Useful links

Technology Addiction Research Executive Summary | Common Sense Media “The executive summary of our research brief Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance highlights the six key findings from the report; presents findings from a poll of over 1,200 parents and teens examining how families feel about their mobile device use and how that use is affecting child-parent relationships; and offers advice for creating balance in this “always connected” world.”

Redesigning Thinking in Libraries with Hamish Curry (with images, tweets) · camillaelliott · Storify Storify “Redesigning Thinking in Libraries with Hamish Curry. At this workshop hosted by School Library Assoc of Victoria, Hamish Curry of NoTosh guided library staff through a design thinking approach to exploring the future possibilities for their individual school libraries.”

Makerspace Ideas & Resources For Maker Education “Makerspaces.com is made up of makers, geeks, educators, technology/stem leaders, library media specialists, librarians, school principals & superintendents, instructional technology specialists, edtech leaders, maker educators, makerspace operators, 3d printing enthusiasts, robotics club and so much more. Our mission is to bring makerspaces into the educational system, so we can bring the educational system into the 21st century. “
Take Charge To Maximize Your Library’s Online Presence | School Library Journal All libraary staff want to provide excellent library services for users, to be more integrated into the fabric of our communities, and to impact student engagement and achievement. This article looks at what you can do to improve your online presence to work towards accomplishing this. Recommendation: “Start small, learn from others, and make your online presence a priority. Your students, staff, and community deserve it!”
Architect Andre Chiote’s Minimalist Library Illustrations Focus on the Buildings’ Architectural Details – CityLab These posters offer artists impressions of the library buildings – with no books, but plenty of architectural details.
How Google Impacts The Way Students Think Interesting reflection on how we use Google and what thinking goes with that.
Moving at the Speed of Creativity | Comparing Risks and Benefits of a PreTeen YouTube Channel Wesley Fryer reflects on his daughter’s foray into the digital world. “While Shelly and I acknowledge the risks Rachel is facing by publishing a YouTube channel and using social media channels like Twitter and Instagram, at this point I do think the benefits of her learning, literacy development, and identity formation outweigh them. Decisions like these are definitely going to vary by family and by parent. I’m thankful we have open lines of communication to continue talking about what she’s doing and encountering. It’s certainly a dynamic situation that could change at any time”
What Does Learning Commons Mean for Your School? | PFAU LONG ARCHITECTURE  A reflection about one school library faculty’s goal of creating a positive learning environment with space that would help students and teachers develop real-world connections and the approach they took to creating it. The ideas for the space included housing the collection, helping students and teachers collaborate, being a hub for learning with a flexible floor plan and supporting newly developing areas in educational technology. The school decided to create a learning commons to move beyond traditional thinking about libraries and respond to what the kids and teachers really needed. The faculty envisioned their environment to be developmentally appropriate for their young students, as well as to foster a sense of creativity, inspiration, and encourage dialogue and a sense of community. The new learning commons library offered more space for stacks, added conference rooms and a lounge area, but the learning commons concept informed more than the library. These design changes increase opportunities to be inspired by student work and performances and create stronger interpersonal connections among students and faculty.
Free Newspaper Template Pack For Word. Perfect For School “Post has links to newspaper templates. it includes some good designs that students can choose from to create their own newspaper. They are all for Microsoft Word.
Student-Made E-Books: A Beautiful Way to Demonstrate Learning | Cult of Pedagogy
How to Use Padlet in the Classroom: A Fantastic Teaching Tool “Padlet is a versatile and easy-to-use tool. The post offers a great way to learn the basics.
So Many Fun Ways To Use Blabberize In The Classroom — Emerging Education Technologies “Blabberize is a free online tool that allows you to quickly create talking images. It provide opportunities to improve student engagement and collaboration. This post offers some ideas and examples of how it coould be used.
How Game-Based Learning Can Help Students of All Ages Learn | Edudemic
http://www.edudemic.com/game-based-learning-help-learn/

