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.

Useful links

Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Classroom | Edutopia “PBL is focused on helping solve the problems around us. e-NABLE has definitely tapped into something, but it doesn’t need to be the charity that you focus your classroom on.Teachers have a role to play in helping students ask the questions to discover what those needs are. This process of inquiry should be the initial part of any PBL unit”
Welcome to Quick Rubric – Free, Fast, and Easy to Use!  A tool that helps you create and print assessment rubrics. You can customize point values, definitions of good performance, rows and columns, then print the rubrics for distribution. The site also offers tips for writing a strong rubric. Also privacy note: Quick Rubric collects personal information from educators who create accounts. Students do not need to create accounts.
Photos For Class – The quick and safe way to find and cite images for class! A search engine for Creative-Commons-licensed photos for students to use in class or on their homework. Students can download and repurpose any photo they find, and the images come with appropriate attributions. The search also filters out inappropriate images.
WeAreTeachers – Get Lesson Plans – Teacher Grants – Teaching Resources and More This site offers a lot of free, printable lessons, PD resources, decorations, lists and blog posts, along with info on grants and contests. Subjects range from financial literacy to social emotional learning.
101 Educators to Follow on Twitter | @TeacherToolkit This is a list of educators who use Twitter to share their ideas and expertise with others. “They are not teachers, but educators in various sectors and countries, curated from those whom the author has been interacting with online for up to 8 years; some people they have met and have developed professional relationships with.
[3874] 7 Tips for Teachers Who Have No Interest in Coding A podcast that is useful to listen to as it offers ideas and tips for teachers and it is not too long. “Though many teachers have no interest in coding, demand for the subject is growing rapidly. Increasingly, teachers are being asked to teach elements of coding in their content areas. Our guest offers some simple tips to help teachers get on board.”
Reflective Practice- Are you Doing it? | An Ethical Island “Reflective practice occurs when teachers step back and evaluate the learning environment. The teacher looks at himself or herself. They ask, “How can this be better?” They identify what went right or wrong. It occurs both during the learning events and after.”
Instead of Handouts – Google Keep – Teacher Tech A Google option that allows you an easy way to go paperless.
Math Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt – Teacher Tech “A fun way for students to learn math vocabulary is to ask them to go on a vocabulary scavenger hunt. Students go out on campus and take pictures that represent the “math in the wild.”” It could be adapted for use across many learning areas
My Lesson Plan Template – Teacher Tech “I teach pre-service teachers. Part of my class is their first lesson plan ever. Unlike most of the lessons my students experienced as K12 students, their lesson plans need to include Common Core standards, SAMR model, students using technology, Digital Citizenship and identifying DOK levels. The lesson plan template I provide the students is really long, I would not expect them to fill it out more than this one time. The idea is to get them thinking about elements of a lesson plan that they possibly would not naturally include since they do not have any experience with lesson planning.”
To-Do List Competition: Level UP – Teacher Tech “A Google spreadsheet to keep track of all the assignments due during the semester. Each person who voluntarily wanted to participate created a column for themselves to check off when they have completed a task. This was helpful, but after adding a gamification element to the to-do list it really got fun. “
Why a Brochure? – Teacher Tech Links to template but many ideas for better student creation listed
CS Teaching Tips: A project funded by the NSF (Grant # 1339404) 10 posters with Teaching Tips for teaching Computer Science focussing on a number of areas including reducing bias, assessment, seeking help, pair programming, scratch and more. ach is linked to the tip sheet and helpful video.

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) | “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.” 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:…%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 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 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.”