Weekly Technology Resources

May 30, 2016 Resources!

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It is exam time!  Sometimes we get caught up studying and we forget that our brains need time to process.  Time Out is a great app that reminds you to stop and take a break on your computer or device.  You can set an easy timer for any amount of work time and break time.  It forces you to stop and take a much needed break from your processing.  During that time I would recommend some physical activity or even take a nap.  “Napping for 10-30 minutes has been demonstrated to increase alertness and improve performance.” – Hallie Smith, Scientific Learning  So, remember to stop and take a break using Time Out to get the most out of your study time.

 

 

May 23, 2016 Resources!

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It is the time of year when students graduate and move on to that next chapter of their lives.  Staff move on to other locations and generally people move.  With Google providiing unlimited space in Google Apps for Education, many of us have litterally tons of things built into our Google Drive.  The best tool out there for moving all of this is Google Takeout!  It is an amazing tool.  It will capture your email contacts, mail, drive, G+ and everything else you have attached to your account.  It helps you avoid missing something in transfer.  Check out Google Takeout!
**You need to have another account ready for the transfer and depending on how much stuff you have you might need to purchase cloud storage.  Google sells it here is the link to Google’s Pricing Structure for Cloud Storage.  

 

May 16, 2016 Resources!

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During exams many of us stress, eat too much and worry without every getting enough exercise.  Check out LearingStation.com.  “Brain breaks can also improve students’ concentration and performance on standardized tests”. (Springer, Atteberry, Werner, & Misner, n.d.) There are the times where we need to remember that exercise helps our minds break as well as helps us.  This is a set of videos (they are a bit childish but still super fun!) that will help you take a break, re-energize and get that grade.  Checkout LearingStation.com videos and take a break!

May 9, 2016 Resources!

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With all of the different accounts, emails, social media, etc out there checking your privacy settings can be a daunting task.  Now you can use AdjustYourPrivacy.com.  This site is very cool.  It provides direct links to the privacy pages for most of the social media sites.  It is an easy way to check all of these at the same time.  It also allows you to look at your account from a the ‘public’ view and your view.  Finally it has a database of information to help you in making your decisions.  I highly recommend you try AdjustYourPrivacy.com.

 

May 2, 2016 Resources!

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Want to watch Youtube Videos without the advertising?  It is possible with Watchkin! This simple site allows you to paste in a Youtube URL and sign in with your Google Account (its free).  Then you can either search in the search bar or paste in a Youtube link and your video will appear without the adds or distrubing images on the sides.  (See image below).  It is that simple to have advertising free youtube videos.  *It does not allow inappropriate content.  EnjoyWatchkin.
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April 4, 2016 Resources!

Adobe

 

It seems that more and more documents are crossing my desk via Adobe PDF.  This is great as it means less printing (SAVE THE TREES!).  However it often means a lot of reading on the computer.  Sometimes it is nice to have these documents read to me while I am doing other tasks.  Check out Adobe Read Aloud. You already have it if you have Adobe Reader on your computer.  Simply open the adobe document and go to View and Select Read Aloud.  Then select either Read to the End of the Document or Read this Page.  It installs the reader engine and off it goes.  By going to the Adobe Preferences you can change the voice, speed and a few other options.  It is a great way to read books, papers and articles while you are doing other things.  Enjoy Adobe Read Aloud.

 

March 28, 2016 Resources!

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Many people need some ‘background’ noise to study.   Focus@Will is a cool site that plays music that has been researched to improve studying!  You can get a 15 day trial to this to check it out.  You can select your type of music for example classical, ambient, water and even one specially designed for those with ADHD!  You can also select the tempo.  If you like faster music set you ‘Music Energy Level’ to high and let it rip!  Or set it to low and enjoy the calming sounds.  If you like a little background noise give Focus@Will a try.

 

March 22, 2016 Resources!

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As you write that research paper sometimes it is a struggle to avoid plagarism.  With so many great resources in electronic format it becomes very easy to ‘copy and paste’ information directly into your paper.  Remember that you must cite direct quotes or better yet paraphrase great information.  Grammarly is a great way to avoid plagarism.   Not only does Grammarly help prevent plagarism by identifying copied text, it also actively checks your writing for gramatical mistakes and keeps track of your writing.  Finally there is now an extension for Chrome that also works to identify issues in your writing.  Never make a writing mistake again!  Try Grammarly!

 

March 7, 2016 Resources!

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PDF’s can be great and helpful.  Usually you have to submit these pdf’s to some where or need to send it to someone.  As a result sometimes it is necessary to compress these files so they will go through email or meet system upload requirements.  Smallpdf is an awesome site I found that actually takes your pdf and magically compresses the file to a much more manageable size.  I tested a 55mb file that needed to be uploaded to the IB website and their limit is 50mb.  We compressed it and it was 2.74mb!  File went up fast and easy.  Try Smallpdf!

 

 

February 29, 2016 Resources!

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IT HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!  I’ve been predicting for a long time that Google would come out with the best voice typing tool.  In other tech positions I’ve held in the past I have tested this types of tools literally for years and they were hard to setup and generally not that good.  Today I tested it. Voice Typing is AMAZING.  It is accurate, easy to use, takes no setup, it worked on my phone and ipad.  To put it simply, it just works.  On your computer, open a new Google Doc > Tools > Click Voice Typing and a microphone shows up and begin speaking.  For your phones or iPads, download the Google Docs app and at the bottom of the keyboard you will find the microphone icon.  Click it and it works the same way, just start speaking.  Finally we can stop typing and start talking. If you need more help setting this up take a look at this Doc.

 

February 23, 2016 Resources!

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Right now do you have more tabs open than you can actually read?  I do and it is generally a problem.  Having too many tabs open can slow browsers, be distracting and generally less than productive.  Here is something to try –OneTab – it is a simple add on to Chrome or Firefox.  It takes ALL of your tabs and moves them into one page – it is very similar to a bookmarks page. I will say it is a bit un-nerving at first, but after a short time it is great.  If you want to have all the tabs back up all you do is click the ‘restore all’ link and all your tabs quickly return!   It is a simple extension and takes not tome to install.

February 15, 2016 Resources!

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Since most of you are coming back from your GCW – hope you had a great experience – I thought I would recommend a photo editor.  Loads of people do not really like the newest version of Photos for various reasons.  However the new Photos has an abundance of tools to manipulate your photos.  Simply open Photos and then click the ‘Edit’ button in the upper righthand corner.  You can crop, rotate, edit, filter, retouch and many other manipulations.  It is a great way to make those photos really stand out.   Here is a great how to for editing your photos with Mac Photos.

February 1, 2016 Resources!

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I am always on the lookout for Extensions or tech tools that help us improve our productivity and reduce distractions.  I’ve recommended WebTimer in the past but recently I came across Time Tracker.  This is a great Extension for Chrome that actually tracks the sites you are on and the actual time spent on that individual site.  The beauty of this tool is that it provides time and percents as well as a downloadable Excel worksheet.  This is a great way to identify where you are wasting time and how much time you are spending on specific sites.  Check out Time Tracker!

 

January 25, 2015 Resources!

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Have you ever struggled with a stubborn pdf?  PDF’s are great for maintaining the continuity or protecting docs.  However if you want to edit them you need a third party program or an Extension for a browser – check out DocHub!  This cool extension allows you to edit, sign, annotate and much more to any pdf.  It also allows you to use your phone to sign pdfs, and gives the abilty to rotate or just flat change a pdf.  This is a great tool especially if you work with IB and the pdfs they constantly want edited.  Great tool – check out DocHub.

 

January 18, 2015 Resources!

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I try not to do this too often but sometimes a find a resource that is just too good not so share.  MakeTechEasier.com is an awesome website full of ways to overcome tech issues.  There are 3 simple tabs: How To’s, Courses and Cheatsheets.  All of them have easy to use resources.  The other cool thing about this site is the breadth.  You can search for everything from clearing viruses on your Mac to creating a back image.  Very easy to use resource and as always FREE!

 

January 11, 2015 Resources!

 

Staying with the theme of avoiding plagarism…  Here are 2 resources for you.  If you want to check any doc, docx or pdf against another document checker than Turnitin.com try DOC Cop.  It performs a similar type of search.  It is free and easy to use.  Simply create an account using an email address.
The second resource is plagiarism.org.  This is an amazing site full of resources.  It has how to’s, ask the experts and explanations of information that will help you avoid plagiarism.  The bottom line is if you are worried or concerned about plagiarizing check your sources, check your information and be confident that you are creating original works.  Good luck.

