Every day I read posts about the best tablet for the classroom or the best Learning Management System for schools. I read articles about why Apple is the best thing since sliced bread followed by an article about why Apple is bringing about the end of the world (ok, I might be exaggerating a little). The reality is that we are all unique individuals with different styles and preferences and the is NO SINGLE SOLUTION to anything, especially in the classroom. In some situations the iPad is the way to go. In some, the Google Chromebook fits the bill. In many places BYOD is the best option. There is only one thing in common when it comes to digital solutions for the classroom. There MUST be a digital solution.
Students must have access to modern tools that engage them in learning and allow them to practice and improve the skills they will be using for the rest of their lives (at least the ones we know about). For this to happen, educators must be familiar with a variety of tools that can engage students and facilitate a modern educational experience. Educators must have the support and development required to allow them to facilitate this learning effectively and appropriately.
Although no blog could provide such in-depth training and experience, a blog can expose educators and administrators to a wide variety of tools, allowing them to select the ones that best fit their unique situations. In this post, I will explore five free, amazing and simple to use tools that can help educators transform their classrooms into an interactive experience. My next five posts will focus on each of the tools listed in this article, giving a more in-depth explanation and demonstration of its abilities and possibilities. Each of these tools work well on a variety of devices, so it doesn’t matter if you are an iPad, Chromebook, Android, Windows or BYOD school…..buckle up and get ready!
Padlet – Formerly known as Wallwisher, Padlet has experienced a huge overhaul over the years. Padlet allows a user to create a “wall” which can be shared with anyone in the world. Everyone with access to the wall can add a “sticky note” to the wall. Each sticky note can contain a message, an image, a web link (with a preview of what the link leads to), a video or a file to be shared. People with access to the “wall” can edit it at the same time as opposed to having to wait for someone to log out (think Google Docs). Padlet can be used in the classroom in a variety of ways including:
Popcorn brain storming – an activity where everyone adds ideas on a topic with little restrictions, allowing the ideas to flow. Getting to know you – an activity where students can upload images of themselves (or images that represent them) with information in order to help students and teachers get to know each other at the beginning of the school year.Classroom information gathering – Students can share information resources for projects. I.E. They can create a “wall” for it.Research – Students can gather a variety of resources to support an opinion or argument. Think of it as a new age bibliography.Class discussions – Students can post sticky notes to a wall that adds to classroom discussions. For example, students could provide examples of anti-bullying techniques.
Storybird – Storybird is an amazing online tool that encourages students to think creatively AND collaboratively. A student (or teacher) can begin a story by selecting a specific set of artwork. First, the artwork is added to the pages of the story, THEN the story is written. Stories can be shared with others in order to foster collaboration and peer editing, but it does not have the live peer editing capabilities similar to Google Docs. This could be an amazing experience for younger students (8th grade and below), providing practice at creative writing and collaboration. Educators can organize students into classes and monitor their work. Educators can also assign projects to students through the classroom interface, which is very easy to use. Although stories written by students are not available to the public, each book includes a link which can be shared with anyone. There is no “pay” version of storyboard, but anyone who can access a childs’ book has the option of purchasing a physical copy.
Mindomo – Mindomo is a concept mapping program that works well on all platforms. It is simple to use and can be easily turned into a presentation. Unlike Storybird and Padlet, you need the app on the iPad and Android. The app does not include the live chat feature that is available through the web interface, but unlike most apps for concept maps, the Mindomo app DOES allow the user to create a presentation directly on the device (and it’s easy to do!). The app interface looks almost identical to the web interface, so the educator doesn’t need to be familiar with a variety of layouts in order to help students using Mindomo.
Mindomo allows the user to add objects to individual concepts. The user can add audio, video, images, icons and files to any idea in the concept map. Multiple users can edit a shared concept map live and (except in the app) can use a chat window to discuss the project. The free version of Mindomo allows users to have up to three concept maps. The “education” version consist of 25 licenses with a classroom dashboard for $15 per month.
InfuseLearning - InfuseLearning is an online, multi platform polling and quizzing system. Think of it as Socrativeon steroids. A teacher can log in with their free account, and the students (from any device) can “go” to that classroom and log in with the classroom number (no account necessary). Educators can use InfuseLearning to take attendance, take quick polls during class, preset tests and quizzes and preset their classes. Quiz results can be downloaded or emailed as a spreadsheet.
InfuseLearning allows for a wide variety of question and answer types including: True/False, Multiple Choice, Sorting, Open Ended, Numeric and Scale. There is also a feature which allows students to submit drawings as an answer! Finally, educators can send web links and images directly to the individual devices. There is no app for InfuseLearning, it works well through the web browser on any device.
