Professional Learning for Busy Educators
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Professional Learning for Busy Educators
Professional learning in a glance (or two)!
Curated by John Evans
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3 Things I Wish Educators Knew About their Own Learning

3 Things I Wish Educators Knew About their Own Learning | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
I meet many educators around the world, virtually and in person… Many times, I am still amazed at the resistance to new ideas, change and willingness to apply the learning they expect of students to their own learning.

Here are the 3 things, above all, that I wish educators knew about their own learning.
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A Treasure Trove of Interactive Games and Experiments for Science Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

A Treasure Trove of Interactive Games and Experiments for Science Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
The Lawrence Hall of Science is a great educational website from University of California, Berkeley. It provides a wide variety of resources to engage kids and students in learning science.  It also offers ‘a comprehensive set of programs to help increase the quality and quantity of great science learning that kids get both in and out of school.’ As a teacher, you can use The Lawrence Hall of Science to look for activities and experiments to enrich your lesson plans. Use the tabs on the top of the website to easily browse through the materials it has.
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20+ resources for engaging game-based learning

20+ resources for engaging game-based learning | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
As people, we’re fascinated with games. And so are our students.

Bringing games and game aspects into class can help focus and motivate hard-to-reach students. They can provide a structure and “playing field” that students need to wrap their brains around certain tasks and concepts.

Game-based learning takes many forms, from a simple 10-minute review game to a complex system of XP (experience points) that lasts all school year — or beyond!
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Helping Your Students Learn To Reflect On Their Learning - @JackieGerstein 

Helping Your Students Learn To Reflect On Their Learning - @JackieGerstein  | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"At my university, I teach students in an interpersonal communications course. These students are first term college students, a few fresh out of high school. As is my common practice, I end my week of instruction with reflective questions for the students:

What was your significant learning this past week?
What principles for everyday life can you extract from our class activities? (Note: The activities are experiential).
What did you learn or what was reinforced about yourself?
What can you take from the class activities to use in your life outside of class?


I asked the students to get in small groups to discuss these questions.  They got in their groups and just looked at one another with baffled looks on their faces while remaining silent.  I tried rewording the questions and providing examples and still got blank looks when they returned to their group discussions.


I began to get frustrated by their lack of response until a major AHA struck me . . . They are products of a standardized system where they were asked to memorize standardized information and spit that information out on standardized tests. When finished with one unit of information, they were asked to quickly move onto the next unit.  They were not given the time, skills, and opportunities to extract personalized meanings from their studies.  Reflection was not part of their curriculum as it cannot be measured nor tested."

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Integrating Technology and Literacy - @Edutopia

Integrating Technology and Literacy - @Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
When teaching with digital natives in a digital world, one question facing many educators revolves around integrating technology to help facilitate learning: How do you work technology into the pedagogy, instead of just using something cool? That task can be especially daunting in language arts literacy classrooms where reading and writing skill development is the crux of daily lessons. However, as 1:1 technology initiatives roll out, integrating technology into the classroom is our reality.

With hundreds of sites, apps, Chrome extensions, and platforms available, choosing the right ones can seem overwhelming. As an eighth-grade language arts teacher, I've experienced this myself. Following are four tools that can help provide immediate formative assessment data as well as top-of-the-rotation feedback to help students develop personal learning goals.
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Does “Brainstorming” Lead To Innovation?

Does “Brainstorming” Lead To Innovation? | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
I have a confession to make.  I hate meetings.

Maybe that is not entirely true. I hate bad meetings.

You know the ones where you spend a lot of time going round and round in circles, yet seem to accomplish little at the end of the day.  One of those main staples of these meetings has been “brainstorming”.  This process is one that has been heralded in not only meetings, but also for “Design Thinking” (here is a document on the techniques os brainstorming in design thinking from Stanford University, Institute of Design).

So out of sheer curiosity, I googled “brainstorming is bad” to see what I found (not biased at all I know).  Here are a few of the articles that I read with little snippets from each.
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Free Technology for Teachers: Nearly 100 TED-Ed Lessons About Nature

Free Technology for Teachers: Nearly 100 TED-Ed Lessons About Nature | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
In recent weeks I have featured some neat National Geographic videos about cool things in nature like birds that eat dirt and animal migrations in Yellowstone. While those videos are great, they are a bit short. For longer lessons about interesting things in nature, take a look at the TED-ED playlist called Awesome Nature.
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This New Toy Will Let You Build the World Around You

This New Toy Will Let You Build the World Around You | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Google's Data Arts Team came up with a series called "Virtual Art Sessions" that documents the Tilt Brush experience in a way so that people all over the world can see the actual virtual reality experience, even when watching through flat screens.
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4 Practices for Increasing Student Engagement - @Edutopia

