Websites for Educators

Here you can find a great collection of links which is created and maintained by  Gutman Library Research Services staff from Harvard University, provides links to freely available sites of interest to educators. It contains lots of useful links for educators and it can be a really great resource page.

The categories of the links are numerous and cover all the fields of educations. Some of the categories are:

Adult Education and Literacy
The Arts
Bilingual Education / ESL
Boston Area Libraries (selected)
Charter Schools
Children’s Literature
Colleges and Universities
Comparative/International Education
Counseling and Guidance
Curriculum Resources (K-12)
Distance Education
Diversity
Early Childhood
Education Administration and Policy
Education Associations, Organizations, and Conferences
Conferences
Education Libraries
Education Reform
Educational Technology
Employment Opportunities
Foreign Languages
Higher Education
History of Education
Home Schooling

 

and many other interesting topics. Click here to redirect at Harvard’s page.

 

Some Great Educational Wikis Worth Visiting

Wikis can be powerful teaching tools as well as tools for teachers’ proffessional development. Here is a list of some worth visiting wikis.

One of the main goals of the project is to ‘flatten’ or lower the classroom walls so that instead of each class working isolated and alone, 2 or more classes are joined virtually to become one large classroom. This is done through the Internet using Web 2.0 tools such as Wikispaces and Ning.

This Wiki is a place for MHMS teachers to share information & professional development products for creative instruction.There’s no need for you to join it to enjoy it’s wiki-awesomeness!

It’s maintained by Gwyneth A. Jones – The Daring Librarian and is Creative Commons Share Alike.

“In fact, one of the saddest but most common conditions in elementary school computer labs (when they exist in the developing world), is the children are being trained to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  I consider that criminal, because children should be making things, communicating, exploring, sharing,not running office automation tools.”

—Nicholas Negroponte, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab

This Wiki will house information related to the iPad in Education sponsored by the Department of Educational Technology in theSchool District of Palm Beach County.

This Teaching with Thinking and Technology wiki is designed to document ideas and collect resources for teachers and students who are interested in using the web effectively and smartly.
My aim is to assist in developing a curriculum that meets the academic, social and personal needs of our students.
The major focus of this site is investigating how Web 2.0 applications can be used to promote thinking, sharing, collaborating and communicating between teachers and students.
The sites listed here are but a few of what is on the web. It will hopefully begin a journey of discovery for you.

This site has been compiled by Lenva Shearing.
If you are using a cool web 2.0 tool in your classroom that is not included here, please email me and I will add it (email link in navigation bar)

Winners Education is a greek school wiki that shows how they adapted and how they use Web 2.0 at their school. Here are some words about the story of this wiki from the creator of the wiki Effie Kyrikakis:

For the last few months I’ve been exploring the fantastic possibilities of web 2.0.
It has been wonderful at times: When I managed to find great tools for use in class, when I linked with groups of wonderful,
like-minded, supportive – and much more advanced- teachers from around the globe, when our students’ eyes flash with excitement at the prospect of getting to talk with students from schools at places they have only heard of …

At other times the discovery journey is just frustrating: Everything is new and takes time to explore. Sleepless nights are on the menu more often than not! Challenges present at every curve: For some reason youtube won’t upload my videos one day, the blog doesn’t look the way I’d like it to, I can’t upload my voki and what on earth is a wiki?

Well, my Austrian friend Katherine, a wonderful, energetic teacher who has set up a skype group to connect schools from around the world has something to say about that: “Problems are here to be solved”! WinnersEducation is now a member of this network and we’re ardent supporters of Katherine’s dictum. We’ll just insist and face the challenges!

Plus, this whole adventure has reminded me what it feels like to learn from the other side- that of the learner.
This precious insight cannot but make teaching better, don’t you agree?

Help me build this list. If you know a wiki that worths sharing please comment below and I will add it to this list. 

My top 11 blog posts from ’11

Magic in Education! is a blog that was created for the needs of a presentation on technology in the classsroom. Me and my collegue Makis Aggatheris were assigned to create a 3 hour workshop on New Technologies in Teaching. While we were preparing the workshop I came with an idea of having a blog where the participants can visit and see the links that I suggest them to visit. When the workshop was over, I decided to maintain the blog and keep publishing my ideas on technology in classroom. It is now 8 months amd it has been already visited from visitors from all over the world.

Here you can see my top 11 blog posts (according to the blog’s statistics) from ’11:

11. Make your own comics, Witty Comics

10. Penzu, your own personal journal and online diary

9Using Blogs in Education

8Wallwisher, Words that Stick!

7. Social Networks in Education

6How we created an interactive whiteboard with low cost!!

5. Web 2.0 apps

4. Prezi.com – Creating ashtonishing presentations

3.  How to create your own superhero comic

 2. 30+1  Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom

and….

1. Glogster.com: Poster your self! (Text, Images, Music and Video)

A Christmas Lesson Plan: Write a Letter to Santa Clause

Dear Santa.... (Photo taken from operationsanta.com)

The 25th of December is approaching and I was thinking of giving a proper ”goodbye” lesson for the Christmas holiday to my students. Thanks God my experiment was successful and I received a lot of hugs from my 10 year old students) at the end of the lesson. What did I ask them?

