Nothing is more invaluable than feed back from your peers. In fact, research states that students retain more information when peer tutoring is utilized in the classroom. The writing guide from Colorado State University highlights the important steps to conducting peer review. Find guidelines to for both the writer and the reader to use during the review. Included are suggestions of questions to ask about both the qualities of the essay and the structure of it. Take advantage of disinterested reviewers to help make your writing better.
Here's a fantastic site that has been getting quite a bit of press lately for digital storytelling. This one's made for elementary students looking to create a story, add their artwork, and even record their voices. Little Bird Tales was created to help nurture children's creativity and imagination while simultaneously creating one of-a-kind digital stories that can easily be shared.
If you have a little one who loves to tell stories, then why not make those tales accessible to others on this a safe web environment for children, free of advertising, merchandising and links to other sites
This unique site allows students to write collaboratively online in a safe environment. Do you have dreams of getting some of your work published? How about the chance to co-write a book with a celebrity? How about sharing your stories with other kids from all over the world? Are you ever bored and looking for something to do? Will improving your writing help you do even better in school? Do you want to write what you want to write? Best of all its FREE!
Here's a great site where students can learn Web 2.0 skills. By communicating with online penpals, students can just talk, or practice various language skills by becoming more fluent with other students around the world. PikiFriends offers a safe, filtered environment for junior high and high school students. Teachers are able to have control student conversations and individual accounts. There is an abundance of resources that show you how to implement PikiFriends into your curriculum.
Got a report and need to know what makes a good news reporter? What separates a good reporter from one that is well noted? This site divides news harvesting into three levels, and explains what you need to do to advance to the third level of gathering information. Basic reporting is based on just what you are told. Usually little research is added to these type of stories. But to be a great reporter you need to do your own research, check the facts, and add some background to what you are reporting. Find out how stepping up to level three can make a huge difference in the quality of your reporting. If you have a newspaper article that needs to be writte
I have to admit, one of my biggest concerns when my son was working online was developing his writing skills per grade level. Being a certified English teacher for grades 5- 12, I don't need to tell you the importance of ensuring your child has adequate writing skills. In class, I have numerous advantages through journaling, quick prompts, and short writing objectives to ensure my student's have ample writing practice. But, online, I found was a different story when I was accounting for my child's writing skills. After all, with 200+ students per teacher (depending on grade level), how could you possible grade it all?
I offer you a well known site to help you. Simply get your child a journal, a small copy book will do, and teach him writing skills by selecting topic a few times a week. Then ask him to hand these short pieces to you, and you can answer and ask him to expand his capabilities by jotting down a few short questions. This simple process makes super writers! Don't ask for semantics to be
I know your thinking writer’s block often gets in the way, so Write Source provides a list of writing topics and prompts for grades 1 through 12 that can get the imagination tuned for a new adventure. These prompts go far beyond the "what did you do last summer?" and encourage kids to mull over ideas for writing effective prose. So, set a new reward for great writing, and you'll benefit your student beyond words!
If you are not familiar with word clouds, than here is a new idea to add pizzazz
to projects that will be upcoming this year. Wordle offers Free software than can be utilized by teachers, academic learning coaches, or students. What a great way to use an unique idea for all types of reinforcement.
You simply input a bunch of text, URL, or del.icio.us tag and Wordle creates the word cloud for you. Simple, easy, and fun! What a wonderful way to incorporate technology into your various lesson activities.
"Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide.
The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the
source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color
schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like.
You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with
your friends." - Wordle
Wiggio is an online tool kit that lets you work in groups easily. You can send emails, text messages, and voice mails. It makes life easier to share files and poles. You can also set up video conferences and keep a shared calendar as well as keep track of your group's tasks and resources.
Wiggio is designed to be easy and straightforward, even for the least
tech-savvy members of your group - it provides everything you need to work
productively in your groups, without bogging you down with complexities and
unnecessary features. Wiggio is currently used by over 100,000 groups,
Webnote is a tool for taking notes on your computer. You can also share your notes with others by giving the workspace a name or URL. This can be an invaluable resource for all those learners who rely daily on online research. No more copy/pasting every tad of information.
Webnote is a tool for taking notes on your computer. It allows you to quickly write something down during a meeting, class, or any other time that you have a web browser available.
