Free Copies of iAnnotate (Normally $9.99)

iAnnotate by Branchfire has given me 30 codes to distribute to educators. It’s an amazing PDF editing and annotation tools for the iPad. Send me a tweet or leave me a comment about how you would use it for education and score one of these codes!

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Teaching Tolerance Releases Robust Common Core Curricular Content

Teaching Tolerance has just announced its new Common Core aligned curriculum, “Perspectives for a Diverse America.” This is a literacy based curriculum that teachers students to read text deeply and meaningfully while incorporating the experiences of a diverse set of Americans.

The Curriculum is entirely free and can be found here.

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Instantly Create Vocab Lists with Vocabulist

ba93c3ece4403f880520dd6b914bd866One of our Juniors at Ransom Everglades just showed me a new web tool that he has been developing, Vocabulist. It allows you to upload a PDF, Word, or Text Document of Vocabulary Words, defines them using Merriam-Webster, and then generates a fully defined list of terms that you can use to study. It will even let you export to Quizlet. This is a great way to quickly generate term definitions for study or a quick Quiz.

The App is still in development, so please send your feedback and suggestions here.

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Track & Rate Skills Inside Google Docs

I posted earlier about Kaizena’s new “tags” feature that allows you to tag, rate, and track student skills. Here is a great video that highlights how to do this!

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Google Hangouts is now part of the Google Apps Suite

I was so excited to open my email and discover that Google Hangouts (GHO) is now part of the Google Apps enterprise suite and therefore covered under its contract and policies. It no longer requires a Google+ account! You can read the full announcement here.

If you are interested in learning different ways to use Google Hangouts in your class, check out my post: “4 Ways to Enhance your Class with Google Hangouts.”

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21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This Year

Jennifer Carey:

As always, some great tips from the esteemed Carl Hooker!

Originally posted on Hooked On Innovation:

The Past mixing with the Future #selfie

The Past mixing with the Future #selfie

A new school year always brings about new ideas and hopeful ambition for teachers. However, it’s almost 2015.  Gone are the days when we can use the excuse that “we don’t do technology”.  Part of being a teacher in the 21st century is being creative in integrating academics and learning into student’s digital lives. With access to content being ubiquitous and instant in student’s out of school lives, we can either reject their world for our more traditional one, or embrace it.

While some of the ideas that follow may seem a bit trendy, it’s never hurts to model ways to interact with all this new media as a covert way of teaching digital literacy and citizenship.   The great news is, you don’t need every student to have a device to make these happen. Heck, in most cases all you would need is a single smart…

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There’s no app for good teaching

Jennifer Carey:

Love the ideas here. There is no magic app. Technology in the classroom is only as good as the teacher.

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

8 ways to think about tech in ways that actually improve the classroom.

Bringing technology into the classroom often winds up an awkward mash-up between the laws of Murphy and Moore: What can go wrong, will — only faster.

It’s a multi-headed challenge: Teachers need to connect with classrooms filled with distinct individuals. We all want learning to be intrinsically motivated and mindful, yet we want kids to test well and respond to bribes (er, extrinsic rewards). Meanwhile, there’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, in the US alone, hoping to sell apps and tech tools to school boards.

There’s no app for that.

But there are touchstones for bringing technology into the classroom. With educational goals as the starting point, not an afterthought, teachers can help students use — and then transcend — technology as they learn.

Children as early as Pre Kindergarten at Love T. Nolan Elementary School in College Park, Georgia have access to the iPad to reinforce techniques taught in the classroom. Starting in pre-kindergarten, children at Love T. Nolan Elementary School in College Park, Georgia, have access to an iPad to reinforce techniques taught in the classroom. Photo by Amanda…

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NYT offers Free, Common Core Aligned Content

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The New York Times blog, the Learning Network, is up and running for the new academic year. If you’re unfamiliar with this tool, the New York Times offers free lesson plans and content for Social Studies and Humanities teachers covering current events. Every week, they post a new Common Core aligned lesson plan include multi-media resources (all entirely free). They also offer monthly “Text to Text” lessons “in which [they] pair an often-taught work in history, literature, science or math with a piece from The Times that illuminates it in some way.”

In addition to lesson plans, they provide a variety of interactive features (quizzes, student contest, and more) for educators and students. All of this material is offered entirely free for educators and students.

Check out the inaugural post “How to Use This Blog” for the NYT Learning Network, or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Posted in Common Core, Education, Educational Resources, Educational Technology, History, Lesson Plan, Professional Development, Public Education, Teachers, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another Reason for Twitter

Jennifer Carey:

Some great thoughts from my good friend Daniel Schneider!

Originally posted on Mathy McMatherson:

Hey everyone,

I’m getting worse at keeping my blog updated… I’ve been wanting to add something to this for a while because I haven’t liked that the first post people see when they come here starts with ‘Shameless Promotion!’. That’s just tacky.

So – in an effort to move that from the top of my front page, I want to write about Twitter. In particular, I want to write about one person on twitter: Alexis Huicochea. This person is 90% of the reason I still use twitter today.

Alexis isn’t a teacher or educator. She’s not someone that I follow for professional development – that’s the other 10% of why I use twitter. I’ve never met her in person, nor have we ever had a conversation on twitter. Alexis works for the local newspaper in my city – she writes primarily about local education. I like reading her articles because they…

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Common Core Lessons & Material for English & Humanities

V. Donaghue, “September—Back to Work, Back to School, Back to Books” [1940]. WPA Poster Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

V. Donaghue, “September—Back to Work, Back to School, Back to Books” [1940]. WPA Poster Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Edistement!, a division of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has released a series of Common Core Lesson plans for the 2014 school year.

The resources are organized into categories of Literature & Language Arts, History & Social Studies, and STEM/Humanities. They are common core aligned and include objectives and activities.

These are great resources for educators going back to school! You can check out the catalogue here.

Posted in Common Core, Education, Educational Resources, History, Lesson Plan, Professional Development, Public Education, Teachers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments