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New from AASL: Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

I am in San Diego for ISTE and I missed the live excitement, but for the fourth year, AASL just announced its Top 25 Websites for Teacher and Learning.

These sites were selected because 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.

Sites on the list are aligned to Standards for the 21st Century Learner and organized by category:

Tips following each site description share how classroom teachers and teacher librarians may integrate the site into the instructional program.

This seriously rich list presents a whole bunch of new discoveries for me and I look forward to exploring this summer and incorporating several sites into my high school program and the online grad course I am writing.

Here are just a couple of the Committee’s finds I am eager to explore in the Media Sharing area:

Do more than watch a video: discuss, question, and comment. Vialogues puts the “think and do” into video watching. Vialogues allows you to post a video and then invite participants to answer questions, discuss or just comment. This asynchronous tool can be used for private or public interactions. Tip: Use this tool with media literacy lessons
opplet delivers an interactive way to create concept maps, mind maps, and options to brainstorm or storyboard right along with peers. The “popplets” can be constructed, moved, color coded, typed in, drawn in, and have images or videos inserted. Popplet is a nice addition to the teacher toolbox that can meet a variety of needs, including concept mapping, collaboration, and even presenting content. TIP: Have students make a genre presentation by taking a series of books and working collaboratively to make various connections to booktrailers, images, and more.

And from the Content Resources area:

Learn it in 5
Learn It in 5 is for professionals, students, and parents who want to increase their Web 2.0 skills. A series of videos, all 5 minutes or less, guide users through lessons of their choice. Users can search for specific topics or browse to discover new techniques. Tip: Include videos in your weekly newsletter.
ARKive gathers together films, photographs, and audio recordings of the world’s species to establish a comprehensive multimedia digital collection of profiles of species either rare or threatened with extinction. Tip: Incorporate these materials into lesson plans, presentations, work sheets, projects in hard copy or digitally to engage students in key science and biology topics, or use as creative inspiration for art and design projects.
Educators can “find and create learning activities with primary source documents that promote historical thinking skills.” Use the more than 3000 original documents from the National Archives to create rich, online learning experiences for students.Tip: Use the interactive learning activity tools to help students “think like historians.”

In case you missed them, check out some of the great picks from archived past lists.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


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