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Tools, tips and practices to share with teachers
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Teacher Reviewed Educational Apps for 2012 - We Are Teachers

Teacher Reviewed Educational Apps for 2012 - We Are Teachers | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Reviews and best practices from teachers who have used apps.

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Free Technology for Teachers: Convert PDFs to Google Docs to Differentiate Instructional Materials

Free Technology for Teachers: Convert PDFs to Google Docs to Differentiate Instructional Materials | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Recently, we discovered a feature of Google Drive that has changed how we prepare and access materials and resources for our students. As we attempt to make all curricula digital and thus make it available to all students, the idea of using PDFs was always a problem. PDFs are just not editable in most situations, and this was an issue when it came to modifying and differentiating documents. Adobe Acrobat was our “go to” application for this type of conversion, but it was costly and often hard to come by in an educational setting. Note: We still use Adobe Acrobat for complex projects or documents that do not convert well in Google Drive. With the most recent update to Google Drive, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities are better and easier than ever.

Via John Evans
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Critical thinking includes Reflection: 40 questions to reflect on your learning


Via Maree Whiteley
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Maree Whiteley's curator insight, November 13, 2014 2:48 AM

Critical thinking includes reflectiNG on your learning...here are 40 questions via Edutopia

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10 Smart Study Tactics That Support How The Brain Actually Works

10 Smart Study Tactics That Support How The Brain Actually Works | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Here's the problem with what I'm about to tell you: these tactics may may be news to you, but in psychology circles most of them have been around for dec

Via Beth Dichter
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Beth Dichter's curator insight, March 22, 11:25 AM

Do our learners know how to study? Perhaps a better question is do we understand the research that shows successful ways to study have been known for decades, but our current learning environment is not necessarily conducive to these learning habits. T

This post shares ten strategies for studying, as well as providing links to additional resources. It ends with a short discussion on why we may not be seeing these strategies used.
Four strategies are listed below. Click through to the post for additional information.

* Study to learn, not to "know." Knowing means we may know an answer, but not truly understand what is being discussed.

* Imagine you'll be teaching someone else. Research is showing that the expectation that you will need to teach material to others tends to use more effective learning strategies.

* Separate process from progress. Does learning end? Do we make progress but continue in the process?

* Space out your study sessions over time. Brain research shows that cramming is not effective.

There are many insights in this post that you may want to share with your students and colleagues.

Nancy Jones's curator insight, March 23, 1:36 PM

Some good reminders and a great question. Who teaches the kids how to make the optimum use of this information?

Nancy Jones's curator insight, March 23, 1:37 PM

Who is teaching this to our students?  I think that is the question. some great tips and throughtful explanations as well.

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Marshall McLuhan on the Mobile Phone |Peter Benson sees a prophet’s message come to fulfilment through net and cell. Philosophy Now

Marshall McLuhan on the Mobile Phone |Peter Benson sees a prophet’s message come to fulfilment through net and cell. Philosophy Now | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it

Marshall McLuhan never owned a mobile phone. He died in 1980, before such gadgets became widely available. Yet the theories he developed about the effect of communications media on the human psyche can be applied to recent technologies which he could have known nothing about. In fact, in the age of the Internet and the mobile phone, many people are beginning to read McLuhan with renewed interest.

At the time of his death, McLuhan’s reputation was probably at its lowest ebb. The media research centre he founded at Toronto University had been closed down. The period of his popular fame – when he had appeared on TV, given numerous public lectures, and even made a cameo appearance (as himself) in Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall – all this was in the past. Within the academic world there was wide-spread doubt about his theories. Today, however, interest is reviving. His 1964 book Understanding Media has been reprinted by Routledge Classics every year since 2001 (three times in 2008). People are reading McLuhan, and it is not too difficult to understand why.


Via Wildcat2030
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Child Development 101: 8 Key Things to Know About How Kids Learn

Child Development 101: 8 Key Things to Know About How Kids Learn | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Kids develop at different paces, but all kids’ brains develop neural pathways at each stage of development. Here are key things to know about child development.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
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Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
In the mid-1800s, Britain was a global superpower with a big weakness for tea, all of which came from China. But a botanist with a talent for espionage helped Britain swipe the secrets of tea.
Sharrock's insight:
"The task required a plant hunter, a gardener, a thief, a spy. The man Britain needed was Robert Fortune," Rose writes. Fortune was the agent sent to sneak out of China the plants and secrets of tea production. (excerpt) http ://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/03/10/392116370/tea-tuesdays-the-scottish-spy-who-stole-chinas-tea-empire?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20150310
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Pun-Fueled Food Maps

Pun-Fueled Food Maps | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
U.S. Map + Haha + Yum = Foodnited States of America

Via Seth Dixon
Sharrock's insight:

This is fun. Kids need fun. Don't be fooled by the loudest kids complaining about how painful the puns may be. They are enjoying it the most and will be the ones talking about these examples most often and for longer.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 8, 4:33 PM

What can I say?  Horrible puns, crafty maps and gorgeous food presentations...how could I not share this?  You can follow the progress of this on-going project as they add more beautifully silly food map puns to their series under the hashtag #foodnitedstates on Foodiggity's Instagram account.


