From Richard Byrne - Announcify is a free text to speech application that is available as a Chrome browser extension. With Announcify installed in your browser any time you're viewing a webpage you can simply click on the Announcify icon in your browser and have the text of the page read to you.
From Hootsuite - We are so freaking excited and we just can’t filter it! Instagram, the “King of Social Engagement,” the image behemoth, and the social network requested by more of our users than any other, is now integrated with Hootsuite! Insert all of the happiest emojis!
From Stephen Sawchuk on Edweek - In case studies of three districts, TNTP failed to find any pattern linking those teachers who improved their craft to a specific type of professional development. And that's despite those districts spending an average of $18,000 annually per teacher on classroom coaching, workshops, and other forms of support.
From the Washington Post - A new study of 10,000 teachers found that professional development — the teacher workshops and training that cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year — is largely a waste.
From Inc - It's time to let go of "old school" approaches to content creation and delivery such as on-site classrooms, lifeless webinars and content created within the "ivory tower" and offer training that is digital, socially accessible, authentic, personally relevant and self-paced.
From Dan Meyer - I’ve thought about “modeling” more than I’ve thought about any other specialization in mathematics. I’m learning less and less about it each year so I’m hopping onto a different track for awhile, moving onto other questions. First, I wanted to collect these links in one location:
From Cale Birk - Along with friend and colleague Simon Breakspear, I have been kicking around the idea of frugal innovation for the past few months. While frugal innovation is a term that is often used in fields outside of education, and there have been a number of books about the concept, it can be adapted to education with a definition such as this:
From Graphite's Blog - New year = new lesson planner. Why not ditch your paper planners and go digital this year? With these apps and websites, you can bring lesson planning and design into the 21st century.
From Richard Byrne - Through SimplyCircle you can create an online community for parents of students in your classroom. You can use SimplyCircle to send messages, organize tasks for parent-volunteers, and post updates about things happening in your classroom and in your school. Parents don't have to sign into SimplyCircle daily because you can choose to send a daily digest of updates to their email addresses.
Important conversation from Carl Hooker - On one hand I love the concept of free-flowing information to the masses. On the other hand, the digital citizen in me feels like there should be some level of permission asked or granted prior to filming an entire event. It makes me wonder:
Good overview of how to use Diigo groups from Richard Byrne - Diigo groups provide a good place to share resources with students and have them share with you and each other. Diigo groups can be private. I ask students to add notes to the links that they share in a group. Those notes should provide the rest of the group with an explanation of why the link is useful.
Teachers have told us they need a place to access safe images that are available to be used in the classroom and for educational purposes. Plus they want accurate image citations. We’ve heard you and created “Photos For Class” to meet your needs for images! - See more at: http://photosforclass.com/#sthash.xgPKImSE.dpuf
From Gary Houchens - Letter grade systems tend not to deliver meaningful, actionable feedback to students. Mostly they just serve as a proxy for a system of rewards and punishments that has little to do with what students have actually learned.
From The Atlantic - Research suggests that, in the United States, the more motivation students say they have, the better they perform on various academic assessments. But that trend doesn’t seem to apply across countries.
From CK12 - We’re proud to announce that we have integrated the Google Classroom share button within CK-12. Now, teachers and students will be able to access our entire library of content in conjunction with the Google Classroom platform.
The College Board, which has been under fire during the past year from conservatives for revisions it made to the AP U.S. History course, released a new version that it says responds to “principled feedback” from critics.
From The Guardian - Schools in Finland are phasing out cursive handwriting classes in favour of keyboard skills, as officials accept that texting, tapping and tweeting have taken over as the primary means of communication in the modern age.
Good post on what we should look for in AUP's from Karl Fisch - Instead of making a list of all the things you can’t do with technology and on the Internet, what if we made a list of all the things that not only can you do, but you should do? What if students and staff had to sign an agreement that stated these are all the ways that a responsible student or staff member should be using technology and the Internet if they are to be a functional, literate, contributing member of society?
From Audrey Watters - In developing this “personal cyberinfrastructure” through the Domain of One’s Own initiative, UMW gives students agency and control; they are the subjects of their learning, not the objects of education technology software.
From Rosabeth Moss Kanter - Of course, sitting still can be a good thing if it involves renewal, reflection, and focused attention (or having meals with the family). But sitting still can be a bad thing if it involves procrastination, indecision, and passivity.
But for the sake of reminding me to keep going back to it, here are her four big points on why getting started beats getting ready:
Small wins matter
Accomplishments come in pieces
Perfection is unattainable anyway
Actions produce energy and momentum