An award-winning blog by Jeff Goins about writing, marketing, creative business ideas, and making a difference in the world.
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by Terry Heick
"What should every teacher in the 21st century know and be able to do?
"That’s an interesting question. After just now seeing this excellent post on educatorstechnology.com, I thought I’d contribute to the conversation.
"I added the twist of ranking them from least complex to most complex, so novices can start at the bottom, and you veterans out there can skip right to 36."
by Gregory Ciotti
"The mental benefits of writing are numerous; here's the best research that details just how essential writing is for the intelligent mind.
"In these cases, writing has just become another tool for thinking, expression, and encouraging creativity; cabin dwelling novelists be damned.
"So, should people who don’t consider themselves writers bother with trying to make writing a regular habit?
"Writing can be an incredibly useful outlet for many people, but let’s look at some of the research on how writing can affect the mind, and you can make the decision for yourself."
Writing House reviewed by TeachersFirst,
"Creating and formatting bibliographies and citations can be one of the most frustrating barriers students face in doing research, and Writing House will take the pain out of the process. Simply choose the format (MLA, APA, Chicago or Harvard) and enter some information about the source. Writing House searches the OCLC WorldCat for sources that match. Select the source and add it to your bibliography. When you're finished, simply download the completed bibliography. The interface is clean and uncomplicated. There is no need for an account or login. Several brief articles cover the basics of citations and bibliographies. A word counter function is also available for those using a word processor that doesn't do that automatically."
by Bill Boyd
"To Kill a Mockingbird is a great book. It is one of many great books, and it happens to be written by an American. It is one of many great books written in the English language, and it happens to be written by an American, and it happens to be written by a woman. You see, great books are written in many languages, by writers male and female, of many nationalities. One of the key roles of teachers is to introduce young people to great books, at the appropriate times, and in accordance with their developing love of reading and awareness of the world. By now, I hope, you are all nodding in agreement.
"So when an English Education Secretary says that young people are not reading enough, that they are not reading difficult enough books, and that he wants to make sure that they are reading ‘a wide range of texts’, what is there to disagree with? Well quite a lot , actually. Michael Gove’s announced changes to the literature requirement for GCSE English caused more than a little anger this week, with media channels, writers, bloggers and commentators rushing to proclaim that he had ‘banned’ American literature from English schools, including one or two which had become classroom staples for recent generations. (see To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men axed as Gove Orders More Brit Lit)."
from the website
$1 MILLION PRIZE TO THE WINNER
The Global Teacher Prize is an annual one million dollar award from the Varkey GEMS Foundation to be given to a super-special teacher. One innovative and caring teacher who has made an inspirational impact on their students and their community will receive the reward of a lifetime. If you’re a teacher, you can apply today. If you know a teacher who deserves to win the Global Teacher Prize, you can nominate a teacher.
by Samantha Morra
"Creating talking pictures or animations offer amazing possibilities in the classroom. These two apps are so easy to use, students can complete a simple project in a short amount of time or make more complex projects that can lead to collaborative videos, ebooks, or websites. Not only are these apps fun for students, but they also allow them to think, create and demonstrate understanding. "
by Kay Alexander
"Google Education announced another service targeting teachers across the globe. Google Educator Groups (GEG) is a program that wants to support communities of educators, online as well as offline and aiming to help teachers to learn, share, and inspire each other to meet the needs of their students through technology solutions, both in the classroom and beyond.
"Google Educator Groups are essentially personal learning networks (PLN) that use Google+ as its backbone. The local GEGs are organized by volunteers and entirely independent from Google.
"At launch there are 51 GEGs across the world with USA, Romania and the Czech Republic having the most local groups established. GEGs offer different activities to learn and share with like minded educators. Teachers connect online via discussions and Hangouts or in the real world through meetups, workshops and other events."
by Catlin Tucker
"My big realization is that writing shouldn’t be used as simply an assessment tool. Assigning an essay to be completed at home and collected to grade is a missed opportunity for everyone. The student misses out on valuable feedback and support as they write, and teachers collect enormous stacks of paper that must be graded outside of the school day. This old model can be a frustrating and exhausting experience for everyone involved."
We should warn our readers that some of these pictures may upset them, while others may fill them with joy. But that's precisely because these images reflect some of the best and worst parts of the human experience and world events – our suffering and our triumphs, our perseverance and our failures, our compassion and our hatred, our intelligence and our stupidity.
Jim Lerman's insight:
Great story starters or writing prompts.
