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 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

Everyone will eventually have one by shareski, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  shareski 


Useful Links

Quote - New technology is common, new thinking

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Useful Links – Weekly

Insanity - Einstein quote

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Print and e-books: both have their place in our library.

Arguments are going on all the time about the print medium disappearing in favour of the e-book. When it come to fiction we have not found that this is happening at our school this year. I am always especially irritated but the statements that say something like “libraries no longer need books”.  (For example the  NY Times article) in 2010. To me this shows little understanding or sloppiness when what they mean is that the printed medium is on the way out. Many of these articles have no evidence to back up their claims except their own personal reading situation. I argue that at present the data shows something quite different.

We announced that we had fiction/stories in e-book format available for all students this year from our library.They were available via kindles but we when we talked to students, about what was available to read, we always stressed the stories. For example: if a student wanted the “Hunger Games” we had three print copies and some e-copies – the boys just took whatever was available. We have put many of the less read “classics” on kindles so they are available, with the quality of the paper and binding not an issue because the book does not deteriorate. If any other classic is requested can be obtained on-line and ready to read within minutes and at a very small cost. They boys have been very appreciative of this and we can give them what they want to read when they want it.

We found that some of our boys loved reading from the kindle format, some much preferred the traditional book and others were happy to have access to the story they wanted and the format was immaterial to them. The staff, when introduced to the kindles, often ended up buying their own. They loved the portability of a device that carried many books especially when they were on holiday. Again many went between the two formats. Some just read via their e-book readers but is seems that mostly they were people who had gone ways from reading but the e-book reader brought them back to reading by its portability and ease of acquiring books.

An analysis (written April 2012 from a Pew study of 2011) found that even as sales of e-readers are growing rapidly, many still visit libraries more frequently than some would have you believe, and print books have remained popular. It did show that readers of  e-book read more books annually, whatever the format. I will be interested in new data next year from Pew to see if any of these trends have changed in 12 months. On what we have seen this year in our school library, for the forseeable future,  books and e-readers will continue to coexist in our library when it comes to reading stories.

The following infographic takes a look at e-readers and books, as well as why they can both remain useful for many years to come.

You can read more about the infographic below, at

Please Include Attribution to With This Graphic E-books Infographic

Useful links

Editted Handglider by m_edens, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  m_edens 

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


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