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Raul Kohl

Raul Kohl's Public Library

10 Jul 12

Twitter is by far the most powerful professional learning network (PLN) I participate in. Using it is like being at a teaching conference every day. I am constantly exposed to new ideas that inspire and challenge me to try new approaches and rethink old ones. Through Twitter I’ve met a great group of educators from around the world, all of whom are passionate about teaching. We have great discussions and share resources.

10 Jul 12

Minecraft in the Classroom is a recent addition to the field of game-based learning. It is a sandbox game where players can create and build, fight off enemies and explore vast landscapes. As is the nature of sandbox games, players can roam free, choosing objectives as they go. Because Minecraft has such open possibilities and potential, the teacher can choose how he or she wants to use it. Just as the student has the ability to be creative, the teacher has the same. That can be overwhelming, but luckily, there is a tool for using Minecraft created by teachers for teachers.

10 Jul 12

Everyone is on Twitter these days, so why not your school district? Twitter provides an easy platform to keep your followers updated -- moment by moment, if necessary! -- about developing situations, sudden brainstorms and calls to action. Following are 12 reasons to get your school district tweeting this summer so that you can hit the ground running at the start of the next school year.

09 Jul 12

Social studies teachers Karl Atkins and Scott Deckelmann take on a very serious subject by giving their students a very amusing challenge: Win a computer game. In fact, students have to win PeaceMaker, a simulation of the Middle East peace process, twice -- once while playing as the Israeli prime minister and once as the Palestinian president.

In both cases, students must respond to a rapidly evolving political situation by choosing which actions -- building settlements, launching rockets, making speeches -- are most likely to broker peace. The Scappoose, Oregon, teachers have played PeaceMaker with more than a dozen sections of their freshman global-studies and junior international-relations classes, and they say gaming is an effective way to explore intricate political issues. Indeed, PeaceMaker is at the forefront of a movement -- often called serious games or social-issues games -- in which educators use games to illustrate complex social issues, from immigration to climate change.

29 Jun 12

For many curious folks, their impassioned yearning to soak up as much of the world’s wonders as possible completely transcends the boundaries of a traditional classroom. Armed with an insatiable lust for knowledge, they set out to acquire it on their own terms, although a few pointers obviously can’t hurt before departure and landing! Not every possible technique will necessarily stick with all self-motivated learners, of course, but the only way to find out is to test them. Try some of the following and experiment with what works in a more independent educational setting.

in list: Learning

29 Jun 12

Back in 2009, we published 100+ Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School. But in nearly three years, Google has developed new products, discontinued a few, and offered new features, and more people have found great ways to save time with Google. So we’ve gone and found even more great tips for saving time with Google, and this time around, the list has made it all the way to 181 different tricks. Explore our collection of tricks to find new, faster ways to search, read email, manage your time, and more.

27 Jun 12

One of the most useful, and perhaps the most interesting, applications for students, teachers, and parents is Pinterest. The Pinterest platform is a visual pin board that allows users to pin images from blogs and websites, making it easier for them to refer to these later.

What can parents, students and teachers use Pinterest for? Here are five ways you can effectively use Pinterest for educational purposes

01 Jun 12

Back in 2009, we wrote a popular post, 100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom. Now almost three years later, educators are still finding great ideas for putting Facebook to work on our list. But at the same time, Facebook has changed so much, and the site has even more to offer for the classroom. So we’ve compiled a fresh batch of ways to make Facebook work in your classroom, some tried and true, and others that have evolved with Facebook. Read on, and you’ll find a wealth of resources, assignments, and amazing uses for Facebook in any type of classroom.

11 Apr 12

Giving students time to process and store important information during a lesson increases retention and achievement. For every 5-10 minutes of instruction given by the instructor, students should be given 30 seconds to 5 minutes of time to process the information. This time allows the instructor time to assess whether the students understand the materials or need instruction adjusted. Here are a few strategies that can easily be employed with your students. Remember to model every strategy before students are expected to do them.

08 Apr 12

These presentations range in size from a dozen or so slides each to over 145 slides. Several PPTs contain large sound/music files. Therefore, they may take a while to load. Be patient! To teachers--save them, modify them, use them in your classrooms as you wish, BUT please do NOT run the PPTs from this site. Download them and save them on your own hard drive.

07 Apr 12

Raising your hand in the classroom is so old school. Thanks to the massive influx of technology into education, there are dozens of new ways students can virtually voice their opinion. From hardware (clickers) to software (Survey Monkey), there’s no shortage of free and cheap ways to get more students talking, thinking, and participating.

07 Apr 12

Whether you’re a new user of Twitter or a seasoned expert, the following tips are meant to act as a refresher for anyone feeling like Twitter hasn’t been doing as much for them as they’d hoped.

Twitter can be a rewarding yet cumbersome tool that requires constant supervision. That means it could be very difficult to manage for most full-time teachers, administrators, and really anyone who has responsibilities. If you haven’t yet signed up for Twitter, don’t let this caveat stop you.

Like any social network, you should dip your toe in, spend some time absorbing, and then figure out if it can fit into your life. If you simply have no time to manage your Twitter account and hate even logging in, then Twitter is not going to be a very powerful tool for you. But if you’re willing to devote at least a little time and attention to Twitter, you can learn, connect, and evolve in ways like never before.

So how should you go about using Twitter on a daily basis? The following tips and recommendations are based on my personal experience with Twitter. Your experiences will likely be different so I’ve tried to keep these as general-yet-specific-enough so they’re helpful for anyone.

30 Mar 12

Pinterest, created in 2009 and launched in March of 2010, has been ranked 10th out of the top visited social networking sites across the world, allowing users to search for pins with a specific theme or subject. According to Pearson (2011), teachers can easily bookmark or “pin” lesson plans across the web for a later date, organize resources for the classroom, share unique ideas, and allow for collaboration with students, parents, and colleagues. A good example of pinning can be found in a blog-post entitled 30 Inspiring Pinterest Pins for Teachers (2012) where the author shares 30 specific pin boards covering everything from arts and crafts to methods of classroom management through visually stimulating images. While perusing these ideas, I decided to create a group board for my own students to collaborate with one another and other teachers from around the world.

30 Mar 12

It is organized by the categories WATCH (easiest degree of difficulty, TALK (moderate), and PRODUCE (highest degree of difficulty). We did our best to put each box in the appropriate place. Therefore, some of them are in between different degrees of difficulty, etc.

22 Mar 12

While career counselors at your school can be a great source of information, grads can also seek out guidance on their own through a wide range of career-focused Twitter chats. Here, we’ve listed some of the best get-togethers on Twitter for learning about everything from resume writing to working with recruiters to scoring a killer internship and just about everything in between.

22 Mar 12

In this post, I am going to share the reasons I love infographics. Let’s see if you agree, disagree, or have even better reasons to love them.

in list: Learning

18 Mar 12

Quizlet is the largest flash cards and study games website with over 10 million free sets of flashcards covering every possible subject. It's the best place to play educational games, memorize vocabulary and study online.

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