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Benjamin Darr's Blog – January 2012 Archive (10)

Critical thinking and internet research

Critical thinking has always been tied to the search for answers. In the past, this search involved speaking to respected leaders and reading authoritative books. Now of course, we type in a few key words into our favorite search engine and hope to find the answers. For students, this is often a haphazard affair. It is important, however that they understand how to critically search for good information. I developed a search guide for students to address this issue after I was inspired by…

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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 29, 2012 at 11:04pm — No Comments

External memory

Today I had so much to do I barely had time to stop for lunch. The day started with a long list and then I started to get emails requesting technology help and teaching opportunities.  Without a list, I would have been sunk. I just cannot keep all the information that I need inside my skull. Physical notes are fine, but with the tools Google provides me, I don't even bother.…

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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 26, 2012 at 11:48pm — 1 Comment

An online place for everything

Teachers have a lot of stuff. Never mind all of the posters and popsicle sticks we reuse year after year. I'm thinking more about what we have electronically. From lesson plans to movie clips, there's an awful lot of valuable material on our computers. Should that computer get lost or damaged, all of those wonderful resources will disappear. There is a safe place to keep it all though- or rather safe places. Not…
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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 24, 2012 at 10:21pm — No Comments

Learn anything...really?

There is a flurry of competition in the arena of free online education. Major universities have put classes online for free. There are dozens free books, movies and courses available from…

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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 22, 2012 at 11:16pm — 1 Comment

Searching for lesson materials

As teachers, we search a lot. We go online for a more useful lesson plan, a good picture to go along with our powerpoint or even a quick fact check before a lesson. Even though we're all pretty good at finding what we need, it always seems to take a bit longer than it should to find what we want. It doesn't have to be terribly difficult to get good things fast. Here are my recommendations for getting your hands on quality online material.



Useful lesson plans-…

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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 18, 2012 at 11:47pm — 2 Comments

I, Robot, have a PLN

A PLN is a personal or a professional learning network. Typically, they consist of a group of people who help you learn and grow in whatever it is you do. This covers everything from rock climbing to high school administration. These networks have always consisted of other humans. The internet, though has changed all that in amazing ways. Robots now join in the mix. Please don't start…
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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 14, 2012 at 6:31pm — No Comments

Tech provides more usable time.

One of the reasons teachers use technology is that it saves time and effort. Of course many tools are designed to reduce the time and effort it takes for instructors to produce material. Examples of this include test generators and word processors. Today, though, I want to focus on our students during class time. Unfortunately, students can be left to stare into space as we take time…
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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 12, 2012 at 11:23pm — No Comments

Contributing to digital literacy

Most teachers think about digital literacy on a daily basis even if they don't use those exact words. Instead,  conversations center around the "junk" kids find on the internet. Or maybe they complain about students believing that …
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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 10, 2012 at 9:55am — No Comments

Effects on student writing

Student writing is taking an interesting turn, don't you think? There are currently far more forms of writing than ever before. It ranges from traditional hand writing to the recent social media phenomenon. These writing mediums are all influencing one another in subtle and not so subtle ways. Lets take a quick look at some of what's going on. Contrary to popular opinion, there is …

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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 4, 2012 at 11:08pm — No Comments

On Tradition

From: Teacher's bits and bytes

We do what we have always done because it works. And hey, why reinvent the wheel? Besides, we have so many things we have to get done that it's hard to find time to learn a new way of doing things. The thing is, it turns out that our ways are often inefficient or…
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Added by Benjamin Darr on January 2, 2012 at 11:26pm — No Comments

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