Create and share story time and read-aloud videos

In order to encourage reading and classroom read-aloud experiences, and to support schools and public libraries forced to close by the escalating COVID-19 outbreak, Penguin Random House is permitting teachers, librarians and booksellers to create and share story time and read-aloud videos and live events, according to the following guidelines:

For Teachers and Educators providing distance learning to students in a virtual classroom setting:

  • Story time or classroom read-aloud videos in which a Penguin Random House book is read aloud and the book is displayed (for picture books) may be created and posted to closed educational platforms such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Edmodo and Discovery Education, in order to replicate the read-aloud book experience that would otherwise be available to educators in the classroom.
  • If a Teacher or Educator plans to share a story time video by recording a video, uploading it to a YouTube channel, and posting a link to that YouTube video inside a closed educational platform, that YouTube video must be designated as “Unlisted” (not “Public”) when uploading. See screenshot for how to choose “Unlisted” while uploading on YouTube.
  • These story time and classroom read-aloud videos may be hosted on the educational platform and/or YouTube (as an “Unlisted” file) until the end of the current school year, after which we request that they be removed from the educational platform and/or from YouTube, unless this permission is extended for the next school semester.

For Booksellers and Librarians who wish to provide a story time reading or other read-aloud experience to young people who would otherwise visit the library or bookstore in person:…Read More

Edmodo Envoys program connects local communities of educators through TeachUps

Education network Edmodo has launched its latest professional development program for teachers, Edmodo Envoys. The program is designed to help teachers find and network with one another at the local level and support each others’ professional development efforts.

Edmodo Envoys participate by hosting a TeachUp in their local area, with support and promotion from Edmodo. Tapping into Edmodo’s vast network of 67 million users, Edmodo Envoys can meet and exchange ideas with educators in their communities whom they might not otherwise have met.

TeachUps are meetups for teachers, counselors, administrators and technology leaders designed to foster a strong community of educators in local communities. Types of TeachUps being held around the world include everything from meet-and-greets for new teachers in the area to roundtable discussions around common topics of interest, such as how to make the most of technology in the classroom.…Read More

How safe is my student data?

Ed tech companies are not immune to hackers and vulnerabilities. But schools can protect themselves

data-safetyA few years ago I was attending a meeting at my county office, where a vendor who runs a popular education site was making a presentation. If I’m being honest, I’ll admit I wasn’t paying close attention. It was a product our district was already using, and I was our top level administrator for my district’s domain on the site. Stifling a yawn or two, I started to do what any bored student would do—see if I could break stuff.

Eventually, I happened upon an exploit by chance. I was working both in my district’s instance (the domain and accounts registered for our schools) as well as the one the county office set up for this presentation. Sometimes when I signed out of one, it signed me out of the other as well.

I signed into my district as the top-level admin, and then redirected to the county site by simply changing the URL. In doing so I gained top level privileges to the county’s instance, too, which should have been reserved exclusively for the vendor reps making the presentation. I raised my hand and asked, “Do you know someone can gain higher privileges than they should have?”…Read More

Social learning networks promote student engagement, global awareness

When students engage with other classrooms around the world, their effort is ‘through the roof.’

Think about it … what do kids want? What do you want? How about the chance to be masters of tasks, have lives with purpose, and have the choice of when, where, and how when it comes to engagement in learning and teaching?

The classroom is no longer a physical place. Perhaps it never has been. Learning is experiential and it occurs, usually not on schedule, but 24 hours a day. What does this mean in an age of Common Core standards and high-stakes testing? The Common Core standards seem to fit well with students’ need for critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills. I doubt that the high-stakes testing philosophy fits well at all. As a teacher, I can’t help but ask if it even fits anywhere!

One of the goals of a social studies curriculum is to ensure that students are aware of different cultures and geographies—including how these are similar to or different from their own. Social learning communities make this easy. They offer a window to the world.…Read More

‘Safe’ social networking tailored for K-12 schools

Students are having conversations with celebrated figures, as well as each other and their teacher, using the social-networking site Edmodo, which is designed specifically for use in schools, Education Week reports. “It makes learning more interactive” Mr. Miller said. “It’s a way to extend the classroom after hours, but I’m also using it to present lessons.”

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…Read More

Edmodo: A free, secure social networking site for schools

Edmodo doesn't require any student eMails or information to register.

Teachers seeking online communication and collaboration opportunities with students and other educators have another free resource at their disposal: Edmodo, an education-based social networking site.

The social learning network for teachers, students, schools, and districts offers free classroom communication for teachers, students, and administrators on a secure social network. Professional development for teachers is another component.

Teachers and students can post classroom materials, share links and videos, and access homework, grades, and school notices within Edmodo, which stores and shares all forms of digital content—including blogs, links, pictures, video, documents, and presentations.…Read More