Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Give an Old Lesson New Tricks

Diane Krause's blog is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs because of the great things she shares. One of the resources Diane shared yesterday is a wiki called "Googlize a lesson." This wiki, built by Stacie Isenberg, gives suggestions for and examples of updating existing lesson plans to become a more creative and collaborative experience for students.

On the Googlize a Lesson homepage visitors will find two slide shows about using Google products with students. The slide show embedded below is about using Google Docs in the classroom. It's important to note that while this slide show is about Google Docs the concepts also apply to using other collaborative tools like Zoho Writer.

Vizzual Forms - Collect Feedback From Students

Vizzual Forms provides an easy to use tool for creating online forms. The forms can have multiple choice, open ended responses, or a combination of both. The free version of Vizzual Forms only allows ten response fields, but I've found that ten responses is generally as many as I ever need.

Applications for Education
I use online surveys to get a general sense of what my students have learned and the skills or knowledge that they still need to develop. I find that having my students take a brief, anonymous online survey can be useful as a prior knowledge assessment before starting a unit of study. I've also used the same type of survey to determine what content I need to review with or reteach to my students.

Free Stuff for New Teachers

The Discovery Education Network has many good resources for new educators and veteran educators. Visitors will find tutorials/ suggestions for improving teaching practices, lesson plans, and links to blogs about using technology in the classroom.

New Teacher Survival Central on the Discovery Education Network is giving away prizes to new teachers every week. The prizes generally include DVDs or software. In addition to the weekly prizes there is a grand prize that weekly entrants are eligible to win. The grand prize is valued at more than $7000. If you're not a new teacher, don't worry, there is a chance for you to win too. If you refer the grand prize winner you will also win a prize valued at $6500. Click here for more details and to enter the contest.

Picasso Animated

Here is a short (52 seconds) video that puts Picasso's artwork in a slightly different perspective.

Applications for Education
There are two uses for this video that immediately came to mind. First, it could be useful for introducing students to Picasso's work. Second, the video could be used by a media arts/ video editing teacher as a demonstration of transitions and movement with still images.