Useful links

TEEN ZONE – Book Lists Some useful loists for YA literature. Grouped under various topics and each book given a short description.
7 Ways You Can Be a Digital Citizenship Leader Webinar presented by Susan Bearden, Director of Information Technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and hosted by Common Sense Education.
Global Digital Citizenship—in 15 Minutes! (Global Digital Citizen) “tTe final instalment of our Global Digital Citizenship in 15 Minutes blog series. This series covers the 21st Century Fluencies and Global Digital Citizenship. It shows how to explore them with students in 15 minutes or less each day. In this one they they look at the Global Digital Citizen.”
Science Of Persuasion – YouTube “The animated video describes the six universal Principles of Persuasion that have been scientifically proven to make you most effective as reported in Dr. Cialdini’s groundbreaking book, Influence” useful ideas to keep in mind
24 Websites to Offer Coding at School “A collection of some of the best tools to help teach coding in schools. They included sites for training for teachers to prepare to teach programming, and games to keep students learning beyond the classroom.”
Free Technology for Teachers: The 2016 Google Science Fair is Now Open “To help students develop project ideas the Google Science Fair website offers a Make Better Generator. The Make Better Generator site asks students to complete the phrases “I love,” “I’m good at,” and “I will make better.” From the students’ responses to these questions the Make Better Generator site generates a collection of videos and websites that could spark project ideas in their minds.”

Make Better Generator – Google Science Fair 2016 This may be a useful device to help students develop project ideas for science. On the Google Science Fair website there is a Make Better Generator. The Make Better Generator site asks students to complete the phrases “I love,” “I’m good at,” and “I will make better.”  From the students’ responses to these questions the Make Better Generator site generates a collection of videos and websites that could spark project ideas in their minds.

The Importance of your Digital Reputation – Cyberbullying Research Center “Those who do not learn how to utilize social media strategically run a great risk of encountering obstacles when seeking employment or admission. Research has been clear that social media can serve important professional purposes, such as personal branding, self-promotion ad impression management (Chen, 2013; Jackson & Lilleker, 2011; Labrecque et al., 2011; Zhao et al., 2013), and we encourage its intentional positive use. We suggest that all youth (and young adults!) work extra hard to do great things at school and in their community (e.g., making the honor roll, volunteering, extra-curricular activities, etc.) so that when one does search for them, they find evidence of hard work, integrity, and civic-mindedness.”

George Couros: The 8 Ingredients of the Innovator’s Mindset – Cool Cat Teacher Blog  “The greatest innovation in the modern classroom happens not when we innovate with technology. It begins with the Innovator’s Mindset. George Couros shares these 8 important ingredients of the Innovator’s Mindset in this new show series. “
This is the Future of Education | John Spencer “The future of education can’t be found in a gadget or an app or a program or a product. It doesn’t require a think tank full of pundits. The future of education can be found in the classroom. The classroom is packed with creative potential. Teachers have all the innovation they need right there in their room and they they have the power to make it happen. “
Three Reasons Students Should Own Your Classroom’s Twitter and Instagram Accounts | EdSurge News “Social media is happening—with or without teachers. The lessons students learn by taking ownership of social media ends up enhancing all of their work, both in and out of school.
Type with your voice – Docs editors Help The official list of available commands for editing and formating Google Docs by voice from Google.
An Educator’s Guide to Acceptable Risk Taking @coolcatteacher “Risk taking is not a bad word. If we want to help students read, write, and learn anything – we have to learn to take risks. But how can we understand what risks are worth taking? How can principals, teachers, and students learn how to take acceptable risks? From routine busting to reflection, George Couros, author of the Innovator’s Mindset helps us understand the risks and rewards of great teaching.”
National Poetry Month: Useful Resources for Teachers and Students | Edutopia “This is a great place for students to explore the works of favorite poets, from Oscar Wilde to Percy Shelley. All of the poems are in the public domain and are open and accessible for classrooms. The Poetry Foundation also features an immense collection of more than 12,000 poems that are searchable by topic, occasion, author, and more.”

10 Things Your Kids Can Learn Online Infographic

There is still a lot of discussion about the internet and how useful/wasteful/dangerous it is for our children. Like all things, it is how you use it and whether you have developed the skills to get the best from it.

