Thursday, July 7, 2016 Adds Folders for Sharing Resources With Colleagues

Wizer is a neat tool for creating a variety of interactive assignments including writing assignments, multiple choice quizzes, and labeling assignments. You can distribute your Wizer activities to your students through Google Classroom or through the use of a link and pin system. Back in February I published a video about how to use Wizer.

This week Wizer added a feature that teachers have frequently requested. That feature is the option to share resources in folders. To create a shared folder first sign into your Wizer account then select the "new folder" button. Select a few resources or activities to add to your new folder. When you're ready to share your folder just click "add members" and enter the email addresses of your colleagues.

Watch the video embedded below to learn more about creating activities in Wizer.

Must Read Educational Sites for Summer

This is a guest post from Jennifer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher - an advertiser on this site.

There are a lot of resources on the web for educators, and it can be challenging to sort through all of that information to find those hidden gems. Here are a few of the websites and blogs that I recommend to educators looking to get started. Some are on the general topic of education while others focus on specific themes or topics. Check out this list and add your own in the comments below!

General Education Topics

Edutopia - Edutopia was founded by the George Lucas Education Foundation to provide a place to share evidence-based practices and programs that help students learn. They cover topics from professional development to digital citizenship initiatives.

EdWeek - Education Week covers topics in education around the country, including public, charter, and independent schools. They report on current events, publish articles, and touch on pedagogical practice. Some parts of EdWeek are free but note that others are paid.

Huffington Post Education - The Huffington Post Education section includes a curated list of stories and blog posts on education. They may cover school policies, digital equity, or teacher pay disparities. This is a great resource for educators who want to keep the pulse of topics in education.

NPR Education - National Public Radio reports on education topics at the national, state, and local level. Always a great resource, NPR reports on topics such as chronic absenteeism or violence in schools.

MindShift KQED - MindShift focuses on innovative practices in teaching and learning. They cover both theory and practice in a way that is both academically sophisticated and accessible in short bites.

Educational Technology

Free Technology for Teachers - Of course, read this blog! Richard posts several times a day, so you will get something new practically every time you visit his site.

EdTechTeacher Blog - The EdTechTeacher instructors bring a combination of classroom experience, edtech expertise, and research to their workshops and their blog. Each week, one of the instructors offers technical advice, pedagogical ideas, or research-based evidence for you to take back into your classroom. From iPads and Chromebooks to Design Thinking and PBL, they regularly share new content.

Hybrid Pedagogy - Hybrid Pedagogy is an online, peer-reviewed journal that delves into educational technology. This is a truly academic resource for the new hybrid learning landscape.

Teacher Blogs and Websites

Jose Vilson - Jose Vilson writes from the perspective of being a teacher of color at a school with underprivileged children of color. He covers important topics in public education today - educational access, poverty, social justice, and more.

Cool Cat Teacher - Vicki Davis has been blogging for years about her experiences in the classroom. She is a great resource to learn more about educational practice, but even more valuable is her perspective on being in the classroom: bonding with students, burnout, struggles with parents, or just emotional and physical exhaustion.

Luis Perez - Luis Perez focuses on making education more accessible for those with learning differences. He is a great resource for special education teachers.

Meghan Zigmond - Meghan is an elementary school teacher whose blog primarily focuses on iPads, but there are a lot of tools that you can employ with different tools.

This is a very short list of the resources I use on a regular basis. There are many others out there. I encourage you to explore educational topics online, share them (on your own blog or via twitter), and post your suggestions in the comments below!

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Free Activity Book from NOAA

Discover Your World is a free activity book produced by NOAA. The book is available as to download as a complete package in one PDF or you can download it in three separate sections. The sections are titled Explore the Earth, Understand the Earth, and Protect the Earth. In total the book has 43 activities appropriate for most K-12 classrooms but the majority of the activities seem to be most appropriate for grades four through eight.

Applications for Education
The activities in Discover Your World are hands-on activities designed to help students learn about topics in meteorology and climatology. A few of the activities that I like include reading nautical charts, building a barometer, and being a weather reporter.

Note, the NOAA Celebrates 200 Years website is no longer being updated but the resources on the site are still available to download for free. 

How Fireworks Work

Fireworks are popping around my little town of Woodstock, Maine this evening. To my dogs the sounds of fireworks are the sounds of the sky falling. The upside of hearing the amateur fireworks displays is that it reminded me of a couple of videos about the science of fireworks.

If you or your children are wondering how the fireworks actually work, take a look at the following videos from National Geographic and Discovery News.

Both of these videos could be the basis of a flipped science lesson. In this post I provided an overview of how to use five services to create flipped video lessons.

How to Enable Automatic Grading in Google Forms

The new automatic grading function in Google Forms seems to be a hit with many readers. I've received a bunch of questions about it in the last week. To answer many of those questions I created the short video that you can see embedded below and or on my YouTube channel.