The WAI from the W3C continues. If you wish to have input on web accessiblity guidelines, you have until December 16. This is very important and many educators are some of the best with these issues. I hope some of our proficient accessibility experts have already reviewed or will review and comment.
"For Review: User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0 Last Call Working Draft
Calling all developers of browsers, media players, and web applications — and anyone interested in web accessibility: Now is the time for you to review UAAG 2.0 — we published the Last Call Working Draft today. UAAG defines how browsers and other "user agents" should support accessibility for people with disabilities and work with assistive technologies. It is introduced in the UAAG Overview. Please send comments by 16 December 2013"
While most teachers will not understand what this means, an API is something that lets other websites interact with a main website. OpenEd has released an API to allow others to interact with their resources and find things based on standards or keywords. What this means is that OpenEd is going to be a very useful tool for all of education in the future because of this technological tool. It also means that if you're developing for a state or for an organization that provides educational resources, you should tap into this for a huge repository of almost a quarter of a million standards aligned resources that your teachers can search. This is great news.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
A nice training module to help students and teachers become "Google Drive masters." Neat idea created by someone at Rochester Public Schools for their teachers along with videos that are hyperlinked. This is a great example of the new kind of training that many technology integration coaches are providing. Just in time (JIT) or "own your own time" (OYOT) types of courses.
If you want students to draft work in Google Docs, you have to teach them about the Research pane. It lets you search for the appropriate license (click the down arrow) and set the citation method. You can insert photos, search Google Scholar and a dictionary, your own files, and even the web. When you mouse over the item, you have the option to cite the source or insert a link. Very cool and handy for writers. This is an older feature that hasn't gotten the press it deserves in classrooms. If you have Google Apps for education this is a BIG DEAL because it simplifies finding pictures and does many other things that online citation generators do all within Google Docs.
An awesome graphic (click on the buttons on the graphic) from Edudemic sharing some excellent ways to use Google Drive in Education including templates, writers workshop, self grading quizzes, assignment tracking and more.
I always like to watch people who are very productive and am deleting apps that don't add to my life. As a writer, I'm always looking for new cool apps and have been loving IndexCard for a while when drafting and writing books. Here's a new app called Editorial that has me intrigued along with one of the best posts on any app I've ever seen from the Mac Drifter. It has increased support for text versions in Dropbox, which intrigues me the most.
You can now edit files in your dropbox from a web browser. If you 're at work and need to edit the files, Textdrop might be for you. It does cost 20.99 per year to sign up for this but for some of you who don't have access to dropbox at work, this might help you. This is also a model for what we may see Dropbox do itself, as cloud syncing and cloud editing move closer together in all apps that want to compete in the space.
There are many text editors you can use with Dropbox on your ipad. You can export and import from Pages now, which is one of the ways I most often edit the files, however, if you want to make sure that all of your files are saved in dropbox and you never have to look, you might want to choose one of these apps.
There are many apps you can add to Google Drive including wevideo (collaborative video editing), Mind Meister (for brainstorming) and hellofax (for sending and receiving faxes) and more. Learn how to be more productive with Google Drive.
Want to add voice comments to your Google Doc. Here's how from the educator's technology blog. Many students say that this helps them feel more connected to teachers. Think about it, if they struggle with writing, they might struggle with reading and this is the kind of differentiation that can really help some kids.
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