December 11, 2015 Resources!

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I am always on the hunt for great images that are released for Creative Commons licensing for use.  Check out Pixabay.com.  It has a very large database of images, it is easily searchable by keyword.  Another cool feature is that it is also categorized for easy browsing.  It makes looking for those beautiful images for presentations and products much easier.  Added to this, the advanced search will allow you locate vectored images, illustrations, videos and layout types.  Pixabay.com is great!

 

December 8, 2015 Resources!

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I had heard of this program but really did not check it out until an English teacher showed me.  (Thanks Rich!)  You can use the Hemingway editor site to evaluate your writing style.  It will give you great feedback and recommend changes simply by copying and pasting your text into the online editor.  There is a desktop version with a lot more ‘bells and whistles’ but the online editor does the trick!  Simply go to Hemingway App.com and then make sure the Write switch is turned on.  Then paste your written text or write your text right there.  Switch it to the Edit button and now you will see the Readability of your text as well as Voice, Choice and difficulties.  It is a great check on your writing style and very helpful.  Check out the Hemingway App!

 

November 30, 2015 Resources!

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Recently it seems we have become overly surveyed.  This is likely the result of our constant need for proof or data.  None of these things by themselves is bad, however when we begin to receive a different survey every day it becomes a bit tiresome and we then get a syndrome called ‘survey fatigue’.  This is problematic because it then skews our results.  Here is a good article on “5 Ways to Avoid Survey Fatigue in Your Respondents“.   to a much smaller group of people then we initially targeted.  It is good to follow some very basic guidelines around surveying or polling.  I’ve cover both Socrative, and Poll Everywhere as tools to use as well as Google Forms.  Any of these tools will do the trick in a fun and innovative way.  I typically stay away from the pay surveying tools because there are such good free ones.  That being said the pay ones typically offer much better break downs of your results.  Thus your data can become much more meaningful as well as more specific.  Survey Monkey and Survey Gizmo are two different options.  Both of these will give a short trial.  The best thing to look at is the data reports that come from either of these tools.  Be careful not to survey too much and use tools that will give you the most data in return.  Try Survey Monkey or Survey Gizmo!

 

 

November 15, 2015 Resources!

Looking for the perfect image?  Want to make sure you cite it properly?  Look to either CreativeCommons or WikiMedia Commons.  Then just locate images that have ‘Some Rights Reserved’.  Then at WikiMedia select your usage method and copy/paste on or near the image’s final location.  At Creative Commons it is best to construct your own attribution as not all images come with a license built by the author.  Here is what the License should look like:
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Tech Resources:  

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If you haven’t visited your Google Docs via the Apps screen recently you may be missing something!  Recently they installed a bar that provides access to all of the templates installed. Creativity is something I often find missing in Google Docs.  The templates in both Pages and Word are nice and add a ‘professional’ look to your documents.  Now you can add that same professional look to your Google Docs.  Simply go to your Google Apps  and the select either Docs, Sheets, or Slides and you will be pleased to see a ribbon with the best templates loaded.  Start making those Google Docs look good!  Use templates.

 

November 2, 2015 Resources!

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Love Word Clouds or Tagsedo?  Then you must check out Loupe Collage!  It is a simple free Extension for Chrome.  You can select where your folder of images comes from and then simply upload the selected images.  Finally select what type of final ‘collage’ you would like the pictures to show up in.  Really a fun kind of Extension to create with.  Enjoy my pics from Koh Samui diving in a Loupe Collage.

 

October 26, 2015 Resources!

Apologies – I was away on a much needed break.  Here is a new tech tool I am really excited about.

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Are you a Podcast lover?  I was and then I kind of let them go a little bit.  Well get ready to enjoy – check out AudioBoom.  It is an easy Podcast feeder.  Which means you can setup a free account and then subscribe to any number of Podcasts you like.  Explore sports, science, public news and much more.  However, the added benefit of AudioBoom is that as an educator you can setup a free Education Account and then podcast for your class.  If you are a flipped classroom fan this is a great tool.  Also there are various schools that are putting out podcasts as part of their curriculum.  One that caught my eye was from Saint Columbus College in Dublin – they break down some of the lesser known characters in HAMLET!  Check out AudioBoom today!

 

 

October 12, 2015 Resources!

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With our refocusing on the importance of citation, sometimes if feels like we cannot find great images because they are watermarked.  NOT TRUE!  Check out the Google and LIFE (magazine) collaboration.  Here you can search an amazing database of LIFE Magazine photos by year.  Locate award winning photos that display, history, passion and strife all over the world.  The images are organized by decade but can then be searched by topic.  It is a great trip down memory road.  Try Google LIFE Photo Archive!

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This week I would like to send out a link to the Technology Tips and Tricks page that I maintain.  This is a site that has all kinds of valuable tools, tips, and tricks to make your technology more valuable and efficient.  The tools here are all free, reviewed by me and valuable to teachers and students alike.  If you have any questions about any of these tools please let me know.  Enjoy the Technology Tips and Tricks!

 

October 5, 2015 Resources!

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About a year ago, I started telling people that speech to text was not that far off.  This is the ability to record what you say and have your computer type it.  It really has been around for some time, but until recently it hasn’t been that good.  Enter Speech to Text Add-on for Chrome.  I’ve used loads of different programs to accomplish this task and at this point it is clear that Google is winning.  The Add-on works great for your computer and better yet it allows you to type right into a Google Doc!  It already existed for iPad and iPhone but now with the Speech to Text Chrome Add-on you can use it on your computer.  It works GREAT!  Stop typing and start talking!
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Just another little tip today – if you want to join me in using GoodReads to share what I read as a librarian and also see what your friends are reading sign up for a free GoodReads.com account with your Facebook Account or Google Account.  Finally if you would like to add a little image of a book and tell your friends what you are currently reading us the GoodReads widget builder.  Inside your GoodReads account click on ‘My Books’ and then ‘widgets’ which can be found on the left-hand side of the screen.  Then build your ‘Currently Reading Widget’ and add it to your emails, blog or where ever you post!  If you would like to follow me, Click this Link!

 

September 28, 2015 Resources!

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We’ve been going back and forth this year about which citation tool is best.  I am ready to make the call – RefMe Wins.  Yesterday RefMe released an update that I catches it up with EasyBib.  They now have it ready to cite Youtube, Imbd and many of the other cites we see all of the time.  The only thing I see EasyBib winning now is that they have a search built in.  However the big win for RefMe is that it actually does complete citations.  Both provide the extra boxes to fill for citations if the information isn’t available BUT when I did a side by side test it was RefMe that turned out the consistent quality, consistency and thoroughness.  RefMe.com!
Tech Resources:
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As things move more and more to be cloud based apps are coming along that streamline our work as educators.  Are you ‘flipped classroom’ guru?  Get ready for MoocNote.com!  It is as easy as any video annotator but it has huge potential in that it is build for complete unit use.  Simply import (copy and paste the url) into the box provided and then begin building your lesson.  You can attach notes, make a quizz and embed it in other systems.  Really a great new Video Tool!  Try MoocNote.com.

September 22, 2015 Resources!

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We often forget all of the free resources that are available.  The Library of Congress (US) maintains a massive database of resources.  They literally have 18 million catalog records for books, serials, manuscripts, maps, music, recordings, images, and electronic resources!  They also do an amazing job of categorizing what is in this catalog.  Take a peek, things in your curriculum area are likely to be there.  Just a few worth mentioning: Sound Recordings, Prints, Manuscripts and Maps just to name a few.  Take a look at an old favorites that continues to grow.  Check out the Library of Congress.

Tech Resource:
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Want to know where techie’s get all of their good stuff?  Without giving away all of the secrets and putting myself out of work, Gizmo’s freeware is one I go to periodically and just browse for great stuff.  You can find suggestions for software, downloads and step – by – step.  Great suggestions, and really just some cool stuff if you have time to explore.  Try out Gizmo’s freeware.

 

September 14, 2015 Resources!

This year I am back to my old ways in that I have always been a Librarian and Tech.  Philosophically it makes so much sense to combine the technology needs of students with the every changing world of libraries.  Searching, researching and embedding technology simultaneously is the way of the future for libraries.  To this end I am going to start doubling my efforts.  From now on you will receive both a library resource AND a tech resource.

