A Review of SimpleK12 Resources for Educators, Integrating tech

(All images from the http://www.simplek12.com site.)

SimpleK12, located at http://www.simplek12.com/, is a professional development site for educators specifically designed to integrate technology into the curriculum.  The website provides two services: one is the Teacher Learning Community and the other is a guide for integrating technology into specific student curricula.

Teacher Learning Community

The Teacher Learning Community is a membership available for teachers just like you who know integrating the latest educational tips and techniques in the classroom will engage their students and increase academic achievement. When you join, you’ll get immediate access to a global network of educators with whom you can share and collaborate, live and recorded webinars with education leaders, a resource center for sharing classroom documents, as well as a collection of over 500 hours of classroom technology how-to videos available anytime anywhere. It’s all the help and support you’ll ever need from your very own personal learning network (PLN)!

~ From the SimpleK12 website

The Teacher Learning Community is a membership program for interacting with other educators regarding personal experiments and experiences in teaching and utilizing technology in the classroom.  The idea is to stimulate discussion with the website’s resources and augment it with on-the-ground experiences from other teachers.  In the webinars available on the site, you are introduced to the concepts and the intent is to facilitate making yours a competent edtech classroom, successfully integrating tech into your classroom regardless of your own technical prowess–or lack thereof!

homepage 20110328

They bill themselves as relevant, in-touch, professional development.  As you teach history or social studies you can make use of these tools to help facilitate training your students the skills that will be of increasing value in the 21st century.  There is a difference from simply augmenting your instruction with technical tools and building useful skills for your students.  With these tools, aim for both.

Shared Resources search

Add to this the Student Curriculum, and you have some considerable aids to incorporate, including edtech built-in to lesson plans and modules for assessments and grading.

But, there is a catch.  The full membership requires a paid subscription fee of over $200.  That may be prohibitive for some teachers/schools.  This does not mean that the service is completely inaccessible, however, as there is an active blog, toolkits for specific technology, webinars, collaborative online forums and a series of free e-books for a free membership good for many professional development assets–you just can’t do everything.  Even at this level, you can still develop a professional development profile and print out the completion of hours earned through the site.  Despite the price of full membership, the freebies are copious and valuable even without spending the dough.

I encourage educators who are interested in edtech and integrating tech-skill development for their students into their regular classroom activity to pursue the options and see if it is right for you.  Not just classroom teachers, but homeschool teachers can also make use of these tools in home education utilizing the technology they own.  To feel it out, start with the blog: http://blog.simplek12.com/education/top-7-ebooks-for-educators/.

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Filed under Experiencing History - Project Based Learning, Tech tools

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