Sunday, May 16, 2010

Potpourri of Great Resources

Happy Tech Tuesday everyone. Here are some great resources that could spice up any lesson plan. Take a look at some of these sites and see how these might be used in your class.
Web 2.0  Projects - First, here is a Wikipedia definition of Web 2.0 - The term "Web 2.0" is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design,[1] and collaboration on the World Wide Web.

I have have tremendous success with struggling learners and reluctant learners by incorporating more Web 2.0 into my lessons and allowing them to use Web 2.0 in their class projects. I have found that allowing students to use tools that allow them to collaborate with one another really allows growth in understanding. This link will take you to some great student examples of Web 2.0 tools. You will find examples of Blogging, VoiceThread, Wikis, Nings, Animoto, Photopeach and Xtranormal. I highly suggest you take a look at Xtranormal because there is a rapping Einstein that will have you rolling. Do not feel overwhelmed with all of these new tool. Just think about adding one to your lesson at a time. You might just want to have some fun with it and present it to the class as a part of something you are teaching. That might spur kids to experiment with the tools themselves and use them for their next project.

Stag'D! - Here is a great site that I heard about from @ktenkely and her blog iLearnTechnology. Check out the complete review that she gave the site here. Long story short, Stag'D allows students to tell stories in 3D. I can see this being used in many different ways in my English class. I could have students use it to re-create events from stories we are reading to emphasize themes, symbols, motifs, etc. Social studies classes could use this to re-create historical moments or speeches. It is another fun and interactive tool that allows students to not just learn material, but to create with it. Creating with the new information has made a real difference in my classes and I think Stag'D is another great tool to facilitate that creativity.

Here is a great collection of Copyright Free and Public Domain Images. I'm not sure if I shared this exact link or another one with similar free pics, but we can never have enough resources in our pocket as teachers. This is worth linking on your class website, the school website and even the library website so students can use pictures for projects and presentations without violating copyright laws.

I hope you take a look at these sites and pass them around to others if you find anything worth while. As these students spend more time collaborating online with their peers, it is important that we start to look at tapping into these great resources to connect them to learning inside of the classroom. If you are looking for something specific, don't forget to drop me a line and I'll see what I can do.

- Give it a try!

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