Topic-based and task-based speaking activities, process writing practice, CLIL and a lot more:
‪#‎matisse‬ ‪#‎monet‬ ‪#‎picasso‬ ‪#‎caravaggio‬ ‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎english‬ ‪#‎speaking‬ ‪#‎writing ‬‪#‎CLIL‬ #edtech #rockwell

Silk Offers Great Tools for Creating Data Visualizations

Silk is a free tool that I first tried a couple of years ago when it was primarily a digital portfolio and simple web page creation tool. Since then it has evolved to include some fantastic tools for creating and sharing data visualizations.

To create a visualization on Silk you can upload data in a spreadsheet, manually enter data, or use one of data sets that Silk provides in their gallery. Once you’ve uploaded data or selected it you can use it to create fourteen different visualizations. To create a different visualization of the same data set simply choose a different visualization style from the Silk menu. See my screenshot below for further explanation.

Silk visualizations can be made public or kept private. If you keep your visualizations private you can still share them directly to other Silk members by inviting them to your project. Public visualizations can be embedded into blog posts as I have done below.

Data from

H/T to The Next Web for the update on Silk.

This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission.














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Teacher’s Guide to Polling in the Classrooms

Teachers can also ask students to give verbal answers, but this can get hairy too. Students have to wait and take turns to speak, which means not everyone may get a chance. Some students who are more vocal may speak first, so others are less likely to voice an opposing opinion. Students who have questions, or those who are confused, may be hesitant to admit this in front of their classmates.

Surveys and polls give teachers tools to use to elicit student opinions. Newer technology, such as audio response systems (clickers) and web-based software linked to mobile devices, offers teachers a way to get an answer from every student.

image via flickr:CC | mattcornock

Educreations is a free service that has been popular for quite a while. It was mostly made popular for its iPad app. As more of a variety of device types have appeared in the school realm, the web version provides a simple and easy platform for teachers to flip lessons and students to respond.

With the free version, the user space is pretty limited. (50 MB.) However, it provides a good platform for casual flipping needs or for those just starting to create instructional videos. It works especially well for teachers that desire for students to create video lessons in a nice convenient manner where the student videos appear automatically in the teacher accounts hassle free. As a teacher, I love having quick feedback about a lesson. How easy would it be to send a quick problem in picture format to students and have them respond in screencast format?

This blog post features how to use the web version of Educreations and get students connected to your Educreations class. If you are looking for a simple and easy webtool for students to express their learning, Educreations is for you.

How to Create an Educreations Screencast

Creating a video on is really simple. It is nice for teachers that want to create quick videos without the burden of hosting the videos on a separate website. The web version features an image import, several colored markers, and an eraser. The simplicity of Educreations allows you to focus more on the lesson and less on the tool.

Create a Class

If teachers are planning on using Educreations, he/she will want to take advantage of creating classes. Classes would obviously allow the teacher to separate information by subject area. However, teachers could also use classes to differentiate or personalize the learning experience within a subject area. Here is how to create a class. 

Student Sign Up

It is really easy for students to sign up for Educreations. However, teachers will need to provide their class code so that students can easily connect the accounts. Make sure you get your class code by clicking on your classes and selecting the class name that you want to have students connect with. 

Share Videos with Students

Once students have accounts, you are ready to start sending videos to the students. You can select your video and assign them to multiple classes. This would allow you to differentiate or personalize learning within multiple groups. 

Access Student Videos

Finding student videos is simple. Once you select your class, the list of student names will appear. Clicking on the student name will reveal any videos they have created for that particular class. 

Students Can Join Multiple Classes

Once the students have an account, they can connect to multiple classes. This is handy for students with multiple teachers or teachers that want to better organize their videos or student videos. 

Google Safety Center - Good Tips for Parents

Google’s Safety Center offers parents good advice on keeping their kids safe online. Much of the information provided in the Safety Center is focused on things like privacy settings, search filters, and Android app management. The information on settings and filters is complemented with advice on talking to kids about responsible online behaviors. That advice comes from organizations including Common Sense Media, iKeep Safe, and OnGuard Online.

Applications for Education
As the school year winds-down consider adding some information about Google’s Safety Center to a school blog post, library blog post, or newsletter. Even if parents have seen this information before, it’s worth remembering as we head into summer when many students will be home alone with lots of time to be on the web.

This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission.














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25 Books to Gnaw on Over the Summer

25 Books to Gnaw on Over the Summer

Looking to up your game, keep up to date with current trends and research, or develop professionally? Well, look no further because these 25 books are on fire. Quick reads with a plethora of opportunities to step out of your comfort zone into a world of meaningful learning. All of these authors practice what they preach and every one of them is personally approachable and helpful.


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Happy Birthday to surrealist artist Salvador Dalí who would be 111 years old today. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

Getting Started With Canva - A Quick Guide to Creating Visuals

Last week I shared Canva’s thirty design tutorials and lesson plans that incorporate designing infographics, comics, and other visuals. Today, Canva released a new video tutorial that covers just the basics of creating designs and downloading them from Canva. If you’re the type of person who prefers to just jump into a tool rather than work through a long series of tutorials, this video is for you.

Applications for Education
Canva has some fantastic teachers developing lesson plans for them. Some of the newer lesson plans on Canva’s education page include comic book creation, a lesson on sugar in our diets, and a lesson on illustrating ideas with infographics.

This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission.














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edshelf Weekly - Tools to Make an Educator’s Work Easier

Looking for a good tool to make one of your classroom routines a little easier? Here are some tools recommended by teachers. They may not all be relevant, but hopefully there will be at least one gem here for you.

  • KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN SUPPORTER Permission Click - Digital permission slips, forms, and payment collection for K-12 schools (PTAs & daycares too!) Free to use! Easy setup.
  • Backchannel Chat - Facilitate controlled online classroom discussions, often called “backchannels.”
  • RawShorts - Create professional-looking presentations and videos that look like the ones on company websites.

Want more? Check out these shelves of tools created by educators on edshelf.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf

​PARCC Responds to Pushback By Shortening Next Year’s Test

​PARCC Responds to Pushback By Shortening Next Year’s Test

LESS TESTING: On May 22, the board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Career, or PARCC, voted to shorten the amount of time students will spend taking the test in the 2015-2016 school year. The resolution, which follows reports of the test taking up to 10 hours for stude

More at: ​PARCC Responds to Pushback By Shortening Next Year’s Test from EdSurge

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