Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maker Space In Education Series… 10 More Sites….Making With Technology

mm3

Welcome back and I sure hope you enjoyed the last article of  20 Reasons for Maker Space in Education and also 10 Sites To Help You Start Making In The Classroom.  In this post I highlight 10 additional sites that can promote making with an emphasis on some tech tools. I encourage you to send me information and resources you think help with this idea, as I am also Making time to learn.  First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Maker Space In Education Series… 10 More Sites….Making With Technology – Michael Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

In the last post I emphasized practical and doable.I suggested finding an idea from a kit or project that might fit a curricular area of study.  In this way teachers have the opportunity to bring Making Ideas into their classroom with out having to have a whole area devoted to a Maker Space. As this happens it is important that students have the opportunity to see curricular connections to the real world.

In this post, I invite you to look for that one Maker Possibility that will allow your students to make as they learn, while incorporating some sort of technology. As you incorporate technology it is important to be sure that the technology does not become the reason… but instead a conduit for engaged learning of the standards. You may even wish to have students practice the 21st century skills, while you assess.

Take some time and enjoy some of the links I have included below to get some ideas. It is important to look and decide how a certain project or idea just might help students connect. I have included resources that are free along with some that do come with a cost. As you investigate and discover you will open a world of unique, engaging, and exciting possibilities. STEM teachers may wish to take some extra time… so many of these links work in the STEM classroom.. Once again, it is important to think outside the box and Make some great learning happen!

Makey Makey – OK… it is not free but is also pretty amazing at less then fifty dollars a kit. Take a moment to explore this  invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touch-pads and combine them with the internet. It’s really is a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in-between. It comes ready to use out of the box with everything you see above: MaKey MaKey, Alligator Clips, USB Cable. Four student can work with one kit. Make sure you look at the project possibilities on the website. It is here that you just might see curricular connections

High Low Tech – This site from MIT Media Lab really does have some tech for everyone. HLT’s work integrates high and low technological materials, processes, and cultures. Their primary aim is to engage diverse audiences in designing and building their own technologies. It is their belief that the future of technology will be largely determined by end-users who will design, build, and hack their own devices. Furthermore, their goal is to inspire, shape, support, and study these communities. Take a look at these projects that explore the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design

Squishy Circuits – What kids don’t want to Make something with play dough… now add circuits and they have an even greater Making opportunity. Squishy circuits are a project from the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas.  The goal of the project is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough. Be sure to check out the Ted Talk, White House Maker Faire, and the Ready to Use Kits. As with any circuit activity… read any precautions.

Tinkercad –  Are you excited about 3D creating and printing? Explore Tinkercad, an easy-to-use tool for creating digital designs that are ready to be 3D printed into physical objects. Users are guided through the 3D design process through ‘Lessons’, which teach the basics before moving on to more complex modeling techniques. Tinkercad is a free tool from Autodesk, joining the 123D family of products in helping students, makers, and individuals from all walks of life to design and make the things they imagine. Be sure to watch videos and try the tutorials!

Scratch – This is a wonderful tool to support computational thinking. With Scratch, students can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations. Better yet, they can share their creations with others in the online community. Best of all,  it is free from MIT! Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. These certainly are essential skills for life in the 21st century. As in all sites designed to share… besure to read the Terms of Use and Privacy.

Picoboards – This under fifty dollar tool allows students to create interactions with various sensors. It compliments the free Scratch programming language by allowing students to easily create simple interactive programs based on the input from sensors. The PicoBoard incorporates a light sensor, sound sensor, a button and a slider, as well as 4 additional inputs that can sense electrical resistance via included cables. Click here for ordering information.

Thingiverse – Are you or your students into 3D printing. Then take a moment and  browse the world’s largest 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models. You and your students can join over 130,000 community members in downloading, sharing, and remixing 3D designs. As in all sites designed to share… be sure to read the Terms of Use and Privacy.

SparkFun – The Education Department at SparkFun  uses electronics as a creative medium and hands-on learning tool, with products and curriculum designed to develop foundational skills.  It allows students to explore the world of electronics while increasing the investment and ownership in education. Most of all it plants the seeds of inventorship in today’s youth.

LittleBits – Discover this organization that believes it is important to create the next generation of problem-solvers in the very near future. The time is now to create the pipe cleaner and the craft stick of the 21st century.  LittleBits products are designed to break down the boundaries between the things we consume and the things we make. Most important LittleBits encourages all students  to be an inventor. Be sure to look at some of the tutorials and lessons found on the site.

