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
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Useful links

5 Popular Tools That You Might Not Realize Work on Android Tablets | Android 4 Schools Richard Byrne has written a very helpful post about tools that would be useful for teachers. “Five of my most frequently recommended tools that will work on Android tablets as well as on Chromebooks, iPads, and in your laptop’s web browser.”

21 Top Presentation Tools for Teachers – More Than A Tech “An annotated list of 21 of the best presentation apps for educators.” There is also a chart “What Works on What Device” that makes some helpful comparisons.

The tech divide: An opportunity gap schools must close | The Edvocate “Computer programming is growing at twice the average rate of national job growth according to Code.org. By 2020 there could be nearly a million more IT jobs than U.S. college graduates available to fill them, representing a $500 billion economic opportunity waiting to be realized.

Growing up with access to technology, and the opportunity to learn key IT skills such as coding and app development, gives students a huge economic advantage over their peers.”

How Minecraft could help teach chemistry’s building blocks of life “Minecraft is much more than just a game. 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. “

10 online tools for better student research | The Edvocate “The biggest responsibility of any teacher is to equip students with the tools that they can use in everyday life.

The content is important, but with information so easily accessible, it is ultimately more helpful to them if they have critical thinking, analytic ability, and research skills. You can best serve your students by engaging them in active debate, fun and absorbing problem-solving activities, and relevant research assignments.
High-school students are among the hardest to engage, so you have to approach them in a way they understand. Traditional is out, online is in. Giving them the opportunity to use the tools they are most comfortable with can help them in ways that no amount of lecturing can accomplish.
You can make your students better researchers, and thinkers, with the 10 online tools listed in this post”
Makerspaces on Pinterest | Education, Learning and Librarians Makerspace pinterest board with great resources

A Principal’s Reflections: Free Resources to Support Your Makerspace “makerspaces are being instituted to allow students to tinker, invent, create, and make to learn.  A makerspace can best be defined as a physical place where students can create real-world products/projects using real-world tools in a shared work space. With natural connections and applications to STEAM areas as well as a focus on self-directed, inquiry-based, and hands on learning, it is difficult not to appreciate and admire the positive impact that makerspaces can have on all students.  In times when many schools and districts have cut programs such as wood/metal shop and agriculture, makerspaces provide a 21st Century alternative to meet the learning needs of our most at-risk students. ” There are links to many resources that are available. There arelow cost and free resources.

“There are many ways to build student engagement in the classroom. What we need to get away from is the adult in the classroom answering their own questions, and fostering an atmosphere where students can rely on each other and work in collaboration. As with anything, this requires balance because we want to make sure the student who doesn’t want to answer questions actually takes the opportunity to do so.
As Hattie says learning is hard work and it offers us challenges. We know that as adults but want to prevent our students from seeing the challenge because it doesn’t always feel good. We need to change our expectations to make sure that students understand they do have to take ownership over their own learning, and not giving them the answers sometimes may be the place to start. “
Mindfulness at School Outside the Classroom | Edutopia “In this post are some popular and effective ways for introducing mindfulness outside of a traditional classroom setting. These settings can complement classroom teaching or be powerful stand-alone activities.”
BreakAppz — Top 5 Literacy Lesson Starters  “These activities and games require minimal resources and are extremely fun and easy to play. The games can be used at the start, middle or end of a lesson. The students will often learn more and be more engaged due to the fun and competitive nature of these literacy activities.”
5 Ways OneNote Helps Make Digital Lesson-Planning Easy | Gaggle Speaks Blog | Tracy Duncan “Whilst the note-taking functionality in OneNote is often discussed by teachers, it is also useful for creating digital lesson plans.”
Explain Everything & Book Creator part 3 “Part 3 of a 4-part series looking at how the popular educational apps Book Creator and Explain Everything can be used together. Other parts include: Part 1: Exporting a PDF from Book Creator to annotate in Explain Everything. Part 2: From Explain Everything to Book Creator to iTunes  Part 4: Hand-drawn animations in Explain Everything – published with Book Creator”

Five reasons to teach robotics in schools  Technology is critical for innovation, yet schools struggle to get students interested in this area. Could teaching robotics change this?

