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The Slice of Life posts are hosted every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers
After reading the New York Times article concerning future changes in education, and discovering that February 1st is Digital Learning Day, a specific day set aside for adding to your digital learning expertise in order to apply it to education, I thought I’d recommend a few sites that I recently used in an online tools class. Here are some things that happened:
I used Diigo, a bookmarking site (like Delicious if you use that) that you can use with a group or class by acquiring an educator account. Each student has access to the personal ‘library’ set up online of the pages and sites I wanted them to explore, plus they could also recommend other tools they found and/or had already used to tell the rest of us about. You can bookmark, sticky note and highlight specific portions of text. You can add as many tags as you wish. You can give assignments as to the approach of the link given.
I found that the group loved it and looked forward to checking their account to see what had been recently added. I imagine that students could send poems to share & to comment on within the site, or other kinds of text could be shared with a group, or a partner. One project done: I sent several articles of current interest to the students, and we had an online discussion of them with all of us sending comments. One other idea is that students could send a review of a book read and others could agree or disagree with the review after reading the book.
Make Beliefs Comix—Students can create their own stories & then make a comic of them.
WhenInTime—A timeline building site-impressive, for non-fiction research & communication of the discoveries.
Popplet—for organizing information, for presenting photos, perhaps with short poems. It’s a great visual site.
Glogster—A ‘teacherlight’ account is $29.95 for a year, & you can have up to 50 accounts, perhaps share with another teacher? You can also, like many sites, sign up for a free trial account. It’s a way for students to create posters of their information online, & they are also printable.
Wikispaces—You can create a free educator account and there is an easy way to create individual student accounts with passwords without using real e-mail addresses. We created a Wiki with each student writing a page of tips for good research displays. Each took a part of the ‘how-to’s’, wrote their ideas, then everyone added to the original. My next project is for my memoir writing class. They’ll be able to write their text as a page on the Wiki, and receive feedback for it.
When you use photos or other media for writing inspiration or illustration, it’s good to have less worry about copyright. Here is a site giving numerous links for copyright free images.
Finally, for all bloggers, a free photo site for blogs called Photo Pin. Here's a beautiful photo I found there. It looks like a mystery story to me. What do you think?
I’m having fun finding new ways to invite creativity with words online. There is so much out there, and students may be embracing new things faster than we are. I hope you’ll find something of interest here!