Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Edu-fun Friday: Scary Halloween Costumes


cloud-computing-halloweenAs 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’m pretty sure we all work with some of these terrified peeps… I personally think their perspective and commentary is pretty entertaining! (but not quite as funny as that of my own parents—ha, ha!)

TGIF! Have a great weekend!

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Tech It Up Tuesday: 50 Tools & Apps for Showcasing Student Knowledge


tech it up tueday

Are you ready for the latest edition of “Tech It Up Tuesday”, a weekly series in which I share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting?

If so, you’re going to love this week’s resource—a super cool and extremely useful infographic created by Tony Vincent, edtech guru and author of the Learning in Hand web site. Read on…

With a myriad of web tools and apps available to teachers, it’s sometimes mind-boggling trying to identify which are the most effective for the classroom. But if you’re looking for some innovative ways to showcase student learning using tech tools, here’s an awesome collection of resources spanning 11 categories—audio recordings, collages, comics, posters, slides, digital books, narrated slideshows, movies, animations, screen casts and study aids—to help get you started!


Click here for a larger (and recently updated) version of this infographic as well as access to a pdf that can be printed. A link to view the info on Scribd is also available.

Classroom Connection:

Use the visual to discover resources that will provide your students with the opportunity to show, explain and retell their knowledge.

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest web tools and resources that can be utilized to incorporate technology into your classroom!

» Story Wars

An interactive and collaborative app that makes student writing fun! The process of taking turns writing the story and then voting on what chapter should be included provides teachers with a different approach for motivating students to write!

» MindMup

A collaborative web-based mindmapping tool that integrates with Google Docs. Students can pool ideas together and then share them online. A great visual tool!

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

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Get Your Spooky on with Halloween Magnetic Poetry



Back by popular demand… It’s Edutech for Teachers’ version of Halloween Magnetic Poetry, a Google Drawings activity containing nearly 100 words, or “magnets”, that can be rearranged to compose all types of writing samples.

So, if you’re ready to combine a little bit of holiday fun with Google Apps, then be sure to check out this must-try activity for you and your class! Here’s how it works…

The students start out with a creepy palette that looks something like this:

halloween magnetic poetry

And end up transforming it into something spook-tacular like this:

halloween magnetic poetry2

Last year I actually incorporated this activity into my fifth grade Computers class. Besides allowing the students to have some Halloween fun with related words and images, it was a great opportunity for them to become more familiar with copying a template into their Google Drive account and utilizing Google Drawings.

Here they are getting all creepy with it!

Halloween collage

Classroom Connection:

The Halloween Magnetic Poetry template can be used in a variety of ways as either an independent or collaborative writing activity. Utilize the “magnets” included and/or add your own text boxes to extend the activity.

Click here to make your very own copy of the template.

A huge shout out to edtech guru Kasey Bell for creating and sharing this super cool idea!

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The Periodic Table of STEAM iPad Apps


steamI recently published a post showcasing a collection of some pretty amazing apps for enhancing teaching and learning displayed in a periodic table-style infographic. Check it out here.

Due to its popularity, I’m revisiting this topic, except the focus has shifted this time around to apps that address STEAM—the addition of art/design into the interdisciplinary approach of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These resources are categorized in areas such as computing, making, photography, virtual reality, augmented reality and more!

As you take a closer look at this super cool guide, think about this: It’s never just about the apps. Instead effective technology integration is all about how tools support curricular goals in a meaningful, relevant, student-centered manner. With that said, hopefully this compilation of tried and tested educational apps will be helpful as you try to determine which ones might be useful as you incorporate some STEAM lessons into your classroom.


Click here to view and/or download a high resolution file of this image, which was created and compiled by ICT Evangelist Mark Anderson.

Full STEAM ahead toward your next app adventure!

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The Electoral College Infographic


election-2016Believe it or not, sometimes the most confusing part of a presidential election is the process our country uses to determine who this person is going to be. That said, if you’re in need of a concise way to explain to your students how Americans elect the President of the United States, then check out this infographic that provides users with a visual path to White House.


