Thursday, March 3, 2011

Better Lesson

Better Lesson is a site for teachers to upload, share, download, and use lessons and activities that other teachers have used in their classroom and have had success with.  Setting up an account is as easy as supplying an email address and then getting a verification to set up an account.  When you create an account, you provide your name and password and then choose the grade level and subject matter that you are interested in.

Once you have created an account you can find lesson plans, classroom materials, and instructional resources from high-performing teachers.  Through Better Lesson you will be able to browse through a wide array of documents, presentations, full lessons, and even complete units and courses.  Share your curriculum and then connect with teachers from all over the world.  Through your profile page you will be able to browse through educators, resources, and networks.

Better Lesson seems very promising for creating a Lesson Plan Social Network for Teachers.  See the video below for more information.

An Introduction to BetterLesson from BetterLesson on Vimeo.

Synchtube





Synchtube allows you to instantly create public and private rooms where you can synchronize YouTube and Vimeo music and videos with up to 50 people. Everyone views the same video at the exact same time!  For schools that are a 1:1 program or classrooms where every student has a computer, this site would be beneficial to allow students to watch a video without having to look towards the front of the room. 

Synchtube is simple to use.  You click on the Create Room button and you are provided an area to copy and paste the video URL.  What is great about this part of the site is that it allows you to copy and paste multiple video URL's, therefore, creating a playlist of videos for students to watch.  Synchtube automatically provides an easy to share URL.  There is also a chat area which provides a way to backchannel and allow students to discuss the video as they are watching it. 

For each "room" that you create you can determine whether it is a private room or a public room and also provide a welcome message.  This would be a good place to have your lesson objective or "I Can" statement so that students know what to look for in the video and know what they need to be prepared to discuss.
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