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Exciting student travel opportunity with National Geographic

Posted on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 @ 09:06 AM

student travel opportunityWe’re always looking for ways to challenge our students and give them a rich, multi-cultural experience—one that helps them grapple with new ideas, cultures and experiences. While students can certainly do this in the classroom, there is no substitute for seeing the world first hand. So we were pleased to stumble upon a student travel opportunity: National Geographic’s student exhibition offerings.

Through one of their four programs, students can get first-hand field experience on a National Geographic Expedition, Field Workshop, Photo Workshop, or Community Service trip to one of dozens of destinations that suit their interests.

All of the trips range from eleven days to three weeks and if students hurry, they can still meet summer 2013 deadlines. Here’s a brief rundown of each program:

Expeditions are two to three weeks long and are geared for those interested in an in-depth exploration of a specific region. Depending on the location, students may do anything from work with biologists and track wildlife in the Amazon to snorkel and scuba dive off the reefs of Belize.

Field workshops are 11-12 days long. Students should expect to spend most of their time in one or two home bases where they will take part in hands-on activities, participate in workshops with National Geographic experts, and explore the surrounding area on active excursions.

Photo workshops are 11-12 days long and include assignments in the field, classes, and critiques, which culminates with a final gallery opening that is led by a National Geographic photographer.

Community Service assignments allow students to truly delve into the culture of small villages throughout the world. Here students will work alongside members of the community on collaborative service projects focusing on infrastructure, education, and conservation.

Cost and eligibility for each program varies, so we suggest that parents/students call National Geographic directly for more specific information.

What we can tell you is that there is a $700 application deposit which goes towards tuition costs. Flights are not included in the tuition costs, but all meals, lodging, activities, excursions, ground transportation, taxes, gratuities, and pre-trip materials are.

Here are only a few of the destinations students can choose from:

  • Alaska field workshop (12 days)

  • Australia expedition (20 days)

  • Barcelona field workshop (12 days)

  • Belize expedition (12 days)

  • Brazil’s Amazon and Pantanal (19 days)

  • China expedition (21 days)

  • Paris photography workshop (12 days)

  • and lots more

Teachers, if you’d like to request a travel catalog to pass along to your students, click here for an online request form.

Teachers, if you are interested in cost-effective ways to see the world and receive professional development at the same time, check out two of our recent blogs, “5 ways to see the world: summer professional development for teachers” and “Become a cosmopolitan educator: 3 more ways to see the world for free.”

    

 

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Topics: Educational Leadership Master's Programs, Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Master's in Educational Technology Online, student travel opportunity

Enhance your science curriculum with 5 free science video series

Posted on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 @ 10:06 AM

We’ve often wondered where our science curriculum would be without all of the free videos we find on the Internet. Not only do videos introduce a new voice into the classroom, they help us bring clarity to abstract concepts and present them in engaging (and often very entertaining) ways. So that you don’t have to spend hours perusing the Internet for the best videos to enhance your science curriculum, we’ve done it for you. Here are five of our favorites:

Enhance your science curriculum with 5 free science video series

science curriculumVideoSci curates the best science videos from all over the Internet, so you don’t have to wade through the clutter yourself. Each video offers a brief synopsis along with a commenting and rating system. There is an extensive tag system and categories for exploring videos of your taste easily.

science curriculumWe’ve gushed over the Green brothers before (we’re big fans of their Crash Course video series), but we only recently discovered another series they’ve put together called SciShow. Like Crash Course, SciShow is substantive, but also entertaining. Their series offers a wide range of videos that cover anything from “The Science of Lying,” and “What is the Oldest Tree in the World?” to Great Minds, a series in which each episode highlights a new scientist.

science curriculumThe periodic table contains 118 elements and the University of Nottingham has made a video for each one! In addition to these videos, you’ll find films about other areas of chemistry along with the latest news and occasional adventures away from the lab.

science curriculumPerhaps you’d like to take a 3D hike at Machu Picchu? Maybe you want to know how you can get an ant to carry a sign with a personalized message on it or know why a cat always lands on its feet? Smarter Every Day can help.

 



science curriculumMinute Physics
offers a collection of narrated, time-lapsed drawings to explain physics-related topics in roughly one minute. Henry Reich, the creator of the series, will cover anything from “How Big is the Universe?” and “Top 10 Reasons Why We Know the Earth is Round” to “Is There Poop on the Moon” and “Is it Better to Walk or Run in the Rain?”

