Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

Ed Tech Moment: 5-Minute Video Tutorials

October 9, 2012 Leave a comment

EdTech Moment is s website that provides 5-minute video tutorials. The tutorials are designed to be used for quick and easy professional learning for teachers using technology in the classroom. Teachers can watch videos on a computer or a video device. The site offers a mailing list and an RSS feed so that users can be notified when new tutorials are available.

When browsing the website, I discovered Episode 25, which provides instruction for using Google Docs to create presentations. Google Docs is a free, web-based software suite that allows users to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and graphics. Google Docs is fully compatible with Microsoft Office, allowing users to share documents with Office users. Google Docs is an excellent educational resource because it enables students to create documents at home or in the classroom without the need to purchase or install expensive software. If you are new to Google Docs, check out Episode 25 for a quick how-to!

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Edublogs Teacher Challenges: Free Professional Learning

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Edublogs Teacher Challenges provide opportunities for teachers to increase their instructional skills while participating in an online learning community. Each challenge lasts for 30 days and includes a series of tasks that can be used to increase knowledge of Web 2.0 technologies. Teachers who participate have opportunities to make connections with a global community of colleagues. The best part is that each challenge can be completed in just minutes right at your computer, a huge plus for busy teachers looking for creative ways to enhance their technology skills.

Have you ever wondered how Twitter could be used for more than simple entertainment? Have you ever wanted to start a classroom blog, but weren’t sure how to make it happen? Are you looking for webinars with hot topics just for educators? Are you looking for ways to connect with colleagues around the world? The Creating a PLN series presents ways to increase your Personal Learning Network (PLN) using Web 2.0 resources.

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The JASON Project

The JASON Project was founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert D. Ballard who discovered the wreck of the Titanic. In answer to the many students who contacted him with questions related to his discovery, Dr. Ballard began to look for ways to bring scientific discovery to the classroom. The JASON Project links students in grades 4-10 to real scientists and engages them in scientific research and expeditions led by leading scientists. The JASON Project offers an online curriculum and professional development training to prepare science teachers to implement the curriculum.

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Teachers First

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Teachers First provides a collection of resources for use in the classroom and for professional development. Lessons and activities are available for all grade levels and all subjects. Across the top of the home page, a series of tabs are available to access categories within the collection. Content is searchable by subject, grade level, or keyword or can be presented in a list that teachers can browse and can be shared via student computers, a projector, or a whiteboard. Classroom resources includes over 12,000 teacher-reviewed web resources. Resources include lesson plans, instructional units, and ready-to-use content. TeachersFirst Exclusives present teacher-created activities, lesson and unit plans. Professional Resources includes time-saver ideas and tips for new or substitute teachers, technology integration, reading resources, professional topics, differentiating instruction, and communicating with parents. Another excellent professional development feature is OK2ASK, which is a series of interactive webinars that cover professional development-related topics. What’s Hot provides links to the latest and most popular content from Teachers First. An exciting feature of What’s Hot is Teacher’s First Edge, a collection of links to the newest Web 2.0 tools available.

Dinosaur Math is an interesting lesson from the site for K-1 students. Students are given a worksheet and plastic dinosaurs. They count features of the dinosaur and create addition problems using the worksheet. The lesson can be completed individually or in groups. An interactive whiteboard and projector can be used to turn the worksheet into an interactive activity. Students might complete the worksheet at their desk as they take turns going to the board to complete the electronic worksheet. An electronic slide presentation is included as another alternative for use with the whiteboard. Students can use the slides to create the addition problems. The slides could also be printed, laminated and organized as a book to be used for remediation.

An example of a Teachers First professional resource is Rubrics to the Rescue. The article contains links that present an overview of rubrics: What are they? Why use them? How can students get involved in creating rubrics? Several examples of projects that use rubrics are presented for various subjects at all grade levels. Also included are links to online resources for creating rubrics.

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eSchool News

eSchool News is a resource with information on topics related to current trends in education and educational technology. The site provides information related to grants, current issues in education, conferences, webinars, and publications. One interesting feature of the site in an index of articles in many categories including higher education, technology, funding, policy, research, and more. This site is useful for being aware of current trends in education and for finding sources of funding for classroom projects. Free registration is required for full access to articles.

An article from the site, entitled “Developing Sound Social Media Policies for Schools” was relevant in light of recent reports of employers requesting social media passwords from job candidates and employees. Additionally, college athletic programs have also begun to require access to the Facebook accounts of student athletes. As litigation emerges to forge new ground in this area, students should be made aware of the potential impact of the virtual DNA they leave on the World Wide Web.

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