 This infographic from the Pumpic team makes some suggestions. The team has selected 20 services that they believe will teach your kids 10 skills for life. Starting from essentials, like reading and improving grammar, to cool ones: playing the guitar and programming. All of these is easy to achieve with educational games available online and apps introduced on kids learning sites

10 Things Your Kids Can Learn Online Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Useful links

 Public Domain Poems – Selected Public Domain Poetry from the Great Public Domain Poets – Yeats, Shelley, Whitman, Frost,Tennyson,Wilde, Browning, Hardy and many more! This is a great place for students to explore the works of favorite poets, from Oscar Wilde to Percy Shelley. All of the poems are in the public domain and are open and accessible for classrooms. The Poetry Foundation also features an immense collection of more than 12,000 poems that are searchable by topic, occasion, author, etc.
4 Strategies for Teaching Students How to Revise | Edutopia ” The classroom writing process involves: Brainstorming (Think About It) Drafting (Getting It Down). Revising (Making It Better). Editing (Making It Right). Publishing (Sharing It!). At the beginning of the writing process, I have had students write silently. For it to be successful, in my experience, students need plenty of topics handy (self-generated, or a list of topics, questions, and prompts provided). Silent writing is a wonderful, focused activity for the brainstorming and drafting stage of the writing process. I also think it’s important that the teacher write during this time, as well (model, model, model). However, when it comes to revising, and later, editing, I think peer interaction is necessary. Students need to, for example, “rehearse” words, phrases, introductions, and thesis statements with each other during the revision stage”
10 Things You Need to Know to Develop a Growth Mindset“Some suggestions you could follow to develop a growth mindset. It will help you to look at situations and problems from a new perspective.”
5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Unmotivated Students | Cult of Pedagogy  “This blog post offers a ways of diagnosing a problem many teachers struggle with. What we perceive to be reduced student motivation may be, in part, be caused by our decisions. This post looks 5 questions to help use turn this around.”
Teaching Geography – A Unit on Liveability for 5/6/7Australian Curriculum Lessons “Summary of Unit: Students will explore features of a range of countries and the factors that influence where and how people live. Students will investigate the inquiry question: ‘How liveable is Australia?’ Students will compare life in another country and will choose from Europe, North America, Asia and Europe. Throughout the inquiry students will be collecting a variety of data and information, recording and representing data with the focus of maps, tables, charts and graphs”
10 Teacher Tools to “Techify” Your Classroom – Learn2Earn Blog “Thereis a vast array of technology tools that can be used in the classroom to increase student engagement. Sometimes, however, the world of educational technology can seem daunting and extremely overwhelming. The list of of teacher tools listed here will hlp to “techify” your lessons one step at a time. Each one has the potential to enhance your classroom biome and get students excited about your content.

How Minecraft could help teach chemistry “Minecraft is more than just a game and used carefully it can also be a powerful educational tool. It allows young people to create and explore places that are completely inaccessible by other means. Within the blocky world, they can roam around historical sites, delve into the geology beneath their feet or fly through the chambers of a heart, and much more besides.

The rich resources of these virtual worlds, coupled with the educational version of the game, allow teachers to immerse young people in a comfortable but exciting learning environment. Minecraft has the ability to bring just about any conceivable structure to the classroom, and beyond.
Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job — The Message — Medium “It’s about preserving our digital history, which as we know now, is as easy to delete as 15 years of GeoCities.We can’t expect for-profit corporations to care about the past, but we can support the independent, nonprofit organizations that do.”

100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators “Google Classroom allows teachers to easily manage student work and teaching with Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Spreadsheets and anything Google. This handy tool has opened up the doors of blended learning and collaborative classrooms like never before. Teachers wanting to implement Google Classroom can use these resources to get started, level up their learning, or become a pro at all things Google. Vicki Davis spent several weeks combing through resources and has picked some of her favorites.”

Part 3: Tech Resources and Tools for Differentiated Learning … Writing Process | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “The focus of the post is on Differentiated learning using writing technology tools. The author sees this as multiple concepts. One dealing with the actual writing process and the others provide tools and resources for  various writing opportunities  and student engagement”
graphite | The best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula rated for learning A free service from the terrific Common Sense Education site that makes it easy to discover the best apps, games, and websites for classroom use. There are many reviews of tools such as Edmodo, Kahoot, ClassDojo, and LightSail put up by educators. Assists in finding the best edtech tools by providing reviews written by teachers in the classroom and experts in the field. “On Graphite, you can learn best practices for teaching and connecting with our growing community of educators.”

