Every week, EdSurge sends out an educator-specific INSTRUCT newsletter containing a section called “S’Cool Tools,” where we showcase 3-5 edtech tools that have tickled our fancy.
Out of 75+ S’Cool Tools, ten products from Q1 have risen to the top based on the number of clicks they’ve received from our INSTRUCT readers. Check them out below! (And educators, if you’ve got some cool tools you haven’t seen yet in the newsletter or on our site, let us know!)
The desktop version of Excel has long been the king of the hill when it comes to spreadsheet apps, but Google is making a challenge for the title with Sheets, the spreadsheet tool included in Google Apps. Does it have a viable claim to the throne? Or is it a hollow imitation of Excel? Both have their advantages; here’s why you might want to use one or the other.
Working with Learner 2.0 will be quite a challenge for many teachers, particularly those who are ingrained in the old methods of education. But Learner 2.0 is already in your institution, and the opportunities far outweigh the threats.
Online education was once quite simple. Content delivery was controlled by the experts through Learning Management Systems, and discussions were conducted via e-mail and bulletin boards. Then came the advent of Web 2.0 and social media and things changed, boundaries blurred and the pace of change accelerated. In today’s digital age, are Learning Management Systems still required, and is e-mail now increasingly anachronistic? Students now connect on social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter and converse through mobile text. They generate their own content on a regular basis and act as the nodes of their own production. Increasingly informal collaborating comes naturally through the new tools and technologies that constitute their personal learning environments. Add to this mix the meteoric success of Massive Online Open Courses and Flipped Classrooms, the popularity of online social games and prospect of new, emerging technologies such as augmented reality and wearable systems, and we begin to question the future of our current online educational provision. What will the next few years hold for online education? What will be the new reality for learning, knowledge and ultimately, human intelligence? Are learner expectations unfulfilled by the current provision of traditional educational institutions? How much will the roles of teachers be required to change? What new theories and practices will we need to develop to stay relevant in an increasingly technological world where the learner is taking control? In this presentation I will address all of the above questions and offer my personal views on the future of online education in the digital age.
Anytime, anywhere, teachers like to have plenty of resources to pick from to help them create great classroom experiences to engage their students. We’ve got some wonderful content-packed free tools for teachers to explore. They’re online and ready to be discovered!
There are slideshows, printables, lesson plans, downloadable content and guides, videos, and much more. The sites listed below offer lots of stuff for all subjects and grades, so dive in and see what you can dig up.
Are you or your students looking for a way to help your thoughts flow freely and constantly as you write blog articles? Tired of wasting valuable time and losing focus? For a special treat today, we’re going to give you an inside look behind the scenes of blog writing for Global Digital Citizenship Foundation.
We put our money where our mouths are and really put into practice the 21st Century Fluencies, especially in the blog writing process. So we’ll show you how we do it, the tools we use, and the thought processes that are entailed, especially using Solution Fluency as a template for flowing smoothly to completion. Of course, all other fluencies make appearances as well.
The Chrome browser is a blank canvas and Chrome Extensions are the paint that can make it into a work of art. Much like shades of paint, there are tens of thousands Chrome Extensions to choose from, making it hard to find the essentials you need to improve your web browsing experience.
[The Gooru] has put together a list of our 10 favorite Chrome Extensions and the real life problems they solve. From security to grammar correction, these Extensions cover it all. Let us know in the comments section if you use a Chrome Extension that you think should have made the list!
Today, we acknowledge that the digital citizen is a global citizen. There has been, like the U.S. Constitution drafters recognized, a need for a definition of checks and balances that will govern this “new” world-wide technology. While it certainly is not a governing set of laws or even enforceable, digital citizenship nevertheless defines the model behavior of today’s Global Digital Natives.
So how do we make the definition clear for all? What are a few of the Global Digital Citizenship myths that we can get nipped in the bud? Read on …
Formative assessment tools used in the classroom provide critical feedback to teachers, helping them to monitor and modify their instruction methods and lesson plans. Teachers are better able to meet the unique needs of individual students, empowering them through personalized and timely feedback.
It’s important to use a variety of teaching and learning formative assessments, changing them frequently to stimulate both students and teachers. Assessment techniques are only as limited as the teacher’s imagination!
As with any teaching model, remember that we are striving toward learner-driven education. It is inevitable that a ‘new’ (some would argue not-so-new) technique will have its detractors. Remember that these are tools that are being presented to you. It’s your choice if you want to use a different tool.
Skype is also one of the tools in my literacy instruction. The listening and speaking components of Skype are obvious ones, and we use it often that way. We learn about similarities and differences and ask and answer questions with others from far away. But, we have used Skype for more traditional literacy activities as well.
