Friday, October 27, 2006

More Useful Sites

Remember you don't have to use the email version of this blog. Use the web site below to find this and all the other archived posts:

Websites of the week:

If you want to use a particular site with your class I am happy to post the url on the intranet so that your class can easily access it. Of course if you had a class blog, you could post the url there......If you want to learn or practise setting up a blog for your class, I am happy to do that during PD sessions on Wednesday afternoon. It is a very simple process (repeat after me!) - much easier than running a web page.

This is a really fantastic algebra site for children from Level 3 plus, I guess. Very easy to use, clear with careful (American) instructions. I'm putting on my maths page for my maths class to use. A must visit....


Or a fun, useful science site from the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Lots of interactive activities.

This is a US site, but very good world wide data on earthquakes. From the Exploratorium:

The following is a mixture of interesting PD type links

Now a question to think about: Has handwriting reached the end of the road? Interesting Washington Post article which would be worthy of discussion. How much energy should we put into the teaching of handwriting? Why? Send me your comments on this one!

Hate video games? Perhaps they hold the key to the future shape of education. Video games can reshape education: U.S. scientists .

How do you podcast? If you are in the States you can do it with your phone....Take a look here..

In fact there is a conference in the US in which they give all attendees an Ipod nano with podcasts from the conference on it.

Earlier posts have mentioned the emergence of Web2.0. The next link will take you to a view of what that might mean in a classroom.:

What a Web 2.0 class might look like.

An illegal foreigner in Paris - slideshow of interesting photos - an illegal refugee's life in Paris.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Searching Again information has become increasingly digital and networked, its nature as a consumable has changed because its geography has practically disappeared as a limiting factor, and its availability has exploded because shelf space is no longer an issue. As a result, we are no longer limited to only the content that the media industry has decided to bring to us, and we are increasingly delving into the open, enormous, and rapidly growing content that knows almost no limits.....
D Warlick

One of the real challenges we face as educators is helping children make sense of the information they have at their fingertips. At the very least we should be teaching them that finding information is part of a process which will engage their thinking skills. It isn't rushing to Google with the first keyword they cn think of.
Consider this:

Type kiwiana into Google - 118,000 hits
Type kiwiana icons into Google - 10,700 hits
Type "kiwiana icons" into Google - 211 hits

This is pretty basic keyword procedure - working with the keywords before searching. Do we model this to children?
Try using Google Advanced Search for similar results. Or learn how to use Boolean Logic. More Google search hints here!

Jamie McKenzie covers a similar theme in his October newsletter. The article Managing the Poverty of Abundance is well worth a read.

FutureLab in the UK are running an enquiring minds project. As part of this they have listed digital tools which may be useful for learners in carrying out an enquiry. These tools are here, sorted into aims and objectives.

More pavement art!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Class Blogs

Wednesday Afternoon PD 11 October - Setting up a Class blog

What could a classroom blog look like? It could take the form of:

  • A class web page with weekly updates
  • A blog covering a class topic / inquiry
  • Student blogs used as a vehicle for reflective writing

Blogs don't have to be open to the public - you can limit exposure to as many of few as you like.
Below are a handful of examples.

Year 2/3 Mapua School (near Nelson) This class also has a sticky notes page - great idea...
Or Our Lady of Lourdes school in Palmerson North Another couple from the same school: here and here .
A blog dedicated to the art of classroom displays
Or as a book discussion project - Secret Life of Bees
A Canadian Principal's blog
Or a New Zealand teacher using Flickr to share class photos.

Setting up a blog is easy. I am happy to help on Wednesday afternoon. Here are some instructions:
Edublogs - blogs for Teachers general blog site

Interesting Stuff:
What happens when you put a computer with a fast Internet connection into a wall and let slum children have access to it with no explanation whatsoever?

What is it? Click and see. (Carl Sagan again)
Pale Blue Dot

Interesting websites:

Excellent looking renaissance art site:

Been here before but it's quite fun - roadsign maths.

And a US site on nutrition for for kids.

And finally, a good summary of Web 2.0 and how it will impact teaching and learning.