Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Diigo Weekly Update

August17

diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest tools that can be utilized in your classroom during the upcoming year.

» Typing Web

A free online typing tutor for learners of all skill levels. Courses, games, certifications and a teacher portal for classroom usage are included.

» DreamBox

Web-based math lessons for K-8 students wrapped in fun, challenging, real-world adventure games.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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26 Questions Every Student Should Be Able to Answer

August16

questionsWell, guys… It’s that time of year again—time to embark on another excellent adventure known as the beginning of a new school year. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to get to know the individuals that are about to walk through your classroom door—if they haven’t done so already. Regardless, here is a list of 26 thought-provoking questions crafted by TeachThought to set the tone for the next nine months.

 26-questions-to-ask-your-students-on-the-first-day-of-school

In addition to the questions, the TeachThought site also provides teachers with some nifty implementation strategies. Check out these tips here.

Classroom Connection:

Effective teaching is all about developing relationships. That said, use this resource to learn what makes your students tick so you can best meet their needs throughout the upcoming year.

If you ask me, utilizing activities like this one is just another way to ensure your impact is a lasting one!

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Diigo Weekly Update

August10

diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest tools that can be utilized in your classroom during the upcoming year.

» Audioboo

A free web tool for creating and sharing audio content online. A great site for creating podcasts!

» Print-Bingo.com

A free web-based bingo card generator for printing many types of bingo cards, including those with your own custom word lists. No installation, no registration!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Gamify Learning with Edtech Bingo

August8

bingoI’ve spent a great deal of time this summer preparing and facilitating professional development for teachers involving the integration of iPads into the classroom. So when I inadvertently came across this really neat iPad Bingo visual while searching for edtech infographics on Pinterest, I knew I had to further investigate this concept.

Well, my surfing resulted in the following: Media technology specialist Josh Borzick from Oak Creek, Wisconsin created the iPad Bingo site to provide teachers with integration ideas related to six apps—Google Drive, Skitch, 30 Hands, Popplet, Doceri and Touchcast. The page includes the iPad Bingo card, which contains a set of activities for students to learn how to utilize each app at varying degrees of difficulty.

What’s more—the iPad Bingo site contains tons of bonus resources related to each app—tutorials, examples and additional integration ideas as well as iPad tips and tricks and other recommended apps. Yeah, it’s pretty much a treasure trove of edtech goodness!

Borzick claims on his site that “This is good stuff!” I couldn’t agree more! What a super cool idea! Check it out for yourself!

ipad bingo screenshot

Click here to view a full screen version of the iPad bingo card.

Classroom Connection:

Use the iPad Bingo card concept (and/or the actual example itself) to encourage teachers and students to learn how to use various apps for educational and productivity purposes. If you don’t have access to iPads or other mobile devices—don’t sweat it. The best part about this idea is that it can be adapted to any web tool or desktop application that is available in your learning environment.

If multiple apps seems overwhelming, another option would be to create a Bingo card focusing on one app or tool. You could even suggest digital projects related to a particular topic or theme and challenge your students to select the tool(s) necessary to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity.

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Edu-fun Friday: Outdated Technology

August1

outdated technologyAs Quincy Jones once remarked, “I’ve always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, “Ain’t that the truth.”

That said, Edu-fun Friday is a series devoted to adding some humor to the lives of teachers who visit this blog. Even though it’s summer, there’s still nothing better than ending the week on a positive note! Plus, do we have some of the best topics to provide us with some comic relief or what?

You have to admit—the kid does have a point! I don’t know about you, but I haven’t touched a piece of chalk in years!

Two thumbs up for cartoonist Randy Glasbergen for sharing all of his edtech humor!

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Thunder, Lightning & App-oholics

July28

app collageSo totally unforgettable summer storms, power outages and digital addictions? Say what? Um, yeah, that’s what I experienced a few weeks ago when I had the awesome app-ortunity to co-facilitate an iPads in Education 2 course with edtech rock stars Jim Gates and Theresa Bartholomew in Lewisburg, PA.

Throughout this four-day app-venture, 50+ teachers learned how to utilize an iPad and a variety of apps to engage students in the learning process.

From out-of-the-box set up to creating digital stories, presentations, movie trailers, e-books and formative assessments, these educators were not only immersed in utilizing the latest and greatest educational tools, but they also received training related to effectively integrating devices and resources into the curriculum via the pedagogical foundations of Understanding by Design, ISTE NETS, TPACK and SAMR. After all, it should never really be about the tool, but how it is used. That’s what really makes the impact. Just sayin’…

So, go ahead—release your inner geek… Crack open that tech-box and add the resources located within the interactive image embedded below to your bag of tricks. Transforming your classroom into a modern learning digital wonderland is just a few clicks away!

