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by Melissa Greenwood
This post includes links to all monthly awardees for 2014, going back to January.
"SmartBlog on Education’s monthly content award recognizes content written by educators, for educators that inspires readers to engage, innovate and discuss.
"SmartBrief Education editors and writers sift through thousands of sources each day, reading a variety of content, including blogs and commentaries written by you and your peers.
"In an effort to recognize some of the innovative voices in the field, we’ve asked our team to nominate their favorite content — written by educators, for educators — each month from which we’ll choose two winners for the Editor’s Choice Content Award.
"This month’s winners inspired us with their classroom-design tips for the new school year:"
by Annie Murphy Paul
"It’s a grounding in computational thinking — not a facility with the latest feature or product — that fosters future success in the field, whether students go on to become engineers or inventors or entrepreneurs.
That’s a powerful rationale for teaching computational thinking to our young people. But there’s a problem. In conventional computer science instruction, these principles are only accessible to those who learn how to program. This poses a big hurdle, especially for younger students. Enter Computer Science Unplugged, which has been developed at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand over the past two decades.
"Professors Tim Bell, Mike Fellows and Ian H. Witten, have figured out how to teach the concepts of computer science through games, puzzles and magic tricks. Taking the computer out of the picture — for the time being — allows children as young as five to learn about the basic ideas that undergird computer science. Youngsters can tackle topics as apparently abstruse as algorithms, binary numbers, Boolean circuits, and cryptographic protocols. The activities offered by Computer Science Unplugged are aimed at students in kindergarten through seventh grade, though they have been used by students in high school and even college."
by Todd Finley
description by SmartBrief on EdTech
"It can be hard to keep up with evolving technology -- and the way it is used in education, Edutopia Assistant Editor Todd Finley writes in this blog post. To help teachers successfully integrate technology in the classroom, he recommends they take time each week to learn a tool and to interact with students using technology, among other ideas"
One of the challenges of back to school time is that you’re filled with a classroom (or classrooms) of students you don’t know. The students you just spent the last year with know your style, understand your expectations and classroom rules. You know their personalities, learning styles, quirks, likes, and dislikes. That knowledge base makes …
Via Ana Cristina Pratas
by Maia McCann
"This incredible collection of moments represents the joy, innocence, despair, curiosity, and undying perseverance within all of us. No matter where we’re from, these are the emotions that unite us – it’s what makes us human. We set out to capture this spirit in 60 incredible photographs, and I truly hope you enjoy."
Jim Lerman's insight: Perhaps the title of this article is a little over the top in terms of these being the top 60 photos ever taken, but many of them are great. Great to use as story prompts.
"At first, artist Mica Angela Hendricks didn’t want her four-year-old daughter near her new sketchbook. She is serious about her art, and she knew little Myla would want to scribble all over the pages. Then, her daughter said the words that changed everything.
“If you can’t share, we’ll have to take it away.”
by Stephen Noonoo
"A new project-based learning platform created by ed tech entrepreneur and speaker Adam Bellow is now out for iPad. WeLearnedIt lets teachers assign projects to students and assess them using a number of multimedia features.
by Nikolaos Chatzopoulos
"Google’s advance in the education field has brought to schools around the globe affordable devices and effortless access to educational content. Google’s latest solution for learning is called Google Classroom. Although Google Classroom will be available at the beginning of the school year to all schools that have adopted Google Apps for Education, the Mountain View based company granted access to Google Classroom to a select few individuals in July. I was fortunate enough to be one of these early adopters/testers of Google Classroom, and I can honestly say that I am impressed by its simplicity, and its ability to seamlessly integrate Google Docs, Sheets,Drive, Gmail, and more in order to provide a wonderful and highly productive user experience."
These digital and online tools can help your English language learners build vocabulary and improve their reading abilities while often putting them in control of their own learning.
by Dian Shaffhauser
"As schools struggle to get their heads around the proficiency expectations laid out in the Common Core and other newly revised state standards, perhaps nobody will struggle more than educators working with English language learners (ELLs). After all, ELLs have to build their content knowledge and their language skills simultaneously. On top of that, as it says in a report by nonprofit education consultancy WestEd, "Often, especially if they are recent immigrants, they also have to learn about and adapt to the culture of U.S. schools."
