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Wix

What it is: Okay, if you have shied away from creating your own classroom website in the past, today is the day to take a deep breath and plunge in.  Wix is the most amazing online website builder I have ever seen.  Why is it so amazing?  1)  It is simple to use and learn, you truly don’t have to know anything about website development. 2) It produces amazing results with a small amount of effort, I am really blown away by the possibilities here. 3) The sign up process is completely painless.  4) You have an unbelievable amount of control when you are feeling creative (still extremely easy!). 5) It is free, and what could be better than free for a teacher?! 6) It is web-based which means that you can update your website from anywhere.   I could go on and on about Wix.  I put it in my list of sites to visit this week when I ran across it and I am so glad I came back to it today while I was waiting for computers to clone…it made my day (maybe even my week!) 🙂 How to integrate Wix into the classroom: Well, if you haven’t already guessed by the description above, Wix is the perfect tool to use to create a classroom website for your students.  Post classroom rules, homework assignments, links for your students, units you are working on, school information, parent newsletters, etc.  Wix is also a great place for your students to create a website.  They will go nuts with this (trust me!), Wix is one of those assignments they will continue to work on at home without being asked!  Instead of having students display knowledge of a subject in traditional ways, invite them to create a website about it where they can be the classroom “expert” on the subject.  Be sure to ask your students what non-school websites they are creating too (I know from experience they will take off with this!) you will get to know your students more personally by viewing websites that they create both in and out of class.  You could also create Wix websites as a class if you have limited computer use.  Have your students prepare a website to teach other classes about a subject that they have been studying. Tips: I created a website using Wix today from sign up to publish it took me a total of 5 min.  Seriously!  I have never used this program before, that is how easy it is to use.  Take a look at my site and see what you think: www.wix.com/ktenkely/ilearntechnology. Leave a comment and share how amazed you are with Wix.

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Archive Pinterest Boards with Evernote Web Clipper

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, collaboration, Download, Grade Level, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 17-08-2014

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At Anastasis Academy, we don’t have boxed curriculum. This can be both incredibly freeing, and terrifying. If you don’t have curriculum that tells you what to do, what do you DO?! We engage students in inquiry. Inquiry gives students parameters of learning, but allows them to discover and explore within those parameters. Teaching students to properly manage their freedom.

Each 5 weeks, our students engage a new line of inquiry. We follow the PYP inquiry questions (Who we are, Where we are in place and time, How we organize ourselves, How the world works, Sharing the planet). These questions give us good parameters to work within. Each 5 weeks, I send our teachers resources for the inquiry block. Within these big inquiry questions, I provide our primary, intermediate, and Jr. High with different key concept lines of inquiry to explore. These are aligned to the social studies, science, language, and math standards for that age group. Every year I change-up the key concept lines of inquiry just a bit (keeps things interesting and fresh for all of us!).

I create Pinterest boards for our teachers that have a variety of resources for each inquiry block. These resources include ideas, videos, lessons, books, apps, etc. that are related to the inquiry block. They are not prescriptive, but rather offer a launching point for teachers. Then, I create QR code posters that look like this:

Inquiry poster QR code

These get posted all over the school so that teachers and students always have access to the resources (note: we are a 1:1 iPad school).

This has worked REALLY well for sharing resources, as I notice students connect with a line of questioning/inquiry, I can add resources during the inquiry block that the students can use. This creates a whole community that is discovering and learning together. The curriculum is fluid, it is constantly growing and adapting. Teachers often send me links and ideas through Pinterest (I don’t add teachers as collaborators for the boards-even though I could- because I don’t want them to feel obligated to spend their free time the way that I do). Students have begun to send ideas through Pinterest as well…way cool!!

Here is the problem, each year I create 18 inquiry boards. I use the same Pinterest account for personal use as I do for education (you never know when a non-education idea will spark the perfect education idea). As I was getting ready to create boards for this school year, I realized how MANY boards I was going to have to sort through to find this years boards. It is starting to get ridiculous! I needed a good way to archive boards. Enter Evernote. We already use Evernote as a school for ePortfolios, archiving boards using Evernote is the perfect solution!

I used the Firefox web browser to do this, I’m sure this plugin exists for all major web browsers. First, go to “Tools” in your Firefox menu bar and choose “Add Ons.” In the search bar, type “Evernote web clipper” and download the Evernote Web Clipper add-on. After you restart Firefox, this will put the Evernote Web Clipper button in your Firefox tools.

Evernote web clipper

Navigate to the Pinterest board that you want to save. Select all by going to “Edit” in the menu bar, and choose “Select All.” You could also just navigate to the board you want to archive and hold down the command key and letter “a.” Then click on the Evernote Web Clipper button in your address bar. Add any tags that you want to be associated with the board and a note to yourself about the board.

Pinterest board

 

Evernote web clipper Inquiry

That is it! The board is saved to Evernote with all of the images, and the web link is live as well! Verify that the board saved to Evernote correctly and then delete the board. Now you have room for a new year’s worth of boards.

This is a seriously great way to archive any boards that you need to save but don’t need in your Pinterest list right now. I’ve just archived all of last year’s inquiry boards and am ready to pin another year! This is also a great way to create a back-up of your boards or to save and send entire boards to colleagues.

If you just need to save the images from a pinterest board, use that-boy-I-love, (@jtenkely)‘s awesome creation, Pinswiper. This tool will save just the images from a Pinterest board as jpgs on your desktop. Great if you need images that you saved for classroom presentations, writing prompts, etc.

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