Irregular Vowel Movements

A distance education teacher making her way in the microcosm of Barrhead.

Making it Work Better

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Update: Even if you are not a teacher, you still may find these links to be interesting. There are a variety of apps and tools that would be useful in pursuing everyday interests, personal learning or inquiry, helping your own children, or simply for sharing with those who may find them useful.

A while ago I started a Symbaloo mix for education. If you’re not sure what this is, remember back to when you were a teenager when you would take what’s called a “cassette tape” and make a mix-tape for your crush? Inevitably, you would put at least one song on there that would totally betray your feelings and bare your soul, but they would never get it.

Well, Education is my crush. I hope it gets it (gush). Seriously though, Symbaloo is a great way of making creative mixes for education (whether for an individual teacher, individual student, or individual course). Through the various feeds I claim to be “sharpening the saw” by following, I’ve comprised great lists of resources for each mix, and intend to continually update these as I find more. The goal will be an archival of sorts for tools that have proven to be effective. I’m being careful to weed out the crap [1] sites as I go.

Here’s what the revamped sites look like, and where they can be located. Each of these webmixes will be regularly updated and expanded upon as time progresses. This is important to keep in mind as some of these are still a little underpopulated.

1. Core-Subject Specific is an older one that has a general offering all across the subject map. This is good if you just want a taste of what all is out there as far as learning tools and applications. This mix has a link to its contemporary version embedded in it (Learning Tools) and has also been split up into subject specific webmixes to a certain extent.

2. English-Social contains tools and applications specific to both these subjects. I especially love the site that has rap songs to teach grammar, syntax and figurative language. It’s so good!

3. Video Development contains tools and applications specifically for the teacher wanting to develop video content in their course. This is especially pertinent to the AISI V project, as it has other learning video resources enclosed (though there are subject specific sources in each subject webmix). This may be valuable when remembering that ADLC staff are not necessarily *composing* videos in courses, but having video supplements (of some educational kind) embedded in courses.

4. Research and Innovation was a webmix I designed for a gloriously nerdy attempt at a particular job. Originally composed to act as an opportunity to geek out, this has evolved into an educational feed-source and educational resource place for teachers interested in 21st Century Learning qualities, qualities of Engagement, Gamification (Gaming for Learning Theory) and more.

5. Language Learning is comprised of little language tools I’ve picked up here and there that would apply to learning a second language. There are some pretty handy things in there to look at if Language learning is an interest. BBC has a cool site that will give the fumbling traveler (me) the basics of most languages for the sake of navigating important things, like restaurants or the bathroom. This one is definitely still a work in progress. I welcome any suggestions for this.

6. Sciences-Math is one that may grow out of the page and end up having an addendum later on. This is a pretty targeted subject for web tools and learning applications. I’ve put a few brilliant science and math games I’ve found as well as some other engaging resources. It is a chore to make physics interesting, but there is proof that this is actually possible on this mix!

7. CTS/Technology is still very underpopulated. I have it in mind that I’d like CTS specific tools to go on here, and I have several ideas that I haven’t included yet. I lumped in Technology with the idea in mind that I would put any “how-to” or design tools here relevant to new technology. For instance, there is a CSS tool on there and an app building tool here, and these just seem like a CTS course waiting to happen.

8. Learning Tools & Learning Tools II are where I anticipate the most updating and expansion will occur. These are broadly applicable to any course where the need for differentiated or universal learning exists, both in output from teachers and input from students. There are tools here for collaboration that are also excellent and very intuitive.

[1] This is an educational term for a web tool that falls under the following: isn’t made well, is confusing for a student to use, isn’t pretty, isn’t going to work for distance education purposes, is completely redundant, doesn’t have substance, doesn’t have a significant enough of a function or purpose, and lastly–  is totally a corporation sucking up to education (this doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s ugly).

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Author: Kyla Coulman

English teacher at ADLC.

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