Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

From AASL, a list of 25 best.  The selection committee took 21st century skills to heart when nominating these, awarding the recognition after looking at ..."qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration." See if you agree:

Websites of Interest

Challenge your students to discover how they compare with others nationally and from around the world.  Select a subject, grade level, and answer questions.

Kerpoof! offers students a fun way to create movies, cards, stories, and more! Learn about emotions, learning, reactions and language at the Arizona Science Center! At the Gallery for Writing, contribute your original creations!

Mind Mapping and Other Tools

These sites were compiled with college students in mind, but certainly they have value for younger students as well.  Anyone interested in graphic organizers should take a look at these helpful resources.

Need a stop watch? 

A stopwatch could come in handy in your classroom. Try this:

Study Guides

A self-avowed site designed to help learners succeed, this has something for every learner. How to prepare for a learning task, how to study, learn, collaborate, communicate, manage projects and engage in research are all topics included with helpful handouts and online fill-in forms to make all related challenges manageable. Definitely worth a look!

Speaking of Good Grammar

Share this writing site with your students:

Grammar Ninja

Students will have fun practicing the elements of grammar with this game:

Collage of Careers

Road Trip Nation offers students the opportunity to create videos that can be uploaded to YouTube as "Road Trips". For example, students could interview community members and find out about their career paths. This could be particularly compelling when looked at against the backdrop of today's economy.

Help Kidz Learn

A website of games and educational activities with inclusion students (grades K-3) as the audience, Help Kidz Learn is worth a look!

Global Classrooms

Taking it Global--Participate in a community of global educators.
From the website: TIGed provides rich, interactive learning experiences designed to improve students' global citizenship, critical thinking, and leadership skills, bringing the world to students and preparing students for the world!  You can access existing projects, create a safe, interactive, virtual classroom, access online learning activities and resources.

Professional Library

Uniondale High School is the home of the district's library of professional titles.  You can search the collection from an in-district computer by visiting http://follett or from home at  Our most recent acquisitions include books that are suitable for the technology-curious.  Browse through the slideshow below, and contact your building librarian to arrange to borrow a book! You might also search the catalog: Choose the high school. In the search box, type TCHRS and look on the top bar so you can click "number" as your way to search.

Project Explorer

The use of video in teaching continues to strike me with its possibilities for immediacy and attention-grabbing, engaging teachable moments.  Project Explorer produces free online films, also taking the form of virtual field trips, for grades K-12.

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips is an offering from the SimpleK12 website, full of free resources to make learning dynamic and fun.  See below for a list of virtual field trips currently available.

Vital New York

At the conference on Friday, I was reminded of a terrific resource.  VITAL NEW YORK is an online library (free!) of digital multimedia resources for the K-12 community.  Channel 13/WNET has put together public television video and interactive content to support the curriculum.  The Grade 3-8 Core Curriculum includes content for ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies.  The High School Core Curriculum covers Global History and Geography, U.S. History, Living Environment, Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and Technology.  Check out, set up an account, and enjoy!

Argument Maps

Formulate and justify a position with help from the aMap Tool.
Ever wonder what web 2.0 tool would best support the different thinking skills categorized by Bloom's Taxonomy? Check out this helpful resource.

Examining Works of Art Online

Google has come through with another amazing resource that is sure to enrich our classrooms and libraries.  Whether you are an art teacher or just want to introduce an interdisciplinary unit to your students, check out Google's Art Project where you can explore museums and their art works from around the world.  The zoom feature adds extra zest to the experience.



Listening and Learning

Repeat After Us a website that was created by a high school student.  It's billed as " award-winning online library with the best collection of copyright-free English texts and scripted recordings."  It includes free audio clips that represent many different genres.

Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction

Check out today's New York Times' article:

for a discussion on the effects of distracting technology on learning (and doing homework!).

Technology in Education--Is It Worth It?

We think it is, but how do we know?  A T.H.E. Journal article, "Teachers Report Educational Benefits of Frequent Technology Use", posits that technology integration reaps tangible benefits.  The article refers to a study, "Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths", commissioned by the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership.  The report maintains that there is a lot of work to be done in the area of technology integration and implementation. 


Many of you are probably familiar with Thinkfinity which links out to a vast store of quality resources.  A recent visit brought me to Illuminations, a product of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.  If math is part of your curriculum, take a look.

21st Century Information Fluency

According to this website, digital information fluency is the "...ability to find, evaluate and use digital information effectively, efficiently and ethically."  Check out the resources to help your students achieve their information needs.


Videoconferencing for Learning

Videoconferencing is catching on in several of our schools.  At the high school, teachers who are participating in the LI Cares Grant have introduced videoconferences to some of their classes, and elementary classes have enjoyed online visits to museums and other programs.  Introduce yourself to this technology by visiting the website below. 


10 Simple Google Search Tips

Maximize your time on Google!

AHS Learning Ecology

The website from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado features an extremely helpful section to point users in the direction of the right software or application for specific tasks. After you determine the purpose of your project and the audience to whom it's directed, you can decide what tool would be best. Use this site in conjunction with Atomic Learning (username and password needed--see your librarian), our subscription site that offers tutorials on myriad applications.


Thinkfinity has treasures for teachers to use with their students, many of which are interactive. A good example is Ker-Splash, a game that introduces students to algebraic concepts.


For the artists among us, and those of us who aspire to a new level of creativity, here is a site that demonstrates just how to put pen (or pencil or crayon or whatever...) to paper to create a drawing by showing us, stroke by stroke, how a drawing is made.  Check out Sketchfu.


