Thinklink has made some upgrades for teachers. There is an improved student sign up, the ability to organize students by class. You can create image "channels" and interactive albums and you can have a more safe way to find images and use them.
Students can log in with Google plus (enable it if you have student apps for education. You'll want to apply for ThingLink Education status which means that you can set students up without emails and as as "profile-less profile" (COPPA Compliant.) For safe status, if students are logged in, they can only see images created by other students, teachers, or created by thinglink staff. Also, if they use Google Video safe search they put the maximum limits on it.
I recorded a session on my podcast this week about UDL and Beth Ritter-Guth highly recommends Thinglink to use with students.
It is important to read things even if you know from the title that you'll disagree. This article is sure to spark controversy and be embraced by those who want to keep a traditional classroom in rows where kids listen to lecture. While I'm not in an ivory tower, my experience in the power of the face to face classroom has convinced me that when I teach and integrate all different senses that students learn better. I've also seen (and quoted in Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds in the Choice chapter that discusses differentiation) that dual encoding (listening to words while reading them) improves the ability to learn to read. (I'll have to look in the book for the sources of research.) I do think, however, there are some good points here, although I firmly believe their conclusion that students are going to learn no matter how they relate to content -- is inaccurate. The lines are being drawn between those who want to change and use technology and those who want the status quo. Nonetheless, if you lose your ability to read things you do not agree with, and engage in thoughtful conversation, then you miss the point of being well educated. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this study.
A contest supporting UDL principles. From Dr. David Rose in my email today.
Given your ongoing interest in and support for universal design for learning, I wanted to let you know about a contest sponsored by the National UDL Center that we hope will stimulate helpful conversation in the field on ways to make more effective learning environments for all. The Designing UDL contest aims to give educators at all levels the opportunity to share how they put UDL principles into action. Entries in four categories are eligible for prizes of up to $500."
So, if you do UDL - -win some prize money.
Overview from the educators at CAST aligning the digiteen project with UDL guidelines. Digiteen is a project that uniquely allows for digital citizenship education in a project based learning format that also differentiates in powerful ways. Thank you so much for the people at CAST who provide so many great tools and also provide excellent resources for UDL.
Great website on Universal Design for Learning with a lot of great information.
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