Tag Archives: education

Curriculum21

Recently, I attended a very thought provoking ASCD conference with Heidi Hayes Jacobs.  We talked about the new literacies: media, digital, and global. Here are a few of the thoughts that I took away from the conference. Dr. Hayes points out that today’s learners create and share knowledge differently from previous generations. She points out that modern learners are consumers of digital media.  They also need to become creators. We expose students to classical literature and encourage them to learn how to create by writing.  We should also treat digital media the same way.  Just as we encourage students to be discerning consumers and interpreters of the classics, we need to motivate them to also be discernable consumers and interpreters of digital media.  Students study literary classics.  They should also study examples of outstanding filmmaking and video making.  Just as we encourage our students to write, we should provide them with the opportunity to create their own visual media. Classical literacy and digital literacy  are both important.  My alma mater Bowdoin College has just redesigned a substantial part of their Library (Media Center) in order to promote digital literacy. As Bob Dylan pointed out many years ago,”The Times They are a-Changin”  I am  seeing some real success using WeVideo this year.  This cloud software is compatible with Google Chrome Books and Google Drive. It provides our students with a very accessible tool to start creating rather than only consuming.

Heidi Hayes Jacobs is also the founder of curriculum21.com. Click on the “Clearing House” Tab and then click on the drop-down menu next to “Show” for access to a large catalogue of  resources for use in all curriculum areas.  This is an impressive resource.

Teaching is Messy – a great cartoon from Matt Scott

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Free eBooks on Zing

Zing offers thousands of free eBooks.  You can create your own eBook library, create classes and assign books to specific students.  Books are leveled according to reading skill and as well as recommending what would be of interest to different students depending on their grade. When I signed up, I had to use our sau.org domain rather than govwentworth.

 

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Link to the Trailer of My New Book “Murder At Stillwater Lodge

Here is the link to the trailer for my new book “Murder At Stillwater Lodge“.

 

Here is the trailer for “Catamount, North Country Thriller” 

 

Take some time off and take advantage of these great summer reads.

A fun Smart Phone App for Bird Lovers

If you have a smart phone check out Cornell University’s “Merlin Bird ID”.  If you see a bird you are not familiar with, answer five questions.  Where? When? What size? Color? Was the bird…?

When you have answered the questions, the app searches its database and creates a list of pictures for all of the possible matches.  It also provides information on the bird, a location map, and  recordings of the bird’s songs and calls.  “Merlin Bird ID” is available from the “Google App Store” and from “Google Play”.  Try playing the recordings and see how  nearby birds react.

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Quote of the day from Sir Kenneth Robinson

I number of years ago, I helped out on a low budget independent film. I remember someone accusing the film makers of being “wannabes”.  Don’t we all start out as wannabes?  If you are engaged, as Paul McCartney points out, the ambition grows, you learn more and you practice more. I can’t help but think that the job of a teacher is to encourage and nurture the engagement that leads to the ambition to learn. What will engage us is different for everyone of us.  Sir Kenneth Robinson passes on some wisdom from Paul McCartney.  I found this on Larry Ferlazzo’s “Websites of the Day” site.  Larry’s site is a great resource for all educators.

 

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SafeShare.tv

Safeshare.tv is a service that allows you to convert a YouTube link so that the viewer only sees the video. The up next list that normally appears to the right of a YouTube video is not visible.  While that list is useful for finding similar videos, often the featured video are not school appropriate.  Bottom line is that safeshare.tv eliminates all distractions and shows just the movie you wish to watch or show. The service is legal.  It also offers a download option and the video can be shared in a multitude of ways.  This is a very useful tool for teachers who want to show or share a video without the usual YouTube distractions.

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20 Chrome Apps Every Teacher Should Know About And An Interesting Article On Narrative Writing Across All Content Areas

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning have created a list of 22 Google Chrome Apps that are useful for education. The list is not exhaustive but I have found most of these to be useful.

Here is another article that is  interesting look at Argument Writing across Content Areas by Heather Wolpert-Gawron. I  am reading Minds Made For Stories by UNH English Professor by Thomas Newkirk. Professor Newkirk challenges the idea that narrative writing and informational writing are different.  He maintains that narrative storytelling is, in his own words, the Mother of all Modes” of discourse.  Both Wolpert-Gawon’s and Newkirk’s arguments are very compelling and should be considered as the Common Core calls for more emphasis on information reading and writing.

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Google has added speech recognition to its Google Docs add-ons

I have been playing with Google’s Speech Add-on.  It actually works quite well.  It appears to recognize some speech recognition commands but not all. For example, saying “new line” starts the next sentence with a capital letter.  “Saying “full stop”creates a period, “question mark” creates one. Google “speech recognition commands” to get a full list of possible commands.  The add-0n is at the Google Store.  This works better than most speech recognition software I have tried in the past and it is free.

 

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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s response to a six year asking about the meaning of life

This is Neil deGrasse Tyson’s response to a six year old that asked him about the meaning of life.

 

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The Lucidpress App Online Desktop Publishing Alternative

For quite some time I have been looking for either an open source or online alternative to “Microsoft Publisher” and “Adobe In Design”.  I think I have found it  Click on “Connect more apps” on the “New” drop down menu in “Google Drive” and add it to your apps.  There are easy to use templates for brochures, business cards, pamphlets, invitations, photo books, newsletters, magazines, etc.  If you go to “Lucidpress” pricing, you will see that this app is free for educators and students.   The final publication can be downloaded to the computer and printed.  It can be exported to Google Drive.   “Lucidpress”  can be used on Chromebooks. It is encouraging to see that more and more cloud apps are being developed that provide alternatives to traditional software.  The WeVideo app also provides a cloud alternative to “iMovie” and “Windows Movie Maker”.  These apps make Chromebooks even more useful in the classroom.

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