Virtual Learning Days

Information & Resource Roundup

17 February 2016

Guidance and Support

Our first Virtual Learning Day (make-up day) is upon us and I wanted to make sure that all North Attendance District teachers had the district's guidance and were reminded that I am here to support your work on this and any other integration of technology into the curriculum. Please reply to this email to request priority support on Virtual Learning Day lesson preparation. Below you will find a document from the district that includes useful information for preparing your lessons. The document includes tight/loose expectations that help to focus your work.
Important Highlights:

  • Virtual learning lessons/assignments should be a part of the teachers’ regular scope of lesson planning during that unit of instruction and should be modified for virtual learning.
  • The lesson/assignment should: incorporate technology; replicate the assignments/work and growth toward learning targets that would take place during the regular instructional day; be communicated to students (by each teacher) the Monday prior to the official make-up date; be clearly communicated to families.
  • The lesson/assignment should not: solely be a packet of worksheets or consist of random assignments for students to spend time on websites to practice skills.
  • As per IDOE guidance for virtual make-up days, assignments would need to focus on content that would be addressed during the regular school day.

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Blendspace

Blendspace is a terrific tool that allows a teacher to combine all types of digital content and their files to create a lesson.


  • Create digital lessons in 5 minutes
  • Save time by collecting all digital content in one place
  • YouTube, Links, PDFs, PowerPoint, Word Doc, Images, Google Drive, and many more!
  • Achieve learning goals with fun, interactive lessons
  • Monitor student understanding with quizzes and discussions
  • Personalize learning with free interactive lessons
Blendspace by TES Video Tour
h/t: Mike Kelley

Sqworl

One simple tool for sharing multiple web addresses is Sqworl. Sqworl allows a user to quickly and easily create a visual collection of URLs from multiple sites and combine them on one page. Sqworl creates one short URL that brings you to a landing page with all of the sites you are sharing. Below is a screenshot of a Sqworl that I created with multiple research site links. As you can see, a thumbnail and short description of each site is available and each thumbnail is a link to that site. It is important to note that the free version of Sqworl is ad supported and ads will be displayed on the landing page that you share.
Sqworl
h/t: Jeff Thornton

EDpuzzle

EDpuzzle is a free site that allows a teacher to engage students with videos. Simply pick a video, add your magical touch and track your students' understanding.


  • Take already existing videos from Youtube, Khan Academy, Crash Course, etc. or upload your own.
  • Enable self-paced learning with interactive lessons, add your voice and questions along the video.
  • Know if your students are watching your videos, how many times and see the answers they give.
  • Students can login using Google - look for the red Google sign-up and login buttons
  • Receive statistics on use of videos
  • Crop videos allowing for only part to be viewed
  • Record audio notes that can be listened to during the video
  • Open ended and multiple choice question formats
  • Integrates with Google Classroom
  • Can prevent skipping during playback
  • Simple step-by-step interface
Demo Edpuzzle

Epic! - Books for Kids

Introducing "Epic! for Educators." Available for FREE to all U.S. and Canada-based elementary school teachers and librarians. The site's goal is to foster a life-long love of reading.

  • THOUSANDS OF BOOKS: Early Readers, Chapter Books, Non-Fiction, Read-to-Me Audio, and More
  • INDIVIDUAL PROFILES: 36 Profiles with Personalized Recommendations Based on Reading Level and Interests
  • ALL-YOU-CAN-READ: Read as many books as you want, whenever you want
  • READ ANYWHERE: Read online or offline — sign up once and access Epic! on any iOS or Android device, laptops and desktops
  • DISCOVER NEW BOOKS: Recommendations based on a child’s reading levels and interests
  • EXPLORE READ-TO-ME & AUDIO BOOKS: Thousands of Read-to-Me and Audio books included
  • SHARE THE FUN: Up to 4 child profiles per account at no additional cost
  • EARN REWARDS: Badges offer extra motivation to keep kids reading
  • READING LOG: See which books your child has read and for how long
  • 100% SAFE: All books are age-appropriate for kids 12 and under with no ads or in-app purchases


Epic!’s ebook library includes many of the best kids books and popular books such as Fancy Nancy, Big Nate, Warriors, Ramona, Batman, Disney Frozen and National Geographic Kids

myON Digital Books

Through the Hoosier Family of Readers initiative, students and their families across the state will have unlimited access to reading material on myON, giving families an opportunity to share rich literacy experiences together regardless of their socioeconomic status or whether or not there is a proficient reader in the home.


  • More than 4,000 digital books ranging from illustrated and picture books to chapter books, graphic novels, literary non-fiction, photo and informational texts spanning multiple eras and cultures.
  • The collection includes 70% nonfiction, 10% Spanish or dual language and 20% Hi-Lo titles, and is continually growing.
  • A wide range of titles and topics provides varying levels of text complexity and support close reading in a range of genres and content areas, including history/social studies, science and technical works.
  • Books are available online anytime, anywhere students have access to an Internet connection, 24x7,
  • There’s no limit to the number of students who can read the same book at the same time on myON.
  • Students can download up to 20 titles for offline reading using free mobile apps for iPad and Android tablets.


How to Log In

  1. Go to https://www.myon.com/school/hoosier/
  2. Enter the School Name: Hoosier Family of Readers (The School Name will automatically populate as you type)
  3. Enter the username read and password read.
  4. Click the green Sign In button.
  5. Begin Reading! Click on All Books to browse through the entire myON Library and enjoy reading with your child this summer!

Note: Hoosier Family of Readers provides partial access to myON’s digital library through a single shared sign on. For more information about the full functionality of myON, which includes individual user logins, embedded assessments and the ability to align content with curriculum please visit thefutureinreading.com.

Virtual Learning Day Resources for K-3 Teachers

Places to Find Free Audio Books

Need More Assistance?

Contact me, I'd be happy to work with you!


Bill is an eLearning Coach helping to facilitate meaningful integration of technology to enrich instruction, engage students & develop 21st century skills. He is a Microsoft Certified Educator and a PhD candidate for a Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology degree with an Emphasis in Integrating Technology, Learning, and Psychology.