Useful links

Inspirational Quote by rhondda.p, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  rhondda.p 
 Moving Students From Digital Citizenship To Digital Leadership “The idea behind the shift? A kind of empathy–moving beyond see one’s self, and moving towards seeing one’s self in the physical and digital company of others. As digital technology and social media become more deeply embedded in our lives, and more nuanced in their function, this is a shift whose time has come.”
Starting a makerspace with (virtually) no budget | AHS Makerspace A lot of great links o all things Makerspace
10 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know Google Could Do – An interesting list of some leeser known aspects of Google
Teach Writing Skills: Powerful Prompts for Student Writing“You can teach writing skills with powerful multimedia based prompts and ideas, a global audience, and easy to use tools. John Spencer has the data to show that kids write more using this method.”
Using Games for Learning: Practical Steps to Get Started | The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning | MindShift | KQED News Game-based learing is becoming more normalised in schools. Games can be a useful tool for teachers for teachers to use in a variety of ways. “Games provide a different approach to developing metacognitive skills through persistent self-reflection and iteration of particular skill sets. Games offer experiential contextualized learning through virtual simulation. Games can also offer an especially engaging interdisciplinary learning space.”
Scenarios – DigitalCitizenship A great range of scenarios to use with students
Oversharing – Digital Citizenship – YouTube A short video that address the issue of your onine persona “Published on 7 Aug 2014. Think before you post! This unit teaches students about digital citizenship. We offer the top ten to think about before you post to social media platforms. See the full lyrics and lesson plan at”
Flocab’s Best of 2015 – YouTube A short video that address the issue of your online persona “Published on 7 Aug 2014. Think before you post! This unit teaches students about digital citizenship. We offer the top ten to think about before you post to social media platforms. See the full lyrics and lesson plan at”
Teachers’ Resources The National Archives Lesson Plans section contains incorporates U.S. primary documents and its excellent teaching activities correlate to the National History Standards and National Standards for Civics and Government. Lessons are organized by chronological era, from 1754 to the present
Activities | DocsTeach National Archives US Great archival site offering access to primary documents and its excellent teaching activities correlate to the National History Standards and National Standards for Civics and Government.
Education – The National Archives Offers access to a large array of resources in a variety of formats
22 Things About Computer Security Everyone Needs to Know From Vicki Davis – “a quick video with the 22 most common mistakes I’ve seen since beginning my work with computers in 1993. This is a beginning video that I also share with my students and their parents.”
5 Games That Teach You How to Code “These Web games are a fun and engaging introduction to the world of programming.”
10 Ways to Win with Windows 10 in the Classroom – Microsoft in Education Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs “Some simple tips and tricks on how the new features in Windows 10 save time for teachers and make learning more fun for students. There are links to more extensive training on using Windows 10 in the classroom in the Quick Tip videos”
Ignore the headlines – computers in classrooms are a good idea, and here’s why | Nesta Good discussion piece. ““Many other potential benefits fall outside of what PISA can measure through the performance of 15 year old students. The fact that this report does not document them does not imply that they do not exist.””
Are School Internet Filters the Forgotten Equity Battleground? | MindShift | KQED News Based on US situation but still applicable to Australian situation. “Despite the increasing emphasis on technology as a learning tool in the classroom, many school districts still aggressively filter the Internet that teachers and students can access. While the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that schools filter for pornographic images, many districts are over-filtering, blocking sites that can be used positively for education. There are a lot of myths about how tight these required filters must be.”
Education World: Printables, Templates and Worksheets for Teachers Education World’s page shares some other sources for templates. It has a large collection of free templates for forms, documents, letters, and classroom visual aids on their Tools & Templates page. Most are available as word processing documents. You can modify and individualize those before saving or printing them. Some templates (mostly created in PDF format) are designed to be printed and used “as is.” You can make modifications, such as adding a specific name or date, after printing the product.
The Secret to Finding the Best Games for Education – K-12 Tech Decisions “How do these teachers find and then evaluate the games that they use?  The most common way of learning about any educational tools is from peers. While face to face networks are limited by the number of interactions with people in one’s grade, school, or conferences, online professional learning networks have become invaluable.”

For the Hesitant Teacher: Leveraging the Power of Minecraft | MindShift | KQED News “Getting started with MinecraftEDU can be intimidating for teachers who don’t consider themselves “gamers” and aren’t sure how to harness the engagement and excitement of Minecraft. Luckily, there’s a robust and global Minecraft teacher community to supply tips, support and even lesson plans.

Teachers who already use Minecraft in the classroom love it because of the flexibility it offers – almost any subject can be taught with a little creativity. And like other powerful learning games, well-structured Minecraft lessons give students opportunities to fail and try again, improve their skills, and participate in an immersive environment that aids retention because students can attach the academic concepts to their personal experiences within the game.”
Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions | Edutopia “Putting Students In Charge of Their Learning. Through inquiry, Wildwood works to ignite passion, inspire relevance, and develop ownership in their students. Using student inquiries and questions as guidance, teachers develop lessons that engage and excite, teaching their students to be active thinkers rather than passive learners.”
Social Media in Education: Resource Toolkit | Edutopia “This collection of blogs, articles, and videos aims to help educators deploy social-media tools to develop professionally, connect with parents and communities, and engage students in 21st-century learning. By Ashley Cronin, Edutopia. originally published Feb 12, 2013. Updated: Feb 19, 2015”
iPad Classroom Visit Look-Fors | Edutopia Good points about how to gauge classroom usage of technologies. Ideas transferable to notebooks in general.
Relief Teaching IdeasJigsaw Pairs – Relief Teaching Ideas “There are so many things you could do with these! Here’s a few ideas: – lower case/upper case letter matching. – sight words – antonyms – synonyms – math sums – shape names & pictures – analogue/digital time – subject area questions & answers. Blank sheets can be handed out to older kids to make up their own revision questions before a test. After writing the questions & answers on the pairs they cut them out, put the pieces into an envelope & swapped with another student to complete.”
Situating Makerspaces in Schools – Hybrid Pedagogy Good article about Makerspaces (& STEM /STEAM) and schools. The discussion puts perspective into the equation. The authors talk about three values of student learning and empowerment: agency, authenticity, and audience and these are used as a basis for decisions about what happens in classrooms. I like the last few sentences. “Defining making in education in terms of tools, spaces, or disciplines is insufficient. Learning through making is a philosophical approach that can affect classes across the curriculum and schools across the globe. It’s time to change the paradigm.”
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful Links

