Three out of four kids with Strep Throat and a tooth extraction later, I’m back with CTRL-ALT-DELIVER: The Podcast. I apologize for the missed week, but we’ve got lots to talk about so let’s get on to the EdTech!
Well, as you can tell, I’m out for the summer and so far, I have spent every day at the doctor, dentist, or orthodontist. Although, I have lots of plans for outdoor activities (the pool is screaming out for me right now), I also need to plan for those times that we are confined to the inside. That’s where “49 Ultra Cool Summer Sites for Kids and Teachers” from EdTechIdeas.com comes in. My kids, like most, don’t need any encouragement to spend time on the computer, but they love to read and are also all very creative. My 7 year old just devours books, and the Magic Tree House has been a favorite of hers for this past year. The Magic Tree House website has enough puzzles and activities to keep her going for a while. I can think of a ton of word activities that Tagxedo will make more fun by allowing them to save their images and create bookmarks or cards in a Wordle-type format. ABCya has activities that I can work with my upcoming Kindergartener on, as well as my upcoming 2nd grader. Having just given my 13 year old a Kindle for her birthday, creating a Shelfari bookshelf and getting her to write some reviews is going to be fun. The list, as the name implies, is pretty lengthy with a great cross section of sites like Science with Science Bob to Grammar with Grammaropolis. There are, of course, sites that will extend beyond the summer for me, as well. There is e-learning for kids, that offers a variety of subjects at various gradelevels that go beyond the core subjects with things like environmental issues and technology skills. NeoK12 is a source for videos in a number of subjects. As with any video search engine, you will need to preview the content for its appropriateness for your grade level.One of the things that you WON’T have to worry about are ads or other suggested videos, which often time are NOT appropriate, since many of the videos come from YouTube. NeoK12 strips those out for you. Along with the videos there are also quizzes and activities available. Cells Alive hits home exactly where I need it to focus, on the differences and similarities between plant and animal cells. And so, you can see that, even though they have tagged this for Summer Fun, the learning that is presented here can go on year round.
This week’s audible pick is David Lubar’s My Rotten Life. This is one of those wonderful books that is read by the author, giving it EXACTLY the inflection and tone that they wrote it with.
Ten-year-old Nathan Abercrombie is having a really bad day. First, Shawna Lanchester, the prettiest girl in his class, doesn’t invite him to her party. Then he gets picked last in gym class. Things couldn’t get any worse…until he gets doused with an experimental serum that turns him into a half-dead zombie!
Nathan soon discovers that being half dead isn’t all bad. He doesn’t need any sleep, so he can stay up all night and play games online. He doesn’t feel any pain, so there’s no need to worry about Rodney the bully anymore. Still, Nathan would rather be human. Will he find a cure? Or will Nathan be half-dead forever?
Fans of David Lubar’s popular Weenies short story collections – which have sold more than one million copies – will love My Rotten Life, the first of a series of hilariously rotten adventures starring Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie.
I had first become familiar with David through the books True Talents and Hidden Talents. You know me and superheroes, it was right up my alley, but it added the depth of character and humanity that is so often left out with cardboard versions of what heroes are. I am currently reading his collection of short stories, In the Land of the Lawn Weenies. My thirteen year old shared with me that she recalls the boys reading them when she was in 4th grade and that the boys thought they were pretty scary. The first story in the collection about catching a fairy does not seem on the surface to fit that description, but by the time that you have finished it, you can certainly understand why the boys were shaking.
Keep an ear out over the next couple of weeks. David has agreed to spend some time on Skype with me discussing his books. If you have any questions that you would like me to ask him, let me know. And be sure you check out his website at davidlubar.com.
This week’s EdTech spotlight falls on David Andrade You can find him at @DaveandCori on Twitter. He is a Physics Teacher, an Educational Technologist,and an Edtech Blogger/Author. On top of that, he is also a paramedic, which elevates him to a whole different level of respect and admiration. His Educational Technology Guy Blog is chock full of resources for teachers looking to plan out their Personal Learning Networks. He has a tremendous wealth of resources for helping students AND teachers be better organized with their learning and their lessons. David is clearly a strong proponent of Evernote, something that I have only dabbled in and look to improve on. He will certainly be my mentor with this one. He is also a strong believer in the EdCamp method of Professional Development and allowing teachers to set their own goals based on their own needs. With a name like the Educational Technology Guy, he is obviously a supporter of tech in the classroom, but I love the way he put it in a recent post:
Start with what you want students to learn and then design lessons/activities around that with tech to support [it].
Be sure to follow David on Twitter and check out his website through the links in my show notes.
And now for our Spotlight on KidLit. Elizabeth Kennedy, @aboutkidsbooks on Twitter, is also the Children’s Books Guide on About. com. She recently shared a post on planning an author visit through Skype that I will be tapping into to conduct some interviews for this podcast. But her posts go far beyond that. From books for boys and reluctant readers to summer reader recommendations for your avid readers, Elizabeth will keep you up to date. Follow her on Twitter or check out her website at childrensbooks.com.