How Turning Math Into a Maker Workshop Can Bring Calculations to Life | MindShift | KQED News Great practical (hands-on) approach to teaching maths concepts

These Two Buttons in Google Drive Will Help Keep You Organized | The Gooru “To help locate files more quickly, Google has relocated two buttons in Drive to help you organize your files and avoid spending time searching for a document. These buttons will appear when you are in Shared with me, Recent, Starred, or looking at Search results in Drive. When you select a document in one of these views, the below bar will appear at the top of your Drive page.”

5-Minute Film Festival: Teaching Digital Citizenship | Edutopia A good range of options if you are looking for short videos/films as entry points to discuss digital citizenship with students.
20 Free Stock Photo Sites for Your Social Media Images “An annotated list of some free stock photo sites whose images fall under CC0 license.”
Good Free Photos – Free Public Domain Stock Photos Many unique public domain photos.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Educational Postcard: We need authentic by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Educational Postcard: We need authentic” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  Ken Whytock 

 

6 Reasons You Should Be Doing Digital Storytelling with Your Students | Getting Smart ” Digital storytelling is a blend of video, audio, images, and text to convey stories, information, and ideas. If you are not yet convinced of the benefits of digital storytelling, this post gives you the top six reasons why you should be doing digital storytelling activities with your students.”

Free Technology for Teachers: How to Set a Time Limit on Google Forms

“Post created after a question from a teacher who was looking for a way to impose a time limit on a quiz or test administered through Google Forms. My suggestion was to try using the Google Forms Add-on called Form Limiter. In the video embedded Richard Byrne demonstrate how to install and use Form Limiter.”

Free Technology for Teachers: Choosito – A Search Engine With Reading Level Index “Students who feel overwhelmed by unfiltered results on Google or Bing, could benefit from using Choosito to filter search results. Likewise, students who have trouble refining their search terms could benefit from Choosito’s “related searches” suggestions. Teachers who are looking for reading materials for their students, should appreciate the option to filter results to a reading level appropriate for their students”

The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels” | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… Having the “same” text written for different levels of English comprehension can be a life-saver for a multi-level class of English Language Learners or for a teacher with a mainstream class that includes some students that are facing other challenges. They can be an important tool for differentiation.
Listed here are a few sources where you can get these different versions other than creating them yourself.

10 Chrome Extensions Every Student Should Install | The Thinking Stick A useful annotated list with some good suggestions (for students and teachers).
3 Steps to Becoming a Coding Teacher | Edutopia The are some good ideas here as well as some questions you could ask before beginning coding in your classroom.
Unlocking the Code for Robotics in the Classroom | Edutopia The post discusses five reasons why teachers should consider purchasing robotics for the K-12 classroom.

Kiddle – visual search engine for kids This search engine is powered by editors and Google safe search. Kiddle blocks all explicit content by default so you, as the user, don’t need to change any settings. Creators state that it is not possible to turn off the safe search filter on this search engine. It also has filtering so that in the case of some inappropriate words are present in a search query, the “guard robot” will block the search.
Most search results are illustrated with large thumbnails, making it easier to scan the results, differentiate between the sites, and click the most appropriate results to the query. The thumbnails serve as visual clues and are especially beneficial to kids . The text for the search results is in large Arial font, for easy readability for students.

Trust, Authenticity, and Genuine Digital Leadership | Edutopia “We all have the capacity to influence our profession and the digital tools that we have access to provide us with a forum to reach an audience of educators who are willing to listen and be influenced. If our colleagues are listening to us, we better make sure that we’re genuine and authentic. Those of us who are in a position to lead (which is arguably all of us!) should work at earning the trust of the professionals we may have influence over and these four pointers provide some influence that I hope will be helpful.”

4 Great Google Drive Add-ons for Math Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning  The Google drive add-ons/apps discussed here enable you to solve mathematical equations, create graphs, work on complex calculations, perform basic math/stat operations of cell values in a Google Docs table. They also foffer other options depending on how you want to use them.

