What it is: Another web 2.o tool, Sketchcast is a new way for you to communicate with your students and for your students to communicate with one another. A Sketchcast is a recorded online sketch. Think an online whiteboard recording. Sketchcast offers the ability to record a sketchcast with or without a voice.
How to integrate Sketechcast into the classroom: How many times do you remember this scenario as a student: you watched the teacher teach a new math concept, understood it perfectly in class as you watched the process only to get home, look at the notes you took and have no idea what to do? I suspect if we are honest, this happened with more than just math. Enter Sketchcast. Now you can enable your students to be more successful by Sketchcasting new concepts and lessons. Sketchcasts can be embedded in your classroom website or blog or accessed on your Sketchcast channel. Now when students get home and have the “I don’t remember what to do” panic, they can get online and re-learn the concept with your virtual guidance. Could it get any better than that?! This could also be a solution to feeling like a broken record and repeating the same directions a thousand times (come on be honest, I know I am not the only one who has to do this!) If you have access to a projector, create the Sketchcast as you are teaching your students (instead of the whiteboard). This will keep you from doing everything twice and students can re-view the exact lesson you taught. Cool! Sketchcasts would also be fun for students. Let them practice that new concept online in a Sketchcast for their classmates to visit. Sketchcasts would also be a great alternative to the traditional book report. Give your students a new method for sharing ideas and get some great mouse manipulation practice in at the same time!
Tips: Sketchcast requires registration to create a Sketchcast (including email address). For younger students who may not have an email address, create a student classroom account where all students can login and create a Sketchcast.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Sketchcast in your classroom.
What it is: Be Funky is a web 2.0 application that lets students take any picture and transform it into a cartoon or a sketch.
How to integrate Be Funky into the classroom: Use Be Funky in conjunction with other tools such a Bubblr (see post from the 16th) or software like Comic Life (check out iLearn Technology store for Comic Life). Since Be Funky changes a regular photograph into a cartoon, you can create cartoon comic strips in class. Transform field trip pictures into cartoons and invite students to create a comic strip retell about the field trip. Students can be the star of their own comic strips where they create a comic autobiography. Take pictures during a science experiment and create a comic strip with the scientific process of the experiment.
Tips: Be Funky requires you to have an account (this is free but asks for an email address). If you plan on having your students transform the pictures into cartoons you may think about creating one class account for students to use. I wanted to download the cartoon picture to my computer so that I could use them in Comic Life. This is not an option that Be Funky offers so I created my cartoon and then took a screen capture of the cartoon to save it as an image to my computer.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Be Funky in your classroom.
What it is: Starship Math is a BBC school site with fun math practice and games that teach skills such as basic geometry (3-d shape recognition), addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, weight measurement, measurement, and understanding of numbersquares.
How to integrate Starship Math into the classroom: Starship Math is a great site for reinforcing math concepts in a fun, interactive environment. The games and activities can be used on an interactive whiteboard or individually on computers. Starship Math could be used for practice of a concept or as an introduction to a new math concept. Your students will enjoy playing and learning on this site!
Tips: Check out the Teacher page for lesson plans, print outs, and suggestions for using each game on an interactive whiteboard or for individual computers.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Starship Math in your classroom.
What it is: Bubblr! is a tool to create comic strips using photos from flickr.com. You can use others public images or images from your own flickr.com account.
How to integrate Bubblr! into the classroom: Bubblr! would be a wonderful site to use after a class field trip. Have a parent (or yourself) take pictures during the field trip. Create a flickr (www.flickr.com) account for your class. Upload the photos to the flickr account for use in the Bubblr! project. Students can create comic strips with the field trip pictures documenting the learning experience in a fun way. Bubblr! would also be fun to use for character education. Take picture of different scenarios (for example, a student taking a toy away from another student). Upload these pictures to Flickr and have students use Bubblr! to show what the different characters might be thinking and possible solutions to the problem. Bubblr! could also be used to help create a word wall…find pictures that represent words and add the word to the comic. Print out and create a Bubblr! word wall. Pictures can be found by keyword (tags) or by user. When students are finished with their comic strips they have the option of sending them via email, printing, or posting on a blog.
