December 11, 2014
I’ve really taken to ThingLink this school year in my classroom. I had tried it before, but I really found value in using ThingLink now that I’m back with students as a way to provide them a lot of independence to explore some hand-picked resources. I’d create the images and link up starter resources and tools to send students in the right direction to get them asking even more questions.
Last quarter I set up a ThingLink to share with my Digital Learning students a recent news story involving a copyright dispute over some monkey selfies. (You can see how this topic really hit home with kids and piqued their interest!) (more…)
February 4, 2014
|Image from CreativeCommons.org|
When students need multimedia like images to use in their projects, I cringe at how quickly (and without a second thought) they do a Google Image search and pop the first thing they find right into their project and move on. While teaching students (and adults!) the importance of respecting copyright and attribution isn’t a new thing, it certainly has become more of a challenge in a world where we’re inundated with multimedia being shared all over the internet all the time, and the internet is such an integral part of our everyday routines.
Here’s where Creative Commons comes in. Authors can choose to publish their work under a Creative Commons license to adjust copyright stipulations, which may allow the work to be shared, used, or remixed by others. From the Creative Commons website: (more…)
December 17, 2013
I mean it. Drop whatever you’re doing and go check out Blendspace.com right now. (Formerly known as EdCanvas, so don’t be confused if you see EdCanvas branding in the videos!)
Blendspace is a free web tool for teachers to collect resources in one place to form a bundled, interactive lesson for students or colleagues. When you create a Blendspace lesson, you can pull in videos from YouTube, websites, pictures, EduCreations lessons (check out my previous post about EduCreations for more info on that!) Flickr images, or links and images from Google. You can import from Gooru, OpenEd, Dropbox, or Google Drive. AND you can always upload your own files, like PowerPoints or resources housed on your own computer. Pretty much any resource you can imagine or that you would pull together to share can be embedded into a Blendspace lesson. But that’s not all! (Note: video above is a quick overview!) (more…)
December 12, 2013
You all know how much I love LearnZillion. Its (free!) database of Common Core aligned video lessons for ELA and Math grades 2-12 are outstanding, especially when teachers take advantage of LearnZillion’s features to assign and monitor student progress through targeted lessons that support differentiation.
I got an email from LearnZillion this week with some tips and tricks on how its service can help keep kids on track during the holiday break, and the ideas are too good not to share again, especially with the upcoming break almost upon us.
First, if you’re not already using the Assign function in LearnZillion to assign video lessons to your students, I highly recommend doing so! It only takes a few minutes to add your classes/students. Then you can assign targeted video lessons to specific students based on their individual needs, whether they need reinforcement or a challenge on a particular concept. If you want to see how quickly you can add students (really!), check out my LearnZillion Video Tour starting around the 2:13 mark. Then watch this quick tutorial on assigning lessons from LearnZillion.
Prevent Winter Break Brain Drain!
Tips and tricks from LearnZillion
ELA: Assign one fiction and one non-fiction reading set for winter break, or create a list of possible reading lesson sets with a minimum of one from each genre so students can choose. Always give students the option to do more if they want!
Math: Let students preview what’s coming in the new year by assigning lesson sets for standards you’ll be teaching in January. If a student needs targeted help, assign him or her a lesson or lesson set from the standard they’re working toward.
While students may be sliding down snow-covered hills over winter break, at least you’ll be confident knowing they won’t also be sliding in reading and math, thanks to these tips straight from LearnZillion.com.
Looking for more ideas on how to use this tool effectively? I love the LearnZillion Blog, where the Dream Team posts tips and tricks like these all the time. For example, the most recent post, Three Tips for Approaching Close Reading, is excellent!
Happy holidays! See you in 2014.