Sunday, May 18, 2014

Well Read Web #1

photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz via photopin cc

I have been scouring the web over the last few years looking for teaching/learning resources. And since all my information traps are beginning to fill up or become way too unorganized, I will start blogging when I find something worthy of sharing. With this "Well Read Web" post series, I was thinking about just sharing things that I found interesting for teachers or the classroom on the web.

Invent a Battery Powered Circuit - DIY App 

This could be a fun end-of-the-year project that looks like it could be created in a classroom center fairly easily and without spending too much money. The Battery Powered Circuit is another cool challenge from the DIY network. Check out this BrushBot video demonstration.

Using Badges in the Classroom

Last week, I had the privilege of meeting several EdTech coaches from Indiana at an unconference and there was a lot of discussion around the use of badges to display difference achievements and accomplishments by teachers. Just like Boy Scout and Girl Scout badging, this idea if used well can encourage students to have to collect them all - Pokemon-style. Here is a decent article entitled Using Badges in the Classroom, which describes how different ways to incorporate badging in the classroom and Edmodo provides an easy way to do this. Although tempting to only use Badges to display student acheivement, there are many Gamification advocates promoting much more than just adding badging to your classroom (i.e. More than Just Badges: We Play's Definition of Gamification). Think about Gamifying your classroom slightly next year with a classroom leaderboard, points as reward, and badging to "level up" in class. Schools can learn a lot from the game industry. We can't beat video games' allure; so, let's learn from their motivating elements.

Here are some Badging platforms that I recommend trying.

  • Classbadges - Badge Distribution for Classrooms
  • Credly - Badge Design and Distribution 
  • OpenBadges - Badge Designer 
  • Edmodo - Create and distribute to your students by clicking a checkbox

Google+ Communities of Practice 

I came across this just week and I was ecstatic that the state was embracing the use of social media to create grade-level and subject-area specific Google+ communities to discuss, share, and connect with other like-minded professionals across the state. We need to connect and share rather than close our doors and these communities are a step in the right direction.

#INeLearn Twitter Chat - The Summer of eLearning 

Don't forget about the Summer of eLearning in Indiana - where there are several eLearning conferences being held around the state. Especially don't forget to register for engagED NWI, which will be held at Lowell High School.