Students Learning From Their Blogging Buddies Posted by Mrs Kathleen Morris on Tuesday, March 27th 2012 I seem to be continually uncovering more and more benefits to educational blogging. Aside from the advantages that I’ve shared here and here, having your class involved in the educational blogging community allows students to learn from and with their peers from all around the world. In my class we often use our blogging buddies’ posts as inspiration for classroom activities, and as role models for high standards of work. One such example was the readers’ theatre activities that we were doing last week as part of our CAFE reading program. Throughout the week, we read a range of readers’ theatre scripts and used the posts on Mr Salsich’s Classroom Blog and 4T’s Classroom Blog as inspiring models. We published one of our own performances on our class blog here which hopefully continues the cycle of sharing. There have been many other instances when my students have learnt from their blogging buddies.
What Does Critical Thinking Mean in Education ? Critical thinking is an important skill in the 21st century learning. Education's overall goal is to produce students that will be able to think critically and not just take in things like a parrot. Of course thereis a bunch of other important skills out there but this particular one stands out from the crowd. The thing about ttis skill is that while almost all teachers agree upon its priority in education only few really know what it really means. Sometimes the lines between some technical temrs are blurred as is the case in the educational jargon when refering to critical thinking as synonymous with creative thinking, a blunder that is though seemingly unimportant yet it can make all the difference for experts. Critical thinking as described in the video below refers to a diverse range of intelectual skills and activities concerned with evaluating information as well as evaluating our thought in a disciplined way.
6 Great Videos on Teaching Critical Thinking Critical thinking is a skill that we can teach to our students through exercise and practice. It is particularly a skill that contains a plethora of other skills inside it. Critical thinking in its basic definition refers" to a diverse range of intellectual skills and activities concerned with evaluating information as well as evaluating our thought in a disciplined way ". All of our students think in a way or another but the question is , do they really think critically ? are they able to evaluate the information they come across ? Critical thinking is part and parcel of what is called critical theory and hence critical literacy. 1- A Quick Guide to 21st Century Critical Thinking Skills for Teachers2- What Does Critical Thinking Mean in Education3- Great Critical Thinking Poster for your Class4- 7 Great iPad Apps to Improve Kids Critical Thinking5- A Clever Tip to Easily Develop Students Critical Thinking What we have for you today is a great series of videos on critical thinking.
20 Interactive Whiteboard Resources for Teachers Interactive whiteboards are a great way for teachers to engage classrooms in learning. These tools are also cost effective. The Internet has tons of free sources to help teachers learn about and use IWBs with students. Here is a list of 20 interactive whiteboard resources and activities guaranteed to stimulate learning: General Resources TeacherLED – TeacherLED is a site dedicated to making the use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) easier and more productive. SMART – This SMART Board interactive whiteboard site provides several lesson plans and activities for teachers to use in the classroom. Topmarks – With some of the best free educational materials for IWBs, Topmarks is a great resource for finding IWB lesson plans and activities. Interactive Whiteboard in the Classroom – This site for whiteboard users features tutorials, interactive websites, and software. Eduscapes – This guide to interactive whiteboards explains different activities and resources that can be used with IWBs. Enjoy!
Strategies: Smartboard Interactive whiteboards are more than just glorified overhead projectors - the interactive tools allow teachers to create lessons that actively engage students in creative ways. They also allow us to use a variety of interactive web 2.0 tools with our students in a way that allows all students to participate actively. I hope to add more items to this page throughout the year - great links to other websites and my favorite Smartboard files. For now, it's a somewhat random listing of files that I've either created ordiscovered on the Internet. Cool Websites and Applications for Any Computer BrainPOP Free Video Collection - Do you know Tim and Moby? The Hat - A great tool for choosing students randomly! Webinar Recording: 5 Amazing Web Tools for Classroom Collaboration Click below to watch the recording of a webinar hosted by Laura Candler featuring five terrific educators and their favorite web tools. More Amazing Web Tools Webinar Resources Interactive Fractions Program
Student Interactives ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more. More Home › Classroom Resources › Student Interactives Engage your students in online literacy learning with these interactive tools that help them accomplish a variety of goals—from organizing their thoughts to learning about language—all while having fun. 1 | Grades K – 12 | Student Interactive | Organizing & Summarizing Story Map 2 | Grades 1 – 12 | Student Interactive | Organizing & Summarizing Plot Diagram 3 | Grades K – 5 | Student Interactive | Learning About Language Word Family Sort 4 | Grades K – 2 | Student Interactive | Learning About Language Construct-a-Word 5 | Grades 3 – 12 | Student Interactive | Organizing & Summarizing Persuasion Map 2 | Grades K – 12 | Student Interactive | Writing Poetry Acrostic Poems 3 | Grades 1 – 12 | Student Interactive | Organizing & Summarizing 4 | Grades K – 12 | Student Interactive | Writing & Publishing Prose Comic Creator
5 Fun Online Games that Disguise Important Lessons Of all the impact education technology can have in the classroom, it is at its most powerful when students are enjoying themselves so much they don’t even realize they are learning! These brilliant online games each help students learn about important new skills, issues or ideas, but they are guaranteed to enjoy themselves at the same time! 1. Immune Attack An incredibly exciting and addictive game from the Federation of American Scientists, which students will never want to stop playing! Players navigate a ‘nanobot’ through the inside of the human body, exploring an environment of 3D blood vessels and connective tissue with the goal of saving an ailing patient. 2. This great game (along with the many others hosted free on the same website) teaches students to use logic and reason to solve a problem about a mix up with pet adoption. 3. This fun, free site boasts a simple but brilliant idea – it turns famous landmarks from around the world into jigsaw puzzles. 4. 5.