Tips: Since Flickr and Bubblr! are online applications, be sure that you have permission to post student pictures on either site.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Bubblr in your classroom.
What it is: Roy the Zebra is a site for emerging readers complete with interactive stories, games, and lesson plans. The site can be used with interactive white boards or on computers. Emerging reader skills include capital letters, full stops, words that rhyme, high frequency words, alphabetical order, question marks, singular or plural, long vowel phonemes, words within words, and consonants. The Roy the Zebra story collection is online and includes literacy worksheets, before reading discussion sheets, and after reading discussion sheets.
How to integrate Roy the Zebra into the classroom: Roy the Zebra is an excellent literacy website. Use daily with your emerging and struggling readers to enhance your literacy time. Set up Roy the Zebra as a center during literacy time in the one computer classroom. Because of the sites interactivity, it is also an ideal site to use with an interactive white board. If you have access to a computer lab your students can practice the skills learned for the day all together.
Tips: There are advertisements on the site but be assured that all activities, books, lessons, and games are completely free to use. Roy the Zebra does accept donations.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Roy the Zebra in your classroom.
What it is: Kerpoof is a free online creativity center where students can create their own pictures, stories, and movies. The Kerpoof studio provides students with scenes, characters, and props. Students use these tools to create stories that can be printed out or movies that they write and direct. These can be saved right on the website so students can revisit their picture, story, or movie.
How to integrate Kerpoof into the classroom: Kerpoof is the creativity tool that can bring your students stories to life. Use Kerpoof as part of your publishing center. Students can use Kerpoof to illustrate their stories, or to create a real movie out of their own writing. Kerpoof would also make a fun writing prompt center in the classroom. This site also provides students with basic movie making skills and would make a nice precursor to an iMovie lesson. Students could plan out their movies on Kerpoof before they begin filming and editing with iMovie. Kerpoof can also be used to teach character education, have students create stories or movies that show emotion and solve problems. Teach the life cycle of a butterfly during science using Kerpoof’s butterfly pavilion scene. User Kerpoof to create life cycle scenes. Students will create a unique login so that they can revisit their stories and movies. Allow students to visit each other’s work during reading time. The site would be best utilized in a computer lab one to one setting. The stories and movies will take too long to just set up as a center in your classroom. If you don’t have access to a computer lab for this activity but have a projector, create an ongoing story or movie as a whole class.
Tips: Be sure to visit the teacher area of Kerpoof for some outstanding lessons and ideas for using Kerpoof in the classroom. You can also print out coloring sheets from the teacher area.
P lease leave a comment and share how you are using Kerpoof in your classroom.
I have been working on some new features for iLearn Technology lately. Now in the sidebar you will find a link to the new iLearn Technology store. Here you can find computers, cameras, technology equipment, software, and more. I am also working on two new pages. The first will be posts about websites and tools just for educators. The second will feature outstanding classroom websites. I hope you enjoy these new features! As always, iLearn Technology will continue to bring ideas that are easy to implement in your classroom. Feed back is always welcome!
Watch the Viddler video below about Twitter. www.twitter.com is a social networker/micro-blogger that allows you to keep people updated on what you are up to on a daily basis. Think it doesn’t have a place in education? Think again! I think it would enhance home-school communication greatly. Take a look! You are 140 characters closer to better communication with parents…
Sometimes I come across new things or get an idea for how to use a technology and I get entirely too excited about it. I have one such idea today…in fact, it is so exciting that I am going to make a video blog about it so that you can share my enthusiasm. This is going to take a bit of time as I am teaching at the moment. So…stay tuned and be sure to check back! It is good to be a tech geek! 🙂