Part 3: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities

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Welcome to post number three in a series devoted to formative learning (assessment). In this post I showcase some tools that can assist in both creating lessons that promote formative possibilities and resources that will allow educators to create videos that will enhance a students formative learning . As I have stated in earlier posts, Please keep in mind these are only tools and are best utilized through the important art of teaching. Do you have some formative tools to share… please let me know and I will share them in an upcoming post. Please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference 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 delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over 3/4 full and the 2016 calendar is beginning to fill.

Part 3: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities

In the world of formative learning technology offers possibilities that were never before available. Lessons can be personalized while collecting data for future instruction. These lessons can be created quickly and can even be remixed from ones other educators have created. The teacher can gauge student needs and control the flow and frequency of an activity. Along with lessons, teachers can create their own videos that students can control and adjust to their learning style. In fact, students could even be the author of a video. As we all know, creating content that explains conceptual understanding allows for deeper understanding. Best of all, both the creators and consumers of this information are taking an amazing formative ride. I really do hope you enjoy the tools that I suggest and as always, please let me know if there is a resource I should mention in a future post.

Lesson Creators for Formative Learning

  • Digital
  • OER Possibilities
  • Blended
  • Control… Or No
  • Student Regulated
  • Lecture… Student Owned
  • LMS Integration
  • Student Presentations
  • Feedback Capabilities
  • Crowd Sourced Resources

Lesson plan tools have been around as long as the one room school house.  The first lesson plans were displayed to students on the blackboard as students practiced on the individual slates… possibly the first 1 to 1 environment. Many of today’s teachers started their careers with lesson plan books, hand written, and a guide to instruction. The digital capabilities of the web allow teachers today to build lessons online in minutes. This capability provides teachers the ability to use a multitude of OER (Open Education Resources) and web applications that are bountiful on the internet.  Students also have the ability to visit these digital lessons at their own time and pace. Lessons can be built to give feedback as the learning takes place. Best of all, teachers may wish to have students demonstrate learning by building their own lessons or presentations. Some can even be used to jigsaw learning providing student ownership in a needed demonstration or lecture. While an LMS (Learning Management System) can provide some of these capabilities, many of the below tools can be integrated with an LMS. Take a moment and try to learn about at least one of these amazing tools. You might even find some free already built lessons that might fit your classroom style. You will find new ways to get formative.

Blendspace – If you have five minutes and an internet connection this tool might be the resource for you and your students. Create a lesson using multiple of resources or tools on the internets. Provide links to your students or embed the lesson into the district LMS (Learning Management System).

Gooru – Build wonderful digital lessons in no time. Find a vast collection of already built lessons along with OER (Open Education Resources). Send students to the link or embed in the school LMS. Take advantage of multiple prebuilt lessons that allow for formative learning.

Go Class – Edit and manage digital lessons from anywhere for use on any device. Special Show-Explain-Ask interface allows for easy ability to add pictures, multimedia, teacher notes, and formative assessments into the plan.

Nearpod – Think of Nearpod as a presentation on multiple devices controlled by the educators. Not only do all students see the same presentation slide at the same time… but can also visit a teacher directed website. It can be an important teaching tool when teachers are trying to ensure each student is immersed in the formative learning process. Imagine students creating and being the presenters!

Screen Capture and Creation for Formative Assessment

  • Flip Possibilities
  • Student Controlled
  • Student Centered Classroom
  • Lecture Productivity
  • Student Regulated
  • Student Demonstration of Learning
  • Lecture…Student Owned
  • LMS Integration
  • Student Presentations

Providing videos to students can be a powerful learning opportunity. Not only do videos provide some engagement because of the multimedia appeal, but students can stop,rewind, and watch again. Screen capture software has gained popularity with the advent of the Flipped Classroom. This type of software allows an educator to record their computer screen while doing a voice over. Now a power point lecture can become a video to be watched anytime and anywhere by students. Other software goes beyond just screen capture and will allow the ability to create animated or drawing over video productions. Not only can educators use these amazing resources, but they can encourage students to do the same. This opens up a whole new array of opportunities. Student could demonstrate learning, or even produce videos helping other students in their understanding of a concept. This concept allows the curriculum to be owned by students and teachers. This provides a different view allowing students to see learning in a formative manner. This approach results in learning improvements for those students viewing the content. The students producing the content also gain a new understanding of not only the content they are delivering, but also by learning the formative steps that occur in learning. Take a look at the below resources and discover how you can provide students formative learning opportunities through both consumption and production of multimedia.

