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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Learn HTML & CSS Through a Free 12 Part Guide

Learn to Code HTML & CSS is a free resource developed by Shay Howe whose resume reveals that he has worked on the user interface for Groupon among other projects. There are twelve text-based lessons for beginners in Learn to Code HTML & CSS. Once you've mastered the beginner lessons you can try your hand at the advanced lessons. The lessons cover everything from building your first web page to building forms and organizing data in tables.

Applications for Education
Using a WYSIWYG platform like Blogger or Google Sites to create a blog or website is more than adequate for most teachers and students. But at some point you might want to beyond the limitations of WYSIWYG. It's then that you'll want know how to write and edit HTML yourself. Learn to Code HTML & CSS could be a good way for you and your students to learn together.

An Easy Way to Download Your Google Data

One of the most common concerns or questions that I hear from educators (often school administrators) about using Google services revolves around the question of "can I get my information out of Google?" The answer is yes. At the Google Takeout site you can create an offline archive of your data. To do so just visit Google Takeout and select the service(s) from which you want to download your data.

Quill - Packs of Interactive Writing Lessons

Quill is a free service that puts a new spin on the old writing worksheets that most of us used in middle school. The service offers more than just the writing practice activities, but that is its core feature. There are three activity categories within Quill. Those activities are Quill Proofreader, Quill Grammar, and Quill Writer.

In Quill Proofreader students are shown students passages that have grammatical errors placed in them. Students have to identify and correct the errors in the passages that they read.

Quill Grammar requires students to complete short exercises in which they finish the construction of sentences by inserting the correct words and or punctuation marks.

In Quill Writer activities students work together to construct sentences from a shared word bank.

Applications for Education
You can assign Quill activities to your students through your teacher dashboard. Once you create an account on Quill you can create a class and distribute assignments. Your class will have a code that your students enter when they sign in to use Quill. After creating your class you can start to browse through the pre-made Activity Packs. Each Activity Pack is labeled according to skill type, grade level, and Common Core standards.

ClassDojo's Big Ideas Teaches Kids About Growth Mindset

ClassDojo has launched a new initiative that they are calling Big Ideas. The purpose of Big Ideas is to introduce students, parents, and teachers to big ideas or trends in education. ClassDojo's Big Ideas does this through the use of videos and accompanying discussion guides.

The first series in ClassDojo's Big Ideas series is all about Growth Mindset. The series will be five episodes in length that follow Mojo (ClassDojo's much loved green monster) and his friend Katie as they explore different aspects of growth mindset. The first video in the series is live now and other episodes will be released on Sunday. The first episode is embedded below.

The ClassDojo team developed the Big Idea video series with guidance from a new partner in Stanford University’s Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS). PERTS is an applied research center that partners with schools, colleges, and other organizations to identify educational practices that improve learning outcomes and to drive the effective adoption of those practices on a large-scale.


Applications for Education
The Big Ideas video series can be used in any K-12 classroom. The discussion guides that accompany each episode are suitable for K-6 students. When you download the discussion guide (PDF) you will also download a sheet of "tear away" questions that you can send home with your students to discuss with their parents.

For resources to use with older students, take a look at Mindset Kit produced by PERTS at Stanford University.