Game-based learning offers an approach where learning and play aren’t at odds with each other; in fact, games are the vehicle and environment for learning.
Printing Press A way for students to create a more professional version of their work. Works (short/stories/poems) can be published using the ReadWriteThink Printing Press. It is interactive and uses 3 simple templates. Students can save their draft then share it or publish it when they are happy
B’s Book Love : Technology-Based Poetry Activities for Poetry Centers and Poetry Stations A how-to about creating digital blackout poems. “These can help struggling readers focus on the MOST important words in the poem to find the main idea/theme of the poem in a fun and artful way:” There is an example of how to use You Doodle as well as a non-technology option.

Create Time-stamped Multimedia Notes on Your Android Device | Android 4 Schools This looks to be a promising app for ome of the students i work with who have difficulties with text but very good auditory and thinking skills. “Mic Note is a free Android app that allows you to create voice recordings, text notes, and image-based notes on one concise notebook page. The notes that you record with your voice can be time-stamped by clicking on your Mic Note note page while you’re recording. You can also take notes without recording any audio. ”

Top 100 education apps by subject and grade – Microsoft in Education A useful curated list of 100 microsoft education apps that you can get frokm the Windows Store. Downloadable PDF doc.
100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators This is a very comprehensive post from Vicky Davis. It is a consolidation of the many things that Google can offer teachers and students. They are categorized under useful headings, many links to follow up and some useful videos are also embedded.
How to Use Padlet in the Classroom: A Fantastic Teaching ToolA very comprehensive explanation about how teachers could use Padlet with their classes making it a very versatile tool. Includes links and video
What Counts as Civic Participation? | Harvard Graduate School of Education A discussion that considers what we have included in our citizenship courses and what should/might be included now that the on-line world is so readily available to most.
Word Mover – ReadWriteThink Word Mover (By ReadWriteThink) is designed to help students develop poems and short stories Students can use word banks already created or they can also add new words to the list. They can then drag onto a canvas they have selected to construct their poem or story. They are also able to manipulate and move the text as they wish to creatively publish poetry. There are six different categories and 12 canvas backgrounds students may select. Useful lesson plans that use the app for a variety of learning levels and subjects are also shared.
Should I Download That App? A Ten Question Checklist for Choosing Tools Worth Your—and Your Students’—Time | EdSurge News Advice worth looking at. “Whether you are a classroom teacher, instructional coach, or administrator, ask yourself these ten questions before going any further”
Teaching literacy is more than teaching simple reading skills: it can’t be done in five easy steps | EduResearch Matters A good article about developing literacy skills. “All Australian children and young people becoming literate I believe it is vital we understand and define the complexity of literacy. Literacy encompasses the knowledge and skills students need to access, understand, analyse and evaluate information, make meaning, express thoughts and emotions, present ideas and opinions, interact with others and participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school. “
Make a Book Map with Google Maps – Reading By Example “A nice class activity when the books, being read by the students, have specific locations for the settings. You can create a book map using My Maps from Google to highlight the settings in which these texts took place.”
Your Library@CSU: The Wonders of Trove “Trove was created and ismaintained by the National Library of Australia (NLA). It allows users to find and use resources relating to Australia, from more than 1000 collections; spanning libraries, museums, galleries, archives, govt agencies, research orgs, and other unique Australian content.  There is a useful how-to video embedded in the post”
Note Taking Skills for 21st Century Students @coolcatteacher “Note taking skills aren’t just automatic. We tell students “take notes” but they have no idea what that means. What makes “good notes.” What do they write down? How should notes look?” Lesson plans and teaching ideas for teachers
Worlds of Learning | Makerspace Vision Statement “What makers this process unique is that it offers a thematic approach to planning and creating a makerspace.  After deciding upon the themes you want to advance in your makerspace, and procuring the necessary equipment, materials and supplies to support each theme, attention can be given then to designing the physical aspects of your makerspace.  A good place to start this process is to think about your school’s mission statement and vision and then think through how your makerspace can be seen as a physical representation of that strategy.  “
What is a Makerspace? | Create, Collaborate, Innovate Author looks at the universal ideas/themes that lie behind different types of successful makerspaces.
21 Digital Tools To Build Vocabulary – Annotated list of tools. “Digital tools must coexist alongside more traditional tools. Online tools, compared to their more traditional counterparts, can provide a broader array of information about words and word meanings. Some tools also allow teachers to customize words so that students can practice, review, and play games with content or unit-specific words. “
EdTechTeam: Get coding in your classroom! Enter the Challenge.“Do your students code?” Some ideas to get you started – not all digitech heavy and many other resources are freely available.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
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Useful Links

