Thursday, December 29, 2011
Thanks to Richard Byrne (again!) and his blogsite "Free Technology for Teachers" for producing a huge list (77 actually) of online educational games, experiences, or simulations. I have used some that he has listed and most are really good. No matter what you teach, you should be able to find something for your class. As I have done in the past, instead of you trying these games out and using up your precious time, have the students test them out. Offer extra credit and have them try these out at home. Or take the class to the computer lab and have them test and write a game review. Lots of ways you can get students involved and make these into a cross-curricular activity. Have fun!
Thanks to Richard Byrne and his blog "Free Technology for Teachers", you now have a link to 5 sites where you can make your own crossword puzzles. You could make a puzzle for students to do or you could have students make their own crossword puzzle as a review or enrichment activity. Discovery's Puzzlemaker isn't on this list, but that site is another good puzzlemaker site. Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
As 2011 winds down, you may be wanting to look up the best math sites of 2011, the best online educational games, the best educational articles, etc. Well, Larry Ferlazzo now has a one-stop shopping experience for you if you are wanting just the Best of 2011. His great blog "Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day" now has a blogpost dedicated to all of his Best of 2011 posts. So, while you are on break or if you get time as 2012 begins, take a look at the many great things he has gathered for you. Thanks Larry!
Monday, December 26, 2011
Catching up on my blog reading, I found a story about the 2011 Edublog Award Winners and the blog that won "Best Group Blog" caught my eye. Why? Because it was by students just like our 8th graders and several other students are doing in our district AND it was by students in 6 different countries. And the 6 classes in the 6 countries blog each week about a different topic or idea about their culture or their school day. We talk a lot about cultures and how different and interesting they are and yet how similar they are. Reading through these great blog entries really drives this idea home. Fascinating to read about life in these 6 countries! Give it a read!
Thanks to Kim Flagor-Fuller for alerting me to a great site called "Futureme.org". I immediately tried it and loved it and thought of a couple of great ways to use this site for students and education. First off, I want my students to email their goals to themselves and I may even have my 8th grader email a note to themselves to be delivered just before 9th grade starts. You could also use it as a task list reminder and have your tasks emailed to you each day. Students could also email due dates and key project dates if they check email a lot but struggle to stay caught up or on track to finish something in time. Lots of uses, great site!
And what web browser extensions are you using? I'm not here to convert you to Firefox or Chrome (I use Chrome only and love it. I hope to never use Explorer again!!), but instead point you to an Edublog post that gives you great stats about web browser usage and most importantly shows you what are the best and most commonly used web extensions. If you are wondering what a web extension is, well, I would say it is a tool or gadget that opens right along with your web browser when you click on it and you can use it while surfing the web. I use the dictionary application, the text to voice application, the screenshot application, and a few others. Many people don't use these because they don't know about them. Hopefully, by clicking on this blog post that I have linked below, more people can learn about these applications and use them more often. And maybe people can experiment with different web browsers and decide which one is best for you. Good luck and have fun!