When we talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) many times we run the risk of thinking more about the future than the present, and nothing could be further from the truth. Today there are many startups working with public administrations and businesses in the implementation of solutions related to the connection of machines to the Internet, the collection and analysis of data, and resource management. It is, without doubt, the most important step towards the paradigm of real smart cities.
“Change takes a lot of time and conviction, but it is not always clear about what actually constitutes ‘better’, because of this it is easy to doubt the direction things are moving. This then is why being connected is so important, knowing that you are not alone.”
“More than anything, what personalized learning brings to the table for me is the stark reality that our society must start grappling with the ways we are both interconnected and differentiated. We are individuals and we are part of networks.
In the realm of education, we cannot and should not separate these two. By recognizing our interconnected nature, we might begin to fulfill the promises that technology can offer our students.”
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Get rid of all the fluff, distractions and sometimes-dodgy content around YouTube videos. It’s great for Education, Marketing, or just making others smile. No registration or sign-up required. Works like Magic!”
Back in September last year I attended a Teachmeet at Oxfam in Carlton. @becspink and I had sneakily signed up for two spots to fulfil our “creative coffee morning” task for INF536. Lewis Allen and Clinton Milroy were there from AITSL to promote the Teacher Feature section of the AITSL website. They wanted to film some teachers for the site and I managed to get myself involved. Luckily I was well-dressed and made-up ready to go out later that evening for my wedding anniversary (21 years, thanks for asking!).
I’d managed to forget all about it till today when going through some survey responses for the video I’m creating for INF532 someone had provided a link for a video they’d uploaded to Teacher Feature. Unfortunately the videos didn’t want to play on the AITSL website but I managed to track them down on Youtube. I was expecting to cringe when I watched myself, I always think I’m stumbling over words and saying way too many umms and ahhs when I’m being recorded, but I was pleasantly surprised (and thank you Lewis for responding so quickly to my request to have my name spelled correctly). Anyway, I’m happy enough to share the video here – what do you think?
“Google Chrome is a Web browser used by millions of people around the world. It is, by some estimates, the most popular Web browser in the world, and it has many more lovers than it does haters. However, the standard Chrome experience can be made so much better with a handful of extensions.”
“Being a connected educator means connecting with other teachers to exchange ideas, improve your teaching practice, and in turn, make a change in education. It is only through being connected that we can collaborate and help to foster learning for the 21st century and beyond.”
“On a personal level, sharing assists the educator in becoming a better educator. The act of sharing requires reflection and preparation. The educator needs to reflect on his or her own practices to identify which ones they want to share and also needs to put that sharing artifact into a form (e.g. writing, images, audio, video) that will understood by an authentic audience. This process tends to help the educator improve instructional practices.
On a broader, more systemic level, sharing one’s experiences benefits other educators which, in turn, has the potential to advance the entire education field. It is the collective responsibility of all educators to create the change that they want to see in the education world. There really is no they in education. The they is really we-us. The we-us now have the means to have a voice.
The educator becomes a connected educator and through sharing, is an active participant and contributor to the connected educator movement.”
“The world of connected educators can be an echo chamber at times, how WILL you grow the conversation so that we bring more people and perspectives along the journey? This is the topic of #youredustory this week and it was a topic I put forward. I think I actually need to clarify the question a little because I am referring to the online world of connected educators. Being connected (online) has grown me tremendously as a learner and an educator and I continue to reach out, evolve, learn and reflect. However, the land of retweets and +1s can float around the same posts, anecdotes and resources and feel a little stale at times. Like minded people connecting with like minded people. What’s not to like? For me, it is the perspective of the educator who is not an online connected educator that is missing.”
“Becoming a connected educator is so unique. There is no rule or recipe to follow and no two stories are the same. The reality is that it is many things to many people. The biggest challenge is continually defining what it actually means to be connected and why it is important. I don’t wish to offer some cure, rather I hope to keep the conversation going.
Instead of providing a recipe, my approach has always been to share some of the choices that I have made and my thoughts behind them. Although signing up to various platforms is important, it is the journey associated with this that matters most to me. As +Tony Sinanis says, in reflecting on his own connected experiences, “the Twitter experience is a journey … it is not an experience that can simply be replicated for those who have yet to be connected.””
Since its inception, Google Drive has been a source of excitement for innovation-minded educators. However, as with any new teaching technology, you may find yourself thinking “it sounds intriguing, but will it really make a difference?” In regards to Drive features like audio feedback, the answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. Aside from offering convenience and helping spare teachers from endless amounts of typing, the addition of voice commenting brings with it profound benefits to the learning experience as a whole.
“Teach for Google is a brand-new collection of resources designed to help teachers get the best from Google Apps for Education. You’ll find many short courses that bring together strategies and best practice from leading educators. Each course comes complete with templates, forms, tips and other top-quality assets to help you deliver better teaching that boosts student engagement and actual attainment.”