Useful links

Illuminations: Welcome to Illuminations Illuminations provides a library of 102 online activities that help to make maths come alive in the classroom or at home. Includes a Graph Creator and Isometric Drawing Tool.

Five Apps That Make Learning to Code Fun – The Tech Edvocate Coding can be relatively easy once you learn the basics but finding the time and tools that will help you may make progress can be quite difficult. The need for programmers continues to outpace the number of available programmers so now is a great time to start learning the basics. This post offers the following are five free apps that will teach you to code (without making it too tedious.).

Scratch – Imagine, Program, Share PDFs that offer printable cards that offer some easy ways to learn about using Scratch

Stephanie Busari: How fake news does real harm | TED Talk | TED.com On April 14, 2014, the terrorist organization Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok, Nigeria. Around the world, the crime became epitomized by the slogan #BringBackOurGirls — but in Nigeria, government officials called the crime a hoax, confusing and delaying efforts to rescue the girls. In this powerful talk, journalist Stephanie Busari points to the Chibok tragedy to explain the deadly danger of fake news and what we can do to stop it.

360 Video Education Spotlight: BBC on YouTube – Class Tech Tips “There are lots of ways to incorporate video into the classroom. From capturing students’ attention as you kick off a lesson, to providing context for a new learning experience, teachers use videos in lots of different ways. Whether you are looking for a clip to send home to students via Google Classroom or want to connect a video link for a QR code scavenger hunt, educational 360 videos are worth exploring.
360 video gives students the power to explore a space from every angle. YouTube hosts a range of 360 video content and one of my favorites is from the BBC. On the BBC’s YouTube channel you’ll find different types of video options for a virtual visit to places around the world. As you search through their content you’ll see that they’ve tagged their videos as 360 to make it especially easy to find.”

Two Good Apps for Creating Stop-motion Videos on Android Phones | Android 4 Schools Stop-motion video apps can provide students with a good way to bring their stories to to life. Through stop-motion your students can create fun, non-fiction stories to animate in Gumby-like fashion. Your students can also use stop-motion to create a timelapse of a process or event. The following two apps offer good platforms for making stop-motion videos on Android devices.

Free Technology for Teachers: Desmos Now Offers an Online Geometry Tool Desmos Geometry is designed to help students understand geometry concepts through the use of drawing and diagram manipulation tools. Your students can use Desmos Geometry or you can use to create demonstrations.

Learning Blog: 15 Google Classroom Features You Will Love Google Classroom can help you to do many useful things.This is a short annotated list of what has made one teacher’s job a little easier after using it for two and and a half years.

An interview with Michael Geist: copyright reform in Canada and beyond – Creative Commons “The issue of supporting and expanding copyright exceptions for education is on the table now within the context of the reassessment of the EU copyright rules, the international agenda at WIPO, and other national level copyright reforms”

Diigo – HyperDocs and the teacher librarian — @joycevalenza NeverEndingSearch HyperDocs are perfect opportunities to grow teacher librarian/ classroom teacher partnerships.
A true extension of what TLs do or should be doing in a hyperlinked information landscape, HyperDocs are all about curation and collaboration, instruction based on engaged inquiry, as well as our mission to inspire learning communities to think, create, share and grow.

Make your own Word Search with Discovery Education’s Puzzlemaker! Simple word search creator

Laura Candler’s Cooperative Learning Resources “Cooperative learning is a powerful teaching strategy that’s more than just a passing fad. Research has shown that when implemented properly, students in cooperative learning classrooms out perform their peers in traditional classrooms. The key is knowing how to implement the strategies to foster interaction while making sure all students are held accountable.”

Ideas for Teachers: Please Help Us with Your Experiences and Expertise  A useful website with many ideas for teaching in the classrroom

How Search Works – The Story – Inside Search – Google A great way to explain how a search using Google works

Why self-editing is hard for kids … and how to make it easier! * WriteShop Kids have a hard time identifying errors in their own writing. Self-editing, like any other process, must be developed. In this piece they explain a few tips and tricks you can try to help your students develop their editing skills.

