Friday, October 8, 2010

My Mini-Conference Presentation

The goal here is the share in the 50 minutes we have together, 50 different websites that you could use in your classrooms for integrating technology with your students learning. Here we go:

Picnik is a site that provides students with some really fun and powerful image editing tools for pictures. You can use pictures that you take with a digital camera, or even a document camera, and do some fun editing, or you can have students downloading pictures and do some creative stuff there. Ideas might be pictures of a place, landmark, monuments, pictures from a field trip, or a way to get students to write about something they did (you can add captions to pictures with picnik)

Picasa is another site that is centered around photos. There is also a download on the site for doing some simple editing, but the powerful classroom application here is creating slideshows. Students LOVE to create slideshows of photos that relate to something they have learned. Using Picasa for creation of a picture collage, computer background or a screensaver. Another fun way to differentiate instruction with students using technology.

This is one that I haven't used that much, but it has six different tools all on one site. There is a bird theme here so stick with me:
Phoenix: this is the free photo editor. It's cool, but I like picnik better
Roc: This is the audio editor. You can do some cool stuff with music here, like mix your own ringtones (kids love that stuff!)
Talon: this is cool and easy, it's a screen capture tool. So if you have a picture of something on the web or your desktop, you can capture the screen as an image and send it off, or edit it with picnik.
Myna: another audio editor built into the website.
There are more tools here, but more advanced and we don't have time today.

Maybe you have all used google maps for getting directions to get to places or to find out how far it is from point a to point b. However, there are TONS of features here that you may not know exist. Use the My Maps button to build your own maps or have students build maps. You have to have a google account to do it. I first thought of how my daughter could do a walking map of what "used to be" for her Sioux City History project. There are also layers here for wikipedia, photo and real estate. Also check out Cool stuff.

web-based timeline software for creating and sharing history and project planning. There is tons of potential for creation here with the ability to put in events as you go. Map your entire curriculum if you want, or you could have students creating timelines of their lives so far.

There are many sites that let you create photo collections. Mixbook is simple and lets you embed directly into your own website or wiki.

This one is more for the secondary folks, but it has an amazing amount of resources and content built into it for several subjects. Our district and the AEA teamed up to purchase a subscription a year ago and many teachers are using it in creative ways. The content is correlated to several different textbooks, not just standards. So this is a tool that you can supplement your textbook material with.

Jeopardy labs allows you to create a customized jeopardy template without PowerPoint. The games you make can be played online from anywhere in the world. Building your own jeopardy template is a piece of cake. They have a simple editor on their site and you can be up and playing very quickly. Let students create the games with your content and try to stump their peers. You'll trick them into learning!!
A great site that will let you type text and turn it into spoken word. You can make the person say what you need and also have it shared out on facebook. For example, you could make it say the assignments, and post it to your fan page then kids can listen to it instead of reading it.

An even more powerful text to speech tool. Teachers or students can create their avatar and use your own voice to make it speak. Check out Dr. McGrath on his Irving Wiki.

This is a fun site especially if you have an interactive whiteboard or a mobi for your classroom. You could use as team building exercise for group work or even an anticipatory set.

This site bills itself as a new way to stay organized. But I like to think of it as a way for students to create little books. Do you storyboards with students and then go to PocketMod to have them build a little book that you can print and share with others.

This is one of the more cool sites I've seen in a while. It allows you to upload photos and then stitches them together to create a really cool view of how the pictures fit together. There are several locations around the world listed, so it would be great for learning during the Rocks unit in third grade or in middle school geography when learning about a specific place in the world.

I haven't found a more simple, efficient and effective way for teachers to build websites than wikispaces. The interface is simple, it's great for communicating with parents and students alike. You can bring in videos, links, upload powerpoints, have student discussion threads. ALL FOR FREE! Amazing!

I love the name of this site more than anything. My kids have been reading biographies of some great American heros. A fun thing for them to do is go on this site and try to make a wii dude that looks like that figure. You can also save them and make them your avatar for a wiki or facebook, twitter if you are not comfortable using your own picture. Also

Many of you have already used Wordle. This is such a fun way for students to look at how they use words. The more I use it the more I learn. Check out this post for some creative ways to use wordle

Tagxedo takes wordle to the next level, allowing you to create visually fun word and tag clouds that look like images. We'll do one with this presentation if we have time.

I love showing people this because it really brings home how powerful the data we collect really is.

So many of you know about skype. It's a popular site tool among millions of people everyday. However, do you know that you can use skype to get help on your computer? There is a feature in skype called "share your screen" and you can skype your friend who is good with computers and ask them how to do stuff you can't figure out. (I know this because I have to show my mom about once a week how to attach a photo to an email). Also, the new version (5) of skype lets you video conf. with more than one person at a time.

Everybody should have a delicious account. Delicious allows you to save your favorite websites to the web and then tag them for their subjects. In this current world we all go between 2 or more computers daily. If i didn't have delicious, I would never be able to find that very important site that I need!

Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. If you want to motivate kids to do storytelling in a creative and fun way, this tool is for you!

Another great web tool for sharing slide presentations and letting students create for differentiating your instruction. Create and account and away you go. You can share to almost anything on the web.