Tagsart, mapping, food, fun.

Julie Cidell's curator insight, March 9, 10:34 AM

Puns and maps and food all in one place; what's not to love?

zane alan berger's curator insight, March 24, 3:58 PM

This article relating to our agricultural unit boasts a fun way to view all 50 states by showing foods in the shape of a state along with a playful pun.

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Grace Hopper, 'The Queen Of Code,' Would Have Hated That Title

Grace Hopper, 'The Queen Of Code,' Would Have Hated That Title | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Women were responsible for programming early computers, and Hopper led the charge. Later in her career, Hopper helped create a common language that computers could understand. It was called common business oriented language, or COBOL — a programming language still used today.
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New Naperville curriculum gets back to 'ooh, ahh of science' - Chicago Daily Herald

New Naperville curriculum gets back to 'ooh, ahh of science' - Chicago Daily Herald | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Science teachers at Naperville Central and Naperville North high schools are preparing to handle roughly double the number of chemistry students next year as a new science curriculum shifts the class from sophomore to freshman year.
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These twins can teach us a lot about racial identity

These twins can teach us a lot about racial identity | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Maria says she's black and Lucy says she's white. Together, they prove none of this makes sense.

Via Seth Dixon
Sharrock's insight:

This is another issue that high school students can research as part of a presentation about race, class, and social identity. This may be useful in Health classes with a link to resilience while other subjects like social studies (and social studies electives) might facilitate appreciation of the USA's obsession with race and ethnicity --contrary to scientific findings that race is more a political construct than a scientific concept. English/writing courses might explore the concept of identity, of "passing" as straight white male/female in literature, folklore, movies, and can elicit creative responses sharing such experiences in poetry, short stories, art works. 

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Savannah Rains's curator insight, March 24, 2:43 AM

Ethnicity is a man made classification of humans. We are all from the same earth correct? we are all made and born the same way correct? But for some strange reason we felt the need to divide ourselves and make pretend hate and hierarchy between people. This article proves just how weak the titles we put on ourselves are. Twins Lucy and Maria Aylmer were born but to everyone's surprise, one was "black" and one was "white". Does this make them biracial? can they flip flop what they wasn't to be? My personal ties to this article are surprising. I often feel like I am not the ethnicity I am labeled as. Both of my parents are "white" but I am always asked if I am "black" on top of that I have learned that I accept black culture and tastes more then white style. Does this make me a poser? or am I simply the victim of this false labeling we humans do. This article made it clear and fun to explore the ideas of ethnicity in a new light.

Gareth Jukes's curator insight, March 24, 12:57 PM

Cultural differences in attitudes toward gender-

This article explains how to twins do not care about each other's color, but how they are friends and help one another. They are both supportive to one another, and wish the best for eachother.

 

This portrays the idea of cultural differences in attitudes toward gender because both of them do not care what color they are and what gender, therefore, they have identical attitudes toward gender.

zane alan berger's curator insight, March 24, 3:45 PM

This article relating to Unit 3 (culture) headlines a story about twins of different races. In the blog it argues two cases; one being that this proves how far-fetched racial categorization is and the other being that they categorize themselves as black or white

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Your Grandparents Spent More Of Their Money On Food Than You Do

Your Grandparents Spent More Of Their Money On Food Than You Do | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
our spending on food — proportional to our income — has actually declined dramatically since 1960, according to a chart recently published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As the chart shows, the average share of per capita income spent on food declined from 17.5 percent in 1960 to 9.6 percent in 2007. (It has since risen slightly, reaching 9.9 percent in 2013.)
Sharrock's insight:

This might be useful for teachers of Health and Social Studies classes. You can lead a discussion about influences of science and technology on our lives over time. Students can explore this in terms of history, the history of food harvesting and production, economics and disposable income, even politics, especially along the lines of "doom and gloom".

 

As a unit of presentations developed from inquiry-based model, other big topics could be explored along the lines of ethics and morality over time, poverty, war, education, and social class. Restrict the data used. Graphs and charts might be validated or may need to be validated, so school librarians can be collaborated with. The research could result in a major production: school conference the way some organizations meet for conferences on hunger, poverty, new technologies, etc. Or, it could follow the more traditional model of group presentations performed/presented within the class itself. 

 

It's a big production. These projects might be more developmentally appropriate for secondary school students, mainly high school students from 10th grade and up. 