Be sure to hover over the image to reveal the “hotspots”. A must see: #13. It’s my new fav!

Click here to view a full screen version of this interactive image.

For my colleagues, the participants and especially for me personally—the week was a game changer, for sure… Thank you, Jim and Eduspire, for the chance to be a part of something pretty cool.

Check out additional Eduspire course offerings here.

Let’s roll…

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Diigo Weekly Update

July27

diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest tools that can be utilized in your classroom during the upcoming year.

» Noisli

A background noise and color generator that can be utilized by teachers to create a relaxing atmosphere during writing activities, role playing and more! iPhone and iPad apps are also available.

» Ampville: The Electric City

A virtual village where users can learn about electricity, circuits and electrical safety.

» Wizenworld

A cool Zelda-like game in which 3rd to 8th graders can practice math skills aligned to the Common Core by battling through a range of adventures.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Edu-fun Friday: Prenatal Email?

July25

photoAs Quincy Jones once remarked, “I’ve always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, “Ain’t that the truth.”

That said, Edu-fun Friday is a series devoted to adding some humor to the lives of teachers who visit this blog. Even though it’s summer, there’s still nothing better than ending the week on a positive note! Plus, do we have some of the best topics to provide us with some comic relief or what?

I’m pretty sure this kid would qualify as a digital native, eh?

Thanks to cartoonist Randy Glasbergen for the really good laugh!

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Easily Convert Files with the PDF Converter

July23

pdf converterNeed a quick and easy way to convert PDF files to another format? Then look no further than the PDF Converter, an online utility that allows users to transfer their documents to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and images.

Yep, no downloads, installations, registration or other gimmicks… Just select the file to be converted, choose the output desired (docx, xlsx, pptx, png, jpg, tif, etc.), click the “Convert” button and wait for the tool to do its thing. Once your new file is processed, it can be downloaded to your computer or saved to Google Docs.

I discovered the PDF Converter while vacationing out of the country when I needed to edit a few PDF files because I did not have access to the original Word documents. Not only did I find this utility to be very reliable, but it is free as well—although there is a membership option for users interested in converting an unlimited number of files without delay between conversions.

And there’s even more good news—PDF Converter can also convert Word, Excel, PowerPoint, images and web pages to PDF using the same steps previously mentioned.

Classroom Connection:

Because it allows teachers to better utilize PDF files they acquire from any number of sources, the PDF Converter is an excellent administrative tool—one that can be used to create all sorts of handy classroom materials for instructional purposes,  including booklets, e-books, presentations and interactive quizzes to name a few.

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Positively Smashing Part II: Where in the World?

July20

app smashSo, last week I shared an app smashing student project idea using Photo Mapo, Pic Collage and ThingLink. It received such rave reviews that I decided to have at it again—only this time I’m smashing some vacation photos with Pic Collage, ThingLink and Google Docs to develop an interactive learning journey.

Dubbed “Where in the World”, this creation will challenge students to use information that identifies an unknown geographical location. In the process, they will  hone their ability to read for details, conduct Internet searches and complete an online form as well.

Be sure to check out the interactive “hotspots” by hovering over the collage shown below.

Click here for a full screen version of this interactive image.

And BTW—in case you’re wondering… I did actually create this masterpiece while sitting on one of those beaches pictured in the collage using my iPad. And yes—I know… I need a tech-free intervention. I’m fully aware of my addictions, but the idea came and well, I just couldn’t let it go!

Classroom Connection:

Affording students with the opportunity to utilize interactive activities engages them in learning that is meaningful, relevant and thought-provoking. Plus, completing a project of this nature allows them to demonstrate the use of a variety of digital skills in the process.

This particular app smash was created for student use, but of course—they could also design their very own Virtual Destination mash-up to share with classmates.

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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sitting on stool with computerThis blog, created and maintained by Jamie Forshey, geeky girl, instructional technology specialist and teacher at the Bellwood-Antis School District in Central PA, is dedicated to innovative teaching and learning through the use of technology and digital media that engages students in learning while providing them with a 21st Century educational experience.

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The Geeky Girl’s Greatest Hit List Vol. I—February 2013

Check out the full screen version of this interactive image here!

Where in the World?

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