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I am rebuilding the Library Website – it is coming along.  However a critical element that was requested was a stronger resources for MLA citations.  Take a look at the NEW MLA Vocab and Resources Page.  It has all of the MLA vocabulary defined, it has technical resources to help you in citations, it has some great examples.  Take a look at the MLA Vocab and Resources Page and give me feedback.
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I don’t usually do this, but I am a big believer in the idea of sharing good stuff.  The folks at Educational Technology and Mobile Learning did a great job of putting together a user’s guide to all of the BEST Tips for using Youtube.  Everyone will benefit from this.  It talks about channels, Youtube Editor, Playlists, Captions, Searching and Much More.  So this week I am just sending out Good Stuff from others.  Checkout the Educational Technology and Mobile 7 Important Youtube Tips for Teachers (and I would add or students!)

September 7, 2015 Resources!

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Who doesn’t love a good map?  Worldatlas.com is an amazing site.  It has all kinds of interesting tools, images and infographics.  It also has articles as well as location based information.  Added bonus is you don’t need an account or anything this information is simply available to all!  It is a great place to look for those new vacation destinations, locate information about a specific country or continent or just explore the world virtually!  Try WorldAtlas.com.

August 31, 2015 Resources!

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Zaption.com is the coolest video tool I’ve used in some time.  Using your Google or Facebook account it allows you to use Youtube videos in a more interactive manner.  You can build questions, add links and other resources right to video thus creating a mini lesson or Flipped lesson right in the tool.  Then you can Share or Embed your video where ever you need.  It is really that easy.  As it comes to your question or resource the video stops and allows the user to respond!  Really a great tool for video integration.  Checkout this tour at done by a teacher Zaption.com!

August 24, 2015 Resources!

I am back!  It was a great summer for recharging my batteries and getting things going again.  I hope you all have a wonderful start to your year!  I have a couple of things for you today.

PRIVACY SETTINGS:

This can be a real problem.  We all want to have our stuff out there for friends to see but we don’t want any of our personal stuff to be accessible to strangers.  Here are guides to Google and Facebook privacy settings.

  • People are always asking me, ‘How safe is my stuff with Google?’.  They actually sent out some good info on their privacy settings and tools.  Check this out.
  • Just in case here are the Privacy Settings for FaceBook.
RefMe is one I recommended towards the end of last year but I wanted to send it along early this year.  It is a website, an app and a citation machine.  Basically you can collect all of your citations on the website OR within the app.  On the website you simply search for your book, magazine or whatever.  If it doesn’t find it the boxes appear to fill out.  Then it creates your citation.  The App is even cooler – it has a scan feature.  Scan the barcode of your book, magazine or whatever and it builds the citation!  It is amazing!

June 1, 2015 Resources!

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Need to remind your students of assignments and exams?  Want to make your class more interactive?  Try Remind.com – this application has been a round for a while, but recently it added a few features like ‘Chat’ which make it a very robust tool.  You can create an account with your Google Account for free.  Then you can either post the QR code or the Class Code (both provided by Remind) and students, parents or anyone with the code can sign up.   You can then send SMS, emails or chat with your users.  Added to this you can attach documents or pdfs to share with your class.  This is the simplest tool I have seen that can make a huge impact in your class today!  Give Remind.com a try and get connected with your students.

May 26, 2015 Resources!

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With summer upon us many of the students at international schools will be headed off to colleges around the world.  We all want them to stay in touch but calling can get expensive.  If you haven’t tried it – check out Google Voice!  I’ve been using Google Voice for about 2 years now and it is fantastic!  The call quality is Better than Skype, you get a real phone number, access to voicemail, SMS and the mobile app works very well!  Here is a really great set of tutorials from the website Educatorstechnology.comhttp://www.educatorstechnology.com/2015/05/teachers-guide-to-the-use-of-google-voice-in-education.html

May 11, 2015 Resources!

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Ever need just a snippet of a speech, song or communication?  Youtube MP3 Converter is AWESOME!  Simply capture the link from the Youtube Video you want.  Copy the link and then paste it into the site: http://www.youtube-mp3.org/.  Very quickly you will get options to download the audio from the video that you had in mp3 format.  This is a universal audio format that you can then import into iTunes or any other audio player.  This is great for PodCast, Sound Bites and many others.  It is just too easy not to try Youtube MP3!

May 4, 2015 Resources!

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Make sure you aren’t wasting time on the internet!  Try  WasteNo Time.  Since many of you Mac users have moved away from Chrome I thought I would offer an extension for Safari.  This extension will allow you to completely block sites if they are distracting you.  You can also set a quota so that you can limit the amount of time you spend at a given site.  It will also track what sites you visit and how long.  Finally it produces a graphic displaying exactly where all of your time was spent during your internet use.  It works for both Chrome and Safari! Try WasteNo Time!

April 27, 2015 Resources!

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Exams are fast upon us (already started for some) and a good highlighter is a critical tool.  This week I am recommending an Extension to Firefox called Wired Marker.  It does a great job allowing the user to highlight text on a webpage – better yet it creates a ‘bookmark’ within the page so that the user can quickly go back.  For example I might code all of my paraphrased text to the color green – it then bookmarks all of these in order on the website for me!  Great tool for prepping for those exams.  Try Wired Marker. – Demo Video

April 20, 2015 Resources!

I recently read a great article on ‘Failing Forward: 21 Ideas to Help Students Keep their Momentum’  Many of these you will know others you might want to try.  Number 2 on the list is one of my favorites – ‘Use Project-Based Learning’ – Technology can be a huge part of engaging students and providing opportunities to fail and revise.

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PBL Tech Resources:
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The Buck Institute for Education is an organization of educational groups that values Project Based Learning (PBL).  They provide a ‘one stop shop’ for teachers to gain insight into PBL as well as the resources and examples to do it right!  A great example of this can be found on the BIE Resources page.  They have the entire implementation of projects including the background, research, assessments and examples.  A really fun one for this week being EarthWeek is the ‘Can You Trust the Water?’ PBL.  There is tons more to see and investigate on this site.  I linked a couple of the most important ones below.  If you want help, are interested in trying this or just want to discuss options please email me.  Explore the BIE Project Based Learning Site

April 7, 2015 Resources!

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It is that time of year – EXAMS – they are coming and one should start preparations.  Making Flashcards is a simple but effective method for review.  Here is Cambridge English Online Flashcard Maker – a cool little web based program that allows you to create flashcards.  It will also allow you to but as many as 8 cards on a page.  It also allows you to print the cards in a ‘Green’ method.  Try out Cambridge English Online Flashcard Maker!

March 30, 2015 Resources!

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Many of you know about Creative Commons for royalty free photos however this can be a cumbersome process.  Introducing PhotoPin!  This is an easily searchable database of Creative Commons Licensed images for free.   I did some quick searching and it provides the licensing information and allows for multiple size downloads.  This is a very easy answer to the copyright issue with images used for presentations on the web.  Simply locate your image, then download.  Next Copy the licensing text and paste into a post, website or any other source.  Try PhotoPin!

March 23, 2015 Resources!

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I am always looking for ways to use Google Apps in the classroom when I came across this Google Sheet created by Aggie Salter.  I generally like to recommend a single resource, but this Google Sheet was just too good not to share the whole thing!  The sheet is constantly being updated by Techies with   Google Apps by Subject Area.  It includes links to different Apps or Extensions for Chrome that are SPECIFIC TO YOUR CONTENT AREAS!  There is no way to explain all of these but, it does provide a wealth of great ideas and options for use in your classroom.  Please let me know if you try one that you think is really exciting.  Let’s create a dialog of ideas and share them.  Check out the Google Apps by Subject Area Resource List!

March 17, 2015 Resources!

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Possibly the coolest resource I have used!  A new way to locate and share resources – as well as formative test is to use Blendspace.com!  You can locate (by topic!) resources add them to a cool board and then create a super quick quiz.  Then you can maintain these ‘boards’ for later on.  It looks and feels a lot like Pintrest for Teachers!  I just searched Macbeth and got some really cool ideas, examples and videos from all over the web.  You can use your Google Account to create an account for free.  Then create your lessons, use their cool Templates or Themes and go to work. Enjoy Blendspace.

March 9, 2015 Resources!

