Useful links.

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.

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”

Useful links

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

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

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

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

Useful Sites

poets.org | Academy of American Poets This American site can be search by looking up a poet or poem. It includes featured thematic lists such as “love poems” and “black history month.”
Famous Poets and Poems – Read and Enjoy Poetry This site offers an eclectic mix of poetry, both modern and classic. There is a list of the top 50 poems, famous quotes by poets and you can search thematically.
Poetry Foundation This site includes established and classic poets. You can click on “poems and poets” and browse for poems. Searches can be done by themes or by browsing by poem type.
poetryarchive.org | Poetry archive This an archive of poets reading their own work. It isaccompanied by the written text. It also contains lesser known poets and is searchable by theme, the poet, or a poem.
Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide This is Purdue University’s Citation site, and links directly to the MLA section. It is a valuable resources for all students who are looking for citation information!
R U 4 R.E.A.L? Strategy for Website Evaluation Slideshow that sets out how to evaluate websites using the pneumonic R.E.A.L. Explains how you tell if a website is credible or could be used for a school research project by explaining the R.E.A.L. strategy. Puts up the sorts of questions students should ask to evaluate a website’s credibility before using its information for a school project.
Critical Evaluation – Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Kathy Schrock has created a long list of links to iuseful information about how to critically evaluate information found on the Web. This page includes forms for teaching the process, articles for learning about the aspect of literacy, and a list of bogus sites to use to showcase that all things on the Web are not real.
Evaluating Internet Resources This post outines the Criteria for Evaluation of resources. “Students need to learn to evaluate the quality of information they find on the web as well as other information resources such as books, magazines, CD-ROM, and television.” Students should be skeptical of everything they find. They need to be encouraged to compare and contrast different information resources. Also has links to hoax sites that can be used to to explain how to evaluate information.
Evaluating Sources – Use the C.R.A.P. Test! — Mercer University Libraries When undertaking any research you will need to evaluate all of them to determine whether or not they are reliable and relevant to whatever your project is. It does not matter if you have a book, article, website, or other source, you can use the C.R.A.P. Test* to decide whether or not it’s worth including in your resource list. This piece outine what is involved in the “C.R.A.P.” test.
Getting ‘REAL’ with web evaluation – tips and tools to develop information literacy | LinkingLearning Using the ideas of Alan November, who presents a great strategy for students to apply whenever they are researching and need to confirm the reliability of the source of their information. The pneumonic ‘REAL’ illustrates the step that can be used to test the any site.
5 Components of Information Literacy – YouTube“Published on 29 Jan 2014. Information literacy can be divided into five different categories: Identify, Find, Evaluate, Apply, and Acknowledge. View academic and real world examples for each component to discover why information literacy is important to success in college or university and in life.”
Why can’t I just Google? – YouTube “Uploaded on 9 Feb 2010 Information is everywhere! Its just so easy to Google and use something that looks relevant… so why cant you just Google?”

Why Technology in Classrooms Doesn’t Always Boost Scores An interesting look at how technology should be used in the classroon for it to be effective. “HAVING technology means nothing. You have to: 1. Have technology in the classroom, 2. Students must have access, and 3. Teachers must know how to teach with tech.  A number of different ideas for “using Technology in Ways that Improve Classroom Learning” are then explained

Free Technology for Teachers: Streamline Your Feedback Process in Google Docs “JoeZoo Express doesn’t limit you to using just feedback phrases that they have listed. You can create your own feedback phrases and explanations.

Teachers who want to use rubrics to give feedback and grades can do so within JoeZoo Express. JoeZoo offers a free rubric builder tool. You can customize the rubric to meet your specific needs. The rubrics that you create can be saved and inserted into students’ documents when you are grading their work.”

Digital literacy: Better Googling. Parent sessions

Recently we ran some Digital literacy session for parents. They were run over three evening and were hour-long session designed to give parents an idea about the tips we give to their sons. The second session was entitled “Better Googling” and explained about how to use the standard Google search more effectively to get the most useful results. This following was a slide presentation I prepared. We always try to make the sessions hands-on and encourage participants to play. There are so many things we could cover but we keep it to an hour because, at the end of the day, we believe this is an optimum length for everyone to concentrate and enjoy the sessions.

Although we used live internet connections, copies of Powerpoint slides given as handouts work well with parents as they like to write down notes.

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
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