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Monday, July 26, 2010

Podcast Hero

This week's guest blogger is Emily Goll, who is the editor at the blog My Dog Ate My Blog.

The Top 10 Podcasts for Teachers

As a teacher, you face an increasingly challenging task – educating the next generation. How effective you are today may well decide how successful these young people will be tomorrow. This can be a heavy responsibility to bear. Thankfully you don’t have to go it alone.
One of the easiest, most convenient ways to connect with other educators and keep abreast of changes in the field is by listening to podcasts. Podcasts are audio and video files that can be downloaded and played back at any time. They are perfect for the daily commute or morning jog and can easily be subscribed to so you never miss a new episode.
Listed here are ten of the best podcasts for teachers. These free audio and video casts offer news, information, and advice to new teachers and seasoned professionals alike.
The Teacher Created Materials Podcast will give you in-depth advice you can use in your classroom every day. From tips on building vocabulary to testing strategies, you'll have the most up to date information you need to ensure your students success.
This video podcast offers time proven guidance on everything from setting up your classroom space to lesson delivery and dealing with parents. LSU College of Education professor Debbie Guedry hosts the podcasts. In addition to being a certified reading specialist, Guedry has accumulated more than 4000 hours of first-year teacher observation.
In these podcasts you'll find expert advice from respected authors on a variety of subjects. Each podcasts features content you can use immediately, including bonus handouts.
This podcast brings news and relevant resources to middle school educators. Everything from politics to teaching innovations is covered here.
Dr. Joseph Brown’s podcasts strives to increase student learning by training teachers to be more effective in the classroom. Dr. Brown’s advice covers a range of grade levels and can be used by nearly any educator.
While it seems that new episodes are no longer being produced, the archived episodes are still an excellent resource for any new teacher. Common questions are answered and tips are given to help you avoid rookie mistakes. This podcast is a must-listen for anyone starting a career in teaching.
Hosted by Mark Gura and Dr. Kathy King, this podcast focuses on technology in education, particularly the use of educational podcasting. Software, product reviews, and digital textbooks are also covered.
NPR Education reporter John Merrow hosts these gripping podcasts. Through captivating interviews, Merrow digs deep into the topics affecting educators today.
Science Friday with host Ira Flatow is a podcast by National Public Radio. The 90-minute episodes cover everything from the solar system to gene exploration. These podcasts are a great way for science teachers to stay current with new discoveries and offer intriguing information to share with students.
The Center for Civic Education offers teachers a unique way to pass on knowledge about our nation’s history. In just one minute a day, you’ll learn about topics ranging from the constitution to American presidents.
This post is written by Sunday O'Brien, a guest blogger from My Dog Ate My Blog. O'Brien has also written about online colleges for Guide to Online Schools.

Monday, July 19, 2010

In case you get bored...

Hello, fellow lazy summer-ers!

Today's guest post comes from Alexis Bonari, who writes for onlinedegrees.org. She writes about things for teachers to do over the summer after they got bored -- like THAT would ever happen. :)

For the Overachieving Teacher: What to Do After Having Requisite Summer Fun

School is out for the summer. The impending doom of some annoying, ill-conceived vacation or a week of going to the pool, smelling like sunscreen, getting burned anyway, and leaving peeled skin all over the deck chairs hangs in the air. Mister Overachieving Teacher shakes his head and knows that he will have to suffer through at least a week of “real vacation” time with his wife, but after that, he’s got big plans. Fun plans. Life-changing plans of immense grandeur.

Summer Vacation Doesn’t Have to Be Too Much Fun

What’s a teacher to do when he’s exhausted all of the “real vacation” possibilities? Fun in the sun isn’t usually the mantra of an entire three-month period, especially not for the overachieving teacher who gets the itch to “do something” while he’s on vacation. As it turns out, there are plenty of enriching (and even fun) activities for all of those “doer” teachers who are starting to make the beachgoers nervous.

Being an Accomplished Vacationer

ThriftyFun readers (and Mister Overachieving Teacher) recommend the following substantial activities:

1. Stop griping and start golfing. It gets the teacher outdoors, passes the time, and even offers a way to get some kind of exercise into that vacation.

2. Teachers can be students, too. Attention-grabbing community college classes like cooking, art, or computer science can be a smart way to pass the summer. Also, for the teacher who’s still finishing up a higher education degree, summer classes might be beneficial.

3. For outdoorsy types, the local Parks & Rec tends to have summer job opportunities or volunteer work that needs to be done.

