Sunday, January 23, 2011
Thanks to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers, here are 11 resources to try in 2011 if you teach math or work with students on math. I don't see Khan Academy here, but that site is a must for any math teacher. I can't imagine teaching without help from the Khan Academy and I can't imagine not telling students about it. Mr. Byrne has talked about it before and since it has more than just math, it is not on this list. I know Mr. Byrne likely hopes you are already using Khan Academy. As for the rest of the sites listed, I have not tried many, but I did register for TenMarks and could see that working in schools. I think it is basically a super power version of Skills Iowa however. Anyway, if you teach math, check out Mr. Byrne's blog and try some of these sites. Or better yet, have the students test them for you and write a review!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I learned about both of these Flashcard sites from the same blogger: Dave of the Education Technology Guy blog. I played around with both and both are very cool and very interesting. I liked WordStash simply because I could look up the definitions of basically any word without even registering or making a flashcard. Plus, links to where those words are used online or how those words are pronounced are right there for easy access. As for Braineos, games with the flashcards that you make are the key function. Kids like games, so to encourage or assign kids to make flashcards and then letting them play games with those flashcards right away would be kind of fun. Both sites allow games with the flashcards, but Braineos focuses more on this part. I noticed kids or teachers could also log on to Braineos using their facebook or other networking log in, a nice added feature. If you like or want students to use flashcards, give one of these sites a try.
Just a quick post to alert you to another site that allows you to cut a Youtube video down to just the parts you want to show. This time it is a site named "snipsnip.it". I haven't used it, but it looks very simple to use and you don't need to register to use it. In other words, it can be used quickly if you find a Youtube video you want to use and don't want all the extra junk that comes with Youtube videos (unwanted parts of video, ads, comments, etc.). Give it a try!
This seems to be the new thing in the world of the Internet: Log on daily, enter your email, enter to win, repeat daily. Well, here is another one, but definitely one that would be awesome if someone from our building won first prize! First prize includes all sorts of technology with the big item being laptops for the classroom and a $5000 grant. There are many other prizes outside of the first prize as well. One blogger I heard about this from actually won something from Discovery Education last year. I will try to enter my email as many times as I can, feel free to log on and enter your email daily as well. Who knows....maybe one of us will get lucky!?!
Click here for contest details and enter your first entry!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his blog Websites of the Day, here is a great blog entry with his 10 best education-related videos of 2010. Some of these are pretty short, others as long as 10 minutes, but all are very good in some way or another. If you get some "free" time in your team meetings or workday time, put one of these videos on. The Drive by Daniel Pink is pretty interesting. Some you may have seen before, but they might be worth a 2nd look. Have fun and visit Larry's blog or "follow" it.
I found the video in this long article very fascinating. Basically, the author (Tim Ferriss), is talking about the unique skill some people have where they can connect with anyone and draw people in and have people listen and focus on them. He uses Bill Clinton as an example. Politics aside, the former President had and still has an amazing ability to draw people in and cause them to listen and many times follow and be inspired. The video shows a small clip from a debate before the 1992 election and I was amazed at the difference between how the 2 candidates interacted with the questioner. So...how does this all relate to education? Well, students learn and parents listen if they can connect with teachers and be drawn into what they say and how they say it. Some are naturally born with this skill, but it is still a skill that can be practiced and perfected, much like President Clinton likely has done and still continues to do. If nothing else, give the video a quick watch and you will be amazed at how different their answers, body language, etc were.
Didn't have much time to focus on the big issues in education in 2010? Well, this short article breaks down the top 10 stories of 2010 in the world of education. Lots of interesting and good stuff with links to more information. As professionals, one part of our job is to stay up to date on the issues in our profession and with the busy other parts of our job, we tend to let this area slide. Take a moment this week or next and review the stories as I am sure some of these stories will continue to make headlines in 2011. Happy New Year!