Twitter in Education

Mary Saragnese and Nancy Rebore put together this list of resources to prod us to consider the advantages of using Twitter in education.  It's making me think about it...What about you?

Twitter in  Schools – a select Bibliography 

A Vision of Students Today (at home)

http://lightspeed/safevideos/Video.aspx?id=dGCJ46vyR9o (in district)


Twitter is the most popular platform for microblogging, which combines the features of blogging, text messaging, and social networking. Since it launched in 2006, Twitter has attracted more than a million users, including a growing community of educators


UHS - Time to use 21st century learning tools. Principal of New Milford High School in New Jersey : "I can honestly say that Twitter is probably the most powerful learning tool that I've ever experienced in my education career." (at home)

http://lightspeed/SafeVideos/Video.aspx?id=RQ4qQU0ULUY (in district)



6 resources for using Twitter in Education

3 useful resources: Twitter Handbook for Teachers; Twitter 4 Teachers ; Twitter for Teachers and Educators.  Also, a must watch video by AP Biology teacher:


Nine great reasons why teachers should use Twitter

Why should educators get involved?  Offers answers that you might like to share.

“Following smart people on Twitter is like a mental shot of expresso.”


Should your school be using Social Media?

Excellent article … and don’t miss the last section: My proposal to school districts everywhere: If I were in charge of my local school district, I would view social media, the internet, and technology, something like this …


Twitter in the classroom

Reasons to bring Twitter into the classroom: 1.) To examine Twitter itself as a part of media literacy;  2) To use Twitter as a collaborative tool.



Twittering, Not frittering: Professional Development in 140 characters  Teacher, David Cosand , on Twitter, follows high-profile edubloggers such as David Warlick and Wesley Fryer, regulars on the conference circuit who share their insights from afar via Twitter. "I'm here for the learning revolution," reads Fryer's one-sentence Twitter bio.




iPhone and iPod Educational Apps

I don't know how many of you have and iPhone or an iPod touch (I for one covet the iPhone but am waiting impatiently for Verizon to snap it up).  In any case, the educational apps for these devices make them all the more appealing.  Check out these two websites:

Helpful and New Web 2.0 Tools

Actually, I can't vouch for how new these are, but they certainly look as if they would be helpful. Check them out and let me know.

Cut My Pic allows you to upload your pictures and crop them to your liking. I tried one, and it was as easy as it promised to be.

Lingus TV is a web-based tv channel designed to teach Spanish through video clips.

On Google Translate, translations can be read to you.

Always looking for alternatives to Google (not that I don't love Google, but variety makes life more interesting). Check out Search Cube, a visual search engine.

We all should be cognizant of copyright and model proper practice for our students. Check out some resources for free and legal images on the web: Also, free stock and public domain images:

On a higher level thinking quest? Check out the Problem Solving Site: ttp://

The Value of Interactive Whiteboards

For anyone still wondering about whether or not there is a correlation between the use of interactive whiteboards and academic achievement, read the Educational Leadership article that explains the findings of a study.  What resonated with me is the importance of creating meaningful flipcharts, ones well-connected to objectives, with visuals that support topics and don't clutter the aim.  Which is why, of course, staff development is so important.  Be sure to sign up for one of our inservice courses, request one-on-one or small group time with our trainer, and/or take the time to plow through Promethean Learning's tutorial. 

This week I visited a few classes where the board was being used.  The flipcharts were created to guide the students through new learning, and the eagerness of the children to participate--and think through their responses--was evident.


Imagine a website--actually a wiki--where short educational videos are gathered and organized.  From the site:

"Just think: millions of great short videos, and other watchable media, explaining every topic taught in schools, in every major language on Earth.  WatchKnow is both a resource for users and also a non-profit, online community that encourages everyone to collect, create, and share free, innovative, educational videos."

See for yourself:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Learn Online

Explore: Ten Sites for Online/Educational Tutorials from TechLearning

Tell Your Story: Adobe Voice is free for the iPad

iPads in your classroom? Poll your students!

Questioning Resources

Questioning resources all in one place:

Student Engagement and Motivation

Student engagmement and motivation resources:

Coding for Kids

Share these resources with your students to start them coding!

Atomic Learning

I know many of you have used Atomic Learning for technology training, but I wanted to remind you of its availability.  It now even boasts an iPad app!  I recommend that you take some time to peruse the website for independent learning.  If you don't remember the username and password, see your building librarian.

Library of Congress and Common Core

Library of Congress has come to the rescue with Common Core resources. Check it out!

Using Technology in the Classroom

Thoughts on using technology in the classroom, and how it's a tool to make lessons more engaging, but the instructional planning should come before any consideration of whether or not to use a technology tool.  Take a look:

Responsibility in the Digital World

Curriculum and resources to teach online responsibility:

Three Places to Find Online Talking Stories

50 Educational Tech Tools for Teachers

Apps for Educators

Apple Educators have put together a website to help teachers identify apps to use with varied grade levels and content areas.  A bonus is a bow to Bloom's Taxonomy and multiple intelligences.  Check it out:

Using Technology to Improve Learner-Centered Teaching

Although this resource is written with the higher education professional in mind, there are helpful suggestions for all of us as we "shift the balance of power toward the learner."  Check it out:

Resources and Downloads to Improve Student Performance

Check out these helpful resources:


Arrange websites into mindmaps using Pearltrees. 

iPads in Education

Check out this Live Binder.  Access key is uniondalelmcipad.

Learn More About Lots of Things

Totally Free Children's Network

Download Audiobooks for Free

Download audiobooks in the public domain in mp3, iTunes and iPod formats for free!