4. It’s a fact: teachers love book stores. Why not keep track of any lectures happening at these favored venues?

5. Volunteer at a nursing home, homeless shelter, animal shelter, or other deserving community service institution.

6. Become a gardener and start a local plant swap group.

If golf looks like a daunting activity, the adventurous teacher may want to try disc golf. As long as there’s a course in the area and a sporting goods store that offers discs, it’s a good way to develop some arm strength for erasing those chalkboards in the fall.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at onlinedegrees.org, researching areas of online colleges. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Look inside!

A huge thank you to everyone who helped out during my Happily Wed (and Read) Ever After celebration! Learn Me Good is up to 70 reviews now, it is number 2 in the humor category based on the tags, and the sales were amazing in both Kindle and paperback.

So thank you, thank you, thank you!

I am really excited about the paperback version of Learn Me Good now costing only $11.99 -- use that saved 4 bucks to buy a personal pan pizza! Man, how 80s is that?

Also, Learn Me Good has been accepted into the Look Inside the Book program at Amazon, so people can preview a small sample before buying!

All very exciting developments!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Whiteboard Resources

Hey everyone,

My blushing bride and I got back from our honeymoon late last night (actually almost 1 this morning). It was super fantastic, and we had an amazing time. Nevertheless, I am a bit tired, so I thought I'd hand the reins off to frequent guest poster, Karen Schweitzer.

So without any further ado...

15 Whiteboard Resources for K-12 Students

There are many different games and sites online that are perfect for use with interactive whiteboards. Here are 15 that are free, fun, and educational.

Elementary Students

Tutpup - Tutpup is an award-winning site for students between the ages of 5 and 14. The site allows students to compete in fun and competitive math and spelling games with other children around the world.

Professor Garfield - Designed for students in grades K-8, the Professor Garfield website offers standards-based learning materials and fun games that work well with interactive whiteboards. Covered topics include reading, art, science, trivia, and more.

Math-A-Thon - Math-A-Thon is a volunteer-based fundraising program for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In addition to offering students the opportunity to participate in an educational math event, the site also provides fun, math-based games that work with interactive whiteboards.

Robot Obstacle Course - The Robot Obstacle Course is an excellent game for young students. In addition to testing observational, analytical, and critical-thinking skills, the game also teaches students about elementary programming.

Thinkuknow Cyber Cafe - The goal of the interactive Thinkuknow Cyber Cafe is to teach students how to be safe online. The Cyber Cafe is designed for students between the ages of 8 and 10 and covers topics like online forums, instant messaging, and social networking.

Middle School Students

Whyville - Whyville is a virtual city designed for educational purposes. As Whyville "citizens," students can learn about art history, science, journalism, civics, economics, and much more.

Bugscope - Created by the Imaging Technology Group at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Bugscope gives students free interactive access to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to study insect specimens. Before accessing the microscope, teachers must register ahead of time and make sure that students collect the bugs for examination.

Stop Disasters - The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction created this interactive disaster simulation game to teach students about natural disasters and hazards. Students must assess disaster risk, limit damage when natural disasters strike, and create a safer environment for the population. Each disaster scenario takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes to complete.

The Road to the Capitol - The Road to the Capital is a government game that teaches students about the election process. While playing the game, students must register as a candidate for congress, make campaign stops, and debate an opponent.

Stage'D - Stage'D is a free digital tool that can be used to create animated comics. After a comic is created, it can be emailed, embedded in a blog or website, or shared via social networking applications.

High School Students

FreeRice - Created by the UN World Food Program, this free trivia game allows students to make a difference in the world while they learn. For every question that is answered correctly, 10 grains of rice will be donated to hungry people. Trivia topics include English vocabulary, English grammar, Spanish, Italian, German, French, geography, chemistry, math, and famous paintings.

FreePoverty - FreePoverty is similar to FreeRice--it is a trivia game that creates donations for people in need. Instead of donating food though, this site donates cups of clean drinking water. Students can have ten cups of water donated for every geography question that is answered correctly.

Edistorm - Edistorm is a great tool for collaboration and works well with an interactive whiteboard. The free, web-based program allows users to organize ideas on an interactive brainstorming wall. Created ideas can be saved, stored, and retrieved at a later date.

Classroom Jeopardy - This free classroom tool makes it easy for teachers to create a Jeopardy-like trivia game on any topic imaginable. Each game can include 25 questions and can be created and played within minutes.

Smithsonian Virtual Museum - The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History allows site visitors to take a panoramic virtual tour of the museum. Teachers who can't get their class to the actual museum will find this tour is a good substitute when used with an interactive whiteboard.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about pharmacy technician certification for PharmacyTechnicianCertification.com.

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