Drawdio – Take a moment and imagine that your students could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger. The Drawdio circuit-craft can take everyday objects and make them into musical instruments whether they be paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, a person, even the kitchen sink. Make one… or buy the kit.

Adafruit – You will want to explore this site and learn about all the different electronic items that can be built. It is amazing to just see all the possibilities. There maybe one that just might work for you. As you explore you might just come upon an idea for the Making!

I am sure you might have found some possible ideas to bring a little technology and Making into your student learning. While many of these items do carry some type of cost, it is important to remember that students can work in groups.There maybe funding possibilities in your school. There are also programs such as Donors Choose which just might help you out. I really do hope that your students will be next in line to learn while Making? Take some time to discover more about it, and be sure to consider and plan for those important safety rules that are many times specified at each site. You should also make up your own and enforce with students. I am sure you can see that allowing kids to be Makers promotes so many aspects of what 21st century learning and technology is all about. At the same time, be sure to Make time for Making that allows students to connect with important standards. This is where your creativity comes to play!  I really do hope that some of the ideas in this series Makes your school year plan… and of course the plans of those you share with… still waiting for the Making!

I hope you found this information is something you can use in your school and share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy Making! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Get ready for more links and resources on this series covering the Maker Movement in K12 Education and also a collection on the connections between PBL, STEM and Technology Integration… first make some time to sign up and follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). –  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maker Space In Education Series… 10 Sites To Start Making In The Classroom

makers2

 

Welcome back and I sure hope you enjoyed the last article of  20 Reasons for Maker Space in Education.  I hope you enjoy this post as I highlight 10 sites to possible help you to get Making in the classroom… even if in the smallest way! I encourage you to send me information and resources you think help with this idea, as I am also Making time to learn.  First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Maker Space In Education Series… 10 Sites To Start Making In The Classroom – Michael Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Whle an ultimate goal might be a school Maker Space, a single teacher may wish to consider a starting place that is practical and doable. I suggest finding on idea for a kit or project that might fit a curricular area of study. While the 21st century skills of Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration are important and essential, it is also desirable to connect with significant content found in the existing curriculum. In this way students can practice and be assessed on the 4 C’s while also learning that important content. In other words, let’s get kids doing and making while they become competent with content. In this way students have the opportunity to see application and connections to the real world.

I invite you to look for that one Maker Possibility that will allow your students to make while they learn. In this manner you do not need a whole workshop. Instead, all you need is just the materials for Making curricular connections using the project. It might be a Maker Kit to enhance learning a standard.  While this is a small step and does not totally allow for the wide open possibility thinking that Making can offer, it could get some Making started and allow for some more encompassing steps in the future. It is important to have students think outside the box and have them create ways for their Makings to be different from one another. While there could be some directions, this starting kit could just be objects without directions and just a problem to solve.

A great starting place might be to look at some of the links I have included below to get some ideas. It is important to look and decide how a certain project just might help students connect. As this begins in your classroom, your students will learn about possibilities, developing some Maker interests, and be introduced to some tools that just might spark some interest in further Making. It might be this type of beginning that brings a Maker Space to your classroom, school, or community. Please take a look at some of the websites below and see if you might just Make something out of it… even if it is just a small beginning.

Makezine – This might be a great place to start. I recommend checking out the projects area just to begin to get some ideas. While many of the projects are prescribed you may wish to find some ways to open up ideas for thinking outside the box and providing for innovation. Explore the different areas including science, electronics, art, and design. How might something you discover allow your students to Make something that will connect to learning?

Instructables – Here you will find ideas to make so many things that could Make a great connection to learning. When first opening the program give the Search Engine a try. Put in some keywords of some possible learning ideas. It might be planets, insects, civil war, or nutrition. You can even filter the results using multiple categories’.  Give it a try… you will be amazed at what you find and what your students might Make!

The Exploritorium Tinkering Studio – Tinkering is at the very heart of formative learning, allowing for iterations that encourage revision and reflection.  Kids develop an understanding of how to learn from failure and setbacks in order to experience eventual success. The Tinkering Studio is primarily an R&D laboratory on the floor of the Exploratorium, but whenever possible they try to share their projects, activities, and developing ideas following an “open source” model. Learn how you too can enjoy their activities in your classroom while allowing your kids to Tinker and Make!