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This week I thought I would remind you about using your Google Drive to save EVERYTHING!  With your school Google Apps account your Google Drive is UNLIMITED.  Now you can upload everything you want, share everything  and have access to it in the cloud.  Added to this you can install the Google Drive App and use Drive as your Backup.  Remember to back up all of your important documents and work.  Follow the steps below to install the Google Drive App.

 

Download Google Drive using the New Google Drive

  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Open the settings menu .
  3. Click Download Drive.
    • Don’t see Download Drive? You may be using the old Google Drive and should use the alternate instructions below.
  4. On the download page, choose Mac from the list that appears under “Download Drive”.
  5. Read the Terms of Service and click Agree and download.
  6. Open installgoogledrive.dmg.
  7. Move the Google Drive icon to your Applications folder.
  8. Open Google Drive. If you see a warning that Google Drive is an application downloaded from the Internet, clickOpen.
  9. Type your Google Account user name and password to sign in to Google Drive. This will be the account associated with Google Drive for your Mac.
  10. Complete the installation instructions.
  11. Open Google Drive for your Mac  from the the top right of your screen.
  12. Move or copy files and folders from your desktop into your Google Drive folder to begin syncing items. You’ll be able to find your files and folders in “My Drive” in the left hand navigation on drive.google.com.

March 2, 2015 Resources!

I’ve been using Buzzfeed for a while for entertainment (if you ever need a laugh check it out!). However this weekend I did some searching and it turns out there are some really great solutions submitted.  Today I suggest two things: 1. Check out Buzzfeed.  2.  Check out the ‘18 Mac Hacks that will make a MacBook Pro‘.  There is a list of some very simple key strokes to help make you a more efficient when using your Mac.  Some a couple of great ones are how to send items directly to the trash without dragging and how to easily type a special character!  Check out this helpful hints on Buzzfeed and then just check out some of the funny stuff and have a laugh on me!

February 23, 2015 Resources!

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It is always a good thing when a teacher suggests a tool, suggested by their work with a consultant.  Thanks Brad and Penny Kittle!  Today I recommend Draftback.  This is a Chrome extension (it only works in Google Chrome).  It takes a Google Doc and allows for ‘playback’ of revisions.  This is a great tool for us when Individuals or Peers are editing writing.  Draftback keeps your writing yours and allows you to keep it private.  Unlike other programs (turnitin.com) your writing is not shared or sourced for others.  It is an extremely powerful way to look at revisions to writing with an eye for improving personal editing skills.  Try Draftback.

February 16, 2015 Resources!

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Just found the most amazing tool to help ANY Teacher that has students write.  ProWritingAid is a great tool and has a lite version for download.  However the Add-On for Chrome creates some really valuable reports!  This cool add on will produce reports that look at plagarism, consistency, overused words and much more.  This might be a tool to purchase in the future.  If you get a chance give it a try and let me know.  The data we/students could collect on their writing would be very valuable.  Please give ProWritingAid a chance.

February 2, 2015 Resources!

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If you are looking for ways  for students to tell stories, make connections or to just see some cool information try out MyHistro!  They are calling it a timeline tool, but it is really great for telling stories.  Students can log in with their GMail account and then search existing stories or build their own.  They can identify locations of events on maps, add information like dates, links and pictures and then put it all together in a clickable format – it works like powerpoint where you click through the slides.  There are also some great ones created by others – French Revolution, Early Christianity, William Shakespeare’s life and many others!  Check out MyHistor!

January 26, 2015 Resources!

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Recently we created a Google App for IASAS and to be honest it wasn’t that hard.  (I wish I could say the same about the Apple version but it was WAY MORE COMPLICATED.)  However, I thought I would share the site where I learned.  It is very easy and all free.  If you were ever interested in Coding or Programming OR if you have some cool ideas for Apps this is a great place to learn.  http://codewithchris.com/how-to-make-an-iphone-app/ – He has great video tutorials that work!

January 19, 2015 Resources!

Welcome back all.  Hopefully you were able to get some good rest and relaxation!  Here is the newest resource:

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Wikipedia has never been my favorite web tool – however things are always changing and I came across this.  It is the List of Academic Databases and Search Engines. Bookmark this site!  Link to research lessons, presentation building or almost anything for students to locate and identify answers.  Teaching students the skill of locating and answering their own questions with reliable sources is a  key skill they will need in the future.  The list is broken down by both Discipline and Access so you know which ones are free.  There are great things here – give the List of Academic Databases and Search Engines a try!

December 8, 2014 Resources!

Sorry I was gone last week – I was busy running the Laguna Phuket 70.3 Triathlon!  I survived and I am back in the saddle. Here is a bit on Google Scholar.

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Recently I was reminded of the amazing things found in Google Scholar.  Loads of peer reviewed journals, primary sources and complete books!  It is a great tool for locating quality resources and it is a simple way to teach students the value of QUALITY searching.  Now with your Google Account you actually get a Google Scholar Account.  This entitles you to browse quality journals like, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and TONS of others in the Social Sciences. To make searching easier it also gives you the Advanced Search menu as a drop down menu from the search bar to help.  It also allows you to now create your own SAVED library.  The most impressive piece is the new Citations page that is created for you – simply collect your research and citations build themselves – You gotta love Google!  Try Google Scholar today!

November 24, 2014 Resources!

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With Chrome making browsing difficult on Macs – many of you have switched to Firefox.  This week I am recommending an old favorite of mine in Firefox – StretchClock.  This is a great tool for keeping yourself fresh and making sure you take care of yourself during these stressful times.  StressClock puts a visible clock on your Firefox Browswer window that counts down to a break.  Remember that Dr. Larry Rosen, author of iDisorder, suggests tech breaks every 20 minutes.  Added to recommending a break it gives you cool videos for stretching and yoga to help you deal with the stress of the day.  Take break on Bell – use StretchClock.

November 17, 2014 Resources!

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Ever print a website page and get everything but what you want?  Me too!  Try PrintWhatYouLike.com.  This is a free app and Chrome Add on which helps you tell the printer what you want and don’t want.  If you use the Chrome Add-On (which I highly suggest) it produces another window for printing with options to remove, images, sidebars, and backgrounds. It helps reduce the number of pages you print and also ensures you are only printing what you need.  Finally an answer for printing websites properly.  Try PrintWhatYouLike.com!

November 10, 2014 Resources!

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It is a good time to provide students with some extra tools for highlighting, annotating and general note taking.  Introducing Texthelp Study Skills.  This is a simple Add On for Chrome.  It is an extremely helpful tool for students.  It provides a suite of tools for highlighting and annotating on Google Docs.  Added to this once students have made their highlights and annotations it will pull all of these together in a single document, thus reducing the amount of information students need to review.  It is a great time saver and suggested for any and all students.  Try Texthelp Study Skills Add On!

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I used to be a Social Studies teacher and I loved timelines.  Kids used them for presentations, for note-taking and we created whole class built timelines.  They are a great way to synthesize a lot of information in linear format.  Introducing Tiki-Toki!  This is an AWESOME time-lining tool.  With your free account you can build timelines (even 3D timelines)!  Cool features are that it forces students to cite intro and background images.  It also allows you to set times or dates whichever you like.  They can put any type of media into the timeline including: videos, images, text, flash movies and much more.  For those advanced students they can actually code Java scripts to work in here as well to create demonstrations.  This is the next level of tools for students.  Try Tiki-Toki.com.

October 27, 2014 Resources!

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Backchannels are a great way to start discussions, gather questions, give everyone a voice or to create group thinking.  There are two really good ones that I suggest.  The first is Padlet.  It creates a great open space where anyone can post any question or answer any question.One of the best features of Padlet is that it can be shared, downloaded, printed or saved.  Today’s Meet is the other one.  This one works very similarly except that it limits the number of characters.  However it is completely anonymous.    A very simple implementation would be to use either one as a way to poll the class or as an exit ticket.  Either tool provides a place virtually for you to interact with students.  Try Padlet or Today’s Meet!

October 12, 2014 Resources!

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Today is just a fun one.  ClassTools.net is full of cool apps that can add to ANY classroom.  There are timers, educational video games, QR Code creators and much, much more!  I know I tend to want to ‘Spice up’ classes around this time of year.  So take a few minutes, play with something fun and try it out in your class.  Try ClassTools.net!

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Looking for good articles to share with students?  How would you like to be able to pick articles by reading level?  Newsela is a great tool for this.  Real World Articles that have been Lexile Leveled for teachers.  Added to this there are no distracting advertisements and with some articles there is a prepared Quiz.  It also attaches to your Google Account so you can save directly to Google Drive.  Give Newsela a try.

