April 2, 2012

02 Apr

April 2nd, 2012

I’m officially DONE!  My three years of working on my Masters (IT Leadership in Education at the University of Lethbridge) came to a close last Saturday.  A long day of presentations and even longer when you at one of the last to present!  It is finally behind me now and I can finally get back, I hope, to a regular routine of updating my blog!!

As always, the monthly VANTAGE email continues to share great links for interactive sites in the various disciplines.  Click on the following to look at the PDF for the links to:

The continues to share as well, a lot of sites that you can hopefully use in your classrooms.  The latest ones with Pete’s comments are:

Art Related:

  • “Puppetry” – “This interactive explores the ancient art of Shadow Puppetry. You will learn how to make your own puppets, set up a screen and lights, and create your own shadow plays. Check out the interviews with real puppeteers and watch videos of shadow plays for inspiration. Use the Puppet Studio to create digital shadow plays.”
  • “Origami” – My pal Andy asked if I’d heard about that origami company.  Apparently, it folded!  Here’s a fun site full of step-by-step photos and explanations for hundreds of origami patterns.  There are a lot of Google ads to pick through but the left-hand column is where you want to go – it’s a long menu!

Inclusive/Special Ed Related:

  •  “Special Education” – “Free teaching resources for special education” is the tag line for this extensive collection.  SEN Teacher provides cost-free teaching & learning resources for students with special needs and learning disabilities. Many resources here may also be of use to educators of primary and elementary students – and all are provided at no cost.

Language Arts Related:

  • “Spelling” – Here’s an easy little spelling practice activity on Harcourt Brace’s Spelling site.  Students re-arrange letters to spell words and the character confirms a correct response or offers assistance to get there.

Math Related:

  •  “Math” – My pal, Andy Lummis, found this fun interactive that allows students to practice their mental acuity with multiplication tasks.  Students get several chances to get it right before moving on.

Science Related:

  • “Simple Machines” – Here’s a fun interactive I used in a presentation last week.  Students apply knowledge of simple machines to assemble a device that serves a task. Students will know if they place a machine properly or not with feedback and when the machine works, they see it animated.  This is a good one to use with your interactive whiteboard.
  • “Gears” – This gear template generator tool could be useful in studying simple machines.  Intended for woodworking projects, it allows students to enter a variety of variables such as the number of gear teeth or the spacing of the teeth.  There is also an opportunity to create two gears that can work together.
  • “Solar System” – This flash site is an interactive exploration of our solar system.  Providing different perspectives and a host of settings to enhance or focus on particular aspects, students can easily spend some individual time poking around our neighboring planets.  This should work well on an interactive whiteboard as well!
  •  “Trees” – Edmonton teacher, Carol Fowler, pointed out that an old resource called The Wonderful World of Trees is no longer hosted on the Domtar site.  So, let’s replace it with “A Walk In The Woods” – an interactive interpretive walk by The University of Illinois Extension.  There is a Teacher’s Guide and some preparatory notes.  If you poke around in the Resources section, you’ll find a long list of similar sites.
  • “Éinsteins” – You can now access Albert Einstein’s 80,000+ documents online.  He bequeathed all of his writings to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and they’ve put a lot of it online.

Technology Related:

  • “Tech training” – Watch free technology training videos! Get help and answer your computer and gadget questions with thousands of video tutorials for PCs, Macs, and tons of different applications.  You can search or just browse through.
  •  “iPads” – For those looking to get past the shiny, the TIPS Project uses iPads to implement learning challenges in classrooms. This blog is designed to guide and support teachers and pre-service teachers as they explore ways of using iPads in classrooms.  This blog is maintained by Dr. Jenny Lane of Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia.
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