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Picturing America Part 2

   What it is: I have posted about Picturing America before (March 18th) but I just received my Picturing America kit yesterday and had to post again and make sure everyone was taking advantage of this amazing resource.  I knew that the kit was going to be good but I truly had no idea how AMAZED I would be.  The quality of materials is amazing (there really isn’t another word for it!)  I’ll post pictures of my actual kit so you can get an idea for just what you get in this kit.  Did I mention it was FREE?!  The Picturing America program is completely free for schools and libraries and provides them with 40 high-quality masterpieces, a teacher resources book, and the program website.  The National Endowment for the Humanities gives a grant making this all possible.  As the recipient your only task is to write up a one page report about your experience.  They give almost a calendar year for you to do this.     How to integrate Picturing America into your curriculum: What better way to teach your students American history than actually bringing history into the classroom and providing students with real ties to the past? I wish that I had the opportunity to learn history this way!Picturing America is going to bring authentic conversation into your classroom about American history. It would be the perfect use of web 2.0 collaborative tools where students can discuss the history and the art in Picturing America. Picturing America masterpieces would also be easily integrated into the art classroom or in literacy as writing inspiration. The teacher resource book is going to provide you with wonderful tie ins to your current curriculum. This is an amazing program, I encourage you to take part in it!  These masterpieces will beautify your walls and provide teaching opportunities year round regardless of the age of students you teach.     Tips: Apply for the Picturing America program today. I can’t tell you how completely blown away I am by this program!!!   Please leave a comment and share how you are using Picturing America in your classroom.

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Squad: Collaborative Code Editor

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, collaboration, Create, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Technology, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 05-12-2012

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What it is: We have some students at Anastasis Academy that are CODE crazy! They are really excited to learn how to code (we’ve used Codecademy) and practice with friends.  Squad is a free collaborative code editor.  With Squad, students can access the code they are writing anywhere there is an Internet connection. This means that students can chat and edit files together no matter where they are.  Squad constantly saves the workspace so that they are available even when multiple machines are logged in.  Students can see what teammates are working on, offer recommendations and even work simultaneously on a document.  Even better? If your students have a coding question (and you, like me, can’t answer) they can copy and paste the code in the workspace’s share URL and anyone with the URL can get in to help.  All of the files created on Squad belong to your students.  They can open (and save) local files, access a remote host via FTP/SFTP or grab a file from Dropbox.  The chat feature is searchable so that students can go back and learn from past mistakes or suggestions.

How to integrate Squad into the classroom: Do you have students who want to learn how to code?  What better way for them to learn and practice than together?!  At Anastasis, we have Crave classes.  These are classes that run once a week that students get to elect to take…something they “crave” learning.  One of our crave classes last year was learning to code.  I “taught” it.  No, I don’t really know how to code. We learned together!  You don’t have to be an expert to help your students explore their passions and interests.  We used Codecademy to learn together.  One of the limitations of Codecademy is that there is no where to just practice together after you have learned a skill.  Squad would be the perfect place for students to explore and practice together.

Older or more advanced students might want to create a club or work together to show what they know in another subject by putting their coding skills to use.

Tips: The free version of Squad limits students to 3 collaborators and 1 workspace, this should be plenty for your beginners!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Squad in your classroom.

Comments (2)

If you’re looking for a great site to learn to code, you need to check out http://codehs.com

We’ve made it really fun and accessible to get started and keep students engaged by teaching them to make fun graphics and awesome games, all from scratch!

We have an awesome, in-browser editor that lets students explore and create.

Most importantly, we have live tutors that answer your questions and give you feedback on your code, so you really improve.

Thank you for these resources! After I created my wedding website last year I became interested in coding, most specifically, learning more about using HTML and CSS to design blogs. Since then, I’ve been interested in teaching an elective for 8th graders. These resources and your experience make me even more confident that it’s something I’m willing to do! Thank you!!

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