Before we get to the most useful tools and resources I found from the web walkabout, I want to discuss how students can be taught to safely collect similar tools and resources that help them maximize their learning. I think this is a priority in today’s world. The Internet is common to students and their interaction online is almost constant. I believe it is our job and goal as educators to teach students to be responsible online as well as to be able to recognize relevant material. I believe policies and procedures that focus on this goal will soon be part of our standards beginning with elementary grades. The days of having students research the Web and expecting them to have reputable sources are over. We have to teach students WHICH sources are reputable. We can only do this by example and that must begin at a young age. Soapbox over.
Reputable Digital Resources
As you can tell, I love Pinterest. It has replaced any other social bookmarking site that I had prior to discovering it. It has been an invaluable resource in teaching. It allows me to discover better websites, become a more effective teacher, and provide students with efficient resources. It pulls together educators and parents from all over the world. Pinterest would not allow me to “pin” its own site, so I must mention it here.
CNN 10 is a program that I use daily in my classroom. It is a ten minute broadcast summary of daily news events, human interest stories, and technology updates. It is engaging and assists the students in becoming interested in the world outside of their own bubble. It invokes discussion and research. I enjoy it because I place no requirements upon it. Students are simply asked to listen and watch. If discussion takes place afterwards, awesome! If they go home and research more about a topic, I’m ecstatic! As an adult, I can appreciate learning simply for the sake of knowing. I know plenty of things that I’ve never been asked to complete a project or paper on, but that makes me feel more educated and knowledgeable. No amount of product can replace that feeling.
Snopes is a tool used to verify news, media, and events. This is particular useful with students who can be innocent to the fact that these items can be manipulated.