Tag Archives: Tom Barrett

HD_Links: Blogroll

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Although we don’t keep an official blogroll (Maybe we should?) here at Networked Teaching & Learning, we read a lot of blogs, mining them for resources and ideas. I try to give credit where credit is due, but sometimes useful blogs slip through the cracks. The following blogs may not always lead directly to posts here, they do offer plenty of inspiration and influence what I do on a daily basis.

Classroom Talk is a new discovery that covers similar ground to what we cover here. In other words, it covers nearly all educational topics imaginable. However, the focus is slightly different from NT&L in that it also focuses on parent resources in regards to how students learn. It’s a good read you should really check out. (H/T Laura Brashear)

Venspired was previously known as Teacher Factory but still features the same great collection of blog posts. Written by gifted teacher and sometimes NT&L contributor Krissy Venosdale, Venspired covers a wide array of topics, mostly focusing on creativity and student-centered learning. Get inspired and add Venspired to your blogroll now.

There are good things coming from over seas in educational technology. Two blogs to check our are Australia’s EdTech Toolbox and England’s EDTE.CH. EdTech Toolbox features a new online tool 2-3 times every week. That’s more than I can handle sometimes. Although EDTE.CH‘s Tom Barrett has been suspiciously absent from posting as of late, his insights, recommendations, and tips are among the best in the field. Also, this is where he keeps his “Interesting Ways” collection.

Dan Meyer is a math teacher that would have fit right in at eMINTS. His blog is dy/dan and within this blog, Dan demonstrates how creativity and putting learning first materialize in the mathematics classroom. Although he’s now working on a doctorate at Stanford, Dan is always looking for ways to make Math real and tangible for students.

Those are five blogs that provide a lot of inspiration around these parts. What blogs do you look to for inspiration and insight? How can reading blogs and participating in their conversations help us as educators?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.

Really??? Wordle is an Instructional Tool?

“Brooke,” you say, “how can I use Wordle in my classroom. The pictures are so neat, and my kids really like them, but I really don’t know how I might use it as an instructional tool???” Boy….do I have some resources for you!!!

First off, Wordle is not the only word cloud generator out there. Sometimes sites are blocked :( in some schools and you may not have access to Wordle.net so you may want to try WordSift, VocabGrabber, ABCya!, or Tagul the next time you want your students to create word clouds. What sets them apart are the ease of use and customization options each site offers. Play around with the different word cloud online tools to see which might be the best one for you and your class.

If you need some help on how to use Wordle and other word cloud generators, or need some ideas on how you might use them during lessons, check out Peter Pappas’ blog post “Building Literacy Skills with Wordle” where he not only gives step by step instructions on using the site but also ideas for application such as defining skills, summarizing skills, and comparison skills.

The collaboration Google document which today is called “47 Interesting Ways to Use Wordle” has been created by educators for educators and was started by Tom Barrett. It’s an excellent source of implementation strategies for classroom use of word clouds. The coolest part…if you come up with a different use, you can add it to the Google Doc and share it with tons of teachers that visit that site daily and then you will be part of their PLN.

And for a little fun and learning – check out Guess the Wordle daily (M-F). Students will need to use their deciphering skills to figure out the topic for the Wordle each day. Today’s GTW is a great one for Missouri students.

Not sure what a Wordle word cloud is….take a look at the header and the PLN image in the previous post.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can visit her site here or read her blog, Higgins’ Helpful Hints.