September 22, 2014 Resources!

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Looking for a new tool for presentations?  Try emaze.com!  By signing up you get a free account which allows you to build presentations up to 200mb.  There are some really captivating themes on this online tool.  It works a little bit like Prezi, but it is MUCH EASIER.  You can embed video and pictures or any other media.  Added to this you can upload existing PowerPoint presentations.  It is a really cool and simple to use – try emaze.com!

September 15, 2014 Resources!

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LucidChart is an amazing tool that is being added to our Google Apps.  It can create MindMaps, Diagrams, FlowCharts, and can be shared like any other Google Doc.  I’ve tested this one and it is very easy to use.  It is also very robust in that it will allow merging of charts, as well as layers.  It is a very simple tool and can be used to create interactive workspaces for students.  I highly recommend this LucidChart for students.

September 8, 2014 Resources!

Many of you have explored online type whiteboards.  These are like the old whiteboards a student might use in class except that they reside in the ether (online).  The benefits of this are that you can usually download and share thsese items.  Also you can use them with multiple classes.  As part of your Google Drive you can add the RealTimeBoard App – it connects to your Google Drive allowing you to share the Whiteboard just like any other Google Doc.  I creates an open workspace where you and your students can collaborate.

September 1, 2014 Resources!

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The first day of school the students completed the start of year Computer Investigation for me.  This gave me some great insights into how our students use computers and what they need.  One of the biggest standouts was the number of students who use SKYPE on a daily basis.  Knowing this gives us a chance to leverage that tool for use.  Try using Skype with your students to have group meetings, to interact with other classes at ISB conducting the same work or to collaborate with other schools.  Here is a great example of a lesson using Skype by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano – she has her students complete what she calls a Learning Call.  Give it a try!

August 18, 2014 Resources!

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Want a really fun way to start class, collect data and check for understanding?  Try Kahoot!  It is a very simple and easy to use web-based program.  You can setup a free account that allows you to create a question and answer game OR an online discussion that is accessible via the web or mobile device.  It is loads of fun and can be very short.  I suggest you give Kahoot! a try.

June 2, 2014 Resources!

Unfortunately this time of year tempts students to cheat.  eLearning Industry puts out some really good resources. I recently came across this great article with 10 resources for checking work for cheating.  I haven’t tested all of these, but there are some good resources here.  While I hope no one cheats, it is an inevitable part of the job.  Let me know if you use any of these with good luck.

May 26, 2014 Resources!

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This week I wanted to recommend the use of Twitter.  With all of the political upheaval in Thailand I am finding Twitter to be the best and most up to date source for information.  Typically I use Twitter professional to collect the Tweets from other educational technology professionals.  I was going to put together my own training but then I found (via Twitter!) Alicia Duell’s training for teachers.  This shows what Twitter is and has ideas of how Twitter can be used professionally.  Once you get it setup look for me@ChristopherBell

May 19, 2014 Resources!

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Recently I have been reading about the value of Audio in eLearning.  It provides another avenue for delivery of information to students.  Some learners do better listening to information and taking notes while others need to actually read the information.  It might be a good idea to try to combine the two to make sure you are providing equitable access for all learners.  This week I am suggesting Vocaroo.com.  This amazing little website does not require an account or password.  It allows you to record directly into the site.  Then you can get either an embed code or a link to share the recording.  Have your students record answers, statements or ideas and send them OR record your feedback and send it to students.  It can also be emailed to students.  It is a great tool for 21st century teachers!  Enjoy Vocaroo.

May 12, 2014 Resources!

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As we entered the Finals time of the year it is time to begin the review sessions.  If you’ve every watched Jeopardy you know it is a fun and exciting game.  This website – Jeopardy Labs – allows you to build your very own Jeopardy review game.  Simply create an account (all you actually need is a password) and then start building.  You can copy and paste your questions and answers into the game board.  Then start playing!  Jeopardy Labs is COOL!

May 6, 2014 Resources!

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I typically do not recommend any sites or tools that cost – but minigroup is so cool, easy to use and works on mobile devices that I had to send this one.  You can try it for 30 days and then it is $5 a month.  Using your school gmail account you can easily sign in and start right up.  Minigroup is a very easy tool for creating lines of communication and engagement with students.  You can have multiple discussions happening, load documents or files and then send out.  It is a simple click to invite others.  It also allows you to create a Task or Event that will notify students.  Minigroup is a great tool for communication.  Try it out!

April 28, 2014 Resources!

Most of you have heard of the SAMR model (and if not it is worth a Google).  I was looking for new little tech tools for today’s resources and came across this.  It is a great interactive image explaining the model.  Enjoy!

April 21, 2014 Resources!

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Stripgenerator is a cool online tool for building comic strips.  This is a great way for students to retell, explain or synthesis learning in a creative way.  Simply go to http://stripgenerator.com/ and register – it is free!  (*The Activation email might go to your Spam so check there if you don’t get it right away)  Once your account is setup begin building.  There are cool characters, voice bubbles, different layouts and an array of layout tools.  when you are done simply print or save to pdf and you have a real comic strip.  Try Stripgenerator!

April 8, 2014 Resources!

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Dave, a friend of mine, shared the combined use of Student Blogs and Netvibes.  He uses the student blogs to increase writing in his classes, to allow students to ‘publish’ work, to improve communication and to provide a reflective opportunity for students.  Then he uses Netvibes to pull in all the feeds from the students.  Netvibes is a simple RSS Feeder – this means it draws a feed from websites that you select.  Any time any of your selected websites is updated, it is ‘feed’ to your Netvibes page automatically.  This is a terrific way to create and gather resources as well as manage lots of incoming information.  Another great way to use this tool (and I use it this way 🙂 is to have pages that pull in feeds from all of your professional education websites.  This way by looking at t a single Netvibes page I can get the most up to date information in the field of ed tech.  Finally, you can then make pages public to share these collected resources with others.  It is a great tool with added benefits when combining it with student blogs.  Take a look at the kids work on their Netvibes Page.  Nice job Dave!

March 31 2014 Resources!

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I’ve been using Haiku Learning for nearly two years now and I am AMAZED at how easily staff implemented.  It has all the tools a good Learning Management System would have.  It has discussions, wikiprojects, video, audio, youtube and google integration, online assessments, grade book and so much more.  I highly suggest you try Haiku.  Added to this they just released their new iPad App for Haiku!  Take a look at the app it seems really good – let me know what you think.

March 24, 2014 Resources!

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Mind mapping is a great way to start thinking about a topic, planning projects or simply brainstorm.  MatterMap is the latest technology in this field.  This is a very robust site.  It provides a place for students to capture quotes, put in citation information and manage findings.  Then it allows users to develop their own Mind Map (MatterMap) about the topic.  Images, Tech, Quotes can all be built around a single idea.  Then this can be printed or shared as needed. It is a great tool for visualizing thinking.  Try out MatterMap.

March 17, 2014 Resources!

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Exams are always stressful.  Want a new and exciting study guide?  Want to create study guides that your friends will love?  Try out ExamTime!  This is a place where students and teachers are building study guides to make exams less stressful.  There are literally 1000’s of study guides for you to choose from.  You can create new study guides as well.  Suggest them to students or your friends.  You can also Embed them in a Haiku or Share them out via social media.  The Create Button allows you to make a Mindmap, Flash Cards, Quizzes or build Notes.  It is very easy, free and provides great resources!  Enjoy ExamTime.

March 10, 2014 Resources!

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Looking to update some of those older resources?  HippoCampus is the place.  Loads of great videos, presentations and tutorials from NASA, NOAA, KHAN and many more.  There are resources for everything from Algebra, to Government, History, Biology and Earth Sciences.  By creating a free account you build a ‘playlist’ of resources for students and provide them with a single link to all of the selected sources.  Great for updating some of those ‘old’ resources.  HippoCampus.org.

March 3, 2014 Resources!


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A friend showed me this nice little extension for Chrome.  If you are trying to record audio for feedback (especially Formative feedback) Kaizena. Kaizena allows you to comment or RECORD audio feedback.  It is very easy to install – go to the Chrome Store and get Kaizena.  Then relaunch your browser and open a Google Doc.  You can now record simple comments and write comments.  Finally here is the short Tutorial Video.  Good luck.

Feb. 24, 2014 Resources!