Jing – A quick and easy screen capture tool allowing for voice over. Could be used by a teacher to prepare a lesson or by students to demonstrate learning or build content tutorials to help others.

Screencast-O-Matic – Another great screen capture system with some advanced editing controls. This allows for wonderful possibilities and final video can be shared on You Tube and then integrated with some of the video tools for formative assessment.

Powtoons – This tool allows for the creation of some wonderful animations that could explain concept ideas. They are engaging and provide lots of possibilities. Students can even create their own Powtoons opening up even more possibilities for formative learning.

Moovly – Do you like the idea of overlaying drawing and animation on real video? This might be the perfect tool to help explain content. Better yet… students can do the explaining and creating as they enjoy using this engaging resource.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st century.  Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped and Blended Learning, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

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… Dates are going fast, with time up to and including December just about filled,  and I am taking 2016 dates.

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Part 2: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities

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Welcome to post number two in a series devoted to formative learning (assessment). In this post I showcase some tools that can assist in both providing interactive quizzes/check ups and useful feedback that is essential in a classroom focused on student centered formative learning. Please keep  in mind these are only tools and are best utilized through the important art of teaching. Do you have some formative tools to share… please let me know and I will share them in an upcoming post. Please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference 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 delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over 3/4 full and the 2016 calendar is beginning to fill.

Part 2: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities

Getting feedback from students and taking a temperature read on student learning has always has always been important. While technology provides some wonderful opportunities, the teacher’ role in the blended classroom is still of highest importance. The art of teaching, which includes being able to read a students eyes, smiles, and multitude of nonverbal signals is something that technology will try try to imitate, but may never accomplish… at least in the human sense. On the other hand, technology can provide amazing tools that can amplify a teacher’s ability to assess for formative learning. With this in mind I invite you to examine the categories of online quizzes and feedback generators. I include eight resources and invite you to share more so that I can include your voice in a future post. As always be sure to check your district AUP, and read terms of agreement before using a web site. If you missed the first post… than check it out here.

Quiz Based Tools for Formative Learning

  • Bell Ringer/Exit Ticket
  • Game Like
  • Track Individual Students
  • Get Feedback
  • Individual/Group
  • Students Can Create
  • Analyze Data

Why does a quiz… have to be a quiz? Does it need to have a grade? What is the purpose of a quiz? Can a quiz be fun? Can a quiz be something students look forward to? These are all questions I really think are worth some reflection. Making a quiz fun and game like is really not a new idea. We all remember spelling bees and even some analog form of Jeopardy. Technology has allowed educators to take some of that necessary content information and provide some fun learning experiences. Keep in mind that you must take these tools beyond the technology shine.  In fact, a challenge might be to find ways to employ these tools in even higher level learning activities. Perhaps students could even use them as thy produce and create. As an educator we must also go beyond the shine and examine what is under the hood. Be sure to use the data collection and analytic tools provided by these tools that can provide important insight into needed learning activities. As educators we must be deliberate in using the technology to amplify, enhance, and transform learning. While you employ the tools I have listed below, remember that variety is also an important learning component. In other words, be sure to mix up the activities!

Kahoot – Make learning and assessment into a class wide game complete with points and leader boards. Collect data from the group and individuals. This wonderful tool allows teachers to get a quick read on student knowledge and understanding.

Socrative – This amazing formative tool allows the teacher to post questions, polls, and quizzes on the fly with minimal preparation. Collect data on student understanding and even create a video game that allows kid to race to learn.

Quizlet – Create or choose from thousands of ready-made quizzes covering multiple subjects.  You can embed quizzes in a website or send students to a link. Collect formative data as students test their knowledge using any device.

Quiziz – One of the newest in game based quiz programs. Bring the whole class into a competitive learning situation. Allow students to reflect on how they answered question while collecting important data that will help decide future instruction.

