Posted on : 30-07-2009 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Classroom Management
From typing web addresses incorrectly to searching through a sea of bookmarks, using online resources in the classroom on a daily basis can quickly become difficult to manage. Use these five classroom management tips to keep your interactive content organized and easily accessible.
1. Although not a financial option for every school, the easiest solution to find interactive content and keep it organized is to subscribe to an interactive content company like StarrMatica. StarrMatica provides you with access to over 570 original Flash interactive animations, manipulatives, activities, and games in addition to organizing and categorizing over 3200 interactive content web links. This service makes finding interactive content a breeze with an easy to navigate organizational structure and a state standards search feature. Best of all, StarrMatica only includes ad-free sites and checks to be sure the links are always active. Interactive content can also be accessed by students at home. All of the sites mentioned in the Interactive Content Corner can be found on StarrMatica.
2. Giving students a piece of paper with a web address and telling them to type it in their browsers correctly is an unrealistic expectation. If you would like individual students to be able to access interactive content in the computer lab or from their home computers, provide a link on your classroom website. Don’t have a classroom website? Try creating a wiki or ask the school web page designer if there is a location they could post a link for you.
3. Once you have found a website you like, hold on to it by bookmarking the site. But, don’t get bookmark happy and bookmark all of your favorite sites without setting up an organizational system in your Favorites. Create folders in your browser Favorites to organize the sites you will be bookmarking. Creating folders is usually accomplished by choosing the Organize Favorites option on the Favorites drop down in your browser. If you already have sites bookmarked in a long list, don’t worry. You can also use the Organize Favorites option to place already bookmarked sites in newly created folders.
On my computer, I organized my favorites by subject and topic. I had a subject folder titled Math. In that folder were topic folders titled: Fractions, Place Value, Tables and Graphs, etc. Inside each topic folder were my favorite links. You could even organize the links within your topic folders further by creating folders for instructional animations, virtual manipulatives, practice activities, and games.
Instead of leaving the bookmark title as the web address, consider renaming your links using the Organize Favorites feature. Name weblinks something that will help you and your students easily identify them in the future. For example, you may name a site that lets students create their own graphs, Create Your Own Graph. An activity that asks students to create numbers utilizing their knowledge of Place Value could be named: Practice Creating Numbers Using Place Value. Or name an activity using its name on the website such as Mystery Numbers or Molly’s Island Data.
4. If a site is being used on a single computer where it has been bookmarked, as may be the case for a learning station, you can let your students know which site to use by writing directions to its location on a sticky note stuck to the side of the computer. This is easier if you have named your links in your favorites rather than letting the default web address show. For my students, a sticky note would say:
· Open Internet Explorer
· Click Favorites
· Highlight the Math Folder
· Highlight the Place Value Folder
· Click Mystery Numbers
5. If you are in a hurry or don’t want students searching through your favorites, copy and paste the web address into a word processing document, save the file, and leave it open on the computer. Then, hyperlink the address or teach the students how to access a website from your word processor. For example, in Microsoft Word, you hold down the Control Key and click on the address.