Thursday, January 13, 2011

Article - Could "Remote School" mean the end of snow/ice days?

I read this article from the Gainesville Times in Georgia and had to share it.  Much of the US has been gripped with snow and ice recently.  I was working in New York City yesterday and after about 9 inches of snow, the schools were open, leaving students "wishing" for their first snow day of the year.  Georgia has been dealing with ice and snow so this article applies at many levels. 

Teachers in this Gainesville, Ga school are expanding the boundaries of school by using the Internet to communicate with students, share lessons on online learning platforms, record videos of their lessons, blog with students, and provide online quizzes.  I know some readers may worry about student access to the Internet and that is a valid concern in some communities.  However, as the digital divide shrinks, the possibilities for providing quality lessons during weather related closures or illness is definitely something schools are using. 

I hope this article piques your curiosity.  Are the schools in your area dabbling in online learning, using Web 2.0 tools for communicating with students, blogging, creating multimedia presentations to share with students?  These are the tools and tips I am sharing in this blog, although I haven't been writing from the perspective of using them for remote learning.  But, they would work for that purpose and I aim to keep it simple for my blog readers.

Providing remote lessons and content is not difficult and can be done using free tools.  This blog is an example of a tool you could use with students.  Pose a question in your blog and require your students to answer.  It doesn't matter where they do it or when! 

Share a comment on the article and if you think it could mean the end of "days off."  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Storyline Online - Hear Betty White Read A Story

Storyline Online is an wonderful, FREE site that is produced by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. Members of SAG read children's books on streaming video and there are activities and downloadable teacher resources for the books.  The teacher resources provide additional research, links, and books on the story topics.

Betty White reads Harry The Dirty Dog. You click "Let's Read It." A window opens that allows you to  choose your Internet connection speed and the video of the book begins.  You also have an option to have captions on or off.
 Storyline Online producers keep it simple.  The site is clear and easy to follow.  The extension resources are written clearly and directions for opening and closing windows make it easy to nagivate. 

There are a number of famous readers including: Amanda Bynes, Tia & Tamera Mowry, Elijah Wood,
and former Vice President Al Gore, just to name a few.

I am always looking for resources to support oral reading and I really like this site.  I hope you check it out and that you find it useful in your classroom.  If you share useful website with parents and students, add this one to your list!  Getting families to read and listen together is a wonderful extension to the classroom.