You start by creating a workspace and creating notes in the workspace. You can save your workspace at any time and return to them from the same computer or any other computer. You can also share your notes with others by providing the
workspace name (or url) to a friend. - Webnote resource
I found this fabulous ariticle in Tech and Learning discussing 30 Online multimedia resources. I could write about these separately, since I've utilize most of them, but feel this blog would be more useful to bookmark by including all at the moment. Click through and get your favorites for the next school year!
Welcome to the another in a series of PBL Mania Posts here at Tech & Learning. For the next few weeks I am celebrating Project Based Learning. In this post I will
introduce you to some multimedia mega-sites found on the web that can be used in the PBL classroom. Before reading please take a moment to visit and subscribe
to my 21centuryedtech Blog by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans. You will not want to miss this series or future posts involving STEM, Flipping the Classroom, Technology Integration, Common Core, and 21st Century Skills, So Sign Up Now! As always… thanks and have a great week. - Mike Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/ )
In this PBL Mania Post I explore Online Multimedia Resources. These fantastic
mega-sites can provide lessons and formative assessment activities for PBL. The
power of project based learning integrated with this type of online technology
allows teachers to provide multimedia that can be used individually, in groups,
or even at home. The multimedia may be a movie, sound clip, picture, simulation,
reading, or game. In PBL, the multimedia may be an entry event, a tutorial, a
basis for further discussion and inquiry, or a tool that measures student
understanding. It could possibly even be an assignment or activity for students
to investigate at home. Best of all, students can even be in control of the
speed of delivery and even control their own remediation by repeating sessions.
Multimedia can be used to flip the classroom, allowing students to participate
and formulate their own inquiry through teacher facilitated posts in content
delivery systems such as Edmodo or My Big Campus. Let's take a look at some of
these large mega resource sites.
WGBH Teacher Domain - Teachers' Domain
is a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and
its partners. You’ll find thousands of media resources, support materials, and
tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher
professional learning communities.
PBS Teachers – Launched within the last year, PBS
Teachers is an awesome place for all kinds of educational multimedia. PBS
Teachers is PBS' national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational
resources. Here you'll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of
subjects and grade levels. They provide thousands of lesson plans, teaching
activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These
resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are
tied to PBS' award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature,
Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more.
The Khan Academy – At Khan, students and teachers are encouraged to “Watch… Practice… Learn almost anything for free”. The academy has a library of over 2,700 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 276 practice exercises. They make it clear that they are on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace. So many people watch the Khan Videos but overlook their amazing Practice Sessions. If you have trouble because of school filters blocking Khan, look into My Big Campus… also in this article.
YouTube – Let’s not forget YouTube and its amazing searchable collection. These videos can be used for teaching a concept, providing an entry event, or providing the catalyst for a discussion that climbs the Bloom’s Taxonomy ladder. Having trouble with those school filters?… check out My Big Campus and You Tube Education.
Thinkfinity – This site is worth an entire write-up in itself and will provide a wealth of activities for PBL products. You will find quick and easy access to the highest quality teaching and learning materials. Verizon Thinkfinity offers comprehensive teaching and learning resources created by some amazing content partners which are the most respected organizations in each academic subject area and literacy. The easy-to-navigate K-12 resources are grade-specific and are aligned with state standards. This truly is an amazing online community where, along with great resources, you can network with friends and other teachers, and share ideas, plans and advice with others in the education community.
NeoK12 - Take a look and you will find a vast collection of resources and Web 2.o tools that might fit into any lesson. Along with pictures and videos that have been teacher selected, there are also some other amazing features. You can allow your students to create their own mashup presentations using Flickr and Wikipedia. There are quizzes, interactive diagrams, and games that can provide for formative assessment and problem solving.
Watch/Know/Learn - Imagine hundreds of thousands
of great short videos and other media, explaining every topic taught to school
kids. Imagine them rated and sorted into a giant Directory, making them simple
to find. WatchKnowLearn is a non-profit online community devoted to this goal.