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9 Cool Facts About Magnets

9 Cool Facts About Magnets | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Magnetism is light: Why do magnets stick? Magnets attract each other because they exchange photons, or the particles that make up light. But unlike the photons streaming out of a desk lamp or reflecting off of everything you see around you, these photons are virtual, and your eyes (or any particle detector) can't "see" them. They can, however, exchange momentum, and this is why they stick to things or repel them. When a kid throws a dodge ball, they're exchanging momentum with the ball, and the thrower feels a slight push back. Meanwhile the target person feels the force of the ball, and (maybe) gets knocked over — they are "repelled" from the thrower. With photons, the process can also happen in reverse, as though one kid reached out and grabbed the ball while the other was still hanging on to it, which would look like an attractive force.

Photons are the force carriers not only for magnets but also for electrostatic phenomena like static electricity, and it's why electromagnetism is the term we use for effects produced by these phenomena – including light, which is an electromagnetic wave.
Sharrock's insight:

If I had ever been told that magnetism results from an exchange of photons, I think I would have become a physicist just to better understand this statement:

 

"Magnetism is light: Why do magnets stick? Magnets attract each other because they exchange photons, or the particles that make up light. But unlike the photons streaming out of a desk lamp or reflecting off of everything you see around you, these photons are virtual, and your eyes (or any particle detector) can't "see" them. They can, however, exchange momentum, and this is why they stick to things or repel them. When a kid throws a dodge ball, they're exchanging momentum with the ball, and the thrower feels a slight push back. Meanwhile the target person feels the force of the ball, and (maybe) gets knocked over — they are "repelled" from the thrower. With photons, the process can also happen in reverse, as though one kid reached out and grabbed the ball while the other was still hanging on to it, which would look like an attractive force.

Photons are the force carriers not only for magnets but also for electrostatic phenomena like static electricity, and it's why electromagnetism is the term we use for effects produced by these phenomena – including light, which is an electromagnetic wave."

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Even when test scores go up, some cognitive abilities don’t | MIT News Office

Even when test scores go up, some cognitive abilities don’t | MIT News Office | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it

To evaluate school quality, states require students to take standardized tests; in many cases, passing those tests is necessary to receive a high-school diploma. These high-stakes tests have also been shown to predict students’ future educational attainment and adult employment and income.

Such tests are designed to measure the knowledge and skills that students have acquired in school — what psychologists call “crystallized intelligence.” However, schools whose students have the highest gains on test scores do not produce similar gains in “fluid intelligence” — the ability to analyze abstract problems and think logically — according to a new study from MIT neuroscientists working with education researchers at Harvard University and Brown University.

In a study of nearly 1,400 eighth-graders in the Boston public school system, the researchers found that some schools have successfully raised their students’ scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). However, those schools had almost no effect on students’ performance on tests of fluid intelligence skills, such as working memory capacity, speed of information processing, and ability to solve abstract problems.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Free Technology for Teachers: PicMonkey + Thinglink = Interactive Collages

Free Technology for Teachers: PicMonkey + Thinglink = Interactive Collages | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
A couple of nights ago my friend Joe, a middle school social studies teacher, sent me a Facebook message about creating multimedia collages. My suggestion to Joe was to use PicMonkey and Thinglink. In the video below I demonstrate how to do that.

Via John Evans
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Loops - The iPad animator

Loops - The iPad animator | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it

Loop lets you easily create short hand-drawn animations on your iPad and share them via email, Tumblr and in the Loop gallery.


Via Nik Peachey
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, March 22, 10:06 AM

This looks like a useful free tool for creating short hand drawn animations on the iPad. A great way to illustrate or get students to illustrate meaning and concepts.

GG's curator insight, March 24, 11:39 PM

This could be good!

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Learning needs a context

Learning needs a context | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
“ This is a follow up to a post I wrote, How Do We Learn? How Should We Learn? The purpose of these posts is to encourage educators to examine practices they take for granted, implement without deep reflection of their efficacy. This post discusses the instructional practice of asking students to memorize information. How often have students (ourselves included) been asked to memorize mass amounts of facts – historical dates, vocabulary words, science facts, get tested on them, just to forget almost all those memorized facts a week or two later? Given that is this learning experience is more common than not, why do educators insist on continuing this archaic and ineffective instructional practice?”
Via Edumorfosis, Suvi Salo, Ivon Prefontaine
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 21, 10:09 PM

It does. Enough said.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Statistics Outgrowing Other STEM Fields

Statistics Outgrowing Other STEM Fields | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
A New Social Science? Statistics Outgrowing Other STEM Fields

 

Statistics—the science of learning from data—is the fastest-growing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) undergraduate degree in the United States over the last four years, an analysis of federal government education data conducted by the American Statistical Association (ASA) revealed.

