Hundreds of Great Ideas and Just One Classroom!

Well it is that time of year again and I can already hear the school bell ringing. Like many teachers I am hitting the web and my classroom resource creating and organizing lessons. As I peruse the web looking for ideas and resources I can feel my stress level rise as I see hundreds of ideas and resources to use in my classroom.

The problem is the web has so many great ideas that it can be overwhelming. Just today I came across two great posts one from edudemic.com titled “50 Educational Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About” and Getting Smarts “50 Essential Edtech Tools By Category” each had 50 different tools or resources. This just added to my stress and frustration about what to do in my classroom. I quickly realized that I need to have a specific goal in mind so that I can focus on one or two aspects of Edtech in my classroom. So over the next two weeks I will be posting about 4 or 5 really good tested Edtech tools to use in the classroom. Each post will focus on a specific content area with Common Core in mind. My hope is to help myself get organized and maybe help someone else out in the process.

GAME ON! as the 2012-2013 school Year starts!

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myHistro: A Great Teaching Timeline Tool

Tallinn, view

Tallinn, view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the great things that I have enjoyed about blogging is communicating with people all over the world. Recently, I had a message from a reader  Valeria from Tallinn, Estonia who brought to my attention a great website called myHistro. This is a great site that combines maps, timelines, images, video and puts it all together in a presentation format. This is a great tool to teach students about a sequence of events like battles and other historical events.  Click the link below for an example of a basic myHistro presentation on the battles of the Civil War.

Click here to see a good basic example of a myHistro presentation.

This is a great tool to be used in the classroom. Check it out at www.myHistro.com and thanks again to Valeria for bringing it to my attention.

Click here to read about other great timeline tools.

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Videos that Make for Great Teacher Professional Development

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

While I normality like to post my ideas and thoughts on education and technology. Occasionally, however I come across a post that is just so outstanding and on the mark that I feel it is just too good not to pass on to my readers. “Ten Videos Every Educator Should Watch (and Reflect on)” was written last February and while I have written about and discussed many of the videos contained in this post I really like the fact that they are all placed together for teachers to look at and think about. This is the time of year when many teachers have the time to look at and think about new ideas and teaching strategies. So I encourage any teachers looking to expand their teaching techniques, philosophies and teaching strategies to look through these outstanding videos and reflect on them.

Click here to read Ammar Merhibi’s “Ten Videos Every Educator Should Watch (and Reflect on)”

And Ammar thanks for taking the time to put this post together. To read more from Ammar Merhibi check out his blog “Eductechnalogy

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Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Time Search is a great resource that I came across near the end of this past school year. It is a great research tool to assist students looking for information about many different topics in a history course. The timeline approach is one students always seem to appreciate and often captivates their attention. The way that the information is displayed and linked together seemed to really interest students. I found my students often discovered topics that intrigued them and really seemed to captivate their attention. Many of the students who used this began asking me questions about a variety of history topics that we were not covering in class. This lead to a few of my students research and studying different events in history in addition to the topics covered in class. Anytime I find a resource that has this effect on students it is one I bookmark and use in future classes. If you teach history you need to have a look at this site along with their parent site History World. Check them out with the links below.

Click here to check out Time Search.

Click her to check out History World.

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Best Place to Find Technology For The Classroom

picture of an e-learning classroom

picture of an e-learning classroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As my regular readers know I am always looking for new technologies to try out in my classroom. But the task of finding new technologies can at times be overwhelming. The amount of apps and programs out there is daunting at best. Often times it takes hours to find something that I think will work and feel is worth giving a try in my classroom. This past weekend however, I was catching up on some of my educational blogs that I read and I came across a post by Audrey Watters who might have found a great starting point.

Audrey Watters writes a blog called “Hack Education” and she wrote about a site called “EdShelf“. This is a site that lists hundreds of educational tools to use in the classroom. The best description is the one they use on their website that describes their website as,

“… a directory of websites, mobile apps, and desktop software that are rated & reviewed by educators, for educators. We decrease the friction of using and procuring effective technology into the classroom.”

As I reviewed the site I found it to exactly that. This is a great starting point for anyone looking to add some technology to their classroom. The reviews and ideas that can be found on this site are quite valuable and will significantly reduce the amount of time teachers spend searching for new tools and ideas. I highly recommend this site to educators looking to add something new to their class.

Check it out here.

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Visual Search Engine: instaGrok

Over the course of the the last few days my students have begun to use instaGrok as a search engine in class. This site conducts searches in a very visual way that invokes students to explore and learn. Often times I see them digging deeper into a search due to the visual nature of the the search engine. The visual nature also seems to spark  the curiosity in students to explore and look deeper into a topic. Another great thing about this search engine is the layout which provides students immediately with key facts, videos, images and other resources. Saving students time in looking for these resources next which they often need to do for many assignments. I was very happy with how engaged my students were and how they seemed to really like to use this search engine.

Check it out for yourself at: http://www.instagrok.com/

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Scholastic: Interactive Whiteboard Activities

Like every teacher I am always excited to find good resources. Over the past week I came across a great resource site for interactive whiteboards. This site contains many resources for Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, and others. The activities and media shared on this site are high quality and cover many different areas of study within each subject area. Many of these activities would be a great supplement to any teachers curriculum.

Check out this great resource at: http://teacher.scholastic.com/whiteboards/languagearts.htm

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