The Exploritorium Tinkerer Collection – Speaking of Tinkering you may wish to introduce your students to some amazing Tinkerers and the occupations that surround them. Perhaps this could be part of a Makers Unit of Study that focuses on College and Career Readiness and 21st Century Skills. It might be fun to see what your students can Make of it!

DIY – Do It Yourself is a  platform for students to discover skills and share what they make and do with each other and the global community. You can explore skill-based learning and introduce collaboration into your classroom – during homeroom, Genius Hour, after school, and even regular classes. Discover ways to blend the DIY Skills platform into the core curriculum, or let students explore new subjects while practicing skills and Making.

How To Smile – This is an amazing collecting of some of the best educational materials, learning activities, tools, and services. They are all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in activity based settings. This site is sponsored by a group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. This is a great place to Make STEM happen!

HowToons – Take a moment an see what happens when you take a comic book artist, an inventor, and a toy designer and have them work together.  It seems you end up with HowToons, a place of engaging content that teaches kids how to build things, combining instructions with storytelling.  You will discover that Howtoons has a foundation of science and engineering education, inspiring creativity through art and imagination. Take a look at the library and get set to Make!

Science Toy Maker – This really is a site for people who like to roll up their sleeves and make science toys and projects. As the author states, “You won’t find slick, well-designed web pages here–more like the digital equivalent of a messy workshop. If you tinker around, though, you’ll find good stuff.” Science toy maker is a resource for inspired kids and their teachers to really Make something out of it!

Global Cardboard Challenge – This is a project from the Imagination Foundation inspired from Caine’s Arcade. It is a great way to inspire kids with mostly cardboard. It is amazing and exciting to see cardboard innovation at its finest. In fact, how might your students think outside the box and Make!

Maker Camp – Here is an opportunity for students to join other young inventors and artists from around the world on Google+ to make awesome projects, go on epic virtual “field trips,” and meet the world’s coolest makers. You will find that Maker Camp inspires kids ages 13-18 to embrace their inner maker, get their hands dirty, fix some things, break some things, and have a lot of fun doing it. Everything is archived so all lessons and projects will be available at Maker Camp even after the summer so you and your students can Make all year long.

I started this post out with dreams and imagination of what can be in your classroom. You may not have that Maker Space, but all you need a a small start. Perhaps your students are next in line to learn for Making? Take some time to learn more about it, and be sure to consider and plan for those important safety rules that are many times specified at each site. You should also make up your own and enforce with students. I invite you to continue to follow this series as I learn and share more about the Maker Movement and education. I have some technology based Maker links coming your way in a future post. Until then, I am sure you can see that allowing kids to be Makers promotes so many aspects of what 21st century learning and technology is all about. I really do hope this Makes your week… and of course those weeks still waiting for the Making!

I hope you found this information is something you can use in your school and share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy Making! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Get ready for more links and resources on this series covering the Maker Movement in K12 Education and also a collection on the connections between PBL, STEM and Technology Integration… first make some time to sign up and follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). –  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maker Space In Education Series… 20 Reasons Your Students Should Be Making

maker1

It’s  still summer time in the States and I couldn’t help but think of the idea of play, and that of course made me think of Maker Space. I have long  encourage Making in the classroom. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that this idea is now a movement and one that I suggest all 21st century educators Make some room for. I hope you enjoy this series and I encourage you to send me information and resources, as I am also Making time to learn.  First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Maker Space In Education Series… 20 Reasons Your Students Should Be Making – Michael Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Take a moment to contemplate what it would be like if every school had a Maker Space and it was part of the school curriculum. You may wish to dream of the possibilities for essential 21st century skill development and significant content skill alignment. Think about the aura of engagement, flow, grit, perseverance, problem solving, revision, reflection, and satisfaction in that amazing space. Contemplate parents asking the question, “What did you make in school today?” Now sit back and imagine the answer, and further conversations it would bring!

As you are probably already aware, there is a growing Maker Movement across the nation. In fact, you can see Maker Spaces finding room to serve the surging Maker population in both small and large towns alike. I know there is one in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I looked in on another while conducting a PBL workshop deep in the southwest…  in Tucson, Arizona. On a recent visit to the PBS Network Studios to work with Digital Innovators I saw a large Makers Space on the first floor of the Arlington, Virginia building.