The best 2016 infographics about books, libraries, and reading “In 2016 the single topic with the biggest number of visualizations was reading. The benefits of reading books, reading around the world, how reading affects the brain and body. You’ll see a couple of examples in the list below. Just click on each infographic to open it in full resolution”

Over 30 Good Infographics for Language Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “30 visuals which cover a wide variety of topics including: top 10 grammar errors, how to write better emails, British vs American English, 5 basic rules of American writing, 44 overused words and phrases to be aware of, visual guide to English prepositions and many more.”

4 Terrific Tips for Teachers New to Coding – Class Tech Tips Useful tips about teaching coding to students and an endorsment of Pythonroom.

pythonroom Pythonroom have created a special online platform for teachers new to coding. Although experienced computer science teachers will definitely love this site, teachers who are just getting started with coding will appreciate how Pythonroom sets them up for success. Pythonroom was designed for teachers with no prior coding experience and it’s easy to get started.

A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet: Can Your Students Spot Fake News? Here are 70 Links to Help A list of on-line resources that can to aid teachers and their students with the task of spotting fake news. The articles, guides, lesson plans and videos deal with the importance of evaluating websites.

Home – Fake News – LibGuides at Indiana University East  Libguide that offers advice on how to identify Fake News. The ability to tell accurate news from fake news is an important skill that you’ll use for the rest of your life.  This LibGuide will give you valuable insight in telling fact from fiction online, plus a chance to exercise your newfound skills.

How to Create an eBook with Google Slides | Shake Up Learning Google Slides have made the process of creating an eBook so much easier than doing it using Google Docs. Google Slides allows you to manipulate and edit images in ways that you cannot in Google Docs. With Slides, you can add backgrounds, borders, and layer text boxes, graphics, and shapes. If you have ever been frustrated with trying to get an image in the exact spot you want in Google Docs, you may want to try it in Google Slides. Since you can easily convert your slides to PDF, the most universally accepted file format, your eBook can be read on practically any device.

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

Useful links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scaffold Like an Ant- A simple scaffolding example

A simple but effective way to encourage deeper understanding

An Ethical Island

I am teaching a class where I allow the students a set amount of time to draw out what they know about a subject. Today, the students did their pre-class work, then came to class, and we began to draw things out. At first they look at me a little funny when I ask them to draw. Then, they dig in and explain what they think the subject is all about. Usually it takes about 25% of class time to get them through this phase. Today, they wanted to remain in this drawing/ scaffolding phase. They were going deeper than any class has ever gone in their reasoning and understanding of a difficult subject. It was pretty cool.

Here is what I do in my classes… (the ant is an analogy, I don’t get to teach about ants).

Ant Scaffolding

What would you add?

~Mia

View original post

Useful links

Buzzing about Hexagons | Pete Sanderson’s @LessonToolbox Blog “The post describes a number of ways in which hexagons have been used to support learning in the classroom.”
The @DavidGeurin Blog: Adaptable Learners Will Own the Future “We must develop skills that are transferable to unknown situations. To quote Alvin Toffler, the ultimate 21st Century skill is the ability to “learn, unlearn, and relearn.” It is a tremendous advantage to be creative, innovative, and adaptable.”
5 Great eBook Libraries for Kids ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “The list here offers some options for some popular eBook libraries where parents and teachers can access a wide variety of reading materials designed specifically for young readers. From storybooks to comics and interactive games, these websites will absolutely help you curate the best reading materials for younger readers. “
63 Things Every Student Should Know In A Digital World Many of the things listed here have always been advisable but also apply to the digital world. It is also more apparent in the online spaces when students do not understand the fundamentals of being in that world.

Beautiful questions… and a whole school unit of inquiry – What Ed Said “A beautiful question is an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we perceive or think about something—and that might serve as a catalyst to bring about change.’ Warren Berger ~ A More Beautiful Question. This generally starts with a ‘why?‘ question which identifies the need for change, followed by ‘what if?‘ which imagines new possibilities, and moving onto the ‘how?‘ which leads to action.”

