CTRL-ALT-DELiver We look at 19 Pencils, Flying Airmen, and Flavorwire’s Top 10 Best Children’s Authors.
And now…on to the EdTech!
Always in search of good aggregation sites, like MentorMob and Binders.com, I have come across another beta site in 19Pencils.com . When I look for these sites, I look for ease of use and a quick to understand interface, first and foremost. After all, technology is supposed to help make things easier for us, not become more burdensome. And 19 Pencils does not disappoint. The UI is easy to navigate and intuitive to use. A row of tabbed buttons on the left hand side of the Admin page will step you through everything that 19 Pencils has to offer.
First on the list is the obvious Add Content. You have the option of searching for content on their website, entering in a URL to add a favorite site that you may have bookmarked, or to create a quiz. The quiz can be a single hidden answer, for a flashcard approach, or a multiple choice test. Next on the list is the ubiquitous Favorites button, where you can add either websites or quizzes by clicking the Add To Favorites button as you are searching through the content at 19 Pencils. A quick look at my Favorites reveals several selections of websites about Electricity, our current unit of study. The next tab allows you to manage My Class Page, the page that you can submit for your students to visit without giving them access to all of the other Admin tools. My Class gives you the ability to set up a class list that will monitor what the students have been viewing and doing on your Class Page. After you set it up, you have the option to send you an email with everyone’s log in credentials. Under My Assignments, you may create Quizzes and add notes to your Class Page to provide instruction for your students to complete the assignments and visit the web resources that you have set up here. There is, of course, a My Account tab to manage your user name, password, and account information. The widget page will create a clickable image to place on your website that will direct the students to Your Class Page. And finally, there is an Invite A Friend to participate in 19 Pencils. Obviously, as in anything that is crowd sourced, the more that you can get a buy in from your Professional Learning Network, the richer the resources become and the more value that site has.
Once you have created a Class Page, send your students there or pull it up on the Interactive Whiteboard and allow them to go through the wonderful, hands on, interactive resources that you have added. While on the Class Page, they have the option to pull up The Playground, a chat window to interact with other people in the class. You could even set up an online study session where you would moderate and answer questions for the students.
I am going to be using this with my students tomorrow and I look forward to reporting back here next week on how it went. In the meantime, check out 19Pencils.com for yourself and let me know what YOU think.
Our Audible Pick and KidLet Author of the week is Eoin Colfer . Although best known for his Artemis Fowl series, which is thoroughly enjoyable, Colfer has entertained me with a number of one offs. From The Supernaturalist to Half Moon Investigations,The Legend of Spud Murphy to the Airman, his wit and his clever turns in his plots make Colfer a must read for my Fifth Graders. Follow him on Twitter @EoinColfer and check out his Facebook Page.
And now for our feature on KidLit
First off, let’s wish Lowis Lowrey a very happy 75th Birthday.
I know that lists like this are subjective, but I thought I would share this one from Flavorwire of the 10 Best Children’s Authors. It is, of course,wonderful to hear authors like Lois Lowrey listed (you know how I feel about The Giver and Number The Stars) and E.L. Konigsburg (both of whom have won the Newberry Award twice! Konigsburg holds the distinction, though, of being the only author to win the Newberry and the Caldecott in the same year.) C.S.Lewis and J.K.Rowling have both transported us to amazing new worlds. But where is Roald Dahl, Barbara Park, and Frank L. Baum (alright, I know that some would argue that Baum may have been geared more towards adults)? Who do YOU think is missing from the list? Email me at (feedback) and I will run some of your lists in next week’s show.