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10 words we've forgotten how to pronounce

10 words we've forgotten how to pronounce | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Chances are you've been saying 'blackguard' wrong — to name but one example
Sharrock's insight:
I'm remembering all the nursery rhymes that didnt rhyme, Star Trek episodes, Moby Dick, and Peter Pan and every time the Chris Claremont Xmen dealt with Irish mutants. Ive been pronouncing so many words wrongly for more than 40 years!
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Better Standardized Testing (Myths and Falsehoods) | Cognitive Rigor to the Core!

Better Standardized Testing (Myths and Falsehoods) | Cognitive Rigor to the Core! | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Argument: Testing doesn't assess everything a child needs to learn!

This argument is a form of the Nirvana fallacy, where an idea is rejected because it doesn't provide a perfect solution to a problem or fails to meet every single criterion for effectiveness. No matter how well a test is designed, it will never capture all of the factors needed for students to succeed. 
Sharrock's insight:

Walkup raises important points that points back to the need for others to evaluate our thinking and actions. We are human, so we can't be perfect. The most obvious of our imperfections is captured by the endless list of fallacies and biases. In the end, only (mostly) the most mentally ill will see herself as the bad guy in her life story. No matter what we do, we have rationales or rationalizations. Even when we're wrong, we can only mostly see our errors in retrospect. (To experience this, try editing your own writing then hand it over to someone else to edit.Then compare the editing suggestions.) 

 

On the other hand, we also need to trust and respect our evaluators. This is something that standardized testing--based on how they are constructed--can provide based on objectivity and sample sizes. And we all believe in testing. "When a calculus teacher assesses her students on Taylor series expansions, she knows fully well that her assessment will fail to capture many of the personal traits needed to be a successful mathematician. Yet, she still assigns the test."

 "Standardized testing is no different. Results of standardized testing are limited to uncovering gaps in basic concepts/skills acquisition. We should acknowledge as such."  

This is better than depending on the opinionated colleague down the hall who finds success certain ways that fits his personality, but doesn't fit well for anyone else. 

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Sharrock's curator insight, March 8, 7:17 PM

Walkup raises important points that points back to the need for others to evaluate our thinking and actions. We are human, so we can't be perfect. The most obvious of our imperfections is captured by the endless list of fallacies and biases. In the end, only (mostly) the most mentally ill will see herself as the bad guy in her life story. No matter what we do, we have rationales or rationalizations. Even when we're wrong, we can only mostly see our errors in retrospect. (To experience this, try editing your own writing then hand it over to someone else to edit.Then compare the editing suggestions.) 

 

On the other hand, we also need to trust and respect our evaluators. This is something that standardized testing--based on how they are constructed--can provide based on objectivity and sample sizes. And we all believe in testing. "When a calculus teacher assesses her students on Taylor series expansions, she knows fully well that her assessment will fail to capture many of the personal traits needed to be a successful mathematician. Yet, she still assigns the test."

 "Standardized testing is no different. Results of standardized testing are limited to uncovering gaps in basic concepts/skills acquisition. We should acknowledge as such."  

This is better than depending on the opinionated colleague down the hall who finds success certain ways that fits his personality, but doesn't fit well for anyone else. 

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The Crime Scene

The Crime Scene | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Maybe, after all, it doesn’t pay to be the world’s biggest jailer.
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Sledding as a Revolutionary Act

Sledding as a Revolutionary Act | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Henry Bacon/Library of Congress "If you are up for a bit of civil disobedience," read the invitation, "meet at the west front of the Capitol lawn at 1:00 today. Come armed with sleds!
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Heroin Overdose Deaths Nearly Quadruple in 13 Years

Heroin Overdose Deaths Nearly Quadruple in 13 Years | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Deaths from heroin overdose increased in all regions of the country, but the biggest rise was seen in the Midwest, where the heroin death rate rose 11-fold between 2000 and 2013. The death rate quadrupled in the Northeast, tripped in the South, and doubled in the West, the CDC report said.
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Field Cameras Catch Deer Eating Birds—Wait, Why Do Deer Eat Birds?

Field Cameras Catch Deer Eating Birds—Wait, Why Do Deer Eat Birds? | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
Deer aren't the slim, graceful vegans we thought they were. Scientists using field cameras have caught deer preying on nestling song birds. And it's not just deer. Herbivores the world over may be supplementing their diets.
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Pastoral Romance

Pastoral Romance | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it

Betty Jo Patton spent her childhood on a 240-acre farm in Mason County, West Virginia, in the 1930s. Her family raised what it ate, from tomatoes to turkeys, pears to pigs. They picked, plucked, slaughtered, butchered, cured, canned, preserved, and rendered. They drew water from a well, cooked on a wood stove, and the bathroom was an outhouse. 

 

Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "I eventually asked Betty Jo what she thought of her granddaughter’s notion of returning to the land. Betty Jo smiled, but was blunt: “Leave it. There’s nothing romantic about it.”

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