Good ideas and links to references. Blogs might be a way to connect your students to each other, and it gives them a voice and a venue for writing practice. Includes ideas on netizenship, Internet safety, and how to comment properly.
"HOW TO USE MAKEBELIEFSCOMIX.COM TO TEACH ESOL
"Comic strips provide a perfect vehicle for learning and practicing the English language. Each strip's three or four panels provides a finite, accessible world in which funny, interesting looking characters go about their lives. And students with limited reading or speaking skills are not as overwhelmed in dealing with the size of a comic strip as they may be with a book of many pages."
A good addition to a nice comic strip starter/creator.
This app lets you peek into students' minds as they are in the process of learning a subject. Distribute tests or problems and then see each students' answer real-time. Students can enter text, draw pictures, use math symbols, etc. You score on a slider and they receive instant results. The animation on the sign-up pages gives some examples of each type of student response.
The only problem might be that learning really takes place over a long period of time -- you can "know" some things, but not really understand or learn a subject.
"Seesaw empowers students of any age to independently document what they are learning at school.
"Students capture learning with photos and videos of physical work, or by adding digital creations. Everything is uploaded and kept organized for teachers.
"Teachers can invite families to Seesaw so parents get an immediate, personalized window into their child's learning."
A mobile app to help create student portfolios Part of the maker-spaces movement.
"A community of scientists, engineers, and children, creating together.'
The site offers videos in a number of STEMS areas, and shows children how to build, e.g., a honeycomb structure, a wind-powered pump, a waterwheel, etc. This is an interesting way to get students interested in invention and engineering.
This short video (7+ min.) explains what social bookmarking is and how to use Diigo for education. It starts with a walk-through of creating an account, selecting and using tags, installing a Chrome extension (also works well with Firefox) or diigolet on your browser, and how to actually bookmark a page.
Other video tutorials explain the lists function and setting up groups.
This looks like a fascinating game system that includes physics (Newton), drawing (Masterpiece), increasingly difficult puzzles (Tangram), and words and numbers for game practice. It uses both physical and digital elements -- e.g., drawing on paper, and moving letters and numbers around.
I haven't had a chance to try it out, but it's one of "TIME's [popular news magazine] best inventions of 2014." The only catch is the $99 to buy the app. You will then need to spend a little more for some of the apps. For 9+.
"Short videos from YouTube and other sources can be quite helpful in introducing topics to students and or reinforcing concepts that you have taught. Watching the video can be enough for some students, it's better if we can call students' attention to specific sections of videos while they are watching them. "
R. Byrne discusses helpful tools for commenting on video. These can be great for flipped/blended classrooms as discussion starters.
Writers may not need any of these tools, but your students might find them helpful in learning to write better. The list includes MyBlogU, which is a social, crowd-sourcing way to write by asking help of others and helping them in their writing projects. Might be interesting as a way to get further language practice. AtomicWriter helps identify audience through some clever AI. Bunkr app is a presentation program with some interesting capabilities, and so on.
"Direct instruction of vocabulary can help students learn enough words to become better readers, and becoming a
better reader can in turn help students learn even more vocabulary. So how do we teach students to learn or acquire new vocabulary? Research suggests that vocabulary instruction should include the following components: definitional and contextual information about a word; multiple exposures to a word in different contexts; and encouragement of students' active participation in their own learning of the new words.1 Here are 15 vocabulary activities that you can integrate into your classroom starting tomorrow!"
Includes a number of visual/drawing activities. Should make vocabulary building more fun. Could be adapted to younger children. Some activities have a downloadable worksheet.
R. Byrne: "Scribble Maps provides a variety of base layer maps on which you can draw freehand, add placemarks, add image overlays, and type across the map. Compared to creating a custom map on Google Maps, Scribble Maps is much easier for students to learn how to use. Scribble Maps also provides far more default placemark icons than Google's My Maps tool. Scribble Maps will work in the web browser on your laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or Android tablet."
"Research supports the focus on text complexity and vocabulary. “The Baseball Study” by Recht and Leslie (1988) began by identifying the correlation between reading comprehension and student knowledge. Recht and Leslie discovered that students with low reading ability but high knowledge of baseball, outscored students with high reading ability but low knowledge of baseball on tests of comprehension. Landauer and Dumais (1997) took it a step further, finding that students acquire vocabulary up to four times faster when they read a series of related texts. Combined, these studies indicate the immense possibilities when we equip our students with the necessary vocabulary, providing them with sufficient prior knowledge before tackling reading tasks."
This blog entry explores 5 terrific tools to help students, including one that makes texts simpler to help lower-level readers.
"Get started by clicking on your desired subject area and grade level. Continue by choosing from the list of standards presented. Once you’ve zeroed in on the standard you want to meet, toggle the arrow to display all the apps, games, and websites that best support that standard. "
The site promised to give the best digital products for your curriculum and their relationship to the Common Core.
"Using Visme you can add motion to virtually any object be it an image, icon, text, shapes or even an i-frame or video layer."
R. Byrne: "One of the problems I run into when trying to find documents, videos, or folders that I have saved in my Google Drive folder is trying to find them again quickly without having to dig through the myriad of my created folders. I also want the ability to quickly share with my students folders that have documents or videos without having to send them a link to each one. With these concerns in mind, I felt that combining one of the best visual web resources (Symbaloo) with one of the best storage resources (Google Drive) was the best way to go. "
The article shows how G-Drive and Symbaloo can be used together, with an instructional video. It also offers tips on using the two tools for student research projects. Organization of the tiles in the Symbaloo webmix, and the folders in G-Drive is promoted -- a good lesson for anyone whose desktop and files/folders are cluttery. Symbaloo might also serve as a mind-map for a research project, collecting related sites together, and/or tagged by color.
I use Symbaloo as my Firefox desktop -- all the sites I want to find fast are there, not just the ones I have used most recently, which is what Firefox offers when a blank tab/window is opened. Symbaloo also means that when you switch from device to device the same set of tiles is viewable. Run out of room? You can organize tabs with different sets of tiles.