The idea behind the Makers Movement includes allowing people to imagine, envision, create, innovate, play, formatively learn, experiment, collaborate, share, and most of all dream of possibilities. The idea of making is really not a new concept. In fact,the art of making is at the root and mixed into to the very fabric of our culture. I believe that the amazing innovation we have seen in this country is due to a Maker mentality. We have long been a culture set on dreaming up possibilities, and then taking the action to make it happen. The initial growth of technology has somewhat taken some of our creativity and produced  consumption based thinking. We are now past the initial way of thinking, and the Makers movement allows people to finally use the technology to create and make.

It is encouraging to see that Education Maker Spaces are making space in numerous schools including elementary, middle, and high school. This was evident at the 2014 ISTE Convention in Atlanta with over 16,000 attendees and space for Maker vendors, Maker presentations, Maker playgrounds, and Maker possibilities. After all, childhood has long been a time that allows young minds to play and make. It is important to understand that allowing kids to be Makers opens the doors to personalized and authentic learning. Let me share a list that I feel are positive qualities that schools can Make as take away ideas from the Makers Movement.

  • Allow for student intrinsic motivation and self-directed learning
  • Support students in a natural connection toward the facilitation of the 4 C’s
  • Engage students in significant content by allowing for connections to curriculum
  • Immerse students in experiences that promote the idea of flow
  • Provide students opportunities that allow then to fail in order to succeed
  • Emphasize to students and teachers the importance of process over outcome
  • Amplify or introduce to students the components of a school STEM disciplines
  • Provide for student opportunities to enhance Project, Problem, Design, Inquiry, and Challenge Based Learning
  • Promote student literacy through writing, reflecting, and journal writing while Making in specific subject areas
  • Engage students in relevance and connections through a authentic learning experience
  • Promote service student learning by identify and inventing solutions to local and world problems
  • Allow students to see the importance and value of the arts
  • Allow students to be a part of partnerships between school, home, and community
  • Create opportunities for students to be producers of content and products
  • Facilitate to students the idea of entrepreneurship through innovation
  • Provide students an opportunity to connect with college and career opportunities
  • Allow for student mentorship between students and also between community and students
  • Give students the opportunity to learn through kinesetic opportunities
  • Introduce students to the iterative process for problem solving
  • Support student inquiry by relaying the importance of good questions and continued questioning

I started this post out with dreams and imagination of what can be. Some schools are already making it happen. Perhaps your school and students are next? It might just begin with some Maker time in your own classroom… or even after school. It really is time  for you  to… Make it happen. If you already are… please share with me via email. I would like to highlight what you are doing.

I invite you to continue to follow this series as I learn and share more about the Maker Movement and education. I have already started to collect some amazing links to share in this series. I am sure you can see that allowing kids to be Makers promotes so many aspects of what 21st century learning and technology is all about. I really do hope this Makes your week… and of course those weeks still waiting to be Made!

I hope you found this information is something you can use in your school and share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy Making! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Get ready for more links and resources on this series covering the Maker Movement in K12 Education and also a collection on the connections between PBL, STEM and Technology Integration… first make some time to sign up and follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). –  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Part 5: Forty…Now Fifty…Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

ws5

 

It’s summer time and you really didn’t think I would stop at 4o sites… especially when I can make it one half of a hundred!  I have really enjoyed sharing these websites I feel should be in every teacher’s toolbox! I have now have fifty… maybe more someday (Chapter 2?). This is post number five… remember I am picking these from thousands.  It is my way of saying happy summer!   First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

 Part 5: Forty… Now Fifty… Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

Get ready for a series on Maker Movement in K12 Education… first make some time to sign up and follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). –  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

EasyBib

  • Generate free MLA citations
  • Autocite or Manual Entry to learn process
  • Citation Guides assist in locating information  from various types of source
  • Fee based  services remove ads or generate APA, Chicago and others

PrintFriendly

  • Generate printouts of web pages without ads and navigational clutter
  • Easily add the Bookmarklet to your browser
  • Add the Button to your webpage
  • Print, email, or save PDF file

Curriculet

  • Enables teachers to deliver customized, Common Core aligned learning and digitally
  • Create and share their curriculum and lesson materials
  • Embed a layer of questions, quizzes, and rich media annotations into any reading assignment
  • Track mastery of literacy skills and Common Core standards in real-time

EdPuzzle

  • Use only what you need from any video.  Search for videos from Youtube, Khan Academy, LearnZillion, Crash Course, etc.
  • Insert audio notes or record over a video with your voice
  • Add questions along the video to give your students immediate feedback and track their understanding.
  • You can also upload your own videos to EDpuzzle and make them perfect for your class.

