Posts Tagged 'Curriki'

Easy Screencast Tools: Jing and Vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Curriki Summer of Content 2010“, posted with vodpod
[tweetmeme]This afternoon I spent some time playing with the free versions of Jing (a screencast tool) and Vodpod (a great website for aggregating your favorite online videos and for converting them into formats that can be embedded in your own blog). As a way to test how both services work together, I put together the above video on the Curriki Summer of Content.
If you’re looking for a tool that allows you to easily create and share screencasts via URL, Twitter, Facebook, your classroom blog and more, make sure to visit Jing’s homepage to watch their quick video tutorial. Since I do a number of technology workshops, I plan to use Jing as a tool for creating video tutorials that I can email students in advance that way I can focus on more advanced and interesting topics during face-to-face sessions.
As of today, Jing videos are not directly exportable to blogs. So, if you use the tool with WordPress, make sure to use Vodpod to publish your screencasts easily to your blog!
Happy screencasting! And, don’t forget to apply to the Curriki Summer of Content.



Pay it Forward: Paid Summer Opportunities for Teachers

[tweetmeme]Dear Literacy is Priceless Readers,

I am writing to share a paid summer opportunity that I think you and/or your colleagues and graduate students may be interested in.

As you know, one of the organizations I work with is a non-profit called Curriki. Curriki’s mission is to provide free high quality and open source education resources to teachers and students around the globe regardless of their social and economic circumstances. To give you a sense of Curriki’s impact here are a few stats:

  • Curriki currently has 35,000+ resources that have been contributed by publishers, professional developers and passionate educators. The resources are reviewed by expert teachers as well as the community.
  • The site receives 1.6+ million unique visitors/year from every country on the globe. Our largest user groups are educators in the US, India, Pakistan, South Africa, the UK and increasingly in the Middle East that then go onto using the resources with millions more students year after year.
  • To read stories about Curriki’s user community in the UAE, India, US, Morocco and more, visit the Curriki stories page.

This summer Curriki is providing paid stipends to educators that would like to contribute high quality instructional units to that will then be provided for free to schools in need of instructional resources. If you know of people that would be interested, I would be grateful if you could pass along the opportunity below. Feel free to post the information on Twitter and Facebook as well.



Founder, Bon Education


Share your lessons with the world and get paid with Curriki’s Summer of Content

For the third annual Summer of Content effort, Curriki is soliciting premium content for Grades 6–12 in science, technology, and math, and for content in ELL / ESL for all grades.

Do you have an instructional unit (or units) you’re proud of that you’d like to publish and get paid for? Interested in earning money this summer to develop a new unit that will be shared with a global audience?

This year, the Summer of Content Awards will be granted to student-focused units which include support material for teachers. In other words, we are looking for activities, webquests, worksheets, quizzes, and games that will engage students and help make Curriki a destination for students as well as teachers.

Apply by July 9, 2010. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. To learn more visit:


Images CC via here, here and here.

5 Ways to Keep on Top of OER News

Originally posted on the Curriki blog.

[tweetmeme]As an addendum to 10 Ways to Support OERs via Social Media, I thought it would be nice to write a follow-up post on how to keep up with open education news. If you are a fan of OER or OER curious, here are a few ways to stay “in the know”:

  1. Google alerts – Set Google alerts for terms like “open education,” “open education resources,” and “OER” to have the latest and greatest OER news delivered to your inbox as-it-happens, daily, or weekly.
  2. Twitter search – Search for #OER to see what people are saying about OER now!
  3. Trusted tweeters – Follow OER tweeters like:
    1. @Curriki
    2. @OpenEdNews
    3. @creativecommons
    4. @MITOCW
    5. @OERCommons
    6. @opencontent.
  4. OER bloggers – Add OER blogs to your RSS reader! Here are a few to start with:
    1. Curriki’s blog – FYI we blog about OER content on Mondays and OER news on Fridays!
    2. Open Education News – For an up-to-the minute play-by-play on all things OER, this blog is a must-read!
    3. – Read our review of the site here.
  5. OER Conferences – Digital discussions are great, but what about meeting the people behind the alerts, tweets, and blog posts?! Here are a few upcoming conferences in which OERs will be discussed!
    1. The Global Forum on Technology and Innovation in Teaching and Leading (Dubai, UAE, April 15-17, 2010)
    2. The 8th COMMUNIA Workshop – Education and the Public Domain: The Emergence of a Shared Educational Commons (Istanbul, Turkey, April 19-20, 2010)
    3. University Leadership: Bringing Technology-Enabled Education to Learners of All Ages (Massachusetts (MIT), USA, May 23-26, 2010)
    4. ISTE 2010 (Colorado, USA, Jun 27-30, 2010) – Make sure to check out the Open Source Lab!
    5. Open Ed 2010 –  (Barcelona, Spain, November 2-4, 2010)

Gotta love OER Fridays!