Amazing, deep thinking games here for kids. There is problem solving here and the content really makes you think. There's links for lesson plans for teachers here too.

Another great tool for allowing students to create online. In school you have to use so you can use the education version. It's basically a web 2.0 tool that allows you to create an interactive poster. - with text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, data attachments and more.

Ofcourse you have heard of youtube, but have you seen teachertube? All videos centered around educational content, so it keeps things safer for you and for your students. It used to be slow and not very exciting, but more and more content seems to be showing up and adding to the value of this site. Not to mention the connection now with Pearson and

Tons and tons of classroom ready resources here, just waiting for teachers and students to dig deep into for more and more learning!!
Finally, Finally! I looked for years for a free alternative to Inspiration software. Gliffy IS the answer! Of course it is not as robust, but it does what you want it to do for idea diagramming, venn diagrams, flowcharts! Teachers, have fun with this one!!

Google Sketchup
No, i didn't just spell ketchup wrong. It's google's free drawing tool and it is MEGA powerful. It is a free download. If you go to the gallery, you will be blown away but what can be created in this simple tool.

Have you got a HUGE file that won't go through email. Use this simple service to get it there. Send up to 2gb files. But make sure the other person is ready to receive it, because it gets deleted after 7 days.

If you are a book lover or just an avid reader, you NEED to know about google books. Create your own bookshelf, find reviews of books you want to read and browse by subject. Take your students to this site and help them find books they might be interested in, great for unmotivated readers!

It is photo editing meets paint and it allows for tons of creativity and artistry coupled with extreme ease of use. Let your students run wild with it. Give them each a picture from a story and let them transform it into their own artistic genre, or have them create their own original work. Be creative. Have a blast!

Great gift idea for that person who never downloads the pictures off of their digital camera. It's a memory card with wifi built in. You don't have to clumsily mess with wires, just use a wireless connection and post your pictures to picasa, flickr, or whatever.

I love blogger because it is so simple and integrated with google gives it tons of features. There new template creator is WAY cool. If you want students creating blogs, they will catch onto this quick and you can make them completely private from the rest of the WWW.

How much do i love this site! change any multimedia file you find into the format you want with zamzar. completely free and so simple. They email you the link when finished. Want the song from the background of the video? Just pump it into zamzar and change the format to MP3. SWEET!

Super cool site that allows you to annotate on a video while watching it. Powerful if you have a Interactive whiteboard or a Mobi.

Simple and EASY way to make really cool video from pictures. My kids are young and it took them almost no time to figure out how to create and then post these to a website.

You cannot deny the coolness of this tool A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.

If you have students creating video or slideshows, you know there is always a need for background music. At you will find TONS of loops and styles. Really motivate kids by letting them know that they can create their own ringtones from these loops too!

this one is a download, but I don't think any computer should be without it. It plays everything and it's fast! I used to get really tired of wanting to hear a song and having to wait for itunes to open or windows media. Now, with vlc, I don't wait and it always works, video and audio!

Einstruction Workspace
Another download, but the tool in workspace for recording your screen is incredible. Very simple and you can have students explaining to other students with a video recording how to create a blog, or wiki or voicethread. This is a great way to differentiate for students. my tutorial

Let's say you are really getting into the technology thing and you have your student's start blogging. However, you don't want to visit each of the students blogs and read every post. You can use google reader and have all the blog posts come to one place where you can read them all at once. Cool, huh?

If you are not on twitter, you should start today. Not because you are so interesting to follow. Because there is SO VERY MUCH information out there. It's a great place to get ideas, throw out questions and get feedback from others around the world. Twitter is a place where there really IS no such thing as a dumb question!! Also check out Better than google for up to the second news!!

Who doesn't love this fat cat and his crazy personality. Engage students with this game to help them learn about parts of speech, conversation building and all kinds of word games. Have students create a conversation between the characters about how to stay safe online.

Another fun comic strip creator that can be a VERY engaging way for students to have conversations about subjects you want them to discuss. They love to create and create with a purpose. This is a great tool for doing just that!

Curriculum based content in a fun and animated form. This is not normally a completely free site but our district subscribes so we get to use it for our students! It's a great resource for all ages and it has some really great content that is well organized. There are even standards associated with many of the videos available.

Create visually engaging presentations or have students using prezi to build presentations that cut the fluff and puts information in a different look than what powerpoint can provide.

Have you ever struggled to put a youtube video into your powerpoint. Check out the youtube addin for powerpoint. You have to have an internet connection for this to work. Makes adding video very simple for ppt.

Want current events? Check out this site sharing front pages of over 800 newspapers from over 80 countries! Amazing conversation starters here.

Set up posterous account and they give you an email address. You send your blogposts with picture attachments, files, whatever to that email and they make it appear on your blog. Almost magical!

i can't wait to show you this one. This is strictly for amusement, but I love it. Who doesn't?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Technology Mini-Conference is HERE!!

I have been working feverishly over the last few weeks preparing for our technology focused Professional Development day. Doug Johnson will be our keynote and there are 15 different sessions for teachers to attend. We will truly be "differentiating" our professional development by allowing teachers to choose how they will learn for half of the day!
Check out for the list of sessions, downloads of peoples presentations and the schedules for the day!

Post comments here if you need more information. It WILL be a great learning experience for all of us!