The Queensland government has just announced plans to make teaching robotics compulsory in its new curriculum – aimed at students from prep through to year 10.
ALIA Report: Comparison of Ebooks and Elending in Australian Public Libraries | ebooks in libraries advocacy “ALIA 2014 report – Comparision of Ebooks and Elending in Australian Public Libraries 2013 v 2014. Approximately one third of the 1500 public libraries in Western Australia responded to the survey.”
P-Day 2015 | Blogush Interesting ideas. P-Day = Passion Day. Kids research and follow through on a passion that they have.

Social Media in Schools Good disciussion of the topic. “In the past the school buildings were the hub of the community where everyone came to see and share what their children were doing. Today many families have someone working 24/7, some parents are out of town and other may do shift work starting at 4 pm. The makeup of families is changing as well and some kids have two families and homes they belong to. Communication can be a challenge.

A new stage emerges which is Social Media. Parents no longer pack parking lots, but they pack Facebook. They tweet. They share pics on Instagram. They look at them. Parents congregate and share online to see what is happening. The research shows that parent involvement can make as much of a difference as 3/4 to a full grade point of a child’s GPA. That’s a letter grade. We need to involve parents and we need a new stage. Social media gives us a large stage where people from around the world can mix, mingle, and find their clique.”

New study reveals large gaps in opportunity in Australia’s education system | Mitchell Institute “A major national data study, released 26/10/2015), shows large opportunity gaps in Australia’s education system with around 1 in 4 young people missing out at key educational milestones. While some catch up at the next milestone, up to ten per cent of all Australian students miss out on every milestone – from school entry right through to young adulthood.

This is the stark reality presented in Educational Opportunity in Australia 2015 which uses national data to reveal how well Australia’s education system is serving young people at four key milestones: school entry, Year 7, school completion measured at age 19, and early adulthood measured at age 24.”
As abuse culture escalates, what ethical framework governs the digital age? – The Minefield – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) “The spotlight has been turned on the technology industry as stories of toxic work environments emerge and user frustration with online abuse builds. The Minefield (Waleed Aly, Scott Stephens, Alister Cameron) considers whether this is an inevitable part of digital disruption—and whether we should opt out altogether.”
Versus / and / or: The relationship between information literacy and digital literacy | ACRLog A good discussion trying to understand the different but related terms and what they mean to education
Evaluate Information – How to Research – LibGuides at Red Deer College “This guide focuses on how to evaluate your sources, especially web sites.”

Useful links

Educational Postcard: ”Equity is about g by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Ken Whytock 

 

The SAMR Ladder Through the Lens of 21st Century Skills – Getting Smart by Susan Oxnevad – EdTech, SAMR, Teaching | Getting Smart“Offers an interactive graphic of the SAMR Ladder to illustrate the big picture. The image includes a sample of a vocabulary centered wiki project at each level of SAMR. The Ladder includes questions designed by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D. for reflection about making the transition to the next level. The circle at each level targets research, writing and digital citizenship. There you will find a quick suggestion about ways to capture and embrace the natural progression of skills at each level. “
15 Clever Call and Responses to Use in the Classroom! – Wise Guys  In recent years, we have learned about call and responses. For those of you who are not familiar with this concept, the teacher calls out a phrase, and then the student completes the phrase. It is a great way for students to refocus their attention back on you, the teacher!
Lego Volcano Science Build a Lego Volcano Baking Soda “We are really hitting the little LEGO bricks stage and have had fun coming up with creative ways to use Legos. This post is about a LEGO week activitiy. They made a LEGO volcano. There’s nothing better then baking soda and vinegar science experiments to explore chemical reactions! It is one of our go to classic science experiments and we have a years worth of fun ideas.”
8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle — Emerging Education Technologies  “The author looks at 8 examples of the SAMR process, each taking an example of a typical classroom exercise that does not use technology and walking it through each phase of SAMR. For half of these, she searched and borrowed from examples that teachers had written about online (original sources are provided – in some cases she tweaked the example a bit). She also created examples of her own. In working through this, it became apparent to her that while Substitution and Augmentation can be relatively straightforward conceptually, there is even more room for interpretation when it comes to Modification and Redefinition.”
The Qualitative Formative Assessment Toolkit: Document Learning with Mobile Technology | Edutopia Some great advice about how to develope assesment that will enhance student learning. “You don’t need to use all four components of the QFAT every time learning is documented. In isolation, each artifact is powerful. When you bring them together in a deliberate and thoughtful way, though, something that was not possible without the technology becomes easily accessible and immediately useful.”
BlogBooker – Blog Book “BlogBooker produces a high-quality PDF Blog Book from all your blog’s entries and comments. Archives can be generated from any blog running on WordPress, LiveJournal (and derivatives) or Blogger.The whole process takes about 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of your blog.”

