In today’s world of rapidly evolving gadgets and changing media, for it’s easy for educators — tasked with equipping the next generation with the skills they’ll need to succeed as adults — to feel daunted by the prospect of keeping up with technology. Here are 10 great resources for teachers with help for everything from staying informed to crafting lesson plans.
1. eSchoolNews (http://www.eschoolnews.com/)
eSchoolNews tracks research and news about technology as it impacts educations. The site also links to resources and funding opportunities.
2. PBS Teachers (http://www.pbs.org/teachers/)
PBS Teachers is a trove of teaching resources and program information for PreK-12 educators. Teachers can also take advantage of PBS’ online professional development opportunities and discuss with other teachers in the site’s forums.
3. ARSU Curriculum Resources (https://sites.google.com/a/students.arsu.org/arsu-curriculum-resources/home)
This collaborative site collects links to everything from resources for grade levels K-12, to information about SMART Boards and iPhone apps, to free software downloads. Of special interest is a page devoted to “Web 2.0 for All,” which includes a list, links and descriptions of various Web 2.0 technologies that can be useful in the classroom.
4. Tech Toolkit (http://apcoker.edublogs.org/)
This site was developed by an instructional technology coach for a Georgia school system to share tools and tips with educators and parents alike. The site draws attention to curriculum resources, IWB resources and Web 2.0 tools.
5. High School Journalism Initiative (http://www.hsj.org/index.cfm)
The High School Journalism Initiative aims to be “the go-to scholastic journalism site on the Web for students, their teachers and advisers, guidance counselors and professional journalists.” The site offers everything from news literacy kits and resources to assess source credibility, to free web hosting solutions for student journalists.
6. CED in the History of Media Technology (http://www.cedmagic.com/history/)
This project is a pictorial timeline of changing media — particularly video — technologies. Pictures, descriptions and links to more information about the technology are provided.
7. Internet Archive WayBack Machine (http://web.archive.org/)
The WayBack Machine can be a fun illustrative tool to demonstrate the history of the Internet for students. Enter a site’s URL and select from the dates the WayBack Machine turns up. The picture above shows the New York Times’ home page for Nov. 12, 1996, the first available date WayBack has for the Times.
8. PBS’ MediaShift (http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/)
Another PBS project, MediaShift, examines the digital media revolution in terms of the impact on various aspects of society. The section devoted to digital media and education addresses issues affecting educators from PreK to higher ed. An article dated April 21, 2011, 5 Great Media Literacy Programs and How to Assess Their Impact, addresses and provides links for various media literacy and citizenship initiatives.
9. Common Sense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org/)
Common Sense Media attempts to approach media with a dash of sensibility. The non-profit’s mission is to improve “the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.” The site includes reviews of music, games, websites, TV shows, movies and books, as well as sections for parent advice and educators. The educators’ section includes a new Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum.
10. Don’t Touch that Dial! (http://www.slate.com/id/2244198/)
This intriguing article from Slate’s Vaughan Bell addresses a “history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook.” It’s a fascinating perspective that may serve for personal research or class illustration.