#10Ways to Support the Open Education Movement via Social Media

I just posted the blog below on Curriki. Given the topic, I thought many Literacy is Priceless readers would enjoy it as well. To see the original post, click here.

[tweetmeme]A colleague of mine recently sent me the Mashable post, “#10Ways to Support Charities Through Social Media”. As a follow-up, I thought it would be fun to create a list specific to Open Education Resources (OERs). So, here it goes…

  1. Write a blog post about OERs—If you find a great free and open education resource on sites like CurrikiOER Commonsand Flat World Knowledge, write a short post about it! Teachers are always looking for great free classroom content online that has been endorsed by a fellow educator!
  2. Share OER stories with friends—If you’ve written a blog about OERs, post a link to the entry on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Delicious, or Google Buzz. Or, just post a link to the resource itself. Curriki makes this process easy! Open any resource on Curriki and click on the “Share” button at the top of the page. This will allow you to share the gift of free lessons with your social networks in a click!
  3. Follow OERs on Twitter and Facebook—We tweet @Curriki. To find other OER tweeters, go to Twitter Search and type in #OER. Many OERs have Facebook fan pages as well.
  4. Support OERs on Awareness Hubs—Several websites have popped up to support non-profits in their work. Take a look at Facebook CausesiGive and iSearch to start!
  5. Find Volunteer Opportunities—OERs are always looking for enthusiastic educators to share their knowledge with classrooms around the world. When you visit an OER like CurrikiConnexions or FreeReading, most have explicit information on how you can donate lessons, expertise and time from the comfort of your own classroom or home. Check out the Curriki donate page to start!
  6. Embed an OER Badge on Your Site—Feel good about connecting teachers in need of high quality online content with great OERs by putting a widget or badge on your blog, website, Facebook page and more.
  7. Organize a Tweetup—Meet OER fans offline at events like the upcoming Communia Workshop in Turkey or the ISTE Conference in Denver. Or, create an event in your hometown. For tips on how to organize a successful tweetup, check outMashable’s guide to tweetups.
  8. Talk about your love of OERs on Video—Then post the video on YouTubeVimeo and other online video services. Even though the OER movement is growing stronger by the second, many people don’t know about it. Connect great teachers with great free content. Spread the word about OERs!
  9. Petition for the use and creation of OERs in your School Districts—I am always surprised when I meet with schools districts unaware about OERs (especially the cost savings of OERs!) or districts that don’t allow teachers to put district-created lesson plans online open source (Wouldn’t a teacher in Cambodia benefit from a math resource from your district or county and vise versa?! Were tax dollars used to create that content?! Hmm!). Use tools like Petition Online and Twitition to rally for the use and sharing of OERs within your district and beyond!
  10. Organize an Online Event—Invite your friends to a tweet-a-thon and tell them to tweet great OERs to the world during a specific time period with a hashtags like #OER or #IloveOERs!

Social media is the perfect tool for spreading great ideas. Tell Curriki how you are using social media to support the OER movement by posting a comment on the Curriki blog, this blog or by sending a tweet  to @Curriki.

From one OER fan to another,

Anna Batchelder

Founder, Bon Education


Note: The image above was created by Fred Cavazza and is licensed under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.


It Takes a Village: School / Family Partnerships

I just posted the writing below on the Curriki blog, but given the topic, I suspect it will resonate with LIP readers as well. To see the original post, click here.

image by Enrique Burgos Garcia

[tweetmeme]I am in the middle of conducting comparative research in the UAE about teacher use of and attitudes toward technology in the classroom – looking at teachers across a variety of curriculum systems (British, UAE, Indian, etc.).

Recently, while conducting focus groups with both teachers and principals, I learned that one of the things schools across all systems struggle with is parent engagement. How do you get parents to understand the importance of participating in their children’s education, especially in cases where parents don’t have many formal schooling experiences to draw from? Second, when many parents are offline, but on SMS, how can SMS be used in creative ways help parents learn about and engage with the schools’ curriculum at home in the case where parents simply won’t come to school?