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This is something you  might show your students.  The Hemingway App provides students and writers a way to critically analyze their writing.  It works by simply writing or copy/pasting into the application page. It provides a Readability Rating, counts words sentences and paragraphs and identifies common errors.  It is a super easy tool to use and helps students improve their own writing.  Try out the Hemingway App.

Feb. 9, 2014 Resources!

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We are constantly seeking to improve our methods of assessment.  Google Forms is a great way to capture data and conduct both Formative and Summative Assessments.  FollowMolly.com is a great website.  She has a page on Innovative Ideas for Using Google Forms.  Some of the highlights are Classroom Observation Forms, Peer Feedback Form, Writing and Science Feedback Form as well as many others.  She also have the step by step instructions for creating a SELF GRADING QUIZ using Google Forms.  Give them a try and let  me know.

Feb. 3, 2014 Resources!

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Last week I had a really good discussion about students writing in journals/binders.  It is clear that if students are going to be required to ‘write’ for an assessment then writing stamina must be built.  However, if you are looking for a similar digital solution, LiveBinders is great.  It keeps the look and feel of a real 3 ring binder yet allows for students to manage their own writing with the ability to incorporate editing tools, save, share, and conduct research while collecting all of this in a single location.  It is free and there are some great binders created by professionals and shared.  For example: there are binders on social media, PLAN Testing, and many more. Here is a LiveBinders Video Demo.

Jan. 27, 2014 Resources!

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Looking for a way to increase collaboration and raise the level of discussion in your classes?  Try out Collaborize Classroom!  It appears to be free and has lots of easy options.  It runs multiple threaded discussions in a very clean and easy to understand format.  It allows you to use it as a Class Starter or Ticket Out the Door.  Setup is simply a password and email.  You can post images, video or pdf’s to guide or start the discussion.  It also provides graphics of responses to questions to complete or assess understanding.  Simply mail, post or embed the question for students to access and your discussion is off and running.
Here is the link to a discussion I am starting.  http://technologyinnovation.collaborizeclassroom.com.

Jan. 21, 2014 Resources!

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WOW!  Make FLASHCARDS easily with Google Spreadsheets. Flippity.net is a new site that takes a Google Spreadsheet and quickly (and easily!) makes a set of flash cards.  This is perfect for students to use as a review tool.  The link I am sending has the step by step instructions.  I’ve seen a lot of ‘flashcard’ websites, but this is hands down the easiest – and it is free!  *Keep this link as you will need to paste the Share Code from your Google Spreadsheet to create the Flashcards.

Jan. 13 2014 Resources!

I had been posting to the main page as I got feedback that this was better.  Now I am going to try the old way as it seems there may not have been a huge difference.

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As an ‘old’ school librarian, I am always on the look out for great citation tools.  In the past I liked NoodleTools and Easybib – however I just came across WritingHouse.org which is super robust!  Really like how easy it is.  It also offers so many more options.  It is a tool we can share with kids that they can take it with them when they go off to college.  It takes just a minute to take a look.  http://writinghouse.org/
ALSO!
I started an Educational Technology Resources Page.  It has everything from Theory to Tips and Tricks.  Check it out!

May 20, 2013 Resources!

It is the assessment season.  Here are some online tools that might help.

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I’ve discussed Google Forms before.  However I stumbled upon Kern Kelly’s Google Form Templates.  There are some really great starters.  Just click on the template you want to use and the instructions will appear.  Follow the instructions and personalize for your own use.  It is a great way to conduct quick assessments.  **There are some specific ones for administrators.**

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I know many of you have used Rubistar or QuizStar in the past.  Interestingly Rubistar is part of a set of tools provided by the group Altec or 4teachers.org They used to charge a subsription price, but have since dropped this and are now offering all of their cool tools including QuizStar and Rubistar for free.  If you have a chance explore these two tools.  They are very easy to use and QuizStar actually grades the assessment itself.

May 14, 2013 Resources!

As Adobe makes changes to its cost structure, Photoshop becomes less and less appealing to use.  Have no fear.  This week I will purpose a couple new online image editors that are free!

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Ribbit is a very simple tool with some extra cool features.  It has all of the typical image editing features like crop, light adjustment, contrast and others.  Ribbit also allows for drag and dropping of images. However, it has some specific accessories that really make for cool images.  It makes really nice and professional looking collages.  It is great for vacation or family photos.  The one below to 2 minutes!

Ribbet collage

Another way to share your photos professional is to create albums and books.  Keepsy is another photo compiler and presentation tool. You can build albums, books or even calendars to share with others.  It also has drag and drop features.  It is a very nice way to share your vacation photos.

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May 6, 2013 Resources!

This weeks focus is on Mobile Device usage in classrooms.  All of the below allow teachers to extend the reach of their classroom content to mobile devices (phones, tablets, iPads, etc.)

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Socrative makes it possible for teachers to conduct multiple choice or open ended tests that are available to students via their smart phones.  It is very easy to use and free.  Just setup an account and you can either create the quiz within the system or you can use the Socrative Excel Template and upload a quiz.  It can makes that quiz more interactive – try Socrative.

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PollEverywhere has been highlighted before, but it is now available for mobile use.  It is very simple and easy to use.  Simply create a free account (warning: limited to 50 users at one time)  Then create your poll.

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 It collects the data and then creates a visual representation or graph of the results.  This is a fantastic class starter and again makes class immediately more interactive.  Try PollEverywhere.

April 29, 2013 Resources!

Summer is quickly approaching.  During the summer we are often afforded the ability and time to rethink what we do in our classes.  Below is a model to help drive quality technology integrations vs. technology for technology sake making lessons more valuable.  Below that is a list of 33 Different Technologies Teachers should know when integrating technology.

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SAMR Model – this model was designed by Ruben Puentedura. It is a very clean and easy model to use.  This model has applications for everyone from substitution to complete integration.  Puentedura suggests that quality integration is a process and takes time as well as revision.  Take a look at the SAMR Model.

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33 Ways to Integrate Tech!  Integrating technology effectively is simply re-thinking the great things you do already in your classes. Over the summer rethink some of the things you already do and see how technology can support, help, or engage students at a much higher level.  Here is a list (long list with links 🙂 of different ways you can leverage technology for your classroom from Educators Technology

April 22, 2013 Resources!

This week I will highlight some tools for creating books as projects in your class.  Creating books are a great way for students to demonstrate and share their learning.

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My favorite book creation tool is easily iBook Author from Mac.  It is an amazing tool.  It allows you to create your own books or conent with pictures, movies, graphics and text.  Then you can upload it to iTunes for download by your students.  The students can then access the book as if it were any other ebook they would access on their phones, ipads or computer.  You can also export it as a pdf if you want to provide a download for your students.  It is a great tool.  Try iBook Author.

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Story Jumper is another book creator.  Story Jumper is completely online and if you sign up as a teacher you can setup a classroom account.  It is very simple, so it doesn’t have all the ‘bells and wistles’ that iBook Author has but it is quick and easy to use.  Simply create a login and off you go. There are templates and different elements you can add to enhance your book.  Try Story Jumper.

March 25, 2013 Resources!

I decided it might helpful to start posting resources in a thematic manner.  This week I found some really fantastic Map Making and Data Gathering sites.  Hope you enjoy please let me know if you want changes.

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Have heard some of those scary statistics about the spread of flu or GDP growth?  Now take a look at it on a map.  If you are a Social Studies, Math or Science Teacher this might be for you. Take a look at Silk Stat.

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I know so people are totally happy with Google Maps.  I also know that sometimes you would like to make your own maps for biking, hiking, trekking, Global Citizenship Week…  If you want to build your own interactive maps based on Google Maps with your own style and information check into Animaps.

Internet Minute

One last thought for this week about maps.  Maps are a great jumping off point for information, study, evaluation  and great ways to develop critical thinking.  Maps are not always geography related.  Infographics can be considered maps of information.  Take a look at this graphic shared with me by a friend.  Here are 10 tools for making Infographics.

March 18, 2013 Resources!

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Online Audio Cutter – Ever need to save a mp3 or edit one?  Want to create a unique ringtone?  mp3cut.net will open, edit, fade-in/fade-out all online and then allow you to save and download the audio file.  It is quite an amazing little tool with VERY easy instructions.

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Online PDF Annotator – Want to actually fill in the pdf you have without having to print and then scan?  Check out the Online PDF Annotator!  Via the website you can open and the type, highlight, or even insert links.  Then download the completed document in Microsoft Word or as a new PDF.  There is also a short training video that makes it super easy.