 

 

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Topics: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Best Apps for Educators, Technology in the Classroom, apps for educators, science curriculum

186 of the Best YouTube videos for Teachers

Posted on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 10:06 AM

best youtube videos for teachersWe’ve often wondered where we’d be without YouTube. When words and analogies fail us, we often find ourselves turning to YouTube to find commercials, movie clips and TED-Talks lectures to help us reach students in a way that engages them and elucidates abstract concepts.

As you may know, finding useful videos that have educational applications can be time consuming, so we were elated when we came across Paul Bogush’s list of, as he calls it, “186 videos that will make you go huh, whoah, wow, ahhh, and ha-ha.”

We only had time to view a handful of videos off of his list, but we were impressed with what we saw. We have no idea how in world he found all of these gems! Stop by his site and give him a big thank you.

186 of the Best YouTube videos for Teachers

Videos that make us think:

Mankind is no Island
Kiwi 
Meditation

Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes
Did you Know?
Piano Stairs
Dove Evolution
Kaplan U Desks
Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Just One Girl
Micheal Jordon-Failure
The Deepest Garbage Can
The Years are Short
Stuck on an Elevator
The Money Tree
Dear 16 Year Old me
Staring Contest
Power of Words
Be a Follower
Water
Instant Face Maker
Girl and the Fox
Butterfly Circus (if you are going to watch only one…)
I Can’t Read…
Knock Knock
Dear 16 Year Old Me
Why I Hate School but Love Education
Touchscreen
I will not let an exam determine my fate

Videos that inspire us:

I Love Living Life
Try to Do
Be the Change You Want to See in the World
Together We Can Change the World
Blind Painter
Free Hugs
Sour
Dustin carter
Pep Talk from Kid President to You
Caines Arcade
K id Speech
Think Different
Everyone needs to wear sunscreen
I Hope You See This
Human Shadows
Huck
Cascada

Videos that amaze us:

LED Sheep Herding
Time Warp
Paul the Opera Singer
Breaking Wine Glass
Boyanka Angelova
One in Million Chance
Human Shadow Puppets
Giant Water Slide
OK Go
Dominoes in the Kitchen
Greatest Car Advertisement Ever
Test Your Awareness 1
Test Your Awareness 2
Test Your Awareness 3
Test Your Awareness 4
Bruce Lee Table Tennis
Golf Ball Reaches Terminal Velocity`
Optical Illusion Dance
Tractor Trailer Mishap
Largest Glacier Calving Ever
Grinding the Crack
Biggest Surf Wave Ever
Dubstep Beatboxer
Parkour
Ball Camera
Stop Motion
Top Secret Drum Corp
Drumbone
One Man Band
VW Factory
Hearing for the First Time
Coke and Mentos Car
Time Warp Balloon
Breaking a wineglass
Inspired Bicycles
Cougar
Free Style Football
Wolf’s Law
60 Seconds in a Skate Park
Chalk Art
Mind Blowing Dance
Painting Reality
Animation on a Bike
Evolution of Music
Sand Art
Google Street View Hyperlapse
View from ISS at night
Dream Music
Moon Walk
Quik
Tony vs Paul
Stop Motion
On Top of the Hood
I believe I can Fly
Experience Human Flight
Experience Scootering
I Believe I Can Fly 2
Gulp
Live Augmented Reality

Videos that make us ask questions:

Steven Levitt: Why do crack dealers still live with their moms?
Spin
Gever Tulley: 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do
Built to Last
What teachers make
Lost Generation
Don’t Eat the Marshmallow Yet
Vision of Students Today
Vision of K-12 Students Today
The Kid No One Wanted
Power of Simple Words
Behind the scenes at McDonalds Photo Shoot
Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Transformation
Why you need to fail
The Majestic Plastic bag
Take My Ball and Go Home
Pretty

Videos that get us to laugh together:

Cat Herding
Octapodi
Life after Death by Powerpoint

Food Fight

The Invisible Rope
Thou Shalt Laugh
Trouble in Paradise
Ron Lucas and Big Dummy
Electric face Stimulus
Basset Hound Beat Box
Martians Meet a Clock
Everything is Amazing and Nobodys Happy
Mr. Bean-Pool
Bill Cosby-Dentists
Five Minute University
Barking Fish
Football vs Baseball
Charlie the Unicorn
Chainsaw
Rabbit (ok, maybe not funny but frightening)
We’re Sinking
Sneak Thief
Why you should think before you text
Pigeon Impossible
Entr Kazoo Man
Introducing the Book
Stupid Terrorist
Slinky on Treadmill
Dramatic Surprise 1
Dramatic Surprise 2
Evian Babies
Bulldog Snorting
Ojai Taxidermy
Lighthouse vs Ship
Gotta Share the Musical
Bagman
Invisible Drumkit
Flying Fish
Marcel the Shell with shoes on
Worst Ice Skater
Funny Animals
Frozen Grand Central
Spy vs Guy
Kiss Cam
Safer in Groups
Inflated Animals
Baby and Me
Duck Heart
Mouth Open
Marcel with Shoes on Two
Fluffy McCloud
Ormie
Cumulus and Nimbus
Give it a ponder 1
Give it a ponder 2
Give it a ponder 3
Give it a ponder 4
Dogboarding
Parallel Parking
Bless You
Uncle Jack (not for all audiences)

