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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

3 Ways to Embrace Change This Year


Teachers embracing technology to support the Common Core and new ways of teaching may want to get organized and prepared for some positive changes. Here are 3 ways to get  ready for change in the New Year.







Adopt an Online Learning Platform

Make the most of a blended learning environment by extending the walls of your classroom tp  help students come to class excited and prepared to learn. Use discussions to give quiet students a voice and encourage collaboration. There are plenty of teacher friendly learning platforms available.  Here are two choices I like.

Edmodo

Edmodo is a popular, free and secure social learning platform for teachers and students to collaborate and connect in the 24/7 classroom. The design and functionality of Edmodo is similar to Facebook, but the focus is on teaching and learning within a protected environment. Students don't even need an email account to sign up.




Wikispaces

Wikispaces is a simple yet efficient online tool for the 24/7 classroom. This completely flexible tool  provides teachers with a platform to support project based learning and  develop super skills for the 21st century. The most appealing feature of using Wikispaces for me is the fact that you can easily embed anything into it. And, I love the discussions. Students don't need an email to sign up.




ReDesign Homework

Once you have an online learning platform you can take a break from worksheets and consider designing engaging learning experiences that require students to think deeper. Try one of these digital tools for a change of pace. 


ThingLink

Start with an image. Add multimedia to bring a concept to life. Provide students with a task of challenge. Embed the interactive graphic into Edmodo with the click or a button or easily copy and paste the code into a wiki widget. There are many possibilities, including this simple activity which uses Google Docs to guide the learning and provide accountability.




TeachEm

TeachEm is a free and user friendly digital tool that allows users to capture YouTube content, organize it, and add time stamped flashcards to guide the learning. It's simple, smart and efficient which makes it a good tool for busy teachers interested in implementing a Flipped Classroom instructional model. View this example. 




MentorMob

MentorMob is an efficient and effective tool for curating content and organizing it into learning playlists. MentorMob allows users to interact with live web content right on the page, keeping students on track without getting lost in a stream of open tabs and new pages. As students progress through a playlist at their own pace, MentorMob keeps track of completed steps. Flexibility to move within a playlist is provided by a preview that's always accessible on the side of the screen, allowing users to jump to different steps as needed for  reteaching and challenge. You can copy and paste the embed code into Edmodo or a Wikispaces widget for easy student access, 24/7. Here is a simple example.



Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!


Curate Your Content

With loads of free and user friendly online tools available  it's time to start taking advantage of push button content collection and abandon the idea of using browser bookmarks.

Scoop.It  Collect information about a topic of interest and display it in the form of a visual magazine. The tool integrates instantly with Twitter and Facebook, allowing you to collect and share content with the click of a button.

BagTheWeb Easily create a collection of web links which are conveniently stored and shared online. Use the bookmarklet to collect links with one click, then pop  them into organized bags of content that can be embedded.

Pinterest Create and share boards on any topic, including education. Connected to everything else, collect and share tons of resources quickly. 

Diigo Create bookmarks, highlight text, add sticky notes, share with groups. Install toolbar for full functionality or digolet for quick bookmarking. Slogan: Collect and highlight, then remember.

Take a spin through this MentorMob playlist to try some efficient tools to curate your content.



    Create your own playlists on  MentorMob


    2 comments:

    JM @ ClassLink said...

    This is a great list of tools you've gathered, Susan. It's important to note that these utilized tools create inspiration and spark interest for students. It should be fun and educational and you've given us a great source of that. Thank you for sharing.

    ATadvocate for education said...

    Agree with JM...lots of good tools! Also encourage educators to join a social learning network like edWeb.net. This free community connects like-minded colleagues to share and learn from each other and what's working best for specific applications and subject areas.

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