Tag: curriculum (Page 1 of 2)

Resources for Educational Storytelling

In my quest to equip an army of educational storytellers, I have come across some other revolutionaries and sources or great help. I wanted to share a few of my favorites.



Resources for Educators: Digital Educational Games

Educational gaming is important to me. I believe that any way we can engage students and have those students engage a variety of processes, senses, and intelligences, the learning will be cemented much more effectively.

This is one of my favorite sites for open to use, digital educational games.



Personalized Learning With Richard Culatta

In this TED talk, Richard Culatta speaks about innovative learning and personalized education. It’s truly inspirational and gives some great, practical tips.

Richard Culatta is an internationally recognized leader in educational innovation with experience in k-12, higher education, and workplace learning environments. Culatta is known for his thoughtful approach to bringing new ideas and collaborations to the education ecosystem. Culatta is currently serving as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education and as the Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.

Resources for Educators: Open Educational Material

When at all possible, let others do the work. Yeah, that may sound lazy, but I prefer to think of it as efficient. Truth be told, there is a LOT of quality educational material out there that is free to use. A lot of it is for more advanced users (college courses and the like), but some of it is perfect for any age.

Here are a few of my favorite Open Educational Material sites

Open Stax

This initiative from Rice University provides dozens of best-of-breed college courses free for the public.

MIT Open Courseware

From MIT, another exceptional site. This one includes actual MIT courses that are streamed. You can interact with other students, ask the professor questions, and even do the assignments


Udemy is a commercial site where users upload courses on every topic imaginable. There are a lot of these kinds of sites, but I chose this one to post about because it has high quality standards and a wide variety of courses


The Holy Grail of free online courses from top-of-the-line Universities. Some are always open, others run at the same time as the class on campus. Interact with students and professors and even take a credited route.

What have I missed? Share your favorites in the comments.


Benefits of Multimedia Education

I preach Educational Storytelling and the mixed-media, interactive revolution. But, the two are not separate. In fact, my ultimate goal is to help create a platform for interactive and personalized curriculum design using a multimedia platform.

Just to “test the waters” as it were, I have collected a few “stater” posts and articles about the benefits and use of multimedia in education.

  • Benefits of Using Multimedia in Education is an overview for a graduate level course on multimedia education.
  • This report, “Multimedia Transformation,” examines the many ways multimedia tools are transforming teaching and learning as schools work to raise achievement and prepare students for careers that require increasingly sophisticated uses of technology.
  • The last is a list of software and applications that can be used to create multimedia educational resources. As with everything in technology, the list can be a little outdated, but still valuable.

I will dig deeper into all of these as time goes by. For now, I just wanted to get them out there.

Please add your own to the comments.

10 Sites for Differentiated Instruction

This is a fantastic list of resources for teachers (and everyone else) who wants to start dabbling in Differentiated Instruction and Personalized Learning.

Differentiation, the ability for teachers to meet the needs of a variety of learners, is a key component for successful teaching.  While there are lots of ways this can be done and lots of tools that educators can use to accomplish this, there are many sites that can help facilitate the process. This list is in alphabetical order.

  1. BrainNook – A wonderful site/apps for Math and Language Arts that generates detailed common-core aligned reports allowing educators to set assignments targeting students weak areas  or areas for improvement.
  2. Clever Island – A fantastic site that covers a wide range of subjects: Math, Reading, Science, etc. Also, CI is geared for students to learn at their own pace as well adapt to children’s different learning styles.
  3. Gummii – An innovative site (private alpha)/app for different areas of Math (fractions, addition, subtraction).  Gummi immerses students into a educational 3D world (similar to Minecraft) where they solve mathematical equations tailored to differentiated instruction.

Read the Rest at TechLearning.com

Educational Storytelling: Presentation, Craft, and Learning Profile

This post is part of a series that explores the Basics of Educational Storytelling. Largely taken from my master”™s thesis, The Value and Principles of Educational Storytelling (which can be read here), this I will lay the foundation for an educational storytelling model regardless of setting and medium. We look at the basic elements of storytelling, five guiding principles and educational stories, and practical tips.