Need a document containing this info for your classroom? Download a pdf here.

Classroom Connection:

Use this step-by-step breakdown of how the Electoral College works to teach students how this process is used to determine who going to be the next President of the United States. As an added bonus, students could generate their own product to show their understanding of this concept. Any tool or app that allows them to generate an infographic, video, slideshow, presentation, etc. would work!

Thanks to Kids Discover for creating and sharing this useful infographic.

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some really neat iOS apps that can teach learners of all ages computer programming skills.

In this gamified way to learn computer science, a friendly Turtle will introduce students to the basic concepts of programming in the graphic environment. Each new level of achievement increases in difficulty and teaches a new command.

» Cargo-Bot

An iOS app that teaches coding skills. On each level, the objective is to teach a robot how to move colored crates from one place to another by programming a claw crane to move left or right, and drop or pick up.

» Hopscotch

Learn to code through creative play with this iOS app. No setup. No typing. No syntax. Just drag blocks and instantly play what you’ve made. Bam!

» Daisy the Dinosaur

Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur, a fun iPad app that has an easy drag and drop interface for kids of all ages!

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

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All Roads Lead to Code


keep-calm-and-try-codingSo, why just use technology, when you can build it, right? But first—students need the programming know-how in order to do so… And that begins with you!

Whether you choose to embrace the concept or not, it’s becoming more and more important to equip students with coding skills. It’s the new literacy for a generation of students growing up in a digitally-connected world. Having this knowledge not only strengthens general skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, but it will become invaluable in their future as a wide range of industries are eager to hire individuals with programming abilities.

That said—here’s super cool sketch note highlighting ten reasons coding should be taught.

10 reasons to teach coding

A shout out to Brian Aspinall for giving me the green light to share his work on my space. And to the sketch note guru Sylvia Duckworth for bringing some many important edtech concepts to life for all of us.

Classroom Connection:

The founders of Google, Microsoft and Facebook all started their journeys with just one line of code. Like these successful entrepreneurs, our students should have the opportunity to create the technology of the future, not just use it! I realize that teaching coding sounds intimidating to some, but if your students can type, they can code!

And guess what what? Computer science isn’t just for kids! Everyone—especially teachers—can lead by example and learn a few lines of code. Fortunatley, due to a wealth of apps, online resources and improving technologies, learning to code has become less daunting. Don’t believe me? Just Google it!

In the meantime, click here to check out a recent post in which I listed a few web-based games that can assist you with getting started on your very first—or next—coding adventure.

So, what are you waiting for? Make a plan to give your students a superpower that will enable them to thrive in our tech-based society!

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Chalk It Up to an Amazing Year!


sidewalk-chalk And the sidewalk says… Laugh, learn and love! You are the reason we are here! Be happy, be bright, be you! You are loved! Looking forward to learning with you! You are important!

These are just a few of the positive messages teachers at Myers Elementary wrote on the sidewalks outside of the school with colored chalk prior to the arrival of students on the first day of the 2016-17 school year.

Check out a video a group of my Tech Club students produced to highlight this super cool activity.

When the school year begins with an act of kindness such as this one, how can it be anything but successful! Our elementary teachers rock! ♥

A high five to Aubree, Quintin and Tina for creating a pretty awesome video! ♥

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks


diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some really neat resources that can teach learners of all ages computer programming skills.

» CheckIO

A browser-based coding game in which users solve problems utilizing Python in order to advance to the next level. Build a space base and conquer other bases using acquired skills.

» Code Hunt

An educational, browser-based coding game targeting teachers and students from introductory to advanced programming or software engineering courses.

» Erase All Kittens

A browser-based game that makes it fun and easy for children to learn coding languages, such as HTML and CSS. Complete levels and rescue Internet kittens—which, as we all know, make up the majority of the web!

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

A shout out to ICT Magic for sharing these resources. Check out additional edtech stuff from this super cool web site here!

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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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