Feedback Tools for Formative Assessment

  • Bell Ringer/Exit Ticket
  • Temperature Read
  • Polls
  • Student Voice/Choice
  • Student Can Create
  • Analyze Data
  • Determine Next Step
  • Parents/Community

Formative learning and assessment is all about obtaining feedback throughout the learning process. As an educator it is important to not only acquire the feedback, but to also use it to inform future instruction. Remember that important second half of the definition of formative assessment? If you forgot than be sure to read the prior post. Teachers have always been on the lookout for feedback, whether it is the raise of a hand or the nod of a head. The introduction of interactive whiteboards gave teachers the opportunity to use technology to get temperature reads allowing student learning on the fly. When used properly interactive whiteboards provide some wonderful insight. While the interactive whiteboard still has some great capabilities, the constraints of cost, positioning, and space can be a limiting factor. In the last couple years there has been a multitude of online tools and apps that provide interesting avenues and alternative solutions aimed at providing feedback. These wonderful new tools are a perfect fit for the 1 to 1 classroom and most work in a BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) environment filled with a variety of devices.  One advantage in using these tools is that the collected data will be useful in in future facilitation of learning. As with any technology tool it is important to be careful of the shine. I think you might be seeing my theme in integrating tools with learning. Obtaining feedback is only useful if there is also a plan to navigate the proper lanes on the highway of student learning. Please take a look and explore these tools. Even more important, begin to imagine how you can use these to bring voice and choice to your students which will provide important ideas to inform needed and effective instruction.

Answer Garden – This web based tool allows the teacher to ask a question and get feedback from the group. The feedback appears on the web page allowing for a picture of understanding and thoughts. The collected words and phrases can be sent to a world cloud generator such as Wordle or Tagxedo.

Google Forms – Create surveys and question forms that allow for student feedback, voice, and, choice.  Analyze the feedback using a spreadsheet to determine trends and needs. This is also a wonderful tool for students as they collect data for different projects.

Padlet – Think of a website that allows users to place virtual post it notes on the screen. These notes can even contain pictures and links. This tool allows a wonderful way to see thoughts, perceptions, and learning.

Go Soap Box – Get feedback from the class as they provide temperatures reads that reflect their understanding. See how this insight can help shape instruction and future student learning possibilities.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st century.  Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped and Blended Learning, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

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… Dates are going fast, with time up to and including December just about filled,  and I am  taking 2016 dates.

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Part 1: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities

formative

I have often reflected on the idea of formative assessment. In my reflection I have come up with several main ideas. First, this is a practice that has always been a part of good teaching. Second, it may be better stated as formative learning since I view assessment as a part of the overall learning experience. Last, I have come up with some wonderful formative learning tools, in nine different categories, for use in the classroom I wish to share with you in this series. Please keep  in mind they are only tools and are best utilized through the important art of teaching.  Please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference 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 delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over 3/4 full and the 2016 calendar is beginning to fill.

Quick Note – You are invited to join myself along with others at PBS Learning Media For a Free Webinar entitled, How to Leverage Digital Media in 1:1 Classrooms, on Wednesday August 19 at 7 PM EDT. There will be some great ideas to reflect on along with my Top 10 must have resources for the 1 to 1 classroom. Here is the link to register. Hope to see you there!

Part 1: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities

What really is formative assessment? It might be expressed that it is the continuous checking for student understanding of the mandated content standards and skills before the summative assessment. This is definitely a great beginning but may also be  somewhat limited. After all, a quiz, or numerous quizzes with some bell checkers could satisfy this definition. I am not sure if this really addresses the way student learning is facilitated in the classroom.

This causes me to reflect on the idea of digging deeper into the idea of what formative assessment really is. Perhaps we have the main idea stated with words that don’t quite fit. With this in mind,  I would like to refer to “Formative Assessment” as “Formative Learning”. By thinking of it in this manner both student assessment and learning can be addressed. It also provides an insight into what the idea of formative assessment really is.

Yes… let’s look at the whole definition… one that cannot be read just half way through. Formative Assessment or Learning is the continuous checking for student understanding of the mandated content standards and skills before the summative assessment… … in order to guide and provide needed facilitation and appropriate learning opportunities that meet the group and individual needs. Wow… suddenly it seems to go beyond a few quizzes, bell ringers, and exit tickets. It really begins to encompass what good teaching has always been. Best of all, it allows us to integrate technology so that we can add to the already powerful human element.
Before providing some wonderful example of how technology can assist in formative assessment I would like to take some of the technology shine away for a moment. As stated before, the human element has always been so important as we look at Formative Learning opportunities. Informal dialogue and meetings with individual and groups of students has always been powerful. Looking at the smiles and eyes of a student can tell an educator so much. Just as important might be a pause of frustration. Looking over a shoulder at a student working, or reading, can provide wonderful insight and a clue into learning. Listening to students collaborate, present, and share provides a wonderful opportunity in preparing for instruction. Watching the hands go up, or slowly come down during a class discussion has always informed good teachers.

