June 15, 2014

Drones, Research, Twitter, and Blogs... Teaching Tools!

Shoulders of Giants / Cody Erekson / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
As an educator I enjoy creating activities, lessons, and curriculum to help my students learn. Sometimes I borrow ideas from others. Nowadays it is so much easier to learn from other educators because we can use blogs, wikis, and Twitter to share and to borrow.

Here are some resources I discovered recently from some of the blogs I follow...

We are familiar with seeing other locations via Google's street views. Now we can visit some locations around the world from a drone's perspective. Mashable shares information about this site at Interactive Map Site Lets You Travel the World Through the Lenses of Drones. You can try it yourself at Travel By Drone and explore on your own. Today I traveled to Paris, France; Queensland, Australia; and Pittsburgh and Detroit in the USA! This looks like a useful (and fun) site for both teachers and students.

When I introduce ideas and techniques new to workshop participants I like to support what I teach with research as well as with anecdotes and personal experience. Larry Ferlazzo frequently shares research studies, so I am pleased to see that he is now writing a "round-up" of these studies every week or so. See his Research Studies of the Week post. This will be a valuable resource.

Vicki Davis' post Twitter: Best Practices for Educators #ReinventingWriting
on Edudemic includes apps, hashtags, and tips for using Twitter in the classroom. Davis' useful tips are based on research and personal experience. I think I will have to determine my Twitter "magic number" to figure out the maximum length my tweets should be! In fact, I will include several ideas that I learned from this post in my workshops.

And, finally, two posts about blogging on the LangWitches blog caught my eye: Blogging as Pedagogy: Facilitate Learning and And You Thought It Could Not Be Done: Blogging in Math. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano writes two excellent posts about blogging in the classroom. In my opinion you do not need to be a teacher of language arts or mathematics to benefit from reading these two posts! Tolisano writes that "blogging can be a strategy to facilitate learning" and then goes on to detail how educators can use blogging... not as a one-time activity or project... but as a basic strategy in our teaching toolboxes. These two posts are must reads!

I appreciate that educators support each other... and that it has become easier to stand on the shoulders of giants.

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