 

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Topics: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Best Apps for Educators, classroom technology, best youtube videos for teachers

Enhance your reading curriculum with these 3 free audiobook databases

Posted on Thu, May 30, 2013 @ 15:05 PM

One of our colleagues, an English professor and self-proclaimed book addict, once admitted that he always kept a book of literary theory on the passenger seat of his car so that he could read during red lights. While we can’t in good conscience recommend this, we do want to refer you to three free audiobook databases that’ll give you the ability to safely polish off a classic and drive at the same time.

Why audiobooks?

  • They make sitting in traffic tolerable—even pleasant
  • We’ve also seen how enthusiastic our struggling readers are about them
  • They’re completely free
  • They give students’ digital access to many of the texts we use in our literature courses

Enhance your reading curriculum with these 3 free audiobook databases

To date, LibriVox has 6,483 audiobook titles and all of them are free. All of the works on the site are in the public domain and are read by volunteers. If you or your students are so inclined, you can become a volunteer reader. No experience is required and LibriVox accepts everyone regardless of their language, accent or delivery style. That said, we continue to be impressed with the quality of the readers.

 reading curriculum

Lit2Go is another free audiobook collection of stories and poems. Not only is the site sleekly designed and easy to navigate, you’ll also find an abstract, citation, playing time, and word count for each text. Many of the passages also identify related reading strategies. Each reading passage can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed for use as a read-along or as supplemental reading material for your classroom.

reading curriculumOpen Culture is in the business of curating any cultural or educational media as long as it’s free. In addition to a nice collection of free audiobooks, expect to find free online courses, textbooks, movies and language lessons.

reading curriculum

 

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Topics: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Best Apps for Educators, Technology in the Classroom, apps for educators, Master's in Educational Technology Online, audiobooks

Rebecca Black, “Friday,” and your students’ digital footprint

Posted on Tue, May 21, 2013 @ 08:05 AM

digital footprintWhen 13-year-old Rebecca Black’s parents handed ARK Music Factory a $4,000 check to have them cut a single and create an accompanying music video for their daughter, they couldn’t possibly have imagined what would happen.  

Four months after “Friday” was recorded, filmed and posted to YouTube it went viral, receiving 166 million views and 3.2 million “dislikes.” Not long after, comedians like Jimmy Fallon and Steven Colbert lampooned the “so-bad-it’s-good” single and critics unanimously echoed that “Friday” was “the worst song ever written.” The derision must have stung, but it was only further exasperated by bullying at school, ominous phone calls and emails containing death threats.

Browse YouTube and you’ll see hundreds of thousands of videos and songs far worse (“worse” is relative, of course) than Rebecca Black’s. Few of them will ever be noticed; few will ever receive 166 million views and twice as many “dislikes”; few of them will be remembered a decade later and come up in conversation at a cocktail party.

This 13-year-old did absolutely nothing wrong—and as cliché as it is to say it, she was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nonetheless, odds are that “Friday” is going tag along with Black this Friday, the Friday after next and the one ten years after that. Time will tell.

What does this have to do with our students?
Although Rebecca Black’s experience may be a bit of a hyperbolic way to segue into a conversation about our students’ digital footprint, her experience does give them reason to reflect on the marks they leave behind when they post pictures, comments and videos on the Internet.

Everything we do online leaves a trail; it may wind and evolve as we age, but it will always point back to us. Colleges and universities are increasingly reviewing this footprint when they decide who is going to be receiving a letter of acceptance. Employers, too, are beginning to conduct informal digital background checks on applicants before offering them a position. Showing up for the interview is the second impression, not the first. And thanks to our digital footprint, personas begin to take shape the moment our parents post photos of us as newborns.

A discussion that truly unpacks the impact of our digital footprint deserves a book. We simply wish to get the conversation started so that you can continue it with your students. If you’re looking for a way to get started, we recommend checking out a five-minute, TED-Talks episode featuring Juan Enriquez. In it, Enriquez uses insights from Greek and Latin American mythology to make sense of the surprisingly permanent effects of digital sharing on our personal privacy.

