Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/22/2013
If you're using mindmapping and brainstorming in the classroom, this list from Mashable is updated and useful. There are a lot of new tools out (many of them paid but some not.) If your students are writing collaboratively, you should have them brainstorming collaboratively before they ever type the first letter of the paper or website.
Booktrack gives you a way to read a book while listening to a soundtrack. I mentioned the research study in a previous bookmark / link. This is something librarians and literacy leaders should test and try out for themselves as it is a fascinating tool and potential. There are a thousand questions I have about this but plan to try it for myself.
On another note, you can also upload your own personal music and keep it private -- to play as you read.
Scholastic Book Fairs now have a mobile app that lets you scan the covers and get reading levels and other interesting information about the book. What a useful, cool way to introduce the concept of "augmented reality" to kids. You can put the app on their ipads if you're 1:1 and let them use it to pick out books.
Yes, this study was funded by Booktrack (a 2011 study), however, I find that the information is fascinating. By setting sound tracks of different mood music, this study showed:
*Virtually all subjects performed moderately to significantly better on information retention tests.
* Subjects reported a strong correlation with interacting with the enhanced platform and an ability to focus.
There are other results on this, but I find this fascinating and find this a very interesting point to consider as ebooks evolve. Will ebook authors attach music to different pages? Will reading become more cinematic and theatrical? All kinds of interesting thoughts here.
Through the end of the year, Discovery just sent me a note that they are offering these three common core academies at no cost. Here's the info from Steve Dembo. I've done some work with their SIEMENS STEM Academy and am a sTAR Educator and everything they do is top notch. If you can work it out before the end of the year, this is something you'll want to do.
From Steve Dembo:
"We know that implementing the Common Core can be an uphill climb.
That's why Discovery Education is proud to partner with educators to offer Common Core Academies in ELA, Math, and Leadership at no cost.
From now until the end of the school year, educators across America are invited to sign up for an Academy and receive:
practical strategies to implement CCSS
reseach-based instructional practices
best practices in using digital content
resources and digital tools for immediate classroom integration
Discovery Education Common Core Academies offer one day of immersive professional development and two follow-up virtual sessions at no cost to support educators and leaders in effectively implementing the Common Core State Standards.
Educators may choose from three Academies offering a unique combination that brings together best practices in digital integration with proven research-based instructional practices:
Literacy and the Common Core in a Digital World
Teaching and Assessing Common Core Math in a Digital World
Leadership Strategies to Support Digital Literacy and the Common Core"
This Chrome app (also available on Google play and the app store) lets you monitor how many apps are accessing your personal information. This website would be one for many who care about privacy to consider testing.
Explain 3D has simulations explaining all kinds of machines and more. This is a 3D simulation built upon the "unity" platform, so you can move around the object in 3D. If you are teaching engineering, run a STEM lab, or work with physics, you'll want to check out what they've done on this site.
This looks like a very cool English game that uses all kinds of shows to teach. Thinking that ESL teachers will want to test this one out.
Mau Butler send me this message about this new site:
Hello Vicki, I've been an ESL teacher for 20 years, in several countries, and a reader of your coolcatteacher blog for a while. Congratulations. You do excellent work. :) For the past 3 years, I've been building a very innovative approach to teaching and learning English, which is now ready to use. Considering your work, I thought you'd be interested in trying it out. It's called Tripppin and I strongly recommend you see it for yourself on www.tripppin.com but this is us in a nutshell: "Tripppin is an English practice platform, which blends offline and online learning experiences into a game, a music channel, cooking shows, animation, entertaining videos shot around the world, and excellent support for English teachers everywhere." Hope you can have a look :) Thank you.
Happy Digital Citizenship week. As part of connected educators month, this is digital citizenship week. Here is the webpage to help you participate and promote the event.
Train your students in CPR. This is a great thing to share with your health classes. The curriculum is here for you.
"The easy-to-use CPR in Schools Training Kit is designed just for schools. It contains everything needed to train 10 students at once in CPR. Repeat the process to train a class, a grade - or even an entire school! The CPR in Schools Training Kit is portable, allowing for convenient movement from classroom to classroom and easy storage. One CPR in Schools Training Kit can train hundreds of students!"
This website is a "reputation builder" for kids of all ages. When a child is in K-12, the parent has their account attached but then, the child can take it public after that point. This is a "reputation builder" for kids. Many students in Florida are already using this with their parents. This may be an option for efolio building where parents are involved. Worth a look for those working with digital citizenship and to share with parents.
Some questions about how I engage and grow my professional learning network, why I started blogging, and some background information. Thanks to Mark at My town tutors for sharing my story.
Alchemy smartbinder is a new app that lets you create lessons (perfect for flipped classrooms) and measure student engagement with the data. This is something I'll be testing. It is in BETA but you flipped classroom pioneers out there will definitely want to give this a try.
World atlas is a site with simple data about the countries of the world. This from the creator of the site:
"World Data Atlas is an ultimate source of world statistics on every country. It includes data on more than 2500 indicators. Topics cover Economics, Demographics, Health, Education, Energy and other socioeconomic information. "
Kevin Honeycutt is creating a youtube channel about Geography. Geography teachers might be interested in sharing and following this YouTube channel. Kevin does such a great job on so many things. It is a sock puppet, but you can also use this as a model and have your students do their own sock puppet geography reports in this style. This will protect their privacy and also let them learn about a new location.
Students across the country have already started working on their IWitness Challenge project sponsored by the USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education, but there’s still time for youngsters in your community to enter this free online program geared to all secondary-school students.
The deadline to enter the Challenge is Dec. 2, 2013. The winning student, along with their teacher and a family member will be brought to Los Angeles to showcase their work as part of the 20th anniversary activities for the Shoah Foundation, which was founded by director Steven Spielberg in 1994 after making “Schindler’s List.”
Tthe IWitness Challenge (iwitness.usc.edu) connects students with the past in a very personal way that spurs them to take action to improve the future.
With access to many of the Shoah Foundation’s 52,000 testimonies of survivors, liberators and rescuers, students experience history in a way that hits home. Instead of reading facts from textbooks, students feel the emotions and build relationships with those who lived through seemingly impossible situations.
But students do more than watch the testimony. The IWitness Challenge compels them to think, to make smart choices and to create their own project and video from what they’ve learned. By encouraging teachers and students to create their own lesson plans, IWitness allows them to expand on practically any subject they wish to pursue. From civics, government and history to poetry, art and ethics, educators can tailor lessons appropriate for their classrooms.
And by using the embedded editor, participants not only learn valuable searching and editing skills, but also how to make ethical editing decisions that ensure their finished assignments are a fair and accurate reflection of what they’ve seen. All work is kept safe inside the IWitness site and not accessible to the public.
Using IWitness is free, but teachers or homeschool parents must register at iwitness.usc.edu.
Just got this note from my friend Jeff Stanzler at U Michigan. This looks very cool and is a website dedicated to flipping physics, algebra, and calculus. Lots of great videos and resources.
The note from Jeff to me about this site and his student:
" I wanted to share the work of a former student of mine named Jon Palmer, a Physics teacher who has done some wonderfully creative work "flipping" his classroom. He's now devoting himself to making videos for free use by Physics teachers everywhere.
Knowing you, I figured you might appreciate his work. Here's an intro video about his vision of the flipped classroom model. Here's a link to his you tube channel, with more goodies."