What is #edChat?
A follower from the University of Southern California shared a wonderful resource named the #Edchat Resource Guide. This Google Doc, created by USC Rossier's online EdD degree, is completely free and packed with useful information and articles about #Edchat and other Twitter eduation chats.
What is #edChat?
#EdChat is an ongoing Twitter conversation between educators. The conversation occurs every Tuesday night at 7PM EDT (there are alternate times for those in other time zones). To participate simply logon on to Twitter, search for the conversation #Edchat, and add the hashtag #Edchat to every tweet! There are hundreds of education chats that you can participate in as well. The guide, created by the University of Southern California, has all of the information you need. Hope to "see" you next Tuesday night on Twitter!
So we have finished the first five days in Downingtown School District and what a week it was! Teachers have so much do to at the beginning of the school year. Starting off on the right foot is essential to making sure the school year runs smoothly. I know that teachers appreciate ideas to help them get started and here are a few I found very useful. I hope your year is off to as a good a start as mine!
Back to School Planning Guide from Scholastic
1st Day Teaching Ideas
Teach-Nology Ideas for Starting the School Year
Middle School Nuts and Bolts for Starting the New Year
Critical First Week of High School from Scholastic
As the month of July, with its lazy days and sultry nights begins its retreat, August is looming on the calendar. It's time to start thinking of heading back to school. I begin this ritual the first week of August every year and secretly I rather enjoy getting back into the routine. I start each year with thinking. Before I drift off to sleep at night I imagine the first day of school in my mind and begin a mental list of what needs to be done to prepare. I imagine students sitting in desks and me teaching and begin a mental checklist of what needs to be done to get ready. This eventually translates into a physical list which leads to me pulling my computer out, brushing aside the travel brochures and allowing my creative juices to start flowing. Soon I'll head in to the building and start decorating my classroom, mapping out my school year, and creating lesson plans. It all happens quickly now that August is here and I need that time to prepare myself mentally.
Most teachers have similar routines I'm sure. There is something that triggers it each summer, whether it be the adds in the newspaper on TV for back-to-school sales, turning the page on the calendar, that first email from the office about the new school year, or seeing that cute skirt in the window that would be just perfect for the first day of school.
Whether you are just starting your career as a new teacher or are heading back to the classroom for your twenty-fifth year, being prepared is key. Here are some great ideas to help you get started!
Students today learn in ways we could never have imagined when we were children. Our students come to school expecting technology to be available and integrated into their day just as it is everywhere they go outside of school. Our kids use smartphones, computers and tablets from a very young age. They access the Internet, download and upload, edit and share photos, communicate and collaborate, and keep themselves entertained. They know the Internet is there 24 hours and day and they rely on the information it provides.
We have reached a point in education where, other than giving some instruction on how to run a piece of software, teaching kids how to use technology should no longer be our focus. Rather the goal is to teach them to be critical of what they read on the Internet, to learn to discern between what is valid from what is bunk. Further, we need to push them beyond simply accessing the Internet to search for facts and show them how to make connections to what they find and to make new meaning from what they have learned. Finally, we need to teach them how to ask questions and to take meaning and translate it into new innovations that will help to shape our world.
Are you ready to begin Integrating technology into your curriculum. Check out ten tools in the video below to help you get started!
I was recently contacted by a wonderful group of librarians and media specialists at EducatorLabs.org who volunteer their time to help make teaching just a little easier. Simply fill out a request form to let the group know just what you are teaching or searching for and they will compile a resource packet with lesson plans, links, graphics, and references to help you teach the best lessons possible. There is also an extensive and ever-growing data bank of resources catalogued by topic. The best news is that the site and the service is 100% free! If you have not yet stumbled across Educator Labs you need to check it out soon! It will be come one of those "go-to"resources you will find useful every day!
Yesterday I shared Today’s Meet, an online site that allows presenters and participants to interact and ask questions in a live chat room environment. However, what if you need to chat live with someone not in the room? Zoho Meeting might be just the solution! The free version of Zoho Meeting makes it simple for you to set up a meeting and interact with one other participant. Paid versions allow for five to one hundred participants to meet at a time. What a great method for holding a parent conference when parents cannot make it into the building or to bring a student who has been absent up to speed! Further,Zoho Meeting allows you to share your desktop, chat via instant message, and use audio all in a secure environment. The ability to collaborate is a much more effective method of communicating than simply sending links to documents or speaking over the phone. So the next time you need to speak to someone and would also like them to see what you have to share, invite them to a Zoho Meeting on the Internet!
Today’s Meet is a free site that allows users to create a temporary chat room and invite others to join. Why would you want to create a chat room, you ask? Well, imagine you are presenting to a group of 15 eager teachers who want to learn everything they can about Google Docs. You have just one hour to present as this is a free seminar designed to give just a brief overview of what can be accomplished with Google Docs. You are covering material and demonstrating the possibilities as quickly as you can, but the teachers have so many questions! You are glad to answer each one, but are secretly thinking to yourself I am never going to get through all of this!
Is there a solution? You bet! You could have created a temporary chat room at Today’s Meet and invited the group members to join the room. Then, as you are presenting, they could be conversing with one another, sharing their thoughts, asking questions, and perhaps even giving one another answers. This doesn’t mean that you won’t stop during your presentation to answer questions at all, but as you let the members know ahead of time you will be printing out a transcript of the Today’s Meet session and getting back to them with answers, they feel free just to type their questions while paying close attention to what you have to say!
Today’s Meet is also valuable during your presentation. Simply project the chat page on the screen, pause every so often to read and answer a few questions, and then continue on. With Today’s Meet, your presentation goes off without a hitch and your problem is solved!
Do you create assignments and assessments using Google Forms? Do you have a file full of digital entries to grade? Would you like a free, easy way to grade those assignments in just a few minutes, AND have a spreadsheet of results sent directly to your inbox? Enter, Flubaroo! Flubaroo is a free Google Sheets add-on that quickly grades multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank assignments in conjunction with Google in just a matter of minutes. Simply create a new assignment or quiz in Google Forms, create an answer sheet, and post the assignment for students. As questions are answered and submitted, Google pages will automatically post responses into a new spreadsheet. When you are ready to grade, open the spreadsheet, choose Flubaroo from the add-ons menu, and select grade assignment. Flubaroo will ask you a series of questions and grade the assignments in a matter of minutes! A new page named "grades" is created supplying you with all of the information you need to post and analyze your students' performance on the assignment. It's like having your own personal secretary!
Subtext is an eReader App designed for iPad. SubText Rreader app is the perfect solution for students reading, collaborating, and sharing in the classroom. Teachers create classrooms and monitor students progress. Collaborative tools allow groups to work together in real time.