Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-30 [del.icio.us]

  • 2009 Horizon Report K-12
    The Horizon Report series is the product of the New Media Consortium's Horizon Project, an ongoing research project that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within education around the globe.
  • Nine great reasons why teachers should use Twitter | Laura Walker
    What's the point of Twitter? Why should educators get involved? What difference does using Twitter make? Here are some answers that you might like to share.

Links for 2009-03-29 [del.icio.us]

  • On The Media: Transcript of "The Witnesses That Didn't" (March 27, 2009)
    Forty-five years ago, Kitty Genovese was murdered in Queens and, as the story goes, 38 witnesses watched the assault for half an hour but no one intervened. Historian Joseph De May says the truth is a bit more complicated.
  • ahsthisibelieve » home
    The Arapahoe High School's This I Believe Goes Global Project If you're a teacher that would like one or more of their classes to participate in this project, please Email Karl with your name, school name, location, grade level(s)/ages, how many classes, and time frame that you'd like to work on this project. Karl will then try to match you with another class, create a wiki page for the two classes, and send you that information.
  • Take Part in the National Day on Writing
    Writing is a daily practice for millions of Americans. But few notice how integral writing has become to daily life in the 21st century. To draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in and help make writers from all walks of life aware of their craft, NCTE is working to establish October 20, 2009, as the National Day on Writing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-27 [del.icio.us]

  • Google Voice
    Just saw this on TED Talk podcast - sync all your phone numbers so that when a person calls you, it rings all your phones. Previously called Grand Central, Google bought this service and is offering it (soon) as Google Voice.
  • VoiceThread-Educator's Guide
    A friendly introduction to using VoiceThread written by an educator with educators in mind. This guide will introduce you to the basic VoiceThread interface and take you through the simple steps involved with creating VoiceThread.
  • cristama's interwriteboard Bookmarks on Delicious
    A wonderful set of links for using interactive whiteboards.
  • Sunday Forum: In defense of the classics
    Recently, a fellow English teacher, Nancy Schnog of The McLean School in suburban Washington, D.C., published a Washington Post op-ed wherein she argues, "All too often, it's English teachers ... who close down teen interest in reading." Ms. Schnog marshals battalions of evidence: student after devastated student whose wholesome love of reading was defiled by some out-of-touch English schoolmarm bent on analyzing "The Scarlet Letter" word for polysyllabic word.
  • Drop Classics; Replace w/High Interest? - English Companion
    we were discussing whether students should still be forced to read classics (like, say Frankenstein, so not THAT old)... Some have stated that students won't read them so we shouldn't bother. My concern is that education is not entertainment and that I feel students can discover the relevance of older novels and how humankind and the world change in some ways, but remain constant in so many others.
  • Videos - Ning Network Creators
    How-to screencasts for new Ning users.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-26 [del.icio.us]

Joan Ganz Cooney Center - Advancing Children's Learning in a Digital Age

  • The Joan Ganz Cooney Center will focus new attention on the challenges children face today, asking the 21st century equivalent of her original question, "How can emerging media help children learn?"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-25 [del.icio.us]

