those who are interested in reading and writing. For younger students.
Now teachers can include live code demo in OneNote – Office Blogs “You can now embed executable code snippets from Repl.it into OneNote when teaching programming. You use Repl. which is a tool that allows teachers to create live executable code examples in the cloud with zero setup time needed. It supports more than 30 major coding languages and more with highly customizable, simple and easy-to-use IDE-like features. Teachers using OneNote can now put code examples created in Repl.it into a OneNote notebook as an embedded object”
Puzzle Choice – Crosswords, online and printable puzzles and games “PUZZLE CHOICE offers online and printable puzzles and games. Choose from many different types of printable and online CROSSWORDS. There is also a daily US style crossword. You can play WORD SEARCH puzzles or see the WORDPLAY section for anagrams, offers brainteasers and other printable word games. The ONLINE GAMES section has jigsaws, mazes, memory games and a choice selection of classic puzzles and games. Kids young and old can visit the KIDS’ CHOICE section for a variety of puzzles and games for all ages.”
Printable Daily Crosswords for April 2016 “Free daily printable crosswords we know some of you like to print your puzzles to complete everyday so we have provided you with a list of every day’s crossword puzzle and solution that are easy to load and print using with the free to use trusted Adobe PDF reader. Return daily to find a new Printable puzzle and its solution”
Human-Scale at Scale: Personalization, But to What End? | Getting Smart Article discusses two very different school approaches to learner centered models of education.
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/uploads/classroom_curriculum/cs_digitalcitizenshipcurric_2016_release.pdf Common Sense Education lessons. A scope and sequence for Digital Citizenship that allows for flexible use across the curriculum.
45 Minute Goals Can Transform Your Teaching @coolcatteacher“Shelly Terrell’s 30 goals challenge. She wants teachers to tackle small, short goals. They take just 45 minutes each. Small achievements within the day can build momentum in your classroom. These small goals can energize you”

Epic Guide To Game Based Learning @coolcatteacherGames are fun and can be used effectively to teach. Game based learning invites students to learn in classroom situations. It can ignite a passion for learning in students. “In this post, Vicky Davis shares what she is doing in her classroom and she offers you a list of 100+ of her favorite game based learning resources”

How to Make Flipped Classroom Better @coolcatteacher Worth listening to. “Prepare for criticisms. Understand challenges. Learn from the mistakes others have made. I love using videos to teach the point and click software lessons in my classroom. Whether you’re advanced or a beginner, this conversation brings you to the leading edge of instructional design”

Useful links

DigCit Deep Dive – DigCit@SJP “Good online behavior is directly and inextricably related to good behavior in general, which rests at the heart of a solid K–12 education. We cannot predict what technology will look like in 2020, or even 5 years. But we do know that children will always need our guidance in managing and navigating the increasingly complex digital world. Such guidance is essential in creating not only a generation of positive, responsible, and kind digital natives, but also a generation of good citizens. The basic tenets and concepts around digital citizenship are evergreen. Digital citizenship and information literacy comprise some of the most important education we can provide our children. Unlike the comings and goings of technology devices and applications, the way people operate in the digital world will be relevant and significant for years to come.” $ tenets: Etiquette; communication and responsibility; privacy & safety and Ifentity and personal brand.
Kids & Family Reading Report – Scholastic What Kids want in books. An overview with choice being #1
The Strategy for Digital Citizenship Some of the rationale: “Much of digital citizenship education is related to being a good citizen and exercising good judgment. We teach these values in everyday life, but to date the digital life of children is often considered outside this realm. By focusing on digital citizenship, we acknowledge that our students’ online lives require the same attention and guidance as we give to their offline lives. Our aim is to empower students to make smart, responsible, and respectful decisions when using media. At the same time, we want to help them to understand the ethical consequences behind the decisions they make online.:
Top Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Easy Formative Assessment “The secret to great teaching is to understand what students know. Formative assessment can improve your classroom learning. Technology can make formative assessment easier for you and make a lesson flow.”
An English language lesson from the movies Alternatives to using “very”
Mathematical Habits of Mind | Edutopia Although about maths the ideas and concepts are applicable more widely. “Experienced vs. Inexperienced Problem Solvers. According to Levasseur and Cuoco (PDF, 80KB), it’s the mathematical habits of mind, or modes of thought, that enable us to reason about the world from a quantitative and spatial perspective, and to reason about math content that empowers us to use our mathematical knowledge and skills to make sense of and solve problems. It’s these habits that separate the “experienced” from the “inexperienced” problem solver.”
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?” “A new frustration that has me grappling with noteaking. I don’t just take my students into full blown digital notetaking in the beginning. If they don’t have basic notetaking skills down in an analog way adding a new technology AND teaching how to take notes at the same time is too much.
Design: Creating An Effective Scientific Poster Presentation Simple tips on how to create better presentatilons
Poster Basics – How to Create a Research Poster – Research Guides at New York University “The poster is usually a mixture of a brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. At a conference, the researcher stands by the poster display while other participants can come and view the presentation and interact with the author. What makes a good poster? Important information should be readable from about 10 feet away. Title is short and draws interestText is clear and to the point. Use of bullets, numbering, and headlines make it easy to read. Effective use of graphics, color and fonts. Consistent and clean layout. Includes acknowledgments, your name and institutional affiliation A sample of a well designed poster
Infographic: Tips for designing better research posters “The research poster must be clear, concise and attractive in order to generate discussion and feedback from colleagues. However, it is not easy to achieve those goals in a pleasing layout. Here are some tips to help you design effective research posters that stand out.”
Templates – Scientific Posters Useful poster templates

