Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Diigo Weekly Update

November23

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 throughout the new school year.

A browser-based text editor that allows users to provide and receive feedback with whomever they choose, in real-time. Users can suggest, accept and reject changes that improve their work.

tags:ollaboration writing web2.0 resources tools visualization interactive literac

Twiducate

A free microblogging site aimed primarily at elementary and secondary teachers and students. Used as a more secure and private alternative to Twitter.

tags: socialnetworking socialmedia tools resources collaboration web2.0

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Edu-fun Friday: Beating the Digital Natives

November21

if you can't beat emAs 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. After all, there’s nothing better than ending the week on a positive note! Plus, do we have the best topics to provide us with some comic relief or what?

This just cracks me up—probably because it’s so me in terms of stalking my students with text messages. Yep, there’s nothing like that Remind app! You should definitely check it out here.

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Bedazzle Your Online Space with SparkLee.com

November20

sparklee titleWant to bedazzle your classroom web site, wiki or blog with some digital bling? Then check out SparkLee.com—a free glitter graphics generator and sparkling text creator.

Here’s how simple it is: Just enter the desired text, select your favorite font, size, colors and angle—all within the site’s interface. Then with one click of a button, you now have some glittery goodness that can be downloaded for later use. Just right-click on your creation and use the “Save image as…” option.

And that’s all, folks! SparkLee.com requires no registration, no downloads and no software installation. But it does provide you with a shimmering headline that will pimp out your site in no time at all.

Check out an example shown below.

sparklee title

Classroom Connection:

Allow students to experiment with the SparkLee.com resource to generate titles, messages and/or names to bring some pizzazz to their web sites, wikis, blogs and/or e-portfolios.

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Tech-ing Turkey with ThingLink

November19

thinglink-logoThe Geeky Girl is back… This time with another interactive image focusing on an updated round of super cool Thanksgiving lesson plans, activities and games that can be utilized in your classroom prior to the upcoming break. So, if you’re in search of some tech-based Thanksgiving games to keep your students engaged before vacation, Edutech for Teachers has got you covered!

Just hover over the interactive image to find tons of Thanksgiving-themed games and interactive learning activities for students and/or skip past the graphic to find additional materials for teaching and learning about this popular American holiday.

Check out the full screen version of this image here.

Additional Teaching & Learning Resources:

» Scholastic News – Learn about how the pilgrims reached America and celebrated the first Thanksgiving via videos, slideshows and a virtual field trip.

» TIME Magazine – An interesting article regarding “The Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving”.

» Teachers Love SMART Boards – A list of Thanksgiving-related activities that can be utilized with an interactive whiteboard.

» abcteach – Games, puzzles and coloring pages designed for elementary students.

» The Best Websites To Learn About Thanksgiving – From audio and video to engaging reading activities, Larry Ferlazzo’s comprehensive list of Thanksgiving web sites includes something for everyone!

» The History Channel – Tons of videos related to the origins, history and traditions related to Thanksgiving. A few noteworthy videos include The History of Thanksgiving and the Mayflower Deconstructed.

» National Geographic for Kids – Contains a funny fill-in turkey story/Mad Lib that can be used as for a writing activity.

» Thanksgiving Web Quest – Visit Web sites about the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag and the famous harvest feast and learn new facts along the way!

» 10 Thanksgiving Myths Dispelled – A cool infographic created by Misconception Junction.

» The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving – A web adventure in which students have to answer questions along the way.

» Thanksgiving Trivia – The Huffington Post challenges you to take the ultimate quiz about Turkey Day.

» Thanksgiving Quiz – Another fun holiday quiz created by Funnel Brain.

» How Thanksgiving Works – A variety of Thanksgiving related articles and videos about the History of Thanksgiving as well as related customs, traditions and more from the creators of How Stuff Works.

» What Really Happened? Comparing Stories of the First Thanksgiving – A great feature from the New York Times Learning Network that also contains links to other useful resources.

» Thanksgiving Teacher Resources – Cross-curricular lesson plans, projects and ideas as well as videos, slideshows, art activities and more!

» Thanksgiving Ideas for the Classroom – Interdisciplinary lesson plans, activity ideas and other curriculum resources from NEA.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources and materials listed above to teach students about the Thanksgiving holiday.

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The Geeky Girl’s 2014 Edublog Awards Nominations

November18

geeky girl on gray stoolThe nominations for the 11th Annual Edublog Awards are officially open, and that can only mean one thing: It’s time for this Geeky Girl to send some love to a few of her most favorite edtech peops!

To kick things off, I’d like to give a special shout out to my Tech Club student Aubs (a.k.a. the one and the only Geeky Girl Jr.) for continuing to rock out her super cool blog, Simply Aubree. You’ve accomplished many goals since entering the blogosphere, but here’s to you obtaining that badge you’ve been dreaming about for-like-ever! Keep up the fantastic work as well as your always positive attitude and great things will continue to happen!

