Posts Tagged ‘Web 2.0’

Little Bird Tales: Creating Digital Stories

September 25, 2012 1 comment

Little Bird Tales is a tool for creating digital stories using pictures or original artwork. Students can narrate their stories and then email them to friends and family members. The site is targeted to students in the early elementary grades, but it can be used by older students as well. Edublogs’ Teacher Challenge #22 offers an excellent tutorial for using Little Bird Tales in the classroom.

Image: TeddyBear[Picnic]/


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.

Image: sheelamohan /

Resources for Authentic Assessment

In The Case for Authentic Assessment, Wiggins noted that authentic assessments provide opportunities for students to apply acquired knowledge, instead of selecting or writing responses to test questions. Through authentic assessment, students can demonstrate mastery of concepts through the application of knowledge. The School of Education at The University of Wisconsin-Stout offers authentic assessment resources for teachers. The site presents information regarding performance assessment, rubrics, negotiable contracting, and electronic portfolios, as well as web-based tools that can be used to create assessments.

In looking for resources to be adapted for use in my online classes, I found rubrics created by Joan Vandervelde of UW-Stout to be used for the assessment of e-portfolios, online discussions, student blogs, wikis, and the use of Twitter for instructional assigments.

Another resource contains a complete description of peer assessment and team assignments. The article presents issues to be considered when implementing peer assessments, considerations for team grading, and tips from teachers who have implemented peer assessments and team assignments in their classes. This information could be applied to the planning of collaborative assignments that can be assessed in a way that is fair to all students.

Image: koratmember/

Internet 4 Classrooms

Internet 4 Classrooms is a free web portal designed by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles. The site includes a collection of high-quality, free Internet resources to use in classroom instruction, developing projects, and tutoring in various technologies. The site features a wealth of resources arranged by category for easy access to online resources.

Resources by Subject and Topic includes a list of teaching topics related to the current month. Examples for March 2012 include St. Patrick’s Day, Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, Spring, and Money. Other subjects and topics on the resource list include Early Childhood, Elementary Subjects, Exceptional Children/Special Needs, Middle/High School Subjects, Teacher Resources, and School Specialists. Information is available for topics such as assistive technologies, speech therapy, school counseling, sources for grants, Web 2.0, Understanding by Design, classroom organization, character education, and much more!

Technology tutorials are available for tools such as MS Office applications, Dreamweaver, Inspiration, Kidspiration, operating systems, and Web 2.0 technologies. Daily Dose of the Web features links to brain teasers, question of the day, subject-related resources, quotations, and trivia. Assessment Help provides practice tests and assessment preparation resources.

Teachers of students with special needs may be interested in the many classroom resources for exceptional children. In this section, resources include strategies for meeting the needs of gifted students, a collection of apps for children with special needs, and accessibility tutorials and features for Microsoft products. There are many more resources categorized by need such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, autism, etc.

Image: photostock /

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.

Image: koratmember /