Perhaps in this day of standardized accountability we only see the quizzes, bell ringers, and exit tickets and can sometimes forget that formative assessment is something teachers have always done. Actually, these are items that can be quantified and provided as data. It is important that teachers take a step back and ask the questions what does formative assessment look like, sound like, and feel like. A technology item such as an interactive white board is not enough. Such technology is only a tool that allows teachers to turn on that human element which I often call the true art of teaching. It is at this point that Formative Learning can become the culture of a classroom.

Remember that technology does not provide the facilitation, people do. Technology can serve as an amplifier. Remember that the amplification can go both ways. It really is about how we as educators employ the tools for our  students’ use. Always ask these two questions. How can this tool allow me to make student learning and growth better and, how can this tool make new learning and growth possible? Please enjoy and use the list that has been provided. Always keep in mind that real learning is a formative human experience, enjoy the journey! Below you will find my first category. In the coming posts you will discover the other eight categories as we uncover over 35 amazing formative learning tools.

Category 1… Video Tools for Formative Learning

  • Flipped Classroom Capabilities
  • Student Control
  • Lecture +
  • Forums
  • In class
  • Formative Tools Built In
  • LMS Enabled

Employing video tools in the classroom can be powerful for student learning. It is important to provide video that not only answers questions, but also provokes new thinking and inquiry posing new questions. The video a student watches can be the needed front loading for the next activity. Keep in mind that a video of a student’s teacher providing the activity can allow for some great blended connections. A video can also allow the student to control, rewind, and watch again… promoting self-regulated learning. Some of the tools provided below also allow for formative activities to be embedded in the video. The tools I am providing allow for integrating formative assessment into the learning. In a future post I may provide places to find amazing and engaging videos… but for now I will leave that for you!

Educannon – Creating a classroom movie is always fun. This tool allows the placement of videos in a formative loop allowing the teacher to check for student understanding as videos are watched.

Zaption – Link videos to this wonderful tool designed to place formative learning with in a video activity. Collect information on student progress as they access from home or school.

 Edpuzzle – Explore this formative video tool that allows the teacher to track and view student understanding. Use a video from just about any source on just about any device. Allows for important student metacognition during the course of the activity.

Blubbr.tv – Now teachers and students can create their own video based trivia games. Allowing the trivia to be based on content standards can bring a whole new form to learning.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st century.  Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

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… Dates are going fast, with time up to and including December just about filled,  and I am  taking 2016 dates.

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10 Inspiring Lessons From An Almost Analog Native … Back To School 2015

back_to_school

It is back to school time 2015 for many of us in the United States and beyond… welcome to the future! I dedicate this post to all of you wonderful educators . Please enjoy this reflective journey and share with others what I hope to be a teaching inspiration.  I wish all of you the very best as you enter a new school year! I hope you enjoy this timeless lesson… one that really does have a place in 21st century education. It is a reminder that teaching truly is an amazing art. Let’s all keep up the wonderful painting.  Please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference 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 delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over 3/4 full and the 2016 calendar is beginning to fill.

10 Inspiring Lessons From An Almost Analog Native – Mike Gorman ((https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

It was a normal first day back to school. The building was still quiet and still. I could sense there was an air of extreme excitement and anticipation in the air. I sat at my desk and pondered the reality of a new year wondering about the new faces I would greet.  I already knew that all too soon I would be waving good bye to another group I had come to know so well. It is amazing what the short period of a school year brings to both educators and students.  Suddenly awakened from what was either my deep reflection or possibly a type of relaxing nap that only the whisperings of being another year older can bring, a panicked voice was heard at my classroom door.

