Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Focus on Form-ative Assessment

October20

thinglink-logoA few months ago I wrote a post about the value of utilizing Google Forms in education and shared a super cool resource containing 80+ ways to incorporate them into the classroom.

Well, I’m back again… With more reasons why you should become a fan of this edtech gem…

Yep, this geeky girl love, loves this particular component of Google Apps for Education. Why? Because forms can be created quickly and easily for an unlimited amount of purposes: assessment, polls, surveys, questionnaires and so much more! And the best part? There is no need to have advanced technology skills to make forms an integral part of your digital toolkit.

That said, whether you are a forms believer or not, check out the interactive image shown below—one I developed with ThingLink for a professional development session I facilitated last week in my district. It not only includes a ton of resources related to developing and using this tool to support learning, but it also demonstrates how forms can be used as a bell ringer and/or exit ticket.

Be sure to hover over the image to reveal the really good stuff!

And by the way—no, you are not seeing things. Forms work seamlessly with ThingLink. All you need is the link and a live form appears right within the image!

A full screen version of this image can be found here.

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Diigo Weekly Update

October19

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.

» SoundBible.com

Free sound clips, bites and effects for all kinds of multimedia projects. Download files in either wav or mp3 format.

» Wishafriend.com

Jazz up your photos with a variety of cool effects and share them with your BFFs on social media networks. Find quotes, graphics, poems and more as well!

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

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Edu-fun Friday: The Original Computer

October17

the original computerAs 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?

As much as I love, love my devices, there are times in which I still prefer to use one of these low maintenance fossils. How ’bout you?

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The Twitter Feeds Your Brain Infographic

October16

images1Yep, it’s another post about the value of Twitter. Yes—Twitter. If you haven’t yet adopted this social media platform as one of your go-to places for professional development, you really don’t know what you’re missing! And it’s not just the latest celebrity drama!

Seriously, despite the 14o character minimum, tweets—articles, thoughts, opinions, inspiration, quotes, images and more—allow like-minded individuals (you and me) to connect, collaborate, discuss, exchange and even debate all sorts of ideas with virtual colleagues. Whether it’s best practices, instructional strategies, the latest and greatest tech tools or an innovative project, invaluable information is just a hastag away!

Check out the infographic below for additional info about why you should build a PLN on Twitter. Who knows… Maybe it will inspire you to become a “cereal” tweeter!

twitter feeds your brain

A shout out to edu rock star Krissy Venosdale for creating and sharing yet another very useful and motivational infographic!

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The Ultimate ThingLink Word Wall

October13

thinglink-logoFor those of you who are regular visitors to this blog, you know that I’m a total ThingLink addict. In my (humble) opinion—I believe it is one of the most useful, dynamic, all-inclusive web tools currently available for both teachers and students. I love, love the many ways that an interactive image can be integrated into the curriculum to actively engage students in the learning process. And with a variety of new features—video options, customized and active icon sets, the ability to embed a live Google form and most recently, a partnership with Tackk—another web tool in which can create virtual flyers—to say that the possibilities are endless is really no exaggeration.

So, of course, when I saw this collection of ThingLink images based on interactive vocabulary instruction—compiled by ThingLink Education Community Manager and edtech rock star Susan Oxnevad—I knew that sharing it far and wide was a no-brainer.

If you’re not yet a ThingLink believer, I’m pretty sure you’ll be drinking the Kool-Aid after you check out this super cool resource!


The full screen version of this collection can be found here.

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Diigo Weekly Update

October12

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.

» Dweeber

An internet platform that allows students to participate in study sessions and discuss homework with their friends. The tool also allows students to solve problems, talk about issues and share ideas on projects.

» DebateGraph

A web tool for visualizing and sharing networks of thought through the use of mind maps. Create your own, explore the library and/or contribute to maps developed by others.

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

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Edu-fun Friday: Back-up that Brain!

October10

edufun friday 57As 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 thought that’s what happened during summer vacation, but I stand corrected!

A shout out to artist Randy Glasbergen for providing this week’s edutech humor!

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Three Word Thursday: A Weekly Multimedia Mash-up

October9

twt 1-24-13-2

You know what day it is, right? Nope, it’s not Throwback Thursday—although it could be. Just not in my Multimedia I class. Instead this day of the week means it’s time for another edition of our weekly project known as Three Word Thursday.

So, here’s how it works… Every Thursday my students are responsible for taking a photo or shooting a video clip. The rules for doing so are pretty simple: Their job is not only to create original media, but to add three words to the visual as well. This text can be about any topic of their choosing including but not limited to how they feel, an activity, person/people, an event, etc.—as long as it’s G-rated, of course!

Words for the images can be included in the original photo, or students have the option of adding text after the fact with photo imaging software, apps and/or Web 2.0 tools (i.e. Photoshop, Gimp, BeFunky, Skitch, etc.). Words for the video clips should be creatively incorporated into the original video.

So what do students do with their Three Word Thursday images? Well, for starters, they upload them to their wikispaces so they can be shared with their classmates and the rest of the world! Then at the end of the semester, they will combine these original creations to develop a Three Word “mash-up” utilizing a digital storytelling tool (i.e. Movie Maker).

Here are a few examples from what has turned out to be an activity my students really enjoy:

TWT 4.11.13

Three Word Thursday - Alyssa

2-14-13

Smile 4-4-13

TWT9  4.18.13

Classroom Connection:

The Three Word Thursday concept is a pretty simple one, yet powerful—in my opinion—because it encourages students to think and be creative with images, video and a variety of applications and software.

Feel free to hijack my idea and tweak it for your students. The only request I have in return is to share any ways you might incorporate this activity—or a spin off of mine—into your classroom. And of course, a shout out on any social media networks would be appreciated too!

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The Geeky Girl’s Greatest Hits Volume XII: September 2014

October7

thinglink-logoOK, so it’s a new month and that can only mean one thing… It’s time for the latest edition of the Geeky Girl’s Greatest Hits List! So, what’s in it for you? Lots of cool tools, infographics and edtech humor!

Just hover over the interactive image below to reveal a flashback of September’s most popular resources for leveling up the learning in your classroom.

Check out the full screen version of this image here.

BTW: Did you notice how I incorporated social media icons into my graphic using the  Fontmeme tool? Learn more about it by reading yesterday’s post here.

Like this interactive image? Then be sure to visit the following must-see sites for tons of ideas for incorporating ThingLink into classroom activities: 87+ Interesting Ways to Use Thinglink in the Classroom created by Donna Baumbach (Aunty Tech) and the ThingLink Toolkit developed by Susan Oxnevad. Of course, my Educate with ThingLink post also contains a variety of integration strategies.

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Generate Customized Social Media Icons with Fontmeme

October6

CaptureThere are all kinds of really neat sites on the web where font addicts (like me) can fulfill their next typeface fix. One of these places is Fontmeme, a resource in which users can generate text images utilizing fonts of different styles including those found in logos, movie posters, TV shows, album covers and much more.

Of all of the really cool feature within Fontmeme, the one that most interested me is the social media icon maker. Why? Because even though these symbols are displayed all over the Internet to promote such things as Facebook fan pages, Twitter profiles and RSS feeds to name a few, it is sometimes difficult to find the ideal icon with the right size and/or color for a blog, website or app.

Well, that is until now! Fontmeme provides users with a tool to generate customized icons representing the most popular social networking sites on the net with the exact size and color needed to rock out your web space.

Begin by choosing the desired icon(s) from the handy character reference chart provided. For example, the letter F signifies the icon for Facebook while the letter w represents WordPress. Once your text is determined, enter it into the tool, select the size and color then hit the “Generate” button. The image that is created can be downloaded for later use in both digital and print projects and/or an embed code can be snagged for use on the web.

Is it as simple as it sounds? You bet! And it’s pretty cool too! Check out a few examples I created!

This one represents my online presence.

fontmeme2

This one—representing my first name—was just for fun!

fontmeme1

Classroom Connection:

If you’re an educator with a classroom and/or professional blog, wiki or web site that wants to connect readers to your social media networks, then the Fontmeme icon generator is the perfect tool for you! This resource can be utilized by students in the same manner.

In addition, since fonts play such a huge role in creating classroom materials, the Fontmeme site can also be used to add just the right touch to these documents and presentations.

Another activity that came to mind is one that involves writing an essay or poem on the topic of social media—advantages vs. disadvantages, whether or not these networks should be utilized in the classroom, etc. In this case, the Fontmeme icon generator can be used create a graphic that adds some eye candy to one of these assignments.

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

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

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