Posts Tagged 'e-learning'

Shmoop: CliffsNotes with panache!

[tweetmeme]I’ve blogged a bit about Shmoop in the past (see: Essential Web Tools for Teachers and Students and Shmoop will make you a better lover…). Check out why the Shmoop study guides and new Economics section are so great in the screencast below! The tool I used to make the screencast was Screenr–a fabulous, new and EASY tool that lets you record your screen and post videos to Twitter, Facebook, your classroom blog and more in a snap!

Anna (@bon_education)

Vodpod videos no longer available.



How the World’s Best Performing School Systems Come out on Top


Recently I reread the 2007 McKinsey report, How the World’s Best Performing School Systems Come out on Top. Between March 2006 and May 2007, a team of McKinsey researchers and consultants did an intense review and analysis of multi-country PISA results and education best-practices literature. In addition, they conducted 100+ interviews with experts, policymakers and practitioners around the world in order to benchmark 2 dozen school systems throughout the Middle East, North America, Asia and Europe. The goal of the research was, “to understand why the world’s top performing school systems perform so much better than most others and why some educational reforms succeed so spectacularly when most others fail” (p. 11).

The report points out that the best school systems:

  • Get the right people to become teachers
  • Develop them into effective instructors
  • Ensure the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for each child

In case you’re curious, school systems that they consider to fall into this category include at the top: Alberta, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Ontario, Singapore and South Korea.

Reading this made me wonder… What goes on behind the doors of classrooms in Alberta and Finland that is so spectacular? How do these teachers learn their trade? How do they continue learning and improving their art?

Luckily I recently discovered The Global Education Collaborative–an excellent social network that connects teachers and students interested in global education around the world. Think of the possibilities! How about connecting with a classroom in Jamaica to study the water cycle and literacy? Or, why not have your students do a joint wiki history project with students at an international school in Spain!

The world is our classroom! To learning, collaboration, technology literacy and more!


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Once upon a school, one-on-one attention, and 100% inspiration

We can all make our community schools and children within them healthier and happier “one human interaction at a time.” Watch this video and be inspired as you learn what Dave Eggers and thousands of other adults have done across the world to help children in their local neighborhoods learn to love writing (and homework too)!

I found this talk on the website Once Upon a School–a site where you can:

  1. Find an idea to work with a local school
  2. Be inspired by projects happening now
  3. Tell a story about your own projects (that have helped children in your local schools)

Here are some projects ideas for your school and classroom! Take a look, implement an idea and tell the world about it!


PS For more inspiring talks, check out TED:

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

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Free Curricula from England

My friend Li just sent me the link to Curriculum Online. This site is sponsored by the British government. Feel free to search for English and reading lessons and resources here. Make sure that you target your search to free resources ;-).

Here is a sample lesson I found that uses patterned story and picture books as models to help children learn how to write.


Mobile Musings, iPods and Garage Band

While reading through recent community contributions on Free-Reading, I came across a Free-Reading entry by Karen Fasimpaur with links to her blogs. I was particularly impressed by Mobile Musings–A blog that contains many entries one how to incorporate technology (especially mobile technology) into the classroom. Check out her entry “Mini movies for learning sight words.”

For those of you looking for additional easy and fun ways to incorporate technology into the literacy classroom, the Apple Learning Interchange has some awesome ideas! For example, the activity “Reading Fluency with iPods and GarageBand” helps teachers track student fluency progression throughout the school year. Furthermore, by participating in this lesson, students will:

  • “Increase reading fluency level”
  • “Increase reading comprehension and understanding of the story”
  • “Understand music genre”
  • “ESL students will learn how language is used in fluid way”

Thanks Carol Anne McGuire from Imperial Elementary School for sharing this lesson on the Apple Learning Interchange!


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