  • Please Share Your Contact Details If You’re Interested In Connecting With Other Classrooms | The Edublogger
    So how do you find classrooms to communicate with in other countries? Hadn't thought of that when I wrote the Quick Start Tips For New Skype Users post but fortunately Mike and David Ashby did.
  • Using skype in the classroom « On an e-journey with generation Y
    My students argue that videoconferencing with another class in, another country, is the best and most powerful experience for them. They beg for more and more. It is now 12 months since our first experiments with skyping students in Korea.
  • Free webpage authoring options | ISTE’s NECC09 Blog
    Webpage authoring software programs have come a long way since the mid-1990s when the World-Wide Web was starting to take off, just as web standards have evolved by leaps and bounds. While more advanced (and expensive) WYSIWYG ("What You See Is What You Get") webpage authoring programs are available, several free and cross-platform programs remain available which can be utilized in school courses for students studying the basics of webpage design.
  • Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook: Reinventing Professional Development in Tough Times
    Instead of hiring presenters to come to their schools, they downloaded free archived video presentations from the Web site of the K-12 Online Conference, an annual grassroots gathering of instructional technology aficionados. Then they featured the videos as part of a special series of staff development sessions for teachers on technology topics. Members of the district's tech team and Web-savvy teacher leaders facilitated the sessions, leading discussions on the presentations and addressing teachers' practical concerns. In some cases, they even conducted live follow-up interviews with the original presenters via Skype, the free Internet phone service.
  • TakingITGlobal - For Educators / TIGed
    TIGed provides rich, interactive learning experiences designed to improve students' global citizenship, critical thinking, and leadership skills, bringing the world to students and preparing students for the world!
  • open thinking » What is a PLN? Or, PLE vs. PLN?
    I thought it was appropriate to ask the question to my PLN (or what I perceive as my PLN) via Twitter. I asked if anyone had a definition for a PLN, or if they knew the difference between a personal learning network and personal learning environment (PLE). I received varied responses, and the majority of these are pasted below.
  • Home | Sprout Builder - Create living content.
    Sprout is the quick and easy way for anyone to build, publish, and manage widgets, mini-sites, mashups, banners and more. Any size, any number of pages. Include video, audio, images and newsfeeds and choose from dozens of pre-built components and web services.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tweet Me!

This past February, the Pew Internet and American Life Project put out a report on Twitter users.
"For many Twitter users, learning about and sharing relevant and recent nuggets of information is a primary utility of the service. While Twitter users are just as likely as others to consume news on any given day, they are more likely to consume it on mobile devices and less likely to engage with news via more traditional outlets."
So Twitter’s simple explanation of its service as posting “answers to one simple question: 'What are you doing?'” is an oversimplification. Twitter is being used for more than posting a simple status update.

Instead, Twitter has become a way for many to build and connect to their Personal Learning Network (PLN). Edublogger, writer, and presenter David Warlick has spent a great deal of time reflecting on this phenomenon. Warlick writes,
"…new techniques for organizing digital networked information have enabled us to fashion new kinds of networks that extend far beyond our immediate location and face-to-face connections, and to grow our networks based not on explicit decisions, but through the ideas of other nodes (people and resources), whose ideas intersect with ours."
Twitter has not only expanded where and how we find resources, but who we go to for that information and when we can do it. As the Pew study indicates, Twitter is being used to find and share information anywhere and everywhere. Whether we are in the classroom and want to connect our students with those from around the world, or standing in line at the coffee shop wondering how to define a PLN, Twitter is helping teachers forge connections and collaborate with those in our field. And in most cases, it is instantaneous. Take a look at the response Dr. Couros received when he posted a tweet about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). If I need feedback on a lesson, I can tweet a link and have feedback from all over the world within just a few minutes. Which is why every teacher should be twittering!

For those educators new to Twitter, I’ve posted some links below. You’ll also find this information on the WardsWorld wiki.

Check out this explanation of Twitter in Plain English, or learn about Twitter from one of its creators, Evan Williams. Blogger Rafe Needleman also writes about Twitter in his article on CNet titled "Newbie's Guide to Twitter." In the article, Needleman outlines some of the basics of the Twitter service:
  • Twitter is an online service designed to connect you with a group of friends called “followers” through short (140 character limit) messages.

  • You select the friends you want to follow.

  • You set your privacy limit for how much others are able to see.

  • Twitter is a way to connect with others, whether they are people you know or people who share a similar interest with you that you meet through the service.

  • Needleman writes, “Twitter is useful for close-knit groups. If you follow your friends, and they follow each other, you can quickly communicate group-related items, such as ‘I'm going to the pub on Fourth Street, come on along.’ …If you enter items into Twitter, they can be private, so only friends you've authorized can see them. Items can also be made public, which means anyone who knows your Twitter ID can read and subscribe to them.”

