Sunday, January 27, 2013

Free Technology for Teachers: Video Projects and Common Core Standards

Here's a post from Richard Byrne's great FreeTech4Teachers blog, one of my go-to resources. Embedded in the post are copies of his slides from a recent workshop and to what standards video creation applies. Take a look!

Free Technology for Teachers: Video Projects and Common Core Standards: Last week I ran two workshops on video creation in the classroom . A part of that workshop was a discussion of Common Core standards...

Richard mentions Next Vista for Learning, a site by our friend Rushton Hurley, which provides a library of free videos made by and for teachers and students. Check it out!

CC Connection: Creating videos (which does NOT necessarily entail a gigantic project, contrary to popular belief...) is a great way to cover Common Core standards and help students grow their communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking skills in support of deeper learning.

Mastery Connect Common Core apps for iPad & Android Tablets

Mastery Connect has created a nice app to enable teachers to look up Common Core standards by subject and grade. While neither version links directly to any tech tools (that's what we hope to  be collecting and commenting on here at Common Core and Ed Tech), the app is a nice reference if you need to look up a standard. They're pretty simple, and it does not appear you can copy and paste the standards info from the app to someplace else, but I think these apps are in the 'gotta have' category on your tablet, Android or iPad. Here's the link to the iPad app, and here's the one for the Google Play store.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Technology Tools to Access Primary Sources

We’re both Social Studies teachers, and find its integration into the ELA Common Core Standards a natural fit.  This recent article in “The Journal” focuses on the use of technology to access primary sources.  Students not only connect more meaningfully to the historical aspect of the source; but also use the information to support their writing and make connections to other literary works.

CC Connection: Students can use primary sources as a means to build knowledge and support arguments in research papers.  Reference to primary sources allow for richer connections and more effective arguments.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Infographics - integrating tech into research papers

Here's a very informative blog post  from Catlin Tucker called Infographics: Transforming the Traditional Research Paper & Addressing Common Core Standards , in this case using "infographics." Her post very nicely describes how to integrate technology into a Common Core aligned research paper - in this case, an infographic.*  Catlin always does a great job explaining techniques in understandable, usable ways. 

This post is about using infographics to address several classroom goals with one well-designed project. I like her website evaluation form, too! Take a look - you won't be disappointed.

* Infographics are visual depictions of data. If you've never created one before or want more information about how to create one, watch this video by Linda Braun, which will tell you all you need to know. 

Common Core Connection: integrates research writing with technology in Language Arts - and could easily be adapted to subjects like Social Studies and Science.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Using Mind-mapping Tools

High on both common core standards and project based learning is the planning stage. Whether working independently or collaboratively, students need to learn the value of brainstorming, design, and preparation. Over the past couple years, Bubbl.Us has been a tried and true mind-mapping favorite with my students. It is a fairly basic template for text, with a folder system that allows for easy management on the teacher’s side. The webs can be embedded to student eportfolios. For a more sophisticated brainstorming tool, consider SpiderScribe. This tool allows students to add Google Maps, images and documents. Maps can be shared with other students. Both are free for educators and students.

CC Connection: The process of planning and making connections is essential in reading and writing. For example, students can identify a theme and connect supporting examples from the text; manage vocabulary; plan a writing project; collect information from a variety of sources; and prepare for collaboration.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 "Big Themes": Implementing Common Core!

I just read an interesting article by Annie Murphy Paul on KQED Mind/Shift called Here Comes 2013: The Big Themes in Learning. Not a complete surprise - Advance of the Common Core standards was #2 on this list. In 2013, the "messy business of implementing the standards" will accelerate. We hope that our blog will help that implementation!

Have you looked at our infograph of various tools that support the English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core curriculum? Click here to get to our Tools and Resources page, where you'll find that ELA infograph and our ScoopIt page of interesting Common Core articles.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Empowering Collaborative Learners

As we enter the 13th year of the 21st century, many teachers are still challenged with moving their classrooms forward and addressing those skills colleges and employers demand.  Agreed, the changes in education over the past few years, coupled with new academic standards, presents challenges for even the savviest of teachers.  Absorbing it all does take time, as does finding ways of using it effectively in the classroom.  This article in Edutopia, Five Tips for Building Strong Collaborative Learning, addresses strategies in working collaboratively that reach beyond putting students together to do “group projects”.  Empowering students with the proper tools is essential.  And using technology as a collaborative strategy is a no-brainer.  
CC Connection: Collaborative learning is fundamental in math and language arts settings. The ELA standards for Speaking and Listening require students to “prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively”. Using tools like Google Apps, students can work together in analyzing textual evidence, evaluating content, and comparing work.  Creativity tools, including slideshows and video creation, allow students to demonstrate learning to a wider audience.