If you have an Ipad and you are browsing around the internet and just wasting time, you could actually do a little work too. By "work", I mean you could build a magazine of materials to read or review later. And you can make these by category and it could even be a category of articles or videos that you would later like to use for your teaching. Pair it with the IPad to projector app and you can have the kids read and view your "magazine" as a classtime activity! You can do all of this with the app called "Flipboard". I have embedded a video below that shows how to use Flipboard. I plan on putting this on my IPad today and starting a couple magazines on counseling topics. I may even make one of short "|Bell ringer" type videos so I can use those in class too. Watch the video and download the app if you think it could be good for your either professionally or personally.
Not sure if I did a blogpost before on Storytoolz, but even if I did, it is worth a repeat. This is a great site for our Literacy teachers and students to bookmark and use in class. You can use the site for simple idea generators and story starters, but you can also use it to evaluate your writing. Our students could put in their writing samples to see the reading level and the wording that they use and if they could improve their writing. They can also set word count goals and track their reading. Lots of possibilities currently and future updates could make it an even better site. And all of this for free....which is great! Give it a look-see over your summer break and see if your students could use it.
If you have students looking to do a presentation and want to do something a little more lively than powerpoint, you might want to try Emaze or have the students try it. It looks pretty simple to use and it does make nice presentations. The few that I viewed took awhile to load, so I am not sure if that is typical or was just slow internet on my end. Either way, it looks promising. Give it a try!
Thank you to Larry Ferlazzo and his blog site Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day, here is a list of great Geography games. I have tried some of these and others look fun to try as well. Over the summer, give these a try if you teach social studies or geography.
As many of you know, I LOVE TED.com videos. Now, TED has and educational video site where teachers can share their lessons and get them animated. The site is still fairly new and is still growing, but there are now enough videos on the site to really keep you busy this summer. You might find some good videos for your own class. And as always, the videos are short enough to use in class and keep your students interested. Start searching them today!
Just a quick update for those who use Google Drive and have students who use Google Docs for assignments, especially their papers and essays. You can now leave voice comments. I am not sure this is always the best way to leave comments as leaving written comments in the line can be more direct with students, but leaving them some verbal/voice feedback can also personalize the experience more. You might even assign them the task of leaving verbal comments back. Either way, kind of a neat feature to play around with. It does take some set up, so here is a blog post by Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers to with a video that explains how to do this process.
Educlipper is something I plan to sign up for this summer and start using. It has some similarity to Pinterest, but is likely able to be accessed in most schools unlike Pinterest. I like some of the options you could do such as making a clipboard of links and information for students and then sharing it with them. Or making clipboards of lessons and information and sharing it with your team or your content team. Or maybe you simply use it to keep track of your own units and concepts. Any way you use it, it could be pretty valuable. Good luck!
Thank you to Richard Byrne and his blog site Free Technology for Teachers, I now am able to share some great activities from Read Write Think when it comes to reading and writing. But I want to specifically mention Cube Creator as it is very simple to use and such a good book review tool. I was able to make a Book Cube in under 3 minutes and could have printed it and cut it out and folded it into my own cube. You can also choose create your own cube which means the possibilities are endless. I have had students make a "Me Cube" before in my Guidance class where each side of the cube needs to tell the class something about themselves or their life.
Besides Cube Creator, there are 4 other great activities/tools that Mr. Byrne has blogged about. So give those a try to and see which ones might work in your curriculum the best. Good luck!
Automotivator has to be one of the coolest little tools/sites I have come across in awhile. I have to admit, I love motivational posters (and the demotivational ones too!). And now I have a site where I can quickly make and share my own. I could even print them. Or if I made a really nice, school-specific poster, I could get it printed on a large poster format. I might try some of those this summer as well. In the meantime, I quickly made some fun ones and some serious ones for my counseling office while I tested out the site today. I also have some ideas of quick posters I could make and email to students as ways to energize them or simply remind them about assignments that are due. Either way, the website is very easy to use to design your own poster. Have some fun!
If you teach science, technology, physics, or any sort of STEM type learning, these games might be some fun or interesting ones to try. I have not tested them out, but there are many to choose from and they all will get kids using their STEM knowledge and hopefully get them more interested in these subjects. Everything from building a bridge to making solar cars race virtually, this game site has lots of options. Test some out or better yet, have some students test them out. Good luck.
For teachers looking for some good spelling games and sites, Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers has a great list of 5 sites for you. I use Spelling City with my own children and would highly recommend it to anyone. I have not used the other sites he lists, but I am sure they are good. I plan to have my own children test some of them this summer. My daughter really likes to spell things and play spelling games, so we will see which one she likes best. Currently, she loves Spelling City. Give some of the sites listed a look and test them out and see which one might work for your own students.
Thank you to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers for alerting me to the idea of slow motion videos on Youtube. As a former science teacher, how awesome is it to be able to film some of your science experiments on the weekend or even in class and then upload them to Youtube AND put them in slow motion so you can explain what is going on and students can see what is going on!! Lots of applications for coaches, but I think teachers could really use this slow motion option too, especially science teachers. Very cool!
There are a lot of To-Do or Task list sites out there, but I came across this one, Flask, today that I think is nice and easy....and can be emailed or shared with others. Would be great for teams of teachers or teams of students. Or maybe a way to share assignment/project requirements with students. Flask is definitely worth a try to see how you can put it to use.
Room Recess is a great game site to bookmark for teachers who want some basic math and word games for kids to play at the end of class or at the end of some computer lab time. I tested out the snowball game and thought kids would love it. The math problems are basic math facts, but middle school students can still benefit from that type of skill practice. There was also a competitive flashcard game that can pit two teams against each other using an interactive whiteboard. I am not sure if you would need two Mimio pens or not, but still pretty fun for students. Give it a try!
