The WWW is Back in a New Format!

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  Long-time readers of this blog will remember the WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website), an idea I came up with back in 2010 as a way to share a weekly internet resource with my teachers.  Each Wednesday I sent out an email featuring a relevant website, with an explanation of how to use it and suggestions for integrating it in the classroom.  A few years later I changed schools and I stopped sending out the WWW, but I’ve always thought it was one of my better ideas.  So ten years later, in today’s world of pandemic learning, I thought the time was right to bring it back.

This time around I’m expanding the scope of the WWW from a single site sent in an email, to a weekly newsletter of resources for teachers to use themselves and/or share with their students.  Content will include websites for students to use independently, free tech tools for teachers, information about seasonal or timely events, tips and tricks to enhance virtual/hybrid learning, links to activities and lesson plan ideas, articles and blog posts about teaching, and self-care resources.  What better tool to curate such a collection than Wakelet?

  I’ve been a fan since Wakelet burst onto the scene a few years ago because of the way it integrates so successfully with Twitter.  I get daily professional development on Twitter courtesy of the people I follow there, and Wakelet provides an easy way to save and organize the tweets I want future access to.  My respect for the Wakelet support team has grown as I’ve watched how responsive they are to feedback from educators, and the number of new features they continue to add is astonishing — especially when you consider there are no fees of any kind for users!

So, today I shared the first issue of the WWW Newsletter with my teachers via email, and with the world on Twitter.  I’ve made it Public and set it to Copy, so feel free to use it and re-mix it and share it yourself.  I’ve embedded it for reading below, and you can click this link to save and copy it.

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The WWW is Back!

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One of the ways I’ve shared technology with my teachers in the past is to email them a WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) to share an online resource that might be useful in the classroom.  Starting today I’m resuming those emails, and I’ll be sharing the sites here as well.  I’ve also created an archive of all the sites I’ve shared so far so that teachers can find a particular website without having to search through a list of emails.

Today’s WWW is…

discuskids    DISCUS Kids

The South Carolina State Library provides access to $2.2 million worth of research, reference, and learning resources for students in our state via the DISCUS website.
These resources include:

  • Britannica Elementary (general encyclopedia)
  • BrainPop Jr.  (early elementary lessons and online activities)
  • CultureGrams (social studies resources)
  • Kids InfoBits  (general encyclopedia, with magazine and newspaper articles)
  • NovelList K-8 Plus  (fiction and nonfiction book recommendations)
  • Searchasaurus  (kid-friendly search engine)
  • Biography in Context (biographical information, including photos and videos)

If you don’t live in South Carolina, I’m sorry to say that you can’t access these databases.  If you do live in South Carolina, I hope you’ll take advantage of them!

Discus Kids   http://scdiscus.org/discus-kids

 

 

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Netvibes to the Rescue!

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I know lots of folks are upset about losing Google Reader as a resource for managing their RSS feeds.  If you’re looking for a replacement, you might want to consider using Netvibes.  This free service has been described as a personalized start page, and it helps you organize all your web content in one place.

I’ve been using it for about four years, mainly to manage my blog feeds, but it can do so much more.  Because Netvibes allows you to add widgets and html coding to your pages, you can embed text, photos, videos, live websites and/or thumbnail links, Flickr streams, etc.  I can check the weather, check things off my To-Do list, and check my blog stats using a Google Analytics module.  I can even read and send Tweets via my Twitter widget at school, where Twitter is blocked.  (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!)

Take a look at my public page (Keeping An Eye On…) to get an idea of how it works.  If your district blocks shortened links like mine does, you can click here instead.

I also use Netvibes to archive the websites I’ve shared as part of my WWW program, which I wrote about in a previous blog post.  WWW stands for Weekly Wednesday Website, and I used it in the past to share a new site each week with my faculty.  (Now that I have a flexible schedule, I can work more closely with teachers to recommend sites and tools one on one, so I no longer send out those blanket weekly emails.  I do still add sites to the Netvibes archive, though, for the convenience of my teachers.)