Seven Stages in Moving from Consuming to Creating | John Spencer “here are seven stages I see students go through as they shift from being consumers of media to creators of media:”
6 New EdTech Tools for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “Some of the things you can do with these web tools include: creating different types of diagrams (e.g flowcharts and organizational charts), solve math problems using Symbolab calculator, design print-friendly Bingo cards to use in class, build and share word searches online, convert/compress and share video files”
SparkNotes: Today’s Most Popular Study Guides Spark Notes is a fantastic tool to help students through difficult assignments and essays in Literature and English classes. The notes shouldn’t be a replacement for reading. Rather, use them as an aid to help you understand the concepts. If you’re reading Shakespeare, for instance, Spark Notes will help you understand the language so you can better understand the story. Spark Notes can also offer study tips or break up the text into smaller pieces to help students manage their workload.
Teaching Students the Skills of Expert Readers | Edutopia “A summary of the seven strategies of highly skilled readers. A brief purpose for using each strategy is provided along with a corresponding protocol. The seven strategies can be used with a variety of texts depending on the discipline.”
4 Student-friendly Tools for Creating Educational Presentations ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “a collection of some very good  tools you can use in class with students to create beautiful presentations and slideshows. All of these tools are web-based and do not require any software download. They are also very simple and easy to use so students won’t have any major problems working on them.”
STUDYBLUE | Find and share online flashcards and notes from StudyBlue. Any subject, anywhere, anytime. Study Blue lets students across all ages and subjects create flashcards to help with the study process. The website will store your flashcards for later use, or for the use of others who might want a more cumulative set of study resources. Study Blue boasts the “largest and fastest growing library of online study materials,” including quizzes, review sheets, and the aforementioned flashcards.
Free Technology for Teachers: 4 Free Tools for Creating & Playing Interactive Quiz Games “This post looks at 4 interactive quiz game tools that Richard Byrne has used with great success in his classroom and or in his workshops.”
Crafting Connections: Four-Star Reading Responses “An anchor chart that shows the progression from a 1-star Post-it note to a 4-star Post-it note for upper elementary students based on the Say Something Post-it Note reading strategy.”
Wacky Books Will Hook Reluctant Readers “Some suggestions for when you have a child who doesn’t want to read, a reluctant reader. Get them engaged in a wacky book or silly story.”
Historical Inquiry: 20+ Creative Ways History Teachers Can use Primary Sources @coolcatteacher  “Historical inquiry helps make history class exciting. History teachers can use primary sources in creative, exciting ways to make history come alive. What is historical inquiry? How can it be used to teach history? How can you use technology, creativity, and exciting projects to teach history? The post explains how.”
How to Determine if Student Engagement is Leading to Learning | MindShift | KQED News  “With or without technology, there always seems to be a great deal of emphasis on student engagement, but the fact of the matter is that engagement does not necessarily equate to learning.”
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset | Edutopia “A growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your talents and abilities through hard work, good strategies, and help from others. It stands in opposition to a fixed mindset, which is the belief that talents and abilities are unalterable traits, ones that can never be improved. Research has shown (and continues to show) that a growth mindset can have a profound effect on students’ motivation, enabling them to focus on learning, persist more, learn more, and do better in school. Significantly, when students are taught a growth mindset, they begin to show more of these qualities. However, I slowly became aware that not all educators understood the concept fully. Identifying a False Growth Mindset: It all started when my Australian colleague Susan Mackie informed me that she was seeing more and more false growth mindset. This is when educators think and do all sorts of things that they simply call growth mindset.”

Aligning Assessments with Learning Objectives – TeachOnline “When you are creating a course, strive to design with the end in mind. After you have established a set of measurable learning objectives for your course, work to develop assessments that are aligned with your stated learning objectives. Think of the learning objectives as a set of skills, knowledge, or abilities that your students will be able to demonstrate a mastery of at the end of the course. Then consider the assessments as a way for the student to prove they are capable of that mastery.”

Innovation Is Not a One Time Event | Connected Principals “One of the things that have to really see is that innovation in school is not about a day, a week, or a class.  Although creating those experiences are great, if you look at these characteristics above, how can we promote them through what we do everyday in school?”

