What it is: Kidz Online is a digital production and distribution organization with online learning. Kidz Online is the leading provider of training videos for students and teachers. Each of the 12 technology subjects is explored through five channels. The variety of formats draws students from a wide range of skill levels and interests. The teach IT section has videos that target viewers who are interested in hands on learning. A host guides students step by step through the concepts and tools behind each tech topic. Animations and screen demos aid in understanding. The KTK Live! uses sketch comedy to introduce the potential of technology. Streaming Features is an online career resource and shows students what kind of jobs are available in the field of technology. Gurl Tech emphasizes the importance females have in technology. Technology in Action is the final channel, it allows anyone to submit their work online, showcasing their learning to fellow students.
How to integrate Kidz Online into the classroom: Kidz Online is an amazing resource for teachers who are lagging in their technology skills or simply don’t have the time to teach technology skills. Students can learn at their own pace using the online instructional videos. Videos can be downloaded or streamed online. Students can learn about a topic or program that interests them or all students can watch and learn from the same videos. The videos are very well done and user friendly. Kidz online is the perfect tool to teach students self-directed learning skills. Challenge students to become the class “expert” in one of the programs featured on Kidz Online and let them teach each other. This site will excite your students about the possibility of technology in the classroom and in the future. Students can also create their own video tutorials and post for other students. Have older students create video tutorials of programs that younger students use.
Tips: Make sure to click on the “Lesson Plans” page for some great lesson plan ideas and teacher resources. While you are there, click on the Teacher’s Tool Kit for free resources including: instructional web videos, step-by-step tutorials, technology integrated core-curriculum lesson plans and streaming videos on various topics like girls and technology (gURL Tech) and career exploration (Streaming Futures). This is an amazing resource!
What it is: Professor Garfield: Comics Lab here students can write, assemble and print their own comic strips. The comic strips can even be saved on Professor Garfield. The Comics Lab allows students to develop creative writing skills while learning how to develop plots and story lines. The Comics Lab also includes a video tutorial about writing.
How to integrate Professor Garfield: Comic Strips into the classroom: Professor Garfield Comic Lab allows for fun, creative writing for beginning, developing, and intermediate writers. Give students a common theme for their comic. Students should watch the Jim Davis video tutorial on creative writing before they begin brainstorming. This can be done as a writing center or with a projector. Students can plan their comic on paper before getting onto the Comic Lab. The Comic Lab encourages hesitant writers and those who don’t think they like writing.
Tips: Be sure to visit the Teachers’ Lounge for really thorough instructional materials, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, printable materials, electronic field trips, and educational materials.
What it is: Professor Garfield: Art Bot is a site dedicated to teaching kids the building blocks of art, specifically cartooning. Interactive training videos include: How to draw Garfield by Jim Davis, how to draw animals, how to draw cartoon characters, fun with sculpture, and creative carving. These step by step videos are great for teaching kids the basics and help kids to feel successful in their art skills.
How to integrate Professor Garfield: Art Bot into the classroom: Set up Professor Garfield: Art Bot as a center. Students can visit this center (or bookmark) and practice basic drawing skills with the digital tutorial. Students will love learning from Jim Davis. The videos are easy to follow and very kid friendly. This is also a great introduction to online instructional videos and training modules. Students can self direct learning with these types of video tutorials. Professor Garfield: Art Bot will encourage them to search out more video tutorials.
Tips: Be sure to visit the Teachers’ Lounge for really thorough instructional materials, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, printable materials, electronic field trips, and educational links.
What it is: mySchoolog is a free, online web-based application that helps students organize their school life easily. Students can organize everything about their school life with mySchoolog anytime, anywhere they have Internet access. Students can organize and share notes, to-do lists, appointments, store documents and files, and add lessons.
How to integrate mySchoolog into the classroom: Help your students organize themselves in a fun, easy way. Students can take control of their assignments, grades, and homework. This is a great way to teach your students responsibility and organizational skills. Teach students how to use mySchoolog in the computer lab or projector setting. Students can update their mySchoolog organizer in class, in a computer lab or library, or from home.
Tips: mySchoolog offers students some amazing extras including a calculator, periodic table, conversion tables, calendars, activity vs. calorie calculator, logarithms and more. Stay tuned for coming features including the ability to access mySchoolog from a cell phone, and email all mySchoolog features.