Quizlet

  • Tailor Quizlet study sessions to your students’ different learning styles and goals
  • Millions of students use Quizlet at home, to study everything from languages to science to history
  • Generate self-grading practice quizzes or print handouts for your students
  • Liven up your classroom with study games that your students will love to play

Geddit

  • Know how every student is doing at any moment… A free app that works on any web-enabled device in the 1:1 classroom
  • Students give instant feedback about their understanding in private and in real-time
  • Check for evidence of understanding with multiple choice or short answer responses
  • Student driven: Differentiation made easy while students learn skills of metacognition

Citelighter

  • 21st Century Critical Thinking Platform
  • Bringing research, organization, and writing to one place
  • Highlight and save from anywhere … Export to a file or send via email
  • Bibliography in APA or MLA

Research Ready

  • Evaluate a website for research
  • Use critical thinking skills to examine a site
  • Online form with evaluation questions
  • Email finished form of evaluated website

ProConIt

  • Allow for students to look at the opposite views of a subject
  • Created polls and forums
  • Encourage discussion
  • Get feedback

Paper Rater

  • Formative tool for evaluating writing
  • Checks writing, spelling, vocabulary, composition, structure
  • Gives a report style feedback with even a grade
  • Differentiates on different styles of writing

Thank you for joining me and if you have an idea website I should include… please let me know. It might be part of what follows after these 50 in a future series! Remember that many of these are Web 2.0 tools so be sure to check their Terms of Use, Privacy, and your own district AUP.  I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL,Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Get ready for a series on Maker Movement in K12 Education… first make some time to sign up and follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). –  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Part 4: Forty Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

ws4

 

Summer is wonderful and  its already July! We actually have time to relax, enjoy, and even discover a new website! It is so much fun to be sharing these websites I feel should be in every teacher’s toolbox! I have forty… actually 50… because I found ten more and  I am sending out these ten new ones in the next post. This is post number four… remember I am picking these from thousands.  It is my way of saying happy summer!   First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

 Part 4: Forty Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

 Brainscape

  • Multimedia “flashcards” to simplify learning
  • Teachers can create flashcards for their subjects for free
  • Class license for Premium Subjects available for a fee
  • Web and iOS platform

Quozio

  • Turn “beautiful words into meaningful images in seconds”
  • Bookmarklet – immediate creation of highlighted text from webpage – be mindful of copyright
  • Account (free) required only  to save or upload

Realtime Board

  • Visual whiteboards with media files for brainstorming and organizing
  • Get feedback from students and discuss in real time
  • Works with Google Drive

Zunal

  • Create interactive webquests quickly with no HTML code
  • Free account with 100 templates
  • Add unlimited files and pictures or
  • embed video
  • Explore thousands of user shared webquests

National Archives Digital Vault

  • Click on a record to launch images for investigation
  • Add images to a collection tray
  • Create posters, movies and Pathways Challenges

NuSkool

  • Created for students in grades 6 -12
  • Search for lessons by grade, subject, genre
  • Teach core subjects using popular culture
  • Engage students by relating to things they know and care about

PixiClip

  • Whiteboard canvas for communicating your message
  • Upload and mark up images or draw them
  • Add media via webcam and mic
  • Share or embed your PixiClip

QR Voice

  • Use your voice to record a message
  • Generate the QR code
  • Scan with device using QR scanner to hear message
  • Save/Share/Print/Embed

QR Code Generator

  • Generate codes that link to information you want to share
  • Print or digitally share the code
  • Use your imagination!

ePubBud

  • Create and publish an eBook readable on iPad, nook, and other devices
  • Upload a document you want to share and it will be converted to ePub format
  • Browse and import shared
  • ebooks  to your iPad

 

Thank you for joining me and if you have an idea website I should include… please let me know. It might be part of what follows after 40! I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL,Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Part 3: Forty Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

ws3

 

We are getting already in the first week of July! I am still  sharing some of those websites I feel should be in every teacher’s toolbox! I have forty… maybe more… and I am sending out ten new ones in each post. This is post number three… remember I am picking these from thousands.  It is my way of saying happy summer!   First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

 Part 3: Forty Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

 Open Library

  • Borrow books from the Internet Archive and other libraries
  • View BookReader editions instantly online in a browser
  • Access to 1.7 million scanned versions of books
  • Records help locate copies that may be borrowed through local libraries

International Children’s Library

  • Search for books by genre, age level, length, keyword, by collection, and more
  • Many books in multiple languages
  • Open and read book  – no download
  • Create an account to set up a bookshelf if desired