Education at a Glance 2016 – OECD Indicators – en – OECD “Education at a Glance 2016

OECD Indicators”
Why we Need to Talk About Leslie Jones in Class – Teacher Tech This post offer some good advice about how to get the message across. “Why telling kids to “be nice” online is NOT enough” is a post by @julnilsmith on the blog of @alicekeeler. This is a very useful one on the topic of Digital Citizenship, security & privacy.
Free Infographic Maker – Venngage Free tool that enables you to make infographics

Useful links

The EdTech Eleven: This Month’s Must-Know Tools | Common Sense Education ” From coomonSenseEducaion – for teachers who find it difficult to keep up with the chnges in Ed Tech. They created the EdTech Eleven: a monthly list of noteworthy tools generating buzz in the edtech world. While these aren’t recommendations or ratings (you have to check out our Top Picks for that), what you’ll find on the EdTech Eleven is a quick and current list of trending tools you might want to check out.”
The Trends and Challenges Shaping Technology Adoption In Schools | MindShift | KQED News “Trends affecting the adoption of technology in schools. (NMC/CoSN Horizons Report: K-12 Edition)”
Does Minecraft Help Students Become Better Readers? – Wise Guys “As student engage in various literacy activities centered around Minecraft, there is no doubt that increased fluency and comprehension will occur. As long as the game stays popular with kids, it will also be a popular way for teachers and parents to promote the enrichment of reading skills too.”
Coding: Developing Rigorous Thinkers An interesting article about why one teacher believes that it is important to teach coding in schools. “Coding challenges teachers and students to think abstractly. There is plenty of research suggesting a strong spatial sense yields future success in mathematics. Being able to write simple coding instructions and accounting for different variables is like playing chess and visualizing different scenarios. Playing hockey is no different. Goaltenders are constantly assessing the play, changing variables and predicting different outcomes in order to make saves. Computer Science is about moving towards real world applications like design thinking that tie in other subject areas. This form of self expression becomes a medium for storytelling and creativity and less about a math exercise.”
Why the 21st century teacher needs to understand research Tom Bennet’s short presentation for researchED Scotland on the importance of being research literate.
The Power Of I Don’t Know Questioning is an important tool. It is the catalyst for inquiry and useful for an assessment strategy. The best questions drive units of instruction when they become the essential question. Questions transcend content, the bridge between students and their context. I don’t know isn’t just a starting point for finding an answer, or a ready-made template for some academic essential question. Rather, it returns the learning to the student, and restores the scale of understanding to a universe of knowledge.”
104 Photo Editing Tools You Should Know About A long list of briefly described tools that are grouped under the following headings: Photo enhancers (1-3); Online editors (4-21); Free desktop editors (22-26); Paid desktop editors (27-40); HDR photo editors (41-53); Cross-platform image editors (54-57); Photo filters (58-66); Photo editing mobile apps (67-85); RAW processors (86-96); Photo viewers and managers (97-99); Other (100-104)

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.”

The 5Ds framework for integrating technology in the classroom – Book Creator app 5 Ds Framework for a meaningful and purposeful integration of technology in the classroom
Free Technology for Teachers: Try My Simpleshow for Creating Explanatory Videos A tutorial by Richard Byrne about how to best use this free tool. “Students have to write a script on My Simpleshow before they can begin to use the video editing tools. This tool enables you to create Common Craft style explanatory videos. The best aspect of My Simpleshow is the emphasis that the developers have placed on storyline planing and development.”

