FUNdamentals of Learning: An Intel Webinar

We have often talked about PLN (Personal Learning Networks) in the blog but I thought I might share a specific site that you may want to add to your PLN.  It is the Teachers Engage site from Intel.  This is a community of educators K-12 and the focus is transforming learning with the integration of technology.  It is free to register and provides many helpful ideas and tools to use in the classroom.

There are discussion boards, webinars, unit plans, and various communities you can join to meet your particular interests and needs.  The resources that are provided are excellent and there are so many of them.

I mentioned webinars, an example of one of the webinars you should attend is tonight, Aug. 7th at 6:00 Central time. Doug Caldwell, Debbie Perkins, and Julie Szaj, all eMINTS Instructional Specialist, will be presenting a webinar called The FUNdamentals of Learning.   In this webinar, they “will present on websites that help teachers and students get, become, stay engaged. Focusing on middle school-aged resources, they will show tools and have participants brainstorm classroom uses with an emphasis on back to school planning.”

If you are interested in the Teachers Engage or just want to check out a webinar, come and join them tonight and see if maybe Teachers Engage is a site you might want to add to your PLN.

Terri Brines is an eIS and Cognitive CoachingSM Trainer for the eMINTS National Center.

eThemes: A Reminder and Time Saver

Look what showed up in my inbox yesterday…

As you have noticed over the past weeks I have been sharing the ins and outs of stop-motion video. During my search for resources I checked eThemes and noticed they didn’t have anything available. Since I am a former eMINTS teacher I can request new eThemes. In just minutes I filled out the form including the types of resources I was looking for, grade levels, standards, and specific details further describing what I needed. I also shared a few links that I had already found to help them understand what I was specifically looking for. In less than 2 weeks they returned my eTheme and I was ready to roll.

For those of you not familiar with eThemes it is a “source for content-rich, kid-safe online resources that will help enhance your teaching and save you time. eThemes provides free, fast access to over 2,500 collections of websites, on topics ranging from Aerodynamics to Zebras and everything in between!”

eThemes saves teachers’ time looking for resources by doing the searching for you. Anyone can use the existing themes and any eMINTS teacher can request a new theme be searched giving them more time to focus on teaching.

Check out eThemes now and make a request to start planning your next classroom project.

Brooke Higgins and Julie Szaj are instructional specialists with the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tools: eBooks in the eMINTS Classroom

A goal in all eMINTS classrooms is to make lessons relevant to students by having them create products and solve problems that are based on real life issues. One profession that lends itself to standards that many teachers teach is the job of an Author. Oftentimes teachers include writing a book as an end product in the Elaborate portion of the Constructivist lesson plan form. Having students write and publish original works requires students to think at higher levels including synthesizing information to create real world, authentic products.

There are tons of websites that allow people to create printed books for a cost, but what many don’t know is that some allow users to produce them electronically as well. Electronic books (or e-books as they are known) allow authors to embed code or link directly to the online story, thus eliminating the need to pay for a printed copy.  Here is a short list of some of these sites including the designer’s descriptions:

  • Snapfish Create books from templates using your photos.
  • Shutterfly Create books from templates using your photos.
  • My eBook Create and share dynamic books. Site needs to be previewed by teacher and possibly start projects to avoid interaction with some content. Shared in previous post
  • UDL Book Builder Use this site to create, share, publish, and read digital books that engage and support diverse learners according to their individual needs, interests, and skills.
  • Mix Book Photo books that are free and easy to create and share.
  • Story Bird Short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.
  • Story Something Allows users to add kids names into books, save to their computer and share with kids – good Early Childhood resource.
  • Story Jumper A place to create and discover stories for kids. Free to create/publish but cost for printing hardback book.
  • Big Universe Get a free 14 day trial – see what other kids are writing and create project to see how you like it.

Whether you look at “new Bloom’s” revised by Lorin Anderson or the works of Benjamin Bloom, writing original works would be considered CREATING which on both hierarchies is a higher level intellectual behavior important for learning.

Written by: Brooke Higgins & Julie Szaj, eMINTS Instructional Specialists
Image by: alless&ro http://www.flickr.com/photos/regi_a/4462985171/