Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LiveBinders: Resourceful Web 2.0 Tool

LiveBinder is a tool for organizing your favorite websites by categories. You can create a LiveBinder on any area of interest. Once you set up a LiveBinder, you select categories, and within each category, you create links to resources within that category. A LiveBinder can be an excellent teaching tool for directing students to specific websites for a unit of study.

Image: ericnvntr's photostream flickr

An advantage of opening a LiveBinder account is that you can also store other teachers' and professionals' LiveBinders in your account, in what is called your "Shelves."

Here is an example of one LiveBinder I found recently and added to my shelf: Technology in Education.

How can you envision using LiveBinder in your teaching? If you have an opportunity, search for some LiveBinders, and let us know what you find. Have you heard of teachers or library media specialists setting up LiveBinders for classroom or school implementation?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Technology Tools For Teaching & Learning

image: westtennessewritingproject.com
I am posting a link to a web page with categorized tools to help teachers find the right match of online tools for their students related to curricular and student needs. Surely, in looking through this list, you will find one or more sites of interest. This web page might be one you want to bookmark, save as a favorite, or add to a social bookmarking site you maintain such as Diigo or Delicious.

Technology Tools for Teaching and Learning

Once you skim through the list and check the sites, let us know which sites you use, would like to use, or would like to investigate further, and possibly why you selected these specific sites.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Looking for Teaching Resources on Digital Citizenship

Image from MaryBeth's Twitter page @mbteach
I found these resources in an article that MaryBeth Hertz’s wrote for Eutopia. I follow MaryBeth on Twitter, and she recently posted a link to the article.  Although some of these resources are geared to the elementary grade levels, many have applicability to any grade level.  Check them out. Let us know what you find and think you might use in your teaching.

Lesson Resources
Online Learning Tools
   Digital learning tools that incorporate social networking
                     Today's Meet
   Online Communities for Kids
                     Club Penguin
                     Pixie Hollow
   If you like this, you might also like
                     The Importance of Digital Citizenship in Social Media by Andrew Marcinek
                     Digital Citizenship: Resource Roundup by Edutopia Staff
                     Does the Internet exacerbate bullying? Edutopia poll
If you are on Twitter follow MaryBeth @mbteach
Reference for list is at:

Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Elementary Classroom, Edutopia

In addition, Jerry Blumgarten, maintains on his website a page fully devoted to resources on Digital Citizenship. No matter what grade level or subject area you teach or are certified to teach, you will likely find resources on his Cybrarylibrary Digital Citizenship web page.  Jerry posts almost daily to Twitter. If you are on Twitter and not following him, you should at @cybraryman1

Overall, do you believe it is the teacher's responsibility to teach digital citizenship? What do you think of the resources found on Marybeth's and Jerry's lists? Which resources seem most useful to you or of the most interest?

Slide Sharing Sites

Spend some time exploring slide sharing sites, where you will find shows you can use in your teaching. Open an account on any of these sites, and you can save the shows you like as  your "favorites" for easy access later on. I highly recommend Slide Share, one of the original sites for slide sharing, which keeps getting better, offering newer and newer features.  I also like AuthorSteam, where if you add your own slide shows, you can later use the editing features on the site to enhance your show. VoiceThread is my favorite for interactivity because viewers can add written and audio comments, making the show engaging and evolving.

Here are three samples of slide shows that I found on SlideShare. I am offering the examples here to demonstrate that by grabbing the "embed" code at the site, you can easily place slide shows into a blog, website, or another similar form of media. The first SlideShare covers copyright and fair use in the educational setting; it provides excellent coverage of the topic, and also has embedded in the PowerPoint a YouTube video. The second SlideShare PowerPoint is one on creativity and visualization. The third one is an excellent use of PowerPoint to create a full film analysis of the Hitchcock's movie Vertigo. This last one demonstrates how a slide show allows us to create instructional materials that would be difficult to achieve in other ways, thereby illustrating the power of the medium and its ability to allow us to create teaching moments that otherwise might not be possible.  The fact that the slide presentation is archived in SlideShare also speaks to the beauty of this site for enabling us to find powerful instructional materials at our fingertips.

