Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Infographic: Components of a 21st Century Classroom

With teachers around the world(including myself!) preparing for the beginning of the school year, I will be sharing this infographic with my staff on the Components of a 21st Century Classroom. I plan to use the "Top 3 Reasons for Teachers to Use Technology in the Classroom" in the upper right hand corner to help drive my professional learning sessions that are focused on technology integration.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Google Searches with Students

One of the most well known sites on the internet is Google.com, but for elementary students doing a Google search can be daunting with so many links to select from. 

Here are a few things that I have done to make using a search engine a more authentic and age appropriate experience for my students:

Google Search Modules
Google has created tiered modules that cover the three topics of Understanding Search Engines, Search Techniques and Strategies, and Features and Operators. These are great to do whole class on a SmartBoard or have students do individually.

Changing the Reading Level
When doing a Google search, you can customize the reading level for the students in your classroom. Once students get the hang of it, you will find them modifying the reading level for themselves to ensure they are getting content that is appropriate for them. Here is how to change the reading level in 3 easy steps:

With intermediate students often times, they search for a topic and go with the very first link that pops up without consideration for the quality or source of the information. This is where a CSE comes in, with it you have the capability to input the specific sites that you want students to get their information from and it limits the hits to just those you select. Once you input the sites you want, you are given the HTML coding to paste into your site.

Here is a search that I created for animal research with Third and Fourth Graders that only pulls information from the 6 sites I pre-selected for them.

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