Saturday, August 31, 2013

The hottest posts everyone's reading

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog. Below you’ll see the top posts along with the number of page views. I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired use one of those icons below the post to share it with others and/or leave a comment.

Entry
Pageviews
Aug 11, 2013, 
2359
Jul 28, 2013, 
1881
Aug 25, 2013, 
1853
Jul 31, 2013, 
1007
Jun 13, 2013, 
886

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

4 Innovative ideas for using Pinterest to support learning

Guest post by Cathy Earle
People are “pinning,” “liking,” and “commenting” on recipes and fashions, wedding ideas and birthday party themes, innovative ways to display collections and cool DIY bookshelf projects on Pinterest, a gigantic virtual bulletin board where you can collect and sort all your favorite ideas and websites. You can follow other people's boards on topics that interest you, and you can “window shop” amongst others' offerings, pinning only the items that you want or need.
Innovative educators have also discovered that the platform is a valuable source for lesson ideas, classroom crafts, and other educational materials.
1)    Engage with and understand visual information -
Pinterest capitalizes on the ability to quickly engage with and understand information presented within a strong visual design. We don't have to skim text to find the topic we are looking for—instead, our eye quickly focuses on a visual of that topic. “Bam! Volcanoes—cool, just what I need!” “Dinosaurs! Yes!” “What's this fountain-looking thing? Oh, just what I was looking for: experiments using water!” I’ve used it to gather my favorite Infographic and collect Facebook and Internet pictures that feature inspirational quotes from well-known scientists and other famous people.


2)    Collect materials and resources -
Innovative educators will appreciate its usefulness when it comes to collecting learning materials and resources. For example, I have a collection of math tricks and manipulatives, math videos, and even silly math problems. Silly math problems can break the ice and loosen kids up before tackling the dreaded word problems. Some of the items I have pinned just make kids laugh, but some can also make kids think: “3 out of 2 people have problems with fractions. Are you one of them?”


3)    Create a visual index of your blog -
Have a blog? Pinterest boards can be used to create a visual index as I’ve done with my blog Every Day Is Special. The blog features four years’ worth of short articles about the days of the year, focusing on world holidays, historical anniversaries, and famous birthdays. Posts include captivating photos and links to cool videos, experiments, and other internet resources. The posts can serve as learning resources for teachers and parents to use with their children.


A few recent posts:
·         August 21 – Earth Overshoot Day
·         August 22 – Hopi Snake Dance
·         August 23 – Birthday of physicist William Eccles
·         August 24 – Birthday of deaf actress Marlee Matlin
4)    Plan for learning around the calendar -
I have collected such posts into boards for topics like National days of countries around the world and Birthdays of artists. Eventually these will be created for each month.


For September you can find boards in the following categories:
·         Holidays
·         Birthdays
·         Historical anniversaries
Collecting them into boards make it easier for teachers and parents to find and plan events around the calendar.
Check out Pinterest this school year. When you do, you’ll find everything from ways to jazz up your non-virtual bulletin boards to experiments, from learning games to educational worksheets. It's fun and easy and a little bit addicting!
– Cathy Earle is an education writer and teacher. She collects educational resources on Pinterest and writes a blog for students, parents, and teachers.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

5 #BacktoSchool management tips for innovative educators

A version of this post originally appeared in Partners in Learning 1:1 Hot Topics

Chatting with friends, playing games, cheating, cruising YouTube. These are just some of the behaviors educators fear will become a reality in technology-rich classrooms...unless they incorporate updated classroom management practices. Innovative educators use techniques that keep students’ attention despite the irresistible draw of the Internet. Simple practices transform their devices into tools of engagement rather than distraction.



Here are five management tips that make for a successful technology-rich classroom.


1) Let students know what happens when technology is not in use
Teachers should have a procedure for technology when not in use. This should require just a few words and be very clear. For example if using laptops it may be saying something like, “Pacman,” meaning laptops should be partially closed like a Pacman mouth. If using tablet devices it may be something like “facedown” meaning devices should be placed facedown on desks.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The hottest posts everyone's reading

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog. Below you’ll see the top posts along with the number of page views. I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired use one of those icons below the post to share it with others and/or leave a comment.

Entry
Pageviews
Aug 11, 2013,
4324
Jul 28, 2013,
3584
Jul 31, 2013,
3007
Jul 10, 2013,
2097
Jul 24, 2013,
1356

Monday, August 19, 2013

What impacts our life's work more? School or life experience?

School based, formal education is not all that impacts one's interests and life's work. Serendipity, chance events, and life experience can have a huge impact.

Doug Engelbart is one example.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fab Five for educators of visually impaired students

If you are an innovative educator that works with, or knows someone who works with visually impaired students, Twitter can connect you to amazing resources and Tweeps.  Here are five accounts to follow, five hashtags, and five chats.


Fab Five to Follow on Twitter
  1. Fred's Head from APH ‏@fredshead
    Fred's Head, from the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips and resources for and by blind and visually impaired people.  Louisville, Kentucky.
    fredshead.info http://shop.aph.org  
  2. Braille Institute ‏ @BrailleInst
    For nearly a century, Braille Institute has helped visually impaired people adapt to sight loss and lead rich, fulfilling lives. Los Angeles, California ·
    brailleinstitute.org
  3. Perkins eLearning@perkins_elearn
    A finger on the pulse of Perkins, providing education and services for children and adults around the world who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired. Watertown, Mass. and Worldwide ·
    perkins.org
  4. A11Y Project ‏@A11YProject
    A community-driven effort to make web accessibility easier.
    a11yproject.com
  5. Bookshare@Bookshare
    Making the world of print accessible to people with disabilities. Palo Alto, CA,
    bookshare.org


Fab Five Hashtags


Fab Five Chats
Chat hashtag
Topic
When
#spedplc
Special Education PLC
9 - 10 pm CST on Sundays
#iechat
Inclusive Education Chat
9-10pm EST on Thursdays
#LDchat

Conversation around Learning Disabilities
12-1pm EST on Wednesdays
#specialedchat
Special Education Chat
4-5pm EST on Wednesdays
#tck
The Coffee Klatch
(for parents of special needs students)
9-10 pm EST on Sundays



Do you use Twitter and work with visually impaired students?  Who do you follow? What hashtags do you use?
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