Connecting dots of digital learning

Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2014

American Association of School LIbrarians (AASL) just announced the 2014 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning. They foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.

We’d like to draw special attention to these free content resources.

Remix-T 
Remix-T is a site created to aid teachers in developing engaging activities that incorporate images, video, and sound. Take a look at the project gallery to get ideas and then browse the tool collection. Explore media resources, learn about media design, and consider the amount of time and skill required for a project. When educators and librarians are ready to build an assignment, the site helps articulate goals, develop a rubric, and create a list of deliverables. Grades 4-12 and Up.

Media History Digital Library 
The Media History Digital Library is a collection of resources providing online access to the history of movies, broadcasting, and sound recording. The Magazine Collections currently have over 800,000 scanned pages with more pages being added frequently. Users may read material online, download the PDF, or visit the Internet Archive page to find cataloging information and additional download options. For students and history fans alike, this amazing resource will provide a glimpse into the early years of movies, radio and television broadcasting. Grades 7-12.

Why Files 
whyfilesCreated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the auspices of the National Institute for Science Education, the Why Files web site provides scientific information to explain and expand on current news stories. This witty web site updates weekly and provides a searchable archive of stories and articles. A list of National Science Education standards that link to support Why Files articles is included. Additional classroom activities are offered that can be used with an entire class or for extra credit. There is enough intriguing information, as well as cool science images, to entice older students to explore the site on their own. Grades 5-12.

Vocabulary 
Don’t assume that Vocabulary.com is just another digital flashcard site. This innovative site uses an adaptive learning system to help users learn the most essential English words needed in academic and business environments. Users quickly begin building their vocabulary knowledge as the adaptive learning system questions, reviews, and leads users to word mastery. Fun example sentences and responses “with an attitude” help keep the users’ attention, along with the level and achievement badges that can be earned. Leaderboards keep track of top achieving students and schools, creating a challenging game-like environment. Customized vocabulary lists can be added and grouped by categories, such as literature, historical documents, and speeches. Grades: 3-12.

With more and more diversified learning tools and resources available, how shall we facilitate a data-driven learning strategy? how could we track learning evidences across endless resources and tools?

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