Archive for March, 2013


pinterest-logo

Pinterest is a free social network where users can “pin” content to their online bulletin board. An article on Edudemic website gives several examples of content to pin on Pinterest. A teacher can pin pictures, quotes, lectures, notes, research material, etc. I think that Pinterest is a good looking website and is great to share ideas and links in order to interest students in learning. This blog article will be about how I plan to use Pinterest as a teacher.

 

Current events

I believe that one of the roles of a second language teacher is to share cultural knowledge with students. That is why I think that a good way to use Pinterest is to pin English journal article to keep students well informed on current events. Pinterest’s attractive design can motivate students in reading those articles, especially when it is a suggestion that comes from their teachers. I learned from this blog article that important journals such as Wall Street journal and National Geographic are members of Pinterest. It is then easy for teachers to simply pin what they have seen on these bulletin boards.

 

Community           

Pinterest offers the possibility to be linked with your students via a community. That way, students can see your posts and you can se theirs as well. Is it also possible to comment posts and it may create interesting discussions between students and you. By commenting on your posts, students can prove you that they have read it and can be proud of themselves knowing that you are aware of their interest. There is an infographic on this blog article that expains briefly how a community on Pinterest works.

 

Classroom ideas (posters, activity, arts and craft)

I mentioned above different ways of using Pinterest with students, but one my favorite way to use this website is between teachers. With a simple keyword, I found a ton of idea for projects to do with students! For elementary teachers, a whole bunch of arts and crafts activities are available. Teachers from all around the world share their ideas with other teachers in order to help them with their own classrooms. For ESL teachers, I found a lot of posters for grammar, idioms, vocabulary and more. Click here to see examples.

I recommend this website to teachers who are looking for original ideas posted by other teachers and also suggest to push it a little further by inviting students to form a community.

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Now that the new generation of students has an easy access to Internet at home, new ways of teaching are possible. Tutorial videos are a new reality in learning. Children go on Youtube all the time to learn a bunch of things with tutorial videos that are often not related to school. It is now the time for schools to adapt to this new reality and the iPad app Show Me is the perfect tool to give the students access to tutorial lessons at home.

I first learn about his app from this blog article from freetech4teachers.com and I thought it was a great way to provide extra lessons for students while they are at home. Show Me’s design is similar to the Notebook software made for interactive white boards. This app provides writing and drawing tools and allows you to integrate pictures in your work. The main feature of Show Me, which is my favorite, is that teachers can record their voice while recording in real time their visual instructions. Here’s an example of a tutorial made using Show Me. It shows a simple introduction to prepositions for young ESL learners. I found this link on the official Show Me website, where lessons for all school subjects are available. Teachers who wanted to share their lessons with the rest of the world have made this possible. It is simple to share a presentation. A teacher only has to create an account of Show Me’s website and upload their videos online. After that, a Show Me presentation is available on any electronic device connected to Internet.

Students don’t have to own an iPad to have access to the tutorials. However, if they have access to one, having them create their own presentation can make fun activities. This wordpress article tells how easy it is to have the students work with this app and gives examples of activities. I think it is a good idea to make them produce their own tutorial videos because they have to reinvest their knowledge in order to create a coherent presentation.

I learned from this blog article that another app is similar to Show Me and it’s called Replay Note. However, this app sells for 4.99$ while Show Me is totally free. That’s why I think Show Me is a no brainer. It is easy to use and is highly pedagogical.

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Language teachers have a responsibility of teaching culture in the classrooms because of the various aspects of language. To know a language, it is important to know its historical and geographical contexts. I choose to write this blog article on an online program called StatWorld that can help a teacher when having to teach with maps for example. I discovered this program because of a blog article posted on free4teachers.com.

StatWorld is software developed by StatSilk for educational purposes. It contains a large database of statistics of all kinds. For example, there is information about economy and development, education, environment, gender, health, language, politic and population. Of course, history and geography teachers will use this tool more than an English teacher, but it can be a useful resource for different situations. An example of project where I would get my students involved with this resource would be a research and oral presentation on different countries and provinces. The students could use the program to find important information and then present it to the rest of the class with a dynamic display. Other ideas to use StatWorld can be found on a blog article from Scott Nailor, posted on www.interactivelanguagearts.com

Overall, this online program is not really hard to use and is interactive as well as dynamic. At first, I had a bit of trouble using the menus, but I’ve been able rapidly to use it without having difficulty.  Working with StatWorld on an Interactive White Board is a great idea. Teachers should give it a try when it comes to use maps and statistics in class.

 

For further reading:

StatSilk has also developed other problem of the same type but more for a professional use than Statsilk, which is better for education. Their most famous software is StatPlanet, an award-winning program used by organizations such as NASA, Siemens and Samsung.