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Week 3: Assembling Resources for Review

I wish to thank the one person that has requested to join the Diigo group this last week and I am hopeful that others will join soon, or perhaps you are already a member in our Diigo group, Adult Education Resources.

My hope for us this week is to review what resources are already discovered and tagged in Diigo and what new resources exist. For those of you that are adverse to using Diigo for some reason, you are welcome to throw in ideas here as well, but I would encourage you to some day get into Diigo as it is a powerful tool with many applications (and it's free). 

Let us first quickly review the categories we are looking for: You can find all of these, and their contents on our website

  1. Computer based online testing
  2. Communication - tools that allow composition and sharing with instructor, may include communication tools that are part of a managed learning environment such as found on Moodle, Blackboard, and Scoology.
  3. Learning Resources - resources that can be used in the learning process
  4. Presentations and Expressions of Learning, both teacher and learner presentations
  5. Reading and Writing Learning
  6. Numeracy Learning
  7. Administration for programs and instructors

Categories 1 and 7 have no resources found which may indicate that our group members last year were more focused on classroom learning. Perhaps there are just very few resources available for either category. In our other categories, we have a good number of resources that were not evaluated last year and might be good targets for people to try out this year. 

You have two goals this week: 

1. Many people have been searching for hidden Easter Eggs this last weekend, now it's our turn to find digital Easter Eggs out there hiding. After reviewing the categories and what is there, please offer (either in Diigo group or in this forum) new resources that are not on the lists and may be worth teachers exploring this year. If you have a favorite tool or resource that you don't see on any of the lists, please share that as well and offer what category or categories it may best fit in. If you do use Diigo, please only use the titles in purple in the above list as your tags. For example, if I found a resource that would be great for learners to present what they have learned, my tag would be "Presentations and Expressions of Learning" (include the quotes in your tag or each word becomes a tag which really clutters things up quick). 

2. By the end of the week, it is hoped that you have found at least one or two resources that you might want to explore more, hopefully with students. Please note that you are not expected to dive right into using any of the resources right away, but you are free to explore as you like. It may be nice for everyone to read about what others find interesting. If you could reply to this post with the one or two resources that you feel you would most like to try and why, we may have some good discussion over each other's choices. 

It is fine if you choose a resource others have picked in the group, but it would be most beneficial if you picked resources that were not already evaluated (see the website linked above. Anything with a hyperlink has been evaluated). 

As always, if you have questions please share them here or email me if you wish ( ohgeer@gmail.com). Happy resource hunting everyone!

Comments

Julie Moulton's picture

Greetings!

     I hope that I am using this forum in the way that I am supposed to! I want to tell people about a website that I think is very helpful in several ways. I teach an intermediate ESL class, and my students and I find this tool very easy to work with, full of interesting content, and effective at helping create a clearer picture of students' needs and strengths. The site is the digital version of ReadWorks, a site containing collections of articles and stories about a vast range of topics. The web address is digital.readworks.org. One of the things I really like about this site is that I can assign articles to my whole class or to individuals. This allows me to differentiate by reading level. Since there are often multiple articles at different levels about the same subject, I can usually find something for everyone that applies to the current curriculum content.

Another great feature is that each article has a short quiz at the end, including multiple choice and short answer questions. After a student has finished the quiz, the site corrects the multiple choice questions, but allows the administrator (me) to correct and make comments about short answer questions. The site then makes all corrections and comments available to the student. The site keeps track of all the articles I've assigned, all of the students who have completed the test, and all of the test question results.  

It's extremely easy to search for articles on any topic, the articles are well-written and engaging, and students enjoy using the site. Best of all (for me) is that there is no fee to use the site nor to utilize any of the administrator features. 

As for the appropriate category, I think that either "Communication" or "Reading and Writing Learning" would both work well, as would "Learning Resources," possibly.

I hope some others will try out this website!

Julie Moulton

 

Edward Latham's picture

Thank you for sharing your resource Julie. As I read your post, I immediately was thinking of another tool I use all the time called Newsela. Newsela is a free service that has recent, non fiction news articles written at many different reading levels and has appropriately leveled comprehension quizzes as well. If you have had any experience with Newsela, it would be nice to hear your compare/contrast of the types of reading activities within each. 

Later in the day I got as far as creating an account and I started poking through some of the introduction videos available. I was a bit surprised to see that ReadWorks is a sort of LMS (Learning Management System) and my initial thoughts were that we might be able to include the resource under Learning Resource as well as Reading and Writing Learning maybe? I still have many more videos to dig into to get more of a feel of what is available. 

In terms of using this resource in our bank of tools, I think we  certainly can. It would be interesting to hear from teachers that use this system for a few weeks. 

One thought/concern as I was watching videos. I noticed that when a teacher is making a class, there is the option to choose a grade. This is a bit of an awkward item for Adult Education instructors because our target audience is not the k-12 arena. In fact, most of our students have skills that are currently all over the k-12 curriculum map. Again, I have much more to dig into with this resource, and I am sure those that wish to evaluate it, when we start evaluating in a few weeks, will offer much perspective as to how well or how challenging it is to adapt the system and content to the adult education classrooms. 

