Visual Digital Library

WDL

So often my Jr. High students seem to lose interest in their research and begin to complain that they can not find any good information. Wikipedia and other informational websites by their nature are not designed for younger students. So after the first few minutes of searching student interest is lost and they are off task. So I began looking for another website that might hold their interest a bit longer and found one that seemed to fit the bill, “World Digital Library“. This site provides images and a timeline that students can use to search for information on historical topics world wide. The great thing about this site is that it is very visual and seemed to captivate and keep student attention. There was a good amount of information on the website and I found it be a great starting point for students with research projects.

Check it out at World Digital Library http://www.wdl.org/en/

Below are some resource for other historical resources.

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QuizMEOnline Social Networking & Studying

This past week I was looking for a website to easily create online quizzes and tests that I could use to quickly assess my students to make lesson adjustments. As I was looking at the different alternatives available for teachers to create quizzes I came across QuizMEOnline. I found this site to be interesting and possibly useful for some teachers. This site allows students to social network and create study groups and other resources. Teachers can also create classes and and then provided quizzes, flashcards and many other resources for students to use in their studies. Reminds me of another classroom management website called MyBig Campus. This site is free and very simple to use.

Take a look and see what you think QuizMEOnline.

If you are interested in a simple quiz maker for your classes check out my post on Testmoz

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Don’t Forget You Need a Foundation!

John Wooden at a ceremony on Oct. 14, the coac...

Image via Wikipedia

Education is in a state of flux all across the country. Districts are looking for new ways to improve learning and meet the state and federal guidelines for education. As districts look at these different techniques and technologies, what is often overlooked is the foundation.

There is a great story about the famous basketball coach John Wooden. One of his first lessons that he taught his college players when they came to UCLA was how to put on their socks and shoes. He told them that this game requires you to move and change directions quickly and if your shoes and sock are not on correctly, you could get blisters or your shoe could come untied. In both cases you are then out of the game. If you are out of the game, you cannot be successful.

Today in education teachers are often overlooked as these new approaches and techniques are implemented in their schools. As districts mandate these techniques, they do not consult the fundamental aspect of their educational process, their teachers. Techniques do not teach kids, teachers do and they can often can provide valuable assistance on implementation of these new techniques.  When districts overlook the fundamentals in applying new techniques and programs, they are often met with failure and frustration adding to the dilemma of education today. True change in education today cannot be successful unless it has been built on a good foundation.

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AR Your Worksheets

Worksheets have been a big part of school for years.  They can be found in virtually all subjects and in every school in America. With the advent of Augmented reality you can now make your paper worksheets interactive and more engaging for students. In the following video Johnny Kissko demonstrates what a worksheet can look like with this new technology.

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Start class off right with a historic intro activity!

As a history teacher I am always looking for ways to grab students attention and interest in history. One of the ways that I have found particularly helpful are introduction activities that bring to light topics and events that students do not always hear about. The following list of websites not only bring history to life by pointing out what happened on this day in history. It also exposes students to a variety of different types of events and historic information. This variety seems to grab almost every students at one time or another during the year. I simply start of the class by reading through one of the events or a couple of events from one of the websites. Then I have a quick discussion or question and answer session and move on to the lesson for the day. At this point I often have their attention and they have settled down for class.  This type of introduction activity is so powerful I often have students come back years later and bring up topics they learned through these various websites.

This day in History

This site is probably the best of the bunch they have great videos that you can play right as the class bell rings. They are interesting and can hold students attention for the 1-3 minutes in length.

 

 

BBC “On This Day”

For a another site check out the BBC’s “On This Day”. Here you are able to focus on one topic with a more information to have discussion or class activity.

For an American History focus only try the Library of Congress’s Today in History Archive. Here you can search by day and find some great American History introduction topics to discuss.

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New Year! New Whiteboard? Here Is Where To Start!

So, if you like many teachers in the country received a new Whiteboard in your classroom this summer you are probably wondering how you can use it. I was in this position a few years ago. The whiteboard I received came with no training or help just the expectation that I would incorporate this tool into my classroom. Well like most technologies there are some things you need to know to effectively incorporate this technology into your classroom. Often there are help files and manuals that come with these new whiteboards but they are not enough to really allow you to truly integrate this tool into you classroom. Some of these boards like the Promethean boards have a great website to assist you.  Promethean Planet  “http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/”, this is a great website that provides example lessons and tutorials on almost all areas of their whiteboards. There are also some third party websites that have been truly helpful in learning how to incorporate whiteboards in the classroom.To help you get started here are a few resources I have used over the last few years to assist me in using my Whiteboard.

Other Resources:

  1. Promethean Planet
  2. Whiteboard Training
  3. Polyvision Tutorials
  4. SMART BOARD for BULLDOGS 
  5. Activeboard Resources 
  6. Whiteboard Tutorials 
  7. SMART Board Tutorials 
  8. Whiteboard Resource Room
  9. SMART Board Resource
  10. Whiteboards with Math Tutorials
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Create A QR Treasure Hunt! Simply and Quickly!

QR Treasure HuntI have come across many different websites that help teachers incorporate technology into the classroom but the QR Treasure Hunt Website simply is one of the best. It is engaging, different and really captivates students attention. It is a win win for any teacher to use.

QR

Teachers can use this website to create a series of questions which are then converted into QR codes, (like the one above) that contain text files for your students to read. Then you simply place these QR codes around the room or school and give them a time limit to answer all of the questions. The student back with the most correct answers at the end of the time limit wins. It is a fantastic first week of school exercise to get students thinking about a specific topic. This website does all of the work for the teachers. Just simply type in the questions and the site creates all of the QR codes. If you are looking for some QR code readers for the students to use see the list below. This is a must try in the classroom for all teachers.

QR Code Reader List: If I am missing one please let me know.

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