Kim Flagor, Ben Barry, and Julie Thompson applied for and wrote a grant to bring Hyperstream to our middles school as a STEM initiative. We received that grant and now have our Hyperstream club up and running. While some students are building a LEGO robot, others are filming videos. And still others are making a powerpoint presentation. One group has created a website for Carlisle students and community to go to. Take a look around their site and post any feedback you have. They are in the beginning stages, but it looks pretty cool so far!
First of all, Wallwisher has just recently been named Padlet. If you try going to Wallwisher via wallwisher.com, however, you will still get there for now. I used Wallwisher for 2 or 3 years with an 8th grade project, but it had some bugs to it and wasn't always perfect. Apparently this was the case for many. But over the last year, they have made several upgrades and now the site is being highly recommended again. I love the site for a way for students to post questions or comments. I also love it for students to make their own 'wall of learning' about a topic or subject. They can add videos, pictures, comments, etc. about their learning. They can then share their wall with a family member, a teacher, or other students. They can even comment on other students' walls. This could end up being a form of social learning. Lots of options. If you need help trying to use it in your class, let me know. I was once a "pro" at Wallwisher and could probably give you some tips. Have fun!
I took 3 minutes and made a quick sample wall about Bullying. Notice that I was able to add videos, upload a powerpoint that I had made previously, or simply comment. I could then share this wall with other students and parents and they could post their thoughts and questions to my wall and we could interact.
I used a site like BrainyBox a few years back and students loved it. But it didn't always work very well. I am hoping technology has improved and this site works much better. I made a basic cube and am going to attempt to embed it below and link to it, so you can see what you think. I did not try to add any images or video, but if it supports that pretty well, the possibilities of this site are endless. It is in Beta testing, so I can't guarantee the stableness of the site, but for now, it was pretty cool to use and could be used for review, new knowledge, note-taking, or just for students to show their true learning on a topic or book. Give it a try...I created the one you see below in 4 minutes!
If you teach Middle School Social Studies, this site is for you. High school teachers could use it to, but this site is built for middle school teachers and kids. It gives you lots and lots of history topics in shorter bits than a huge textbook and adds in a few fun and goofy tidbits to keep the kids reading about these key events in history. You might read them to add to your knowledge and instruction or maybe just have the kids read and review them and report to other kids. Lots of possibilities!
Wow. I just tried CometDocs and it was soooooo easy and so quick! I love it! If you want to convert a PDF file into a Word document for students or just for yourself, this is the site to use. You can do several other types of conversions as well. Easy to use and so fast. Give it a try!
Many educators and online blog readers anxiously await Larry's Best of 2012 blog post at the end of the year so they can bookmark it and take advantage of the many resources he has posted in one place. Well, the blog post is out and I have linked it to this blog post. I would suggest clicking on it and bookmarking it on your computer as you will find yourself looking at it throughout 2013 even as Larry starts his 2013 lists. Thank you Larry for this great list of resources, I know it helps many!
Thank you to Larry Ferlazzo and his blog Websites of the Day, this blog post may be short but it is FULL of IPad apps that you may want on your personal IPad or your student/class IPads. Each link has tons of good apps, many of which I either have on my IPad or have tried on student IPads. If you have a moment and are wondering what apps would be good for you or your classroom, this is the place to start!
Many staff members at our middle school loved the Google Chrome Extensions that were presented in one of our professional development workshops, so I thought this resource from Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers might be a good one. He has a list of his top 10 Google Chrome Extensions. Again, my favorites are the Speak It (text to speech extension), Save to Google Drive, Send this link with Gmail, and View Page in Clearly. The Speak It extension works with Google Drive documents, so students could have their papers read back to them if they wanted to use that as a way to proofread and hear their writing and how it sounds. Not sure how it could be on all the lab computers or laptops, but I am sure it could be. I have several of the extensions in his list, so you might consider giving them a try. They really are very helpful!
Thanks to Richard Byrne and his blog post about Gooru on his blogsite called Free Technology for Teachers, I have learned about Gooru, a pretty neat site for students and teachers, especially if they are interested in math and science. It appears there are other subject areas on this site now. I tested out some of the math stuff, including a quiz. Pretty detailed and good practice. Also, if you get it wrong, it has a brief explanation why your answer is not right and why the correct answer is. Students and parents may find that especially helpful. This is a great site for parents and students to add to their math/science help/study sites for weekends, extended breaks, and nights before a big test or quiz. If you have a moment, try it out and see if it could help you!
Just a quick blog post to alert others and me about a site that could help you print those cool infographics that you may find on the web. I have a ton that I would like to print but can never figure out how to print them. Plus, without color printing, I sometimes don't even try. But regardless of the color printing, I am going to try using this tool/site to print some and see what they look like. I will hopefully comment later today or this week as to how well it worked. If you try it before me, please let me know what you think!
Duolingo just added Italian to its list of languages it is helping people learn. I have had a couple of students interested in learning Italian, so this is great! It is a pretty fascinating site because you aren't just learning a new language, you are also helping in translating the web into other languages with the help of thousands or millions of other people around the world. While it is not a great stand alone site if you are trying to learn a language, it is a good supplement to a foreign language course you are taking or if you are currently doing Rosetta Stone. And it is FREE!!! That may be the best part. One of the things I noticed that might be good for students is how they can start making connections with certain words and groups of words because they sound alike. This could build on information they received in class or help them learn the future class information even faster. While it only has about 6 or 7 languages right now, it does have some of the main ones students may be learning in our American schools. It even has English which could be good for our English Language Learners as well. Give it a try to see if it is something you could use in 2013!
I just tested it out and it is pretty fun and educational. You can also compete against Facebook friends. So maybe you and a Facebook friend each want to learn a language in 2013, this could be your method!