Google Lit Trips @ Mooroopna SC

Teacher librarian Rachel Fidock has kindly shared information on how she has been developing Google Lit Trips with her colleagues and students at Mooroopna Secondary College.
Mooroopna 4
Google Earth and Google Lit Trips:
Google Earth provides a tool for students to present oral presentations on their novels (where appropriate (i.e. aspects of the book can be highlighted by Google Earth)). We have low VELS levels in Speaking and Listening, possibly because students are not at ease giving oral presentations (often the way they are assessed for Speaking and Listening). Google Earth helps students to divert the attention from themselves. For example, they can show the class a trip they create that follows the journey taken by the main character in the novel (e.g. Swerve Google Lit Trip Presentation).
There are options to add images (creative commons-licensed images from Flickr), or show pictures that are already on Google Earth. There are so many options in Google Earth that students can make it as in-depth as they wish. The best part is they can record their voice over their journey so they have another option of meeting the requirements of Speaking and Listening. I have put together a guide to using Google Earth for the English staff that highlights how a Google Lit Trip can be used as an alternate assessment item for students to meet the requirements of VELS levels in Speaking and Listening, and created a Google Lit Trip on the novel Swerve as an example of its use.
We are now in the Ultranet training stage and are looking for ways the Library services, particularly our website, can become part of the student’s virtual space.
Rachel has taken the hard work out of learning how to introduce Google Lit Trips to students by providing readers of Bright Ideas with a Guide to Google Earth and Google Lit Trips which includes step by step instructions (including screenshots) for teachers and even assessment rubrics. A brilliant resource for teachers.
The Lit Trip that Rachel has created for Phillip Gwynne’s Swerve is an excellent example of what can be created. Please note that you will need to have Google Earth installed to view Rachel’s fantastic presentation.

New and improved site from State Library of Victoria

The State Library of Victoria has just relaunched its website. With an amazing wealth of information, activities and events, checking out the new SLV website is a must.
Homepage

Homepage

Hamish Curry, Education & Onsite Learning Manager in the Learning Services area of the State Library of Victoria explains:
This revamped site opens up a great deal of new opportunities to bring our collections and services to the surface; be sure to check out the ‘Learn’, ‘Explore’ and ‘What’s On’ sections.
Professional learning
Online learning resources
Online learning resources such as:
are included.
Professional learning
Professional learning
The professional learning page (above) caters for:
slv 4

Student and teacher resources

The Student and teacher resources page (above) provides resources related to:

  • Specific websites for schools (such as ergo, Insideadog)
  • SLV blogs
  • Audio and video resources
  • Education kits

So many fantastic resources available in the one place, the newly revamped SLV website is an absolute treasure.

Environmental sites

There are several websites that focus on the environment that are useful for learning and teaching. The Victorian EPA (Environment Protection Authority) has an ecological footprint calculator and a greenhouse calculator, which students would find both interesting and shocking to use.

Greenhouse calc

Vic EPA Footprint

Meanwhile the US EPA Teaching Center has a collection of resources on:

  • Air – acid rain, indoor air pollution, ozone, radon
  • Climate Change
  • Conservation – energy, environmental stewardship, natural resources, pollution prevention
  • Ecosystems – ecology, endangered species, global warming, habitats, watersheds
  • Human Health – drinking water, fish advisories, indoor air, lead, ozone depletion, pesticides, radon, smog
  • Stewardship
  • Waste & Recycling – garbage, household, hazardous & solid waste, landfills, superfund cleanups, trash
  • Water– drinking water, ecosystems, lakes, oceans, rivers, water pollution, watersheds

And although obviously US orientated, there is plenty of material that is useful for Australian and other schools.

Art: 21

The US television network PBS has an excellent website for art teachers. The Art: 21 website is based on the television series of the same name and contains videos (Australian users can watch the videos, unlike the BBC iPlayer), artist biographies, slideshows of artworks and educational materials.

Art 21

Teachers are given free access to teaching guides for each of the five series of Art: 21 as well as an online lesson library that includes the topics:

  • Abstraction and realism
  • Home and displacement
  • Individuals and collectives
  • Craftsmanship and labour
  • The natural world
  • Public and private space
  • Ritual and commemoration
  • Technology and systems
  • War and conflict

A resource certainly worth referring to art teachers.

iBoard player

The iBoard player is a terrific interactive teaching resource. With resources for Prep to 2, there is lots of fun and learning to be had.