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Topics: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Technology in the Classroom, classroom technology, Online Education, digital footprint, Rebecca Black

If you could write a haiku to a Martian, what would it say?

Posted on Tue, May 07, 2013 @ 09:05 AM

MAVEN MarsWe just found out that NASA is calling all Earthlings to submit their names, along with a three-line haiku, to the Going to Mars with Maven contest. If you need a little incentive to get your submission in by July 1, try this on for size: The three most popular submissions will actually be written to a DVD and sent to Mars onboard the MAVEN spacecraft!

There is one caveat: Those who submit must be 18 or older. The good news is that teachers are allowed to submit on behalf of their students.

We think this is a great way to get students excited about science, space, space travel and writing. It’s also a creative way to help students make a personal connection to the MAVEN mission, which is scheduled for launch in November.

To learn more about the Going to Mars with Maven contest, or to view current entries, stop by their website by clicking here. You can also watch a video about the MAVEN mission below.

 

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Topics: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, writing strategies, writing skills, Online Education, Master's in Educational Technology Online

Enhance your collaborative learning techniques. Plant a Pearltree.

Posted on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 @ 10:04 AM

collaborative learning techniquesClick on the bookmark tab in your Internet browser. Is there any rhyme or reason to it? If you’re like us, it’s a mess of random webpages. Some of the bookmarks are mislabeled, some we haven’t checked in over a year—and when we want to find the sites we actually visit, we have to start excavating.

Enhance your collaborative learning techniques. Plant a Pearltree.

Pearltrees is a new visual bookmarking tool that makes organizing your webpage shortcuts intuitive and orderly. It also makes it easy to connect and browse web-content curated by other educators.

Why is it called Pearltree?collaborative learning two.jpg
A “pearl” is just another name for a visual link to your favorite websites. Click on your “pearl” to see a screenshot of the webpage; click again and you’ll be routed there.

After you add your “pearls,” you can move them around your visual map (your “Pearltree”) and organize them however you want.

Pearltree also allows you to sync your account with Facebook, Twitter, email, or your own personal blog. This is ideal for collaborative learning projects; it’s also useful for teachers who want to share course content with their students.

If you’re looking for a few more apps to help you stay organized—or even apps to help enhance your collaborative learning techniques—check out our guide, Surfing for Substance: 50 No-Nonsense, No-Fluff Websites and Apps for Educators

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Topics: Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Best Apps for Educators, Elearning, Master's in Educational Technology Online, collaborative learning techniques

5 Apps to Enhance Those Run-of-the-Mill Poetry Lessons

Posted on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 10:04 AM

April means a couple of things to educators: poetry and taxes. Although we hate to make any associations between the two, the way we feel about taxes may (unfortunately) mirror the way many of our students feel about poetry. In a recent blog we offered two alternative poetry lessons to make enthusiasts out of even your most reluctant students, but we realized that our technologists may be feeling a bit left out. So here are 5 of our favorite apps for enhancing your April poetry lessons.

5 Apps to Enhance Those Run-of-the-Mill Poetry Lessons

poetry lessons 1The Poetry App (free)
We’ve always believed that good poetry should be read aloud and it looks like the Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation shares our opinion.

The opening screen of The Poetry App takes you into a cozy, book-lined study, complete with portraits and a crackling fireplace. Tap paintings on the wall and you’ll be able to listen to 30 performers (including Juliet Stevenson, Jeremy Irons, Dan Stevens and Eileen Atkins) as they read work from some of the most beloved poets in history. This is only half of it.

Tap on "My Poems" and you’ll find a template not only to write your own poems, but also to record them and then share (both text and performance) via email. Stuck for a word? There is an "inspire me" button that provides word clouds of poets' favorite vocabulary that just may ignite a creative spark!

poetry lessons 2Instant Poetry ($2.28)
By providing your students with random words, which they can simply drag and drop onto their screen, Instant Poetry gives your students the creative nudge they need to create their own masterpiece.

