This year I am trying a new way of providing information to my faculty. Each day, a new site is introduced to them through e-mail and posted to the Diigo Group Greenhill School. Each week I will take the sites shared during the week and post them on my blog for others to enjoy and explore. Here are the links from this week:
1.1 FREE POVERTY
This first site is a fun one for those who think they know their geography. The site is named Free Poverty- Geography. You will find an interactive map where you will be tested on your world geography (city, country). How well do you know the world? What about your students?
Perhaps you have seen word clouds before? If not, these are graphic representations of a textual analysis looking at frequency of words in a text. This is something you usually see after a State of the Union speech as produced by the New York Times. There are many tools that you can use to create your own word clouds. This one is very cool in that it also creates additional representations including image collections, dynamic visual thesaurus, location of selected word (from word cloud) in text.
Launch the site and check it out with the news of the day, famous speeches, classic literature and student writing. Paste the text in the box and click sift. Once your text is visualized, look around the page then click on words in the cloud and see how the rest of the page changes. Click on words in the visual thesaurus and see related words. You can use your own text or play with one of the sample texts found on the site: King’s Legacy, Darwin and evolution, “I Have a Dream” speech.
1.3 DARK COPY
How do you break through writers block? Want to explore the power of free writing? Do you long for the day you could sit in front of a typewriter and simply type without all the formatting options getting in the way of the writing process? You can revisit those days by launching word and turning off your monitor but you will be left with a blank screen and the need to keep the words in your mind as you type. OR…you could try DarkCopy. This is a neat little internet tool that strips away all of the distractions (OK, you do need to turn off your outlook reminders, Internet radio, text and phone reminders). With DarkCopy, you simply click on the button for full screen and start to type. Pick a topic, give yourself 30 minutes of uninterrupted writing and see what you get. You can save the file when you are done and open it in notepad, Word or any other text program. If you have not tried free writing, or would like to try it with your students, this might be a good way to start.
1.4 INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD RESOURCE COLLECTION
Do you have a SMART Board in your class? Are you looking for things that you can do with this Interactive Whiteboard? Would you like to explore interactive tools to use with your board or lessons that you can modify to fit your lessons and pedagogical approach? This is just one of many sites that will provide you with links to thousands of resources. Now, recent research has determined that the more choices you have, the harder it is to make a choice. With that in mind, search these links with categories in mind (Grade Level, Games, Subject, Tool Type etc.). It will be easy to get lost in these links but the exploration will be fun and rewarding. So, pour yourself a nice cup of Joe and see where this link takes you.