"Storytelling has been around since the start of Mankind. Storytelling was the basic communicational strategy through which culture, traditions, mores, ways of life and early literature was transmitted from one generation to the other. With the advent of internet and web technologies, storytelling has got some new and wider dimensions. The journey of storytelling from its early beginnings to its actual state is the subject of this wonderful graphic below. It documents the major periods and forms of storytelling that was pervasive during each era. It is really amazing to take a pause and take a look back into history to see how storytelling has evolved to be what it is now. Enjoy"
Via John Evans, Elke Lackner
description by The Scout Project
"Even if you can't make it to Poughkeepsie, you can still benefit from the resources offered by the writing center at Vassar College. On its site, visitors can learn how to become a more creative writer, compose a thesis, and also look over formal academic courses of study. In the Resources for Writers section, visitors will find writing guides, odes to the importance of good sentence structure, and the in-house "journal, The Oak Door. Moving along, the Videos area contains remarks by professors, writing center staff, and others on how writing matters. The site also contains links to external resources from York University, Rio Solado College, and other institutions passionate about the written word."
by Kevan Lee
"The complete beginner's guide to creating a social media marketing plan, for those brand new to social media and looking for a straightforward way to start."
Jim Lerman's insight:
A practical and useful guide put together by the folks at Buffer. Nicely done.
by Kim Hoffman Kanof
"I have graded essays for years. I have tried all the tricks to get through my stacks of essays with speed and precision--setting a timer with a reward, coffee grading, yoga grading, dog park grading, almost tossing papers out of the window grading. But nothing worked to improve my ability to turn around papers quicker. In fact, after receiving my “Walking Dead TV reward” for getting through my allotted stack of essays on a Saturday morning, I suddenly realized: I was a “Grading Zombie,” and my students were “Grade Zombies.”
"I needed to change the tedious and difficult writing process in my classroom. So, I turned to Google tools.
"Google scripts and add-ons to Google Drive drastically changed my approach to giving writing feedback. I have been able to quickly develop meaningful “writers workshops”, give individualized feedback throughout the writing process, and provide timely comments to a large student caseload."
by Dana Huff
"Some of you may remember that I have hosted summer PD reading in the past. I hope to get another summer PD reading book club off the ground this summer. I have narrowed the selections down to three..
- Falling in Love with Close Reading
- Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading
- Fearless Writing: Multigenre to Motivate and Inspire"
Jim Lerman's insight:
Looks like a worthwhile activity for the summer. Vote your choice and sign up on this site (FREE).
by Vicki Davis
"As hall of fame baseball player, Babe Ruth said, “Yesterday’s home runs won’t win tomorrow’s games.” To level up writing, we need to take advantage of the out-of-the park features and capabilities that social media inspired concepts give writing instruction.
"Most of us know how it feels to write an exciting Facebook status update or a powerful tweet. Without delay, we know the impact of our words as they are retweeted, commented on, and liked (or ignored.) With this in mind, it stands to reason that students want a response too. Paper essays that are only seen by the teacher with a wastebasket as their final destiny are a needless waste of time and potential. Writing can be so much more exciting and it isn’t that hard to do.
"Notably, social media is impacting writing in the classroom in ten powerful ways. You don’t have to be on social media (or even like it) to feel the lift social media concepts can give writing in your classroom, as I share in my new book Reinventing Writing released just this month."
by Catlin Tucker
"When asked, “What is the most challenging part of writing an essay?” Most of my students agree, “It’s just getting started that’s hard.” I remember feeling this same way as a student. The blank page was daunting. So, I decided to try a new strategy.
"The first stage of our formal essay on Shakespeare’s play, Othello, was a prewriting activity designed to tap into the collective potential of the class. I wanted students working together to generate ideas and collect textual evidence."
Jim Lerman's comment:
Excellent, and succinct, presentation of a powerful, yet simple, prewriting strategy.
"Life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you."
"The light of the world has grown a little dimmer with the loss of the phenomenal Maya Angelou, but her legacy endures as a luminous beacon of strength, courage, and spiritual beauty. Angelou’s timeless wisdom shines with unparalleled light in a 1977 interview by journalist Judith Rich, found in Conversations with Maya Angelou (public library) — the same magnificent tome that gave us the beloved author’s conversation with Bill Moyers on freedom — in which Angelou explores issues of identity and the meaning of life."
by Emily Short
REVIEWS OF 2 NEW GAMES
"More is a Shufflecomp game, based on a whole big batch of different songs. Structurally it reminded me quite a bit of Tea and Toast: both pieces give the player a task to perform in the foreground while simultaneously providing a slow drip of memories about a lover. It’s a way to get memory and emotion and interpersonal relationships into a parser game where all the main verbs are about picking up and moving objects. Not a trick that would work across the duration of a long game, but for both of these it works fine, I think.
"Cryptophasia is about a baker in a voiceless future space-faring society which dedicates a lot of its time to ASMR (short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos — a whole genre of videos in which people tap things, rustle things, and whisper or speak softly to the viewer in order to trigger a physiological response. Even for people who don’t get the tingling head ASMR response (not everyone does), they’re often very relaxing — which is why it’s possible for a 20-minute video of someone folding towels or tapping fake nails on a wooden box to have hundreds of thousands of views. A few ASMR videos have a plot, but that’s not really the point."
by Greg Kulowiec
"Providing timely and effective feedback on student work is a critical component to any classroom. As students increasingly operate and create in a digital environment, emerging tools provide unique new opportunities for teachers to provide feedback on both written work and video projects."
Jim Lerman's insight:
Excellent collection of tools and strategies.