He was a brand new teacher dressed as one who just might enlighten the downtown business club, yet he stood with the glazed eyes of a student still waiting for that moment of enlightenment. I had seen it all before, perhaps even in the reflection of a distant mirror over thirty-seven years ago. He was summoning me to his room, not that I regarded it as his room… at least not yet. You see, I had great respect for the educator who had been a part of the four walls that this soon to be teacher was leading me to. As he led me through the doorway of his new headquarters for dissemination of information I couldn’t help but notice a peculiar feeling of past warmth that was missing. There was a indescribable void, covering a large aura which had been in place for nearly fifty years.

As he motioned for me to look at the archaic blackboard behind the new, still packaged, and not yet plugged in interactive whiteboard I couldn’t help but smile. There, still written with chalk that  had the smell of fresh dust, were the words “A Message from an Almost Analog Native”.  Then I heard the young teacher’s voice asking how he might  get rid of the words. He pleaded that, after all, he saw no button to push to dissolve the print. I smiled and walked to the board and picked up the eraser. I cleverly planned to display to this obviously digital native, one of this school’s first such inductees, the magic of an eraser. I even had my strategy for providing a professional development moment on the use of chalk. After all, improper use of chalk can lead to an annoying screech that will send most students diving under their desks. As I held up the eraser I walked to the board and began to perform the ancient teacher ritual of erasing a black… not green,board. Amazingly, it did not work out the way I had planned. As I observed the pupils of this brand new teacher’e eyes grow large, I turned to the board and took a step back in awe. Not only were the words not disappearing… but new words were beginning to appear underneath. It was now quite obvious that we were both extremely engaged in the lesson that was about to begin. I have recorded for you the amazing script that came before my eyes that very day.

The Ten Lessons

Welcome to your new classroom. I am sure you are going to explain and teach in a way that I might never understand. You see, I come from a day of filmstrip projectors that beeped, ditto paper that left my fingers blue and the students enjoying the scent, bells that really did ring out a mechanical melody, 16 millimeter films that, if in color, amazed the kids. In fact, if these films were shown backwards it provided bonus entertainment. In recent years I have heard words that are so strange to me. These words include foreign terms such as twitter, blog, wiki, Skype, web 2.0, clickers, and interactive whiteboards. I have heard all this talk about 21st century skills and I am not even sure if I can tell you what they are. So there you have it. I am not one of those digital natives, nor am I a digital immigrant! I may not even be an analog native or immigrant. So, even though I do not know all the new terms, I thought that I might give you a list of ten items I feel just might ensure success no matter what century it is.

  1.  You come to school to serve your students. Put them at the center of their learning. Find great books, integrate fascinating projects, and include engaging resources.  As you do this, always remember that students must be at the center of their learning.
  2.  As you teach you will come upon some amazing tools. My very first full sized erasable blackboard was wonderful and I was amazed by the pull down map. I remember the very first time I used colored chalk and our very first classroom set of encyclopedias. Imagine having almost all the knowledge of the world in your classroom. Please remember that tools are only as effective as those who use them. You will be introduced to amazing new tools. Make sure these tools become the servants and not the masters of your teaching.
  3. Realize that every student is truly gifted. It may be that your job is to find that special gift and make the student aware of it. Each gift is different and will ultimately lead that student to an interest and vocation that they find great pleasure in while contributing to society. They may even come back some day and thank you for revealing that gift to them.
  4. Learning does not just happen in the classroom. Open your students to the world by introducing them to experts, authors, cultures, and multiple disciplines. Teach them to become lifetime learners who will embrace learning beyond the classroom and beyond their school experience. It seems this world is ever changing and, in order to keep up with things, they may need to someday be their own teacher.
  5. Allow your students the experience of searching for success. This involves allowing multiple attempts, occasional failure, and eventual triumph. Learning does not always need to be graded, but must always be guided. Remember, it is not always the destination, but in most instances… the journey. Allow your students those journeys with multiple opportunities and outcomes.
  6. Encourage cooperation, teamwork, and healthy competition. Teach your students that the thoughts and contributions of many can be so much more powerful than just the contribution of one. Emphasize true discussion and listening, and allow for discourse. The ability to work, plan, and play together has been, and always will be, an important skill.
  7. Promote thinking that is outside what many might consider the box. Allow your students to have their own ideas, play with possibilities, and invent what doesn’t exist. Not everything in life can come from your textbook. Remember, what we believe as facts today could change in twenty-five to fifty years. It seems that information probably doubles every hundred years. I suppose that might even speed up a bit as time goes on.
  8. It seems that all of us learn best by doing. Allow your students to not just hear it or read about it. Provide them with real life experiences and allow then to do it. Guide them as they are doing so they are learning relevant content and gaining new skills. Give them some say in what they are doing.
  9. Remember your humanness. Always have a sense of humor and be yourself. Remember that teaching is a people business. Enjoy the laughter, the stories, the victories, the accomplishment, and the small (but really big) moments that can only happen in a real live classroom. Some say that someday robots or some kind of two way wireless radio will take over education. I truly think this will never happen because teachers will always show that the human element is essential. A smile from a real person sure beats that of a  robot or a distant person on a wireless radio covered in distant sounds of static.
  10. Always remember that you teach children… not subjects such as science, history, arithmetic, ciphering, citizenship, reading, English, and shop. You see, it is the teaching of children that convinced me to get into this amazing business… and it is the reason that most great teachers have a hard time giving up a classroom like this.

