Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blog Assignment 13

" We continually strive to make these pages universally accessible. Therefore, we minimize the use of graphics, with the exception of links provided by content partners, and also utilize mouse-overs for ease of use by all visitors. Suggestions for increasing the accessibility of these pages are welcome. "
 (Alabama Learning Exchange)

ALEX homepage

For those of you who are unfamiliar with ALEX, it is a project of the Alabama Department of Education and is designed to share many types of educational material and information through a one-stop resource for educators, parents, and students. Most of the provided resources are linked to the Alabama Courses of Study by National Board Certified Teachers. ALEX is continuously improving and expanding based on the input from its viewers. On the website, you can communicate with other professionals through Listervs, find lesson plans, follow links that will bring quality learning your students, and much more.

When you go to the ALEX  website, it will automatically take you to its homepage. Once you are at the homepage you are presented with eight different link options:
  1. Courses of Study
  2. Web Links
  3. Lesson Plans
  4. Search
  5. Personal Workspace
  6. Professional Learning
  7. Podcast Treasury
  8. ALEXivlle
When you go to Courses of Study, you are presented with different subjects to choose from: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Arts Education, Career/Technical Education, Driver and Traffic Safety Education, Health Education, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Technology Education, and Other Courses of Study. Once you pick the subject you want, it takes you to a new page that breaks the subject down into categories and grade levels. For example, I picked Mathematics. It is broken down into categories such as Algebra 1, Geometry, Precalculus, etc. Upon choosing the grade level and category I want, it takes me to lesson plans for my selection. The lesson plans also include example problems.

The next link option that I explored was the Web Links.When clicked on, it takes you to a page where your options are: Teacher Web Resources, Administrator Web Resources, Student Web Resources, Search for a Web Resource, Recommend a Web Resource, and Report Broke Links. Each section contains links to websites that would be useful for the specified user (teacher, administrator, and student). Under the link Lesson Plans, you have the option of creating your own lesson plan, searching for an ALEX lesson plan by author, title, or school, or finding a lesson plan by subject.The Search link allows you to search the ALEX/Thinkfinity database. You can search for keywords and/or narrow your search by choosing a specific category. The fifth link option is the Personal Workspace link.Once clicking on this link, the next step is to create a login. Establishing an ALEX account allows you to create a personal workspace where you can submit and store lesson plans and teacher web pages.

The next option is the Professional Learning link. Here, you can learn more about ALEX and Thinkfinity training opportunities, view their past presentations, and search for grants. You can also visit some of the provided Alabama Department of Education Program Websites to find professional development opportunities, teaching and learning tools, the latest news, best practices, and more. In addition to the previous, you can also look at pages to find tips, tricks, and tutorials on a variety of technology tools. When clicking on the Podcast Treasury link, you are provided with a large variety of podcasts on every subject you can think of. The last link will take you to ALEXville. In ALEXville, you have several different links to visit. Visit the areas to communicate with colleagues, keep up with the latest ALEX news and follow various ALEX Professional Learning Communities.

In my opinion, ALEX would be a very useful website for all teachers. It provides you with a large variety of useful resources, lesson plans, and other information. When I begin teaching, I will probably use many of the things the ALEX website has to offer. Using this website will allow teachers to improve the education that they are providing to their students.

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