Part 3… Creativity In The Digital Classroom… Literacy Resources… Are They In Your School?


creativity3

Hello from Sunny Florida and FETC!  I hope you enjoyed the  the past two post involving creativity and the digital classroom. I welcome you to the third in this series of posts. I have some reflection, ideas, and some amazing resources to share.  Please enjoy and share this post via email or a retweet. While you are at it, I would appreciate that you take a moment to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email and follow me at (mjgormans). Also, feel free to contact me about any conference, in-service plans, or PD you might wish to include me in. (mjgormans@gmail.com). You can learn more at the Booking Link.  Please continue to network and join me for our special journey into 21st century education, something that is very exciting to me.  – Mike Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com

In this post I would like to focus on item number 3 in my categories of Creativity in The Digital Classroom. As you might know, part of the New Common Core encourages students to think outside the box and use some creativity. In fact, there is encouragement to make it happen on the web. Take a look at the following statements found in the Common Core.

  • “Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners …”
  • “Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others …”

For this reason I believe that part of a good curriculum focusing on digital curriculum must include literacy skills integrated with online student publication. Allowing student to publish for an audience beyond their teacher and refrigerator doors is engaging, exciting, and promotes both a skilled and creative pen. Below you can look at past and see what future posts will be. Go down just a little further and discover some amazing student publication tools. Remember that using the internet with students requires two way interaction. For this reason, keep in mind that any site should researched before using at your school. Please check with District AUP, administration, and the Web Sites Terms Of Agreement. At the same time teach your student proper digital safety and citizenship.  Let’s begin!

  1. Free software that is stored locally on your classroom computers or network – Link to Post
  2. Web 2.0 applications accessible using the internet…  with just about any device – Link To Post
  3. Web Apps and Sites to promote literacy and student publication – Current Post
  4. Web Sites that promote creativity across the disciplines – Coming soon… be sure to subscribe!

Web Apps and Sites to Facilitate Creativity In  Literacy and Student Publication

Kidblog – Imagine a blog hosting service that built for classroom teachers and their students. Contemplate a service that is designed specifically for teachers who want to provide each student with his or her own unique blog. Think about a blog site that allows teachers to monitor and control all publishing activity within the classroom blogging community and does not require student email accounts. Reflect on a blog development team led by a facilitator who  has 19 years of combined web development and classroom teaching experience.  If this pondering of thoughts appeals to your left brain, while freeing all the possibilities that your right brain generates for classroom engaging and creative activities, then a visit to Kidblog is essential! You can even learn how your students can  create portfolios. Take a look at the Blog and take a moment to learn more about why you should investigate Kidblog. Feel free to read a post I created for a review of Kidblog.

Classchatter – Another free blog site devoted to education with security features that are useful to the classroom. This site is definitely worth a visit with some added features that just might pump up the creativity in your classroom. You may wish to learn more about Classchatter on this page that also contains an informative video. Check out the Facts Page and explore the Help Area. Perhaps a little Classchatter will turn up your students’ writing creativity.

Wikispace For Education – First, a  wiki is a space on the Web where teachers and students share work and ideas, pictures and links, videos and media — and anything else one can think of. Wikispaces is special because they give you a visual editor and a wide selection of other tools to make sharing all kinds of content as easy for students as it is for their teachers. Wikispaces can be that special place where student write both individually and collaboratively. Best of all, it is Wikispaces claims to be a free, private, and secure space for classrooms. You may wish to watch some short video tours. Make sure you read all the info on the Wikispaces Education page. You will find some great ideas to bring creativity to your digital classroom.

Weebly – We have discussed blogs and wikis, and now it is time to explore webpage creation. Weebly is a free web creation site that will excite your students as they publish for a global audience. It has an amazingly friendly interface that your student will understand in less then one class period. While the set up and interface are simple, the results are amazing! Take a look at some of the awesome features. Be sure to visit the Weebly Blog for some great information and tutorials. While Weebly is free, there is an optional Pro account that can help with classroom management. You may find that the small price is well worth it.

Wikipedia – While you have probably visited Wikipedia countless times you may have never signed up and joined. By becoming a member you can now join a whole new world. I could spend a series of post on the possibilities that open up. Instead, I wish to point out that you may wish to conduct a class project that involves creating a Wikipedia article for the world to see, edit, and comment on. Perhaps it could involve something not yet in Wikipedia that your students have an interest in. Many times this could include something of local interest. After becoming a member you will want to visit Wikipedia… Your First Article from the Help Menu. You can now begin your learning and publishing experience. Be sure to read Terms of Service and work within the guidelines of your District AUP. I have included two student published articles that I was able to locate.

ePubBud – While there are quite a few services that allow your students to create and publish their own ebooks I happen to favor ePubBud.  My reasoning includes that the organization is nonprofit and totally free. There are some other awesome sites that will allow you to have children publish books… in hopes that they are then sold to parents. While this can also be very engaging and exciting to students, I am going to advocate free…  plus one other important point. I also like the way that ePubBud allows the teacher to create a classroom with pre-made student accounts that do not require email or personal information. After reading The Terms of Use teachers still may consider getting parent permission. Consult your AUP and read the terms.  There is an excellent help area to get you started. Once you set up an account as a teacher, go to the Group Tab to set up your classes. I have included a wonderful blog post that will help you get started. Learn more from the below videos:

Creat Account … Planning a Book … Placing an ImageUpload a BookUpload VideoAdd WeblinkBrowse For Book

Meet Me At The Corner – Welcome to a wonderful site that encourages students to create a video about something that interests them. Met Me At The Corner started as a Virtual Field Trips for Kids, and  is now a dynamic, interactive site, which encourages individual expression and participation through video submissions from children worldwide. Through these video pod casts a community of children is created learning the art of self-expression and storytelling through video. The site allows students to also view videos that include some great learning activities. Checkout the Recent Episodes, Big Apple Book Club, and Video Podcasting Lessons. It is important that a great podcast begins with a creative pen!

Edmodo or My Big Campus - Don’t forget that a site such as Edmodo or My Big Campus is a great place for student to learn how to participate in an academic discussion through the use of Forums and Discussions. Students can respond to teacher questions, videos, audios, and other students. Such discussion is moderated and possibly even used as a formative assessment resource by the teacher. You will find that some students will collaborate with great ideas that may have never raised a hand in class. When planning topics try to bring in creative thought, writing, and reflection.

Thanks for joining me on this journey in 21st century education. Please enjoy and share this post via email or a retweet. While you are at it, I would appreciate that you take a moment to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email and follow me at (mjgormans). Also, feel free to contact me about any conference, in-service plans, or PD you might wish to include me in. (mjgormans@gmail.com). You can learn more at the Booking Link.  Please continue to network and join me for our special journey into 21st century education, something that is very magical to me.  Next few posts include… creativity in the 21st century classroom, twitter in education, along with PBL, STEM, Web 2.0 Integration, and the Common Core. – Mike Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

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