GeoStories

  • Multimedia slideshow tours of places and topics
  • Dynamic maps show viewers where story takes place
  • Embed GeoStories in your website
  • Visit partner sites for more stories

Google Lit Trips

  • Connect with literary characters journeys via GoogleEarth
  • Pop up windows display media, links, and discussion starters
  • K-Higher Ed and new Special Projects

Your Next Read

  • Enter a title, author, or genre you like – get reader suggestions for others like it
  • Thumbs up or down to Agree/Disagree with reader recommendations
  • Contribute your recommendations
  • Suggested lists for children by age  groups

Weebly

  • Easily create a quality website
  • Drag and drop elements and easy text editor
  • Great for teacher websites – link to LMS
  • Easy for students to build sites

Kid Blog

  • Safe – teacher controls accounts in controlled community
  • Practice digital citizenship; create e-portfolios
  • Add digital media to blog posts
  • Check out Book Blabs

WolframAlpha

  • Computational search engine
  • Answers from internal peer reviewed knowledge base – not links to other sites
  • Factual data about topics, places, people,

Educlipper

  • Find user contributed teaching resources or share yours
  • Create groups/classes for collaboration or differentiation
  • Create assignments, portfolios and presentations

Kahoot

  • Game-based learning through asking and answering questions as competition
  • Easily create quizzes, discussions and surveys with the drag and drop editor
  • Project and have students join with any device
  • Game on!

 

Thank you for joining me and if you have an idea website I should include… please let me know. It might be part of what follows after 40! I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL,Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Part 2: Forty Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

ws2

 

It is still summer time and I am sharing some of those websites I feel should be in every teacher’s toolbox! I have forty… maybe more… and I am sending out ten new ones in each post. This is post number two… remember I am picking these from thousands.  It is my way of saying happy summer!   First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Part 2: Forty Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

Gooru

  • K-12 library of Standards-aligned content collections
  • Videos, games, digital texts, and questions
  • Create your own or customize existing collections
  • Vetted by educators

TedEd

  • Library of Lessons – curated videos that amplify great lesson ideas
  • Filter searches by content, grade range and length of video
  • TED-Ed platform allows users to create lessons from TED and
  • You-Tube educational videos.

Hemingway

  • App analyzes writing samples
  • Analyzes readability level
  • Color coding of hard to read sentences, voice, parts of speech
  • Currently app only

Timer

  • Simple timer (10 seconds to 5 hours) with alert sounds
  • Clock displays real time (as set on computer)
  • Display clock and timer together

Remind

  • One-way messages to students and/or parents
  • Sender/Receiver phone numbers remain private
  • Broadcast special reminders, encouragement, schedule changes
  • Easily schedule messages to be sent later

Creative Commons Search

  • Custom gateway to materials that may be used, shared, or remixed
  • Includes images, media, music and video
  • User should still verify Creative Commons License
  • Add CC Search to browser toolbar

SweetSearch

  • Provides search results from 35,000 sites evaluated by research experts
  • Mission: to help educators “teach students how to use the Internet effectively, safely, and responsibly.”
  • Aims to help students locate credible resources faster

Open Ed

  • K-12 resource catalog of Common Core materials
  • Includes games, videos, assessments and courses
  • Integrates with popular learning management systems and offers its own

OER Commons

  • Curates digital learning materials to enrich teaching and learning
  • Browse by material type, grade, subject, or by collection provider
  • OpenAuthor lets teachers create their own open licensed education resources

MindMup

  • Organize thoughts with mind maps
  • Use multiple maps to tell a story
  • Export slideshow PDF for offline viewing
  • Extension through Google Drive allows real time collaboration

Thank you for joining me and if you have an idea website I should include… please let me know. It might be part of what follows after 40! I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL,Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Part 1: Forty Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

ws1

 

Welcome to a post and the summer of 2014… at least in the USA. I have a real treat for you in the next two weeks. I will be sharing some of those websites I feel should be in every teacher’s toolbox! I have forty… maybe more… and I am sending out ten new ones in each post. Remember I am picking these from thousands.  It is my way of saying happy summer!   First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Part 1: Forty Educational Websites To Put In Your Toolkit

Educanon

  • Create or find content video
  • Customize with questions
  • Interactive video for flipped or blended learning
  • Great for Formative Assessment and Differentiation

