Handy Resources and Checklists for Implementing 1:1 in Your School June 13, 2014 After posting "What Teachers Need to Know about 1:1 Vs BYOD" I received a couple of emails from some educators asking about more resources to help their schools better implement a 1:1 technology program. My number one go-to place for materials concerning the designing and implementation of any 1:1 program is called 1-to-1 Essentials. 1-to-1 Essentials Program is created by Common Sense Media and comprises some great resources and materials that will provide you with the guidance you need to proactively address issues related to the implementation of a 1:1 program in your school. These resources include checklists, PDF documents, and videos and are arranged int three main phases : Phase 1: Envision This phase helps you set up a clear vision of your 1:1 program. Phase 2: Communicate This is the communicative phase where you get to learn about the different ways and strategies to train and inspire teachers and keep families in the loop on what to expect from your program.
Are Classroom Decorations Too Distracting For Young Students? Big Ideas A peak into many kindergarten classrooms across the country will reveal teachers trying to make classrooms feel warm and inviting by plastering the walls with colorful decorations and fun patterns. But could this effort to make school a welcoming place for its youngest students actually be hurting their ability to learn? In a New York Times article Jan Hoffman delves into new research showing how easily distracted kindergarteners are by their surroundings. “A new study looked at whether such classrooms encourage, or actually distract from, learning. Related Explore: distraction, Kindergarten, research
Can Parents Protect Their Kids’ School-Collected Data? Katie Hiscock Gone are the days when parents could tuck all their children’s homework in a drawer or rest assured that their child’s complete records were under lock and key, on paper, in the school’s main office. For the past few years, most American public schools have been moving student records online and many teachers have been assigning homework online. With all this accumulation of data comes a distinct feeling of consternation on the part of some parents. But some parents who work in the tech industry have more comfort with the idea of online data. It’s futile to try and keep track of student data according to Simon Jones, a father of three and a marketer in Burlingame, Calif. Laws Protecting Student Data Not everyone is resigned to handing over student data to the wilds and will of the internet. Another statute, the Protection Pupil Rights Amendment or PPRA deals directly with sharing K-12 student data for marketing purposes. Neither FERPA nor the PPRA is airtight. Related
The Top 3 iPad Apps for Learning A New Language June , 2014 Language learning is one of the key academic areas that can be readily boosted by the use of a variety of iPad apps. These apps will allow you and your students to learn a new language and improve your communicational skills in the target language using different activities, games, and practices. The app store is teeming with language learning apps but the best three I would recommend are the following: 1- Duolingo Duolingo is a great web tool and mobile app for learning a new language. 2- Busuu Busuu is a powerful iPad app that combines vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension tests to boost language learning. 3- Lingua.ly Lingua.ly is a great web tool for learning a new language.
Khan Academy Nik's QuickShout: Multiple Media Search I have to say that I think Spezify has just become my favourite new search engine. I think this is a really great search engine to use in class with students or to get them to use. It's really simple. It displays all results as images and it searches a wide range of multiple media sources such as video, image Twitter etc, not only text. To make a search you just type in your key word and all the results start to appear as images. If you click on the small spanner icon at the top right you can adjust the setting. There is a safe search option here which is on by default, so that's handy. As I said I think this is a nice search engine to use in class on IWB / data projector or for students. Related links: Best Nik Peachey
Books - Advances in Technology Enhanced Learning by Fridolin Wild, Paul Lefrere & Peter Scott Language Cloud 5 Excellent Free Interactive Tools to Boost Students Learning June 12, 2014 Read Write Think is a must have resource for teachers. It provides a variety of lessons, interactives, calendar activities, printables, diagrams and many other teaching and learning materials for free. I have been using it and recommending it for my fellow teachers for few years now. Read Write Think arranges its materials into different categories searchable by grade level (k-12), resource type (classroom resources, professional development resources, parent and after school resources), Learning objectives ( collaboration, comprehension, critical thinking...etc), and by themes( Arts, Careers, community…etc). Going through the materials of this website, I selected for you the 6 most popular learning activities and tools used by teachers on Read Write Think. 1- Story Map This tool generates a set of interactive graphic organizers to help students in prewriting and postreading activities. 2- Plot Diagram 3- Trading Card Creator 4- Theme Poems 5- Profile Publisher
With iPads, a New World of Music for Kids With Learning Challenges Jason Haughton sings an original tune composed by the PS 177 Technology Band. Eric Westervelt By Eric Westervelt, NPR There’s a steady stream of hype surrounding the pluses and pitfalls of classroom tablet computers. In a typical red brick public school building in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens, New York, one creative and passionate music instructor is using tablet computers to help reach students with disabilities. On the surface, the PS 177 Technology Band looks like a typical high school orchestra. “I’m Tobi Lakes, I’m 15 years old. Morning sunlight pushes through large, old windows into the school’s well-worn and empty-seated auditorium. “I’m very good. As rehearsal heats up Tobi takes the lead on rock guitarist Jeff Beck’s version of Puccini’s “Nesun Dorma.” “The first note of the second line please,” he tells them. The 53 year old teacher is a classically trained pianist with a degree from the Manhattan School of Music. ‘Sing, Sing, Sing!’ A New Look Game-Changer ‘I Love Music’
Curriculet Curriculet frees up my time outside of the classroom - no more collecting reading questions, trying to spot-check them, giving points for writing something down, whether or not they actually did the reading or understood it. - Jessica Rice, English Teacher at Summit Preparatory High School With Curriculet, I can not only change our reading instruction on a classroom level by flipping the instruction, but also influence reading instruction on a departmental level by encouraging the department to expand the curriculum: we can read MORE in less time with Curriculet. - Kate Baker, English teacher at Southern Regional high School I cannot WAIT to share this with my colleagues. This is going to revolutionize the way I can teach info texts, short stories, and excerpts from novels! - Morgan Toal, English teacher at Lakewood middle school
Great Resources to Help Teachers Craft Beautiful Slide Presentations June 15, 2014 Preparing slides that are both meaningful and visually appealing has gotten a lot easier thanks to technology. Whether it is for your classroom, a departmental talk, or a conference presentation, here are resources to help craft beautiful slides. Slidebean Web presentation software that lets you create beautiful slide design in seconds. When you are ready to start filling in your slides, this image search service helps you find royalty-free stock photos. For professionally-designed icons, this resource has thousands of icons for thousands of nouns. Put images and icons you've found into a collage with this mobile app for ideation or your presentation. Or turn those images and icons into a slideshow with narration or music to liven up your presentation a notch. Before starting, you need a solid outline. This collection is curated by instructional technology facilitator Kristy Rocquin.
New: Google Launched Google Educator Groups (Great Learning Platform for Teachers) June 11, 2014Google Educator Groups (GEGs) is a new project launched by Google yesterday.This project aims at bringing the benefits of technology to schools, classrooms and communities across the world through the collaborative work of a community of passionate educators. GEGs is a place where educators, principals, school administrators, professors, teachers, students, and anyone else interested in using Google Products to help people learn , get to meet and collaborate with each other . Google Educators Groups allows participants to "to pick up new creative ideas from one another, and to help each other best meet the needs of their students with Google solutions. GEG activities take place both online and offline. Online GEGs provide a space for educators to discuss together and learn about one another through Google+; offline, locally run events and workshops are a way to learn and share face to face." It’s easy to get involved in GEG.