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Free Quality Multimedia Resources … Learn and Create In The Teachers’ Domain!

Welcome to the fourth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a  perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan to share resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to one of these sites. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material  tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike

Teachers’ Domain definitley qualifies as a mega site from the people at PBS station WGBH in Boston. As described on the website it really is “an online library of more than 1,000 free media resources from the best in public television. These classroom resources, featuring media from NOVA, Frontline, Design Squad, American Experience, and other public broadcasting and content partners are easy to use and correlate to state and national standards.” Resources include video and audio segments, Flash interactives, images, documents, lesson plans for teachers, and student-oriented activities. Teachers can personalize the site using “My Folders” and “My Groups” to save resources into a folder and share them with your other teachers or their students. Some of the resources even allow downloading and remixing for teacher mash up presentations. There is a strong effort at integrating lessons with technology to engage student learning.

Educators will excited to find that the site contains even more then countless amazing and engaging videos. On entering Teachers’s Domain there is an area set up for K12 curriculum. In this area teachers can find lessons devoted to Arts, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The Arts reveals multiple resources and lessons exploring dance, music, theater and the visual arts.  Investigate the power of language in the English Language Arts Section!  This collection of video segments, activities and engaging lesson plans focuses on literacy skills for early childhood readers through high school students. Best of all these resources correlate to state and national English Language Arts standards. Students can become a  math whiz with a wonderful collection of Mathematics resources! This new and expanding collection of media resources  explore main concepts in elementary mathematics and correlate to educational standards. Broaden you and your students  knowledge of science content and effective inquiry-based methodologies.  The Science area  offers over 1,500 media resources in science, engineering, and technology as well as standards-based professional development courses. This area is certainly worthy of its own blog posting by itself! The Social Studies area allows classrooms to journey back in time and around the globe! This ever growing collection of video segments, activities and lesson plans  brings alive selected topics in U.S. and world history and also correlates to state and national standards.

Teacher Domain also provides avenues towards professional development. Educators can even earn continuing education credits and college credit. Check out Teachers’ Domain Professional Development area that offers K-12 teachers new ways to inspire students, broaden content knowledge, and integrate technology into classrooms. Especially interesting is an area devoted to teaching strategies. This contains awesome videos covering English Language Arts,  Innovative StrategiesIntegrating TechnologyScienceMedia ResourcesGuides/Tutorials/ Workshops, and  Professional Development Activities.

I believe this next paragraph could be invaluable as a free resource. I want to introduce you to some of the awesome collection of public media series filled with great videos, lessons, and activities found at Teachers’ Doman. Explore the links I have included for some great resources. You will be amazed! NOVA on Teachers’ Domain is the most popular science series on public television while  podcasts about science are available from PRI’s The World . Discoverd epic stories about Americas past and present that will engage students at American Experience,  and check out a collection of adventures and history lessons from Antiques Roadshow that will provide some amazing adventures in history detective work. For early readers Between The Lions has twenty great clips or engage students with Cyberchase the Emmy-winning math mystery show. You may wish to study immigration using Faces Of America or meet America’s most extraordinary young musicians aged 8 to 18 at From The Top. Any course that includes current events and debate should include Frontline, and science classes will enjoy the powerful documentaries found at Nature, along with the fast-paced, innovative, and entertaining science program featuring timely science and technology stories entitled Nova Science Now. Students can also follow the life and contributions of Percy Julian, and explore the power of language while building reading and writing skills using video segments drawn from the Poetry Everywhere series. Your students can gain awareness and understanding of the diversity of religions and religious experiences by viewing Religion and Ethics and will appreciate the workings of the US judicial system from The Supreme Court. Last, enrich the study of Global History by using contemporary examples as jumping-off points to engage students with historical themes that were as relevant in the past as they are today through the integration of Wide Angle.

Just when you may think you have discovered all of the resources there are other amazing links which I know you will find valuable. Students can explore 21st Century careers at ATE or discover a unique Alaska’s Native perspective on earth and climate. There is also an area devoted to Native American perspective on global warming at Where Worlds Touch The Earth. There are resources on  Biotechnology, and students can explore Cool Careers in Science,   or study impacts of Global Climate Change and Warming. Watch participants in the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers program, (ITEST), as they learn science by doing it. Check out some early age literacy at Literacy 360 or take a moment to inspire some Middle School Literacy. Explore themes in science, literacy and language arts, fine arts, and social studies through the perspective of culturally diverse communities in these resources from the Education Through Art, Culture, and History (ECHO) initiative. The Civil Rights Collection provides archival news footage, primary sources, and interview segments filmed for Eyes on the Prize, this collection captures the voices, images, and events of the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggle for racial equality in America. Learn about the Arctic, the Antarctic, and why scientists are so interested in studying Earth’s polar regions by visiting Polar Sciences Collection. Students can learn about personal finance with this collection of video resources, interactive games and lesson plans at the The Citi Collection for Financial Capability. My favorite, encourages students to create their own multimedia using Building Blocks,which are short downloadable video segments that students can edit and embed into their own presentations.

