I vividly remember being disappointed during my first year of teaching: my students weren’t nearly as excited about primary source documents as I was. Primary source documents, as you know, offer readers a unique, real-world perspective, and I thought my kids would love delving into them. I soon learned that my disappointing results weren’t due to the documents that I’d selected, but rather how I was having students use them. That first year, they weren’t doing anything but reading them. Today, Web-based tools enable students to discover more primary sources than ever before and engage them in dynamic ways. The following items are some of my favorites.
"Films For Action is a community-powered alternative news center and learning library for people who want to change the world
"At an International Level: Films For Action uses the power of film to raise awareness of important social, environmental, and media-related issues not covered by the mainstream news. Our goal is to provide citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.
Our website has cataloged over 900 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online.
"At the Local Level: On the ground, our City Chapters are working to create alternative media channels that will inform, connect, and inspire action at a community level."
Robin Good: Must-read article on ClutterMuseum.com by Leslie M-B, exploring in depth the opportunity to have students master their selected topics by "curating" them, rather than by reading and memorizing facts about them.
"Critical and creative thinking should be prioritized over remembering content"
"That students should learn to think for themselves may seem like a no-brainer to many readers, but if you look at the textbook packages put out by publishers, you’ll find that the texts and accompanying materials (for both teachers and students) assume students are expected to read and retain content—and then be tested on it.
Instead, between middle school (if not earlier) and college graduation, students should practice—if not master—how to question, critique, research, and construct an argument like an historian."
This is indeed the critical point. Moving education from an effort to memorize things on which then to be tested, to a collaborative exercise in creating new knowledge and value by pulling and editing together individual pieces of content, resources and tools that allow the explanation/illustration of a topic from a specific viewpoint/for a specific need.
And I can't avoid to rejoice and second her next proposition: "What if we shifted the standards’ primary emphasis from content, and not to just the development of traditional skills—basic knowledge recall, document interpretation, research, and essay-writing—but to the cultivation of skills that challenge students to make unconventional connections, skills that are essential for thriving in the 21st century?"
Software development is going mobile, bringing applications to phones, laptops and tablets everywhere. Gartner predicts that by 2015 mobile app development projects will outnumber PC application projects by 4 to 1.Mobile app developers are reaping the benefits of 45 percent year over year employment growth, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Dice.com reported a 100 percent increase in job posting for mobile app developers between 2010 and 2011. Developers with the right mix of skills can find boundless opportunity in the multibillion-dollar mobile app industry. Learn what it takes to become a mobile software developer.
One of the challenges of rolling out Google Docs for all students at our school is in managing all those docs students are turning in. Teachers are experiencing the frustration of cluttered In Boxes taken over by individual messages from students sharing their assignments. Fortunately, I have found an awesome idea from John Miller @162 that utilizes a Google Form as an Assignment Tracker. The idea is innovative, efficient and simple. Here's how John's invention works:
The sharing and commenting features in Google Documents are fantastic for giving students feedback about their work. Likewise, those features are great for students to use for peer editing. But if you want to really add your voice to then you'll want to add the Voice Comments application from Learn.ly to your Google Drive account.
Pam Colburn Harland's insight:
I love this idea. Can't wait to share it with my teachers!
Robin Good: Meetingl is a free video conferencing tool that allows you to meet, talk and chat with up to eight people without having to download, install or configure any software.
Fully browser-based Meetingl works across PCs, Macs and mobile devices, and it is as simple to use as it gets. To start a session you simply click on "New Room" and instantly you are placed in a uniquely numbered room where you can invite your guests. You can share the URL of the meeting room by clicking on the "room number" that will appear on the lower left part of your interface.
You've probably done a Google search before—you may have even done thousands. You may have also used theGoogle News search, Image search, Maps, or Translate. But Google has many, many more services that you can use. In order to use them, you'll first need to sign up for a Google Account.