GoConqr – Create Flashcards With Images on Your Android Device | Android 4 Schools This is a service that offers tools for creating flashcards and mind maps. The GoConqr Flashcard app for Android allows students to develop sets of flashcards on their mobile devices. Students can create flashcards that are solely text-based or they can choose to incorporate pictures into their flashcards. Within the app students can create as many sets of flashcards as they like. The app does not require students to be connected to the Internet in order to review their flashcards.

Great way for students to reflect on their learning and create revision tools whilst building up a set of their own revision cards.
Buncee | Create, Present and Share Engaging Multimedia Lessons Buncee is a good tool for creating visual stories. You need to sign up but it is free for an individual to use. Schools can buy a licence for their staff and students. It is easy to use and products look good.
mysimpleshow – create your own explainer video in minutesThis is a free tool for creating simple explanatory videos (in the style of Common Craft videos). In My Simpleshow the emphasisis on storyline planning and development. This would make students focus on their message not the “bells and Whistles”. If the video developers work on that aspect the rest falls into place.

Useful links

Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Tools to Organize and Cite Research Sources Richard Byrne offers a description of some of the tools (with links) that may help students organize and cite their research sources.
Online Tools and Resources That Support Academic Honesty | Getting Smart “This post offer an annotated list of 10 edtech tools that can help promote academic honesty. They offer an easy way to fit doing the right into daily routines and improving the quality of educational efforts especially with research.”
Writing guide – EasyBib Blog Whilst there is no single, ‘correct’ way to write a research paper, there are certain guidelines that can assist the writer. This is a writing guide that cna be used as a framework depending on what the task is..
Favorite Portals for Pedagogical Planning (and a new curation tool) — @joycevalenza NeverEndingSearch  Joyce Valenza examines some interesting pedagogical portals that educators should have a look at if they are seeking some inspiration for engaging learners in meaningful conversations and a few new activities.
Libraries of the future are going to change in some unexpected ways | Business Insider An article that discusses some fascinating ideas about what libraries might become – their services and whatresources they curate
The growing need for developing (the right) STEM skills – Skills and Work An interesting discussion around what STEM skills and abilities are important and should be taught to students.
School Libraries: Are They Relevant in the Age of Google? “There are some great opportunities for the new school library. The idea of libraries as learning commons has gotten considerable national traction, and some successful models have been born”
Leverage Library Orientations to Reach Students AND Teachers “As a teacher librarian you are always learning about new ideas, skills, and ways of doing things that can enhance learning, engagement, and/or efficiency for students and teachers alike. But, it’s frequently a challenge finding the opportunities to share all we want to with either group. One way to expose both students and teachers to new concepts and skills simultaneously, thus getting double mileage from the time, is to introduce them during library orientations.
Study Skills Handbook by ELES Assisting my students develop good study techniques including improving memory, revision techniques, active reading and listening.
Free Clip Art and Public Domain Images Incredible art department. Many links to aide range of resources
Coding, Literacy and the 21st Century – Read Write RespondAn interesting discussion about the place of coding in education. “In the end, maybe coding is the 21st writing firm of writing? Like poetry, maybe every student should write code. One thing that is certain, coding as a topic of discussion provides more questions than answers. So what about you? “

How to Organize a Paper: Ten Ways to Write the Perfect Document – The Visual Communication Guy: Design, Writing, and Teaching Resources All in One Place! Whatever your purpose for writing, the way you organize your paper is critical to the way in which it will be received. To organize a paper, you much be conscious of what your goal is, what your audience will interpret your message to be, how you’ll build to your main point, and how you’ll leave the appropriate lasting impression.

This graphic doesn’t cover all the ways to organize a paper, but it covers ten of the most common.”
Is Listening to an Audio book “Cheating?” – Daniel Willingham “Learning to read is certainly important, no one is saying that it isn’t, but in some cases, listening to the story can encourage students to read more, something high school English teacher Michael Godsey discovered using podcast audio with transcripts. “
Digital Licence This the site of the eSmart Digital Licence. It is a comprehensive online cyber safety resources. It teaches school aged children critical digital skills and promotes discussion about online safety between young people and their parents, carers and teachers.
Google now lets you explore U.S. National Parks via 360-degree virtual tours | TechCrunch This offers a wonderful to gain some understanding of these amazing places.
The 7 C’s of Minecraft: Education Edition – LearningBlocksEdu One educator discusses “How would I do Minecraft Education Edition?” He takes a look at what might happen if there was “a blank canvas to work on and a bottomless pit of resources”. The ideas are laid out under 7 headings: “The 7 C’s” that are at the very core of his vision of Minecraft in Education. These are: Curriculum; Curriculum; Collaboration; Community; Communication; Control; Coding. There are ideas here that could lead to some interesting discussions.