Seven Ways to Cultivate Joy and Empathy in Math Class | Greater Good “One educator shares tales of teaching life lessons to her students, alongside integrals and exponential.”
This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News On Facebook – BuzzFeed News Interesting discussion about the growth of “fake news” in today’s world. “In the final three months of the US presidential campaign, the top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News, and others, a BuzzFeed News analysis has found.Up until those last three months of the campaign, the top election content from major outlets had easily outpaced that of fake election news on Facebook. Then, as the election drew closer, engagement for fake content on Facebook skyrocketed and surpassed that of the content from major news outlets.”
Diversity, Cybersecurity and the Future of Libraries: Day 2 Recap From Educause | EdSurge News “Timothy Chester, who won the Educause 2016 Community Leadership Award, says that the overwhelming amount of information available at our fingertips causes humans to react in two ways: shut down or follow the crowd. “People simply follow the voice that is the loudest,” he said, pointing to the current U.S. presidential election and the rise of the Arab Spring as examples. Chester told faculty that, like mass media organizations and governments, they are no longer gatekeepers of information but rather stewards and facilitators that help students make sense of the information around them.”

Save Time with Social Media Tools | Knowledge Quest “Many of us feel time poor. The If This Then That (IFTTT) website, discussed here, does not provide more time but it may save what we have by cross-promotion. It allows users to dive deeper into promoting our work/ideas with a variety of social media tools with the one action. Social media can be a great way to share your journey and advocate for the things you do that impact your school community.

If This Then That (IFTTT) website connects different social media tools by using “recipes.” For example, You may link your YouTube channel to a Google spreadsheet to keep track of what you put there or you may post to your Instagram account and the same post will automatically appear on your Twitter account too.” The how-to is also discussed.
In the war on fake news, school librarians have a huge role to play – The Verge An interesting article that explains some of the problems and how the skills of teacher librarians can assist in informing readers about how to better understand what they seeing/hearing
AASL Defines “Effective School Library Program” for ESSA Implementation | Knowledge Quest “The national association for the school library profession, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has defined the term “effective school library program” to assist with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at the state and district level:”
AASL Position Statements – School Libraries & ESSA AASL site. This page has links to their definitions and statements. The first is a definition that is the new position statement, “Definition for an Effective School Library Program,” published by AASL as guidance for administrators, school boards and school librarians in the implementation of ESSA. It provides the elements of an effective school library program as a fundamental component of college, career and community readiness.
Statement on information literacy :: ASLAFrom the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and Australian School Library Association (ASLA). Its purpose”:To describe what is information literacy in the context of an information literate school community.”
Children and Reading – The Facts – National Reading Campaign National Reading Campaign Sept 2013. “Interested in what the research says about children and reading? All of the reading facts are relevant to how reading shapes children’s futures. But here’s a synopsis of the child-specific research:”
Virtual LC – SLAV LEARNING COMMONS “The new vision of the learning commons sets the library as a hub of activity in the school – a magnet for a range of teaching professionals to connect with students and to extend their own professional learning and practice. The teacher-librarian is a facilitator in this setting, coaching other professionals, connecting them with each other and with resources. The library’s virtual space can be as much of a hub as the physical space, where resources, technology, user-focused design and innovative teaching practices mingle to empower learners. “
Year of the Learning Commons The Libguide for  “Celebrating the Transformation of School Libraries and Computer Labs into a Learning Commons  April, 2015 ~ May 2016. Celebrate, initiate, advocate and create opportunities all year.”
The Research Files Episode 24: Innovative Learning Environments | Teacher | ACER “An interview with the with a member of a research team that will be investigating how teachers are using their learning environments to improve student learning outcomes. They will be sharing strategies and best practice.”
Teaching Questioning in Reading – Before, During and After Lesson – Australian Curriculum Lessons “A good way to get children to think about creating questions as they read, and in turn, builds their comprehension. In this lesson, students use computer software (Inspiration 9) to map out their questions and spend time at the end of the session answering their questions to build their understanding.”

Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Primary Teacher Resources “The Budd:e Cybersecurity Education package consists of two activity-based learning modules, one for primary school students, and one for secondary school students.  Both modules contain engaging, media-rich activities and resources, developed in consultation with teachers and subject matter experts. You will also find comprehensive Teacher Resources for Budd:e including background and contextual information, a video demonstration of the modules, lesson plans with learning outcomes for each activity, and curriculum maps for all Australian states and territories. Budd:e is part of the broader Australian Government cybersecurity initiative, aimed at creating a safer, more secure online environment for all Australian children”

ThinkUKnow “ThinkUKnow is a free, evidence-based cyber safety program that provides accessible cyber safety education to parents, carers and teachers through schools and organisations across Australia. It uses a network of trained law enforcement members and accredited volunteers from our program partner organisations to deliver the cyber safety education presentations nationwide. Originally developed in the United Kingdom by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, ThinkUKnow Australia was established by the AFP in 2009.
ThinkUKnow is a partnership between Microsoft Australia, Datacom and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and is delivered in collaboration with the New South Wales Police Force, Northern Territory Police, Queensland Police Service, South Australia Police, Tasmania Police, Western Australia Police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.”

