I have to admit, the sole reason this blog jumped out at me was because the title of the blog, Langwitches, reminded me of Me First, a picture book by Helen Lester, that includes a Sandwitch (a witch that lives in the sand…). This blog not only has a catchy title, but it has a wealth of knowledge for the common teacher. Langwitches was created by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, of the many credentials she holds, being a 21st Century Learning Specialist is ideal for creating an educational tech blog.
Langwitches is a comprehensive blog that allows the teacher librarian, or teacher, to learn about new teachnology for their classroom. I noted many new things I have learned through browsing this blog, such as Screencasting, Creating Infopraphics, and How to Create Your Own E-book. I really enjoy how the step by step directions are easy to follow and comprehend. Not only that, but Ms. Tolisano reviews programs related to each topic and notes what she likes and does not like about each. This type of reviewing is my favorite, it makes me feel as though I am on Amazon ready to purchase an item, allowing me to save time on researching the product!
As a teacher, I can see myself readily using this blog to quickly grab new, free, resources to help create a more motivating lesson for my first graders. I love how teacher friendly this blog is, even a novice, technological impaired teacher could learn something new from this blog!
Langwitches is a resource for the teacher librarian as well. I found that there were many blog posts and Scribd’s that implemented collaboration between Ms. Tolisano and her fellow teachers. Ms. Tolisano includes a 21st Centruty Skills Literacies Fluency Scribd that educates the teacher librarian on what it means to be an effective collaborator in this technologically advanced world. One of my favorite blog posts that samples the many collaboration projects she has created was the 1st Graders Create Their Own Read Along Audio Book.
This blog is definitely a favorite of mine now that I have been introduced!
Another blog that caught my attention right away (I love it!) is iLearn Technology. As a first grade teacher, it only takes the home page to entice me. As I entered this blog I was greeted by a screen shot of digital base ten blocks… “I must read more” is my only thought! Kelly Tenkely is the creater of the iLearn Technology blog and she knows how to grab a teachers attention! Ms. Tenkely was a former educator herself, so perhaps this is why she is so good at what she does…she gets “us teachers!”
While browsing through this blog, I could not help thing that Ms. Tenkely audience in mind is the classroom teacher. It feels as though she is talking to us, giving us wonderful, free resources to enhance lessons by using technology. Children’s Books Forever is a blog post that displays a free site that display’s children’s books online (www.childrensbooksforever.com). This blog was immediately book marked and will be shared with my fellow teachers! While looking at this blog, I noticed that below the title, there were highlighted, key words, such as “primary.” By clicking this key word, it took be to all the blogs posted by Ms. Tenkely that related to the primary grades. I LOVE this feature because it allows teachers to quickly find ideas specific to their grade/students level.
iLearn Technology blogs the vast amount of resources out there for teachers and teacher librarians. Ms. Tenkely knows her curriculum and what may appeal to teachers as well. Math Pickle is an example of this. Not only does this blog host a cool math website, but Ms. Tenkely introduces ways you can incorporate this site into your classroom.
As a collaboration tool, iLearn Technology is a blog that should be book marked by all teacher librarians. Visiting this blog will allow the teacher librarian to see what is new out in the web world. It is a blog that is meant to save educator’s time. If a neat source is posted, the teacher librarian can take this information and pass it along to her fellow teachers. Sharing resources found is not true collaboration, but it does open the communication doors between teacher and librarian!
Creating Lifelong Learners is a simply formatted blog created by Matthew Needleman. Mr. Needleman describes himself as a “K-5 educator, literacy coach, Apple Distinguished Educator, and author of his blog.” Does this mean he is a teacher librarian?! Mr. Needleman also creates applications, which can be purchased, to improve literacy (Reading Remedies for iPhone and iPad).
If you are teacher that has no time, but needs fresh ideas, Creating Lifelong Learners blog takes the website search to a new level. Mr. Needleman compiles ready to use resources within his blog, some of which can be found on the “home” page (i.e.- First Day of School Activities). This blog also incorporates new found information that holds important information that may affect students and/or teachers (What Value Do Teachers Add to the Classroom?).
This is a solid, educational blog, but not one of my favorites, from a teacher perspective. While Mr. Needleman does the brunt work for you in posting neat sites/programs to visit and information to know, navigating the site is tricky. Inaccurate search keywords adds a dent to this blog as well. Teachers need quick, to the point, researched tools to use in the classroom. We do not have time to read “fluff!”
As a collaboration tool, this blog can be utilized as an information site for teacher librarians. While this blog holds some wonderful resources, as a teacher librarian I would not send my fellow teachers to this blog, but instead mark it for myself to read every once in a while and note reliable sources that could be used in the curriculum for collaborative units.