Free Classroom Resources for Women’s History Month

This site is excellent and contains free resources, lessons and ideas to help motivate students at all grade levels and subject areas.

Tips on How to Use Pinterest
by Alan Haskvitz

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Whether for school or home, these links can assist you in making your site easier to navigate and more interesting to view. If you have not used Pinterest, the links below are an excellent place to start learning about the process. It is also a great place for veteran users to see what is new. One caveat that should be noted is that Pinterest can be addicting and a teacher needs to keep the end in sight when placing pins. It is easy to drift off topic because a site has some interesting materials. Thus I would limit my posting to those that directly relate to the lesson and remove older ones to keep the site clean. However, keep track of the ones you are removing by placing them on your own teacher site for use in coming years. Use that site as a warehouse of inventory to abeyance for future utilization.

A step-by-step guide to starting

Using Pinterest to add zest to lessons is easy and appeals to students who sometimes are turned off by the rigors of textbook. It does not replace the text, but is a way to make the lessons come alive.

The Teacher’s Guide

A list of teachers by grade level and their sites. A great way to get fresh ideas.

A Beginners Video Guide to Pinterest in Two Parts


30 Ways for Teachers to Use Pinterest
An excellent section on lessons.

16 Additional Uses

Best Times to Pin

26 Best Pinterest Tools
Includes Pinstamatic

37 Things Teachers Should Know About Pinterest

NEA’s Take on Pinterest
Lots of links to specific subjects and uses

Classroom Management Tricks

A length list of YouTube videos that provide insight into Pinterest

Do Students or You Know about Their Digital Footprints?
By National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz
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Do students know about their digital footprints or do you? The answer is most cases is no. Those caught up in the excitement of seeing their name or image on the screen forget that this isn’t just a passing fad, but forever. With technology altering the way we teach and the way students learn it is mandatory that educators take a look at what a digital footprint is and how students can limit it.
Even the term, digital footprint, means very little to some students. So the best place to start is to explain how people learned to track as a way of finding animals. Thus the term footprint means that they are, in fact, the animal being tracked. The digital term is easier for students to understand as it means anything that they do that requires the use of technology. In other words a digital footprint is the traces that they leave on the Internet.

The biggest mistake is that students and others don’t understand that hitting the delete button does not remove the image one it has been placed online. It remains there forever, including in their own computer. Just as the history of where you have gone is traceable so can the images and comments that appear on everything from Facebook to Twitter to emails and beyond. This leads us to the first rule: Don’t put your name on anything. Use pseudonymous.
Next, have students make a list of all their accounts and all the people that they communicate. They should make sure that all setting when talking with these individuals is on privacy in their security settings. Having the students use
should help in this regard. This will also show them sites that they no longer use and these should be deleted.

The next step is to have them check their passwords for each account and make sure they are not using the same one. This avoids having all their accounts compromised. As well, there should be an absolute promise that the materials sent are only to those on a need to know basis. Don’t send out mass mailings. Having a good username that is different for each account is also a help.
When sending pictures don’t send the names of the people in the photo or where it was taken. Those people who don’t know who in is the picture can ask.
Next, have an email for each account. They are free, in most cases, and although they make it more of a burden to handle passwords and user names, they can also serve to help you control what is going out and make it far easier to handle incoming messages as they go to specific accounts. Limit the email accounts to five or six so it is easier to check your messages.

It is important that you understand what cookies are and how they are used by companies. First, they make loading faster, but they also provide a history of where you went and what you were looking for and this information is kept to build a picture of you. This happens regardless of whether or not you are using a privacy setting and is used by most everyone such as YouTube and Google. It is not used by ReachEveryChild, which does not use cookies. Here is a list of search engines that don’t track your use and may be of value as an alternative to the more popular ones.

Indeed, the use of major tracking search engines can also impact your searches as they seek to provide you the information you may want first. It is almost impossible to limit this. This link explains that concept:

It is difficult to avoid this especially as some eduction sites require a log-in. Again, that is why is so unique as no log-in is required. To avoid cookies you can check out this site:

You may also want to download and others such sites to avoid such tracking.
Ultimately, it comes down to self control and making sure the student knows that the Internet can be used as a tool for good and evil. Even the IP address on the computer used can be tracked and so it is valuable that it is made clear that the simple act of placing a message and/or photo on the worldwide web could be used by potential employers and others to get a profile that may not be flattering and those who have ulterior motives may also be lurking.
The bottom line is make sure that all sites that are used and all messages are sent with caution and if you are using the Internet for searches.
Videos that explains the concept

Student/Parent education sites

Places where you can check some of your leavings
Don’t be surprised.

A lesson on digital footprints
Very complete

Statistics on digital footprints
Very important to show how few people actually check.

A large link site

Apps that protect students for schools and parents
by Alan Haskvitz

The Internet is both a blessing and a curse depending on its usage. The problem is that teachers/parents can’t always be there when the decision between the good and evil sites and messages are being utilized. With that in mind here are a list of some of those sites that provide this service. Some have a charge and others are free. The partial list below provides insights into what is available, but is no means complete. However, these might be a good starting point. Prices range from free to over $12 a month, depending on the type of coverage you want for your family. Always check to see if these sites cover both cell phone, tablet, and home use. Some sites can use GPS tracking and other services such as blocking of callers. Take your time reviewing each of these and always check the contract carefully. Teachers should also ask the technology department what blockers they use. Remember that students may be able to access the school server with their cell phones which can eat up bandwidth, especially if they are downloading large files. Please note that this list is just for information and is not meant to convey our approval and that prices can vary.