Five Ways to Build Your School’s Instructional Brand and Connect with Families | EdSurge News “Although the obvious result of the work discussed in the post is about creating high levels of transparency between the home and school, the byproduct is making your instructional brand clear to the entire community.”

What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship | Edutopia “Digital Citizenship or Just Citizens? There are those like expert Anne Collier who think we should drop the word “digital” because we’re really just teaching citizenship. These are the skills and knowledge that students need to navigate the world today. We must teach these skills and guide students to experience situations where they apply knowledge. Citizenship is what we do to fulfill our role as a citizen. That role starts as soon as we click on the internet. In the classroom, there are two essential approaches in the digital citizenship curriculum that Vicki Davis uses to teach: proactive knowledge and experiential knowledge.
“Proactive Knowledge: I want my students to know the “9 Key Ps” of digital citizenship. I teach them about these aspects and how to use them. While I go into these Ps in detail in my book Reinventing Writing, here are the basics”
“Experiential Knowledge: During the year, I’ll touch on each of these 9 Key Ps with lessons and class discussions, but just talking is not enough. Students need experience to become effective digital citizens. Here’s how I give them that:”

Learning with ‘e’s: Learning from each other  Corneli and Danoff’s approach – paragogy – anyone can teach anyone else, because everyone knows something, but no-one knows everything. Students can even teach their teachers, in an extreme form of flipped learning”

Critical Thinking: A Necessary Skill in the Age of Spin | Edutopia “Fortunately, when students are educated about information-gathering techniques and critical thinking, they have the tools necessary to see through spin and make decisions based on fact, rather than myth or propaganda. Regardless of your subject, critical thinking is one of the most important skills you can teach.”

Tools and Materials – Maker Ed’s Resource Library ““Tools and Materials” contains lists and examples of useful tools and resources in making activities and makerspaces, including suggestions for consumables, hardware, machines, open source software, and other technologies. This category also includes guidance or tutorials on specific tools or skills. The resources in the post are listed in alphabetical order, as a default. They are also organized into subcategories, accessible by the tabs at the top of the grid. When hovering over each box, keywords provide a simple description and glimpse into the content of the resource, which is accessible by clicking on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner.”

2016 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers | Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) “The Quick Picks list, presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting suggests books that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. The 2016 list features 67 titles and 2 series, drawn from 181 nominations.”

16 Things Teachers Should Try in 2016 [infographic] | Shake Up Learning “This is a list of 16 Things for Teachers to Try in 2016 to help inspire educators to try something new this year. Not expensive and adaptable.”

Culture of Creativity or Constraints? – Curiosity, Exploration, Wonder “There are a few possibilities discussed here that help to create that culture of free creativity and innovation. Educators need to build this culture at a young age and when challenges arise students will have what it takes to innovate. How will we bring about opportunities for students to explore their creativity and innovate?”

Top 5 Emerging EdTech Trends you Must Know in 2016 “The post looks at the top 5 big trends in e-learning and education technology that could change the teaching-learning in 2016 and beyond. There are some key ideas here for online educators as well as for teach-preneurs in E-learning and educational technology.”

The Teacher’s Guide for Using Social Media [Infographic] “Online Colleges created this simple teacher’s guide for using social media below. It provides some specific strategies for applying tools like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube to any classroom. It has tips for communicating and curating, and celebrating student work. ”

7 innovative Australian startups bringing education into the 21st century | Ideas Hoist “This post looks at seven startups which look to either fill in some gaps, or improve on old habits across the whole spectrum of education”

10 Epic Tools Busy Teachers Need to Be Aware of A useful annotated list of tools.

What is a Makerspace? | Create, Collaborate, Innovate “Making looks different at different types of makerspaces. However, schools, public libraries, and even artist collaboratives have some universal themes that tie us all together (and owning a 3D printer isn’t one of them.)”

