Showing posts with label Langwitches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Langwitches. Show all posts

Monday, September 2, 2013

Now That Your Students Have iPads... Great Advice from Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Yesterday afternoon, I had a long conversation with a friend who is excited about moving into a new school in which all of her students will have iPads. One of the things that we talked about was the challenge of getting teachers to use iPads for more than just "drill and kill" types of activities. To that end, I pointed my friend to Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano's blog where I had just seen her post titled What the iPad Is and What It Isn't. It

In addition to reading What the iPad Is and What It Isn't I recommend looking at Silvia's entire collection of presentations about iPads. If this school year is the first time that your students will have iPads in your classroom, scroll through I have iPads in the Classroom, Now What? You may also find iPads in Education - Examples from the Classroom to be a good source of direction for you and your colleagues.





Friday, February 22, 2013

Spark Your Students' Imaginations With Wonderopolis

Wonderopolis is a fantastic site that I learned about through Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano's current series of blog posts about embedding visuals into teaching and learning. Wonderopolis currently offers nearly 900 "wonder" prompts. The prompts cover topics in science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts. Each of the prompts includes a short article, a video, an image or two, and links to additional readings. Learn more about Wonderopolis in the video below.


Wonderopolis from NCFL on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Wonderopolis could be a great resource to prompt a research lesson or discussion in your classroom. You could include Wonderopolis in a lesson on web research by asking students to pick one of the "wonders" to research in more depth.

Wonderopolis offers an option for teachers and students to submit a "wonder" of their own. You could have your students work together to create a wonder to submit to Wonderopolis. Ask them to create a wonder about something unique to where they live. Perhaps a unique plant, historical landmark, or geographic feature could be the focus of their wonders.

You can put Wonderopolis on your school or classroom blog by using the Wonderopolis daily wonder widget.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Nice Guide to iPad App Evaluation

There are plenty of places to find reviews of iPad apps, but how do you decide which ones are right for you and your students? Silvia Tolisano has some suggestions for you. Silvia recently published a nice guide for evaluating iPad apps. The guide walks you through six themes of the selection process before concluding with a checklist that you can use when it is time to choose apps for your classroom. Click here to read Silvia's full description of the guide. Click here to download the guide as a PDF.


iPad App Evaluation for the Classroom

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vodburner - Free Skype Call Recording

Vodburner is a free service for recording and editing Skype calls. To use Vodburner you need to download and install the free Vodburner software. Vodburner allows you to record any Skype call regardless of duration. When you're finished recording you can edit the call by removing segments and adding transitions. Vodburner recordings can be directly uploaded to YouTube. (Vodburner is a Windows application).

Applications for Education
Skype is a great tool for connecting classrooms to each other and bringing other visitors into your classroom from anywhere in the world. Recording your Skype call allows you to reuse the conversation and information in the call. For some ideas about using Skype in your classroom visit Skype an Author or watch the following video about Silvia Tolisano's Around the World With Skype project.

Around the World with Skype from langwitches on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Skype Introduces Group Calling

Skype enables classrooms around the world to connect with each other. This week Skype announced a new beta version of their product for Windows-based computers that will enable three way, four way, and five way calling. Now Skype allows more than just two classrooms to connect to each other.

It's important to note that Skype's five way calling is a beta product so you might run into some bugs. Skype also reports that five way calling will require a relatively new computer and a fast, uncluttered Internet connection.

Applications for Education
Classrooms participating in programs like Around the World in 80 Schools, could benefit from five way calling in Skype. Now more classrooms can connect in less time. Perhaps in the future we'll see Around the World in 800 Schools.

If Skype isn't an option for you, you may want to explore 3 Ways Other than Skype to Bring Experts Into Class.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How to Track Topics With Google Alerts

On Thursday at the Teacher 2 Teacher conference I introduced a couple of folks to Google Alerts. Those introductions came out of their questions about how I was able to keep track of where Free Technology for Teachers was mentioned online. Then today at the same conference I sat in on Silvia Tolisano's presentation about student blogging in which she told participants about Google Alerts. In both cases we were telling people about Google Alerts so that they can easily track topics online.

Google Alerts is a great tool for tracking your name online, tracking work you've posted online, and tracking the topics in you have an interest. You can create a Google Alert for any search term(s) you like. Once you've established an alert, you can choose to have Google send you an email anytime your chosen terms appear online. Alternatively, you can choose to have your alerts delivered to your Google Reader account.

The image below outlines how to create Google Alerts.
(click to enlarge)











Applications for Education
Google Alerts can be a great way to find resources you can use in your classroom. For example, if you're a mathematics teacher, set up an alert for "mathematics lessons" or "mathematics games" and new content will be delivered to you. In a course that requires students to share current events stories, Google Alerts could be useful for students to track stories on a particular news topic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Awesome Free Guide to Digital Storytelling

Silvia Tolisano, author of the excellent Langwitches blog, has an awesome free ebook about digital storytelling. Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators is a 120 page guide to using digital storytelling tools in your classroom. The guide offers clear directions for using tools like Audacity, Google Maps, Photo Story, VoiceThread, and other digital media creation tools. Silvia's directions are aided by clearly annotated screenshots of each digital storytelling tool.

Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators also provides a good explanation of digital storytelling in general and the benefits of using digital storytelling in your classroom. You can download the ebook for free on Lulu. You can also purchase a paperback copy of the book for $8.50. I think $8.50 is too low of a price because I bet most people would happily pay twice that price.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Langwitches Blogging Unit Available As a Download

Silvia Tolisano writes the great Langwitches blog. In the past she has put together an excellent series of blog posts about digital storytelling. Recently, she has put together a series of blog posts outlining the process of using blogs in the classroom. Today, Silvia posted all eight of the blog posts as one unit available as a download. If you've been considering starting a blog to use with your students, I highly recommend visiting Silvia's blog and downloading the unit about blogging.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stimulate Imagination with Books and Google Maps Combo

A blog post on Langwitches got me thinking about some ways that Google Maps might be used to spark students' imagination about the books they're reading. The author of Langwitches, Silvia Tolisano, has created a map on Google Maps of the books she has read and their corresponding geographic setting (I've embedded that map below). Silvia shared on her blog a link to Book Around the World. Book Around the World, written by Bonnie Jacobs, is a blog about books and their geographic settings. Book Around the World lists book recommendations based on the geographic setting of a book's story.

Applications for Education
Using Google Maps in the manner that Silvia has could be a great way for a literature class to track the books they read throughout the year. With Google Maps' new "explore this area" feature students can quickly find more information about the geographic settings of the stories they read. Students could also add a short summary or review of the books they read right on a Google Map placemark.

Another method of using Google Maps alongside literature is to have students create maps of a character's travels in a story. Students could also create a map of an author's life on a Google Map.


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