Thank you for sharing this resource. If anyone gets time before I do, it would be great to have some help categorizing this tool appropriately. Right now my thoughts are to put it in Learning Resource and possibly in Reading and Writing Learning. I will have more thoughts on this when I get time to play with the tool more this week. I look forward to what others think of categorizing this resource if you get some time to look it over. 

Julie Moulton's picture

Yes, I have used newsela quite a lot, and I do really appreciate the fact that you can choose 5 different levels of complexity for each story. The one advantage I think that ReadWorks Digital has over it, at least for me, is that I can communicate directly with my students online, track and save their progress for free. In order to do that with newsela, I have to purchase a "pro" subscription.

As for the reading activities which accompany the articles, I think that ReadWorks Digital is a bit broader; that is, there are different formats for each article. For example, some articles have 8 multiple choice questions followed by 2 short answer questions, while others may have no multiple choice and 5 short answer questions. Newsela has only 4 multiple choice and one short answer/essay for each article. I appreciate that if you have newsela "pro," you can choose the kind of question you want (or even write your own) for the short answer. I also like that newsela has text sets of 4 articles on a related topic, whereas ReadWorks has paired texts, but not groups of texts.

Yes, I agree that choosing a grade level seems a bit awkward, and newsela does that as well. When I search on ReadWorks, I can search by grade level OR by lexile level. Newsela, as far as I can tell, only allows searches by grade level.

Edward Latham's picture

In case people might have missed it, I have copied our goal from last week below and I offer my response to the two prompts as well to hopefully get people sharing their thoughts:

You have two goals this week: 

1. Many people have been searching for hidden Easter Eggs this last weekend, now it's our turn to find digital Easter Eggs out there hiding. After reviewing the categories and what is there, please offer (either in Diigo group or in this forum) new resources that are not on the lists and may be worth teachers exploring this year. If you have a favorite tool or resource that you don't see on any of the lists, please share that as well and offer what category or categories it may best fit in. If you do use Diigo, please only use the titles in purple in the above list as your tags. For example, if I found a resource that would be great for learners to present what they have learned, my tag would be "Presentations and Expressions of Learning" (include the quotes in your tag or each word becomes a tag which really clutters things up quick). 

2. By the end of the week, it is hoped that you have found at least one or two resources that you might want to explore more, hopefully with students. Please note that you are not expected to dive right into using any of the resources right away, but you are free to explore as you like. It may be nice for everyone to read about what others find interesting. If you could reply to this post with the one or two resources that you feel you would most like to try and why, we may have some good discussion over each other's choices. 

I lumped items 1 and 2 together. I will be entering the following resources into our Diigo this week. I am thinking I would like to explore a few different resources in this project. First on my list is OBS Studio which is a free streaming/recording program that students could use to create their own Youtube posts or stations. It allows for students to Twitch and post to Twitter as well. It is not currently in the Diigo list but I suspect it best falls under the Presentations and Expressions of Learning category. Second, I wish to explore another free tool called Sketchup. This is an online drafting type program that allows students to design or create most anything they can imagine. Best of all, it will export their models into a format  that can be used on the 3d printers I just got access to so the student creations can become real and in 3d! Sketchup is also not in the list, but I am thinking it might fall under the Numeracy Learning category as the learners will constantly working on scale representations, proportions, geometry and so many other applied math skills. Lastly, I wish to explore a resource just shared with me recently that looks to have great promise. The tool is called SeeSaw. On the surface it looks very much like an elementary level tool, but the more I explore the easy to use interface and the ability for non-techies to instantly create videos and share them, the more I think there are many adult education applications that could be tried. Best of all, SeeSaw just announced that their format is now integrating with Google's Suite of tools which sounds like many possibilities are on the horizon for this tool!

David J. Rosen's picture

Ed and others,

I wonder if we need any additional categories for tools. For example, if there are ESL/ESOL/ELL teachers here, perhaps we need an English language learning tools category. I hope everyone will look at the list of categories now at the top of this discussion thread and tell us if you would like to see any additional categories. If so, I would be willing to try to suggest tools to add to some of those new categories.

I see that several people here described themselves in their LINCS profiles as administrators. If you are an administrator, are you also a teacher -- since you will need to test out some of the tools with students? If not, can you get a teacher partner at your program to join us here and to test out the tools?

In any case, I think it would benefit this group to have more adult basic skills (including ESOL/ESL) teachers join us. Whatever your role, can you recruit at least one teacher to join us? The more the better!

Finally, it would help me a lot for everyone to update their LINCS profiles with a description of

  • what program(s) or school(s) you work in
  • what state and city or town it's in
  • what your role is, and, if you are a teacher
  • what you teach and at what level(s).

If you need help if updating your profile, let me know.

Thanks!

David

David J. Rosen, Moderator

Integrating Technology CoP

djrosen123@gmail.com