Please take good care of this classroom. It never was mine, only one that I was allowed not just to educate children in, but so much more. It was a classroom in which I was allowed to perpetuate a culture of learning for almost fifty years. You see, not all of these ideas were mine. I found them on an old slate lying in a back closet when I first entered this room. I was so happy I had a pencil in hand, because no faster had I made my copy than the words on the slate disappeared. I think I may have made a few changes. I know I will have a chance in my retirement to read about some of these new tools and even learn about these 21st century skills. It will probably give me a chance to think about what I might have done to make learning in my classroom even better. When I find out… I might even send you a message. Until then, please take care of this old classroom and, more importantly, take even more care with those children who will enter tomorrow and thereafter. I know you will perpetuate the culture of learning that has permeated these four walls for more years than even those I taught.

You know… there wasn’t much to say. I looked at the new kid who seemed even more ready to teach. His eyes appeared already a few years older. As we both stood there we saw the old blackboard magically erase and turn a clean dark shade of black. I picked up the eraser that I had dropped during this unusual encounter and handed it over to the new guy. He opened the closet door and threw it in. I heard a gentle thump as it landed on something that may have been a slate. Together, we both unpacked and plugged in his new interactive whiteboard. He carefully positioned it so he could still see a portion of that old blackboard from his desk. We both knew why. As I walked out of the room that day I couldn’t help but think about the history that just might occur in that old classroom in the next fifty years. But, I had plans to make and students to get ready for as I was incorporating many of those new 21st century skills I had been reading about all summer. I was so excited about providing so many new opportunities for my students. After all, this is a new era for new techniques and strategies and yes… some that have always been a [art of learning.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

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… Dates are going fast, with time up to and including December just about filled,  and I am  taking 2016 dates.

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Part 5: Forty… Now Fifty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit

5

 

Welcome to the fifth post…  and last post of this series.  I hope you have enjoyed these tools that I have picked from thousands . I tried to give you some new… along with some that have been around that you might not have known about.  As the new school year gets closer I have some great posts coming your way! Please ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts 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 – It is time to think about your school or conference 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 delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over half full.

Read the others in the series:

Part One,,,,,,,  Part Two ……. Part Three …… Part Four …… Part Five (This Issue)

Part 4: Forty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Nearpod

  • Create or download interactive presentations.
  • Share content and assess in real time.
  •  Multi-platform, mobile devices
  •  Library of Content (free and inexpensive)

http://www.nearpod.com/

Share My Lesson

  • Teachers create and share best resources.
  •  Resource bank for CCSS.
  •  Exchange ideas, ask for advice in Community
  • Webinar series for PD credits.

http://www.sharemylesson.com/home.aspx

GoFormative

  • Assess the whole class
  • Multiple forms of feedback including drawing (remember Infuse Learning)
  • Instant feedback
  • Free for students and teachers
  • Real Time Intervention

http://goformative.com/

My Script Live

  • Write equations by hand and have it translate to text
  • Music and notes handwritten and translated
  • Works with touch screen or not
  • View math equation’s graphical representation using Desmos or WolframAlpha.
  • So much more

https://webdemo.myscript.com

Eye Witness to History

  • Presents history “through the perspective of those who actually lived it.”
  • Ancient world through 20th century
  • Film clips, audio, articles, interactives, images
  • Chronological index and topical tabs

