- Personal introductions
- Internet 101 - what does it all mean?
- Modeling the curriculum: demonstrating good search strategies, digital citizenship, and fair use
- Where should we begin???
- Alternatives to Google for students:
- Yahoo Encyclopedia - written at a 3rd grade reading level, it is a bit limited but not overwhelming. Entries are very short.
- Answers.com - teach students NOT to ask a question! By typing in a topic, they get results from a variety of articles from published encyclopedias as well as Wikipedia, Who2, and other online, encyclopedia-type sources.
- Arkive.org - the perfect site for any project involving animals! It is a search-engine of species that includes photos, videos, scientific data, and maps.
- RefSeek - an academic search engine that streamlines results. A new feature includes suggested terms by which students can narrow their search.
- SweetSearch- like RefSeek, this is a search engine for students
- Wikipedia - though it used to be taboo to use, the information has become pretty reliable.
- Who2Biographies - a vetted search engine of biographies. Though not totally complete, it does have most common figures.
- Safe Image Sites
- Lonely Planet - this is perfect for projects that study foreign countries. In addition to having good image/video galleries, the facts are presented in a clear manner
- Chicago Field Museum - search through the various collections for images related to social studies topics.
- Children's Illustrators - this site is a clearing house of illustrators. There is the occasional "out there" graphic, but most are good to use.
- National Geographic - fantastic images for animals, natural disasters, culture, etc.
- Useful Resources for Teachers:
- Thinkfinity - a search engine of lesson plans and activities that pulls from vetted sources
- eSchoolNews - think of it as the NY Times for teachers. Stories, examples, resources, grant info...
- Edutopia - case studies, lesson ideas, video examples, blog posts of resources, articles, and more to help create more student-centric learning environments. They have a big focus on project-based learning, technology integration, and social-emotional learning.
- Free Technology for Teachers - Richard Byrne posts 5-7 new, free, resources a day, and always gives a suggested way to integrate it into the curriculum.
- Teacher's Domain - from PBS, this site serves as a clearing house of photos, videos, lesson plans and other content.
- Simply Suzy Blog - Suzy Brooks, award-winning 3rd grade teacher and EdTechTeacher instructor, includes posts for her class but also suggestions for teachers.
- Beth's blog - look in the St. Michael's category for links to every resource that I used with my students for 6 years. You can search by topic as well as browse by grade level.
- EdTechTeacher Resources
Challenge - take some time to explore the above resources and then contribute your ideas to this shared Google Doc.
Spring Projects with Students
- Digital Storytelling and Presentations
- Virtual Field Trips with Google Earth or Google Maps
- Scavenger Hunts
- Example #1: Travel the 50 States - create a PowerPoint/Keynote file template that includes space for a photo, title, and bullets. In the title field, list the name of a major attraction for each state. The students use Google Maps as well as some of the research resources listed above to find the state, the region, one important fact, and a picture.
- Example #2: Explore China - provide the students with a map of the area (this works for most large countries such as China, Africa, the US, etc). Then create a series of "playing cards" where the students work independently to find & label the locations from the cards. Each new card gets more difficult (e.g. progress from cities, to significant features that can be located via search, to items that require more advanced map skills). Let the students use the drawing tools in Word/Pages to create their map and print at 11x17 if possible. For enrichment, let faster students add pictures with captions. WorldAtlas.com and the National Geographic Map Maker are great resources.
Challenge - think about one project that you could attempt the spring and outline your plans on this shared Google Doc.
- Vimeo - much like YouTube, Vimeo is a video sharing site with more features:
- Additional privacy controls limit who can comment, download, or embed videos.
- Videos can be password protected and hidden from the public
- Teachers can organize videos into albums and then share complete collections either via a link or embedded into a website, wiki, or blog.
- Kidblog - a great blogging platform for younger students
Challenge - create an account with one (or both) of these tools and add the URL to this shared Google Doc.
- Socrative- this student response system allows you to conduct both anonymous polls as well as online quizzes.
- ClassDojo - this web based tool allows you to track and management class behavior. It is great for managing groups of students, providing feedback, and tracking class participation on a daily basis.
Challenge - create an account with one (or both) of these tools and then describe how you may use it/them on the shared Google Doc.
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