”Write a letter to Santa Clause! Present yourself, Tell him about your likes and dislikes and tell him what you want him to bring  you for Christmas”

Short Lesson Plan:

Objectives:

  • Writing. Learn to self-present
  • Grammar. Practice Present Simple using I like/I don’t like.
  • Vocabulary. Revise Christmas vocabulary

Aids:

  • Printed Santa Clause Letters. I had mine from last year but here is one that I found on the internet or you can easily make yours on a word processor:
  • Love and excitement!

Christmas Letter. Credited to blog.christmaslettertips.com

You can find more word and publisher templates here.

Warm-up activities:

  • Chat about Christmas and Christmas traditions. Ask them what kids do in Christmas eg carols, gifts etc.
  • Announce that you expect them to write a letter to Santa Clause.

Before Writing:

  • Teacher explains the writing activity.How start, paragraph and end the letter. Make sure that you ask them exactly that you expect from them.

While Writing:

  • Help the students with any unknown vocabulary or any other inquiry.

After Writing

  • Ask them to read their letters aloud (some peer review subtly conducted)

The whole procedure lasts about 30 minutes. My students were excited throughout the activity and they could not wait to go home and to place the letters under the Christmas tree.

I am thinking to take it a step further and reply to their letters. I have not decided yet. I wish every one MERRY CHRISTMAS! xoxoxoxo

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Revise Grammar with Grammar-monster.com

Grammar Monster offer free English Grammar tips on punctuation, part of speech and confused words. It is a kind of an online descriptive grammar. It offers examples to illustrate the proper use of grammar and for practice test questions.

It can be used with students of an intermediate level that want to look up their grammar. Most of the lessons have basic grammar as assumed knowledge and are have as an objective to increase the understanding to some key concepts.

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The Best Christmas Teaching Resources

Christmas is coming and it is time to share the happiness in our classroom and adjust some christmas activities in our lesson plans. Here you can find the best Christmas resources:

  • Esol Courses provides a really wide range of Christmas activities for every level. (Beginners to advanced). Click here to visit the Christmas section.

  • TeacherStuff Holiday Page hundreds of Christmas texts and activities for Christmas. I would really recommend this site for young learners. It contains  a lot of Christmas texts, poems, songs, carols, pictures to colour, handcrafts etc. It really worths visiting.

  • LearnEnglishKids powered by the British Council contains lots of quality educational Christmas games.
  • The Children’s Chapel is a great website that contains a lot of Christmas stories, coloring, activities and songs.

  • Teaching Ideas shares a bunch of great  teaching ideas to use with your classroom. It also contains motivating Christmas pictures, videos, banners, games, jokes, and links.

Help me build this link. If you know a website that shares quality  Christmas Resourses for students, please leave me a comment.

Practice grammar with eslgamesworld.com

ESL Games World is an online website that contains a lot of grammar games. The games are categorized by the grammatical phenomenons and by level. You can also find other printable games and PowerPoint games. These games are really interactive and make learning grammar fun. The most commendable about this website is the great variety of activities that includes. The only disadvantage is the excessive use of ads.

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Create easily comics with writecomics.com

Writecomics.com is a really simple comic strip generator. It does not require a registration to start creating. It is free and really easy to use with your students. There is a variety of characters and backgrounds to use. This tool is also perfect if you want to include some humour in your classroom as it has a section with alien characters. After creating your comic the website gives you a link to your comic strip and you can grab the picture online or you can save the comic as jpg file to your computer.

If you click on the image below you can see a tutorial-like video:

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More comic-maker applications described in this blog:

LittleBirdTales: Capturing the Voice of Childhood

    LittleBirdTales lets you easily create digital tales in which you can add text, photos and add you own voice. It is great for  young learners learners who learn English as a second language because the student can add their own voice (speaking skills), they can write rubrics to the pictures (writing skills). This application allows to children to be creative and express themselves. It is really made with the kids in mind as it is very user friendly and  all the website’s design is mainly  addressed to kids.

Special Features:

  • Add photos or create your own drawings by virtual drawing
  • Add your own voice
  • Embed to your site
  • Real kids friendly envornment

Cons:

  • Limit to the tales that you can produce (25MB space)

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Here  is a video which the designers of the website shared:

Little Bird Tales: Capture the Voice of Childhood. We offer a fun, unique way to create, record and share stories online. Kids can make drawings, upload photos or artwork and record their voice online, creating a slideshow format book, then share it with family and friends as gifts or a keepsake. Environmentally friendly and great for schools, too.

Fauxflash: Create easily free online flash cards

  Fauxflash is a free web application that creates digital flash cards. You can add text and images at your flash cards.  As the designer of this application highlights:

”Fauxflash is an online application that takes the hassle out of flash cards and lets you get right to studying.”

I have just tried this app and I found it really easy to use. It is really handy to use with your students. You have just to sign up and start creating your cards. It is great to use with a various level of learners. I have just created a lesson plan for my young learners. We are going to practice the jobs vocabulary (eg. doctor, actor, singer, cook, nurse etc). I added from the one side the picture and from the other the word.

Special Features:

  • The people involved in this project have announced the release of Android & Apple application! Imagine to carry your digital flash cards everywhere!
  • You can share your flash cards online.
  • User friendly environment.
  • Attach pictures.

Some minor cons:

  •   It would be great if the user could print the flash cards (not so environmental friendly but we have to think about these students that do not have internet access.
  • I would be stunned if I could attach video files.

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