Resources include:

  • Numeracy
  • Literacy
  • New Literacy (Texts)
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • ICT
  • Religion

A day in the country
A day in the country

This year 1 example above comes with the following information from the website:

Ask pupils to position the characters and construct sentences about their position or movement.
Using the whole scene, you could challenge pupils to make a wider range of statements than those given… “the bird is flying above the girl”, “the owl is on top of the big bear’s head.”
Ask pupils to position the characters and construct sentences about their position or movement. Using the whole scene, you could challenge pupils to make a wider range of statements than those given… “the bird is flying above the girl”, “the owl is on top of the big bear’s head.”
The iBoard player looks like a useful tool for learning for younger students.

Interactive Content Corner

The Interactive Content Corner blog is one worth checking out!

Interactive Content Corner

Author Emily Starr says:

My name is Emily Starr.  I’m a former fourth grade teacher, President of StarrMatica Learning Systems, and an interactive content enthusiast!

I started integrating online interactive content in my classroom instruction five years ago, and teaching with technology has been my passion ever since.

This blog is dedicated to the “Now what?” of teaching with technology.  My mission is to help you bridge the gap between knowing how to operate hardware and actually integrating technology into your instruction.

As Emily says, all of her posts are dedicated to explaining how to use specific tools in the classroom for learning and teaching. Although probably more appropriate for primary overall, there are tools and examples that could also be used in secondary. One example of this is Online Comics in the Classroom. There is also a free eBook for teachers to download that centres on teaching fractions using online websites. You can find Emily’s tweets at http://twitter.com/StarrMatica

It’s Elementary!

Tamra Lanning has created a very useful blog, specifically for primary (elementary) school teachers. It’s Elementary is developing a nice collection of literacy, numeracy and other tools suitable for primary aged students.

It's Elementary

Although It’s Elementary is a new blog, readers can immediately tell that Tamra is a committed teacher who loves her job. You can find Tamra on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tamralanning

Free resources for teachers from Cybraryman

Jerry Blumengarten (also known online as Cybraryman1) is an educator with over 30 years experience. What began as a Middle School library page has developed into a site with lots of resources including a list of blogs and nings that address the future of education.

There is also a list of music sites and links to websites by music teachers (have not come across many of these) as well as links for the following subjects:

This site is definitely worth a look to help identify some great new resources.

Year 7 Maths Wiki

An extremely useful site for maths teachers and students, the Year 7 Maths Wiki has a wealth of information on problem solving, homework help and interactive activities. The wiki was developed by the fabulous Maryna Badenhor (@marynabadenhors).

Maths wiki

Pages include:

  1. Alphabet Maths
  2. Anamorph
  3. Assessment and Thinking
  4. Astronomy
  5. Big Number Facts
  6. Calculators and converters
  7. Dice and Spinners
  8. Dictionaries
  9. Drills
  10. Early Years Maths
  11. Fibonacci Numbers
  12. Foldables
  13. Fractals
  14. Fractions
  15. Freeware
  16. Games
  17. Golden Ratio
  18. Graph paper etc.
  19. Hall of Fame
  20. Hands On
  21. Interactives
  22. Lesson Plans
  23. Lines and Curves
  24. Links
  25. Magic Squares
  26. Maps
  27. Math mats and squares
  28. Maths about Me
  29. Maths Fun
  30. Maya
  31. Measurement
  32. Money
  33. Multiplication
  34. Number systems
  35. Optical Illusions
  36. Origami
  37. Pascal’s Triangle
  38. Pi
  39. Pizza Math
  40. Posters
  41. Problem Solving
  42. Pythagorean Theorem
  43. Roman Numerals
  44. Royalty Free
  45. Shapes
  46. Symmetry
  47. Tangrams
  48. Teacher Resources
  49. Tessellations
  50. Video Tutorials
  51. Vocab and Cheat Sheets
  52. Weekly Problem
  53. Work Sheets

This is a very well put together resource that would be of great assistance to teachers, students and even parents.