Posted in Bookmark It!, designing with words, digital learning resources, when to give children email

Wide-ranging Ways to Design With Words

These days multiple word cloud options are available for students and teachers, and designing with words is an easy way for learners to create report illustrations or create graphics with spelling or vocabulary lists.

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-9-23-49-amWord design sites offer users a range of opportunities. Some create conversation bubbles, others form shapes and images, and other word cloud sites evaluate short passages taken from reading material. While word designing is not, strictly speaking, an important 21st Century digital world skill, these websites encourage kids to organize information and create in clever and stylistic ways — activities that were not easily accomplished before web 2.0 arrived on the scene.

Many people are familiar with Wordle – the original word cloud site — that is especially clean, easy-to-use, and without advertising. Yet, as with everything else in the digital world word cloud sites are increasing. Sites building off Wordle’s success offer various options for saving, sharing, copying, and embedding, but no one word cloud site offers everything. Most of the sites below allow users to format with colors, fonts, and typeface sizes.

Check Out These Sites                                                       Continue reading “Wide-ranging Ways to Design With Words”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital devices and gadgets, parents and technology, social networking, when kids make mistakes, when to give children email

Your Brain is the Final Spell Checker!

The process of spell checking is a two-part endeavor, and it’s an important digital world lesson for everyone — kids and adults — to master.

Part one features the work of the computer or website, as the spell check program goes to work. But after the digital spell check process a bigger responsibility lies ahead.

Each time a person writes and rewrites, he or she must spell check the spell checker — an important 21st Century skill. And while a commitment to differentiated instruction requires teachers and parents to recognize that some writers will be better at this second step than others, all students need to understand that the digital editing process cannot identify every mistake.

This poem always makes the point effectively with my students. Use it as a great conversation piece (and also to review homonyms) — over 2012 Easter and Passover dinner tables or any other time.

And if you put the words of this poem into Google search, you’ll discover that there are many other versions.

Human Brain Not Yet Obsolete

I have a spelling checker.

It came with my PC:

It plainly marked four my revue   Continue reading “Your Brain is the Final Spell Checker!”

Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, online security, parents and technology, when to give children email

Giving Kids E-mail this Summer? 5 Tips for Parents

What is the right age for children to get personal e-mail accounts? Most of us discover, usually in hindsight, that a child’s independent e-mail account changes the context of many childhood experiences and complicates our child-rearing concerns.

E-mail connects a child to the world in ways that we parents may want to postpone. Chain mail, spam, the occasional unkind note, crazy stories, and the appearance of strange links — all are experiences that cannot be avoided, even with the best parental monitoring and regular family discussions.  Complicating the situation are the regular and age-appropriate conversations children have with one another, talking about odd and unusual electronic encounters. It’s wise to chat with teachers at your child’s school because they observe digital interactions that are different from what parents see.

Hundreds of digital options — e-mail is only one of them — are available and waiting for your child to discover them, so in the final analysis, you cannot prevent digital access. You can, however, make decisions help you focus on educating your child about digital citizenship.

5  Options to Consider When Your Child Asks for E-mail Continue reading “Giving Kids E-mail this Summer? 5 Tips for Parents”