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/

Hypothes.is

  • Open platform to encourage discussion of web content
  • Annotate web pages via highlighting or notes.
  • Can set to “Only Me,” otherwise they are public and comments will be received.
  • Coming soon?? Hypothes.is for EDU

https://hypothes.is/

Lesson Paths

  • Share and curate learning playlists from web content.
  • Create your own to share.
  • Follow on Twitter and read blog for more ideas.

http://www.lessonpaths.com

Scholastic Study Jams

  • Simple interactive tutorials for elementary Math/Science concepts.
  • Presented by Scholastic.
  • Select the Kids tab for additional games and activities.

http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/index.htm

Facing History and Ourselves

  • Critical thinking about history to better understand impact of choices
  • Resources: Projects, Lessons, Strategies, Library
  • Holocaust, Darfur, US Civil Rights, Bullying, more
  • “Choosing to Participate” – importance of participating from community to world

https://www.facinghistory.org/

 Transl8it

  • Have some fun understanding across generations
  • English to SMS
  • SMS to English
  • Learn to speak with your tween or teen

http://transl8it.com/ 

 

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 (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Coming Soon: Three Great Posts – The ABC’s of PBL and Deeper Learning, The Rest of the  40 Amazing Educational Websites, and More STEMtastic Resources. These are some wonderful posts you will not want to miss. Sign Up Now

Booking Info for Michael Gorman – Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and am already more than half full for fall of 2015 – Mike

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Part 4: Forty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit

4

Welcome to the fourth post…  and almost last post of this series.  There is still some summer left so I thought I will add one more post… a fifth one for next time. I have a goal every summer to bring you at least 40 new tools… now it will be 50… that you may not know about. Remember, I am picking these from thousands and I am trying to find those sites that are up and coming and might just be the next big edtech hit. You might also notice I am also including a few sites that have been around for awhile.  They include ones that I feel educators might want to be a little more aware of. I hope you enjoy and try some of these out during the summer months. 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 – It is time to think about your school or conference 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 delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over half full.

Read the others in the series:

Part One,,,,,,,  Part Two ……. Part Three …… Part Four (This Issue)…… Part Five (Coming)

Part 4: Forty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Google Cultural Institute: Art Project

  • Experience, virtually, art that has shaped the world.
  • Search by person, event, artwork title and more.
  • “Discover”  allows exploration of related topics.
  • Save items to your own Gallery and share.

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/u/0/project/art-project

Citelighter

  • Digital writing solution Elementary to Higher Ed
  • Free = Content Capturing, Organization and Prewriting, Google Docs Integration
  • Premium = Video-based lessons, Access to “millions” of academic articles, more
  • Resources  – useful writing lessons and other information.

http://www.citelighter.com/

Big History Project

  • Multi-disciplinary middle/high curriculum on history of universe.
  • 13.7 billion years of history covered
  • Videos, animations, articles, and classroom activities.
  • Big name key partners, contributors, and sponsors
  • Optimized for mobile and tablet devices.

https://www.bighistoryproject.com/home

Quizziz

  • Multi-player practice quizzes for students.
  • Select “curated question set” or create your own.
  • Give students the game code, then start.
  • Teacher sees/can save student data.

http://quizizz.com/

The Radix Endeavor

  • Great STEM game (Gr 8 -12) in 2-D fantasy world.
  • Science/math skills used to help inhabitants.
  •  Individual/multiple players can be tracked.
  • Developed at the MIT Education Arcade

https://www.radixendeavor.org/

Smithsonian Tween Tribune

  • Daily news articles for kids K-12 selected by professional journalists.
  • Students post teacher-moderated comments.
  • Aims to encourage a well-informed public
  • Companion sites: Teen Tribune, TTEspanol, and TTJunior

http://www.tweentribune.com/

LitPick

  • Members review books, contribute to forums
  • Reviewers (Gr. 4+ ) need adult sponsor on application.
  • Students find books of interest.
  •  Authors connect with reader/reviewers.
  • Adults gain insight into young adult reading interests.

http://www.litpick.com/

QuadBlogging

  • Develops writing, communications, problem-solving, and collaborative skills.
  • Authentic, global (and guaranteed) audience for your class blog.
  • One “Quad” blogs weekly – other 3 classes visit and comment.

