Sites for Summer Browsing
Troutner, Joanne, Teacher Librarian
As most of us ask, "Where did the school year go?" Last year I was just as surprised as I am now when the deadline for this June issue came around.
I can hardly believe it is time again to write the column that traditionally has been filled with items for the teacher-librarian's professional development as well as tools to help your fellow educators.
Despite the fact that time caught up with me, I was able to gather several great options for staying up-to-date with the ever changing technology world as well as some good sites that will help in various curriculum areas. As you enjoy the more leisurely pace of summer, also explore and develop that plan to share your great finds with colleagues!
Start by taking the quiz at the Pew Research Center to help you find out just how much you are like the "millennial" students who visit your library. Housed at http ://pewresearch.org/millennials/quiz/index.php, this 14 question quiz may open your eyes. After finding your score, take time to explore the Topic Index and browse the information on the Millennials. Information gathered by the Pew Research projects brings to life the students we are educating every day. Look at the Internet & Technology section as well. Finally, explore the "Interactive" options. See what you might recommend to colleagues for use in their classroom.
Another quick way to stay on top of technology is Tammy Worcester's Tech Tip of the Week available at http://www.tammyworcester.com/TipOfWeek/TammyWTechTipOfWeek/Tech_Tip of Week_Tammy_Worcester.html. Recent selections deal with using Google Docs to create self checking quizzes and creating a domain name for student e-mail accounts, to a wide range of ideas for using Ooogle Maps. You can subscribe to Tammy's weekly newsletter via RSS feed or e-mail. Of course, you will also want to spend some time exploring Tammy's presentation handouts, the "Ideas & Activities" tab, and her Internet Resources. You are guaranteed to gather some great ideas as well as spending a worthwhile afternoon at the computer!
If you have not yet explored Diigo as a collaboration tool for your colleagues, now is the time. Peruse the blog entry at http://blog.learningtoday.com/blog/bid/2605/ Exploratoryand-Collaborative-Learning-with-Diigo for some well crafted beginning tips. Then think about setting up an account and list for your colleagues to showcase the gems you find this summer during your explorations. The ability to add annotations, create groups, and easily share resources makes this tool at true find! And, consider the 21st century skills your staff and learners will gain when using such a tool.
As we move further into using Web 2.0 tools for assessment, project based learning, and just an everyday part of our instructional lives, the issue of scoring student creations and projects arises. Here are a few options for finding rubrics to use and]or modify as you and your colleagues continue adding these tools to your teaching toolkit. Begin by looking at the well crafted materials available at Kathy Schrock's site, http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/assess.html. Then look at the Web 2.0 options for items on Animoto, Glogster, Voicethread, and more. Another good starting point is Andrew Churches' wiki, http://edorigami.wikispaees.com/, which includes rubrics on bookmarking, podeasting, using Skype, Google Maps, data analysis, and more. Scroll down to the "Other Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Resources" section to find this treasure-trove. One last place to explore is the rubric on blogging found at http://thereadingworkshop.wikispaees.com/Blog+Comment+Rubrie; it provides a great start for those using blogs with students.
Investigate the wide range of materials available via the Internet publishing site, Lulu. …