Worth taking a look..and joining an amazing community of educators–Digitalis

DigitalIs ….sponsored by the National Writing Project, is a current favorite to visit and I have also joined (free, of course!) and will likely contribute, as well. Every resource, collection, reflection, story, inquiry, is of highest quality, as can be expected from the NWP. I encourage you to visit and look around. I am certain you will find something of tremendous value to support your own digital footsteps.


 The NWP Digital Is website is an emerging and open knowledge base created and curated by its community of members. We gather resources, collections, reflections, inquiries, and stories about what it means to learn and teach writing in our increasingly digital and interconnected world.

With a particular focus on digital literacy and Connected Learning, NWP Digital Is invites all educators (in/out of school, across all levels and disciplines, modes and modalities!) to join and share work, reflections and practices. (digitalis.nwp.org)

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VisuWords

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. A great site for learning word associations.
Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections. Juts play and you will figure it all out. Your students will be naturals!

Just a great site for writing—a cool kind of thesaurus.

Oh, and it’s free!!

Animoto

The videos below were created on Animoto where educators can get a free 183 day account for you and/or students to create videos. What a quick and easy way to start digital storytelling! Animoto videos, without your free educator code can run 30 seconds. With your code, around 3 minutes. I assign an Animoto video project for my university preservice teachers as a way to experience digital storytelling.

For your viewing below are three projects that I created. One is titled Domino, and the explanation is below. The second is one I created as a demo for my preservice students–on Mind Mapping. The third one is an intro video that I made prior to meeting my students this fall. This is a GREAT way for students to introduce themselves.

The possibilities for using Animoto with writer’s notebooks are endless. Select an entry and develop it with images and selective text choices. It is the perfect medium for poetry as the Animoto slides do not offer many characters–students would need to condense text and work very thoughtfully on word choice.

If you “youtube” Animoto, you will find that many teachers have students use the videos to create “trailers” for novels they have read. What a great alternative to the more traditional book talk. Create curiosity, yet don’t give the ending away…

So many more possibilities!!! I’m sure you are thinking of some right now–if you are, send me your ideas!

About Domino….

Domino was the class guinea pig in my graduate student Anita’s first grade. Anita was enrolled in my Language Arts class and was keeping a writer’s notebook for the first time, as well as implementing writer’s workshop in her classroom. To build confidence of the emerging writers, she visited one writing group each day and composed a shared writing with them. One group wanted to write a story about Domino; other groups followed. The teacher suggested a “plot”–she wondered aloud…What do you suppose Domino does when we go home at 3:00…..? The end result was a class book about Domino’s “secret adventures,” with a chapter composed by each writing group. You might wonder why the text of the chapter pages is NOT in the children’s own writing….they insisted that the teacher type it up and spell it perfectly so that it looked like a “real” book. The video only allowed for me to share a couple of the pages from the Domino book.

Animoto is quick, easy, and allows for creativity. I made this clip in 15 minutes….

The Secret Adventures of Domino

Mind-Mapping is not just great fun because you get to color and draw–it is also a process used by many huge corporations as a way to think non-linearly, or “out of the box”–and an excellent alternative assessment.

Mind Map

..and..my Hello video

My Literate Life

Finally–saving BEST for last—a project one of my current students, Michelle, created–I think you will find it fascinating!

Stop Bullying

APPitic

APPitic is a directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning. These apps have been tested in a variety of different grade levels, instructional strategies and classroom settings.
There is something for everyone and for any and all devices, whether desktop, laptop, smart phone, iPod touch, or iPad.

Visit at http://appitic.com

Ask a Tech Teacher

At his award-winning blog written by a veteran tech teacher you can get a newsletter delivered free to your email box…you can browse generally, or select a specific grade level. Lesson plans, tips, and all linked to INSTE (International Standards for Technology in Education) standards.

Visit and EXPLORE at http://askatechteacher.wordpress.com/

VisuWords

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.
Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.

   * It’s a dictionary! It’s a thesaurus! And, it’s great for teachers to helps students to see the connections between words. I love the visual dictionaries, and this is so much more. Internet connection required. NO membership–just type in your word and voila!

Check it out at: http://www.visuwords.com