Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How to Use RefME to Create Bibliographies

RefME is a nice service that students can use to create bibliographies. The service offers Android, iOS, and browser-based tools to help students save references, organize them into projects, and create bibliographies. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use RefME's browser-based tools.

RefME's mobile apps allow students to scan the barcodes of books and have those books added to their reference projects in their RefME accounts.

WebNotes is Shutting Down

WebNotes is an online bookmarking service that has been around for more than six years. It allowed users to highlight, annotate, clip, and bookmark resources. I thought it was a good service and many others did too. Unfortunately, not enough people thought the same way and now the service is shutting down. On November 1st WebNotes will go offline. If you have been using it, you should export your data now. You can find a guide for that process on the WebNotes transition page.

A few services that offer similar functionality as WebNotes are CiteLighter, RefME, and Diigo.

Interactive Posters on Historical Thinking and Investigation is an excellent source of lesson plans and other materials useful in teaching US History. Visitors to will find resources appropriate for students in elementary school, middle school, and high school. One of my favorite resources from is their historical thinking posters.'s historical thinking posters are interactive displays that guide students through the process of examining and thinking about history. There are two interactive posters available. The poster for elementary school is called Doing History is Like Solving a Mystery. The poster for high school students is called History is an Argument About the Past. Both posters include images of primary sources. Clicking on the images in the posters opens a series of guiding questions.
Screen capture of poster, visit for the
interactive poster. 

Applications for Education
These interactive posters could serve as a good introduction to the research process. What I like about the posters is that they're not focused so much on "how to find things" aspect of research but rather on the process of investigating and digging into what you have found. In other words, these posters could help students ask better questions that then help them search for things they might have otherwise ignored.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Classroom Blog Add-ons - A Playlist of Tutorials

Once you have your basic classroom blog created, you'll probably find that there are some additional features you want to incorporate. You may also find that you want to create back-up copies of blog entries and or change viewing permissions for your classroom blog. All of those topics and more are covered in my playlist of videos called Classroom Blog Add-ons. The playlist is embedded below.

Design Magazine Covers With Canva's New Templates

Canva is an excellent tool for design and creating image collages, flyers, slides, and infographics. I've featured it a handful of times since its initial launch. Most recently I published a video about how to create a collage in Canva. This week Canva released a bunch of new template sets that anyone can use. One of those new template sets is for creating magazine covers.

The magazine cover template set in Canva includes a mix of free and paid templates. There are enough free templates, fonts, and color customizations that most students will never need the paid templates.

Applications for Education
In a social studies class I might have students use the Canva magazine templates to create covers that serve as summaries of the week in news. In that sense they would make covers resembling The Economist or Newsweek.

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