YouTubeTimeMachine – I have had a blast with this website! YouTubeTimeMachine (YTTM) allows the user to view videos from a wide variety of time periods. For example, do you want your students to watch the JFK Nixon debate from 1960? It’s there! YTTM even has the first sound ever recorded on file. Searchers in YTTM can run searches by keywords and can filter via type of information. For example, if you wanted to find videos from World War II, you can run a search, but turn off the categories of commercials, sports, video games etc… and focus on television and movies. This would be a great tool for anyone teaching Language Arts, History, Social Studies or Science. If you are thinking, “YouTube is blocked at my school, so this doesn’t matter to me.” think again. The address for YTTM is yttm.tv, so you may want to try it out.
Aren’t web 2.0 tools fun?! If you can think of an amazing web 2.0 tool that is multi-device friendly and easy to use, please feel free to let me know and I’ll make sure it gets added to my website.
"The World Language OER team is seeking OERs that provide opportunities for teachers and learners to address each of the Maine Learning Results through: 1) vocabulary and grammar practice in writing, reading, speaking and listening activities, 2) authentic language experiences including collaboration between teachers, learners, and native speakers 3) exposure to native speakers and culture 4) technology sites that would assist in world language teaching
... This site was developed as part of a federally funded grant to identify open educational resources for World Language teachers in Maine. The phases of the grant are from April 2010-June 2011." - from the source
NOTE: While this resources is targeted to the Education community, keep in mind that most corporations and even government agencies are engaged globally. Therefore, there are resources linked here that not only assist people with language skills: speaking, reading, and writing, but also emphasize exposure and understanding the culture of the native or source communities.
On 20th September, the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol is hosting a one-day conference on teaching and learning languages through the use of online open educational resources (OERs). I am lucky to have been invited as a keynote speaker to this event and I’m really looking forward to attending and sharing my experiences of how language teachers have engaged with OERs and the benefits associated with doing so. Open educational practice is becoming a more familiar part of our work as teachers, and yet risks, challenges and questions remain. I hope to encourage attendees to consider and reconsider where they stand in relation to OERs and OEP – and to be challenged myself in turn (despite being a self-confessed OER-evangelist)!
The event will include presentations on important work by language educators experimenting with open educational practice which I’m sure will stimulate lots of discussion and encourage further innovation in language teaching and learning. It is going to be a fantastic day – and I hope to see you there! http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/birtha/events/open/
The OU is known for its 'openness' and in the past few years that has extended to research and practice in an new area with the Open tag - Open Educational Resources (OER).
Five OER projects based at the OU are reporting activity and challenges at this event.
* OLNET with an international focus supported by the William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation * B2S (Bridge to Success) an OU-led initiative that takes OU 'Openings' content to targeted US students * SCORE the Support Centre for Open Resources in Education, a national role initiative funded by HEFCE * ORIOLE (Open Resources: Influence on Learners and Educators) funded through a HEA National Teaching Fellowship. * The OpenEd Project - a project to deliver open courses.
The event will be video recorded and also streamed live and available publicly (so not only as replay on the internet as for most events)
Here are some highlights, inspirational moments and ideas from OER15 conference keynotes.
Cable Green called for a movement towards open as default; all publicly funded education and research resources should be openly licensed and available in the public domain. He argued that our ultimate goal should be to transform teaching and learning by moving beyond content-related issues and focusing on the practices of educators that can be achieved with a shift to open resources, i.e. “open practice” / “open pedagogy”.
La tecnología ubícua permite a los individuos aprender allí donde estén, y contar para ello con los componentes de su entorno social. Esta es la idea que se mantiene como tema de fondo en el presente trabajo. El objetivo es abordar la calidad centrada en el aprendizaje en los entornos apoyados con tecnología móvil: Suministrar elementos de referencia para el diseño instruccional y para los usuarios.
