Archive for April, 2009

Using Twitter in and out of the Classroom

At the moment, I am working with Curriki on a number of open education initiatives in the Middle East and abroad. Today a post went live on the Curriki blog that I think many Literacy is Priceless readers will find of interest–a post regarding the use of Twitter in and out of the classroom. To see the original post, click here. I’ve also pasted a copy of the post below.

I would love to hear your thoughts about using Twitter for within the classroom. Feel free to share your comments here or on the Curriki blog!

Anna  (@Bon_Education)

P.S. Thanks to @moriza for inspiring my recent interest in using Twitter in the classroom!

Using Twitter in and out of the Classroom

Recently there has been a surge of interest around the use of Twitter and other social media tools in the classroom. As this article points out, educators are increasingly experimenting with Twitter as a teaching tool in and out of the classroom to share resources, increase communication and prepare their students with skills for the 21st century workplace.

For Curriki members that have heard of Twitter, but don’t quite know what it is… Wikipedia states:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers).

As you explore ways to effectively use Twitter for educational purposes, take a look at this presentation by Tom Barrett titled, “Twenty-Two Interesting Ways to use Twitter in the Classroom”. For example:

  • Idea #1: Student can use Twitter to gather real world data up-to-date data by posting questions to fellow tweeters about location, historical facts, temperature, etc.
  • Idea #3: Students can use Twitter to summarize their opinions or topics they’ve learned in class.
  • Idea #10: “Word Morph”. Students can use Twitter to ask peers for synonyms and other word-related information.
  • Idea #17: Students can use Twitter to communicate with experts.

As you explore the use of Twitter in your classroom, we welcome you to post your lessons and ideas on Curriki. In addition, feel free to follow our tweets here. Curriki uses Twitter to share information about education technology, to highlight resources contributed by the Curriki community and to connect and solicit feedback and ideas. See you on Twitter!

@Curriki

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WebQuests: Take your students to far off lands with the click of a few buttons

WebQuests are a wonderful way to build your students’ critical background knowledge, reading and technology literacy skills. As stated by Wikipedia, “A WebQuest is a learning activity used by educators. During this activity learners read, analyze, and synthesize information using the World Wide Web”.

To learn more about finding, creating and sharing WebQuests, I highly recommend that you visit WebQuest.org. If you are interested in the research that supports using WebQuests in the classroom, click here.

Using the “Find a WebQuest” feature on WebQuest.org, I found these WebQuests about my favorite topics:

If you find other WebQuests of note, please feel free to share them here!

Happy Questing!

Anna

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Open Education Resources and Links (Re: Dubai ISTE Conference Links)

Tomorrow I will give a presentation on “Open and Collaboratively Developed Education Resources” at the 2009 Gobal Forum on Innovation and Technology in Teaching and Leading in Dubai. So that presentation attendees don’t have to take copious notes (and so that others can benefit as well), I’ve decided to post links from my presentation here!

Just in case you’re wondering what open education resources (OERs) areWikipedia defines OERs as “educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use and under some licenses to re-mix, improve and redistribute.” I like to think of OERs like a delicious cookie recipe–Sara passes her recipe to Michiko. Michiko decides to add dark chocolate chips to the recipe and passes the recipe along to several people over the Internet. Mustafa gets a hold of the recipe and decides it would benefit from some rock salt and an egg yolk. He then posts the recipe for others to see… and so on! Just replace the cookie recipe with a lesson plan, an educational video or a collaboratively developed unit or other resource and you’ve got yourself an OER!

There are several fabulous OER projects that are 100% worth checking out if you are looking for lessons, eager to share resources or interested in collaborating on education projects with people around the globe:

  • FreeReading–a K-3 open source literacy curricula program and community
  • Curriki–a community of educators that share K-12 multilingual OERs with people across the globe
  • MIT Open Courseware–with over 1000 free college courses online, this one is NOT to be missed
  • Open Learning Initiative–sponsored by Carnegie Mellon, take a look at the site’s tutors, virtual labs, intro courses and more!
  • Connexions–Based out of Rice University, the site contains content in the areas of arts, business, humanities, math and tech and social sciences
  • CK-12–if you are look for free full textbooks, this site is a must-bookmark!
  • OER Commons–more wonderful K-12 and higher ed OERs! Do a search for OERs and you’ll find a ton of useful background information on using and finding OERs

Finally, if you are interested in finding teachers to collaborate with on OERs or other cross-border initiatives, make sure to spend some time on:

  • The Global Education Collaborative–“a community of teachers interested in global education”
  • ePals–connect with thousands of teachers and students around the world on collaborative education and volunteer projects
  • Curriki groups–create or find a group that interests you and start building and exchanging OERs

Enjoy,

Anna

PS Don’t forget to think about copyrights when you use and post OERs! To find a flexible license for your intellectual property, take a look at the Creative Commons!

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Literacy and Learning Resources by Theme and Grade Level

While we all wish we had more time to find the perfect Internet resources and audiovisuals for our lessons… The reality is, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do so! Luckily, the eMints National Center, has put together a wonderful website with themed Internet resources by grade level here! Many of the resources are even linked to state standards to boot! Woohoo!

Looking for first grade-friendly Earth Day materials? (Click here.)

Is your third grade class studying barn owls? (Click here.)

How about 6th grade materials on Ancient Rome? (Click here.)

If you have a themed unit coming up, eMint’s eThemes resources is a must-check! Search the resources alphabetically by theme, by grade-level, or via search!

Let Literacy is Priceless know if you find a particular themed resource worth shouting about!

Sincerely,

Anna

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Helpful Resources for Finding and Creating Classroom Blogs

Creating a classroom blog is a wonderful way to help your students develop their reading, writing and technology literacy skills. As an education consultant and trainer based in the Middle East, I work with teachers both locally and abroad to develop and incorporate technology tools into the classroom. Below is a document I put together this afternoon for a training session I am delivering next month. Feel free to use the document and share it with friends! I welcome you to share links to your own classroom blogs in the comments section of this post! To view the original document I posted on Scribd, click here.

Cheers,

Anna

P.S. To view a large size copy of the handout below, click the gray/white box on the upper right-hand corner of the Scribd toolbar. When you mouse over the gray/white box you should read “toggle full screen.” Click that!

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