March 11, 2013 Resources!

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Need a great photo editor?  BeFunky.com is super simple to use and allows you to save, share or print your images.  It also easily links with Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, Facebook and other photo sites.  Check out BeFunky.com

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Do you ever use or have students create diagrams.  Generally these end up being Excel Sheets or they are hand drawn.  Check out Gliffy.com.It allows creators to develop their own professional looking diagrams.  They have templates like SWOT Analysis, Flow Charts, Venn Diagrams and more.  These charts help users organize information so it is easy to consume.

March 4, 2013 Resources!

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A while back I recommended Flubaroo as a way to to create self-grading quizzes in Google Docs.  I still think this is a very good tool however, I came across this tutorial that makes it very simple!  Checkout how to make self-grading quizzes with Flubaroo and Google Docs

Link to Flubaroo

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We have been discussing the changes to Bloom’s Taxonomy and what this means for technology in education.  It clearly puts a focus on the ability of the learner to create.  This change brings technology tools to the forefront.  You may have seen the Bloom’s Web 2.0 Taxonomy but here it is again all linked up.  Tons of tools!

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To follow Bloom’s is the Pedagogy Wheel.  This is a very clear and effective wheel that can help educators access the proper tool for the proper purpose.  This is one of the e-Learning Focuses.  Check out the Pedagogy Wheel!

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Last one for today – and not least – is Go2Web2.0.  There is way too much to check out here.  I had seen this before but it is a huge resource drop now.  It is all linked and pages and pages of tools.  Check the Go2Web2.0 Website.

February 26, 2013 Resources!

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Looking for a new creative idea for projects in your class?  Checkthis.com creates cool social posters.  There are some really cool ideas and is linkable to Facebook etc.  It is fast to start and easy to use.  A fun project.

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Screencasts are an essential part of a flipped classroom.  They are also great for providing students resources from your classes – notes, demonstrations, etc.  Screenr is a new screencasting tool that is easy to use and can be linked to a Google, Facebook or other account.  It isn’t the most robust tool, but it gets the job done fast.  It will allow up to 5 minute videos with the free version.  Check out Screenr.com

February 11, 2013 Resources!

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ePals – Almost all of us have heard of pen pals.  Pen pals are nothing new.  Teachers have whole classes connect with other classes around the world.  In international schools this happens even more frequently.  Now there is a tool that will help put this together in an organized and SAFE fashion.

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Timetoast – Do you use timelines to teach?  Timetoast is a cool way to create interactive timelines.  Students can use the tool to create and organize information.  There are also some great timelines already created for you. It is simple to use and free!

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Google Hangouts – I demonstrated this to my staff and they really enjoyed it.  We are looking to cut down on meetings and this is one way we can connect.  This provides the ability to chat, video chat, screen share and connect with each other.  All you need is a Google Account.

February 4, 2013 Resources!

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Looking for that perfect website to share with students to enhance research?  Need to refresh some of your own resources?  Offer Academicinfo.net.  This site has a tremendous number of links and is a searchable database.  It links to greats, American Memory, Library of Congress, and many others.

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Another Video website for education!  Backpack TV – focuses on STEM Learning and is a fast growing video site.  Different levels of Math and Science Videos are available.  The videos are very clean and also have an embed code.

January 28, 2013 Resources!

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Almost everyone has a Facebook page and we have all heard how business, schools, employers, etc are now searching Facebook pages as part of the investigation into backgrounds.  This can be a little unerving if you have had your page for many years now.  I would like to introduce Facewash – it is currently in a Beta format but it conducts a sweep of your Facebook page/posts and then brings up questionable content.  If nothing else it is a good way to look at some of the content you may have forgotten was on your Facebook page or to get rid of those images you got tagged in without knowing.

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I have been exploring ePortfolios and there is a growing number of companies building these types of systems.  One that I recently explored was Pathbrite.  While I am not completely sold on the value as a professional ePortfolio I do think it is a TERRIFIC vehicle for a student presentation of work or ideas about a topic.  It is simply a collage of images and websites that can be related to the same topic.

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This is both a resource and just a cool event.  This is an American based event, but anyone can sign up to take part.  When you sign up (which is free) you get access to Tips of the Day, Toolkits, Resources and many other things.  You can also have your own celebration and share it through this site.  Signup at Digital Learning Day.

January 21, 2013 Resources!

Welcome to the new year.  It has been a while but hopefully you return relaxed and ready to advance education for all.

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Google Power Searching for Teachers – A while back I recommended that people look into the new Google Teacher Resources.  Well one that I played around with this weekend was their recommendations for power searching.  They offer a whole class on the topic.  However, there is a Quick Guide that is actually very useful and could be used with students.  Check out Google’s Quick Guide for Power Searching.

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After the new year many of you probably have photos from your fantastic vacation or time spent with friends and family.  Sometimes it is nice to great short videos of your pictures to share.  This is also a skill useful for showing images in class.  iMovie is a great tool but even easier is ImagetoVideo.com.  It allows for 15 images and a sound file.  It then allows you to share a link or embed the video in a blog, Haiku, or website.

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Lastly, I am a secret fan of Pintrest.  There are lots of good things to see on there.  I recently looked for educational technology resources and found some really great boards.  Educatorstechnology.com put together a nice list of ten different boards worth looking at.

December 17, 2012

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Hopefully you will take some time to be with loved ones this holiday season. However, it is inevitable that you will come across things you want to save for later. Pocket is a great app that can be connected to your browser, computer, and phone. It allows you to ‘save’ pages, images and movie links for viewing later in all in one place. Think Evernote or Diigo. If you get a chance check out Pocket.
Finally, here is a cool video put out by Google about 2012. Happy Holidays, and New Year.

December 10, 2012 Resources!

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I recently received a Tweet from OpenCulture.com – they had 200 Free Kids Educational Resources!  This is a massive list.

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By this point most of you have either seen or heard of Pintrest.  If you haven’t it is definitely worth a look – there are resources and some just plain old cool stuff on there.  For example I found this list of the 20 Best Pintrest Boards about Educational Technology.

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The last one this week is from another blog called Always Prepped – dedicated to teachers.  They had a great list of 10 Important Infographics for Teachers.  Enjoy.

December 1, 2012 Resources!

MIT K12 EDU

Teachers want videos created by MIT?  Checkout their site with free videos that are EDUCATIONAL.  K12 Videos at MIT

Mural ly

Tired of Prezi and PowerPoint – Mural ly is a new web based program that is a true cross between Mind Mapping and Presentation tools.  It is in it’s Beta form now but it is amazingly easy to use.  Here is a really cool example with images of New York

Fodey

There are lots of new web tools that allow students to create different writing presentations.  Check out Fodey.com.  Make all kinds of realistic looking written pieces to present.

November 25, 2012 Resources!

I presented at the Bangkok Google Summit and there are some really great presentations.  I thought I would share mine with you on  Technology Coaching and the Learning Management System.

Edudemic is great.  Here is an article about the 20 Best Pinterest Pinboards About Education – tons of resources and interesting information.

More Flipped Classroom Resources!  16 Examples of Flipped Classrooms.

I am really into infographics right now – found this great resource at eLearning Industry.  It is a List of Free Tools to Create Infographics

November 19, 2012 Resources!

  • Any time I see something of interest about Google I try to check it out.  This is very interesting – check out this article/resource 52 Tips and Tricks for Using Google Docs in your Classroom
  • Edudemic has released its latest version of the 30 Best Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers.
  • I love Infographics – most of us have seen the ones at Visual ly – they are great.  However, creating one through them is difficult.  I found PiktoChart is fairly intuitive and kind of fun to use.  The free version is a little limited – only 5 images, but all the text and their built-in images you want.

November 5, 2012 Resources!

I am a big fan of Prezi.  It is fun and gives presentations a little spice that those old PowerPoints are missing.  They have made it that much easier to use.  If you haven’t tried it in the past, give it a look now.  It is much more intuitive.  Here is a link to the differences and tutorials.

If you are full go on the Flipped Classroom idea you should definitely be using Zentation.  It will play your presentation and embed video so that the full screen is a standup presentation.  This is like having you there to explain the presentation.  This is a good one.

I have had a lot of recent requests for ‘what’s the best phone?’ or ‘who makes the best computer?’ – Basically technology reviews.  I personal like CNET – I have used it for years, I find their Compare Tool very good and if you can’t find it reviewed there, then it isn’t worth buying.  Here is the CNET Reviews page.

