RSS, podcasts, screencasts and more. How can you stay on top of them all? The November Learning team has designed a series of educational handouts that can make any user comfortable with the latest technology tools. Each sheet can be read, printed and passed out as needed. Use them in your next professional development session.
Levels of Technology Integration
Is the integration of technology making a difference in your classroom? Sometimes, yes. Often, no.
This handout explores five levels of technology integration that moves from simply automating current student products to transforming them through critical thinking, collaboration, developing audience and building legacy.
Observation Suggestions for Administrators
One of a school or district administrator’s most important jobs is to measure the impact of new practices on learning. Here, we provide questions administrators should keep in mind as they are assessing technology usage and are enhancing the capacity of teaching and learning in their schools.
Educational Essentials Checklist for School Leaders
It seems as if there is an onslaught of new tools coming to us via the Internet on a daily basis. What does this mean for school leaders who are striving to develop an educationally sound program? Here, we will cut through the hype and focus on essential questions. The list of questions below is our attempt to get you to look critically at your school’s program and begin measuring its effectiveness in teaching skills to today’s teachers and students that will outlast tomorrow’s changes in technology.
Directing Learning with Google Custom Search
Would you teach your students to read without teaching them to write? Probably not. Educators know that linking these two pieces together makes for a more complete learning experience. Transferring this knowledge into the world of online search, does it make sense to teach students to search without teaching them what’s involved in creating and managing a search engine?
Global Broadcasting with UStream
You’re at work and it’s 1:30. You know that your daughter is headed to history class, where she will be presenting the research that she and her classmates have been spending the past two weeks preparing. Not wanting to miss a moment, you quickly logon to the class’ live video feed to watch the presentation. Excited to see the result of their work, you also call your spouse to remind him of the broadcast. Unfortunately, due to a meeting, he can’t watch at this time. No worries. He’ll catch it tonight, as it’s been archived every step of the way.
Leveraging the Power of RSS Using Google Reader
RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is a simple yet amazing tool that has the ability to streamline the way you currently view many of the websites that you click through on a daily basis. This is done by way of a special (XML) file that sits alongside of a Web page file on a website. The file strips the website of all of its bells and whistles and brings the user a basic chronological summary of updates to the website. Usually, these updates contain a headline, a brief description, a URL to the full story being summarized, a date and the creator’s name.
What is Podcasting?
Podcasts are audio or video content that can be downloaded on a computer or fed to a mobile music player (mp3 player or iPod.) Podcasting allows anyone to create and self-publish a syndicated radio or video show and gives established broadcast radio or television programs a new way to distribute content.
Submitting a Podcast to iTunes
So, you’ve spent some time working with your class developing podcast episodes that you would like to share with others in your school community or even around the world. If you have a blog, you can easily post your podcast episodes there. But if you stop after doing so, you have not tapped into one of the easiest to use podcasting directories around: iTunes.
An Introduction to Skype
Of all of the Internet tools available today, Skype is probably the one that you can easily make use of on a daily basis. In a nutshell, Skype is a phone service that allows users to make computer-to-computer phone calls to anyone in the world absolutely free, using your Internet connection. Imagine the possibilities. With this tool, you can collaborate and make global connections with family, classes and professional peers using something we are all very familiar with – a phone call.
Recording Skype Interviews
Skype gives students and teachers the power to make authentic, collaborative connections with anyone around the world. Use this valuable tool to encourage global discussion and debate or to interview leading experts. And don’t stop there! Record conversations and upload them to a class website, blog or podcast series. Expand the boundaries of learning in your classroom.
Real-Time Assessment with Poll Everywhere
Stand around with a group of teens for any given length of time, and it won’t be long before you see one of them brandish a cell phone and begin texting a friend. Text messaging has become a primary communication tool among many students we teach, and it’s also become a popular tool for providing information to and capturing responses from large groups of people. We have seen presidential candidates sending out text message updates to their constituencies, CNN providing text message coverage of the Olympics and shows, like American Idol, receiving millions of text messages from voters everywhere. What if we could harness the power of this communication method within our classrooms?
Making Learning Visible with Screencasting
Show your students how to become directors, publishers and producers. Help them create authentic, content-rich tutorials for their classmates and audiences around the world.
Screencasting is a quick and easy-to-use idea that can help you create slick demonstration tutorials in any subject area, using any computer application. The software allows you to record a movie of what you are doing on a computer. Along with your movie, you can record voice-over audio to provide a series of instructions.
Social Bookmarking with Diigo
If you’re using the same computer on a daily basis, chances are you have a list of favorites or bookmarks that you’ve saved and compiled within your browser over time. Your favorites or bookmarks are a quick list of websites that you visit on a regular basis – or great resources that you found at one point and want to revisit. The problem is that if you switch computers throughout the day, your list of bookmarks doesn’t come with you.