http://quadblogging.com/

Twiducate

  • “Social networking for schools.”
  • Twitter-like but for Education (private network)
  • Post deadlines, inspiration, news, web URLs
  •  Students can ask questions, collaborate on problems, embed pictures

http://www.twiducate.com/ 

Graphite Lesson Flows

  • Create a Lesson with an amazing App
  • Provide written instruction
  • Use multiple apps and resources
  • Created and vetted by teachers
  • So much more

https://www.graphite.org/lesson-flows#/lesson-flows

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 (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Coming Soon: Three Great Posts – The ABC’s of PBL and Deeper Learning, The Rest of the  40 Amazing Educational Websites, and More STEMtastic Resources. These are some wonderful posts you will not want to miss. Sign Up Now

Booking Info for Michael Gorman – Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and am already more than half full for fall of 2015 – Mike

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Part 3: Forty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit

3

 

Welcome to the third post in this series. I cant’t think of a better time then summer to check out some new edtech tools and possibilities. I have a goal every summer to bring you at least 40 new tools… maybe more… that you may not know about.  I am sending out ten new ones in each post. Remember, I am picking these from thousands and I am trying to find those sites that are up and coming and might just be the next big edtech hit. You might also notice I am also including a few sites that have been around for awhile.  They include ones that I feel educators might want to be a little more aware of. I hope you enjoy and try some of these out during the summer months. 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 – It is time to think about your school or conference 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 delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over half full.

Read the others in the series:

Part One,,,,,,,  Part Two ……. Part Three (This Issue)…… Part Four (Coming)…… Part Five (?)

Part 3: Forty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Exploratorium

  • San Francisco Science museum online.
  • 50,000 pages of original materials.
  • Webcasts, videos, articles, podcasts
  • Slideshows, online exhibits, and activities
  • Web projects, competitions, virtual field trips

http://www.exploratorium.edu

Teach With Movies

  • 350+ free Lesson Plans based on feature films and movies.
  • Subject matter index lists films by curriculum area.
  • Also indexed by appropriate age, title, and more.
  • Full length films as well as short video clips.

http://www.teachwithmovies.org/

Make Beliefs Comix

  • Helps English Language Learners and Special Needs students communicate.
  • 350+ printable graphic writing prompts in 50 categories.
  • Supports multiple languages
  • iPad app (free or $1.99 for ad-free) or web-based.

http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/

Infogr.am

  • Create charts, infographics, maps from templates.
  • Let students tell a story with uploaded spreadsheet data.
  • “FAQ” at bottom for tour and video tutorials.
  • PRO Plan (Educ. Pricing) for added features.

https://infogr.am/education

Gapminder For Teachers

  • Aims “ to fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview.”
  • Depicts social, economic, and environmental development statistics over time.
  • Videos, handouts and lesson plans, interactives
  • Download software for offline use.
  • “For Teachers” – developing site for using tools in the classroom.
  • Links to TED Talks by developer, Dr. Hans Rosling.

http://www.gapminder.org/for-teachers/

Edueto

  • Create online exercises (of 8 different types) or adapt from their library.
  • Assign, and track student progress.
  • WATCH the tutorials or you may think it isn’t working!

https://www.edueto.com/

Breaking News Generator

  • Create a newscast screen shot.
  • Place a crawler at the bottom.
  • Download, Embed or Tweet it!
  • Great free tool from classtools.net

http://www.classtools.net/breakingnews

Instructables

  • For the DIYers and Makers…
  • Technology, 3-D Printing, Robotics, Reuseables, Everyday things, more…
  • View and download instructions.
  • Create your own and share.

http://www.instructables.com/

Get the Math

  • “Algebra in the real world” for middle and high school students.
  • Presents interactive challenges used by pros in many fields.
  • Develops algebraic reasoning skills and awareness of use in “real world.”
  • Resources for teachers

http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/

Curriculet

  • Place “questions, quizzes, and rich media” annotations on top of any text.
  • Non-fiction content via current USA Today articles.
  • Available curriculets are editable or create your own.
  • Assign to students and view progress reports.

https://www.curriculet.com

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 (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Coming Soon: Three Great Posts – The ABC’s of PBL and Deeper Learning, The Rest of the  40 Amazing Educational Websites, and More STEMtastic Resources. These are some wonderful posts you will not want to miss. Sign Up Now

Booking Info for Michael Gorman – Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and am already more than half full for fall of 2015 – Mike

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