Today on Twitter I shared some of my favorite digital resources and tools in honor of Digital Learning Day! Here’s a quick recap, along with a bit more insight than the 140 characters afforded me.
8:00am I kicked off my morning with DIY.org because a) it’s one of my favorites, and b) I had some PD around this resource today. I love DIY – they’ve created a great kid-friendly and safe environment for kids ages 6-15 to explore, create, and make related to pretty much any content area you can think of! From poetry to gaming to building snow forts, there is something for everyone. I love this in a flexible learning or genius hour environment. While it’s not 100% classroom friendly (yet), there are easy ways to work around that limitation.
9:00am Wonderopolis is another favorite of mine to use with my elementary age kids. My own children hate being wrong. Wonderopolis encourages them to wonder and predict in a safe space! With a new “wonder” every day, there’s always fresh content to explore, along with a rich library of their past topics! Getting students to ask questions and make predictions are two skills that I can never get enough of. Check out the post I wrote about Wonderopolis with my kids.
10:00am I’ve loved Today’s Meet for years. This back channel tool has added some great features since I was in the classroom, including teacher accounts to save and organize your room, and a moderator feature, but the basic premise is the same. It’s a quick (30 seconds) and easy tool to set-up, and beyond powerful, creating a safe space for all of my students to share ideas, ask questions, and discuss the topic of the day. And all this while remaining a fairly secure environment – unless you share the link publicly, only those you share the URL with have access.
11:00am Connecting Creativity provides awesome ways for classrooms of all ages and content areas to combine technology, literacy, and creativity! Encouraging student publishing and sharing, each month Connecting Creativity focuses on a new way for students to show and share their learning. An added bonus, if you’re interested in more, sign up for the workshop in March, or wait for the class (license renewal credit offered) in June!
12:00pm Voxer is currently the #1 app I have on my phone. Whether I’m connecting with my PLN for daily, just in time learning, or sharing with classrooms in order to give students an opportunity to show and share the learning process, I couldn’t function without Voxer most days. I’m really excited to be presenting on this tool with some schools and conferences in the near future!
1:00pm TED Talks are a great way for students to learn from experts, discover inspiring individuals, and take away exciting ideas. They’re short, fascinating, and another great tool for any content area, for flexible learning, or for a genius hour type scenario. Check out these tips for classroom teachers using TED Talks!
2:00pm Instagram is not maybe a platform that a lot of people would think about for Digital Learning Day, but I think it needs to be on the list. More and more educators are using this social media outlet to share student work via photos and short videos. There’s a great educator connection going on here, with lots of great ideas. One of my favorite #edtech Instagram-ers to follow is EdTechBaton! Each day a new “runner” shares tips, tricks, and lesson ideas around #edtech! Not only that, but there are so many “real world” and “industry” people that we can connect with here! From artists to authors to chefs, everyone is sharing their creativity on Instagram!
3:00pm Code.org continues to lead the way in not only the computer science conversation, but in the equity conversation as well – the theme of this year’s #DLDay! Access and equity are huge barriers for too many of our students, and not only does Code.org have a great CS curriculum (and always expanding), they focus on these important conversations as well.
4:00pm CS First is Google’s version of CS curriculum – I wanted to include them both because I think they’ll reach a different audience. It’s not a competition, it’s about access and opportunity. I’m sure that CS First will offer its own brand of CS Google-y-ness.
5:00pm K12 Online Conference is another great place to learn from teachers across the globe. Whether you’re looking for some PD, tech tools, or ideas for your classroom, I highly recommend checking out the conference archives for years of great video resources! Much like TED Talks, the videos are short, and pack a lot of learning into a little bit of time.
6:00pm Kaizena is one of my favorite GAFE tools. Feedback is so important to the learning process, and Kaizena’s voice feedback and seamless integration with Google Apps make for a great way to provide feedback between students and teachers, as well as peers. While the tool offers more than just voice overs, that part is my favorite because it’s often so much easier to explain with words, using tone and inflection, than it is to get the same point across in text.
7:00pm The introduction of technology and social media changed communities forever. How we connect, collaborate, and communicate will never be the same. I took a hard look at the tenets of citizenship, digital citizenship, and character to create a unified theory of global citizenship. We can no longer look at any of these three ideas as a singular entity, but must look through a lens that encompasses each of them in a meaningful, comprehensive way. In an attempt to merge these ideas, I have developed a collection of principles, organized into the acronym “LICENSE”, designed to define what it means to be an exemplary member of a community – be it local, global, digital, or face to face.
8:00pm C-SPAN Classroom has a lot of great resources, but their Classroom Deliberations section is one of my favorites. They provide a framework and resources for students to look at multiple sides of some of today’s toughest issues – a skill we seem to be lacking in a world of armchair Facebook critics. Using Deliberations in any classroom (not just Social Studies) is a great way to facilitate and practice meaningful research and debate!