Useful Links

Texting in the Classroom (or using Fake texts to connect & engage students). The Brown Bag Teacher A discussion about different ways to use the tool “ifaketext” It allows users to create faux iPhone text conversations. The website lets you fit between 35 and 50 words on one screen (a conversation between 2 different people). Then, you can take a screen shot of the conversation or right-click to save the picture as a Jpeg. Here are three different ways I see myself using this free resource.”
50 Insanely Useful Websites College Students Need To Know – SOCIETY19 “There are many apps and websites for college students that make the learning process a lot easier. Here it has been simplified by consolidating 50 good websites for college students into one list you can access any time, any place.”

Cultivating Mindfulness in the Classroom | Getting Smart “Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness is about more than the stereotypes that might pop into your mind when you hear words like “meditation” and “guided visualization.” Teaching kids how to be more mindful and aware of their thoughts and feelings has been shown to improve memory and attention, boost learning outcomes, decrease behavior issues and more.”
What Constitutes Plagiarism? § Harvard Guide to Using Sources “While it may seem obvious that copying someone else’s words verbatim and submitting them in a paper with your name on it is plagiarism, other types of plagiarism may be less familiar to you. These more subtle forms of plagiarism are actually more common, and you should make sure you understand all of them, as well as how to avoid them by conducting your research and writing carefully and responsibly.”
Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Makerspace Needs | Getting Smart Some makerspace components are very commonly known. Educators planning makerspaces know they can start small with simple circuitry materials, cardboard and hot glue guns, or go to the biggest level with 3D printers and laser cutters. The level of sophistication/extravagance of the space will vary enormously depending on each institution’s choices and funding but there were a few surprises as we developed our space, noticing or finding unexpectedly critical makerspace components that have made our space more successful. Here are 10 unexpectedly critical makerspace components, clickbait countdown style!
EdTechTeacher | How to Design Your Own MakerSpaces – From Courtney Pepe “What is a MakerSpace?  Makers build, fix, and create.  They are students, teachers, tinkerers, cooks, technology buffs, architects, crafters, performers, hobbyists, builders, artists, engineers, scientists, and writers.  They use the MakerSpace to solve real life problems with access to tools and materials.  A MakerSpace is not confined to a school setting but can also be a community space like a public library where community members of all ages, means, and abilities can design, prototype, and create original works.”
Adding value: Principals’ perceptions of the role of the teacher-librarian | QUT ePrints “This paper reports on a study into principals’ perceptions of the role of the teacher-librarian. Nine principals in Australia were interviewed about the role of the teacher-librarian and library in their school. The findings indicated a range of ways in which the teacher-librarian adds value to the school, including in their role as teacher, providing the principal with a broad perspective on the workings of the school, providing advice and ideas, and providing leadership in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) at the school. It also identified a number of personal qualities valued by principals.”
How to STEAM ” Once you have the foundations of what STEAM is and why it’s important, the next step is to understand how to implement STEAM with integrity.  Many schools claim to be “STEAM Schools”, and yet their model of implementation is weak or simply brushes the surface of what STEAM truly requires.  The authors’ core belief is that STEAM has a foundation of integration at it’s core, which means that each curricular area should be both taught in its own right, as well as connected through standards and assessments when used in tandem.”