Useful links

Educational Postcard: ”Grades are not t by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Educational Postcard: ”Grades are not t” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  Ken Whytock 

A Handy Collection of Some of The Best EdTech Tools for Teachers and Educators ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “The aim of this multi-purpose collection is to provide teachers with a handy resource where they can access some of the best educational tools to leverage in their instruction. This list is a work-in progress and we will be adding more to it in the next coming days.”
New Code Club Python Projects! | The Code Club Blog The Code Club has updated. New developements explained and new projects. “The projects cover key skills such as sequencing, variables, selection, repetition, as well as lists, dictionaries, functions and files. The projects also focus on data, both using open data sets (in the ‘Where is the Space Station?’ project), as well as data that can be collected and analysed by the children themselves (such as in the ‘Popular Pets’ project).”
4 Apps to Foster Parent-Teacher Communication | EdTech Magazine There are many apps, ranging from Facebook-like social formats to simple SMS reminders, that can provide safe messaging options and communication tools to help create a stronger relationship between teachers and parents. 4 apps are discussed here.
Personalized Learning: Enabling Student Voice and Choice Through Projects | Edutopia “Six tips to bring personalized learning projects into your classroom and build student engagement. “
What Happens to Behavior When You Incorporate Student Choice? – John Spencer ” Is student choice is a privilege or a fundamental right? One teachers reflection about his journey. “I was afraid of student choice. I knew it could work with a typical classroom. But what about a hard class? What about a group where I am regularly missing 4-5 students a week for suspensions around playground fighting, graffiti, and drug possession? I was scared that autonomy would lead to anarchy. I was also proud and even a little arrogant. I had a positive reputation in my district and suddenly I was struggling. I didn’t want to be found out. I felt powerless and so I tried to micromanage….It’s something that all students need. But more importantly, it is something that works. It can feel risky to empower a student who misbehaves. However, it is worth the risk. I’ve learned that so many students, labeled for years as being the “bad kids” do amazing things when they feel empowered to own their learning.”
Top 10 Apps to help improve the lives of Autism spectrum children “The number of apps being developed for autism spectrum children has soared due to the high demand for such tools. Here are ten that are highly recommended.
How do I learn more about different SharePoint topics? | Sharegate Links to almost anythig about using Sharepoint
Google Apps update alerts: Add images to questions and answers in Google Forms “Google Forms makes it easy to create, distribute, and analyze surveys. Starting today, you can craft even more effective forms by inserting images into survey questions or adding images as multiple choice or checkbox options in Forms on the web.”
Cool Ideas to get started with Office 365 in your classroom “Anytime, anywhere access to resources and tools for learning is an essential element for today’s online learning environments. Thanks to the cloud (and some clever technical engineers) digital tools are enabling seamless connections between teachers and learners and transforming the what, when, how and where we work. In this post, one teacher shares some of the productivity elements of Office 365 classroom that he has made use of “
18 Digital Tools and Strategies That Support Students’ Reading and Writing | MindShift | KQED News “From a presentation to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference on an array of digital reading and writing tools teachers and students in her district find most helpful. Littleton’s Instructional Technology Specialist, Dana Levesque, started compiling resources on a site that both teachers and students can access to find the tools that fit their needs. The important thing is for kids to begin to think metacognitively about what they need to succeed in school and to advocate for what works. Not every student will use the same tools, but there are lots of powerful ones that could be the slight boost a student needs to feel successful.”

Newsela rolls out Library to help students read beyond the news | TechCrunch Newsela, the exceptional reading site offering the same article written for different reading levels (see The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”) has unveiled a new “Library” feature offering similar “levels” of primary source documents. Access is free to all Newsela resources, though you have to register on the site. A fee is required, though, in order to use advanced features like a virtual classroom.

Free Technology for Teachers: TurboNote – Take & Share Notes While Watching Videos TurboNote is a useful Chrome extension that enables you to take notes while watching a video in the same web browser window. Unlike some similar extensions, TurboNote isn’t limited to working with YouTube videos. TurboNote can be used on Vimeo, Netflix, and Facebook videos.
Venn Diagram Templates to Download or Modify Online “There are some Venn diagram templates/examples available for you in the Creately diagramming community. You can download them for free or modify then online using our diagram software. New templates are added frequently, so be sure to check back often.”
15 of the Best Open Source Image Sites on the Web A useful annotated list of sites to obtain and use images fairly.