The remainder of my 2014 nominations shake out something like this:

» Best Individual Blog — TechChef4u

» Best Group Blog — Two Guys and Some iPads

» Best New Blog — Shake Up Learning

» Best Edtech/Resource Sharing Blog — Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners

» Best Teacher Blog — Mathy Cathy

» Best Library/Librarian blog — The Daring Librarian

» Best Individual Tweeter — Donna Baumbach/Aunty Tech

» Best Twitter Hashtag — #edtech

» Best Free Web Tool — ThingLink

» Best Educational Wiki — ICTmagic

» Best Educational Use of a Social Network — TechChef4u on Facebook

» Best Mobile App — Dropbox

» Lifetime Achievement — Richard Byrne

Learn more about how you can nominate your favorite edtech people, places and things for a 2014 Edublog Award here!

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The Ultimate Photo Challenge

November17

mugshot_smiley_photo_background-other_largeIf you’re looking for a fun way to spark student creativity while encouraging them to take unique pictures, then consider developing your very own Ultimate Photo Challenge similar to the one I recently completed with my Multimedia I students.

It went down something like this: Students were challenged to complete various photo tasks using a mobile device or digital camera. For example…

  • Objects arranged to look like a smiley face
  • A shadow/silhouette shot of one or more group members
  • A group selfie.  The more creative, the better!
  • A hand-made heart photo (because they just ♥ this class!)
  • Dress up an object and place it in a unique setting
  • A human pyramid
  • A sidewalk chalk drawing
  • Holy Batman!  Got superhero t-shirts?
  • A photo bomb (Yeah, I know it’s not spontaneous, but it’s still funny!)

Once students staged the necessary photos for the project, they were required to compile a digital presentation capturing their most excellent pics utilizing a tool, app or program of their choice. Then they shared their best stuff with the rest of us—and the world via their wikispace.

This project—it was like a good ol’ fashioned scavenger hunt with a funky tech-based twist!

Check out the example I created using the Pic Collage app.

collage

Classroom Connection:

So, why did I create this project? Besides working with classmates on a super cool team building activity, I wanted students to use a variety of tech skills in an innovative way. Yep, this was me checking out the digital side of my multimedia peops, and it turned out to be a pretty awesome experience!

Use this project idea to spark an idea that will unleash the digital creativity within your students. Trust me, there’s nothing like seeing them work together to develop a finished product they are really proud of—especially one they really enjoyed completing.

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Edu-fun Friday: The Worst Nightmare Ever?

November14

delete cookiesAs 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. After all, there’s nothing better than ending the week on a positive note! Plus, do we have the best topics to provide us with some comic relief or what?

I pretty much have that same “What the what?” reaction when I am constantly reminded to update my Java—ha, ha!

A shout out to Daily Funny Stuff for the TGIF laugh!

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A Veterans Day Video Tribute

November13

Veterans-DayIn the words of Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

Two thumbs up for this guy because in my opinion, there’s almost nothing more important than teaching our students about the importance of showing gratitude for and toward others. That said, a few of my Multimedia students, one of my colleagues and I teamed up to write and produce a Veterans Day video tribute that was shared during assembly and morning announcement programs throughout my district yesterday and today.

Our goal was to develop a visual powerful enough to create understanding about the countless sacrifices the men and women who serve(d) in our nation’s armed forces have made to ensure we have the opportunity to live in a democracy. Most importantly, we wanted to encourage and/or remind our student body to be appreciative of those who have provided the liberties and freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis.

Again, my opinion, but I think we accomplished our goal—or at least that is the feedback we have received since sharing our video. Check it out for yourself below.

A shout out to Kermit, Jack, Meghan and Ms. Trostle for working with me on a very worthwhile project!

Classroom Connection:

I realize Veterans Day is officially over for this year, but it’s never too late to teach students the importance of honoring and remembering past and present members of our armed forces. At the very least, I hope this video will become a resource you can bank for future references.

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Diigo Weekly Update

November9

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 throughout the new school year.

» PhotoMath

An iOS, Google Play and Windows-based app that reads and solves mathematical expressions in real-time by using the mobile device’s camera. It makes math easy and simple by educating users on how to solve problems.

» CheckiO

An online game which takes learners through coding activities using Python. Complete the tasks to move through various levels and/or create missions to challenge others.

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

 

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Edu-fun Friday: Apples & Core Standards

November7

apples and core standardsAs 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. After all, there’s nothing better than ending the week on a positive note! Plus, do we have the best topics to provide us with some comic relief or what?

This must explain why I don’t like apples so much!

A shout out to artist Mark Anderson for the TGIF humor!

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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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