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Technology & Character Education: A Lesson in Empathy

Empathy is an important cornerstone in character education; developing empathy can help prevent negative social behaviors such as bullying, spitefulness, and alienation.  It is a key social emotion and when developed brings an awareness of ones own emotions as well as those of others.  Using Apple’s...

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Student Freelance: connecting talented students with employers for freelance work

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, collaboration, Middle/High School, Subject, Teacher Resources, Web2.0 | Posted on 27-06-2013

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Student Freelance via iLearn Technology

What it is:  Student Freelance aims to connect talented American educated students (sorry, for now this is US only) with employers who want to utilize those talents.  Students get an opportunity to put their talents and passions to work while earning money, gaining experience, and making connections with others in their fields of interest.  Employers win because they get a cost-effective solution and the opportunity to scale up.  The added benefit is the apprenticeship opportunity that exists here.

How to integrate Student Freelance into the classroom: If your students are anything like ours, they are wildly talented and passionate.  They continue to amaze me with the ways that they push themselves to learn in areas of passion.  I’ve had several students ask if I could connect them with someone at Google or Pixar so they can start putting their skills to work. :)  While I don’t always have that ability, I can now point them to Student Freelance.  This offers students the ability to share their skills and passions with the world, while becoming contributing citizens now.  It is also a great opportunity for your students to begin building up an authentic work-experience portfolio while they are still in school as learners.

Jobs are listed by areas of skill expertise and passion.  The opportunity can be a freelance job on location, or in some cases, a freelance job that they can complete from anywhere in the US by connecting online.

I’m looking through all of the freelance offerings of students and wondering…could schools utilize these students as a sort of adjunct teacher/mentor for students at their own school?  This could be a cool way to support students and make valuable connections.

Tips:  Spread the word to local businesses that Student Freelance is an option!  I’m not sure most business owners would know to look here.  It is a great mission to support!

Are you using Student Freelance?  Share your experience in the comments below!

HTML5 WYSIWYG editor- Wix wins again!

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, Create, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 16-04-2012

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What it is:   I never learned HTML, sure I know a few basics but nothing that will build me a good looking, functional website.  Wix has long been my secret weapon.  I use it often.  In fact, it was how I built the Anastasis Academy website.  The one drawback: Wix creates flash sites.  Which means that it doesn’t work on all devices.

Until now.

Wix recently introduced a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor for building websites in HTML5.  Woohoo!  This is such great news on a number of fronts.  First and foremost, they have again made it possible for your average Joe (and me) to create well-designed, well functioning websites easily.  These HTML5 templates are just as beautiful and impressive as their Flash counterparts.  There are a few less bells and whistles available, but with a little creativity, you can have a fully customized HTML5 site in no time.  If you can edit a word document, you can build a website.

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 one of the most amazing online website builders 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.

You can choose to publish with a wix domain or purchase your own domain and connect the two.  It is free to use the wix domain…again, you can’t beat free!

How to integrate Wix HTML5 Editor into the classroom: Wix is a great place for students and teachers to create a website quickly and easily.  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.

In addition to sharing knowledge, Wix has some fantastic portfolio templates that students could use as a portfolio of school work.  Students can include any pictures, audio, video, and writing that has shaped their learning throughout the year.  Wix will help your students create a professional, polished eportfolio that they can share with family, friends and teachers.

With the addition of the HTML5 templates, teachers can easily create sites that students and parents can access from anywhere, including mobile devices.  Pretty cool!

Tips: Did you wonder how I created that Web 2.0 advent calendar?  Wix is my secret!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Wix HTML5 Editor in your classroom!

Meet Me at the Corner

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, inspiration, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-09-2009

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Meet Me at the Corner

What it is: Meet Me at the Corner is an inventive site that seeks to take students on virtual field trips through videos created by students.  The site started with video podcasts of the history and people of New York City.  As the site grows through student submissions, people and events of other towns, cities, and nations will be highlighted.  Currently there are video podcasts from Colorado, California, North Carolina, Texas, and Maryland.  Through the Meet Me at the Corner videos, students can learn about people, jobs, and places around the country and soon around the world.  Students can also submit videos from their corner of the world.  Meet Me at the Corner also has video book reviews that can motivate students to read books they may not have considered.

How to integrate Meet Me at the Corner into the classroom: Meet Me at the Corner is a great new resource for introducing your students to the wider world.  Students can take a virtual field trip to different states through videos, learning about people, their jobs, and where they live.  These videos give your students a better understanding of the world they live in.  Meet Me at the Corner encourages student video submissions.  Consider creating a class video about your city/state/school to submit to Meet Me at the Corner.  It would be great for students to get a first hand look at schools and students from around the world.

Tips: Meet Me at the Corner has a contest section with contests that students can take part in.  These contests are updated regularly so be sure to check them out.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Meet Me at the Corner in your classroom.

Twitter

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Typing, Web2.0 | Posted on 10-01-2008

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DIGI[cation]

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Blogs, Geography, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 27-11-2007

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What it is: Digication is a website that allows teachers and students to create and keep e-portfolios. E-Portfolios are online spaces for teachers and students to communicate, share, reflect and collaborate in and outside of the classroom and have created exciting opportunities for teaching and learning world-wide. E-portfolios can be a continuing body of work that follow students throughout their school experience. The communication aspect that Digication provides makes for a richer school experience. The Student/Teacher edition of Digication is free.

How to integrate Digication into the classroom: Digication e-portfolios can be used in the classroom as a means for communication between students and teachers. It can also be used as an introduction to the student for other teachers. Students can use Digication for publishing school work, sharing school-related accomplishments, use for college admissions, sharing ideas and showcasing work, and build powerful learning communities with other students within the school. Students can control who has access to their e-portfolio and have control over the navigation of their e-portfolio. An e-portfolio can be a work in progress throughout the students school career. It can be used by teachers to see the progression of student ability throughout their school career. Teachers can use Digication to document student work, create a class/course website, share best practices in education with other teachers, gain recognition, link to external websites, upload documents that you have created, and display flash movies from your e-portfolio.

Tips: Ideally Digication would be used school or district wide so as to create a body of evidence in an e-portfolio.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Digication in your classroom.

Blogger

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0 | Posted on 18-09-2007

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What it is: Blogger is a free blogging tool. Blogger makes it easy for teachers and students to share work, class notes, and pictures online. Educators can even make private blogs for their classes’ eyes only.

How to integrate Blogger into your classroom: Teachers can use Blogger to stay connected to students, parents, and other teachers. Use Blogger for newsletters for parents, keep parents up-to-date about what is happening in the classroom, share photos and student work, post school documents and projects, and assign collaborative group projects online with an easy way to track students’ progress. Students can use Blogger to communicate ideas, photos, class notes, improve their writing skills (give students a sense of audience), improve typing skills, and teach basic web publishing. Students can access Blogger from any Internet connected computer making it an ideal place to collect information for projects, work on unpublished drafts, collect feedback from classmates, and take on collaborative projects.

Tips: When you view a published blog in Blogger, you will see a Next button at the top of the screen. This next button will take you or your students to a randomly selected blog. These are not always school appropriate. To remove this next button, follow the instructions at TechLearning.