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Chrome Extensions for EAL and Special Needs- and Everyone!

Chrome Extensions for EAL and Special Needs- and Everyone!
Technology can be a powerful tool to assist students with special needs or any sort of learning challenge. In particular the Chrome web browser allows users to install a wide variety of web extensions that provide tools that can help all learners, regardless of ability level. In this blog post we will take a look at over 30 Chrome web extensions that can assist students in five main categories:Text to SpeechReadabilityReading ComprehensionFocusNavigation Some of the tools fit into more than one topic, but each is only listed once. Certainly this list does not cover all of the useful web extensions available for struggling learners, but it is a great place to begin. In addition to the list of extension, I have also linked in the video and help guide from a webinar I did a while back on "Google Tools for Special Needs". Text to Speech extensions 2) Read AloudChrome web extension link This text-to-speech extension will read either the entire page or just the text that you have selected.

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12 Digital Tools to Try in 2018 There are so many digital tools available today that offer opportunities for promoting student creativity, student voice, and expanding where and how students learn. I had my own list of the tools that I found made a big difference in my classroom, but decided to ask students for their input. Here is a list of tools to try in 2018. Each of these offer multiple ways for students to create, connect and engage in more authentic learning experiences.

Reading Graphic Organizers - Reading A-Z Why Use Graphic Organizers The human brain naturally looks for connections between old and new information. Additionally, studies have shown that the brain processes information most efficiently in chunks. 4 Good Websites That Provide Educational Documentaries Looking for some good websites that provide curated educational documentaries? The collection below features some of our favourite options. These are platforms where you can get access to a plethora of documentaries spanning different topics and subject areas. Six Scaffolding Strategies to Use with Your Students What’s the opposite of scaffolding a lesson? Saying to students, “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” Yikes! No safety net, no parachute—they’re just left to their own devices. Let’s start by agreeing that scaffolding a lesson and differentiating instruction are two different things.

Instagram for Teachers If you already have a personal account and want to add another one to use professionally, go to your profile screen and click the Settings icon at the top right. Scroll to the bottom and click Add Account. Go through the steps of signing up. You may have to use a different email address from the one associated with your other Instagram account. Graphic Organizers Prepared by Tracey Hall & Nicole Strangman Please visit the AIM Center home page. Introduction One way to help make a curriculum more supportive of students and teachers is to incorporate graphic organizers. Graphic organizers come in many varieties and have been widely researched for their effectiveness in improving learning outcomes for various students. The following five sections present a definition of graphic organizers, a sampling of different types and their applications, a discussion of the research evidence for their effectiveness, useful Web resources, and a list of referenced research articles.

Generation Global: How Cross-Cultural Dialogue Builds Critical Thinking and Empathy The world and the people who work and live in it have become ever more connected as the internet becomes more accessible. Yet despite the ability to connect and learn about happenings on the other side of the globe, many communities have become more polarized and entrenched in a particular worldview. As these trends emerge, teachers are looking for ways to foster productive dialogue skills in today’s students — the generation that will have to deal with complex, increasingly global problems. Activities that connect students to peers in other countries have become more common in classrooms because it’s now possible. Decades ago students might have had an international penpal, now they can easily have digital penpals or video conference with students all over the world. Teachers are using this new ability to connect to offer students of all ages authentic audiences to practice writing and language skills, but often the focus has been on younger children.

Frayer Model The Frayer Model is a vocabulary development tool. In contrast with a straight definition, the model helps to develop a better understanding of complex concepts by having students identify not just what something is, but what something is not. The center of the diagram shows the concept being defined, while the quadrants around the concept are used for providing the details. Words that work well with the Frayer Model include quadrilaterals, insects and democracies. Exploring Essential Questions with a Group of Objects By: Tess Porter, Educational Technician, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access Trying to brainstorm your next Learning Lab collection, but not sure where to start? With a particular topic in mind, creating a large collection of objects and grounding them in a few guiding questions can be a great way to create a simple, investigative, multi-disciplinary, evidence-based, discussion-sparking collection for your students. This method is flexible, can be used with a wide variety of topics, and works best in a collection containing 20–50 objects. In this post, I'll describe some basic guidelines for creating a collection using this method, as well as examples of collections that I and other educators have built to inspire your own. In this method, collection resources serve as sources of evidence for students to use in building a response to the essential question.

Podcast Reflection #12: Applying Differentiation Strategies In this podcast, provided by Teacher Created Materials, Dede Dodds discusses the importance of differentiating curriculum and gives practical ideas and examples to help you apply differentiation strategies in your classroom. The needs for differentiating curriculum are well understood by many educators, I believe. To briefly summarize, today's classrooms are no longer represented by heterogeneous students. Students show various ability levels, learning styles or preferences, interests, and backgrounds. Some students are learning English as a second language and others lack motivation. It seems impossible for teachers to meet the needs of all students with a single lesson plan.

Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup Resources by Topic: OER, a part of the global open content movement, are shared teaching, learning, and research resources available under legally recognized open licenses -- free for people to reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. Why are OER important? High-quality OER can save teachers significant time and effort on resource development and advance student learning inside and outside the classroom. Further, open sharing of resources has the potential to fuel collaboration, encourage the improvement of available materials, and aid in the dissemination of best practices. The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction My colleague Katie Hull-Sypnieski is leading a February 1st Education Week Webinar on differentiating instruction, and I would strongly encourage people to participate. Katie’s the best teacher I’ve ever seen…. In addition, Katie and I have co-authored a piece for Education Week Teacher on the topic that will be appearing there soon (it’s appeared: The Five By Five Approach To Differentiation Success), and an upcoming post in my blog there will be talking about it, too (that two part series has also appeared). I also did a second two-part series in Ed Week on differentiation. Also, check out The Best “Fair Isn’t Equal” Visualizations. Given all that, a “The Best…” post was inevitable, and here it is.

8 High-Quality OER Collections Resource Spotlight 8 High-Quality OER Collections Finding high-quality open educational resources used to be a challenge, but a number of curated OER collections have made the task much easier for educators.

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