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Simply Box

What it is: Simply Box appeals to my inner organization enthusiast.  Simply Box is a web tool that allows users to capture content from any web page and put it into a box.  I love the visual interface of Simply Box.  Inside a box is the collection of resources that you have collected from around the web.  You actually see the website (this is a huge deal for people who see a lot of websites each day),  I may not remember a website by its title or description but I will most certainly remember it by its picture.  Within a box you can rearrange websites by clicking and dragging them to a new place on the screen.    Boxes can further be organized into containers.  For example I may have a math website container with boxes inside such as virtual manipulatives, games, videos, etc.  Simply Box has a very user friendly interface that lets you drag and drop to organize containers, boxes, and materials.  Simply Box makes collaboration easy.  Send your Simply Box to another Simply Box user and each of you can comment and add to boxes.  A non-simply box user will be able to see all of the content but will not be able to add to it. How to integrate Simply Box into the classroom: Simply Box is an outstanding way to keep the online classroom resources you find organized.  Share your boxes with colleagues and collaborate about resources you find and how they might be used in the classroom.  Use Simply Box to build guided lessons for students.  Collect all the resources (websites) they need to complete a project.  Create an Internet scavenger hunt for students to complete in a safe, more controlled online environment.  Students can also use Simply Box.  Students can work together on class projects, collecting research and other materials together.  Assign Simply Box as homework and include students in the creation of the next-day lesson.  Assign a topic, the student’s job is to find a few quality websites on the subject and add them to the class Simply Box.  The next day go through the students finds as a class to learn about the new topic.  As you continue learning about the topic, new finds can be added to the Simply Box.  When it comes time to complete a project or study for a test, all of the resources are gathered in one place for students.  You could essentially create your own ‘textbooks’ with the help of students. Tips: Simply Box requires an Internet plugin to work.  If you need a tech admin to install a plugin on classroom computers or your work computer, get the request in so you can organize your school year from the start. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Simply Box in your classroom.

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Photo Booth/ Seenly

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Open Source, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 25-10-2007

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What it is: If you are lucky enough to have a newer Mac in your classroom, you are familiar with Photo Booth. Photo Booth is reminiscent of its name sake, it allows students to take pictures with the built-in iSight camera. If you have a pre-Photo Booth Mac or a PC you can now use a free Browser application called Seenly. Seenly lets students take pictures of themselves (even applying different effects like sepia tone or x-ray). Seenly can be used on older Mac’s or PC’s. The only requirement is a web cam. These are coming way down in price, $15-$25.

How to integrate Photo Booth or Seenly into the classroom: Photo Booth and Seenly can be used for a multitude of projects throughout the school year. My favorite project for using Photo Booth/Seenly is for character education development. I create a “How are you feeling today?” grid in Pages or Word and save as a template. Students take pictures of themselves displaying the different emotions and drag and drop onto the template. When they are finished we print them out and create a class book of emotions. This is a wonderful way to teach students empathy. Photo Booth/Seenly can also be used at the beginning of the year for a getting-to-know you project. Create a bulletin board with student pictures. Students could use Photo Booth/Seenly to star in their own stories. Teachers, take pictures of students throughout the year as you podcast students reading. The photos with the podcasts make an excellent end of the year gift for students and parents as they can see and hear students growth throughout the year. Create a classroom “dictionary” where students create definitions for themselves along with their pictures. When teaching action verbs, have students take pictures of themselves actually doing an action verb. You will find a hundred and one uses that you never expected when you bring a web cam into the classroom and pair it with Photo Booth/Seenly!

Tips: See the image below for an example of the “How are you feeling today?” templates I created in Pages. One template was created for kindergarten through second grades and the second template was created for third through fifth grades.

Comments (2)

What a great idea! You said it best. Photo Booth does have a 101 uses and then some. I really like the idea of using it for character education. Also, seeing the maturation of a reader doesn’t get any better than capturing it over the course of a year. Good stuff!

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