The web is a powerful resource that can easily help you learn new skills. You just have to know where to look. Sure, you can use Google, Yahoo, or Bing to search for sites where you can learn new skills, but I figured I’d save you some time. Here are the top 40 sites I have personally used over the last few years when I want to learn something new.Hack a Day - Hack a Day serves up fresh hacks (short tutorials) every day from around the web and one in-depth ‘How-To hack’ guide each week.eHow - eHow is an online community dedicated to providing visitors the ability to research, share, and discuss solutions and tips for completing day-to-day tasks and projects.Wired How-To Wiki - Collaborate with Wired editors and help them build their extensive library of projects, hacks, tricks and tips. Browse through hundreds how-to articles and then add to them, or start a new one.MAKE Magazine - Brings the do-it-yourself (DIY) mindset to all of the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with cool DIY projects that help you make the most of the technology you already own.50 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do - While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do. It’s a great starting point to learn new skills.wikiHow - A user based collaboration to build and share the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual.Lifehacker - An award-winning daily blog that features tips, shortcuts, and downloads that help you get things done smarter and more efficiently.100+ Google Tricks That Will Save You Time - Today, knowing how to use Google effectively is a vital skill. This list links out to enough Google related resources to make you an elite Google hacker.Instructables - Similar to MAKE, Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others as the tackle new projects and learn new skills.Merriam-Webster Online - In this digital age, your ability to communicate with written English is paramount skill. And M-W.com is the perfect resource to improve your English now.Lumosity - Learn to improve your memory by playing a series of fun and educational brain training games.100 Skills Every Man Should Know - Another compilation article with instructions to help you learn new skills. This one says it’s geared for men, but I think most of these skills are applicable to women as well.5min Life Videopedia - Lot’s of great tutorials and DIY videos.HowStuffWorks - Knowledge is power. While this site isn’t exactly geared to help you learn new skills, it contains so much useful information that you’re bound to learn a skill or two while you browse.StumbleUpon - A collective set of recommendations from thousands of hours of searching by web users who share your interests. It’s basically a recommendation engine. Users add to this engine by providing their personal recommendations on what sites are worth your time. If you select topics and tags of interest like ‘Self-Improvement‘ and ‘DIY,’ you’ll be learning new skills in no time.Work.com - An extensive directory of how-to guides for beginning entrepreneurs.Howcast - Hosts professional how-to videos as well as how-to wiki tutorials. Howcast combines user ideas with the expertise of professional studio video to deliver what is nothing short of amazing, informative content.VideoJug - The video content on this site covers a variety of topics including informative ‘How To’ and ‘Ask The Expert’ films that guide you step-by-step through everything and anything in life.MakeUseOf - A booming daily blog that features cool websites, computer tips, and downloads that make you more productive. Lot’s of insightful tips and tricks to learn.WonderHowTo - This site is focused on one clear organizing principle: aggregating and linking to truly great, free how-to videos from which you can learn new skills.SuTree - Another useful aggregator of how-to videos from all around the web.Zen Habits - The ultimate productivity and self-improvement blog. Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, and find happiness. Lot’s of learning material here.Academic Earth - Online degrees and video courses from leading universities.About.com Videos - Another solid collection of how-to video tutorials.PCWorld How-To - Lot’s of useful tutorials and guides related to fixing and modifying computers and other electronic gadgets.Spreeder - This site is focused on teaching you one new skill: speed reading. And it does a great job of doing so.Woopid - Watch free technology training videos. Get help and answer your computer and gadget questions with thousands of video tutorials for PCs, Macs, and various software applications.DIY Network - A go-to destination for rip-up, knock-out home improvement projects. The site offers expert answers the most sought-after questions regarding creative projects for DIY enthusiasts.Scitable - A free science library and personal learning tool that currently concentrates on genetics, the study of evolution, variation, and the rich complexity of living organisms. The site also expects to expand into other topics of learning and education.All Recipes - A complete guide to recipes and cooking tips. If you’d like to learn to be a better cook, this site is for you.43 Folders - This site is more about inspiring you to follow-through with your goals than it is about learning new skills. But I think following-through with your goals is a skill. Most people never quite get there.Dumb Little Man - Another awesome productivity and self-improvement blog hosting lots of useful information.iTunes U - Hundreds of universities — including Stanford, Yale and MIT — distribute lectures, slide shows, PDFs, films, exhibit tours and audio books through iTunes U. The Science section alone contains content on topics including agriculture, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, ecology and geography.American Sign Language Browser - Teach yourself sign language online.BBC Languages - Teach yourself a new spoken language online.Delicious Popular DIY - Lots of popular DIY articles bookmarked by users from all over the web.Khan Academy - Over 1200 videos lessons covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance. Lot’s of educational material to help you learn new skills.The Happiness Project - Learn the skills necessary to create happiness in your life.How To Do Things - Another solid collection of how-to tutorials.ShowMeDo - A peer-produced video-tutorials and screencasts site for free and open-source software. The large majority are free to watch and download.
14 Open Resources For High School (19 Open Resources For High School By Category http://t.co/8VW4uK4R via @teachthought #NKLearning)
“14 Open Resources For High School” by Tom Vander Ark and Sarah Cargill originally appeared on gettingsmart.com
Last week Secretary Duncan said it was time to dump the heavy, expensive books students lug around in their backpacks. We agree, it’s time to shift to digital. High-quality open educational resources (OER) help make the case.
Digital learning advocate and co-founder of two online high schools, Robyn Bagley, recently asked, “What are some good open high school courses?” We compiled 14 open resources.
