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Web 2.0 Resources

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Web 2.0 Guru has a great site with a listing of Web 2.0 resources for educators. It lists the resources by category, with links to the resource or more information.

The top of the page starts with a list of the top 10 Web 2.0 resources every 21st century classroom should have. What's great is that most of the resources listed on this site are free.

Take a look around the site and explore what's out there to help you improve teaching and learning in your school and classroom.

College Resources for High School Students

Here are some resources to share with high school students:

The Princeton Review has a great site about colleges, majors, and careers. This site can help students explore career and college options so that they can better plan high school and college.

Unigo is a great resouce for college bound high school students and college students. The site has information on colleges, college admissions, financial aid, college life, tips for success, internships, and more. It is one of those sites that every college-bound, or college student should visit.

I really liked this article entitled "What I'd Wish I Known About My First Days on Campus". It has very practical advice for transitioning into college and surviving your freshman year.

Free quick reference guides for software

Custom Guide has free quick reference guides for different types of software, including Windows, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more. You can download the PDF files for free.

These are great resources to have handy to help you when working with these software titles.

Science Bob

Science Bob is a great web site for science teachers. It is specifically targeted for the lower grades, but I have used some of the resources as grabbers or quick lessons with my high school classes. The site has videos of experiements, interactive experiments, instructions for doing your own experiments, and tips for science fair projects.

The site is easy to navigate and very well done.

American Presidency resource

The National Museum of American History has a great site about the American Presidency. It has information and activities about all aspects of the Presidency including life in the White House, campaigning, and information about the presidents. There are student activities and teacher resources.

The museum's main site also has a lot of information and resources available for teachers to use in their classroom.

Free Technology Tips

I had posted about this site last year, but wanted to mention it to everyone again. 180 Technology Tips is a great resource for educators, providing free technology tips and help. You can visit the site or subscribe to get an email every school day (hence the 180 tips) with a short lesson on some aspect of technology. The site reviews web searching, Word and Excel tips, email, hardware and software, and much more. You can also look at the past lessons in the archive.

It is a great resource that is well written and easy to understand.

Free Webinars

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Scientific Learning is sponsoring free webinars on How Kids Learn. For more information and to register, go HERE

Verizon is sponsoring a free webinar on how to reach 21st Century Kids using Verzion Thinkfinity. Verizon Thinkfinity is a great program that is free for students and teachers. For more information on the webinar and to register, go HERE.

"In Plain English" Videos

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Commoncraft is a great resource for teachers. The produce, short, simple, easy to understand videos that explain a variety of subjects "in Plain English".

The videos explain things such as RSS Feeds, computer hardware, twitter, and much more. You can view all of the videos on the site for free. If you like them and want to use them in your classroom or for professional development, you can purchase the videos.

The company also creates custom videos and has done work for Google. You can find some of them on Google Video. The topics include Google Reader, Google Docs.

21st Century Skills

(cross posted at http://www.techlearning.com/blogs/23342)

"21st Century Skills" is an often used phrase to describe the skills that educators and employers feel that students need to learn in order to be successful in school, careers, and life. I've argued that many of those skills have been needed and taught for decades.

If you think about it, students have always needed to be able to communicate, work in teams, follow directions, solve problems, and find information. I was taught these skills in high school and college and I was doing projects back then also. I graduated high school in 1988 and college in 1992. 21st Century Skills and Project Based Learning are not new ideas. The difference is that these skills need to be applied using new technology.

I was in college when the internet was young. We had text based FTP, email, and newsgroups. In my first engineering job, we started to use the internet for research and communication. Today, everything can be done using the internet and anything and everything can be found on the internet. When I was in school, we had encyclopedias and other reference books that were considered acceptable, reliable and peer reviewed. Today, we have the internet with information published by anyone. This means that today's students need to know how to find the information they are looking for and analyze it to see if it is reliable.

When I was in school, we had to go to the library, or hope our textbook or the encyclopedia at home had the information we needed. Today, students can find information on the internet from home, school, or anywhere using WiFi and even their phones.

This instant access to information means that students don't have to memorize as much information to get things done. They have to know how to find it and analyze it to see if it is reliable or not. We should be teaching them this. Instead of content memorization, we should be teaching content processes.

I feel that critical thinking, problem solving, communications, and teamwork are not 21st Century Skills. They are critical skills that humans have needed throughout our history. I would say that 21st Century Skills would include finding and analyzing data on the internet and using new technologies to do things better and more efficiently.

To do this, we should incorporate projects in our curriculum that require students to use technology to complete the project. We need to go beyond just web research and PowerPoint and have students create and interact. Blogs, web sites, online discussions, videos, and more can all be used in a project. The project then teaches the critical skills mentioned above, as well as the 21st Century Skills.

Projects should be based on real life issues, not just a topic from class turned into a project. To get ideas, look in the newspaper and news stories, as well as hot topics online. You can also talk to local businesses about issues that they are working on. You can even ask the students if there are issues or projects that they would like to work on. Be creative.

Educators need to teach content, critical skills, and how to use technology to find information, solve problems, and achieve goals. Projects are a great way to do this.

For more information on 21st Century Skills and Project Based Learning:
and search this blog.

Great list of great educational sites

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Allmyfaves is a great site that has a huge number of websites for education. They are broken down by subject area. The site also has sites in other categries.

Some of the sites listed I already knew about, but I did find some new sites that were very useful.

The sites are shown via their logo instead of text so it is more visual. I found it very easy to browse through.

Copyright for teachers


Are you confused by copyright issues and how they apply to teachers and education?

Check out this article and slideshow for some great information and tips:

Google Product Search

Google's Product Search is a great way to search for things you want to buy. It even brings up search suggestions as you type into the search box.

I like to use it because it eliminates extraneous search results that have nothing to do with finding a product to buy.

Translate Google Docs

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Google Docs can now translate your document into 42 different languages. This should make working with ELL and parents who don't speak English much easier.

Read more about it HERE.

Great video about Google Docs

Google has a great video about Google Docs. The video on this page is hosted through YouTube so you won't be able to see it if your school blocks YouTube, you'll have to check it out at home.

It shows the collaborative powers of Google Docs in a humorous way.



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