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Apr 24, 2012

Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century

http://langwitches.org/blog/2011/07/21/upgrade-your-kwl-chart-to-the-21st-century/

One of the take aways from the Curriculum Mapping Institute this past week was that it brought an upgrade to THE trusted KWL (Know, What to Know and Learned) Chart to the forefront. It seems a no brainer…one of those things… “I should have thought about it”… So what is this upgrade all about?

An “H” snuck into the Acronym!
  • What does this “H” stand for”?
  • Why is this an upgrade for the 21st century?
I started out by searching Google, which immediately wanted to correct my search term and showed me the traditional “KWL chart” results. I had to re-affirm that I indeed wanted to find out more about KWHL charts. (The nerve…!)

The top search results turned out mostly downloadable files for templates, which was quiet interesting as there were several explanations in these tutorials what the “H” could stand for:
  • HOW can we find the answers to these questions?
  • HOW can we find out what we want to learn?
  • HOW did the learning take place?
  • HOW can we learn more?
  • HOW will we find the information?

50 Sites In 60 Minutes

Apr 13, 2012

Sound Maps from The British Library

Sound Maps from The British Library
The British Library's sound maps provides a good way to explore more than 50,000 audio recordings organized into nine categories. To hear the recordings select a category then click on the placemarks on the maps. The map categories include accents & dialogues, soundscapes, wildlife, and oral histories of holocaust survivors.

Applications for Education
The
British Library's sound maps could be used in a number of content areas. In science courses the sound maps offer a nice way for students to hear the sounds of animals that they're learning about in different regions of the world. The accents & dialogues map could be useful for language arts lessons. The stories of holocaust survivors could make great supplementary material for lessons on WWII.

H/T to Google Maps Mania.

Initial Impressions of Qwiki Creator (From the Blog Free Technology For Teachers by Richard Byrne)

Initial Impressions of Qwiki Creator

Last month I learned that Qwiki was launching a creation tool that allows users to create their own multimedia Qwikis. A Qwiki is a short narrated story that includes images, videos, and text. This morning I received my invitation to try out the new Qwiki Creator, these are my initial impressions.

Creating the basics of a Qwiki is very easy. There are three steps to the process; uploading content (or linking to hosted content like a Flickr image), recording narration, and captioning content. One of the things that I learned in my first attempt at creating a Qwiki is that the order in which you upload content is the order in which it will appear in your Qwiki. Perhaps I overlooked it, but I couldn't find a way to reorder my uploads. Voice recordings are limited to 20 seconds. You can also record with your webcam and have a video of yourself appear in your Qwiki. Captioning your content is very straight forward. After uploading content and making your recordings you're presented with a grid of all of your content to caption. Just fill in the blanks in the caption fields. The caption screen is where you can insert links.

The Qwiki Creator browser bookmarklet, titled Qwik It!, is a handy little product that will help some students clip and organize content for their Qwiki projects. With Qwik It! installed students can clip sections of webpages and send them directly to their Qwiki Creator accounts. From there they can use the clipped content to build a Qwiki.

Applications for Education
I was hoping for a bit more from the Qwiki Creator, but despite some of its editing limitations it could be a good tool for students to use to create short multimedia stories. Students could create personal narratives using Qwiki Creator. Or you might have students create short introductory narratives about topics that they're studying in your classes.

If you want to see my first attempt at creating a Qwiki, you can watch it below.

Want to create your own Qwiki? Do it »

Apr 1, 2012

The Quote of the Day

A loving relationship is one in which
the loved one is free to be himself -
to laugh with me, but never at me;
to cry with me, but never because of me;
to love life, to love himself,
to love being loved.
Such a relationship is based upon freedom
and can never grow in a jealous heart.
- Leo F. Buscaglia.