Learn2Earn | Whooos Reading This online, gamified reading log rewards kids for reading and motivates them to read more. After logging their most recent reading, they answer a CCSS-aligned comprehension question. They earn Wisdom Coins for logging their reading and answering the questions, which can be spent in the Owl Store where they buy virtual accessories for their Owlvatar. The reward system motivates kids to read more every day and gives teachers a chance to monitor what students are reading outside of the classroom Different priciing options

Studio Pango | Funny apps for smart kids Young reader are in control with this reading app. It allows them to be directly involved in the story. They are encouraged to explore what’s going on, find hidden objects, move characters from one place to another, and more. The reading levels progress as the student improves so the app allows kids to move onto more complex texts when they are ready.

PlayTales Kids apps | iPhone, iPad, Android Interactive books for kids | Apps for children. This app, available on IOS and Android, gives students unlimited access to classic, new, and educational stories (for a low monthly fee). Because it’s interactive, students are encouraged to dive deeper into the text, whether they’re simultaneously drawing or watching the words come to life with animation.

What Should I Read Next? Book recommendations from readers like you This simple website does one thing: tells you what books to read based on the book you input in the search field. Students can get frustrated when selecting their own reading material, making reading more stressful than it needs to be. Give your students access to this website when choosing a new book; they’ll be excited to see what comes up and feel more confident with their choices.

A Beginner’s Guide To Personalized Learning – “There is a difference between personalized learning and differentiation. Differentiation is a kind of personalized instruction, where teachers adjust process, & product, according to a student’s readiness, interest, & learning style. Planning of the learning starts with the content, and the content remains the same for all students. This is a school and curriculum-centered approach that attempts to amend the delivery of the content to match the student’s needs, strengths, and general readiness.
Personalized learning starts with the learner and asks the question, “What does this student need to understand, and how best can that happen?” This is a student-centered approach, and is built around the idea of recognizing the vast differences in students–not just in terms of literacy or schema, but an authentic need to know.”

35 Digital Tools To Create Simple Quizzes And Collect Feedback From Students “The sites, tools, and apps mentioned here can save teachers time by allowing them to create simple quizzes that can be taken asynchronously, and make polls and forms to collect feedback from students (content-based or otherwise).”

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning | Edutopia “Project-based learning (PBL) naturally lends itself to differentiated instruction. By design, it is student-centered, student-driven, and gives space for teachers to meet the needs of students in a variety of ways. PBL can allow for effective differentiation in assessment as well as daily management and instruction.  We all need to try out specific ideas and strategies to get our brains working in a different context. Here are some specific differentiation strategies to use during a PBL project.”

How You Can Become a Champion of Digital Citizenship in Your Classroom | EdSurge News“Why Digital Citizenship is No Longer Just an “Elective” As teachers, it is now part of our responsibility to lead by example when it comes to sound digital citizenship practices. As soon as children have devices in their hands, they should be educated about digital citizenship and their digital footprint. Think about this: even before babies are born, they have a digital shadow, because pictures and other media are shared about them via various social media outlets.”

25 Critical Thinking Apps For Extended Student Learning – “There are many apps that do promote critical thinking–and often extended critical thinking and learning at that. These aren’t clinical “critical thinking building” programs either, but rather often enjoyable exercises in strategy, tactics, and problem-solving thought. In this post there is a collection of 25 of these critical thinking apps. Most are for grades 8-12, but several are for students as young as kindergarten.”

Teens can’t tell the difference between Google ads and search results | The Verge “The familiar narrative of teens and technology is one of natural proficiency — that young people just get technology in a way that older generations don’t. But research suggests that just because children feel at home using smartphones, it doesn’t mean they’re more aware of the nuances of how the web works. In a new report published by the UK’s telecoms watchdog Ofcom, researchers found that only a third of young people aged 12 to 15 knew which search results on Google were adverts, while this figure was even lower — less than one in five — for children aged 8 to 11”

Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup | Edutopia “Explore this educator’s guide to open educational resources for information about online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, and open alternatives to textbooks.”

Free Technology for Teachers: How to Get Free eBooks on Your Mobile Device “With the rise and prominence of eBooks have come a number of resources for educators and students to access free content on virtually any device. Using e-readers, tablets, or computers; in conjunction with apps such as Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Play Books, and OverDrive; you can access libraries of books for free on virtually any device. By downloading these free apps, you make your device a digital reading device that is not dependent on a specific vendor. ”

Digital Citizenship Resources for the Home | Common Sense Media “You don’t have to be an expert on texting, Instagram, Minecraft — or whatever else your kids are into — to have The Talk. Start by reading up on what’s going on in your kids’ world (for younger kids and older kids). Ask them to show you what they like online, and why. Make sure to listen:) Then, express a few basic expectations, with the understanding that this isn’t a one-and-done kind of chat.

