Tag Archives: Educational Resources

Free Common Core Resources via iTunes U

ASCD iTunes U content screen capture.

ASCD iTunes U content screen capture.

If you are looking for professional development and content focused around the Common Core, then check out ASCD’s (Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development) courses and other resources via iTunes U. Courses cover a variety of content for Grades K-12 and are entirely free for teachers and other educators.

Rent eBooks, Audiobooks, and Videos for FREE from your local Library

The is reblogged from my post on Freetech4teacher

I spend way too much money on books! This year, I made a concerted effort to get more books from the library to help my budget. On my first visit to a local library, I learned that they used Overdrive to rent eBooks and audiobooks! So now, I can check out eBooks and audiobooks from home and read them on my iPad! Overdrive allows you to rent eBooks, Audiobooks, and even video straight from your local library! There are no fees associated with this service. All you need is a library card!

To see if you library partners with Overdrive, simply make a quick search on their site. You can then create an Overdrive account using your library card. Download the App onto your Computer, iOS, or Android device and you’re ready to start checking out material! The nice thing about an Overdrive account is that you can sync your content across devices! Never lose your spot on your eBook or Audiobook! When your rental expires, it automatically goes back to the library, so no late fees!

For more app ideas, EdTechTeacher has great recommendations for reading audiobooks. You can also learn more at their November 13-14 iPad Summit in Boston where I will be a featured presenter.

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.

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.

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.

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.

5 Tips to get Organized with Google Calendars

This is reblogged from my post on Edudemic.

One of my favorite Google Apps resources is Google Calendar. If your school has enrolled inGoogle Apps for Education, it is part of the GAFE suite of tools. With a Google Calendar, you can more effectively organize and plan your class. Here are five quick tips to help you create an enhanced classroom Calendar to make your school year run smoothly.

Embed Calendar on Google Sites

Consider embedding your Google Calendar directly into your website as an an easy way to publish homework, communicate deadlines, and keep students and parents up to date about your class. If you use Google Sites for your class home page, then you can easily embed a calendar by going to Insert → Calendar. However, even without a Google Site, you can use an embed code to post it. By clicking on “Calendar Details” (visible when you click the down arrow next to your calendar), you can scroll down, copy the “embed code,” and then paste it directly onto your website. Google Calendar will even let you personalize your calendar by customizing the color and shape.

google calendar

Have Students Subscribe to the Calendar

Instead of having students visit the calendar regularly, have them subscribe to it. A subscription will connect them directly to your calendar. This way, they will have the most recent and up to date information. They can even sync that calendar to their computer, tablet, or smartphone so that they have the information at their fingertips. There are two ways to subscribe to a Google Calendar. First, when viewing the calendar itself, students can click on the “+Calendar” icon at the bottom right. They will then be redirected to their own Google Calendar and prompted to add it to their own.

google calendar

However, if the student prefers to use another Calendar Reader (such as iCal or Outlook), then you can share with them the Calendar address by going to “Calendar Details” and then scrolling down to “Calendar Address.” Students can then import the Calendar to their viewer of choice.

Add Attachments to Events

google calendarIf you like to use Google Calendar for assignments, then know that you can also attach documents – creating a great workflow solution for your students. This is a feature that requires you to enable “Labs” in Google Calendar. Labs are features that have not yet been broadly rolled out and are still in beta. It is important to know that sometimes Labs features are buggy. If you experience problems, simply disable Labs. To enable the “Event Attachments” Lab click on the the gear in the top right corner, then select Labs; scroll down and enable “Event Attachments.” Now when you create a new event you will have the option “add attachment” available. When your students view the calendar details to see their assignment, they can also access the content that you post.

google calendar

Schedule a Video Call

If you are scheduling an appointment with someone who also has a Google Account, then you can automatically set up a video call! By creating an event and inviting a guest, they will have the option to join your video call by clicking on the icon within the appointment. This is far easier and faster than setting up a Google Hangout or Skype Call.

Set up Appointment Slots

Google Calendar allows you to set up appointment slots without sharing your whole calendar with students. This is a great way to organize student or parent conferences without a signup sheet or emailing back and forth. Note that you can only use this feature with a Google Apps for Education(GAFE) or Business account; it will not work on a personal account.

When you open your calendar, switch to Week or Day view. Click on your Calendar anywhere and select “Appointment Slops” from the pop up bubble. From the drop down menu select the Calendar you want to use. I recommend using your professional calendar so that you don’t schedule a conflicting event. Remember, sharing appointment slots will not reveal your whole Calendar, only the time slots available for appointments. Give your Appointment Slots a name, such as “Ms. Carey’s Office Hours,” and set the times for your appointments. When you have finished, copy the appointment page URL and click save. When you share the URL with your students they will be able to schedule appointments with you. If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, check out this great video by Google Gooru

Google Calendar is a highly versatile tool within the Google suite of apps. With these tips you can streamline and organize your class and professional time, keep students on track, and navigate your schedule easily.

To learn more about using Google Calendars and other Google tools in the classroom, EdTechTeacher will be hosting a FREE, LIVE Back-to-School with Google webinar on September 18th at 8:0pm EST. Registration is open.