Covenant Eyes
Internet Accountability  tracks websites you visit on your computers, smart phones, and tablets, and sends them in an easy-to-read report to someone you trust.

Amber Safety
To provide parents with state-of-the-art, easy-to-use tools that help them protect their kids from threats online, at home, at school or anywhere they might go.

Phone Sheriff
PhoneSheriff allows the blocking of certain functions of the phone or tablet at certain times of each day. “For example you can tell the software to lock the phone or tablet every night at 8:00 pm until 8:00 am or whatever hours you choose. On smartphones you can choose to lock the entire phone or you can lock just the ability to make calls while the other functions of the phone remain operable.”

Open DNS
OpenDNS has parental controls that empower parents to manage Web access across every device that accesses the Internet on your home network. This includes phones and computers that your kids’ friends bring into the house and more.

App Certain
This service is free and includes features such as a remote curfew mode as well as an analysis of apps.

Norton Family Parental Control
This is a $50 service that enables you to check what kids are doing online, sets limits of computer time, and can monitor mobile devise activity and more. Check for a free version.

K-9 Browser
K9 Web Protection is a free Internet filter and parental control software for your home Windows or Mac computer. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids. .

Mobile Watchdog
Mobile Watchdog monitors cell phone activity on Android devices — text messaging, application use, and browsing use. The app may be capable of sending usage emails.

This site has several packages and a variety of safety features. It monitors contacts with friends, pictures and posts on social networks.

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Twitter in the Classroom

It is difficult at best to keep up with the latest in technology let alone find an acceptable use for it in the classroom. Add to that school policy on cell phones, Internet blocking software, and the epidemic of text messaging and teachers are doing well to hold their own.

Now comes Twittering. This is essentially text messaging limited to 140 characters and it is can be sent as broadcast messaging and Instant Messaging to one person or several. Twittering can be limited to friends or as a subscription. However, its importance in the classroom, if allowed, is its potential to motivate students to share ideas and to even improve their note taking abilities.

First, you need to register your name. Try for a video and more information. You can also practice on that site and you can follow others who can provide ideas and guidance. I suggest you make your Twitter stream private, there is no need for it to be on the Internet. This also makes it mush safer for classroom use where you can communicate with your students and answer questions in nearly real time, if you have the time.

Remembering that Twitter is like Post It Notes, quick and to the point, and not email, which is more formal and has many more functions. Twitter is fast, and if you want to get more involved there are hashtags, a Twitter search engine and Retweeting.

To start to use Twitter students must sign-up for your Twitter feed and you obviously need to budget time to answer the Twits you receive. After that I recommend you start small and expand as your time and interests permit. Remember to make sure you have administrative and parental approvals.

Here are some ideas I have come up with for the public school classes. First, a quick review of what was covered and what is going to be covered in class that day or the next. Secondly, a few quick review questions and some good websites to add depth to a lesson. Thirdly, privately seeking questions from students who don’t have the moxy to ask in class. Next, the ability to quickly relate what is happening in the news to the class and make teachable moments more meaningful and more personal. And, Twitter can also be used to share ideas, help absent students keep up with work, and provide homework assistance.

What may be the greatest use of Twitter is the networking possibilities with students around the world. For example, while your class is studying Japan’s involvement in World War Two students in Japan could be sending messages about their perspective. As the visionary Marshall McLuhan envisioned, Twitter makes possible an immediate Global Village.

The possibilities are vast, but remember that some students may have to pay a fee for such text messages and so check before hand and always make Twittering an elective. Of course, students can set their Twitter so all messages come as emails, which is the only way to really avoid these charges, but this does remove some of the immediacy of the Twitter concept.

There are some ideas posted here that are used by a professor in Texas that might key some ideas for the public school classroom.

Obviously, there are down sides and caveats to using Twitter in the classroom and all such ideas need to be supported by the administration. But there are upsides as well. Imagine the students following President Obama’s by subscribing to his Tweets or getting Tweets from students who are under duress around the world.

As a teacher you can also use Twitter search to find other educators and learn about conferences, ideas, and even share lessons and concerns.
Other areas to explore include edmodo. This service enables teachers and students to send files, links, and even assignments to each other. Teachers sign-up for an account and create a class code. Students sign-up and the messages are held to just those in the loop. A great tool for ESL and gifted students and others who need a differentiated curriculum.

Twitter in the Classroom (University)


Twitter in the Classroom

Some insights into how Twitter can help you as a person.

A little vague, but stretches the reach of Twitter and helps one understand the value of such a program outside the educational realm.

21 Ways to use Twitter in the Classroom

Seven Things You Should Know about Twitter

Huge listing of free technology links

Teach with Computer Games

Clean up your computer

Free virus software

Free software for Teachers

Protecting your students and yourself on the Internet

Other technology resources

Educational Software

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