What it is: You may have noticed that iLearn technology has a brand new look. In the past, I have used iWeb to create and update my blog. However, as I added more and more posts, my MacBook Pro started getting bogged down by the enormity of it. I needed a solution… enter WordPress. WordPress is a free online blogging tool that makes my life simpler because it is easy to use and can be edited and updated online. Now my blog is portable! I can update anywhere that the mood strikes (provided that I have Internet access). I also have some new features. Check out the categories! If you are looking for a specific technology idea, narrow it down by searching through the categories. My RSS feed is also working…finally! So much to celebrate. Check out WordPress for your own blogging needs.
How to integrate WordPress into the classroom: WordPress makes it easy to create your own classroom blog. Blog about your classroom. Parents will love to read a daily synopsis of what their child has been working on in class. Turn your weekly newsletter into a blog. Parents and students can access past newsletters quickly and easily with the WordPress categories. You can also use classroom blogs to blog about different themes and units you may be studying. Working on a space unit? Use the blog to continue classroom discussions. Students can leave comments right on your blog! Create a blog about a book that your class is reading together. You can write posts about different characters, genres, etc. and your students can leave their comments about each. This is web2.0 at its finest!
Tips: Don’t be discouraged if you have never blogged before. WordPress will guide you every step of the way with print outs and online tutorials and guides.
What it is: Web 2.0 resources are amazing, I love the potential for connecting students and teachers in a new way. edu 2.0 is an incredible free tool that allows teachers and students to connect and interact outside of the traditional classroom. This is, in essence, a virtual classroom.
How to integrate edu 2.0 into the classroom: edu 2.0 allows teachers to add a new dimension to teaching. Post private classes online, upload daily lessons, keep a student roster, student attendance, a calendar, assignments, grade book, graph scores, start a class forum, chat, wiki, polls, and feeds, create surveys and quizzes that can be completed online. This is a great way to extend teaching, teach students how to use web 2.0 tools, offer tutoring and out-side of school teaching, and offering courses to home school students or small schools who may not have the resources to offer specialized classes.
Tips: This is an amazing FREE resource, be sure to participate in the edu 2.0 forum. Graham, the creator, is extremely open to new ideas from teachers and often creates new features and implements them quickly based on user suggestions.
What it is: Wacky Web Tales are online mad libs for third grade and up.
How to integrate Wacky Web Tales into your classroom: As you are teaching parts of speech, use the Wacky Web Tales website as a place for students to practice and play with different parts of speech. Students can each create a Wacky Web Tale and share with other students. Students can also visit the Parts of Speech help for definitions and examples of each part of speech. This would be a great learning activity- students could use the Parts of Speech help to learn the definitions of different parts of speech. It is also a great practice website. Complete Wacky Web Tales individually or as a whole class using a projector.
Tips: Check the Wacky Web Tales website monthly for new tales.
What it is: Letter Pop is a web-based newsletter publishing center. Best of all, Letter Pop is free! The newsletters are easy to create, just add text and pictures.
How to integrate Letter Pop into your classroom: If you don’t have a publishing program like Pages, this is the next best thing. Students can use Letter Pop for mini reports, class newsletters, and book reports. Teachers can use Letter Pop to create their weekly or monthly newsletters or for back to school letters.
Tips: Letter Pop is integrated with flickr.com making uploading pictures to your newsletter even more convenient.
What it is: Health Detective is an interactive game developed by Kaiser Permanente that teaches kids how to make healthy choices. The premiss of the game is an outbreak of unhealthy habits hitting too many kids. The kids get ‘secret’ training on how to eat right an exercise. Students can investigate fun games like whack a snack, soccer, and zap the TV. Students and teachers can also print out classified clues on ways to be healthy.
How to integrate Health Detective into your classroom: This is a fun, motivating way to learn about making healthy exercise and eating choices. In the one computer classroom, set up the Health Detective as a center for students to visit during science/health class. In the computer lab setting each student can play individually (about 20min. game). If you have access to a projector, this would be a fun whole class experience.
Tips: Teachers can print out healthy habits “classified clues” to send home with students.
What it is: Google Lit trips is a new way to teach literature. Using Google Earth, students discover where in the world the greatest road trip stories of all time took place. This is interactive learning at its best! Google Lit Trips include books such as By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleishman, My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, Traveling with P.G. Wodehouse, The Aeneid by Virgil, Candide by Volatire, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Night by Elie Wiesel, The Odyssey by Homer, and Blood Meridian by Comac McCarthy.
How to integrate Google Lit Trips into your classroom: Use these virtual trips to make literature come alive for your students.
Tips: These Google Lit Trips are best used for upper elementary through high school.