While there are no magic answers to the questions above (although feel free to share recommendations and anecdotes in the comments section of this blog), the Open University has put together a very useful free online course for teachers called, “Parents as Partners” aimed at helping teachers 1) understand why parents do and don’t participate in school initiatives/activities, 2) develop a framework for working with all types of parents, and 3) prepare for the challenges and successes that arise when working in partnership with parents.

If you don’t have time to do the whole course, I recommend thinking about the activity Why work with parents? as a way to help you articulate to parents the variety of reason why they should be involved.

For more research on the topic of parental engagement, check out A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement (Southwest Education Development Laboratory 2002). And, for those educators working with parents that are engaged and online, feel free to share Digital Tools for Homework Help with classroom moms and dads. Make sure to check out the curriculum tab to see a wealth of homework help resources including:

  • Age Appropriate Educational Sites for Kids
  • Internet Search Tips for Finding Homework Help Resources in a Snap
  • Open Education Resources of Note – Free Educational Content that Can be Shared, Mixed and Modified.

To partnerships!




Why the Social Web Can’t Be Ignored

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Garys Social Media Count“, posted with vodpod
[tweetmeme] Recently I came across the above “Living Statistics” flash app on Personalize Media. If you are studying the impact of social media on society in your classroom, this is a wonderful chart to explore and discuss. Make sure to click on the “now,” “+1 day,” “+1 week,” etc. buttons to see how many new blog posts, Facebook members, and tweets have been created around the world in 2010 alone! Thanks to Gary Hayes for sharing such a wonderful app/classroom discussion piece!
For more ideas on how to discuss social media and digital literacy in your classroom or home, take a look at, “MySpace in Democracy” – a wonderful free unit on Curriki by educator Samuel Reed. As the unit description points out:

This 6-8 week unit draws upon social studies, media literacy and inquiry to explore how social networks and media technologies promote and disrupt democratic practices. It is intended for middle grade students (grades 6th-8th).

The unit is organized in 3 major sections: Communication Timeline Inquiry (Week 1-2), First Amendment and Cyber Rights Inquiry / Webquest (Week 3-4) and Free Cyber Speech and Internet Safety Public Service Productions (Week 5-8)

One more blog post to add to the chart above!


Founder, Bon Education



Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it.

I just posted a blog entry on Curriki that I suspect many Literacy is Priceless readers will enjoy as well. To see the original post, visit the Curriki blog.

The movement towards open content reflects a growing shift in the way academics in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed in their courses. Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it. -2010 Horizon Report

[tweetmeme] Open education enthusiasts will be delighted to read the 2010 Horizon Report—an annual document put out by the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative highlighting six emerging technologies/practices likely to enter mainstream education in the coming five years.

This year’s list includes:

  • Mobile computing (next 12 months) – Learning via devices such as smart phones and netbooks
  • Open content (next 12 months) – Think Curriki (i.e. free education resources that people can mix, modify, customize and share)
  • Electronic books (next 2-3 years) – Electronic reading devices à la the Kindle and the Sony Reader
  • Simple augmented reality (next 2-3 years) – Real world images with virtual computer-generated imagery/data overlays (Watch this video to see examples of simple augmented reality.)
  • Gesture-based computing (next 4-5 years) – Devices controlled by your body movements (See video example here)
  • Visual data analysis (next 2-5 years) – A combo of stats, data mining and visualizations to better understand large data sets (For examples of this, take a look at visual complexity.)

The Horizon Report points out that behind these emerging technologies/practices are four trends:

  • The abundance of information available online today is challenging traditional notions of what it means to be educators from keepers of information to coaches and sense-makers.
  • People expect to work and study anywhere and anytime.
  • Technologies are increasingly cloud-based. (For more on cloud-computing, click here.)
  • The work of students is increasingly collaborative and multidisciplinary.

If you have the time, this year’s Horizon Report is a fascinating and practical read filled with examples and further readings on each of the technologies/practices above. Make sure to check out the section on Open Content where you will discover more great OERs such as SmartHistory and FolkSemantic.

Until next week…

Anna Batchelder

Founder, Bon Education


P.S. Curious what emerging technologies were highlighted last year? Check out our 2009 summary of the Horizon Report.


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