Category Archives: Useful sites

eduCanon

eduCanon is an online tool for creating and sharing interactive video lessons. Start with a clip from a video platform (YouTube, TeacherTube, Vimeo, Khan Academy, TedEd and more), crop to just the selection you wish to show, add questions at the time you wish them answered, save and share. You can register your students so that you know who has viewed and whether their answers were correct or share anonymously. The completed video lessons (known as bulbs) can also be embedded in any website or LMS. Like similar websites and tools, this is a commercial enterprise so the free version has limitations. With it you can:

  • have up to 8 classes
  • monitor an unlimited number of students
  • create unlimited lessons
  • share with colleagues

but your question types are limited to multiple choice, check all that apply and reflective pause. Upgrading to premium (US$89 per year) gives you

  • fill in the blank and free response question types
  • ability to skip to a time point in the video
  • autograding
  • copying and editing public lessons
  • ability for your students to create lessons
  • worksheet printing
  • downloadable grades

There is also a “Blended school” version with even more functions starting at US$990 per year. Free accounts offer three ways to share:

  1. With students – ie those you have registered. This will record their responses
  2. Share unique list code – students don’t have to be registered. Responses will be recorded but not linked to an individual
  3. Share with colleagues – for teachers to copy. No login needed to view but no tracking.

Each version includes a different link and embed code. I have used the embed code from Unique list code to share a bulb I created for a lesson I created about one of my pet hates. You might not show this one to students, but it’s a bit of fun:

This the Unique List code link – if you use it you are asked to enter your name and email address before being taken to the video. I haven’t yet used this with students so it’s difficult to comment on how well eduCanon is works from their perspective but even the simple facility to easily crop a video to just the section you wish to show and share the link or embed is appealing. I can see applications for this not just in the Flipped Learning environment but also in situations where you want students to be able to view and answer questions at their own pace.

Word of warning: when this was demonstrated to me by our media studies teacher he was using a clip from a movie that his students were studying. There were some inappropriate ads showing at the bottom of the screen. Today I turned off my Adblock Plus and Adblock for YouTube extensions but didn’t see any ads appear at all. I’m not sure when or why advertising will appear, whether it is related to the video being shown or something from eduCanon itself (I certainly hope not!) but it’s something to be aware of.

GeoGuessr

I learned about GeoGuessr on Teach Tech Play* last night. It’s a fun game where you are shown a random location on Google Street View and then, using what you see and your own knowledge, drop a pin on a map where you think it is. The closer you are the more points you get. Each game consists of 5 rounds/different locations.

There are a few variations available – you can limit to certain cities, countries or continents or “the world” is exactly that, you could be anywhere. Famous places is another option and usually a little easier, many of the world locations are very rural and literally could be anywhere…until you notice eucalyptus leaves or a left-hand drive car or snow…

GeoGuessr would make a great activity in class when you are looking for something quick and engaging. It runs well through a browser on an iPad or computer so is easy to project to a screen.

*And what is Teach Tech Play I hear you ask! It’s a monthly Hangout online run by three Melbourne teachers and featuring guests from around the world. It happens at 8pm on the first Monday of every month (except January). The guests and presenters each have four minutes to share a tool or teaching idea. Viewers can vote for their favourite presenter and the winner is crowned King or Queen. Previous episodes can be viewed via their website and the current episode, where GeoGuessr is shown is here:

Worth a read 11/25/2014

  • One of the many great things about the Web is that it showcases plenty of stuff for teachers to utilize in their classrooms. No matter if you’re structuring lessons about digital citizenship, teaching with video, discussing the Bard, talking about student fitness, or looking to walk on the moon or tour the Sistine Chapel, there’s something helpful out there for every educator. We’re happy to be able to share some of that with you here in the list below, which features 80 very special and useful guides, links, resource banks, and much more.

    tags: teaching resources KDSBytes

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Art Project

Part of the Google Cultural Institute is the Art Project, a collaboration between Google and some of the world’s leading art galleries and museums. Together they have enabled online access to thousands of artworks from over 6000 artists. Using high resolution photography they have captured artworks in extraordinary detail, it is possible to get a better view online than it is in real life – check out this video for a small sample:

You can browse by the artist’s name, the artwork, the type of art, the museum, the country, the city and the collection. If you are logged in with a Google account you can save various artworks into your own collections for future reference.