October 29, 2012 Resources!

Yep – I took last week off – It was nice, but I am back with some fresh new ideas.  A lot is happening right now in education.

Many of you already use Youtube for your own classroom videos – Youtube for Teachers – has just been launched and is a great site.  They believe they will create the ‘largest classroom’ in the world.  This is and will become a huge resource.  It has all of the same features of Youtube and then some.

Google Strikes Again! – Now as part of Google+ they have created Google Education OnAir – it is a site dedicated to allowing educators and students share groups, ideas and their skills.  Simply register and you can receive specific content from individual creators.

There are a lot of different ideas, theories and methodologies out there today about integrating technology effectively into classroom instruction.  I find that I lean towards the description of Blended Learning. Edudemic posted a great document about what Blended Learning is and how it is done.

Blended Learning: Strategies for Engagement

October 14, 2012 Resources!

This is a double header – if you haven’t used the RSS Feeder called Scoop.it I suggest it.  It is great, lets you organize, curate and share different websites with related information.  The other half of this one is a Scoop.it page from Shamblesguru (weird name).  The Scoop is on Educational Videos – listed are a number of websites, some you know others you won’t know that have Educational Videos – check out Scoop.it and Videos for Education

I had a Science teacher ask me about Digital Storytelling last week.  I love digital storytelling as a tool for the classroom, forces students to think, create and use their own voice.  Here is a great blog with a great list of Digital Storytelling Tools and Web 2.0 Apps

If you have not seen Gapminder.org and are remotely interested in data or statistical information then you have to check this out – it is just cool.  Create your own data displays or use those designed from major data producers.

October 9, 2012 Resources! – Happy World Teacher’s Day!  Oct. 5th.

I have to admit when I updated my iphone and ipad I was a little bummed to lose Google Maps.  Never fear – LifeHacker is here with the answer.  Check out this fix – Google Street View is Now Available on the Google Maps Webapp – by Thorin Klosowski.

Great education blog – Education Apps Review – its AWESOME!  Resources and articles.

Wondering why you haven’t completed your 1:1 initiative successfully?  Check out Victoria Department of Education’s 21 Step Guide for Implementing 1:1 Successfully

I know there is a Smart Board in almost every room.  I also know it is often very time consuming to develop actual lessons that integrate the board into the class.  This weekend a spent a little time looking at the SMART Exchange – interactive SMART Board Lessons for all levels.

OK – Last one and I want comments on this one – What are your thoughts on Mobile devices in the classroom.  Download this from UNESCO.  Turning on Mobile Learning in North America

October 1, 2012 Resources!

This week I checked out PollEverywhere – this is a very powerful polling tool with so many options, texting, emailing, online – it is great and you can get the results in a statistical format.  Checkout my this Poll on Ed Tech Resources.

Great resource from Edutopia.org on Free Classroom Guides and Educational Downloads for 2012

I also did a presentation last week to parents on helping their students independently (and with the use of Parent Controls, Self Control and a few other tools) manage their computer time in a responsible manner.  A site I came across was the A Platform for Good Website – it’s partners include internet giants Facebook, Microsoft and Google among others.

Finally I tested out Mendely – this is a newer research tool but it is growing fast and has been identified as an up and coming technology.  Look for almost any research, you can create folders of research and it generates the bibliography for you.  Very cool.

September 22, 2012 Resources!

For those that love the cool interactive sites check this out – it has 360 animations for science, music and history.  3D Toad
This is a cool tool for creating PhotoBooks – use it to present new ideas or to share examples, plus it is linked to flickr.  Bookr

This is one you may have seen before, but I really like it.  It is simple and effective – Toondo.

WOW is all I can say about this site – Full of different tools.  Cool Tools for Schools!

September 17, 2012 Resources!

VuVox – This is one of the more Amazing tools I have come across recently. It does just about everything.  It is a RSS Feeder, A Photo Album and a Presentation Tool all in one.  Very cool.

This week I am also recommending an iPad APP – CaptureNotes It allows you to write, open documents (PDF’s TOO!) and write right on them, it allows you to build folders, to give feedback on any document – in audio, written or typed format.
Last one is an oldie but a goodie – I used to teach kids to create WebQuests all the time. I found this site that has some in there already and you can create them within.  Check this one out.  WebQuests

September 3, 2012 Resources!

Just started using PearlTrees – Lots of possibilities for education check out my PearlTree

Netvibes is an RSS Feed Collector

Free image editor (Shared with me by Mr. Chad Bates) – Pixlr.com – almost as good as Photoshop!

Google+ for educational purposes – by Edudemic – 50 Ways Schools can use Google+

Have iPads in the Classroom this Blog has Everything you need.  The Mobile Native

Great Resource for Everyone – definitely worth grabbing the RSS – A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet

August 26, 2012 Resources!

Seen a cool Infographic – here is a place to find others and build your own.  Visual.ly

I know you have seen Tedx – now check out Ted-ED

Teach Students to Filter their Google Searches

Art Teachers – Check out Google’s Newest Creation – Google Art Project

Got a big PDF and want to make it flip like a an eBook?  Check out ISSUU

August 2, 2012 Resources!

This month is Connected Educators Month – I think this is a tremendous idea – GET INVOLVED!

I have been hard at work with Haiku AND I LOVE IT!  Check out the FDLSD Professional Development Page – Great stuff

Twitter Tools for Teachers! – 100 Best by Jeff Dunn

I love Infographics.  Barbara Bray created this one called ED Tech Cheat Sheet

50 Little Known Ways Google Docs can help Education

July 2, 2012 Top 10 Resources! – I’ve been on the road so this week I only had a chance to review a few. They are really good!

Kathy Schrock – AWESOME EDUCATOR! Guide to Everything:  Bloomin Apps for iPads

David Warlick‘s 2cents.  This is a great educator site.  Full of resources, ideas and commentary.

June 23, 2012 Top 10 Resources!


Possibly the COOLEST new Teacher Tool!  Teach with Portals

Share My Lessons – For Teachers By Teachers

Every Want to Have YOUR Students make movies?  Check out these tutorials.

A Colleague’s Website that is Great for Tech Ideas!  TheThinkingStick

Alaska Getting Ahead of the Digital Curve – Checkout the Alaska Digital Sandbox for instructional ideas

Great site for help transferring those old lessons to Google Lessons with Googlizelesson Wiki

Technology 4 Kids Wiki is really impressive! Specific lessons and instructions for using language and technology for learning

June 16, 2012 Top 10 Resources!

1.  15 Different Tools for File Sharing!

2.  Methods for Integrating Google Apps effectively

3.  More Google Apps Stuff – Best Efficiency Reasons to use Google Apps

4.  Free Online Research Tools!

5.  The 2012 A-Z List of Educational Twitter Hashtags

6.  More Twitter Stuff – Cybrary Man’s Educational Web Site – Has SUPER LISTS of Hashtags

7.  How to Teach with Technology: Social Studies

8.  How to Teach with Technology: Language Arts

9.  How to Teach with Technology: Math/Science

10. THIS IS AWESOME!  33 Skills 21st Century Educators Should Have

June 10, 2012 Top 10

1.  HUGE LIST OF iPad Apps Discussed

2.  50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story

3.  Powerful Learning Practice – Web 2.0 Professional Development

4.  Scholr.ly – Super free research engine

5.  Google Apps Support Site

6.  The K – 12 Wiki Lab – All Techie Project Based Ideas!

7.  Qwiki – great starter ideas and summary creations

8.  Managing Google Docs from Students

9.  Common Sense Media – Aligning ISTE and AASL Standards to Instruction – VERY COOL!

10. 80 ONLINE TOOLS

June 3, 2012 Top 10

1.  Like InfoGraphics – Create your own – easily

2.  Creative Commons Resources for Bloom’s Taxonomy – This is cool.

3.  Digital Learning Day Resource Roundup

4.  Top 10 Twitter Accounts to Follow for Educational Technology

5.  100 Web 2.0 Tools Every Teacher Should Know About

6.  40+ Web Page/Site Tools

7.  Bloom’s Taxonomy: The 21st Century Version

8.  48-Ultra Cool Summer Sites for Kids and Teachers

9.  Focus on Effectiveness: Integrating Technology

10. Integrating Technology into the Classroom using Instructional Strategies – “Classroom Instruction that Works”

 

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