Technology to Promote Education

I want to share the many, many ways we can all promote intelligent use of electronics. There are so many (free) educational apps for iPad’s, iPhone’s, computers and tablets.

I recommend going to your local store and getting a little binder, notepaper, and lots of tabs. (or little post-its and a roll of scotch tape) You will create your tabs as your browse the sites and create your own catalog of what is important to you. Remember to add what site you got the information from in case you want to go back to it again. I have teaching, literacy, math, assessment, websites to check out, classroom management and personal interest. Leave the tabs blank but have them ready as you will need some way to organize the information. I even bought some little sticky notes and a roll of tape so I could add more tabs quickly and easily. I print the name on the post-it, then tape it to the edge of the page because otherwise they tend to fall off. Extend the tape from the front, around the post-it and over the back, adhering it to the page on the  back. This keeps the tab in place and the ink from getting smudged.

I use free educational sites; I do not endorse any of these, nor do I promote them. I like them because they are free, easy to navigate and the information is up to date, relevant for most people, and most provide links to more resources:

EduTopia! Oh my goodness I can not say enough about this site. It has more information than I can get through in a month! I absolutely love it!! Everything from the core subjects (reading, math, science) to project based learning, game based learning, and many more – all kinds of videos, and posts/articles if you want to read about stuff. The articles are written by educated teachers, researchers and other experts. This is stuff you can watch and use right away – where it says classroom just imagine home if you want.  Go there now.You can browse topics by grades or subject from preschool to grade 12.

SimpleK-12 – There is a paid subscription but it is really not needed to get tons of information and access lots of valuable learning tools. A lot of webinars are available without paying and they are usually during the week on a Wednesday afternoon. A webinar is an online meeting where you listen and watch from home and you can see and hear the presentation but they can’t see you. So there are a lot of comments about learning in your pajama’s. 🙂  You can type in any question using your keyboard and the question will be answered at the end of the presentation. Once you join, again free, you will get email notices so you know when there are webinars about topics which you are interested. Easy! http://www.simplek12.com

http://pbskids.org/ and http://www.pbs.org/parents//  These are two sites with a lot of educational games for younger children.  Your kids will have fun for a long time playing games they do not even realize are teaching them skills! At the site for parents there is a lot of information for parents that include food, fitness, parenting, development. There is a lot here to browse and read through.

Those should be enough to get you going for the weekend and perhaps offer some fun (educational) ideas.

Have a great weekend everyone!! Yours in Education, D Mac.

Something New for That Certain Reader

themapBlogwritesept10This was me a month or two ago – looking at a map of Canada, following the line of the Trans Canada Highway from Alberta to Southern Ontario.  I remember thinking it is such a long, long drive!! Will my dog be okay? Will my sister be okay – she is still recovering from a lengthy illness and I wasn’t sure she should even be making the trip with me. I felt uncertainty, excitement and a bit nervous. What was I expecting? I had a life here, people that I knew I could count on, and a best friend that I liked living with. Family. I was going to be back with my family. It’s a little word but to me family is security. Family is who you love, hate, know and have the longest relationship with – for most people anyway. I was going back to Ontario to be with my family. I need them. I miss them, and being part of the family get togethers   – I missed being part of the hoopla that is when my family gathers. It is time to go home to stay. Bittersweet.  The road trip loomed but beyond that was the uncertainty of what would be the rest of my life. That thought brought on the stomach pains  and head pounding. I have work here – I will get work there. I felt a certainty. I felt that it didn’t matter that there are no teaching jobs – I will get one. A full time teaching job because I love teaching and I am a good, caring teacher. Someone will give me the break I need and deserve. Well now that school has started the road trip is behind me, the sister is fine, the dog is well, and I am with  my family. And have no teaching job. No job at all actually. My great conviction that I will somehow be lucky and get a teaching job is slowly dissolving. I want to hold on to that feeling of luck and optimism but it’s hard when reality is here as I sit in front of this day after day searching for work. The precious family I longed to be with hits me with barbs of sarcasm regularly to remind me I am unemployed and seem to be doing nothing but “playing” on my computer. Ha! This is not play. This is serious business. I am building a network and meeting so many teachers on Twitter and attending edchats and I attended the first ever Global Camp – wow it was amazing! It was from attending that Ed Camp that I am now blogging!! A lady from Greece inspired me and now here I am. I still keep in touch with her and all the people I met those wonderful 48 hours of learning. It was amazing. I just want to have a class to share the knowledge and inspire learning. I learned about tech toys, and how to animate books so they make sounds to encourage reading and engage the most reluctant of readers. I have a periscope account that I can watch live feeds from all over the world. It’s an amazing thing this little black box I can fold and carry with me – my computer. It is my saving grace that keeps me in touch with educators and learning and growing as an educator myself. I love my online friends and am so glad to have come home because I may not have grown and be involved with all these people if I didn’t come home.  It’s a time to get to know myself, and my family. We have been apart for more than eleven years and coming back together (to stay) is not the same as visiting. I am familiar with my family and we all need time to get to know one another. I do not know if they will ever see me as the educator, and woman I have become; I think they still see me as a little kid sister and daughter that needs to be told how and what to do. I guess we will eventually get use to one another. I hope and pray that I get a full time teaching job. I don’t want to go back to any other job. I love teaching. I feel like an in law that is trying to get use to the new family. I need my work to fill my time and provide an income to do things I love. I need the hugs of the children and the smiles and stories we share in the classroom. The classroom is my safe place where the real me comes out and shines and grows with the children that are my students. I miss my students. I hope they don’t miss me too much. I had one difficult boy that I thought needed a hug as he seemed so angry but when I offered he said,” No I don’t want a hug.” So I said, “I could use a hug.” He told me to hug myself. I thought that was brilliant and I do that a lot these days, and every time I hug myself I think of that little boy in that grade one class. I pray he learns to love and hug. I can really ramble on when I talk about teaching so I must wrap up and go do some other things. I hope this is interesting to you and you may find some inspiration to do what you love to do. As this post was suppose to be to a certain person I hope reads it – I guess time will tell. It is to anyone that is going through a transition or change and finds comfort knowing there is someone else going through a tough time as well. (me) I also added a photo for something new that I had never done before . Okay , time to do some french now. Au revoir! Yours in Education, D Mac.