Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Want to Learn More About Tech? Try Here!

Thanks again to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers here is a link to a blog about 3 ways to learn more about how to use all of the technology I and others blog about. The 5-minute help site is a good one, I've used it before. So, if you need help with using a certain technology feature or tool, you can get help from one of these sites and rewatch as many times as you need to until you understand it!

Vocalyze Reads Your Website Aloud

For our blind students, struggling readers, or students who just want to hear the news and what the website says, Vocalyze is an interesting option. It is an app that you could use on IPads, IPods, or smartphones. After installing the app, if the website a student uses is on there, they can listen to the site and read along with it. If they are blind, this is a great option to hear what they could be reading. I haven't tried it myself to know what it offers, but if you use IPods in your teaching or one-on-one work, this might be something to explore more.

Great Screenshot and Capture Tools

Thanks to Richard Byrne and his blog Free Technology for Teachers, we can all enjoy a quick and easy site that shows and briefly explains 7 great screenshot, capture, and video tools. I have used Awesome Screenshot and Screenr and love them both. They are great for taking pictures of websites and then mark them up for the students or parents. Click on the link below to learn more.

7 Great Screenshot Tools, Click here!

Lots of Skype in the Classroom Possibilities

Skype in the Classroom is growing by leaps and bounds. Here is a link with some new information. But I also like the links within the article where you can get more information. If you haven't heard of Skype in the Classroom, you need to research it and you will see why educators are so excited about the possibilities. Imagine being able to get into any classroom in the world with just your computer. Your students can talk to other students, read to other students, learn from other students...and teachers. The possibilities truly are amazing! Read more and then start thinking about how we could do some of these things....

Kindle Fire is Cheap and Educational!

Very interesting news on the Amazon technology announcement today. The Kindles just got cheaper and the Kindle Fire could be the next big product for fun and education. I guess we will have to wait and see how this all plays out in our quickly changing world of education and technology.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Way to Use Google Voice for Parent Communication

After reading this post by Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers, I am interested in this idea. Not sure I am ready to do it, nor am I sure that our parents are ready for this use of technology, but it is interesting. I have tried using Google Voice for personal uses and have had some family members test it out as well. I didn't really think of using it as a way to communicate quickly and cheaply communicate with parents. Anyway, give his post and read and give the idea some thought. Technology is definitely changing the way we work and communicate....

Another Great Science Site!!

Thanks to Dave the Educational Technology Guy again, here is another great science site. From lessons to demonstrations to videos to worksheets, there is a lot on here, too much for me to look at! Hopefully, if you teach science, you can find some things on this site. Check it out in your "free time"!

Cell Biology Site for Middle School

Thanks to Dave the Educational Technology Guy and his blog, I learned about a website for students and teachers learning about the cell and everything that has to do with the cell. Even better for us, it is geared towards middle school students. Lots of great stuff on here, so use what you can.

Cell Biology Texas A&M click here! A Simple Poll-making Site

Just had to post real quickly about as I just used it and found it so simple. In less than a minute I was registered for the site. Within another minute, I had made my poll for my edublogs student blogging site. And after a little research, I had my poll published to my blog. Really cool. Now, let's see if I can do it again, by putting a poll into this blog. Here you go...

Why Should Educators at Least Try Web 2.0? Here You Go....

Pretty short and simple powerpoint presentation from Sacha Chua made 2 years ago, but very good and powerful. Makes a great point towards the end and seems to be geared for the educators who just aren't sure if they should try Web 2.0 tools like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Learning Communities, Skype, email, chat, etc. Or maybe they are not sure if these things are just fads or would even help. I think taking a minute or two to view these slides that I have embedded below might make us all rethink our stance on Web 2.0 and see some value in it. Thanks to Sacha Chua for the presentation!

A Teacher's Guide To Web 2.0 at School
View more presentations from Sacha Chua

As 9-11 Anniversary Approaches, Here are Some Teaching Resources

Again, credit and thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his Websites of the Day for grouping several great teaching resources about 9-11 in one blogpost. If you are going to teach or reference anything about 9-11 to students in the coming weeks, this might be a great place to review and research or even use in class. I still highly recommend the archived videos as they are a very powerful reminder of how everything unfolded that terrible day. For our middle school students, we have to remember that they were not even in school yet and likely have no memory of the event except what has been told to them. To their minds, it truly is a history topic. Some of the resources in this blogpost by Larry might help 9-11 come to life for them and show them that although it is history, so much of what life is like today can be traced back to that day. Hope some of these ideas and resources help.

More on Online Educational Games

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his Websites of the Day blog, he has helped me find the best of the best online when it comes to educational games. This blog post might be more for me than anyone as I will soon have my 6th graders test some of these games out and give me a review. I find it very important to have students use technology and be online, but I also feel it is important for their online time to be mainly educational and productive, even if it is when they are playing games. There is a lot of "junk" on the web, so if they are going to be on there, I want them to be on sites that might increase their thinking ability and improve their basic skills. For anyone who wants to know what these game sites are, please click the link to Larry's blog below. Have fun!

Great Social Studies/Science Educational Game and Simulation Site!

Catching up on my blog reading over the Labor Day Weekend, I came across a couple blogs highlighting a teacher's social studies blog. This is not just any blog, this is a huge list of interactive social studies, science, and ethics games that kids can play straight from the links the teacher gives. And as an amazing bonus, he has also linked the worksheets, study guides, and questions he has the students do as they play and finish the games. What a resource!! This could be a great site for a teacher, a student teacher, or even the students to really test out and get into and review what they liked best and learned from the most. Give it a try!