"One way that teachers can optimize their time with their ELLs is through the use of technology. These eight free (and nearly free) digital and online resources encourage students to improve their English by putting them in control of their own learning."
by Charlene Paparizos
"Watch out Tom Hanks, there's a new kid in town.
"His name is Jackson Quinn, but unlike Hanks' character in the classic movie, "Big," he did not have to change size to gain his dream job. The Chagrin Falls Intermediate School sixth grader, 10, simply sent an email to Jaime Casap, Global Education Evangelist for Google.
"I would love to be Google's junior consultant and I think the best way to learn about children and what they like is from a child's perspective," Jackson wrote.
"He obtained Casap's contact information this summer, through Mike Daugherty, the district's technology director. The district is rolling out the next step of its Chromebook program this fall, but Jackson has been using his Google Nexus for about six months, and loves it."
Image is of Quinn in his first Google Hangout with world tech leaders.
An American academic is creating a searchable database of 12 million historic copyright-free images.
Kalev Leetaru has already uploaded 2.6 million pictures to Flickr, which are searchable thanks to tags that have been automatically added.
The photos and drawings are sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation.
The images have been difficult to access until now.
Mr Leetaru said digitisation projects had so far focused on words and ignored pictures.
"For all these years all the libraries have been digitising their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works," he told the BBC.
"They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that.
"Stretching half a millennia, it's amazing to see the total range of images and how the portrayals of things have changed over time.
Click headline to read more--
Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
from the website
"Video editing became popular with the use of video sharing websites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and many more. Everybody is now interested in video editing and trying to edit and compile a video to share on these sites. I have received many emails regarding writing about video blogging and editing tutorials. So in this post i am writing about some popular free online video editors. If you want to make a slide show video of your images, shoot a tutorial or make other small videos for your website or social media like Facebook, YouTube, then these online tools will help you achieve your goals."
by Shelley Terrell
"Throughout my teaching years, I’ve struggled with getting my students or trainees to readily participate. Learners are shy about exposing themselves to peers, especially if they do not know them well. Icebreakers can help alleviate our learners’ hesitation, because they relax the atmosphere, allow learners to share without the pressure of being graded, and help our learners get to know each other. In the slide presentation below I share some digital icebreakers I have used with learners of various ages. Find more in the bookmarks that follow the presentation."
by Katherine Haber
description by SmartBrief on EdTech
"More than half of respondents to a recent SmartBrief on Education poll said they planned to use mobile devices and flipped instruction in the classroom this year, while slightly less said they were using game-based approaches. And, while about 60% said their school would use flipped instruction sporadically, the poll showed that mobile devices would be used regularly by 48.78% of respondents."
by Bill Ferriter
"Just getting back to school with your students? Interested in trying to pull off a classroom blogging project this year?
"Then these three tips — based on almost ten years of trying to make blogging a part of the work that my students do in the classroom — might be useful to you"
by Lisa Nielsen
"A fantastic way for educators, students, or companies to get attention to ideas or product is to contribute a post to a popular blog in your area of interest. However if you do, make sure you do your homework by keeping these tips in mind."
by Matt Bowman
"Tracy Fischetti's high school students improved their reading level scores about three times as much as expected last year, according to the state’s 2013 test scores.
"Of all the English teachers in Florida, she scored the highest on the state's Value Added Measure (VAM). Interestingly, Fischetti had no idea of her distinction until I emailed her in early March. "I am not sure how you would have gotten wind of my classroom chaos in California," she wrote. The metric isn't viewed positively in her district.
"I'm sure many readers' jaws clench at the mention of VAM Scores. I'm going to sidestep that controversy for this post except to note that, inadequate as test scores are for assessing educational quality, they're not a bad starting point to discover promising practices. No matter what you think of VAM, Fischetti and her students have accomplished something impressive, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time she took to share her approach with me.
"There are three practices that Fischetti employs consistently that seem to account for a lot of her success".
by Nancy Boyles
description by MiddleWeb by SmartBrief
"What do students need to succeed in close reading? Literacy consultant Nancy Boyles outlines 10 steps in this MiddleWeb guest article, drawn from her recent Corwin book "Closer Reading: Better Prep, Smarter Lessons, Deeper Comprehension." Boyles, a former teacher and now a professor at Southern Connecticut State University, also includes five questions for teachers to consider before students get started."