4 Practices for Increasing Student Engagement - @Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Student engagement can be tough all year, but spring fever makes it a bit worse as the weather gets warmer and students' minds wander. After 15 years of teaching, I've learned that a teacher cannot rely on any single solution to keep kids focused on learning. There are so many different ways to get students’ attention because there are so many different types of students. However, here are a few ways that have really made a difference in my classes.
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Two Great Websites to Download Free Art Books ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Two Great Websites to Download Free Art Books ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Below are two great websites where you can access and read popular publications in the field of art and humanities. Some of the works provided are even out-of print and some of them are also available for free download but make sure you check the sites Terms of Use to better understand what you can and can’t download. Additionally, both of the websites include a sophisticated search functionality that allows you to easily locate books and other types of publications. Check them out and share with us what you think of them. enjoy
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6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life - Edutopia

6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Imagine that you're a student. Your class has just learned something new. Your teacher asks for someone to share his or her strategy for the problem that you've just solved. You're beginning to feel as though you understand the new concept, and you have a strategy that you could share, but something is holding you back. You're worried that your ideas aren't good enough to be voiced. You want so badly for your teacher and your classmates to know what you know, but the fear of embarrassment keeps you from raising your hand.

Later, you're working in a group with your friends. Everyone else seems to have come to the same conclusion about a number pattern, but you've noticed a point where their reasoning goes wrong. Is it OK to tell your group what you noticed? You've been told that it's disrespectful to argue. How can you explain your thinking in a respectful way that is helpful and not hurtful to your group
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, Today, 12:47 AM
Nonverbal communication signals in your classroom are worth considering.
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Here's How to Teach Yourself Physics and Math

Here's How to Teach Yourself Physics and Math | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Physics and Mathematics are extremely important subjects. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement.

Physics and Mathematics allow us to peer out into the cosmos and understand the inner workings of the universe. At once, they show us our  insignificance and our remarkable potential; they give us a hint of the vast possibilities that exist—of what we could (and may) one day accomplish. They allow us to see the world and to see ourselves anew.

That begins to scratch the surface of these subjects.

No one can deny their importance; however, it is also a fact that many people don’t know where to begin investigating these topics…what books to study, what themes to begin with. On top of this, many feel intimidated by physics and math—they seem to think that they are things which only the sharpest individuals are able to understand.

But nothing could be farther from the truth.

True, these subject areas might not be the easiest that you will ever happen across, but they are far from impossible. So. If you want to be a physicist or a mathematician,  or if you just want to understand the subjects, here’s where to start.

Huge thanks to the wonderful Moinak Banerjee for his work on this.
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What is Mystery Skype? – a 2016 update!

What is Mystery Skype? – a 2016 update! | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
So this post is one of my most popular, viewed by tens of thousands of educators from all over the globe. Since I posted this Microsoft have developed a much better system to search for ‘glob…

Via basil60
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Unite for Literacy

Unite for Literacy | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Unite for Literacy is a social enterprise that provides digital access to picture books, narrated in immigrant and indigenous languages. They are for everyone, for free, forever. We know that literacy is at the core of a healthy community, and so we UNITE with partners to create Picture Book Abundance and enable all families to read with their young children.
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Teach Students about Online Safety with These Excellent Video Tutorials from Google ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Teach Students about Online Safety with These Excellent Video Tutorials from Google ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
The web provides limitless opportunities for learning, creating, sharing, and exploring the depths of human knowledge. But it is also an unsafe arena where one needs to be equipped with the needed tools and know-how to better stay safe and browse the net securely. As parents and teachers, we need to teach our students about the basics of staying safe online and luckily there are several resources to help you do that. Google Safety Centre is one of the best of them.
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Webs of Wonder - Idea Park from @LetsTalk Science

Webs of Wonder - Idea Park from @LetsTalk Science | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Explore our free database of integrated, cross-curricular explorations, investigations and supporting resources (books, videos, songs, etc.). Using an inquiry and problem-solving approach, these STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning experiences are play-based, combine literacy and numeracy and foster children’s skill development.
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A rich problem - @DougPete

A rich problem - @DougPete | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
OK, I don’t do this often but I’m going to share my latest get rich quick scheme.  Everyone can do it and it’s perfectly legal.