Science and Mathematics
CK12.org is a pioneer in open resources providing secondary math and science Flexbooks includingFlexmath content originally developed at Leadership Public Schools.National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) provides an online library of OER high school and AP courses at HippoCampus.org. You’ll find solid courseware available in modules with voice over text. It is easy to create media playlists, find track high-trending learning materials, and share learning content with students.Find their next gen content at NROCmath.org including a great Hewlett Foundation-funded open Algebra 1 course and a developmental math sequence.Educurious is Gates-funded OER and project-based learning (PBL) curriculum designed to align with Common Core State Standards.Khan Academy has a library of more than 3,000 math, science, history lesson delivered in easy-to-understand videos.
Comprehensive Modular Resources
The Gateway to 21st Century Skills is one of the oldest repositories of education resources online, providing a variety of activities, lessons plans, projects, and assessments.Curriki.org is a big library of shared courses and content.OERcommons.org offers free-to-use teaching and learning content and a long list ofcontent providers.
Gooru Learning curates the Web’s best resources, compiling them into collections and attaching quizzes.Power My Learning provides math, Language Arts, science, social studies, art/music, computer programing, and more educational activities for parents and teachers.
Big History Project is a Gates-funded thematic interdisciplinary project.Muzzylane transforms history into a game.
Mostly Higher Education
Connexions provides a platform for learning modules and content creation that can be compiled into courses, books, reports, and more.Open Courseware Consortium provides free and open college- and university-level educational materials online, anytime.The Saylor Foundation provides free and open college-level courses to students without registrations or fees. Several districts are using Saylor.org courses in high school. Watch for more Common Core aligned resources.
Additional Free Resources
Google in Education and Google Course Builder provide great professional dvelopment and learning resources for educators to create and collaborate in the classroom.iTunesU has tons of mostly post-sec content.YouTube EDU has more than 1,000 educational channels.PBS LearningMedia provides tens of thousands of digital resources for educators and is especially valuable to the flipped classroom.National Geographic has a longstanding reputation of supporting learning with valuable multimedia resources for any classroom.
Go to the original article to access the links...-->
My paper on "Developing and integrating teacher competences in language acquisition, pedagogy and technology." (Actes du colloque FICEL sur l'évolution et professionalisation des enseignants de langues)
The paper discusses key competences required for teaching languages with technology, and concludes with examples of projects combining research, pedagogy and technology including:
"the EU lifelong learning project iTILT, Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching (Whyte, Cutrim Schmid & van Hazebrouck, 2011). In this project, language researchers and teacher trainers offer professional development in the use of the interactive whiteboard (IWB) to practising language teachers with learners at all levels. After initial training, class sessions at the board are filmed, and followed by debriefing sessions with both teachers and learners. Short video clips of selected lesson episodes are then presented on the project website together with lesson plans, lesson files, and teacher and learner commentary to aid other teachers in using the IWB for language teaching. The project website also includes a variety of related resources and dissemination tools, and as teacher training and data collection proceed, the project partners inform their networks of developments via blogs and social media. Thus teaching, training and research are closely interrelated as the project teachers develop their digital and pedagogical skills, the researchers observe classroom interaction and teacher development, and trainers create resources for future professional development using feedback from the project teachers."
The iTILT website (http://itilt.eu) will soon go live, allowing language teachers and teacher educators access to this free open educational resource on the interactive whiteboard (IWB) in communicative language teaching.
Increasingly, educators are turning to Open Educational Resources (OERs) as teaching tools. OERs are free publicly available educational resources that anyone can copy, use, adapt, and re-share. Numerous OERs exist for teachers, but ever wondered if you could create your own? Do-it-yourself OER is n
There is a general consensus that open data is becoming an invaluable resource for the research and scientific communities, as it supports and encourages more transparent research practices, supports scientific development and reproducibility, and it can be a model of good and open research practices in academia. More and more research funding agencies and academic publishers support and even mandate data sharing. For example, papers based on research funded in whole or in part by RCUK must include, if applicable, a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed. - See more at: http://education.okfn.org/the-21st-centurys-raw-material-using-open-data-as-open-educational-resources/#sthash.mwSSJE1N.dpuf
Sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), this one-of-a-kind book demonstrates the best tools, resources, and techniques for discovering, selecting, and integrating interactive open educational resources (OERs) into the teaching and learning process. The author examines many of the best repositories and digital library websites for finding high quality materials, explaining in depth the best practices for effectively searching these repositories and the various methods for evaluating, selecting, and integrating the resources into the instructor’s curriculum and course assignments, as well as the institution’s learning management system.
Explore this educator's guide to open educational resources (OER) for information about online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, and open alternatives to textbooks.
Eliademy started with a mission to democratize education with technology. How do you democratize education on a global scale? There are multiple paths that one can take but some basics need to be there. One of them is the availability…
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