Archive for April, 2012

Technology Tuesday – Web Curation

The internet is crowded with tons of resources and ideas.   How do you manage all the content you find online?  Do you add it to your favorites?  Do you add a link on your website?  Or have you taken advantage of one of the web 2.0 tools out there that help you curate your links in a way that make them accessible, ready to share, and ready to use.   Here are 5 of my favorite Web Curation Tools that are available for free.

1.  Pinterest Logo Pinterest –have you heard of it?  I know most of you have since I see your pins all the time.   Pinterest is a web curator site, or another way to organize your links that is social and visual.   You set up “boards” to which you “pin” websites. Each board can have a theme and you can look through other people’s boards (if they make them public) for more ideas.  Other users can follow your boards, like your pins or re-pin your pins onto their own boards.  There is a section labeled Education that displays people’s pins(website finds) that have to do with education.

I have created an account on Pinterest dedicated to educational resources.  If you would like to check it out (or follow them) go here:  http://pinterest.com/techrobin/

If you need an invite to Pinterest, please let me know!

2.  LiveBinders LogoLivebinders http://www.livebinders.com/ – collect all your resources, images, videos, pdfs, websites, and group them into a “binder” where students have easy access to the websites that you have.  Inside the binder you can divide the content into tabs and each tab can have sub-tabs.  Students can create accounts and add the binder to their own collections or create binders on topic assigned to them.

 Examples:

3.  Linoit LogoLinoithttp://en.linoit.com/ – An online collaboration tool in the form of Sticky Notes.  Create a bulletin board of ideas and files on any topic.  Organize ideas and resources be rearranging the sticky notes on the board.  This is an easy, visual ways for students to find the resources or information they need.  This can also be a great collaboration tool as students add in notes (if you allow that) and collect ideas.

4.  Diigo LogoDiigohttp://www.diigo.com/user/robiny – Diigo is a bookmarking website that allows users to create groups, share links and have discussions.      Researching biomes?  Give the websites you find a specific tag and gie that link the to students so anytime you add more resources their list is updated without having to add a link to your website.

This is a resource that I have been using for a long time and still love it.  I can add bookmarks from school and still retrieve them from home.   They also have apps that are useful for mobile devices.

 

5.  Wallwisher logoWall Wisherhttp://www.wallwisher.com/ – another online bulletin board that has been around for a while.  You can add stickies that contain text, images or links to websites.   This tools is great for collecting images of a certain topic and them having students use those images for their projects and since the kids can help add in the resources, this can be a great collaboration tool.

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Technology Tuesday – Supporting Differentiation in the Classroom

Differentiating Content:

Here are a few tools to help in finding content suited to the different levels in your classroom.

Twurdy – http://twurdy.com – Need to find content to help in differentiation in the classroom?   Twurdy searched the internet and labels results with a readability score.  The darker orange the background of the result is the higher readability level it has.  This would be great when searching  for materials for struggling readers and for the gifted students who need more of a challenge.   The have their own scale system so be sure to check out the feature to turn the age level to understand their system.

Google Reading Level – Google also has a search filter that will sort results based on Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Reading Levels.   Type in your search term(s) and then click on the reading level you want to focus on to see the websites that fall in that category.

Text Compactor  – http://textcompactor.com/ – Create a summary of your text by pasting in the passage, drag the slider to show how much of the text you want to keep in the summary and then view the results.   You can also cut and paste the results into a text to speech program or into a language translator to help process the information even more.  This could be used for those ELL students or for struggling readers to comprehend the text.  Or use it in the writing process as students pasting in their own writing and determining if the created summary really reflects what was intended by the student.

Sweet Search – http://www.sweetsearch.com/ – A search engine designed to give results based on analyzing the credibility of the website so students will have access to information that is more accurate than random sites.   This website also contains widgets that you can place on your website so that students can use it as a launching point for searches in class and at home.

 

Differentiating Product

This is easy with Web 2.0 technology tools.  Students do not need to all create the same product, but choices can be given to allow them to choose a method that is more in alignment with their intelligences.  All these tools help students create.  According to the Digital Bloom’s taxonomy – creating is on the high end of the spectrum of critical thinking tools.  You don’t have to be an expert in all of these tools.  Tutorials already exist in youtube or by talking to other teachers who have the how-to papers ready to go.  Students are ready to learn the program to accomplish the product so let them try!

Create:

This list is not comprehensive, but this should get you started.

Management of Differentiated Products:

Worried about grading all these different products?   With the design of a good rubric grading can be easy as the content should always be what you are looking for no matter what the packaging is.   Rubistar is a great place to start in designing a rubric.

Tammy Worcester had a great idea of how to gather all the links/products into one place with a digital dropbox.  Using a google form, create a place for students to turn in their links for easy access to all products posted online.

Example:

Resources:

http://cooltoolsfor21stcenturylearners.wikispaces.com/Flexible+Learning+Paths

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