Friday, October 30, 2009

Links for Writing Teachers

K12 students and teachers are creating unprecedented opportunities for inquiry-based learning by expanding the geographic boundaries of their classrooms - - virtually and cost effectively. K12 schools on the MAGPI network participate in interactive video exchanges in real-time - - with their students' peers, content providers or experts from anywhere in the world. They have access to more than 100 MAGPI-produced interactive video programs each year. Students and teachers take advantage of multimedia files and learning objects through digital library repositories, create their own virtual words and use remote scientific instruments - - all without leaving their classrooms.

The Fischbowl: This I Believe Goes Global - We Want You!
For the past three years, I have had my classes write their versions of National Public Radio's "This I Believe" segment. I was introduced to this idea by a colleague and have been always impressed by what my students hold as their personal values and beliefs. Writing these essays has allowed for them to do something they don't get to do all that often at school - express their heartfelt beliefs. After writing the essays the first year, we submitted them to NPR, but we also decided to podcast them ourselves – no need to wait to see if NPR might choose to broadcast them. The writing was good at expressing their values, but once their voice was added to their written expression, WOW, it simply transformed that personal essay. Instead of the words simply being words, the words conveyed deeply held emotions. Now, this is the standard.

ReadWriteThink: Lesson Plan: Weekly Writer's Blogs: Building a ...
In this digital rethinking of the traditional weekly writer's logs, students analyze example writer's blog entries then begin the habit of writing their own weekly entries, which focus on the writing that they have done over the past seven days. These reflective assignments ask students to think about their progress on writing activities and to project how they will continue their work in the future.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Personal and Professional Development Links

  • A Teacher's Guide To Web 2.0 at School
    great tool for introducing web 2.0 tools to teachers
  • Where do you find the time? Shirky's Answer " Moving at the Speed of ...
    This past Thursday night, I was delighted to be a guest on the Seedlings' show on EdTechTalk, hosted by Alice Barr, Bob Sprankle, and Cheryl Oakes. My daughter, Sarah, joined us for the conversation and chimed in with both her ideas and questions for other participants. Near the end of the show, Bob asked me a question I've been asked a few times in the past: How do you find all the time to publish what you share? I fumbled around for an answer, and ended up saying something about MarsEdit (my favorite offline blogging software) and the value of creating and sharing for my own learning, long term memory, and digital archive of ideas (this blog.) I don't think that was a very good answer. A better answer, and much shorter one, would have been similar to the message of Clay Shirky at the Web 2.0 Expo in April 2008. The answer I SHOULD have given to Bob was this: I don't watch much television.
  • Blooms Taxonomy Tutorial FLASH - CCCS Faculty Wiki
    The tutorials were created as interactive adaptations of the three Tutorial References listed on this page. If you cannot view/use the tutorials, please consult the references instead- Churches (2008) is especially useful as it includes in-depth information about the revised taxonomy and numerous activity examples and rubrics for evaluation of those activities. This page focuses exclusively on the cognitive domain of learning, but there are taxonomies for the affective and psychomotor domains. To learn more about these, see the Clark (2007) resource listed in the Tutorial References section of this page. There are also Other Resources to explore.
  • Google For Educators
    The Google Teacher Academy is a FREE professional development experience designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google's free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region.
  • What is Web 3.0? Semantic Web & other Web 3.0 Concepts Explained in Plain English
    Web 1.0 – That Geocities & Hotmail era was all about read-only content and static HTML websites. People preferred navigating the web through link directories of Yahoo! and dmoz. Web 2.0 – This is about user-generated content and the read-write web. People are consuming as well as contributing information through blogs or sites like Flickr, YouTube, Digg, etc. The line dividing a consumer and content publisher is increasingly getting blurred in the Web 2.0 era. Web 3.0 – This will be about semantic web (or the meaning of data), personalization (e.g. iGoogle), intelligent search and behavioral advertising among other things. If that sounds confusing, check out some of these excellent presentations that help you understand Web 3.0 in simple English. Each takes a different approach to explain Web 3.0 and the last presentation uses an example of a "postage stamp" to explain the "semantic web".

Monday, October 12, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

  • Promoting Literacy Skills and a Love of Reading | Literacy Connections
    Literacy Connections provides a wealth of information on reading, teaching and tutoring techniques, ESL literacy, and adult literacy. We recommend resources that are useful for teachers, volunteers, and directors of literacy programs. Topics include the language experience approach, phonics, word study, and the best in children's literature.
  • Son of Citation Machine
    Citation machine is designed to help student and professional researchers to properly credit the sources used. Its primary goal is to make it so easy for student researchers to cite their information sources, that there is virtually no reason not to -- because... SOMEDAY THE INFORMATION THAT SOMEONE ELSE WANTS TO USE -- WILL BE YOURS!
  • Silva Rhetoricae: The Forest of Rhetoric
    This online rhetoric, provided by Dr. Gideon Burton of Brigham Young University, is a guide to the terms of classical and renaissance rhetoric. Sometimes it is difficult to see the forest (the big picture) of rhetoric because of the trees (the hundreds of Greek and Latin terms naming figures of speech, etc.) within rhetoric. This site is intended to help beginners, as well as experts, make sense of rhetoric, both on the small scale (definitions and examples of specific terms) and on the large scale (the purposes of rhetoric, the patterns into which it has fallen historically as it has been taught and practiced for 2000+ years).
  • Concept to Classroom: Course Menu
    Welcome to Concept to Classroom! We've got a new look with the same great workshops. The site features a series of FREE, self-paced workshops covering a wide variety of hot topics in education. Some of the workshops are based in theory, some are based in methodology - but all of the workshops include plenty of tips and strategies for making classrooms work. Access the workshops in the menu below or visit the About the Series section to learn how you can apply these workshops toward professional development credit.
  • 100 Twitter Feeds To Make You a Better Teacher - Online Courses
    New technology is not only unavioidable, it's a crucial part of education today. That's why so many teachers are Tweeting, and many others are following close behind. After you set up your account at, be sure to check out some of these great education feeds. Who knows? You might even learn a thing or two.

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