Check out the rest of the series.

I’m going to attack two guiding principles of educational storytelling in this post, since they are so related.


It is not enough, simply to tell a story with a good message. Even if all the steps are perfectly executed in a captivating tale where the lesson is wonderfully presented, students do not learn by listening. Students learn by doing. It is important, after the story has concluded, to include segments of practical discussion. Not theoretical analysis of the literature, but truly pragmatic discussion of the lesson. Students must be encouraged to
act on the lessons learned and explore the topic with greater depth.

Learning Profile

A Note on Learning Styles

All people do not learn in the same fashion. This is something that has been known to mankind since the beginning of time. However, in recent years, some more scientific study has been completed that has helped educators understand how different students process information. Theories of multiple intelligences abound. Robert Sternberg broke intelligence into three separate categories: academic, creative, and practical (Berger, 2006).

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(Ten) Innovative Idea Winners of Game-Based Learning

This incredible showcase highlights ten ideas for gamifying learning, both in and outside the classroom. These concepts are not that complex, and most don’t require a huge amount of technical skill, but they can do wonders in keeping students engaged.

Originally from classroom-aid.com

The top 10  innovators were announced and listed here: Meet 10 Innovative Educators Using Game-Based Learning. These ideas could be inspiring for game industry teams, educators or even parents.

  • Journalism : A computer game is envisioned allowing students to travel to historic or imaginary crime scenes and act as reporters or investigators.
  • Science : In an in-flight journey as a young bird following migration routes and discovering ecosystems, habitats, food chains, and life cycles along the way, students must accomplish missions that involve identifying, befriending, and helping the different species of animals and birds in the area.
  • Curriculum APPlications : Students earn points by finding examples of the science learning content within popular interactive games, they create a mini-poster about the connection which can be displayed on one section of the classroom wall “leader board”.
  • Challenge the World : It”™s about opening up “World Math Day” ““ a three-day global competition ““ to more students in more subject areas, the competition would motivate and engage students in learning, while helping to build their understanding of other cultures around the world.

Read the rest here.

Seven Resources for Educational Games

I discuss educational stories a lot, but that story may take many forms. One of the most powerful is through educational games. Here is a simple list of ways to get you started created engaging games for an educational purpose.

Do It Yourself

  1. How to make Art and Craft Games
  2. Make Fun Quizzes and Games
  3. Educational Games on Pintrest
  4. ClassTools: A huge resource of games and curriculum
  5. Sharendipity: makes it possible for students and teachers to quickly create and share simple video games
  6. PurposeGames: free service that allows users to create custom games, share games, and play games
  7. W2L: Thousands of online educational games

More From Free4Teachers.com

Personalized Instruction in the Classroom

This post is part of a mini-series introduction to Individual Differences in Instruction and Storytelling. I lay the groundwork for deeper adventures in Differentiated Instruction, Learning Styles, Personalized Stories, and the like.

Check out the rest of the series.

Now that we have looked at the theories and concepts behind differentiated instruction, let’s see what it looks like in the classroom itself. I am not a classroom teacher, so I will rely on the best. Scholastic Publishers has a fantastic resources for teachers. This article was excerpted from the Scholastic Professional title, Differentiating Reading Instruction, by Laura Robb and can be found at http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/what-differentiated-instruction.

I have taken a few excerpts  to give the gist of the article, but I highly recommend you read the original.

 Step Inside The Classroom

“So what does differentiated reading instruction look like? I invite you to step inside my eighth-grade classroom at the beginning of my reading workshop. After a brief warm-up exercise, and a read aloud for enjoyment, I introduce an essential component of my approach to differentiated reading instruction “” the teaching read aloud. To be certain that I am reaching every student in my class, I use the read aloud to model how I apply reading strategies and to show students how to use questioning, discussion, and writing to build comprehension and new understandings while reading (Beck & McKeown, 1997, 2006; Robb, 2000, 2003). In fact, the read aloud has become the common mentor or teaching text for my students, and a primary teaching tool. In addition, I use it as a catalyst to raise students”™ awareness of issues and to build background knowledge.

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