  • And the best part? Twitter is free.
Check out this fabulous article titled “Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter.” The article links to some great resources, including
  • The blog AcademHacK has a wonderful list of potential uses in the classroom.

  • I’m collecting all sorts of ideas for using Twitter in schools. Follow my list of links on Delicious - http://www.delicious.com/msward/twitter

  • Ron Jones put together a great list of uses in his article “Using Twitter as an Educational Tool.” He mentions educators who have used Twitter to create notes for a conference or even a specific class using hashtags, teach grammar, and even write collaborative stories.

  • “George Mayo, an eighth grade English teacher at Silver Spring International Middle School in Montgomery County, Maryland, recently used Twitter as a tool to collaboratively write a story by his students. Mayo invited his students and students around the world via his Many Voices Twitter account to add to an ongoing story with individual ‘tweets.’ After six weeks and the help of more than 100 students and six different countries, the story was finished… Afterward he made the book available for his students to download for free.”

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 24 March 2009 [del.icio.us]
  • thenetworkedlearner » home
    The mission of our organization is to transform education by developing in teachers the desire to become life-long learner, collaborators and inspirational motivators of each other and our students. We believe this can be accomplished through fostering creativity and allowing our students to explore their own passions through the use of technology and the development of personal learning networks. Come and join our community. This wiki is a complementory space where community members can post projects, lectures, online resources and other materials to share with the community. We also offer educational courses that help both teachers and students integrate technology into their life.
  • Re-Balzacification — The Phoenix of the Sky
    A wonderful Hypertextopia project for Dai Sijie's Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. By clicking on "The Grand Library," there are many more connections to Dai Sijie's work.
Links for 23 March 2009 [del.icio.us]
  • Techy Tips for not so techy teachers - Google Docs
    A collaboration of ideas for quick and simple ways to use technology in the classroom - ANY classroom!
  • Four Web 2.0 Collaborative-Writing Tools | 21st Century Connections
    Collaborative writing is useful for projects, for peer-editing, and for many other writing tasks limited only by teacher/student imagination. Teachers can use web-based collaborative writing tools to provide feedback on student assignments, to make suggestions and comments on projects and to highlight required changes to a member of the project.
  • MyStickies, Sticky Notes for the Web
    To put it simply, MyStickies allows you to place little yellow squares of digital paper anywhere and everywhere you feel like in the whole wide web. Along with the ability to put sticky notes on webpages mystickies offers a powerful interface to browse, search, sort, edit and generally have a wonderfull time with your sticky notes from any computer that has internet access.
Links for 20 March 2009 [del.icio.us]
  • eThemes | eMINTS
    eThemes is an extensive database of content-rich, age-appropriate resources organized around specific themes. These resources are created for educators to use in their classrooms.
  • Skype in Schools / FrontPage
    Want to establish global connectivity in education, but don't know where to start? *Directory - list yourself, your class, or your school alphabetically by state. *Other Directories - a collection of other guest speaker directories, skype directories, and collaborative learning directories *Experiences - share how you have used Skype with your students. *Skype & Extras - augment Skype functionality with plugins. *Supporting Research - take a moment and discuss research that you've come across in support of Skype in education. Please feel free to share research that is attempting to discredit the use of Skype in education. *Want Ads - have a project your class is working on and need some outside support via Skype? Post an advertisement for a class or school interested in a particular Skype session.
  • Using the Power of Twitter: Building Online Learning « Thumann Resources
    How can educators around the world use technology to connect, collaborate, teach, support and inspire each other? Collaborative Internet applications allow educators to create online communities that support their professional learning and relieve their isolation.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-19 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 20 Mar 2009 12:00 AM PDT

