Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lesson Plans, Interactive Web Sites, and Other Good Ideas

Three sources on the web are highlighting some very good web sites for the classroom. Check out these resources for all grades--both elementary and secondary--and for teachers as well.

Zero Footprint: Kids Calculator - Grades 3 - 8
What impact does your lifestyle—and that of your students--have on our environment? This interactive online calculator can help your students look at their use of natural resources, land, water, and trees after they answer questions about transportation, what they eat, what they throw away, what they use, and home and school. They can then compare their “carbon footprint” to the averages in other nations.
Painless Writing - Grades 3 - 9
This site has both old and new ways for teachers to get students writing painlessly. The procedures, lessons, prompts, and interesting combinations of approaches may be just what you’ve been trying to find.
Hurricanes - Grades 1 - 8
Use an interactive whiteboard with this site’s animated guide to hurricanes to understand this type of weather. There are also quizzes, pictures of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction, reference information, and other helps.
Colonial Williamsburg Interactive - Grades 3 - 12
Your students will enjoy playing games and learning about Williamsburg at this interactive site. You can show coinage and Gilbert’s paintings. Looking at Queen Elizabeth’s visits to Williamsburg in 1957 and again in 2007 opens the door for examining the differences in our world over 50 years. You can even explore the Constitution interactively.

Lesson Plans for Preservice and Beginning Teachers
Here’s a site which has thousands of free online lesson plans. You can search by grade or subject or both.
Keeping Students Safe
Information about school safety from the playground to gangs is available at this site.

Annenberg Viewing Options
See an overview of Annenberg’s viewing options, including their free Video on Demand.
The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K-5
Integrate art, mathematics, and science.
Surprises in Mind
This documentary looks at mathematical creativity and the brain. Art, architecture, music, and a 12-year research study all play a role in looking at instruction designed to help children use their natural mathematical inclinations.
Learning Math: Geometry
View polygons, dissections, symmetry, and more.
Mathematics: What's the Big Idea?
Examine the use of geometry in art and architecture. Visit classrooms where students are engaging in hands-on activities.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shakespeare and Web 2.0 in the Classroom

Web 2.0 Applications in the Classroom

I just read an interesting article by Brian Benzinger called
Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 3. He shares stories of teachers and students who are using blogs, photo sharing, podcasts, wikis, videos, and other Web 2.0 applications in their classrooms. Very interesting article.

A couple of quotations from the article illustrate some of the experiences…
… many students became so attached to their blogs that they made it a responsibility to keep consistent.
… “hot-spot learning objects.” … he created a volcano ... If you are to hover over one of the volcano’s [sic], a Flickr note will appear containing more information about it.

Shakespeare Podcasts

Teachers and students who are studying Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing can download—for free--a podcast of the play from a UK government web site. The play was performed at the Globe Theatre in London for younger teenagers. Interviews with the director and the actors are also available for download.

Read the BBC News article about this podcast and other related podcasts. Links for downloading the podcasts are available in the sidebar to the right of the article.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Copyright and Digital Media

Whenever we or our students are working with digital media (e.g., clip art, photos, music, text, movies, scanned information, web sites), we need to be aware of copyright and fair use laws. Bernajean Porter’s DigiTales web site--a great tool to use when combining the arts of storytelling and digital creativity--provides some very helpful resources, including copyright information.

Learn about...
  • Creative Commons licenses,
  • access a variety of permission forms,
  • read a summary of fair use guidelines for education,
  • learn how to cite web sites you’ve used, and
  • learn about the various types of copyright by following the links on this web page...

Monday, May 7, 2007

Podcasts: Resources, Tutorials, and Classroom Uses

In January, I listed some podcast directories in this blog. Each one of the directories listed interesting podcasts in a variety of areas. This month I am sharing podcasts or information about them with respect to three categories: resources, tutorials, and podcasts that were either created in the classroom or for the classroom. Both students and teachers are producing some awesome podcasts which can be accessed on YouTube, TeacherTube, iTunes, and other directories. Some innovative, interesting, and exciting ideas are showing up in podcasting. Read on!

Podcasting Resources

This product automatically converts text to audio files which can be played on MP3 players, including iPods.

Millions of registered users make free phone calls over the Internet using Skype software. Users can now have conversations with up to 100 people using Skypecasting. The conversation can then be recorded and shared like a podcast. Some interesting uses for Skypecasting include mystery writer Michael Connelly talking about his newest book, networking calls for business, and a live concert by the Dutch band Johan. Moodle even has Skypecast as a new feature.

How to YouTube Podcast
This video shows how to watch YouTube video subscriptions on an iPod.

Podcasting Tutorials…

Learning Podcasting
This tutorial provides an overview of podcasting with sufficient detail that you develop an understanding of what is involved with creating and publishing your own podcasts. The information is not geared toward educators. However, it is certainly well worth reading and following the provided links.

The Podcast Recipe: Producing a Successful Show
Apple, Inc. has produced a three-part video tutorial for creating, producing, and promoting podcasts. You can learn about different types of microphones and how to use them, how to decide what content goes where in your podcast program, and how to use GarageBand, iWeb, and iTunes to help with the whole process. This series focuses on using Macintosh products; however, information and recommendations appropriate to podcasts created on any computer are included. Although not directed to educators specifically, all three sessions have good ideas that the classroom teacher can use.

How to Podcast
This section of the VoxMedia wiki is not finished yet, but the links are enough to recommend it for individuals who are looking for introductory instructions.

Audio Podcasting
This video provides very detailed instructions for creating an audio podcast using and mypodcast recorder.

Podcast Tutorial: How to Post a Podcast
This video tells how to use PodOmatic to post a podcast to the iTunes Store. You can record your podcast directly to the web using this free service. It works with both Windows and Mac computers.

Creating Video Podcasts on Mac OS X
This tutorial provides instructions for creating a video podcast on a Macintosh and posting it to iTunes.

Podcasting for iTunes & iTS podcast directory
This podcasting tutorial guides you through creating a podcast of your own (on either Macs or Windows computers) and posting it on the iTunes Store podcast directory.

iLife Tutorials for Macs

iLife GarageBand: Recording a Podcast (Part 1)

iLife GarageBand: Recording a Podcast (Part 2)

Creating a Podcast Page

Podcasting in the Classroom

Frog Dissection and Technology
Watch grade 8 students document their frog dissections.

Guerrilla Season Book Blog Project
A junior high school history teacher decided to teach the Civil War through a historical novel and a blog. In the book, the Civil War is seen through the eyes of two teenage boys. This video is an overview of the project.

Human Survival on Mars
The host interviews astrophysicist Dr. Devon Hamilton about how human beings will be able to live on Mars.

Poetry and Multimed
Junior high school students present poetry using multimedia tools.

Public Service Announcements in Health Class
Grade 8 students produce public service announcements in health class.

Real Life Applications of Parabolas
Students explore parabolas in real life.

Student Animations
Students create Flash© animations.

Venus: A Hollister View T7
Students share information about Venus in an effort to interest other students.