 

Innovations in Education » Developing Future Workskills Through Content Curation “The skills a student employs  to successfully curate information include curiosity, media literacy, ability to make connections across disciplines, information literacy, the ability to evaluate and understand perspective, synthesize and evaluate information, and a good dose of self-direction.  Here is how they line up with the 10 skills identified in this study.”

EducationHQ Australia – Maker movement gathers steam “In an educational setting, ‘making’ is a technology driven response to the widespread absence of ‘doing’ in many classrooms. In essence, it’s what psychologist Jean Piaget and other ‘constructionists’ see as experiential learning. American educator Gary Stager, author of Invent to Learn, reminds us that we are fortunate that: “this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing”. Make sure you access Stager’s website inventtolearn.com for more information on this.”

20 Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking This is from the TeachThought blog. “This is part 1 in our #iteachthought campaign. This is our equivalent to “back to school,” and is intended to help you focus in the 2015-2016 school year on taking a thoughtful approach to your craft as a teacher. Among these shifts we’ll talk about is turning our focus from content and teaching to thinkers and thinking. This is a student-centered approach to pedagogy (and heautagogy), and will consist of three parts:
Part 1: Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking
Part 2: Learning Profiles: What Great Teachers Know About Their Students
Part 3: 50 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of Schoo”

5 Creative Strategies to Facilitate Student-driven Learning | Imagine Easy Solutions “21st century learners who are digitally literate and determined to take charge of their learning. Consequently, teachers need to adjust their strategies and give students more voice and ownership.
When the classroom moves from teacher-centered to student-centered, more learning takes place and students tend to be more engaged in the lesson. The student-centered classroom allows for more differentiation and personalized learning.
Making the transition into a student-centered classroom can be a challenge. This post looks at some strategies for getting started with creating a successful learning environment”

Key Conditions for Suspense: Part 14 – Put Your Plot Together with the Story Cycle – SFWA “It’s good to know you need to make the problem hard to solve, but how do you use all the obstacles to develop the plot? How do you layer them in? How do you start and move forward?
You follow the story cycle, which is simply a model of how we humans go about solving problems, and apply the techniques we’ve been talking about in ways that make sense to you and spark your interest. You can move forwards or backwards around the cycle, whatever is most productive to you at the time.”

10 Collaborative Mobile Apps For A Creative Classroom “Trainer, Naomi Harm shares 10 free mobile apps that will allow students to engage in rich content activities and digital projects in his training video Mobile Apps For The Classroom.”

Digital Citizenship Scope & Sequence | Common Sense Media From Common Sense Media. ” Scope & Sequence tool to find age-appropriate lessons that address digital literacy and citizenship topics for your classroom. You can browse by grade band or click a category to highlight the lessons that address that topic. From professional development materials, to student interactives, to lessons and assessments, and family outreach materials, our comprehensive curriculum is turnkey to implement.”

Why Should We Teach Storytelling? 5 Reasons to Start Today | Getting Smart “five reasons why we should be creating storytelling opportunities for students today.”