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

Useful Links


Using Google search options

I am preparing some lessons on research for the new year 7 students. Knowledge about how make internet searches more efficient  is something that students from all year levels could refresh from time to time.

We always seem to begin with Google as it is the one everyone seems to know best. Most students  use Google almost exclusively but wikipedia and Youtube are also high up on their lists. We all can see how Google has changed since it was first developed. Some things are very obvious and others less so. It is very easy to get into a rut and not notice some changes. It is always interesting to see how much the year 7 students know. Many have a very basic level of knowledge but are very confident they know how to search. Many teachers seem to assume that students are proficient at searching the web but many

I usually ask them some basic questions that gradually show how well they can narrow down searches. It is interesting how many hands go down as I ask my various questions. After this initial introduction they always want to learn how to do the things I ask about.

I also ask the students put the icon for the  Google “advanced search” on their favourites tool bar as we go through the lesson. The fields shown there are useful for reminding the students about how they can narrow down their searches.

The options that Google has on its simple search page has not been noticed by very many students let alone used by them. The tab “search tools ” can be really useful for them and they don’t have to be on the advanced search page.

Basic searchIt  offers some very useful options to help refine searches.

You can choose:

  • “The Web”- drops down the option of Australian sites or the whole web,
  • “Any time” – once clicked,  allows you to search from information from an hour ago to a year ago or to customize your date range.
  • “All results”  – is the list that I think offers some of the best options to refine searches. The option which has especially interested some teachers who work in student support (for students who find classroom work more difficult than most) is the reading level option. I talk about using it depending on whether or not you are new to a subject or already have some understanding.

Search tools - all results

If you choose this option, it breaks down the level of difficulty on one of these will into 3 types: basic, intermediate and advanced. Clicking on any one of these will give you the sites that Google has designated fit that description.

search: reading levels

In an advanced search  these can be combined in many more a variety of ways rather than having to choose just one or another.

I can see the “search tools” option in Google being used quite a bit this year although I must not fail to mention InstaGrok, which is a visual search engine that offers the option to choose the level of difficulty as well as a number of other great features. I wrote a post about Instagrok last year  but since then can be used in Explorer

Useful links

  • Google Educast | EdReach The Google Educast, hosted by the Google Certified Teachers, features a weekly roundup of the newest Ed tools from Google, highlighting best practices using Google tools, and further highlighting the impact that these tools have on the classroom, schools, and school
  • mikefisher821’s LiveBinder Shelf A lot of good livebinders on many 2.0 topics for schools/education
  • The Teens Are All Right: 2011’s Top 5 YA Novels : NPR
  • Australian political cartooning – a rich tradition – “Australia has a strong and vibrant history of political cartooning. Since the 1830s, when political cartoons were first featured in Australian newspapers, they have provided satirical, witty or humorous comment on political and public affairs, social customs, fashions, sports events and personalities.”
  • Surfboard // Experience The Web In A Flippable Newspaper-Like Format Surfboard is a neat little service that displays any website in a flippable newspaper-like display. To use Surfboard all you have to do is enter the url of your favorite website and click “get surfing.”
  • Motivating Boy Writers: A Multi-Genre Approach | NWP Digital Is
  • Hubii Hubii is a new website featuring a map of newspapers from around the world. Visitors can locate online newspapers by clicking on the placemarks on the map. Registered users can subscribe to the online editions of the newspapers they find. When you subscribe (it’s free) to a newspaper in Hubii it is added to your Hubii Mapazine in which you can read the newspapers to which you are subscribed.
  • Nobel Prize website-All Educational Productions The site has an educational games site designed to help students learn about subjects in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace, and Economics. In all there are twenty-nine interactive games for students to play. Each of the science-related games and the economics game is based upon the research of Nobel Prize winners. The literature and peace games are based upon concepts central to the work of Nobel Prize winners in those fields.
  • Download free textbooks online Bookboon is a free service offering free full-length textbooks, travel guides, and business books in digital form. The textbook section of Bookboon offers more than 500 digital textbooks. On Bookboon there are etextbooks available for twenty-five subjects, but the bulk of the etextbooks are focused on Economics, Engineering, and IT.
  • Rubrics for Assessment A collection of rubrics for assessing portfolios, cooperative learning, research process/ report, PowerPoint, podcast, oral presentation, web page, blog, wiki, and other web 2.0 projects.
  • How Video Games Helped My Kids Get Along | Common Sense Media
  • For Libraries and Publishers, an E-Book Tug of War –

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

Useful Links (Weekly)

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

Useful sites (weekly)

Do Something by gcouros, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  gcouros 

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


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