PBS Learning Media

  • Great library of videos and interactives
  • Search by grade, subject, or standards
  • Extensive PD Collection including:  Literacy…  STEM…  Get Your Tech On

Wordle

Tagxedo

Jing

  • Record short video tutorials (up to 5 minutes)
  • Share online via LMS and more
  • Great for flipped and blended learning

ClassTools

  • Create custom games, quizzes and activities
  • Great interactive online versions of some old standards  (Fishbone Diagram, Sandwich Organizer)
  • Can be posted to LMS or website

Read Write Think Interactives

  • Help students organize, summarize, and analyze, and write
  • Includes multi-level lesson plans that integrate each interactive
  • Students may save or print partial or completed interactive
  • Check out this write up on these interactives.

Socrative

  • Online student response system using laptops, tablets, smartphones
  • Multiple choice, T/F, open-ended quiz questions
  • Exit tickets
  • Results export to Excel

Answer Garden

  • Creative brainstorming or Classroom feedback
  • Modes allow for one or multiple answers
  • Teacher friendly information for moderating/monitoring
  • Export to Wordle or Tagxedo

ReadWorks

  • Comprehension lessons and units
  • Novel Study units in multiple genres and grade levels
  • Leveled reading passages with question sets
  • Aligned to CCSS and standards of all 50 states

Thank you for joining me and if you have an idea website I should include… please let me know. It might be part of what follows after 40! I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL,Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncatego

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ten Pointers Promoting Academics In Online Discussions.. Digital Citizenship Series

ad

Welcome to a post I am certain will help you, and many others, as you facilitate online discussion forums to promote real learning.   First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Ten Pointers Promoting Academics In Online Discussions.. Digital Citizenship Series

By Michael Gorman at  (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com)

In the last post we discussed how online discussions can incorporate many ideas that enrich a blended classroom. You may wish to explore these ten ideas in the last post. In this week’s post I would like to emphasize how you might want to emphasize that needed academic emphasis in student online discussions. Remember that an online discussion is a powerful extension of learning that can go beyond the walls of your classroom.

When using online discussions with student be sure to keep your point of emphasis aimed at the content standards, 21st century skills, while moving up Blooms higher levels. Questions can be convergent for formative purposes, but also divergent to promote inquiry. Remember that the use of multimedia can promote academic standards while facilitating real and meaningful discussion. The teacher should model proper digital citizenship, constantly monitor student communication, and also provide responses  to various discussion threads. Equally important, the teacher should be aware and follow the District AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) and any website terms of use.

When first joining the world of student online discussions it can be often noted that the student conversation is not always highly academic and sometimes lacks rigorous thought. After all,  students have already learned to digitally communicate using social media and they transfer this past practice to the academic classroom. It is important that teachers facilitate proper online communication while promoting digital citizenship. Through proper guidance and digital education any classroom can discover the rich and meaningful opportunities that an online discussion can provide. Please feel free to use these ten ideas below and share with others.

1. Keep discussions to Bloom’s higher level topics including creating, evaluating, and synthesizing.

2. Use discussion as a formative assessment for checking both individual and group understanding. This does not mean it always has to be graded for accuracy… but more as a way for the teacher to plan. Many times in this method, the question maybe lower on Blooms Scale to show remembering and understanding.

3. A discussion can be graded, although it maybe best to grade for participation. In this manner the teacher may post and then ask students to reply to teacher post with a requirement of so many sentences. There could also be a requirement to comment to stated number of  other student posts. When grading be specific on requirements.

4. A class discussion is not a emulation of social media, it is an academic forum. This should be stated in the discussion question until it becomes acceptable classroom practice. and culture. Some things to keep in mind are the following.

  • Proper English grammar
  • Complete sentences
  • No use of text lingo (example; LOL”
  • Any copy and pasted resources or reference should be at least cited by name and link
  • Topic should be adhered to, no outside or side bar conversation
  • Proper spelling of words
  • Thoughts and ideas should be concise and to the point (do not ramble)
  • When stating positives and agreements be specific as to reasoning… keep away from Yearbook type comments
  • Exercise proper Digital Citizenship (see below)

5. Students should practice proper digital citizenship

  • Empathy for others should be practiced with an understanding of  an individual’s writing before commenting
  • No use of text lingo (example; LOL)
  • Proper peer critique should be emphasized with an emphasis on caring (example… do not be critical, instead use I wonder statements)
  • All comments should be academic (See above)
  • Do not use personal identifying information
  • No plagiarizing… give credit
  • There should be no bullying or put downs

6. Mix up media in discussions… do not always have them text based. Use documents, PDF files, movies, music, sound files, Power Points, website links, and images to promote the standards and concepts.