Stay Smart Online “Stay Smart Online provides all Australian online users with information on the simple steps they can take to secure themselves online. This includes information and advice on how to secure your computer and your transactions online. This website contains a free alert service that provides easy to understand information on the latest cyber security threats and vulnerabilities, a free interactive education resource for primary and secondary school students, videos with useful tips on protecting your computer, a self assessment tool for small businesses, and information for parents.” Yehnay
Home | Scamwatch Scamwatch is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.
What I’m Reading—Jeff Wilhelm | edu@scholastic If we want to cultivate lifelong readers, and for our students to gain the benefits and access to civil rights that come from this, what do we need to do? The article suggests that by cultivating all five pleasures (identified i y surveying readers) necessary we can promote lifelong reading. “These are already central to our engaged reading and we must make them all central to our teaching”.
Vaughan Memorial Library : Tutorials : Plagiarism An interactive tutorial that explains plagiarism. It is a big problem with serious consequences. Point out that “Researching ethically is also researching efficiently: not only will you learn how to avoid plagiarism, but you’ll also pick up some good research tips too.”
Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles” | TED Talk | TED.com “As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy”

Reading and Audiobooks

img_7512-html-smlThe SLAV conference, Engaging teen readers, last Friday was very interesting and informative. We had great presentations. Many of the presenters were practising teacher librarians who gave many examples about how they support and encourage reading in their schools. The last session was a panel discussion about the definitions of  “a reader” and  “what constitutes reading” where panelists discussed their ideas. Playing the Devil’s Advocate, I asked the question “Is listening to Audiobooks cheating?” The panel answered and it also got quite a reaction from the floor. It certainly livened up the following discussion when we opened up the discussion to the conference delegates. Their ideas were collected on a Padlet for use later.

Personally, I love listening to audiobooks. I especially appreciate them when I am travelling in the car on long journeys. I particularly like the unabridged versions of novels and also the BBC radio plays.  I still read a lot of print books and I have both versions of the books. Both pique my imagination and I can remember just as much about the book no matter whether I use my eyes or ears. I teach some dyslexic boys who really appreciate having audio as well as text available to them. Digital technologies have made it even easier to support these students with audio as they all have their own personal devices with which to obtain their audiobook.

Some of the links provided/shared supporting audiobooks  were excellent.

One of the infographics I liked is below. It seeks to describe the benefits of audiobooks by debunking some of the myths that circulate. It also offers some ideas that teachers could pick up on and use with their students.

It was published by Learning Ally and We Are Teachers

We Are Teachers offers educators inspiration for lessons as well as professional development resources. Their mission is to promote innovation in education through collaboration and connection to the most effective classroom resources

Learning Ally offers more than 80,000 human-narrated audiobooks through an easy-to-use online platform. Audiobooks are proven to help students with reading disabilities become better readers and learners. Find out more about how Learning Ally helps students with reading disabilities achieve academic success.

audiobooks-forget-the-myths-infographic-html

Engaging Teen Readers: SLAV Conference 25th Nov 2016

The final School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) Conference for 2016 looked at how to keep students engaged & develop and/or continue to develop a culture of reading into adulthood.

We were welcomed to the State Library of Victoria (SLV) by Andrew Hiskens (Manager, Learning Services) who explained the SLV’s Strategic Plan for the next few years.

Will Kostakis, the acclaimed author of YA literature, gave the Keynote address, Being Brave: ‘Difficult’ Topics in Literature and Writing. His presentation was fantastic. Honest and humorous, he had the audience spellbound and totally focussed on the experiences he had when starting out (he began to write very early in primary school) and how he has developed and grown into his writing

The program included over 10 Concurrent Sessions that gave practical examples of how we can engage teen readers. Those presenting gave us so many ideas about how to approach reading with our teen readers. There were so many interesting things going on in the schools they came from that it will take me some time to reflect on them. I can see so many ways they  will be useful in my school.

The tweets are collected in this Storify

Useful links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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