  • Top 100 Edu Tweeters | Online Degree World
    Twitter is a growing tool for personal, business, and educational conversations. Not surprisingly, many schools, educators, and other educational entities have jumped on the bandwagon, and they have lots to share. Check out this list to find some of the best educational sources on Twitter today.
  • From Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning: Cell Phone Conferencing A Free Tool for Teaching!
    Cell phones can be a handy conferencing tool for teaching and learning. Part of teaching is being able to conference with students, parents, experts, and members of the community. Often conferences and meetings are conducted face-to-face. Recently with the rise of web conferencing tools some schools are starting to take advantage of these internet-based tools for virtual conferencing and even professional development. However if students, teachers at home, parents, or other community members do not have access to the Internet, they are unable to participate in these web conferences. BUT...They can if they have a cell phone (any cell phone will do).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-13 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 14 Mar 2009 12:00 AM PDT

Links for 2009-03-12 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 13 Mar 2009 12:00 AM PDT

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-11 [del.icio.us] (03/12/2009 12:00)
  • Classroom 2.0 LIVE
    Classroom 2.0 is a wonderful resource, but this tag site is specifically for their upcoming Moodle Live training. Haven't used a moodle before? Check it out!
  • Atomic Learning's eBook on How to Flatten Your Classroom - Movies
    Seven Steps to Flatten Your Classroom is a new e-book by edublogger Vicki Davis. Download it here for free. And while you are at it, check out the Atomic Learning site. It is chuck full of great lesson plan ideas.
  • Royalty Free Music, Free Sound Effects, Free Royalty Free Music Loops
    Looking for royalty free audio files to use with your Photo Story or Movie Maker project? You'll find hundreds of files here.
  • Dangerously Irrelevant: Slide - Banning students' computers
    Dr. Scott McLeod posted this slide on the banning of cell phones in school. Where do you fall on this debate? Check out the comments that follow the image to read how other educators feel about cell phones in school.
  • Langwitches » Don’t Believe Everything You See Online
    Why is our first impulse to believe something that we see, read or hear? Especially if it is in print, online or comes in an “officially” looking packaging? How do we teach ourselves and our students, that another impulse has to follow the first one immediately: Evaluate…critical thinking… learn to listen for and to your own “gut feeling”… cross referencing… Information literacy is an important part of being literate. Being able to know how to read and write alone, just doesn’t “cut it anymore”.
  • Prezi - The zooming presentation editor
    With the help of Prezi you can create maps of texts, images, videos, PDFs, drawings and present in a nonlinear way. Move beyond the slide, it only takes 5 minutes to learn how to use Prezi.
  • Content Partners - Free lesson plans, homework help and professional development for teachers, students and parents | Verizon Thinkfinity
    Thinkfinity Content Partners produce nine discipline-specific, standards-based web sites that include lessons for teachers, activities to use in and out of the classroom, games for young children and teen, adult literacy resources and reference materials for anyone in the education field, as well as for parents and after-school practitioners.
  • Web English Teacher
    Web English Teacher presents the best of K-12 English / Language Arts teaching resources: lesson plans, WebQuests, videos, biography, e-texts, criticism, jokes, puzzles, and classroom activities.
  • English Companion - Where English teachers meet to help each other
    If you're an English teacher, I hope you have heard of Jim Burke. His website (http://www.englishcompanion.com) and books are wonderful resources for English teachers. This ning site is a wonderful extension of his work and a place to engage with other English teachers.
  • PLP Visioning Boot Camp for Leaders : Powerful Learning Practice, LLC
    Join Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson this summer for PLP’s “Visioning Boot Camp for Educational Leaders,” an intensive, small-group, three-day workshop for school leaders who want to understand how 21st Century technologies are challenging curriculum and pedagogy and providing economical new ways for learning.
  • creative writing prompts . com ideas for writers
    Use the creative writing prompts and creative writing ideas to create stories, poems and other creative pieces from your imagination. The writing prompts can even help you come up with creative content for blogs and blog stories.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-07 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 08 Mar 2009 12:00 AM PST

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

Links for 2009-03-06 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 07 Mar 2009 12:00 AM PST

Links for 2009-03-05 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 06 Mar 2009 12:00 AM PST

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