7. Keep on topic… try to provide discussions that will support the standards and 21st skills that you wish to emphasize and that will be assessed.

8. Use a rubric if providing a discussion for understanding. Make sure your students are aware and use the rubric when making any comments or replies. Possibly include the 21st century skills of Communication, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Creativity. Do not try to include all, and break these skills down to individual components. Example… instead of Creativity use one component such as divergent thinking.

9. As a teacher be sure to model by practicing what is required, while also commenting on what students write.

10. Encourage students to create their own discussions so they begin to own the process.

Thank you for joining me and if you have an idea involoving online discussions that you feel is important, please leave a comment or pass it on to me in an email. I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL,Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Discussion! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

10 Tools To Engage Students In Academic Discussion Forums … Digital Citizenship Series

onlineforum

Last month I began a series on Digital Citizenship.  I wish to continue this line of thought with some posts on the Academic Discussion Forum. In this series you will find ways to use discussion forums in useful way, set expectations, and even assess. I know these ideas on digital citizenship involving proper online forums and  communication will help you facilitate rich and meaningful academic discussions using the internet. First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Promote Digital Citizenship… Your Academic Discussion Forum can be 10 Different Tools

By Michael Gorman at  (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com)

You are perhaps aware that more and more classrooms are opening their doors to student discussion online. This happens in the virtual online classroom, but also in the blended classroom. As you might know, the blended classroom is one where students and teacher meet in a traditional school but use the internet to open the classroom walls to the community, region, country, and world. There are many services that provide student discussion forums that can facilitate student online interaction.  Some well known ones include, Edmodo, My Big Campus, and Moodle.

A discussion forum does not have to be question and answer. In fact ,there are countless ways to use them. I want to share with you ten that I came up with. Please share with me others you might have, and I will add for a future list. One point to remember is to be sure to keep your point of emphasis aimed at the content standards, 21st century skills, while moving up Blooms higher levels. Here are some ways I have found that you can bring your discussion forums up to a new level. Please enjoy and let me know what you think and ways you have found that a discussion forum can be a engaging tool!

1. A formative tool – As a way to check  understanding from class that day. This might be a temperature check and drive teacher facilitation and instruction the next day. Some times students will see others not understanding and give their own explanation.  Many times we can all learn from the crowd.

2. A divergent tool – Students do not reply with answers… but new questions. The rule states that no one is allowed to answer a question… just pose new questions. What might the class do with this the next day?

3. A reflection tool  -Students reply not giving a statement of content or material… but a reflective thought to show application & connection. Allowing for important meta-cognition can be powerful while engaging learning. Take a step up on Blooms!

4. A launch and inquiry tool – No explanation or instruction… students are posed with a question or video that will cause thinking/questions that will be used the next day.  Perhaps students just need to come with thoughts, questions, and ideas that they first express online and will relate to higher learning activities in class.

5.  A connection tool – Students watch a video or do a reading that emphasizes what happened in class and they then make connections in their reply. It is important that the students be required to show the connection. A video might be used that demonstrates the math they learned in real life. How might students show that connection?

6. A mentor tool – An online expert could be a guest forum host to answer questions for student on a topic. This is a perfect opportunity to open the classroom up to real world connections and possibilities. Any mentors should be interviewed and approved by teacher and front office while following school guidelines.

7. A simulation tool – Thoughts and ideas could be posted on line by a famous person or character in a book. Students would reply showing content  knowledge and application. Teachers will get insight on student understanding of important concepts.

8.  A role play tool – Students are given characters in a book or history and interact in a discussion using their character role. Imagine the conversations that will happen and how a teacher can assess understanding at the same time.

9. A research tool – Students are asked to find one or two research links to share with each other. They give reasoning for the link they selected.  A collection of student links or a Google Custom Search Engine for the class is built for everyone to use.

10. Student centered tool – Why not put students in charge of a forum? It might fit into their PBL project or promote content in the classroom. Having students in charge can give ownership and stress the importance of an academic forum and the scholarly ways they should be used.

Next Post: 10 Ideas To Facilitate The Culture Of Scholarly Academic Discussion Forums…. Please join me!

Thank you for joining me and if you have an idea on how a discussion tool can be an educational and academic tool leave a comment or pass it on to me in an email. I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL,Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Discussion! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized