Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

PETE&C Recap: Day 1


Wow!  Just when you think you have heard, read or tried it all when it comes to the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, apps, technology projects and integration strategies, you attend a conference like PETE&C.  The integration ideas and resources that are currently available for classroom teachers and their students is mind boggling to say the very least!  And to think I only attended five sessions out of approximately 88 options – seriously!

But don’t be overwhelmed!  Just keep an open mind and check out the tools, strategies and web sites I learned about today and think about a way one in which one of these resources can be utilized in your classroom.  Regardless of your technology expertise, grade level or content area, I’m positive there is an idea for you!  Everyone has to begin somewhere, right?

» Green Screening for Dummies:  Green screen technology has been around for quite awhile, and even though I have always wanted to experiment with a “green screen” activity in my classroom, I’ve never made it happen.  However, after seeing all of the really neat projects that can be created with students in grades K-12, this concept has moved to the top of my teaching “bucket list”. Not only are the possibilities endless, but an assignment of this nature addresses reading, writing, speaking and listening skills as well as the four lens of learning – all of which is critical when considering engaging students and connecting learning to real-world applications.

As presenters Kim Adair and Mark Perlman from the Philadelphia School District pointed out, “Green Screening is a great way to for your students show their creativity.  Instead of just talking about the topic, they can now be a part of the topic.  Imagine researching an ecosystem, then reporting your findings in the middle of that ecosystem?”  Check out their “Green Screen” link located at  This site also contains alot info and resources regarding other forms of digital media projects such as podcasting, comic creation, Glogster, animation and more.  Be sure to check out their blog for additional integration tips and tricks!  Good stuff!

» Straight from the Horse’s Mouth – Critical Thinking with Primary Sources:  This session, facilitated by my friend and colleague Stevie Kline, was amazing!  Even though I have attended Stevie’s primary sources training in the past, this one was over the top!  Though the use of a very resourceful wiki located at, Stevie shared examples of how to integrate primary sources from the Library of Congress and the National Archives Digital Vault  into the classroom by blending hands-on activities, literacy strategies, HOTS, models of inquiry and/or technology tools into lessons.  I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how she covered all of these topics in an hour!

Be sure to check out her practical classroom applications of primary sources via writing activities, book connections, propaganda posters, maps, historical Facebook. Wordle, Voicethread and music.  There is also information about utilizing theHistorical Scene Investigation resource in the classroom – one of my new favorite web sites.  This cases (i.e. “When Elvis Met Nixon” – Love it!)  encourage students to become a detective, investigate the evidence, search for clues and crack the case!  How cool is that?

Stevie’s wiki is a definite must-see for teachers – especially for those who enjoy making history come alive for their students!  Just remember though:  Primary sources are not just for the social studies classroom as critical thinking skills span the curriculum!

» 4 IWB Strategies that Get Kids Thinking:  Even if you do not have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, the instructional strategies shared in this session will surely get your students engaged in your content!  As presenter Wendy Zuber put it, “When teachers combine an abstract concept with a picture, video or music to make the topic concrete for the learners – game over!”  Wendy combined various strategies with visualization and/or auditory techniques to show teachers how to create deeper meaning for students through reading, writing, speaking, listening and critical thinking.

One of the best examples Wendy shared involved playing music clips while projecting the lyrics to the song.  As the students listened to two different tunes, they were instructed to identify the simile they heard/saw in each.  Then they were asked to explain which one was better at portraying the figurative language and why.  Answers were shared via a Think-Pair-Share activity.  A similar assignment can be created with music videos.  Not only are these types of assignments engaging, but they also help today’s iTunes/You Tube generation make real world connections to learning.

For additional strategies and ideas, including Wendy’s very cool “Energy Shifter” concept, check out her Flipchart materials located on the PETE&C Ning.  (For those of you who do not have ActivInspire software, I will load a pdf version of this presentation as soon as I receive a copy from Wendy.)

» It’s a Web 2.0 World:  Despite the fact that I did not learn about any new Web 2.0 tools in this session, what made it very worthwhile was all of the cool projects Laura Ann Naser and Robert Dibiase from Peters Township School District shared with participants.  From Wikispaces to VoiceThread to Glogster, this duo discussed a variety of educational uses for these popular tool via real-life examples located on their wiki:  Tools and sample projects are divided into three categories:  Collaboration, communication and creativity.

Many of the ideas Laura Ann, a first grade teacher, and Robert, a Spanish teacher, shared involved distance learning projects with students from foreign countries or other states.  If you have an interest in creating a similar activity with your students, be sure to investigate the use of ePals and/or Collaborations Around the Planet (CAPspace), a social networking site for teachers seeking to find and/or advertise educational collaborations for their classroom.

» An App a Day – Using iPads in the Classroom:  The name says it all!  Check out Linda Nitsche’s wikispace located at to learn how to make learning with one or more iPads a reality in your classroom.  This comprehensive site provides information about iPad implementation, educational uses, management suggestions and most importantly,  resources to expand creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking in all content areas.  Be sure not to miss out on how this tool can bring interactive learning to the fingertips of all learners!

It should be interesting to see what Tuesday brings! 🙂

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
by posted under Tech PD | No Comments »    

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment:

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.

Be sure to add this awesome tool to your tech-box!

Follow Us on Facebook!

Follow Us on!

Where in the World?


Click on the badge to view the EdTech Magazine article.
Book Creator Ambassador badge
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Subscribe By Email

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Skip to toolbar