I was inspired to share after watching this video yesterday.  It’s a lesson in Mathematics, Business, and Consumer Studies in itself.
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20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students - MindShift

20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students - MindShift | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Students’ behavior is a form of communication and when it’s negative it almost always stems from an underlying cause. There are many reasons kids might be acting out, which makes it difficult for a teacher in a crowded classroom to figure out the root cause. But even if there was time and space to do so, most teachers receive very little training in behavior during their credentialing programs. On average, teacher training programs mandate zero to one classes on behavior and zero to one courses on mental health. Teacher training programs mostly assume that kids in public schools will be “typical,” but that assumption can handicap teachers when they get into real classrooms.
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How to Convert PDF to Word for Free

How to Convert PDF to Word for Free | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
PDF to Word converters are a dime a dozen. We have compiled the 5 best ones you can get for free, for both on- and more secure offline use.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Stan Smith's curator insight, April 27, 6:17 AM
This may come in handy.
Rosemary Tyrrell's curator insight, April 27, 11:18 PM
U
Useful tools. 
 
Le Dong Phuong's curator insight, April 28, 1:41 AM
often needed!
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9 Rules For Digital Citizenship - TeachThought

9 Rules For Digital Citizenship - TeachThought | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Are there ‘rules’ for digital citizenship? And how are the unique from non-digital, ‘local’ citizenship?

These are the questions the fine folks at ISTE tackled in the follow infographic that seeks to clarify ‘norms’ for citizenship in the digital age. We’ve offered a definition for digital citizenship in the past, and this graphic takes that idea and adds general advice for what this might look like in action. ISTE explains,

“Many of the hallmarks of any good citizen–from being respectful and responsible to doing what’s right–are key elements of digital citizenship as well. But students must learn how to apply these tried and true qualities to the realities of the digital age.” While some of the rules may be a bit over-general (7. A good citizen upholds basic human rights…) or curious in topic (6. A good citizen spends and manages money responsibly…), as practical examples of a vague idea, they work well.
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The Daring Librarian: A Shockingly Private Blog Post About Social Media @GwynethJones

The Daring Librarian: A Shockingly Private Blog Post About Social Media @GwynethJones | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Is it shocking that I would use such an obvious click-bait blog post title? Shameless! But this post is all about the difference between sharing what is personal versus private on social media.



Why do people TMI share on Social Media?  Maybe because it's titillating! It's shocking! It's attention-seeking and it's usually a bad idea! 
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6 Wonderful TED Talks for Music Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

6 Wonderful TED Talks for Music Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Back to TED talks  but this time with a collection of wonderful talks curated  primarily for music teachers and, of course, anyone else interested in music.  We started this collection with a talk from by Evelyn Glennie (percussionist and composer) in which she explains the acoustic art of listening and enjoying music. We followed this with a series of talks that are basically musical performances given by some brilliant kids and teenagers. You can also visit TED’s Music section where you can access a wide variety of talks related to music. There is also this playlist called Maestros, if you please…’ featuring 10 talks delivered by some of the most popular maestros in the world.
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Why Facebook Is One Of Your Most Important Job Search Tools

Why Facebook Is One Of Your Most Important Job Search Tools | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"Facebook is a great place to connect with friends (or to procrastinate when you really need to be working on a project), but it can also be a great source for your next job search.

A recent survey of generation Z and millennial students by Adecco Staffing USA found that social media plays a large role in assessing potential employers. While most people think of LinkedIn as the primary social platform for job seekers, Facebook was the most popular because it offers information that will help you find a company that’s the right fit for you, says Amy Glaser, senior vice president, Adecco Staffing USA.

"Sixty-one percent of respondents said that Facebook is the most-used social media platform when researching the culture of potential employers, followed by Glassdoor and Instagram," she says."

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Finland’s fighting inequality with education, and winning. What’s their secret?

Finland’s fighting inequality with education, and winning. What’s their secret? | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Finland has remade its education system to help kids like Lara Osman – born to poor, immigrant parents – grow up to be middle-class success stories.
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 26, 6:18 PM
Education is about leading children in ways that provide them hope and being there for them in the present moment.
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How to Set Any Picture as Background Wallpaper on iPhone & iPad - OSXDaily

How to Set Any Picture as Background Wallpaper on iPhone & iPad - OSXDaily | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
“How do you change the picture on the background?” is one of the more common questions heard from newcomers to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This is all the more true when you took a great picture with the devices camera and you want to set that picture as the wallpaper on the iOS device, or when someone sends you a nice photo that saved to the device from Mail or found with Safari, and now want to set as the background image of your iPhone or iPad.

We’ll show you how to quickly set the background wallpaper on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can choose any picture on your device to use as the wallpaper picture this way.
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GwynethJones's curator insight, April 24, 2:51 PM

Easy is Good!