Shmoop tech talk for high school english and history teachers

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    • Lunchtime Tech Talk with Shmoop
    • More Info at:
    • On Twitter: @helloshmoop
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  1. Digital Textbooks: A White Knight?
    • California schools see distant digital future for textbooks (Jun 5, 2009)
    • CA spent $419m on instructional materials last year
    • Sacramento District spends $2m/subject on textbooks and replaces them every 7 years
    • State average = $100 per student per year spent on textbooks
    “ It's nonsensical - and expensive - to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form. Especially now, when we must… up dollars so that schools can do more with fewer resources.” © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  2. Are We Ready for the Future? “ For the state to give us [free digital textbooks], it would be like giving us a gallon of gas and no car to put it in," said River Delta's Chief Educational Services Officer Robert Hubbel. Infrastructure Home Access Teacher Training Parent Resistance © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • Will we still have print textbooks in 10 years?
    • What are your hopes for digital resources?
    • Your concerns?
    • What are the positive elements of print textbooks that we should preserve?
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  3. Free Stuff! Kecia Waddell English Language Arts Stevenson HS, Utica, MI
    • © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  4. What is the largest social network in the US? What % of young adults (18-24) use Twitter? How many teachers are listed on Twellow? What ages of children does COPPA protect?
    • © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • We <3 Digital Resources
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  5. So Many Cool Toys, So Little Time
    • Twitter
    • Diigo
    • Ning and Blogs
    • A Long List of Our Favorite Content Sites
    • (And Shmoop, of course!)
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • Learning network (currently the best use)
      • Twellow – find other teachers
      • Twitter4teachers – apps
      • Use hashtags to form groups, or to join topical discussions
    • In the classroom (caveat: most teens are not on Twitter)
      • Post homework reminders & links to resources
      • Ask students to post links to news or online resources Hashtag for your classes
        • Diigo is better suited for this type of sharing
      • 140 character limit
    The Twitter Experiment – UT Dallas © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • Social bookmarking and annotation
    • Learning network
      • Join groups based on subject matter (ESL teachers, To Kill a Mockingbird )
      • Create a group for your department
      • Make your bookmarks or groups public or private
    • Instruction
      • Teacher account – create groups for your classes and accounts for your students
      • Create bookmark lists for lessons
      • Have students contribute bookmarks and lists
      • Students can comment on your bookmarks or each other’s bookmarks
    • Embed the feed (“Linkroll”) from your Diigo account on your classroom website or blog
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • Blog: simple publishing w/ comments
    • Ning: build your own online community, with add-ons like
      • Members list, email list
      • Calendar
      • Photo gallery
      • Bookmarks page
      • Discussion board
    • Learning network
      • Terrific Ning communities for all types of teachers (English, Humanities, Writing, ESL, Professional organizations, etc.)
    • Instruction
      • Classroom page with links, photos, video. Students can comment on each post
      • Edublogs allows you to set up and manage blogs for your students
      • Privacy concerns for your students
        • Where would you draw the line – photo? surname? Classroom location?
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  6. A Teacher’s Jim Crow Assignment Using Shmoop and Her eduBlog © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  7. Some of Our Favorite Content Websites & Resources © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  8. Humanities Content & Resources
    • (Poems, essays, poet biographies, resources for teens)
    • - Fantastic info about Victorians, including writers
    • Modern American Poetry - great site with poetry info & criticism.
    • Project Gutenberg - free e-books, but also lots of free audiobooks
    • Edgar Allan Poe Society
    • The Paris Review - fantastic interviews with writers and poets.
    • – rich source for public domain photos, artwork, images, and primary sources
    • - people, places, and events in Medieval England through the Restoration. Also includes bios of many literary figures as well as their writings
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  9. History Content & Resources
    • Historical Thinking Matters (frameworks and examples of how to analyze primary sources)
    • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (historical documents, lesson plans)
    • War of 1812
    • Ellis Island - free search for ancestors' records
    • Digital History
    • King Online Encyclopedia
    • Super Bowl Ads
    • Without Sanctuary (incredibly powerful and disturbing archive of photos and postcards(!) of lynchings in the Jim Crow era):
    • National History Education Clearinghouse
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day (for Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL)  
    • Free Technology for Teachers http ://  
    • The English Companion Ning (Professional community for English Teachers)  
    • 10 Teachers to follow on Twitter
    Development Resources for Teachers (Blogs, Communities, Directories)
    • Twellow (Twitter Directory of teachers)  
    • Twitter for Teachers
    • The EduBlogger (Sue Waters, community manager for EduBlogs)
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  10. Tools & Digital Textbooks
    • Writing Matters - online writing tool and lessons – geared toward MS, could be appropriate for older ELL students
    • ZohoChallenge - create an online exam that is automatically scored, or allow students to create quizzes for each other
    • Zotero - a free add-on for the Firefox browser. Helps students annotate and bookmark any webpage and automatically generates citations/bibliographies. Best for more advanced students.
    • CK12 - free, customizable digital textbooks
    • Hippocampus - free, multimedia digital textbooks and homework help. Multimedia modules are mapped to units or chapters of popular print textbooks
    • Scribd – millions of free digital documents. Embed documents onto your blog or website. Have students publish work to the site.
    • SlideShare – millions of free powerpoint presentations. Embed powerpoint on your blog or website. Download and edit others’ presentations. Have students publish work to the site.
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • Shmoop will make you a better lover*
    • * (of literature, history, life)
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • Fun, deep, plain-spoken, highly academic
    • Today:
    • 150+ Literature novels, plays, short stories
    • 50+ US History topics
    • 50+ Poems
    What is Shmoop Shmoop’s Mission: To make learning fun and relevant for students in the digital age © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  11. Shmoop: Personal Tools
    • Organize thoughts and take notes with Stickies & Folders
    • Expand vocabulary of $5 words with built-in Dictionary
    • Develop and communicate arguments in Opinions
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  12. Multiple Literacies, Primary Sources
    • Shmoop helps students & teachers find and contextualize quality resources on the Web
    • Carefully screened by Shmoop’s team of experts
    • Primary sources
    • Websites
    • Video
    • Audio
    • Photos
    • Books
    • Movies
    • TV shows
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  13. How to Cite Shmoop
    • Shmoop automatically generates citations for students in MLA, APA, or Chicago formats
    • Shmoop teaches students about the perils of plagiarism and encourages original thought
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  14. Shmoop Writing Lab (BETA!)
    • Interactive writing guide that helps students
      • Articulate opinions
      • Organize thoughts
      • Support arguments
      • Construct a cohesive essay with transitions, parallel structure, introduction, conclusion, etc.
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  15. Developing a Point of View © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  16. Building and Supporting Arguments © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
  17. Organization and Essay Mechanics © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.
    • More Info at:
    • On Twitter: @helloshmoop
    © 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.