After students select a theme, the app’s algorithm provides you with an endless stream of related words. Your students will also enjoy adding their own backdrop photos, customizing font, and having the ability to email their work.

poetry lessons 3.jpgMagnetic Poetry (free)
Magnetized words have found their way onto countless refrigerators and for good reason: they’re a blast. Now your students can have the same fun, but do it online. Like Instant Poetry, this web application allows users to simply drag and drop words. Don’t like the “word hand” you’ve been dealt? No problem, click on “more words,” piece together your poem, and email it when you’re done.

poetry lessons 4.jpgRhyme Zone (free)
If you’re worried about your students “playing tennis with the net down” and feel, like Robert Frost did, that poems must have form and rhyme, send them over to Rhyme Zone. Your students will appreciate being able to organize the results by syllable and letter. You can also include phrases, which renders some interesting results. 

poetry lessons 5Poetry (free)
Poetry allows you to take thousands of poems—from Shakespeare to T.S. Eliot and Emily Dickinson—with you wherever you go. We’re particularly fond of the app’s “shuffle effect,” which randomly selects a poem whenever you give your phone a shake.

 

 

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Topics: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Best Apps for Educators, Technology in the Classroom, writing strategies, writing skills, apps for educators

Effective feedback made easy—or at least easier—with GradeMark

Posted on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 @ 16:03 PM

Providing our seffective feedbacktudents with effective feedback is a challenge not only due to the sheer volume of essays many of us have to read, but also because it can be so tedious. Often there are so many things we want to address that we wonder where or how we should begin. We recently offered a few tips for giving effective feedback and thought a discussion about GradeMark, a new online tool for grading papers, would make a nice companion piece.

Effective feedback made easy—or at least easier—with GradeMark

Instead of submitting hard copies of their work, students simply upload their essay to GradeMark. This not only frees you from having to lug around stacks of essays, you’ll also save printing ink and never again will you chase down hard copy papers (that may or may not have been submitted to your mailbox). “But I can already do this through email and Microsoft Word,” you say.  Not so fast.

Once you open a document in GradeMark, you are free to:

  • Add comments within the body of the paper
  • Point out grammar and punctuation mistakes
  • Evaluate the paper against qualitative or quantitative rubrics
  • Assess the student’s performance within the class
  • Reduce plagiarism by running an originality report
  • Enter a grade for the paper that is automatically saved into GradeBook.

Here’s the best part: Grademark combines several methods of evaluation which makes providing effective feedback infinitely easier than working with hard copies or within Microsoft Word:

  • Drag and drop fully-customizable comments. Say, for example, that your student commonly misuses the comma. Instead of inserting all of the commas for the student, simply drag and drop the “missing comma” icon onto the page and type up a short explanation about why the comma is necessary.
  • Add marginal comments by typing directly on the draft or drag and drop quick marks. You can also attach lengthier comments to the essay.
  • Add voice messages. There are times when it’s easier to just say what you mean instead of writing it. Now you can. 
  • Use rubric scoring. Set up rubrics and attach them to the assignments so you can illustrate what specific improvements need to be made.

We’re sorry to say that we can’t tell you how much the program costs, but GradeMark will provide you with a quote if you fill out their short request form—which will only take you a minute.

If you’re looking for more ways to offer your students’ effective feedback, check out one of our recent blogs, “Are you providing effective feedback? Or are your students just ignoring you?”

 

Download our FREE guide:  50 No-Nonsense, No Fluff Apps for Teachers

Topics: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Best Apps for Educators, Technology in the Classroom, classroom technology, writing strategies, effective feedback, writing skills

A blog? A website? No, it’s Populr, a new collaborative-learning tool

Posted on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 @ 09:03 AM

collaborative learningWe’re always looking for new ways to enhance our students’ collaborative learning experience, so we were excited to come across Populr, a new micro-publishing service. What’s that? It’s not really a social-media site. And unlike blogs (intended for a steady stream of information) and websites (tedious to set up and maintain), Populr allows you to build “POPs,” mini, one-page “websites” that:

  • Don’t require upkeep
  • Are highly targeted to the viewer
  • Allows users to create and share sophisticated, but easy-to-set-up messages (that include images, video and sound files)

 collaborative learning

 When your students collaborate on a project, they often exchange ideas through email, text message or face-to-face during class. All this certainly works, but Populr gives your students the ability to upload videos, PDFs, photos, and customize the layout in the same amount of time it would take to draft an email. And all your students have to do is drag and drop. To learn more about Populr, check out this video:

If you are looking for more collaborative learning apps, check out two of our recent blogs:  “5 apps to unite your district and encourage collaborative learning” and “5 More Apps to Boost Collaborative Learning.”

Download our FREE guide:  50 No-Nonsense, No Fluff Apps for Teachers

Topics: Educational Technology, Educational Technology Master's Degree, Educational Technology Programs, Instructional Technology Graduate Programs, Best Apps for Educators, apps for educators, Master's in Educational Technology Online, collaborative learning

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