It is also possible to take “Street View” type tours of over 300 rooms in various museums.

Google Art Project is an extraordinary resource that has potential for use by students and teachers not just in art, but in humanities, English, technology too. Of course, it’s also a great site purely for the enjoyment of all art lovers.

Read it! Loved it!

Read it  Loved itI’ve just come across Read it! Loved it! and I’m very impressed. Curated by Melbourne teacher librarian Gavin Jones, Read it! Loved it! is a quick and easy way for children aged 10 and over to identify books to read through well-categorised genre lists.

The site is colourful, clean and attractive with no superfluous information – just simple click through lists to titles and cover images. I think kids will love using this site, as will adults who want to help kids find great books to read.

You can read more about the background and purpose of the site in this interview from Publishing Perspectives.

Teaching and learning resources for the Commonwealth Games

Image from http://news.stv.tv/

The 20th Commonwealth Games are well underway in Glasgow, Scotland. Australia has already won medals in a number of different sports including swimming, athletics and cycling. The following sites provide ideas and resources for including activities related to the Commonwealth Games in your classes. Enjoy!

Latest news including an up-to-date medal tally can be found on ABC Grandstand.

Game on Scotland: Resources

Game on Scotland is the official education programme of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and its legacy. It aims to provide inspiration and learning and teaching opportunities related to Glasgow 2014 and other momentous events happening throughout Scotland in the coming years. The resources section provides access filtered by stage of schooling and curriculum area.

Victorian Commonwealth Games Association

The VCGA offers a collection of resources and activities for primary schools.

Sparklebox Commonwealth Games

Sparklebox offers a huge range of free, downloadable teaching resources for all learning areas and many topics. The Commonwealth Games resources include games, posters and word activities.

Primary Treasure Chest: Commonwealth Games

Lots of worksheets, posters, games and activities all linked to the Commonwealth Games and free to download, edit and use.

Instant Display: Commonwealth Games

Free downloadable posters including flags of all participating countries. Great resource if you want to decorate your classroom for the games.

Commonwealth Games: embracing 2018 – Global Education Program

This site from the Queensland government is looking ahead to the next Commonwealth Games which will be held on the Gold Coast in 2018 but it also includes some ideas and activities related to Glasgow to use now.

Worth a read 07/15/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Worth a read 06/26/2014

  • “There two missions of this site. The first is to make available to the public the highest quality and most reliable historical data on important economic aggregates, with particular emphasis on “nominal (current-price) measures, as well as real (constant-price) measures. The second is to provide carefully designed calculators (using these data) that explain the many issues involved in making value comparison over time.

    The data have been created using the highest standards of the fields of economics and history, and they are rigorously refereed by the most distinguished researchers in the fields. Beginning with the United States and United Kingdom and following with Australia, Japan and China, we will continue to add series from other countries using the same high standard.

    The emphasis on nominal measures distinguishes this site. This attention is important because to comprehend a past transaction or asset, one must begin with the contemporary value of the item. To make this valuation meaningful, it must be measured against the value of the appropriate economic indicator in that year. To understand the valuation from another year’s perspective, one must carry that measure forward against the changing value of the indicator.”

    tags: economics measurement value calculator KDSBytes

  • “Eleven-year-olds running a classroom? That could sound outlandish to some elementary school teachers, but not to Joe Jamison, or “Mr. J” as he is affectionately called by his fifth-grade students at Lawrence Intermediate School in central New Jersey.

    “There is a feeling of excitement in the small classroom, decorated with inspirational quotes and bright educational paraphernalia. The kids sit at the edge of their seats, waiting in anticipation; they are eager to show their findings after spending an hour researching and putting together a presentation about a quote that Mr. J projected on a whiteboard at the front of the classroom: “The rights of the individual should be the primary object of all governments.” In groups, they were asked to figure out the significance of the quote, using only their critical faculties and a few laptops.