Writing commons – Home “A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.”
“Writing Commons is a viable alternative to expensive writing textbooks. Faculty may assign Writing Commons for their composition, business, STEM/Technical Writing, and creative writing courses. Writing Commons houses seven main sections: Information Literacy | Research Methods & Methodologies | Writing Processes | Collaboration | Genres | New Media | Style ”

7 Fun (And Effective!) Reading Websites That Engage Students “A collection of a number of websites that teachers, parents and students can use to help guide student reading selections. The aim : to assist students to find books to that they really like, then they’ll be more inclined to make time in their busy schedules for reading.”

A Collection of Project Based Learning End Products — Learning in Hand “Post discusses products created by students through project based learning experiences, with an emphasis on what students create to express their answer to a driving question than just read a summary of the project.
Gathered here are some samples can be used as inspiration for your class projects. And, critiquing these samples can help students think of ways to make their own productions better.”

Worlds of Learning | Top Ten Makerspace Favorites of 2015 “The most successful makerspaces include tools, materials and resources that inspire and allow for an environment rich with possibilities, allowing all students the opportunity for open-ended exploration.  In addition to tried-and-true favorites such as Spheros, Makey-Makey kits, littleBits, and Legos, there is now such a vast array of makerspace-related products available. As this year draws to a close, we can’t help but reflect upon some of our favorite makerspace things. “

Free Technology for Teachers: Digital Note-Taking with OneNote “Two features distinguish OneNote from other note-taking apps like Evernote. First, notes can be shared and collaboratively edited in real time – much like Google Docs. This includes collaborative handwriting when on tablets. Next, OneNote notes can be opened and edited in multiple locations at the same time. Consider a student taking notes in OneNote on a laptop or Chromebook while inserting photos from their phone”

Resources and Downloads to Facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning | Edutopia “Find information, strategies, protocols, and tools — including resources and downloads from teachers and schools – to promote curiosity and engage students in asking questions, thinking critically, and solving problems.”

10 ways for teachers, students to share links in class | Ditch That Textbook “In a class with technology, links are like digital currency. If you have the right ones to the right places, you can quickly open up doors to great learning opportunities. The key is having them at the right time and being able to deliver them to students.”

Libraries Lend Record Numbers of Ebooks and Audiobooks in 2015 | Digital Book World “2015 was a big year for libraries’ digital efforts, with a record number of readers borrowing ebooks and digital audiobooks. Overdrive, the leading supplier of digital content to libraries and schools, reported Tuesday that, in 2015, readers borrowed more than 169 million ebooks. This marked a 24-percent increase over 2014. There was also a notable spike in audiobook usage, which saw a faster growth rate than ebook library borrowing”

What’s most pressing for K-12 tech leaders in 2016? | Education Dive “Two tech leaders for their thoughts on the biggest ed tech issues, developments, and trends administrators will have to face this year (US). Aso links to further insight in the Education Dive’s recent survey on the state of K-12 ed tech.”

A vision of educational technology | Teaching using Web Tools for Educators The author concentrates on what she thinks is the most important point that should be made concerning the use of technology in class.”If your technology use in your classroom is for Powerpoint presentations and taking notes, you haven’t really understood the potential. If you as a teacher think you need to know it all before letting your students loose, you need to reconsider.

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

Useful Links

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5P’s for a Positive Digital Footprint

Any content published online will begin to create a digital footprint the individual who is responsible for it. Once it is “out there” it will become part of the online information world and others will form an opinion about the author.

In schools we, as teachers, must make sure we model appropriate behavours as well as teaching our students how to conduct themselves in this forum. Our students need to know not just how to post content, but what they should put there. They neeed to ensure the digital footprint they are creating is a positive one. This includes the complete array of options, be it in the form of posts, photos, messages or comments.

I like this infographic. It is simple but effective. It would be great in up in a classroom especially for our younger students, to serve as a reminder to them.

5P's for a positive digital footprint

Source: 5P’s for a Positive Digital Footprint

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