Friday, March 23, 2012

Quizlet: Virtual Flash Cards

There a lot of virtual flash card sites out there, but I think Quizlet takes the cake. You can enter your own terms and definitions or search the huge database for ready-made sets. (My daughter, who is in 9th grade, found that the terms from every chapter of her healthcare science class book were already created. Score!) Once you have a set of cards, there are five different learning modes to try including scatter and space race. Your sets are share-able with a regular old link or you can embed them - great for webpages, blogs, and Edmodo! See my sample below and check out the quick guide if you are new to Quizlet.

Blabberize: Give Your Pictures a Voice

They say that pictures are worth a thousand words. With Blabberize, your pictures can speak their own thousand words! Literary characters and historical figures can tell about themselves. Coins can tell you how much they are worth. Animals can tell you what kids of habitats they live in. Just think of the possibilities! If you've never tried Blabberize, click for my quick guide. Below Abe Lincoln poses a math question. What will you create?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Online Reading Resources

Are you an elementary teacher looking for a resources to work on the "big 8" reading comprehension strategies or phonics? Or maybe a middle school teacher who needs ideas for responses to literature or literary devices? How about a high school teacher working on vocabulary? Check out my collection of reading resources here. Leave a post if you have an idea for an addition! (Like that alliteration?)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Slideshow Creator: Slidestaxx

My favorite slideshow creator right now Slidestaxx. You can upload pictures, add links and YouTube videos - it's great. Want to know the best part? You are only allowed 130 characters in text on each slide. Heck, this post is already 234 characters, so you get the idea. Less type - more talk. We all hate to watch presentations or webinars where the presenter reads from a Power Point.

Give it a try, and your students will love Slidestaxx as much as you do. To link pictures, videos, or websites users must enter a web address - instant citation! No wondering where a picture came from when it's time to publish and present. Click to download my quick guide. (My district encourages using NetTrekker for student image searches, but you could easily use Creative Commons or another site.) You can check out my sample on Paul Revere here. If you create one, post it in a comment!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Great New Survey Tool

Pinnion (now in beta testing) is a fabulous new survey tool. I registered for a free account and whipped up a quick survey on our county webpage program. The interface is very easy to use and allows pictures upload for the overall survey and for each question.

What I love the most is what I can do with the web link and embed code. I made a tinyurl for the survey link and asked a coworker to take the survey on her smart phone; it looked great. We took the survey our computers also to get a bit more data. (Participants can see the survey results after completing it too.) Then I could browse the results or download then to Excel.Can't wait to show this to my teachers and admins. Try mine out here if you like.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gaming in Education

I was turned onto Purpose Games by a blog post on Twitter recently. There are tons of games to peruse on the site already, but you can also upload your own images to make more. The elementary teacher in me wanted to make a game for Mem Fox's book Possum Magic. The plot includes a lot of travel, so it was perfect.

First, I chose a picture of Australia (that included the cities I wanted to focus on.) Then I basically chose the locations and clues that make up the game. (It really reminds me of the "hot spots" activity in SMART Notebook Software.) The result was so easy to make a fun to play. Give it a shot if you've read the book! Or if you haven't, but you're curious about how it works. I also noticed games where you identify bones on a skeleton, capitals, layers of the earth, or even Twilight characters. :0)

Social Networking for Education

I really do. If you haven't heard, Edmodo is a free social networking platform for teachers and students. (Think Facebook for school.) I learned about the site at FETC last year, and my ITS department loves it for professional development and classroom use. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Teachers can use Edmodo to ask questions, post resources, collaborate, etc. professionally. We have several district groups here, and the Edmodo community has groups by interest.
  • Teachers can set up a controlled social space with students to have discussions, post and receive assignments, give polls and quizzes, and more. (The embed feature is great. Students can share videos, animations, and digital flash cards easily.)
  • Students join groups with the code from the teacher. They can private message the teacher, but not other students. 
  • Students join and leave groups themselves - there's no management for the teacher on setting up student accounts. (They can also enter a phone number to get text updates or use the app.)
  • The teacher can moderate the feed for any group they create several different ways.
Training: Here is a comic-style poster that I made as an intro to my district, Edmodo's help page, and a Power Point on Netiquette. Feel free to use anything you need. Got a question about Edmodo or our district rollout? Leave a post.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just for Fun: Clay Yourself

One of the ways that we encourage professional development is through a social learning network called Edmodo. Well, you know teachers (especially women). "I don't want to put my picture on here! I don't have a good one!"

Problem solved: Make one. I've used a couple of avatar creators, but I came across this one recently. Clay Yourself is sponsored by and lets you create little Playdough versions of yourself. Check out mine. (Yes, my hair is always that cute and my arms are that toned.) I really love this for student Edmodo accounts too. Like this idea? Check out three alternative programs here!