Open Educational Resources and Creative Commons

Open educational resources are resources that are accessible freely and are helpful for education, learning and teaching purposes. These resources can be used immediately in the classroom for teaching, learning and researching.

There are different licenses available and the following link explains the different licenses very well:

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/  

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Using Web 2.0 Tools to Differentiate Student Assessment

Because i am a traditional classroom teacher at the moment, I still do the regular paper and pencil assessment however I also use presentations as a mode of assessment to a specific topic assigned by me. The students are able to make presentations on powerpoint or prezi or some other method they choose to present their information and their understanding of it.

Some of the tools that I would use in my classroom for student assessment would be:

  1. Google Documents- it’s easy to use and everyone can have access to them even at schools.
  2. WordPress or webly- they can blog their knowledge and make their websites fun and customize them.
  3. Pow Toon- it is simple and students can animate the information and make it fun and funny.
  4. slideshare- also like powerpoint but can be shared and its accessible from any computer. Also it is something the students are familiar with.
  5. worldle- for vocabulary practice or use it for a vocabulary game.

Below is a simple powtoon I created:

http://www.powtoon.com/p/bdjHDxqkf73/

 

Web Tools

In my quest, I found websites that I would integrate in my classroom and some that I already integrate per the student’s needs: 

  • prezi- use it for presentation, it looks modern and it’s easy to access from any computer. 
  • google documents- use for any document, present on a blackboard or have students go to the document from their computer. 
  • voki- voice presentation. 
  • text 2 mind map- easy to use, it creates the map for you when text is entered. 
  • quizlet- students use it to study for vocabulary quizzes mostly, however it can be use for notes and study guides. 
  • padlet- create a wall sort of like a poster online in which you can include documents to read, pictures, information, captions, and design your own wall aka background to make it fun and appealing to your lesson. 

These were the best ones that I found to be easy, interactive and fun to use which I believe the students would love to go to for a fun lesson. 

Appearance

Appearance is important in everything that we encounter in our everyday lives. We go by design and appeal when purchasing things, shopping places and where we want to take our business and where to stay away from. It is the same way for learning and online resources that are encountered. The sites need to be appealing and the information easy to find. 

These are 5 websites I found that are appealing and easy to use: 

  1. https://www.duolingo.com/- a website in which you can learn any language. It has sections in which you can practice writing it and listening to the language. It’s well organized and it has an app that you can place on your desktop for easy access. It also has practice for placement tests. It keeps up with your progress and if you make more than 4 mistakes then it makes you restart the lesson until you understand it. 
  2. https://app.fluencia.com/#users/login- is a website with a beautiful background that makes you want to learn. This website has different levels in which you can start but it always very basic. It maintains your progress. The conversation are heard with pictures of real people. Its a nice website that appeals to the learner and makes you want to keep going. It is easy to use. 
  3. http://www.spanishdict.com/- is a simple website that conjugates verbs in Spanish. The background itself makes it attractive. 
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/- the BBC website has a section in which languages can be learned, it has vocabulary drills, news, an interactive video that helps you with the pronunciation. This is my favorite website. 
  5. http://www.middleburyinteractive.com/- is an immersion school of different languages. Each tab clicked would took you to a different area in which it was interactive and it has pictures to make it a little more real. Each section that I clicked made me want to go to another one and just keep exploring the website. 

 

Websites that could use more organization and appeal: 

  1. http://mylanguages.org/- there is too much, not much organization and too many ads. 
  2. http://www.studyspanish.com/- while it’s a good website to strictly get information and practice Spanish, there is too much information, it’s not good for visual learner at all, and it can become a bit confusing if you are not familiar with the language. 
  3. http://www.about.com/- it’s an excellent website for information about different topics but when it comes to languages, it gives you the information that is needed for the moment, but not much visualization is used. 
  4. http://www.esfacil.eu/en/- it’s a good website but it clearly does not have any direction. When exploring the website I clicked on several of their links and it took me to yet another page in which I had to click more links just to get information on one thing. 
  5. http://www.drlemon.com/- just too much. 

Creating a content map quest.

This was a difficult task for me, although I am a visual learner this didn’t seem very organized for me, however here is a simple content map for verbs in Spanish. This is how I start teaching verbs in Spanish after they have learned the subject pronouns.

Verbs-in-Spanish_3f07vgqt

Time management.

Time management is very important whether you are a traditional or virtual classroom teacher. The following are things that I do to maintain management manageable in my classroom: 

1. Calendar- enter due dates of projects and things that need to be done and set alarms to remind days prior just in case I need to finish it, turn it and in rare cases get it started it. 

2. Sticky Notes- i use them quite often especially when it is something unexpected or beyond my control. I write what needs to be done and by when and stick on my computer or my desk. 

3. Quiet environment- close the door, block the window and put a sign up that says do not disturb. 

4. Just keep going- if I get distracted, I keep everything to a minimal, short answers and just keep moving it along. 

5. Journal and Blog- write everything that needs to be done, has been done and foresee doing in the future. I use it as a reference to go back just in case I missed an important point or fact. 

These management skills have worked for me for years, there is always room for improvement and small changes have been made throughout the years however these are the main ones and the ones that I use often on an everyday basis.