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Big Ideas for Education

What it is:   Big Ideas for Education is part of the Landmark Project created by David Warlick.  The purpose of the site is to collect “priority actions that might be taken by a new Department of Education that would promote shifts in education that are relevant to today’s students and their future.”  After ideas have been collected, the submitted statements will be linked according to topic to pare down all ideas into no more than 20 basic action statements.  The final action statements will be posted on Big Ideas for Education for educators to share insights about their favorite statements.  You will be able to order the action statements in order of importance to you.   Head over to Big Ideas for Education and share your big idea.  It only takes a minute; but if we educators come together and start discussing some of these great ideas, we will start seeing a shift in education. My big idea is to:  Shift teaching away from teacher as lecturer toward constructivism where students are constructing their own knowledge. (id 158)  Technology and 21st century learning skills naturally flow into the constructivist approach to teaching and learning.  Using technology within the context of the traditional classroom is always going to feel like you are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, it doesn’t flow naturally.  Make sure to copy and paste your big idea into the comment section here…we want to know what your big ideas are!

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Claco: United We Teach, build lessons collaboratively

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 19-09-2012

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What it is:  Claco is a new website that makes it simple to build, organize and share lessons. Your lessons can be dynamic including weblinks, embed codes, online videos, files and more.  In addition to creating and uploading your own lessons, you can also search and use lessons that other teachers around the world have built.  There is no better way to stretch and grow professionally than to learn from each other!  Claco makes it easy to work with other educators in a collaborative environment to streamline the lesson planning process.  I love the vision behind Claco, they have even created a movement called “United We Teach” that encourages educators to share and enhance each other’s resources.  I learn SO much from my PLN, creating a place where this is encouraged as part of the process is fantastic!

Another feature I love about Claco: no need to download lessons, you can view and use all lessons directly from your Claco profile.  That means that lessons are available from anywhere (because they are in the cloud) and can be used from computers, iPads, and smartphones…super handy!

How to integrate Claco into your curriculum: Use Claco to save yourself time.  I tend to get lost in the OCEAN of amazing lesson ideas and resources on the web.  I like that Claco can be a one-stop shop for resources and lessons.  The ability to organize all of my findings in one easy-to-use place that can be accessed by all of my devices is also very helpful.

Aside from the time saving, Claco makes it possible to collaborate on lessons with other teachers in the building, or from anywhere in the world.  Lessons can be constructed with teammates and enhanced by anyone.  Lessons can also be easily shared with students, parents and colleagues.

Tips: You may recognize some features of Claco.  Class Connect (which I wrote about here) has morphed into Claco. The genius behind Claco, Eric Simons who created the sites after some frustrations with his own school experience.  Instead of being disenfranchised, he set out to make it better.  You gotta love that!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Claco in your classroom!

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