Help Alice! I’ve Fallen Down the Rabbit Hole!

I think as educators we are always looking for new and better materials to reach our students.  We want our material to be relevant and engaging for the students with whom we work.  In this technical age we live in and post COVID 19, finding ways to engage students remotely has never been more relevant.  However, there is a trap out there that I know I have fallen into more than once and I bet you have too.  You start looking for the perfect activity for the lesson you are working on and check some new website or other media format that you just heard about.  The next thing you know, 2 hours or more have gone by and you still do not have the exact resource you hoped to discover! Ugh!

During the beginning of the pandemic, Lighthouse Therapy was able to provide a free online series called “From Brick to Click”.  If you haven’t seen it you can check it out here: https://www.lighthouse-therapy.com/teachonline/. In the “Finding Resources” presentation, Caroline Nuttall shared a great way to vet resources so you don’t fall down the rabbit hole and waste a lot of time looking at resources you will most likely never use. The rubric she shared had 5 basic questions and a rating scale for resources to determine if the resource you are considering will make the cut without spending hours getting lost in the process.

You can rate resources under consideration with the questions below using a scale of Fair, Good, or Great. 

  1.       What is the purpose of the resource? What Lesson or skill will it address?
  2.       Which standards/goals do this resource meet? List them here.
  3.       Is the resource accessible to all students? Possible constraints for students?
  4.       Does this resource promote deeper learning? Additional activities for students?
  5.       Is the resource age and time appropriate? The ideal time and grade level for this resource?

I hope you can apply these to your next materials treasure hunt.  There are thousands of great resources to be discovered. But they are only great if you will use them. Vet your choices, don’t just collect them.

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