Are you an analog teacher trying to function in a digital world? Is the professional chatter of your colleagues littered with terms like Smore, Voki, Today’s Meet, Prezi, Popplet, Thinglink, and others? If so, then you are a casualty of a digital divide that exists among the ever-growing number of educators as they attempt to keep up with the flow of resources and information. The demand is on for educators to provide more digital content that allows for the integration of technology, but where does the professional start? A great place to start would be a website aligned to Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.
Created by a Media Coordinator and an Instructional Technology Coordinator this website offers resources from the beginner to the advanced user of digital resources.
Designed with the educator in mind this website looks at the array of digital tools and cross references them to the new Bloom action verbs. The tools were selected based on several criteria. First, they had to be free or at least offer a free version as a minimum package. Second, they had to work within our district’s filtering system. Third, they had to be educationally sound and not littered with inappropriate ads.
Easily navigated, this website provides the experiences associated with each Bloom’s level. Once an educator selects a tool he or she is directed to subsequent page which offers the user a more detailed description of the tool along with additional tools that match the same criteria. In some cases, pdf documents are included that provide directions, additional ideas, student/teacher examples, and additional navigational links. A toolbar on the left allows the user to select a tag such as blogging, podcasting, cartoons, etc. This tag instantly takes the user to the Bloom’s category under which the link is housed.
An added feature of this site offers the educator a twin of the web 2.0 tools aligned to Bloom’s in an iPad app version. By clicking on the Blooming Apps tag the educator is immediately directed to a brand new site that offers the same features of the main page. The apps are laid out in an easy to use format that offers resources at each level of Bloom’s along with a related tag on the left toolbar. The difference in this site is that the icon for each app, when clicked on, takes one directly to itunes for download. For more information about the app, and similar apps, one must navigate to the bottom of that section of Bloom’s and click on the link. Both sites are continuously growing and changing with new tools and apps added on a regular basis.
Click on each photo to link back to each site!
Finally for the educator who wants to create inquiring experiences with their students beyond the first page of a Google hit, there is a dedicated website for research in the digital age. This site provides both the educator and the student with 15 or more unique search engines and a comprehensive collection of fake websites. Along with resources on how to evaluate a website, plagiarism, and copyright resources educators can use the fake websites to teach students how to critically evaluate a site for currency, reliability, accuracy, and purpose.
If teachers want to narrow the digital divide that exists between themselves and many of their students then they need to throw out the old analog methods of teaching and experiment with new tools. Clean out the old paper-stuffed file cabinet of ditto masters and start curating new online tools that meet the same classroom goals but appeal to this new generation of students who interact through a connected learning environment.