The time has finally arrived for the students to explore Genius Hour! After viewing a selection of sample Genius Hour projects, the students then began brainstorming for their own. I then took a moment to model how I would brainstorm and use that to create not only my driving question that I would be researching but also my Genius Hour Proposal.
The students then had the rest of class to work on brainstorming their possible Genius Hour topics.
- Read for 30 minutes.
- Finish brainstorming Genius Hour topic options.
The seemingly all-knowing internet is overflowing with fantastic (and not-so-fantastic) pages, bookmarks, images, articles, and various other resources that can entertain/disgust/inform/enlighten/enrage any web user. Of course, we’ll only occupy ourselves with the most positive of this sort. What, though, should you do to keen track of all of those interesting links, articles, sites, etc.? Bookmark it! Over the past year I have found myself almost speed-reading articles from information-collecting apps like Flipboard, Zite, and even the now-defunct Google Reader (Flipboard miraculously saved my feed when Google Reader was deactivated in July of last year so I still get updates). As soon as a read an article, I usually move on to the next one, but for those that strike a special chord, I bookmark it. Bookmarking websites, apps, and resources abound. Below, I will share a brief summary and review three such sites I have personally grown to love. Pocket Pocket will go with you everywhere. There is an app for your phone (both Android and iOS), tablet, and even your browser so that no matter where you surf the web, you can save it to read later. The web app (I use the version on Google Chrome) allows you to tag your bookmarked pages for future reference. Once you step into the app to retrieve what you have saved, each link is presented in either a list format or in picture tiles (my favorite). Most bookmarking services, like Google Bookmarks which I will discuss later, do not have that option. I LOVE this app and use it multiple times daily to catalog articles, videos, websites, and other resources for both personal and professional reference. Plus, once I’m done with a link, I can archive it to clean up my Pocket queue, while still having access to it. As a side note, Pocket now allows you to link up with other Pocket users to share links directly with each other (much like an instant messenger for links). Google Bookmarks This is a fantastic choice if you are a part of the Google ecosystem (i.e. you have a gmail account, android phone, etc.). Just simply enter the URL of the site you wish to bookmark along with any relevant tags to categorize your links and save away. Like most Google products, Google Bookmarks is simple to use, and very simple in design. At the end of the day, if you need a frills-free way of storing important links, Google Bookmarks will be a great choice. Symbaloo I have only just now started working with this resource but it is the most perfectly-suited web application for sharing a collection of links than any of the other two above. While Pocket links can be shared with other Pocket users, your collection of links generally stays private. This is also the case with Google Bookmarks, however you can choose to have your links easily viewable to anyone on the internet. As an educator, Symbaloo provides the happiest of mediums. By organizing pages they call “webmixes” according to subjects or themes, you are provided with a link that you can share with anyone. This link directly transports anyone with access to it to your webmix without them having to have a Symbaloo account. Furthermore, with regard to collecting the links, Symbaloo allows you to search the galleries of other people’s webmixes and save those findings to your own. That said, Symbaloo can be used outside the realm of education as well, so you can let your creativity guide you there!
In a recent article in the SFGate, one Texas public library is in the spotlight for what it does not have: books. Apparently taking a cue from the many Apple stores nationwide, the library employees wear a standard, casual uniform as they assist people with the iPads or Mac desktops within the space. This certainly begs the question, is this really the future? Will books eventually become completely obsolete? Only time will tell…
Texas library offers glimpse of bookless future – SFGate