March 15 Workshop

Well, the crowd was small – 1 high school special ed teacher, 1 high school Math teacher (in her first year of teaching), one middle school science teacher and 1 elementary Math teacher.  The Math teacher had previously attended one of my MarcoPolo workshops.  She loved the site specifically Illuminations and was interested in the new Thinkfinity site and its search engine.  The other 3 teachers had never heard of the web site and its content partners. 

 As a result, I did more of an overview than planned and we all agreed that we would have liked more time to explore and look for resources.

 The attendees were very pleasant and I hope they be able to use the site on their own to find resources for their students.

Tech Saturday

Saturday I am giving a training to teachers from Bethlehem Central Schools. I hope that they find the Thinkfinity site useful to enhance their lessons.  I hope they will share some of the cool things they found today or when they have more time to explore the site.

So please comment below: 

What do YOU think of Thinkfinity?

What did you find that will be useful to you in your dealing with students?

It’s Finally Here!

Better late than never.

The Thinkfinity site has been redesigned. (just in time for my workshop this Sat.)

thinkfinity.jpg
The old

newthink.jpg
The new

What has changed:

  • Additional content – the site now includes the addition of resources aligned century skills, as well as content and resources for students, parents, and afterschool programs.
  • An updated “look and feel” – user-friendly and intuitive navigation allows
  • to see related content more easily. The search results have been improved with easier-to-read information, including clearly defined grade levels and
  • State standards alignment – many lesson plans are aligned to standards from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, available from the “View Details” link from the search results. 
  • Integration of resources – resources from the Thinkfinity Literacy Network are integrated into the search engine results.

Yet to come:

  • Expanded professional development opportunities and materials
  • Include a “My Thinkfinity” feature to allow users to save favorite resources
  • Alignment to State Standards (all states)
  • History Explorer Partner site

My opinion so far:

It looks brighter and cheerful.  It has a lot less text.  I got used to the old search engine and liked the versatility of 4 different ways to searching.  I used it for over 5 years and I hope to get used to this new site.  Change is always hard at first.

Good News from Thinkfinity

In early February, Thinkfinity will launch a new and improved Thinkfinity.org Web site! The high-quality content (lesson plans, interactives, resources) you have come to know and love will not change, however, the look, feel, and functionality of the site will be greatly improved from the current site.

Hands On Workshop with No Internet

Well, not the best of days – first of all – no projector so had to use “Synchroneyes.” This put my PowerPoint on all the attendees’ computers but that put me looking at the back of their heads and they could just watch.  So I decided to present the overview and then allow them time to surf and find resources.  That’s when the Internet went down.  All in all, their surveys indicated that they thought Thinkfinity was a great resource and would be useful to them.

Training for Student Teachers

Today I am giving a training to student teachers from Siena College. I hope that they find Thinkfinity useful as they pursue a teaching career.  I hope they will share some of the cool things they find today or whenever they have more time to explore the site.

So please comment below: 

What do YOU think of Thinkfinity?

What did you find that will be useful to you in your dealing with students?

Anxious for the Changes

In March of 2007, MarcoPolo was taken over by Verizon and named Thinkfinity – the new name implies “endless possibilies for learning.”

 So far there have been a few changes:

Thinkfinity recently added a new content partner, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. (Their partner site is currently under development. )

Thinkfinity and the literacy experts at ReadWriteThink have recently developed a new set of resources, designed for a “beyond the classroom” audience, that engages children and teens in summer reading and writing activities, supported by challenging online games and tools. 

Teacher Resources are updated each Friday.

The Marcogram will be called the Educator Newsletter (not available yet)

There are more coming…

Web alignment of resources to state standards

Redesigning the site to make it more intuitive and user friendly.

A site that meet accessibility standards

Include a “My Thinkfinity” feature to allow users to save favorite resources, and will include resources for an after school and “beyond school” audience. 

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