Principally Speaking author, Dr. Robert Dillon, has a "Five for Friday - Links and Resources" post every Friday (get it :) where he shares informational, inspirational, and interesting links and resources all focused around improving education. His blog was even nominated last year for the Best Administrator Blog by EDUBLOG. This past week he shared a resource called TTV (teachingtrainingvideos.com), quick video clip screencasts over-viewing online resources that can help diverse learners. One of the training videos called 10 Great Sites for March 2011 shares sites focusing on Communication Arts. The sites would be good for individual, small group, and whole group instruction. All need to be previewed by the teacher to assess appropriate content for different grade levels. A couple of my favorite resources shared: Eyercize - an online speed reading trainer that can be customized with your own text, Drop-A-Block spelling game, and Lit2Go - a clearinghouse of MP3s that you or secondary students could download and listen to as they read the Classics such as "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" or a number of William Shakespeare plays.
The Langwitches Blog had a post this week about the need for storyboarding when having students plan multimedia projects. As I was reading it I was constantly thinking about our training sessions when we talk about the need for pre-planning/writing when asking students to create videos and digital stories. While some students need scaffolds like the storyboard Word template she shares other students may be ready to create their own storyboards in their writing journals. See some great student examples in the post.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs added a post to her blog in the Curriculum 21 Ning titled LOOKING for GLOBAL SKYPE CLASSROOM - She asked that interested teachers leave a comment stating what they taught and where they were to help them link up. One commenter left a link to Around the World with 80 Schools, a site where you can search by country for others interested in collaborating across the globe. You do have to join the site and get a log-in to start connecting but it is simple and free. What I found most interesting is that the site was created by none other than Silvia Tolisano from The Langwitches Blog. What a small world:)
In Tuesday's Tool: Wordsift from Networked Teaching & Learning (the eMINTS blog) eMINTS Instructional Specialist, Carmen Marty, shared an online tool called Wordsift. It's a word cloud generator and so much more with Google Image Search and Visual Thesaurus results displayed with the word cloud all on one page. Wordsift also allows you to sort the words in the cloud in many different ways from A, B, C order to sorting from the most common to the most rare words. The Wordsift website has a couple of short demo videos showing you how to use the different features of the tool including how you might use the tool in classroom lessons.