Ever read an article or run across an app and think, “I’d love to use that when I teach (fill in the blank).” Then you bookmark it. Or pin it to Pinterest. And months later, you run across that bookmark/pin–usually a week after you’ve just finished the (fill in the blank) unit.
I’ve found a solution–at least for me. It’s Blendspace.
With Blendspace, I can link any webpage, as well as YouTube videos, Google Drive docs, Dropbox contents, and other options. More importantly, I can use the “Blendspace it!” button on my bookmark bar. If I find a page I want to use in the future, I click the button, and Blendspace saves it for me. Later when I’m on the Blendspace site, I can go through the pages I saved and distribute them to my different “lessons.”
“Lessons” is what each page of links is called in Blendspace. I have one for many of my units, as well as PD workshops I’m planning. I’ve shared my pages with colleagues so they can use them in class, but other teachers also share their Blendspace pages with students.
But say you want to fit LOTS of links on a page. Perhaps a page of links to student blogs or e-portfolios. Maybe you’ve got a slew of resources you use in class.
As for me, I had three dozen student create Smore pages for their poet studies, but I wanted to collect them all in one place, and I wanted more than just a list of links. I wanted something visual.
Expecting my students to read all their classmates’ Smores is unrealistic, but by setting aside classtime and curating links to all the Smores here, students were able to visit each other’s pages. (I wanted them to leave comments, but our school filter blocked it since Smore uses the Facebook message system–next time I’ll have to find a work around for this).
I also plan to use a Symbaloo page next year with oft-used class links, such as Google Drive and Gmail, Quizlet, Memrise, Curriculet, etc.