As I mentioned a few weeks ago, summertime is a time of high productivity for me and last week I dove head first in to the Rock Star for education conference in La Jolla, Ca. It’s not very often that as an educator I am afforded the time to learn new resources and have TIME to get to know them and explore. I was exposed to a wealth of information regarding technology in the 21st century classroom and I’m here to share my favorite tech and web resources for the high school English classroom with you!
There is so much to share from rationales to resources, so I will divide and conquer over the next two days! Check back for more tomorrow.
Blogging in the classroom:
This session completely changed how I see blogging in the classroom. Obviously I am familiar with blogging platforms, but I loved how Jen Roberts used a blog as her daily platform for her classroom to disseminate objectives, resources, and lessons with her students. I now have my own for this coming school year! Check it out at MrsJwest.blogspot.com
The rationale behind a classroom blog
- One starting point for all online work, bookmark and go.
- Meant to be changed daily, easy to update.
- Automatically archived, find every post from the whole year.
- Schedule posts in advance, prep it and set it.
- Students and parents can subscribe, easy communication.
- List both dynamic and static information, customize for your class.
- Saves paper, saves time, saves sanity.
My students will also have their own blogs to post to on a daily basis to share and publish their work. If your students have access to Google Apps for Education then they should already have access to Blogger to create their own in the classroom. It’s very intuitive and student friendly
Even More Examples
Google Apps for Education, Extensions, and Web Resources:
Easy Bib: This is an Add on for Google Docs that will help your students to cite information and effortlessly create an up-to-date bibliography. Gone are the days when a student needs to know how to construct a proper bibliography when they can access the tools to create one for them and voila! you’re able to spend more time on other concepts.
Places you should explore for non-fiction texts for your classroom: Newsela, Smithsonian Teen/Tween Tribune, and Commonlit (search by grade level, lexile, standard, or essential question)
Extensions for working with articles online: You can find these in the Chrome Store for free
Beeline Reader: This extension will alter text on the screen for those students struggling with dyslexia by changing the color scheme.
Readability and Evernote Clearly: These two extensions are fabulous for teacher use. How often do you find an article online that you’d like to use in your classroom but it takes you hours to copy paste and format it so that the adds, headlines, separate articles, etc. are removed? These extensions will clear away the clutter in seconds so that you can send them directly to the copier! Timesaver!!
Padlet: A virtual landing place for collecting projects. Your students have created fabulous online projects and now you need to collect them all; have them add their project to the padlet board to have each class in one, easy to access place online.
I hope there are a few things here that you can play around with this summer to see if they might work in your classroom. I have so much more to share with you tomorrow, including Google 20% time, screencasting, using photography in the classroom, and flipped classroom resources. What are some of your favorite apps and extensions for the classroom?