8 digital skills we must teach our children | World Economic Forum   “How can we, as parents, educators and leaders, prepare our children for the digital age? Without a doubt, it is critical for us to equip them with digital intelligence. The digital world is a vast expanse of learning and entertainment. But it is in this digital world that kids are also exposed to many risks, such as cyberbullying, technology addiction, obscene and violent content, radicalization, scams and data theft. The problem lies in the fast and ever evolving nature of the digital world, where proper internet governance and policies for child protection are slow to catch up, rendering them ineffective. 8 skills suggestions and a great infographic to visually set out different area.”
5 Ways to Make YouTube Safer for Kids – YouTube Youtube short pPublished on 1 Jul 2015 by Common Sense Media. Kids love watching funny videos, learning cool stuff or uploading their own creations on YouTube. Discover 5 ways to make YouTube Safer for kids, whether they are watching or creating a channel. “
5 Social Media Rules for Teens & Tweens – YouTube Short video published on 2 Oct 2015 by Common Sense Media. “Social Media is a way of life for many teens, and even some tweens. Here are 5 rules to share with your kids before they start posting, uploading or sharing online”
12 Reasons To Teach Searching Techniques With Google Advanced Search… Even Before Using The Basic Search | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “Google Advanced Search, when used correctly, can facilitate student’s to expand their digital abilities while promoting productivity and learning in the classroom.”
20 Awesome BYOD and Mobile Learning Apps | Edutopia Post from Vicki Davis. “Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) have been in her schhool for three years. Students certainly took to it. They bring it all! We have iPads, Surface, iPhones, Droids, Chromebooks, Macs, and PC laptops. Here’s her thinking about some of the tools she likes.”
Smithsonian Learning Lab :: Discover. Create. Share A great resource. “The Smithsonian Learning Lab is about discovery, creation, and sharing. ” The Smithsonian Learning Lab contains more than one million resources (videos, photos, and documents, etc.) on topics from the Discovery space shuttle to the French and Indian War. Students and teachers can organize content into “collections” and set up quizzes or assignments, among other things. The Lab’s Senior Digital Strategist Darren Milligan also says that the array of content will grow over time, both with user-generated resources and new digital museum artifacts.
Part 2: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 40 Amazing STEM Resources | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “Welcome to this second post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.”
Hanyu@Narralakes: Screencasting on a budget Screencasting (making a video recording of your computer or tablet screen” can be used for making a presentation.  Teachers can find this resource valuable as it is a recording that can be used by students to learn or revise lessons or can be reused for future use. It can also be edited if need be.
Upper Elementary Snapshots: Reading Strategies that Work! “6 simple strategies that we can teach our students to drastically improve reading comprehension.” Link to downloadable posters
Google Arts & Culture A useful resource. An aggregator like Google Cultural Institute can bring together collections from multiple institutions from around the world.
A Handy Infographic Featuring 10 Things Every Teacher Should be Able to Do on Google Classroom ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “An Infographic that features 10 of what we believe are basic things every teacher should be able to do on Google Classroom. Instructions included are only for Classroom on the web, check out Google Classroom Help to learn more about how to use these features on mobile devices.”
Three schools reforms that will lift student outcomes Analysis piece. “A federal election is an opportunity to take stock of how Australia is doing, where it’s going, and what governments can do about it. This series, written by program directors at the Grattan Institute, explores the challenges that Australia faces and advocates policy changes for budgets, economic growth, cities and transport, energy, school education, higher education and health.”
Part 4: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Turning STEM to STEAM… 24 Resources | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “It is the STEAM that allows students to not just be technology consumers, but technology creators! Proper infusion of the Arts will create a STEAM culture that engages and promotes intrinsic learning. In the post the author has included some sites that may just allow educators to integrate the Arts, allowing STEM to become STEAM! While there is a lot of talk on STEAM Education, it is difficult to find a lot of material.”