    This activity is part of Mr. J’s bi-weekly SOLE session, a freestyle learning period revolving around a topic, quote or question. SOLE, which stands for Self-Organized Learning Environment, is a concept drawn from 2013 TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra’s wish in which he offered up a new vision of education that combines the vast resources of the Internet with children’s innate sense of curiosity. The School in the Cloud, as he calls it, is a global experiment in self-organized learning. SOLEs let kids puzzle through big questions and ideas on their own, teaching each other in the process.”

    tags: SOLE teaching learning students self-directed learning network learning KDSBytes

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Lesson “hooks”

Short videos can be a great “hook” or starting point for a lesson. Used judiciously a good video can provoke debate and discussion leading to creative problem-solving or critical thinking.

But where to find the perfect video? Youtube can be a gold mine but finding the perfect video that is suitable for use in primary or secondary education can be a challenge.

Luckily there are some expert curators out there, carefully selecting and contextualising video and sharing what they find to make our task of finding the perfect video much easier.

Here are a couple of my favourites:

Geography Soup

Geography soup is a Vimeo channel of

short films curated for Geography teachers to use in the classroom. Every one is chosen for its ability to take us slightly off the beaten track & to inspire us to learn & understand a little bit more about our planet & how we interact with it. Each film is a starting point to a lesson, a topic, a line of enquiry & a learning journey.

Titles range from Masaai life through a child’s eye to The world outside my window – time-lapses of earth from the International Space Station to Kilauea Volcano 2014 Time Lapse. Like all Vimeo channels you can browse alphabetically, by date added, or popularity.

The Kid Should See This

The kid should see this: cool videos for curious minds of all ages has heaps of fascinating videos categorised into science, technology, space, animals, food, music, art and animation. Curator and  blogger Rion Nakaya says

There’s just so much science, nature, music, art, technology, storytelling and assorted good stuff out there that my kids (and maybe your kids) haven’t seen. It’s most likely not stuff that was made for them…
But we don’t underestimate kids around here.

There’s so much fascinating stuff on this site it’s hard to know where to begin and new videos are added daily. Luckily everything is well-categorised and tagged making  browsing easy and you can save videos to easily access them again from the same computer. Warning – you could lose hours on this site!

If anyone can explain to me how How to create chocolate out of nothing works I’d be most grateful!

Numberphile

As you might suspect, Numberphile is a collection of videos about numbers, made by Brady Haran with the assistance of academics and other people passionate about maths. The videos are short and quirky and it’s easy to see how they could liven up a maths class. Numberphile has a cute visual index or you can choose to see a text version to search by topic. Numberphile is supported by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute(MSRI), based in Berkeley, California.

Numberphile - Videos about Numbers and Stuff

TED-Ed

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. More than just videos to use as hooks, TED-Ed has lesson plans built around the short videos. The lessons are divided into watch, think (multiple choice and/or open-ended questions), dig deeper (additional resources to explore), and discuss.You can use a lesson as-is or customise it to your own needs. There are lessons for all subject areas including the arts, philosophy, science and technology, health, and social studies. There is plenty of interest here for all teachers but you can also become a registered user and build your own lesson around any video found on Youtube.

Worth a read 06/24/2014

  • Lesson plans using Google apps products. Categorised by product, subject and level.

    tags: GAFE google apps lesson plans classroom activities KDSBytes

  • Directory of newspapers from around the world, categorised by country/state/city/language. Features today’s front page from selected newspapers and ranks selected country’s newspapers by circulation.

    tags: newspaper KDSBytes

  • “Do you ever feel stuck in a rut while planning your language classes? Perhaps you spend a lot of time lecturing at the white board, use the same activities with different vocabulary for every unit, or rely on teaching students grammar because that’s how you were taught. No matter your “go to” activity, we are all much more engaging when we vary our activities and make them relatable. If the speaker is engaging, a good lecture every now and then is enjoyable. However, when faced with daily lectures, students dread class, and hence, learn less. So why not mix it up?

    When dreaming up new activities, our main focus should always be authenticity. If we make activities genuine, our students will be much more inclined to participate, acquiring new knowledge through the process. Many language teachers think that being authentic means decorating their classrooms with flags and other souvenirs collected through their travels. But true authenticity comes from the activities we use during class time, leaving an impact on the communicative skills of our students.”

    tags: KDSBytes language classroom activities

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.