Sites of the Week [Week 13]

18 11 2011

Due to crazy scheduling, I did not post sites for week 12. Feel free to add comments of sites you like to create week 12 :). Now, on to the features sites for this week.

13.1 YuDu

YuDu is a site that lets you publish documents from various formats into a digital magazine. You can also include images, websites and audio files in the publication. This seems to have interesting possibilities for student presentations, portfolios, class writings, history collections and more. There are several levels starting with this free version moving up to two different levels of paid versions. Imagine publishing a collection of essays or short stories from your creative writing classes. Through this site, students could publish selected projects over the course of a year to create a magazine documenting their learning journey in a single course or across multiple disciplines. This is just one of many tools that exist to support self-publication. What can you do with YuDu?

YuDu supports virtually any language…Here are some examples:

Petiscos: Numero1

Poets: Emily Dickinson
Created by a student for her English class

Planet Earth

There are many others to explore. While the Planet Earth link posted above is put out by the Natural Environment Research Council, there is no reason students couldn’t put together magazines on similar topics of equal quality. The resources that are available are amazing and we are only limited by the limits we set for ourselves.

13.2 Making the News

This is a simple site with a lot of potential. This site allows you to easily create a newspaper through a web-based application. There are several templates to work with as well as options for creating e-mail links or printing. You can write the text on a word processor such as Word then copy and paste the text in boxes. This way you can have multiple authors. This has potential for individual class projects as well as collaborative papers. The tool is very easy to use and is suitable for a wide range of students. What stories do your kids have that are fit to print?

13.3 BIE: Project Based Learning for the 21st Century

Project based learning is nothing new. Born in a medical school in the 1960’s out of the need to place content in context with real-life problems, PBL has become a standard method of instruction in all medical schools. At the heart of PLB is the ill-defined problem. This site provides a nice collection of resources to help you implement PBL in your classroom and has materials for all levels of instruction.  This site has many other resources that I may feature another time but don’t hesitate to look around. There are some great resources throughout the site.

13.4 Math Open Reference

Today’s site of the day is for those who teach math at any level and for those who want to brush up on their skills. This site has many resources broken out by topic. Many of these resources are simple manipulatives where students can manipulate objects on the screen to discover mathematical relationships. This would be a great site as follow-up on lessons presented or to serve as an exploratory pre-lesson experience. Additionally, you will find practice resources on mathematical concepts sorted by grade. Check out the collection of manipulative resources and explore ways you students can use them to discover mathematical relationships.

13.5 Screenr

Because of the nature of today’s site of the day, I wanted to assemble it a little differently. SCREENR is a very simple tool that allows you to create videos. The best part is, you don’t have to download any video software. However, it does use JAVA so you may need to download a free JAVA plug-in for your browser.

This tool can be used to capture any images you have on your screen. This means you can use Screenr to create short videos that teach small units of content. The video you create is automatically posted on the web and you simply need to share the URL for that video. Students can capture and create artifacts of understanding and place them in portfolios or projects. Screenr is free and allows you to create videos up to 5 minutes in length.

I have provided a sample video that teaches about using Twitter #hashtags in other languages with a tool called TweetDeck. This process has allowed me to expand the reach of my Personal Learning Network and learn from educators across the globe. The example shared shows how I have used #hashtags in Spanish to learn from educators in Spain and across much of Latin America. The video is 3:22 minutes long and was created with Screenr using a Toshiba Netbook. I mention this to illustrate how students with virtually any type of computer can use this type of web-based tool to create videos of understanding. Teachers on virtually any platform can create short videos to teach a concept.

How you can use #hashtags in other languages to learn from the world…

3:22 Minutes




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