Summer Vacation!

I love summer vacation for obvious reasons.  I treasure the rest and relaxed pace but I also find it a great time for learning, becoming energized and finding inspiration for the upcoming school year.  For those of you who share this excitement, I’ve created the following list of websites, guides and blog posts to hopefully inspire you for trying something new next year. Enjoy!

1. Review  77-Things-for-Teachers-to-Try-This-Summer. This guide features web tools and technologies organized by subject areas.
2. Consider  networking with other teachers by joining the Twitter conversation!
3.  Read Edutopia-Top10Tips-NewMedia-2011 for practical uses of technologies in education.
4. Create a Diigo account and join a group of educators with the same interests.

77 Web Resources for Teachers

Free Technology for Teachers is a blog I love to read because it’s chock full of fantastic free resources available to use in the classroom.  It’s a great resource because Richard Byrne, the author, finds tools for teachers and also offers concrete examples for using them in various contexts.

This guide published by Richard Byrne lists 77 web resources for teachers. He has organized it by subject area and there are some great web tools highlighted. Read it below!

Screenleap – Instant Screen Sharing!

Screenleap is a quick and easy to use tool allowing you to share your computer screen with others.  All you have to do is visit http://www.screenleap.com, click “Share Your Screen Now” and invite others to view your computer screen.  You can invite others to view your computer screen via email, text message or by providing the link on your Moodle page. This is a great tool to use with students in 1-1 computer environments and it works on computers, tablets and smartphones.  Use Screenleap as an alternative to having your students look at a projected image on the Smartboard or whiteboard as they look on their computers instead  I thought it was great because it does not require any setup, registration or downloading. Try it out!

Flip the Video!

TED-Ed recently announced a tool which gives educators the option to “flip” any YouTube video. The concept of flipping the video is based on the “flipped classroom” idea and refers to including extras such as a description, questions, quizzes, additional resources and closing thoughts to any TED-Ed or YouTube video.

Watch the following video for a tour of this online tool and try it for yourself!

Pinterest

 Pinterest is a fast growing, new form of social media described as a “virtual pinboard to organize and share the things you love”. Pinterest users create virtual pinboards to organize ideas, share websites, photos, videos and other content found online.  It is one in a long list of web curation and collection tools that offer a way to collect, organization and display information in a visual format. Users can follow each other and offer “pin” suggestions and comments.

Check out this blog post describing some ways Pinterest can be used in education.  Can you think of others?

Five Reasons Teachers Should Use Pinterest

Evernote – Remember Everything!

Evernote is the digital equivalent to a notebook you may carry around to save notes, clippings, jot down ideas, etc.  You can access Evernote via the web or download an app for your mobile device and save pictures, online resources, notes or files.

I personally love this tool and use it often as I find valuable information on the web, think of ideas, make lists or save pictures.  Once I capture my thoughts digitally, I no longer worry about finding that piece of paper with my notes or wondering which webpage had that great information.

Read this article, 10 Tips for Teachers Using Evernote, to learn how one educator uses Evernote to manage his classes.

Try it when you have a chance!