Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week in Review - It's Getting Chilly

Good morning from Maine where it feels like we've turned the corner toward winter. Earlier this week I heard a rustling in my bedroom then walked in to find my dog Max curling himself into a blanket. The arrival of cold weather means that we are firmly into the school year.

This week I visited Bismarck, ND and spoke at the Title I and Special Education Conference there. Thank you to all of you who came to my sessions and Tweeted nice things about my presentations.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Create Flashcards from Google Spreadsheets
2. Take a Sneak Peek at Socrative 2.0
3. Money 101 - A Crash Course in Personal Finance
4. Art Babble - Videos and Lessons in Art History
5. The Bill of Rights in 30 Seconds
6. Create and Locate Standards-aligned Video Playlists on OpenEd
7. Five Visual Dictionaries and Thesauri for Students

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IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is organizing two iPad summits this school year.
Metta is a great tool for creating multimedia presentations and quizzes.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Winning Videos from Next Vista's Latest Video Contest

Next Vista for Learning is the first video sharing site that I recommend to teachers looking for alternatives to YouTube. Videos on Next Vista are made by teachers and students for teachers and students. Throughout the school year Next Vista hosts video creation contests for students and teachers. The winners of Next Vista's summer contest were just announced. The winning video from the student, teacher, and collaborative categories are embedded below in that sequence.

Dictionary Bubble - Double Click Words to See Definitions and Synonyms

Dictionary Bubble is a free Chrome extension that provides definitions and synonyms for any word that you double-click in an online article. The extension will also provide an audio pronunciation of the words on which you double-click. If highlighting and or using keyboard commands is more your style, you can customize the extension to response to highlights and keyboard shortcuts.

Applications for Education
Dictionary Bubble could be useful to students who need a little assistance with the definitions and or pronunciations of new words that they encounter in an online reading assignment.

H/T to Addictive Tips

Teacher Librarians at the Heart of Student Learning

Next week I am speaking at the Washington Library Media Association's annual conference in Yakima. I spoke there in 2011 and had a wonderful time with the teacher librarians that I met in my workshops. Craig Seasholes who invited me to the conference recently shared with me a nice video about what teacher librarians mean to students and schools. The video is embedded below. I think it is a good reminder of how important teacher librarians are.

Daniel Russell's Ten Favorite Search Challenges (Today)

Many times over the last few years I have mentioned how Daniel Russell's work has influenced the way that I use Google Search and how I teach others to use it. In fact, his work prompted me to start teaching others how to craft search challenge activities for students (example 1, example 2). This morning on Google+ Daniel Russell posted the slides of his ten favorite search challenges. As he noted in his Google+ post, these are his favorite challenges today and tomorrow they could be different.

Applications for Education
What I love about the search challenges Daniel Russell shares is that they force students to go beyond the basic Google search tools and to really think about their search strategies. The last slide in the slidedeck contains ten things to think about when you are trying to solve a search challenge.

If you haven't seen in before you also may want to take a look at my PDF, Ten Techniques to Make Yourself A Google Search Star.