I have posted other blogs on SlideShare, AuthorStream, and VoiceThread. Check these postings. Also, let's spend some time exploring the sites, and please let others know about slide shows you find on any of the sites that you can use in your teaching. Also, once you open an account with any of these sites, you can place your own slide shows there for convenience, for instance, for you to easily access and for your students to access at home or at any time.

I encourage you to open a SlideShare and AuthorStream free account today; and if possible, if you can get a free 30-day demo of VoiceThread as an educator, take advantage of the opportunity. VoiceThread also has a VoiceThread K-12 section: ed.voicethread.com. Even if you never post your own creations on these sites--which you really should do, though--you will be impressed with what you can find, watch, download, download and edit, mark as a "favorite, etc. There is a wealth of resources awaiting you on Web 2.0 sharing sites such as these three slide sharing sites. AuthorStream will even enable you to turn your slide show into a video, which can then be further edited, or just simply saved as a video for watching.

Okay, plunge in, and be sure to post comments. Also, let us know what you think of the SlideShare video on copyright and fair use. Note you can watch the three embedded videos right from this blog, and you can also watch them full screen. You can also click to watch them within SlideShare.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's Time to Rethink Education

You might disagree with the message of this video, but at least watch it and comment regarding the needs of digital natives for learning.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Members of NCTE, CCCC, NWP, and CWPA Visit the White House

Members of NCTE, CCCC, NWP, and CWPA Visit the White House

Phenomenal Site with Multitude of Resources

Check out the Discovery Education site for a wealth of teaching resources and access to a variety of Web 2.0 tools. Here is a link to the site: Discovery Education. While on the site, also be sure to check the Lesson Plan area for ideas by grade level and subject area. Be sure to return to this blog post to let us know what you uncover at Discovery Education.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Looking for Ways to Show YouTube Videos in the Classroom

So, you say the new YouTube/Teacher option is limited and does not have all the YouTube videos you want to show in class. Try
downloading the videos at home using a site like keepvid and savevid and then saving them on a flash drive. Also, try the popular Zamzar site. You enter the URL for the video, and Zamzar will email you a converted file copy of the video that you should be able to play in school. Be sure to save the converted copy to a flash drive. Here are the direct URLs to access these sites; simply copy the URLs for the sites into your browser, and start exploring your options. Let us know if one option works better for you than another.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Google Saves a School

Frontline, PBS, released this video of a failing school turned around. Two years ago, the middle school in the Bronx, Intermediate School 339, was about to close down. Watch this video and leave a comment.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Interested in learning about screen casting, which allows you to capture what's on the screen and narrate it. You can end up with a slide show or even a video. Check this slideshow to learn more about screencasting tools like Screenr,Screencast-o-matic, and Jing.

You might consider creating a screencast, if applicability to your teaching, and showing it to others. You can easily share a screencast on the Internet with those beyond your classroom.

After viewing the slide presentation, post your comments on how you believe screencasting might be used.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

10 Weeks and No Tests


10 Weeks and No Test” is a section of Nicholas Provenzano‘s blog. Check out this section to see how Nick has been using tools such as Prezi, Glogs, YouTube, and e-magazines for students to showcase their learning instead of using standard assessments (i.e., tests). Included in the “10 Weeks and No Tests” are samples of student responses to show their learning outcomes. Please take some time to look at the students’ work, and then let us know how you feel about using online multi-media as a way for students to demonstrate learning outcomes. In addition to the four media from which students chose to demonstrate their learning, as seen on the blog, what other media or tools do you think students could use to demonstrate obtainment of learning outcomes? Nick is also known as The Nerdy Teacher, but most of all, you should know he is an English teacher, and he is a fan of integrating technology into his teaching to advance his students' learning through hands-on, interactive techniques. I have included his logo from his About Me page on his blog.

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