ICT is failing in schools – here’s why “National data released this week confirms an ongoing trend that now sees nearly half of Australian secondary school students failing to meet minimum digital literacy standards. Current data underpinning decision-making and the new digital technologies curriculum isn’t working for ICT in schools for these four reasons:”

Storyboard Maker – Outline a Story With Visuals | Android 4 Schools “Storyboard Maker is a free Android app.It lets you to set out your story. In the app you can outline story scenes by sketching frames then writing text to outline action and dialogue in each scene. ”

Draw Notes on Your Android Device With Google Keep | Android 4 Schools “this is an Android appthat allows you to write short notes and set reminders. It can also used be used as a mindmapping tool of sorts through the use of sticky note sorting. Google Keep for Android also allows you to draw notes in the app.”

Some Very Good Tools and Apps for Creating Educational Comics to Use in Class ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “Using comics in your instruction can be a great way to engage students in learning activities and boost their motivation. There is a wide variety of web-based tools and mobiles apps that make comics creation a simple and easy drag and drop process. Students can use them to unleash their imaginative potential and experiment with a number of various multimodal creative activities. In this post there are some examples of web tools and apps teachers can use with students in class to create great educational comics.”

How to Storyboard in Scrivener “Storyboarding as it pertains to novels and short stories is the process of mapping out your story, often using index cards, in a high-level way that allows you to see your story visually and rearrange it. Scrivener’s corkboard view provides the perfect interface to storyboard your novel digitally”

Ninja Guide to Content Creation: Top 10 Writing Tools A piece that brings together, in an annotated list, a number of useful tools for writing purposes. There are also a number of other mentioned in the comments that follow the post.

Research revolution in schools | District Administration Magazine An interesting article about the skills today’s students need. “teaching students to find reliable sources, synthesize research findings and communicate results is more urgent than ever in a world where every blogger with a keyboard can pose as an expert.”

How to Build a Growth Mindset into School Culture | Getting Smart “For all of us as educators, a growth mindset must be a prerequisite belief and an easy one to champion. However, where Dweck’s idea presents us with a narrow gap in comprehension, the divide between comprehension and practice can be quite wide. As school leaders, how can we bring awareness to this gap and implement practices to cultivate a growth mindset within our schools?”

24 Ways for Students to Showcase Their Best Work (With Tech) – InformED : There has been a lot of research that supports student learning being enhanced by using online presentation methods. This post offers an annotated list of 24 favourites.

What is Collaboration for Professional Learning? | My Island View “The time investment to accomplish this can be as little as twenty minutes a day. The warning here however is that often times a learner may actually get caught up in the learning and spend more time than planned on a given topic. Social media opens educators to the pedagogy, and methodology of others. It offers transparency to policies. It questions the status Quo. It forces reflective thinking. It acts as a megaphone for new ideas. It gives educators a voice in the discussion of their own profession. None of this will happen however unless an educator comes to the table with a collaborative mindset and a willingness to spend time collaborating. Educators should never expect less from themselves than they expect of their students. A good teacher is also a good learner, and a good learner can always become a great teacher”

Empathy and libraries – Home – Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog “Building cultural understandings by building empathy is now more urgent than ever in our classrooms and libraries if we wish to create a more empathic community. I am re-posting a column about building empathy through reading below.”

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

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

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 – Techews.com 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 http://www.flocabulary.com/oversharing/”
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 http://www.flocabulary.com/oversharing/”
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

Educational Postcard: ”What we are not a by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Ken Whytock 

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

Useful links

Educational Postcard: Evaluate ideas in by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Ken Whytock 

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

Sharing our makerspace ideas

We had a successful meeting the other night where teacher librarians got together to talk about how they are creating maker spaces in their libraries. The ideas and approaches vary widely but they all share the same goal of allowing the students to express their creative side and learn at the same time as enjoying what they are doing.

We were going to run it like a teach meet with very short presentations but a few people had to pull out due to illness so each presentation went a little longer. We also had the opportunity to try out some of the activities spoken about.

The best part of these meetings is the sharing that happens with everyone talking about the approaches they take in their schools. Even when using the same materials, the approaches and resulting student creations can be very different.

My part of the evening included the presentation below.

Pinterest boards:

There are many posts and articles written about makerspaces and (school) libraries. Below in one presentation I like.