Ten Best Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field TripsCheck out Ten of the Best Virtual Field Trips at e-School News. Learners can now set off on explorations and connect with information from sites all over the world. Virtual field trips can transform the way students learn.

Options in the article range from factory tours to museum exhibits (the Louvre) to data gathering from a real research projects to a NASA exploration of the planet Mars. Dozens more virtual museum tours are available at MuseumLink.

One interesting suggestion is the Google Lit Trips project where teachers can access free, downloadable files that mark the journeys of book characters. The Lit Trips site offers a huge number of books on a variety of levels and uses the resources of Google Earth to illustrate and follow the events in a book, making literature study three-dimensional. Also visit Google Lit Trips for Young Readers.

Outline of Available iPad Learning Activities

ipadspectrum

Check out the Edudemic Post.

This image from Edudemic — Full Spectrum of iPad Learning Activities  illustrates how the capabilities of the iPad interact with high quality apps and enable students and educators to develop and engage with in-depth learning activities.

This graphic is the clearest image that I’ve ever seen — highlighting the adroitness of  iPad capabilities and depicting range of opportunities offered to resourceful teachers and learners. It’s a connected learning gem.

Read the full post or check out other great learning information at the Edudemic blog. Don’t be put off by the many lists and the lack – sometimes – of expository writing. The Edudemic blog posts contain a huge amount of valuable information, curated especially for digital learners.

NOTE: If you peruse past posts here on GDSTechTips, you’ll discover several other links to Edudemic, usually on topics that relate to an issue or topic that is under discussion here at school.  One to check out is a GDSTechTips post linking to an Edudemic piece that described some of the ways iPad capabilities can be wasted in schools.

21st Century Learning Resources

Resources for 21st Century LearningEducator Med Kharbach, the proprietor over at the  user-friendly EducatorsTechnnology.com blog, offers a comprehensive end-of-the-year list of 21st Century learning resources, mostly from posts he has written over the past year.

To get a 2013 head-start figuring out how to make your teaching and your classroom environment more welcoming to digital students, it’s worth taking a look at Med’s list. Many of the sources on this list focus on ways to help students collaborate and think critically about the content they encounter in the virtual world.

Check them out by clicking on the image  on the right. Think about getting started with the link to What Teachers Need to Know About 21st Century Literacy which includes a short eight-minute video. Also check out The 33 Digital Skills that Every 21st Century Educator Should Have.

Five Ways to Waste the Potential of iPads in Schools

edudemicCheck out this Edudemic blog post, 5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make with iPads (and How to Correct Them). The article focuses on how schools are using iPads, the common management errors that occur, and how to do better if iPads are to help teachers teach and develop their students into better 21st Century learners.

Here are the specific topics, but head on over to Edudemic to check out the details.

  1. Focusing on content apps
  2. Lack of teacher prep in management of classroom iPads
  3. Treating the iPad as a computer and expecting it to serve as a laptop
  4. Treating iPads as multi-user devices
  5. Failing to communicate compelling answers to the questions, “Why iPads?”

Neat Google Searching Tips!

Learn more about Google search lesson plans here.

Every time we search on Google we get millions of hits.  Here are some tips that can streamline your results. Remember that most Google searches are not case sensitive. Give these a try.

  • Exclude a word.  For example:  grocery stores -Safeway
    No Safeway hits will be included in your results.
  • Search a specific country’s Google site. Sometimes it is good to search through Google links in a specific country rather than for world.
    http://www.google.co.uk, — (notice there is no com, just “co” for country and the country two letter tag)
  • Connect an area code with a geographic area.
    Enter the area code in the search box and Google will give you links that tell you about the area code and where it is from.

21st Century Learning: An Outline for Success

Image from Microsoft clip art.

Educators who seek to broaden their 21st Century skill set often wish for a roadmap to guide them through the professional growth maze of the connected world.

Check out Back-to-School Quiz: Skills Every 21st-Century Teacher Should Know by Susan Lucille Davis (@SuluDavis) at the Getting Smart blog. Quiz-takers will get a clear  sense of where they are located on the connected learning continuum and what personal learning needs to take place.

Today’s students are effortlessly digital, but they often lack organizational and judgment skills to help them establish themselves as stalwart learners. On the other hand, we adults are fairly good with organization and judgment, yet most us need to strengthen the digital side of our skills and understand how to teach in a connected and information-rich world. Davis outlines learning steps, offers specific resources, and there you have it — a roadmap.

Choose one item, such as narrowing a search by date or country, a task that will make an enormous difference in the quality of student Google searches but takes moments to master. And this is only one of her suggestions. Continue reading