Saturday, October 21, 2017

Free PD for Teachers

All teachers love learning and there is nothing better than when we can learn for free! This is a collection of resources that will help quench you thirst for learning. Whether you prefer to read online, watch webinars, or listen to podcasts you are sure to find something on here that will fit your needs.

  • Classroom2.0 Live- This hour long show takes place each Saturday at 12pm EST. Every week a different educator shares their ideas or how they use different tools in their classrooms. The archives for all of the previous episodes are available and there are hundreds of them!
  • ISTE- While there is a fee to join ISTE, many of their resources are available free on their website. One of the most useful and important resources available on the site are their technology standards.
  • Collection of Podcasts- Edutopia compiled this list of podcasts for educators a couple of years ago. Another podcast that is popular with educators that was not included on the list is The Cult of Pedagogy.
  • ASCD Webinars- ASCD is another professional organization that shares lots of resources free of charge.
  • Edcamp- Edcamps happen all over the world and they are completely free! This is also a great way to meet amazing educators face to face.
  • Google Training Center- This free training center has all of the resources you need to learn about all things Google and get your Level I and Level 2 Google certification. 

Specialized Add-ons For Google Docs

Google Docs are already a wonderful tool to use in our classrooms. They allow us to work together and share our ideas with the world. But sometimes there are things that seem impossible to do in Google Docs. Before you give up and think that Docs just can't be used in your content area, check out some of these specialized add-ons.

  • Yob Graph Editor-  Allows you to plot data and insert the graph into a Google Doc. It provides plotting and regression functionality inside of the Doc which makes it easier to work with.
  • Easy Accents- Insert accents for different languages directly from the sidebar in a Google Doc.
  • VexTab Music Notation- Designed for writability. Easily add music notation, guitar tablature, and drum notation to your documents. Vex Tab tutorial
  • Auto-LaTeX Equations- Automatically convert mathematical equation in your doc into LaTeX images.
  • Chord Transposer- Transposes a document containing chords for guitar,  piano, etc.
  • Wizkids CAS- Use this add-on to plot graphs and solve equations. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Molecularium: Molecule Building Game

My Molecularium is a new free game app that challenges players to build a wide variety of molecules. It is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play.

This app is part of the Molecularium Project, which is the outreach and education effort of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Nanotechnology Center. The mission of the Molecularium Project is to expand science literacy and get people of all ages excited about science.

Applications for Education
This is a fun and engaging way for students to learn about molecules and the world around them. Games are a great way to introduce and reinforce ideas.

Stelum: Things Made Simple

Stelum is a new collaborative platform to find and share simple explanations for complex ideas and topics. The purpose is to provide people with simple and easy to understand explanations of a wide variety of categories including science, technology, history, famous people, society, ideas, beliefs, and culture.

These ideas are explained on cards called Simplexes which anyone can write, but only the best are featured and promoted. Simplexes are a new way to work with information.

Applications for Education
Teachers could use Simplexes to introduce ideas to students. Students could use the site to learn about any number of topics.

5-Day Teacher Challenge

The 5-Day Teacher Challenge from Rushton Hurley, founder of Next Vista for Learning, is just wrapping up. The idea behind this challenge is to help teachers improve what they do with simple ideas, all while having some fun in the process. While this is the last day of the official challenge, there is no reason you can't work one or more of these challenges into your weekly routine.

Here are examples of some of the challenges:

  • Select one of your challenging students and make a call to their home to report something good they have done. Keep it 100% positive. 
  • Select an activity you are planning and give students the option to propose an alternative approach for them to demonstrate their mastery of the content. 
  • Go for an entire day without raising your voice to improve how you communicate to optimize learning conditions in your classroom. 
  • Find a teacher in your school and plan a team-teaching activity. 
  • Find someone who helps make the school work well like a secretary, custodian, bus driver, or cafeteria worker and find a way to celebrate them. 

Students Evaluating Student WorkShowing Learning at a Higher Level Through Vocabulary, Collecting Students' Insights, and a Student with Autism Explains Autism are some Rushton's guest posts.