Something Different

Do you want something different than the ubiqutious Power Point? Do you want a classroom presentation with more snap, crackel, and pop? Try Prezi,  a unique and exciting new way to get any point across to any audience. Almost anything Power Point can do Prezi can do better. I have discovered that Prezi has a bit of a learning curve, but a very fun one. Sit in front of the TV and give it a try. I promise you will find yourself giggeling at the possibilities.

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New Literacies

Easily the greatest struggle that educators face in today’s day and age is properly preparing students for a future that is poorly defined yet rapidly changing. While we know that something must change, we simply cannot begin to imagine what those changes might look like. Thankfully, leading thinkers on teaching and learning are beginning to tackle this question in a very structured and systematic way. Will Richardson—widely recognized as one of America’s most progressive educational thinkers—worked to define the kinds of skills that would be necessary for students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world. He wrote:
Our kids’ futures will require them to be:

•Networked– They’ll need an “outboard brain.”
More collaborative– They are going to need to work closely with people to co-create information.
More globally aware– Those collaborators may be anywhere in the world.
•Less dependent on paper– Right now, we are still paper training our kids.
More active– In just about every sense of the word. Physically. Socially. Politically.
Fluent in creating and consuming hypertext– Basic reading and writing skills will not suffice.
More connected– To their communities, to their environments, to the world.
Editors of information– Something we should have been teaching them all along but is even more important now.

Well, I agree. Any other thoughts?

Cool Tools for Schools

Cool Tools for Schools is a truely mind boggeling collection of web resources covering everything from presentation tools to collaborative, drawing, writing, mapping, quiz and many more catogories. Be prepared to spend a little time with this site and I promise the ideas for your classroom will bubble right out the top of your head. Most are completely free and many have education or teacher accounts available.  Have fun!!!

Storybird

StoryBird is a terrific writing resource for writers of all ages. Contrary to the traditional model of writing instruction where prompts are given verbally or written, Storybird changes the premise. First  the writer chooses a collection of artwork as inspiration for an original story. Using the artwork the writer builds their story, complete with characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Storybird offers education accounts that allow whole classes to participate in the writing experience. If a teacher wants to engage reluctant writers, we recommend Storybird. Give it a try!

Many members of the writers Club at Inverness Primary are using Storybird with great results. Their efforts will soon be posted on the IPS Wiki under the Writers Club link, as well on the students personal wiki page.