PDF, DOC, PPT, eBook Search Engine.  A PDF, DOC, PPT, eBook Search Engine.

“pdftop.com is a search engine and online viewer for ebooks in pdf, ppt, xls, rtf, txt, doc file format. You can find and download the ebook but please respect the publisher and the author for their creations if their books copyrighted.”
HTML5 Online Animation Editor | Animatron “Allows you to create mobile-friendly animations, banners, and infographics.” There are 20 public projects for free before you have to pay.
Piper Lets Kids Design Circuits Using Minecraft And Electricity | TechCrunch “Piper has created a kit that lets kids create circuits in real life and then see how they interact in Minecraft. It lets you, for example, add a battery and a button to a breadboard and see those parts pop up on the screen. Electricity flowing through virtual wires simulates what is happening in real life. In short, what you make on screen happens in real life and vice versa – sort of.”
Thinkuknow – home – Linkis.com An internet safety guide that has resources for teaching
Genius Hour: An Apprenticeship to Citizenship – Angela Maiers “Liberating Genius in the Classroom is a free, day-by-day lesson plan for the first 20 days of implementing genius hour. We will soon also offer a student “Genius Notebook” so students can record their reflections on the lessons and easily share them with each other and you.”
10 Questioning Strategies to Differentiate Instruction | Minds in Bloom  10 simple ideas that could be adapted and used for many er levels
Free Technology for Teachers: Bias Detection Explained by Common Craft  “Common Craft recently produced a new video on that topic. Through Bias Detection Explained by Common Craft students can learn about common signs of bias in media, problems that occur when bias is ignored, and why bias is common in communication. GIFs from the video can be seen here. The video itself is embedded below.”

Bias Detection Explained by Common Craft (VIDEO)  “Building on the example of sports fans, this video illustrates how bias is a common and sometimes productive part of how we communicate. It also shows how bias can cause problems when it’s hidden or not detected. This video teaches:

* Why bias is a common and expected part of communicating
* Why high quality information needs to be unbiased
* What problems occur when bias is ignored
* What to look for – common signs of bias in media
How to teach students to build a positive online identity | eSchool News | eSchool News  “Students understand the power of social media but are they making good decisions about what to post online? How can we, as educators, help them understand not just the immediacy of their posts but also the permanence of online communications? Learning is becoming more digital and educators at all levels should be instrumental in building students’ understanding about how their online presence impacts both their personal and future professional lives. Educators are also instrumental in helping students develop lifelong habits to create and maintain a positive online identity. You can look to the 2015 ISTE White Paper, Building and Keeping a Positive Digital Identity, to help kids be more intentional in what they post online. This paper applies ISTE standards to the idea of building and maintaining a positive online identity. It poses five questions adults can use to kick-start meaningful conversations about online behaviour and identity.”
Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week – Two Ways to Create Online Whiteboards | Practical Ed Tech “Online whiteboards can be a fantastic aid to students when they’re trying to help each other work through problems or tutor each other. Online whiteboards are also helpful to teachers who are crafting visual explanations for students. Sketchlot and Stoodle are excellent online whiteboard tools. Both will work in the web browser on your laptop, Chromebook, iPad, and Android tablet. Video demonstrations of both tools are embedded below. Sketchlot allows teachers to create and manage student accounts. Stoodle offers a platform for collaboration through whiteboards.”
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.