Character Scrapbook Teaching Guide | Scholastic.com Character Scrapbook, produced by Scholastic, is a web resource that is a simple to use. It offers a reader’s response activity that students can use to analyse any character in a book or story.

The template allows them to include details and reflections about a character through text, but it also provides the students with an opportunity to create a visual representation of that character. Once created they can save or print it as a type of scrapbook. .
It offers is a simple way to engage students and also offers an opportunity to help them form a deeper understanding of a book’s character(s).
Character Scrapbook could be utilized with fiction or non-fiction text as an individual, small group and/or even whole class assignment
There is a detailed teacher’s guide on the Scholastic site that has a detailed how-to as well as lesson extensions.
STEM
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

  • Europeana 1914-1918 – Explore stories It is a treasure trove of unique sources for anyone interested in WWI. Timely with the 100th anniversary upon us. The site offers access to digitized films from the period, institutional cultural heritage and official records alongside thousands of stories shared by the general public, illustrated with digital images of objects, letters, personal diaries, photographs, and other items from the period of the First World War.
  • Teacher Resources for Learning about Copyright and Fair Use ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning  Post from Ed tech and Mobile Learning Blog. “It is important we teach our students to be good digital citizens. They need to understand how to properly credit sources and documents they grab from Internet, and it is not always straightforward. The University of Texas offers a course entitled “Copyright Crash Course” that outlines in a very clear and eloquent language the different things we all need to know about copyright.” Links are given to a few important sections.
  • Legendary Lands: Umberto Eco on the Greatest Maps of Imaginary Places and Why They Appeal to Us | Brain Pickings “Celebrated Italian novelist, philosopher, essayist, literary critic, and list-lover Umberto Eco has had a long fascination with the symbolic and the metaphorical, extending all the way back to his vintage semiotic children’s books. Half a century later, he revisits the mesmerism of the metaphorical and the symbolic in The Book of Legendary Lands (public library) — an illustrated voyage into history’s greatest imaginary places, with all their fanciful inhabitants and odd customs, on scales as large as the mythic continent Atlantis and as small as the fictional location of Sherlock Holmes’s apartment.
  • Inside The Most Interesting Man In The World’s Personal Library [31 Photos] | The Roosevelts  ” Jay Walker made a lot of money starting Priceline.com. He spent his money collecting. The collection, dubbed the Library of Human Imagination, has grown into something epic that rivals any museum on Earth. the 3,600 square foot, three story facility features multilevel tiers, “floating” platforms, connecting stairways, glass-paneled bridges, dynamic lighting and is bursting at the seams with artifacts of all types. A truly amazing collection that celebrates human endeavour and preserves it for future generations.

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

Flipboard: Using and sharing in education

There are many people using Flipboard already and they are great fans so I have just decided to give it a try.

It was originally designed as a social network aggregation, magazine-format app for iPad in 2010.  Today is has become a  popular magazine-like content aggrregator apps for a variety of devices (iOS, Android, Kindle and others). You can even read Flipboard magazines in your web browser.

It is easy to set up . You simply pick a few categories you’re interested in,  add your favorite news sources, reading matter and Youtube videos and bring across any social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Flipboard can connect it all together and makes it easy to curate the things that matter to you into your Flipboard magazine.  Each “tile” on the Flipboard dashboard represents a different subscription.  The thumbnail image on the “tile” changes as the content is updated. Tapping on a tile will open up the subscription for you to view the content.

It is easy to get started but Sue Waters (The Edublogger) has created a great step-by-step guide.

This is a tool that I can envisage being used in a number of ways by teachers and students.

Teachers could create a magazine for their students, whereby they “flip” all the articles, resources, etc they want students to access into the magazine which the students subscribe to. This could also be a ways of sharing professional learning materials between teaching colleagues, with all having access to add content. (This is the way i hope to begin  using it.)

Students could create a resource that they could add content to create a “textbook”.  An entire class could have access to a magazine, allowing all the students to add to the “textbook” thus creating a  very rich resource about a given topic or subject.

I am sure that there ae many more ways people are using this tool but its a start.

 

Useful links

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

Social media activities for Libraries.

Back in 1973 “The Two Ronnies” did the skit called “Shouting In The Library” It was from series three – Broadcast: September 1973 – January 1974. How to change this image? This one of libraries that the media often harks back to.

However Phil Bradley made this nice poster about social media activities. So many things have changed about library services. Some mentioned below we use, others are new and I have some new ideas for different uses to what we are doing at the moment.

The poster is available under Creative Commons licensing, so you are free to take a copy of this and use it without having to ask. However as always remember that you should attribute it to him and not change it nor make money from it.

Useful Links

Success

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

The 2013 list has been published by Jane Hart. I use all of the top 10 tools listed  and would probably agree with the order although #10, Google Hangouts, has become much more important to me in the last 6 months and I can see a lot of further use to be made of this tool next year. Quite a number of Google tools rate highly on the list.

I always find it interesting to see what tools have been found most useful by other educators. Are the tools I like rated highly by others? Are there tools that I am unaware of? Would some of these be useful for my situation? This year I found that some of the tools that had dropped of the 2012 list are back. Storify for instance has had a resurgence and is back at 58. The continued prominence  of Twitter on the list and the tool allowing users to select and organize tweets may be the reason.

It is also interesting to see that Twitter remains number 1. I have had many discussions with teachers about the use of Twitter. Many colleagues have denigrated it,not just as an educational tool but as a useful tool at all. When I stop them to tell them how I use it especially as part of my Professional Development, it often comes out that they have never actually used it but are just going on media reports and here say .It is sometimes hard for me to understand how easily these educated professionals can speak so forcefully about something they have no personal knowledge of and are basing their comments on media reports. The same media these teachers spend time warning their students to not simply accept but question the motives behind any reports/articles.

You can find an analysis of the 2013 list here and you can also find out further information and the site address with eshare, slideshow, links from her pages if you decide you want to investigate any of the tools further.