Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Great Collection of EdTech Pins on Pinterest

I know so many educators that are becoming addicted to Pinterest.  Pinterest is a great resource for classroom ideas and a fun way to store and share your favorite sites, links, ideas, products, and images.

If you are educator that is using technology in your classroom, you need to take a look at the pinboards created by David Kapuler.  David has so far created 13 different boards that relate to educational technology.  His pin boards include Web 2.0 for Schools, Educational Online Games, Social Networks for Education, Digital Storytelling Apps and Sites, Educational IOS Apps, Creating Digital Art, and Search Engines.  You could be lost for days looking through all of the great resources that David has provided!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Do You Like to Pop Bubble Wrap?

Seriously, who doesn't like to pop bubble wrap?  I found this virtual bubble wrap online long ago, but I had no educational reason to share it with you- until now.

I recently came across a post at the Math Coach Blog about a graphing activity using the virtual bubble wrap. Student are divided into popping teams where one student pops the bubble wrap and the other student documents how many bubbles were popped at each 10 second interval (there is a counter and a timer at the bottom of the virtual bubble wrap).  The results are then plotted and graphed.  Make sure you read the original article here!

What a fun way to engage the students and to sneak in a little graphing practice, too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Teaching and Learning with Primary Sources

Here are a few sites that will help you to use primary source materials in your classroom:

The World Digital Library:
The World Digital Library is a collection of primary source artifacts from around the world.  The sources are organized by origin (North America, Europe, Africa, etc.) but you can further define your search by date, era, country, topic, and type of resource.

The National Archives Experience:
Create a poster or a video using primary sources from the National Archives.  Choose from several topics including aviation and space, civil rights, or presidents to make a project.

An archive of newspapers from 1700-2004.

Grockit Answers: Learning Through Video

Grockit Answers is a new way for your students to learn with YouTube videos.  Grockit Answers allows any user to create a questions and answers session that is synced to the video as it plays.

How can you use Grockit Answers in the classroom:

  • The teacher could create a video session that students could watch for homework.  Questions would appear at key moments in the video and students would need to answer based on what they learn in the video.  Answers can be submitted on the Grockit video page or students could also turn in answers separately.  
  • Students could be assigned specific videos based on the classroom curriculum and they could post questions that they may have about the content.  Then the teacher or other students could post answers to help the student to better understand the content.  
  • The teacher could play the Grockit Answers video for the entire class.  The teacher would then have the questions and pauses automatically set up for classroom discussion.
Here is an example of Grockit Answers with a YouTube video about Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

MashUp: ToonDoo and Discovery Education

Are you looking for a fun way to integrate technology with a research project?   Try using with resources to create factual comic strips!

Start by using with your students so they can learn about their topics.  Discovery has a variety of content for your students to explore (videos, articles, handouts, interactives, audio, songs, etc.). Then have students use to search for images that they can use in their ToonDoo project.  (As students download and save the images, make sure they copy the image citations for use later in the project.)

Next, start creating a comic (toon) in  Import your images from Discovery into ToonDoo by using the ImaginR button on the bottom right.  Once the images are uploaded, students will be able to use the images in their comic frames along with any ToonDoo images and word balloons.

Some ToonDoo tips:
If the student needs more frames, have them create a second ToonDoo comic.
If the students all log into the same ToonDoo account, teachers can go to the My Toons section and use the Book Maker tool to create an embeddable player that will display all of the class' comics in an interactive format on the teacher's classroom website or blog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Socrative: Instant Assessment with Any Device

Socrative is a powerful internet based tool that allows any device to act as a student response system- providing instant feedback to the teacher.  The Socrative interface is easy to use.  Here is a basic overview from the Socrative site:

  • Teachers and students can use Socrative on any device with a web browser (tablets, smartphones, laptops, iPod Touches, etc.).
  • Teachers login at by entering their email and password.
  • Students login at by entering the "virtual room number" provided by the teacher.  NO EMAIL ACCOUNTS ARE REQUIRED! Students will then see "Waiting for teacher to start an activity...".
  • Teachers initiate an activity by selecting it on their main screen (e.g. Multiple Choice, T/F, Short Answer, Quick Quiz, Exit Ticket, or Space Race).
  • Students respond on their devices.
  • Students' results are visible on the Teacher's screen or sent in an email.
Socrative is also easily accessible from free iPad or Android apps.  If you allow mobile devices in your classroom or if you have iPads or tablets available for your students to use, Socrative is an excellent way to get your students engaged in your lesson while allowing you to instantly assess their understanding.

Socrative device images above from Sue Franz.

Fun and Educational Widgets for Your Classroom Web Site or Blog

What is a widget?
Widgets are small applications that can be placed on your web site or blog to add interactivity and interest for your students, parents, and peers.  Widgets are usually added in the sidebar.  Here are examples of some widgets that you could add to your educational web page or blog: Activities widget:
You choose your grade level and subject and the widget publishes changing activities that your students can do at home.  Check out the other widgets including the Worksheet Widget, Just Ask Q and A Generator, and the Science Fair Ideas Widget. Activities


Math Whiz Scientific Calculator:

This Day in History:

Shelfari: Publish your Booklists:

Clustr Maps for Visitor Statistics:
Get a dot on the map when visitors come to your site. Talking Avatar:


Reading Rockets: Reading Tip of the Day:

There are so many more great widgets available for your site. Try checking out or try searching the web for specific widgets!  Remember not to choose too many widgets for your site, you don't want to clutter it up- make sure your site content is still prominent.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Alphabetimals- The Animal Shaped Alphabet

Alphabetimals is a flipbook that features letter shaped animal pictures to help young students learn the alphabet, letters, and letter sounds.

What I also love about Alphabetimals is the feature below the interactive book that allows you to write your own words using the animal letters.  I can easily see primary teachers using this fun font to label items, to create titles for their newsletters, and to create learning resources.

Thanks to Free Technology for Teachers for sharing!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Picture Books on Video

You may know that Discovery Education has a great selection of educational videos for your classroom.  But, did you know that they also have an impressive collection (over 200 titles) of children's picture books on video?  Audiovisual adaptations of these classic books has been provided by Weston Woods.  This site has a full list of titles that you can find on Discovery Education.

Here is a sample of some of the titles that you can find:

  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • Danny and the Dinosaur
  • The Emperor's New Clothes
  • Harry the Dirty Dog
  • Make Way for Ducklings
  • Miss Nelson Is Back
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria
  • Stone Soup
  • Strega Nona
  • Where The Wild Things Are
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears

Try searching for "Reading Rainbow" to find over 100 more titles.  Look for chapter books and audio books, too.

Play the video on your SMARTboard so that all of your students can follow along.  Most have closed captioning, so your students can read along, too!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

PhotoPeach Creates Interactive Assessments

Last week at the FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) I attended a session about online tools that can be used for assessment by Kyle Schutt of Discovery Education. Although I have used PhotoPeach before, I had forgotten that the program had the ability to create a quiz from your images.  This makes PhotoPeach a great assessment tool.  

Simply upload your photos to, choose a title and music, and then edit your finished slideshow to add captions.  One of the captions options is to add a quiz.  You type a question and provide three possible answers, marking the one that is correct.  A question can be added to each image in your slideshow if you wish.  Your finished slideshow can be embedded on your website so that students can review independently in class or at home.  Or, you can play the video on your SmartBoard or interactive whiteboard as a whole group assessment.  Have students take turns going up to the board and choosing the correct answer.  Assessment can be fun!
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