Museum Box

This is a nifty site that is available to teachers and schools worldwide. The site explains how Museum Box

provides the tools for you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. What items, for example, would you put in a box to describe your life; the life of a Victorian Servant or Roman soldier; or to show that slavery was wrong and unnecessary? You can display anything from a text file to a movie. You can also view and comment on the museum boxes submitted by others.

Museum box

The site also explains how

You can add text, images, video and sound to the side of the cubes. To save your box you will need to register. For teachers there is lesson guidance and instructions for use are available in the Teachers Area and you can Register your school.

Anyone can view the Museum Boxes, but if you wish to make and save your own box, it does require registration, which is approved (in my case) in about five days.

What an engaging way of putting together resources on a historical (or any) topic.

Thanks to Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers for alerting Bright Ideas to Museum Box!

educationeye

Mapping innovations in education, Futurelab UK’s educationeye website is an engaging site for educators.

educationeye

Futurelab explains what educationeye is all about:

Education Eye is a free, engaging and easy-to-use online space that gives access to a wide range of exciting, relevant and useful innovations which are selected from the best of the web and updated daily.

The Eye provides a way to discover, explore and share new ideas. It maps hundreds of the top educational websites, forums and practitioner case studies. With additional features like saving your own favourite innovations, Futurelab’s favourites, customisable email digests and a widget version, it’s invaluable for exploring educational innovations.

Users don’t have to subscribe to the website, however a free subscription opens further resources. Daily updates is a useful feature for keeping up with what is new and relevant to learning and teaching.

Spreading the word

Three new presentations on social media have become available in recent days and could be good to use for staff meetings or professional learning sessions to promote better understanding of social media and discussions on how it may enhance learning.

The first presentation is the recently released TED Talk by creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson, who “makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.”

The second presentation is a slideshare by Jane Hart on social learning.

The third presentation is a video that focuses on the ways social media has changed products, services and communication. (It is in no way an endorsement of students using Facebook, but an expose of how people are communicating.) “The Social Media Revolution 2 video is a refresh of the original video with new and updated social media & mobile statistics that are hard to ignore. Based on the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman.”

These presentations don’t have all the answers, but they should be conversation starters at school.

Digital Particpation

The UK’s FutureLab organisation have produced two informative videos on digital participation in schools.

Running at just over 7 and 9 minutes each, the videos look at incorporating technology into the curriculum in primary and secondary schools respectively.

The most interesting aspect is that students appear on camera to give their feedback on what they had been learning and why they liked using specific technologies. Teachers explain how teaching styles were different and how students excelled by using technologies not normally used is the classroom. The fact of students using technologies outside of the classroom (at home) was also acknowledged.

Components of digital literacies such as

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking and evaluation
  • Cultural and social understanding
  • Collaboration
  • Finding and selecting information
  • Effective communication
  • E-safety
  • Functional skills

were discussed. Well worth viewing.

Gateway to 21st Century Skills

Teachers can access a wide range of educational support materials via The Gateway to 21st Century Skills website.

gateway

Teachers must register to use The Gateway, however, it is free to do so.

The “about the Gateway Project” page explains more:

Mission

The Gateway expands educators’ capability to access Internet-based lesson plans, instructional units and other educational materials in all forms and formats. The Gateway’s goal is to improve the organization and accessibility of the substantial collections of materials that are already available on various federal, state, university, non-profit, and commercial Internet sites.

The Gateway is administered by JES & Co., a nonprofit serving educators and trainers at all levels in the USA and around the world.

Vision

The Gateway will be the world’s leading digital library and metadata cooperative, helping educators serve students by providing access to educational knowledge through cutting edge innovation and collaboration

Resources are listed by subject:

There are thousands of links to sites available for learning and teaching.

Thank you to Helen Boelens for passing on the information for this site.

Polleverywhere

This is a fantastic tool for feedback. For quickly gauging what your students know, how your audience is feeling or which topic you should address next, Polleverywhere is ideal for the classroom or conferences and has free and premium options.

Polleverywhere 1

Participants can respond to your poll via SMS, Twitter or the web. Many schools may not have access to the SMS option due to school policy, however students can still respond by being given a URL.

polleverywhere 3

Polleverywhere is ideal for conferences as almost all delegates would have a mobile phone or iPod touch and speakers can modify or customise their session depending on the mood of the audience.

21st Century Fluency Project

This is an interesting take on what we are all trying to address. Rather than think of what we are teaching as information literacy, this project applies the term 21st Century fluency.

21st Century fluency

The site explains its aims:

This resource is the collaborative effort of a group of experienced educators and entrepreneurs who have united to share their experience and ideas, and create a project geared toward making learning relevant to life in our new digital age. Our purpose is to develop exceptional resources to assist in transforming learning to be relevant to life in the 21st Century. At the core of this project are our Curriculum Integration Kits – engaging, challenge based learning modules designed to cultivate the essential 21st Century Fluencies within the context of the required curriculum.

In today’s world, it’s easy to see just how vital the internalization of these fluencies really is. They are the essential methodology by which the students of today will transform into the architects and leaders of tomorrow. Working together, we will make the future great.

In addition to the various resources we have crafted, we have strived to make our site just as engaging and informative. We hope you enjoy your time with us as you move forward in to C.H.A.N.G.E. in your classroom.

The site has a lot of useful resources such as:

Anyone can join the project as long as they commit to:

  • Understanding Digital Kids
  • Catching up to the new digital landscape
  • Teaching to the whole new mind
  • Teaching beyond literacy to 21st Century fluency
  • Shifting the responsibility for learning to the student
  • Letting students access information natively
  • Letting students collaborate

Another great resource that gives us ways to start and continue to transform our classrooms.

The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

This free eBook written by Terry Freedman address the challenges facing anyone introducing web 2.0 into schools and then proceeds to showcase a number of web 2.0 projects that have been developed and implemented successfully into schools. Although written for a UK audience, there is an enormous amount that is applicable to Australian (and international) schools.

The are hyperlinks to the projects that have been developed so that readers can get a real feel for the teaching and learning that occurred within each project. Each project also contains:

  • Age range
  • Applications used
  • Description of the project
  • Project URL
  • Challenges that had to be overcome and
  • Reactions and outcomes (including quotes from students).

Full reviews of each project enables interested parties to assess if they could use or adapt projects for their own schools. Solutions to cybersafety are also addressed.

If you are wanting to address the use of (or lack thereof) web 2.0 tools in your school, The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book is an excellent beginning.

Thanks to Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers for leading me to this resource!

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