Presently this community has over 30,000 videos and is growing every day through
contributions from teachers across the globe. The co-founder of Wikipedia has
launched a Web site designed to offer free access to thousands of
education-related videos for students ages 3-18. Larry Sanger, who helped create
Wikipedia states the site, "will allow students and teachers to sort through a
library of online videos by content, and pick out what they need". Topics range
from math and science to history. The site is meant to house and organize videos
that are free and available online, yet which many educators may not have the
time to search for or may find difficult to locate
NBC Learn - While this is a pay service, I am providing a link to some of their free material that might just connect to your standards. NBC Learn is staffed by veteran NBC News producers, who have created scores of original stories and Town Hall events around the country, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and others. The free area includes award-winning collections; Chemistry Now, Changing Planet, Science of NFL Football, Science of NHL Hockey, Science of the Winter Olympic Games, and Finishing the Dream. Videos and archival news stories are correlated to state standards and the Common Core.. Videos are generally short — less than six minutes in length — enabling instructors to engage and enlighten their students without wasting precious class time.
Discovery Education - This outstanding pay service also has a section that
is free, found via this link. Discovery Education offers a broad range of free
classroom resources that complement and extend learning beyond the bell. Foster
deeper engagement and provide opportunities for students to take charge of their
own learning with high quality, engaging, relevant tools designed for today’s
busy teachers. Take a moment to explore Discovery's programs and contests, interactive games, puzzles, lesson plans, videos and more.
Smithsonian Channel - From one of the greatest museums comes a network, and this website filled with some amazing clips, games, and activities that might just provide the right spark for some PBL.
National Geographic - Find some amazing videos, pictures, segments, and stories that could be used to spark interest or engage inquiry. Whether it be a discussion starter, an informational lesson, or a question raiser, you will find some awesome content at this site.
History.com - This is an amazing site that is sure to provide a game, video clip, or article that will engage students. Whether it be a hook to begin a study or some outstanding information to sustain learning, it is definitely worth a look.
C-SPAN Video Library - A great collection of both short and longer video
clips that allow students to explore the workings of government. Did you know
that CSPAN also includes American History TV, Book TV, Campaign 2012, and Washington Journal? Best of all, check out a large number of resources on CSPAN
in the Classroom.
BBC Learning for Teachers - What an amazing amount of activities and resources, including over 9000 video clips. Enjoy a visit... you might just stay awhile!
PicsForLearning - Not everything has to be video. Perhaps you wish to use a still image to facilitate a discussion and promote inquiry.
iTunes Education Podcasts - Countless numbers of videos and series' that cover every educational topic imaginable.
Pulse of the Planet - Each weekday, the Pulse of the Planet radio series provides its listeners with a two-minute sound portrait of Planet Earth, tracking the rhythms of nature, culture and science worldwide, blending interviews with extraordinary natural sound.
Center for Civics Education - Make sure you discover these amazing
podcasts, slideshows, and videos. Not to be missed is the 60 second civic education podcast series.
Newton's Apple- Discover the fascinating science of the world around us
through over 300 video clips. Browse the categories, or enter a question or a
keyword in the search box. There are a number of videos with resource guides
American Field Guide - Over 1400 short video
covering all areas of science.
Exploratorium TV - Browse hundreds of webcasts, video clips, podcasts, and
slideshows from the Exploratorium's collection of original programming, from
remote scientific expeditions to fun hands-on activities.
Chemistry Video Collection - Excellent selection
of videos that relate to chemistry. Contains experiments and many simulations
that might not be able to be demonstrated in a standard school lab.
Science Hack - Every video on this web site is screened by scientists to
Math Interactive- MathActive lessons are Flash-animated math modules
designed for grades K-12. Each module features content that touches a geometry
performance objective from the Arizona Academic Standards for mathematics.
Sports Science - Awesome collection of short videos that will engage kids in science and math from the people at ESPN.
Science Videos - A selection of engaging videos and podcasts from the creators at the New York Times.
Copernicus Project - Selection of short biology resources and videos.
How Stuff Works Science - Excellent collection of videos that cover interesting and engaging topics across the science curriculum.
Ted Talk - What an amazing place to begin some deep and meaningful conversations and thought. In fact, there are some amazing videos if you are working on the skill of collaboration. Or, check out the hundreds of other categories.
Science For Kids - Cool place for videos and activities. But wait... while you are there check out Kids Math Games and Fun English Games. You will find a gold mine of resources that can be put into a unit to help your students master content in a project.