While you are at Teachers’ Domain check out some of their local links. You will find great resources such as Keystone eMedia, an outstanding KQED Science Media Collection, resources from the Ohio Collection Of Digital Media, and this Teacher’s Guide designed to help you make optimum use of video in your classroom. Teachers’ Domain is currently converting video to full screen. They also offer tutorials for teachers using  Teachers’ Domain in the classroom. They include topics such as Introduction to TDUsing TD in the Classroom,Technology Guide to Using TDUsing Folders and Groups, andCreating User-Generated Media. You may also wish to check out this promotional video to learn even more, then register for your free account! Be sure to read more about Teachers’ Domain including its mission, contributors, and usage policy. Possibly the best feature of Teachers’ Domain is that it has been constructed to integrate in and across curriculum while allowing teachers to use the important video segments for teachable moments. It incorporates lessons that are engaging and provides opportunities to not just consume the technology but to also create. It really is time for you to explore and incorporate Teachers’ Domain as part of your 21st Century Classroom!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as Teachers’ Domain this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike

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Collaboration, a 21st Century Skill: Three Free Sites To Help Students Understand Collaboration

Picture Courtesy of http://www.lumaxart.com/

I am sitting in Wichita, Kansas after providing a day long tech integration in-service to an amazing  and creative group of middle school teachers. While I hope I was able to facilitate technology infusion to a group already at the cutting edge of education reform, I too walked away with new ideas they indirectly taught me. This experience reminded me of “The Wisdom Of The Crowd” and how collectively we are much more effective as a group than we are as an individual. In this posting I would like to share with you the idea of collaboration and how we may wish to ask students to collaborate, but we first must show them how and why. Please enjoy the post and add any response on how you facilitate collaboration.  As always you can follow me on on twitter at (mjgormans) and I will be sure to follow back so we can learn from each other. Also, please join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki, it’s filled with great resources that are free and effective!  – Mike

This first paragraph contains reflections on the definition of collaboration, if you wish to go to links that help students understand collaboration. If not, go on to the second paragraph. Collaboration is a Twenty-First Century Skill. It is also a  process and that all students need to experience it in order to fully comprehend its potential.   Wikipedia defines collaboration as “a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature —by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus”.  In the definition, the word recursive is found. The definition of recursive involves the idea of an  “infinite statement using finite components” Looking at collaboration in this sense sure makes collaboration sound a lot more powerful! The definition ends with  the idea of sharing knowledge, learning, and building consensus. Most teachers have the sharing portion down pretty well, and is  inspiring to note  the learning component. What is most impressive, but possibly underused, is the last concept of  building consensus!  Further into the article there is a reference to a Roth and Lee study in the 1990’s that “led to changes in learning and teaching design in which students were encouraged to share their ways of doing mathematics, history, science, with each other. In other words, that children take part in the construction of consensual domains, and ‘participate in the negotiation and institutionalization of … meaning'”. (Roth, W-M. and Lee, Y-J. (2006) Contradictions in theorizing and implementing communities in education. Educational Research Review, 1, (1), pp27–40.) In other words, learning communities were being recognized for students. So, how do we develop and show importance for developing collaborative learning communities.? I suggest the following three free web sites that may allow teachers to begin to build a foundation for the understanding of collaboration.

I have spent time with James Surowiecki‘s book “Wisdom of Crowds” which I will say is an important read for educators. Your students can enjoy listening to portions of the book. In fact, PBS has created a page that highlights the important concepts of the book for students. You will find it at Nova’s Science Now Site. Here you will find relevant videos and a few activities. Students can watch a video including  Surowiecki’s book highlights or another video that includes a case study of a WWII submarine.  Included are activities entitled Counting CabsOne Minute Expert, and  Differences Between Mean and Median. There is even a transcript of the video. Be sure to check out the related Random House Site because it contains questions and answers with the author along with excerpts and even audio clips that could be used in podcasts.

If you are not aware of TED.com , be ready to visit  an awesome site of  amazing technology and innovation videos. If you are aware, you must be sure to visit the theme devoted to The Rise Of Collaboration.  TED is a small,  but rapidly growing, nonprofit group devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from the  three worlds of  Technology, Entertainment, and Design. In the theme devoted to The Rise Of Collaboration you will find Jimmy Wales telling  the story of perhaps the movement’s most famous example, Wikipedia . Also included is Richard Baraniuk as he envisions a  free global education system to which thousands of teachers could contribute. In an awesome presentation,  Charles Leadbeater gives examples of collaborative innovation that predate the World Wide Web, and  Cameron Sinclair wants to shelter the world by providing an online platform for open-source architecture. Don’t miss as Deborah Gordon shows  the inspiration of collaboration as she reveals the world of  the desert anthill. Included in the TED collection are nearly fifty videos that highlight the world of collaboration in an exciting and engaging way.

Another great site for assisting in teaching the collaborative process is Your Take. It demonstrates the true power found in a group working together.    The site emphasizes that a real  key to success inside and outside the classroom is the ability to think critically and  go beyond grades.  The authors of this site have developed a unique tool called SCAN .  The SCAN program promotes an interactive and collaborative way for students to use technology to analyze and problem solve an issue. The letters in SCAN stand for:  S – Stop and think things through, C – Clarify the key issues, A – Ask yourself what’s most important, N – Now, what’s your next step. Lessons can be taught as an individual or group activity. Students use the web to follow these guidelines and reflect on various points of view. The end product is a group effort that can be used as a project, writing prompt, or presentation. A  video provided by Your Take gives a clear demonstration  of how this program works. The program has nearly one hundred pre-made lessons with prompts. I advise you to not stop there. Use lessons that you have used in the past and integrate them using this outstanding technology. Include standards found in your curriculum to better understand past issues in history, current topics of today, and future problems that will need solutions only found through the efforts of a group. An archived Webinar provides an even  more thorough examination of  “Your Take”. It provides great information on the ways to set up this online collaborative environment in a safe and effective way. A list of sample of standards,  including 21st century technology standards can also be found on the Your Take Web Site.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. As you can see, this post is dedicated to teachers wanting to facilitate real collaboration in their classroom. I will close with the idea that true (PBL) Project Based Learning and 21st Century Learning require that students collaborate in the planning of the learning process. Perhaps modeling is still the very best method to teach and facilitate. Have a great week and as always you can follow me on on twitter at (mjgormans) and I will be sure to follow back so we can learn from each other. As always please join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki, it’s filled with great resources that are free and effective! – Mike

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