OTR Links 09/28/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Cube Gets Groups

Late this summer, I was invited to test out the new Group feature that Cube for Teachers was incorporating into their excellent resource for Ontario Educators.  I can’t believe that it’s been almost a year since I reviewed and blogged about the initial release of the online resource.  At the time, there was a concern from a reader that the service would become pay for use and Cube for Teachers replied that they would remain free and there’s no indication that has changed.

The concept of groups really leverages the service.

It now goes beyond the original concept of a repository – now you can use the area as a collaboration space for writing teams, planning groups, NTIP, …  Rather than rehashing my thoughts, what follows below is the announcement from Cube for Teachers.

There are a lot of repositories online but this grouping feature makes the Cube for Teachers really unique.  Keep that in mind if you’re ever working on a project that requires pulling resources together.  Even if you’re not ready for that yet, it’s still a nicely organized resource for Ontario teachers.

As over 1800 teachers across the province have already discovered, Cube for Teachers allows teachers to search for, share, and save links to internet resources which will help them meet the needs of their students.

And now, Cube for Teachers has introduced a powerful new feature:  Groups. Teachers across the province can now invite other teachers to form professional learning networks (PLNs) inside Cube for Teachers.

The Group feature within Cube for Teachers can be used:

a)     to share resources
b)     to share teaching ideas
c)     for professional development
d)     as a forum for discussions on important educational topics

Reasons Why Educators Will Want to Use the Groups Feature:

1.     Ontario teachers can now connect with others throughout the province on specific topics or other areas of interest.

2.     School departments can collaborate on resources for various courses.

3.     School administrators can invite their staff to form groups for professional development.

4.     Subject Council members can share ideas, resource links and next steps.

5.     Administrators can form PLNs with other administrators.

6.     School Family representatives can support each other and share ideas.

7.     Faculties of Education instructors can establish networks for their teacher candidates to share ideas, resource links, and support each other.

8.     New teachers (NTIP) can offer support and ideas for each other.

9.     Teachers can form groups to continue collaborating after an in-service.

10.   The Groups Feature helps make Cube for Teachers the one-stop shop for Ontario teachers to collaborate!

We welcome all Ontario educators to register with Cube For Teachers and try our latest feature! Remember that The Cube is a secure community designed exclusively for Ontario teachers. Teacher can search for, share, and save links based on grade, course, subject, and expectations based on the Ontario Curriculum.

And please, spread the word!  Refer a friend. Let others know what a fabulous website www.cubeforteachers.com has become. The greater the number of teachers who register and contribute to the website, the more valuable it will be to you!

OTR Links 09/27/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Pinterest to Focus on a Topic

Many people think of Pinterest as a great place for pinning recipes and fashions.  Goodness knows that so many people do and enjoy that.  You can find Pinterest boards for any taste and desire.

But, educators are also using this as a way to share resources for particular topics.  It lets them focus on a theme and, at the same time, give the potential visitor a visual and text preview of what to expect should you click-through to the resource.

I ran across a couple of very interesting boards today and I’d like to share them in this post.  I think that they are good examples of what can be done in the world of sharing.

Digital Storytelling
Shelly Terrell has assembled a nice selection of resources devoted to storytelling in the digital world.

Sometimes people amass collections to try to have “every resource known to the digital universe”.  When you do that and share it for others to use, they can be overwhelmed by the resource.

In this case, Shelly has condensed the collection to 15 pins that should serve anyone interested in digital storytelling well.

GIS Ideas for K-12
Peter McAsh reminds all the time that he’s a Geography educator first and Computer Studies educator second!  At this year’s Educational Computing Organization of Ontario’s Annual Conference, Peter has paired himself with James Lockyer to get people to think outside the Geography box when using GIS.

To support his session, Peter has put together a similar number of resources of ideas for GIS in the K-12 classroom.

If I can, I may just wander by that session to see what he’s up to.

I like what Shelly and Peter are doing with Pinterest.  It’s an updated way to share links and resources with other professionals.  It is very easy to read and use and should serve their purposes well.  I think both are good examples of why educators need to keep their minds open to new innovation in the online world.  The next great thing will only be great if you embrace it and put it through its paces.  You can’t do that by continuing to do the same old, same old.

OTR Links 09/26/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.