5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks Hunting down classic literature and important manuscripts may mean more than a quick Google search for many of us. You may turn to paid sources like Amazon or even (the humanity!) turn to printed books in your library. The horror! So what happens when Google, Amazon, and your local library come up short in your quest for free educational eBooks? The Harvard Classics Some of the most important works of literature are a part of the dozens of volumes available in The Harvard Classics. Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free e-books (free epub books, free kindle books, read online, or download them). Bartleby The go-to source for the classics, Bartleby.com features Gray’s Anatomy, the Harvard Classics (see above), the King James Bible, and just about every major publication you could ever require. OER Commons Open Educational Resources (aka OER Commons) boasts more than 40,000, well, resources for teachers. ICDL – International Children’s Digital Library
12 Puzzle and Quiz Creation Tools for Teachers There are many different sites on the internet that allow you to create your own puzzles and games to use either directly in class, or which can be linked to/embedded into your VLE. I’ve been doing some trawling ahead of a training session I am running soon, and here are a few of the best ones that I’ve found. There are others out there, but the focus specifically for my session was KS4 and 5, so these links are aimed at older students. If you have any other favourites, please add them to the comments! 1. Classtools is already one of my favourite websites, home of the Countdown Timer and Random Word Picker. 2. Content generator’s templates allow anyone to generate their own e-Learning quizzes, games and applications through our custom software – no coding required. 3. SuperTeacherTools.com is dedicated to providing technology tools for teaching that are quick and easy to download, learn, and start using in your classroom. 4. 5. 6. 7. Also worth a look: 8. 9. 10. 11. And finally….. 12.
Smart Notebook 11 - A first look at the new version The wait is nearly over and Smart Notebook 11 is set to be released on 23rd April. (Edit : It’s here.) I’ve been lucky enough to download a copy early and have a sneak peak of the new version of the Smart software and see how much it has changed since it was previewed at BETT back in January. I’ll try and sort out some videos in the near future that demonstrate some of the new features, and I will also have to update some of my training materials, but for now here’s an initial run through of some of the things that caught my eye. The first thing that caught my eye is the redesigned main toolbar. The left hand side of the toolbar stays the same. All the pens are grouped together now – Regular pens, creative pens, calligraphy pen and the new crayon tool. Likewise if you choose a shape, then the various shape options appear. A new tool is the regular polygons tool – which has a few new shapes, and clearly shows how many sides each shape will have when you draw it. But now it’s here.
How Interactive Ebooks Engage Readers and Enhance Learning The invention of the tablet PC has created a new medium for book publishing. Interactive books are everywhere, and have revolutionized the way people consume the printed word. With the recent software available to allow easy creation of interactive books and with the race to bring these products to market, there seems to be a more and more dilution of quality and a loss for the meaning of interactivity. When publishers create new eBook titles or convert a traditional printed book to a digital interactive eBook, they often miss the added value this new medium can provide. It’s important to understand the distinction between apps and eBooks, as it's something that often confuses both publishers and consumers. eBooks were the first to appear on devices such as the Kindle, and have very limited interactivity. Enhanced eBooks (ePUB3) are a new digital publication standard that allows easy integration of video, audio, and interactivity. Grimm's Rapunzel ~ 3D Interactive Pop-up Book
eReaders & eBooks in the Classroom The Whiteboard Blog It might be useful to start at the beginning and explain a few basics for those readers who are coming here to find out about Interactive Whiteboards from the point of view of a complete beginner. What is an interactive Whiteboard? Wikipedia defines an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) as An interactive whiteboard is a large interactive display that connects to a computer and projector. A projector projects the computer’s desktop onto the board’s surface, where users control the computer using a pen, finger or other device. The board is typically mounted to a wall or on a floor stand.Basically, an interactive whiteboard is a type of touch-sensitive computer screen. The basic kit consists of three partsThe Whiteboard - touch sensitiveA data projectorA laptop or PCThe computer projects an image of the computer screen onto the Whiteboard. Some newer versions involve adding touch capabilities onto a very large LCD monitor. Most whiteboards do not have built-in speakers. 1. 2. 3. Software