Here’s a scenario. The time has come for you to get Lasik eye surgery. No more glasses. No more contacts. No more squinting. You’re ready to undergo the laser treatment. Let’s just say you have essentially narrowed down your choices to two doctors. Both doctors have the same amount of experience in their practice, but share one difference. Doctor A has been using the same methods, tools and resources in their practice over the last 20 years, while Doctor B has continuously educated themselves using the most current medical methods, tools, and resources.
Now it comes time to make that decision. Who are you going to be more comfortable with performing this procedure? Doctor A or Doctor B? Okay, that answer is obvious.
Now let’s switch this scenario over to education. Let’s replace the doctors with teachers. Teacher A has been using the same teaching methods, tools, and resources over the last 20 years, while Teacher B has continuously educated themselves using the most current teaching methods, tools, and resources in their practice. The choice is clear.
My colleague shared this analogy with me and it has stuck ever since. Education is an ever-evolving practice, and so are the resources available to complement our teaching. What’s relevant today may very well be old news tomorrow. The World Wide Web has a ton of resources teachers don’t know about! New educational websites pop up every day.
I spent last week in Nashville, TN attending SHAPE America’s National Physical Education convention. At this professional development, I attended a presentation on teacher-friendly web resources for the classroom. This session was incredible! I was taken back at how many education websites I didn’t know about. And now…I get to share them with you.
Power up your teaching with these 10 useful web resources…
SymbalooEDU – Symbaloo is a visual resource management tool that helps educators and students organize and share the best of the web. This start page allows one to easily navigate the web and compile their favorite sites all into one visual interface. Think of this as a new and improved “Favorites Bar” on your internet browser. Any website you visit frequently should go on this page.
Common Curriculum – Allows the educator to simplify their planning, organize their lessons, and share with colleagues. This resource provides easy templates that will align lessons to Common Core and all 50 state standards. This resource is a life saver! Try this out and I bet you’ll never look back!
Darebee – I always like to promote movement in every classroom, and this resource makes fitness easy for everyone. You don’t have to be a physical educator to use this resource. Classroom teachers…you can use this resource to give your students a quick physical activity break.
Block Posters – Turn any image into a high-quality visual aid for your classroom. 1) Upload an image. 2) Choose your dimensions. 3) Download your poster. It’s as easy as 1-2-3
Weebly – Looking to create a class website? Use Weebly. Don’t have experience creating a website? No worries. The tools and features provided make this the easiest website building resource one can work with.
Classroom Screen – This resource will get you organized and up your classroom management. Think of this as a digital bulletin board. Choose a background that you want to project at the front of your instructional area. Then add your own touch. Options include: adding a textbox, setting a timer, and using a traffic light to indicate noise level preference (my personal favorite).
Zap Reader – Don’t be surprised when your students can read twice as much in half the time. This web based speed reading program allows reading text to be delivered at different speeds. This is a great resource to use for posting agendas, summarizing instruction, or giving directions for an entry task.
Bouncy Balls – Every teacher wishes they had that special remote control to keep classroom noise at a low level. This resource could be the next best thing. Bouncy Balls projects an image of balls, emoji characters, bubbles, or eyeballs and uses the microphone on the computer to monitor sound in the classroom. These bouncy balls react to sounds from the computer’s microphone. Once they start bouncing, your students will have that easy visual to reduce the volume. Try this out with your students and try not to smile.
PDF Candy – Have that PDF you can’t figure out how to convert to Word? PDF Candy can do that. This free online PDF editor can convert PDFs into virtually any other file type.
Support Real Teachers – For any Physical Education teachers, this non-profit website’s goal is to promote quality Physical Education through advocacy and free access to information and resources supported by SHAPE America.
I am always looking for new resources I can share with the Health and Physical Education teachers I support in my district. When it comes to discovering new educational resources on the web, I have four go-tos:
• Professional Development: Engage yourself any way you can and stay current within your teaching field.
• Network with Colleagues: Connect with your colleagues. Start a discussion. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions.
• Use the Web: Not sure where to look? Start with Google.
• Social Media: Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great to use as you can connect with colleagues across the globe to gain new ideas.
If any of these web resources were new to you, run with it! Try it out! Share these with colleagues in your building…..And share your success!
If you currently use the World Wide Web as a resource in your classroom, what websites do you use to enhance your instruction with your students?
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