If you think you’d like to make the switch from Google Reader to Netvibes, they’re making it easy for you.  From the Netvibes blog:

As you may have heard, Google has decided to shut down its Reader service on July the 1st. Good news: you don’t need to look for an alternative, Netvibes is the perfect home for all your RSS feeds, and more. Judging by the increase in traffic since the announcement, it’s safe to say that most of you have already make the move, and we’re grateful for that. And if you haven’t done it yet, here’s how you can easily join our community.

It goes on to provide step-by-step instructions for importing your feeds from other services so that you won’t have to start over from scratch.  Apparently a lot of people are making the switch, because there’s a banner across the top of the site today that reads: If you’re experiencing slowdowns or feed latency, please bear with us as we work hard to handle a huge amount of new users. Thank you for your patience.

Whether you choose to use Netvibes or another service, I wish you all good luck on finding a new RSS manager!

 

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WWW – PBS Learning Media

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This Week’s WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) is…..

PBS Learning Media provides access to thousands of digital resources, including videos and interactives that work great on an interactive whiteboard, audio clips, photos, and even lesson plans (which include handouts, scoring rubrics, and Common Core Standards!) for grades k-12.

The site is searchable by grade level, subject, and resource type, and when you register and login required after 3 resource views) you can save your favorite resources.  Use the Help Guide, or just jump right in!

 

 As always, a link to this week’s WWW is posted at http://www.netvibes.com/weeklyweb, along with all of the previous WWW websites.
 
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WWW – Sparky the Fire Dog

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This Week’s WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) is….

Sparky the Fire Dog!

 

If you are looking for a resource for Fire Prevention Week to use with your students, Let Sparky help!  You’ll find activities, downloads, and short videos at this kid-friendly website.  Kids can also explore a fire truck, learn about smoke alarms, and visit the Sparky museum.  The Parent Section includes additional resources, such as Halloween safety tips, sleepover safety tips, and more.

 

 As always, a link to this week’s WWW is posted at http://www.netvibes.com/weeklyweb, along with all of the previous WWW websites.
 
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WWW – DropBox

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This Week’s WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) is….DropBox!

DropBox is a free web tool that allows you to store your photos and videos online so that you have access to them from any computer anywhere! 

When you download Dropbox to your computer, you can drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste your photos and videos into your Dropbox file. 

You can also login to your Dropbox account from any computer or mobile device and view or upload photos and videos online. 

One of the best features of Dropbox is that you can create multiple folders to organize your content, and you can share those individual folders with friends, family, and colleagues.  Your invited guests can not only view your photos, they can also add their own, which will immediately be available to all other invited users!  Great for collaborating on projects!

Get more information from the Help CenterTake a Tour, or download now!

 

As always, a link to this week’s WWW is posted at http://www.netvibes.com/weeklyweb, along with all of the previous WWW websites.

 

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WWW – We Give Books

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This Week’s WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) is…

We Give Books

 

 

 

 We Give Books is a website that allows you to read books online for free!   This amazing website has 150 books available to read right on your computer! 

And to make it even better, each time you read one of these eBooks, the Pearson Foundation will donate a book to a charity that provides free books for needy kids!

You’ll find some of your favorite picture book characters here, like Skippyjon Jones, Corduroy, Spot, and Ladybug Girl.  There are also some non-fiction books to enjoy about big cats, caterpillars and butterflies, volcanoes, tornadoes, animal families, and more.

BONUS:  This year’s Read for the Record book is Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, and you can read it online at the We Give Books website.  More than 2 million people will be reading to children on October 6 in order to draw attention to the need for quality early education.  I hope you will take the pledge to share Llama Llama Red Pajama with your students on October 6! 

p.s. You will find lots of additional resources at the Llama Llama Red Pajama website!

 

As always, a link to this website is posted at http://www.netvibes.com/weeklyweb, along with all of the previous WWW websites.

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