Happy Christmas Break! I hope you're having a restful break and spending the time with family, friends, watching movies, eating great food, wearing your favorite PJs and not thinking about work.
But then again, you're educators and can't help but think about your students and what you plan to do with them for the new semester. So I've decided to share some resources you could look at ... as you think about NEW beginnings ... New Year Resolutions ... or simply reframe your ideas for great classroom instruction and professional development.
This organization started following me on Twitter recently and looks interesting to me. Brainscape (@Brainscape) is an app teachers can use to create "smart" flashcards for students. The organization has seemed to do it's homework by using recent brain research to describe how this app helps students learn best.
It made me think about our Spelling Words List ... Fry and Dolch Words ... could this app help our students master the words on these lists?
Try it out and let me know what you think... https://www.brainscape.com/ ... Also here's some information specific for teachers.
Here's another great resource to get GREAT ideas about integrating technology into the classroom. It's a podcast created by teachers for teachers called Teachercast. If you've been reading the past ENews postings, I've included a video from Teachercast about using Kidblog with your students. It also includes a section for learning more about Google Apps for Education which Royse City ISD is using this school year.
Teachercast was created by Jeffery Bradbury (@JeffBradbury). It has several other places online you can access the content: iTunes, YouTube, Google+, LiveBinder and more. Be sure to check them out and follow @Teachercast Twitter.
Edutopia was founded by George Lucas ... Don't recognize the name ?!? Perhaps you've heard of Star Wars!! Anyway... George Lucas was a kind of student that was bored in school. Actually he hated school and how it was designed. So he started this foundation so teachers could share some of the best, unique, and out-of-box ideas to improve teaching and learning.
Edutopia frequently has articles and ideas that push on the educational borders and helps to break down barriers so students to learn effectively. Topics on this site include Project-Based Learning, Technology Integration, Game-Based Learning, Differentiated Instruction, Integrated Studies, Blended Learning and more. Often Edutopia will visit schools and creates a video that highlights the best efforts of public education ... and because it's the George Lucas Foundation, you know the videos are high quality stuff!
Because of focus on improvement this school year... I've been reading/watching the set of videos from Cochrane Collegiate Academy. It features a set of videos of their teachers and staff members and tells their story about what they did to turn their school around. The first 5 teachers that email & can tell me the "advice given to teachers" from the featured video titled "What This School Is Achieving-OutComes" - I will cover their morning duty (gym, cafeteria, outside) during the first week back to school ... given they don't conflict with each other. Regardless, be sure to look at these resources.
Other great resources to look at ...The Best Education Parodies of 2014
Finally, I would like to end this session of the ENews with still my #1 favorite resource for all my educational news, resources, ideas, collaboration, support & encouragement... Twitter! I love using this tool for connecting, learning, and sharing. Twitter continues to help me in my professional role and I love to advocate for all educators to be connected! It doesn't have to be Twitter (even though I could make a strong argue for this tool), but being connected has huge benefits that we can't ignore anymore. So I encourage you to use something to connect with other educators online - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogger, Google+ are some tools educators are using to connect ... more I could share about this topic ... perhaps another time.
RT @ceo_teacher: Got a Twitter minute? 9 great ways to use #twitterintheclassroom via @langwitches #edchat #edtech pic.twitter.com/wAlThwuzJAHave a wonderful Christmas Break! I can't wait to see each one of you next week... please enjoy your family, friends and the time you have left ... I just got word that we're going to Six Flags so I'll see you all later!
— Lee A (@NYtechprepper) December 16, 2014