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Infographic creator

Do you love infographics as much as I do?

Have you thought about having your class create some infographics but are not sure where to start?

Easel.ly is a free online space that makes infographic creation easy.

It’s still in beta right now, so there may not be as many bells and whistles as you might like, but it is an engrossing way to spend time presenting information.

http://www.easel.ly/

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David Sanger, Director of  Ed Tech & Library Services here in DPS shared this with us today:

Constitution Day and Election 2012 Classroom Resources

Constitution Day is Monday, September 17, and each school that receives federal funds is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students. (Because September 17 falls on Rosh Hashanah this year when schools may be closed, schools may celebrate Constitution Day this week or the week of September 24.)

To help schools plan their Constitution Day programs, the U.S. Department of Education has compiled some links to free resources. Access a 200-year timeline that shows the Constitution’s influence on U.S. history, primary documents related to the Constitution’s creation, profiles of the delegates who drafted the Constitution, and more.

Educators who are looking for election teaching ideas and resources may want to check out suggestions from the New York Times’s Learning Network. Students have until September 21 to enter an opinion contest focused on the question “How would the presidential campaigns change if the voting age were 13?” Teachers can access an Election 2012 Unit based on this question, a roundup of the best free election-related websites, 10 ideas for teaching the election, and more.

Spicynodes: A visual and interactive option for classroom projects

SpicyNodes is an interactive mind map creator that allows students to explore any topic by clicking on the different information boxes. It took me a minute or two to get it, but the gallery includes an interactive poetry creator that I just loved. This is a tool that will work in any classroom. Check out the gallery to see what I mean.

Pro/Con website

While the Opposing Viewpoints database is still your best source for argument papers, ProCon.org offers a brief list of pros and cons on a number of hot topics, including standardized tests, illegal immigration, and privatization of social security.  Features include a brief overview of the controversy, a timeline, the top ten pros and cons, and a brief back-and-forth over selected core questions.

What sold me on this website, however, is the presidential candidate questionnaire.  Answer a few yes or no questions about hot topics and you will see a graph that shows which candidates agree most closely with you. It’s a great tool for the classroom.

Students and Wikipedia

This article in the Committed Sardine blog is a real thought-provoking addition to the age-old wikipedia discussion…They assert that students who could care less about accuracy in their papers submitted to the teacher are much more concerned about it when submitting to the public domain.  How might this affect your attitude toward Wikipedia in the classroom?