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What do you love: Google’s multi-search search engine

What it is: What do you love is a nifty little search space from Google that I ran across today.  Apparently I’m late on this one, everyone was blogging about it a year ago!  Ah well, can’t win ‘em all.  With What do you love, students can type in a search term and instantly get...

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Google’s Me On the Web- keep track of your digital footprint

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Character Education, Classroom Management, collaboration, Evaluate, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 15-06-2011

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What it is: Me On the Web is a new tool from Google.  Announced just today, Me On the Web is part of the Google Dashboard that allows you to set up custom Google Alerts for your name in news articles.  This was always possible with Google Alerts but now those alerts are coupled with tips and resources for helping students manage their online identities.  Now everything can be tracked from one central location instead of scattered around in different places.  Me On the Web is easy to set up, just visit your Google Dashboard to get started.

How to integrate Me on the Web into the classroom: There was a day when you could get away with not knowing and following your digital identity, that day is no more.  We all carry digital footprints, and now more than ever it is vital for us (and our students) to know how to manage those digital footprints.  Teaching students about their digital identity is the first step, Google’s Me on the Web takes that a step further by helping students manage their online identities through Google Alerts and helpful tips.  Students must have an account with Google to fully utilize the Me on the Web features.  After students have their account set up, they can create a set of Google Alerts related to them.  This could be their name, email address, a sports team that they play on, the name of the school they attend, etc.  Students will quickly see just how big a memory the Internet has and get a first hand look at their digital footprint and learn some strategies to take care of it.

If you are working with younger students without Google accounts (and most likely with a smaller digital footprint) you can share the School’s digital footprint or if you are brave (and after you know what will come up), your own.  This gives even young students a good idea that their digital lives are not private and that what is shared their needs to be managed.

Me On the Web is a great way to begin discussions about social media, character education and respecting yourself and others.

Tips: Google even shares a section about how to remove content from a Google Search.  Here is a hint, it is not as easy as just managing your identity PRIOR to needing to remove it.  Good choices my friends, good choices.  Anthony Weiner could learn a thing or two- just sayin’.

**By the way, if you haven’t seen the Google logo in honor of the lunar eclipse, it is definitely worth checking out- today only! :)

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Me On the Web  in your classroom!

Current.im: a private daily journal 140 characters at a time

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Character Education, Create, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 14-06-2011

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What it is: Current.im is a site I learned about from @MZimmer557 on his excellent blog, The Weekly Pursuit of Technology Integration HappinessCurrent.im let’s students keep a private online journal 140 characters each day.  The journal couldn’t be easier to use, students login with a username and password that they create, and type their 140 characters for the day.  Current.im keeps a daily record of these bits of writing along with a time stamp.  The Current.im is truly private, this isn’t a social sharing site where students (or teachers) are writing for an audience.  It is a wonderfully simple tool created for one thing: recording daily thoughts.

How to integrate Current.im into the classroom: Current.im is an easy way to record writing daily.  The limit is 140 characters making it easy to keep up with and add to everyday without being overwhelmed by the blank sheet of paper.  Current.im can be used as a journal where students reflect on daily learning, a year-long creative writing project that students add to 140 characters at a time each day or a personal journal.  Because students are only responsible for 140 characters a day, this is a fast activity that could be completed as a center on classroom computers.  If your students don’t have access to computers where they can keep their own Current.im accounts, keep a class journal/story/reflection by compiling thoughts together using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.

One of my favorite year-long projects in the computer lab was having students take a picture of themselves using PhotoBooth every computer class.  At the end of the year, students took all of their pictures and created a stop-motion type video combining all of the pictures into a movie.  The result was a short movie where they could see themselves grow up that school year.  Current.im would be a fantastic addition to this project.  Students could start each class period with a picture of themselves and a quick 140 character update to go with the picture.  At the end of the year not only will they be able to see their growth, they will be able to read reflections and thoughts they had throughout the year.  This is great for one school year but can you imagine doing this EVERY year of school from k-12 as part of a digital portfolio?  How neat would that be?!  This is truly a 2 min. time commitment each day.  Easy.

As a teacher, Current.im can be used to reflect on teaching practice, to record daily classroom (or student) observations or to record daily success (we all need to record those!).  I always joked that I should write a book about funny student antics.  Of course I never wrote all of these funny stories down so alas, I have no book.  Had I known about Current.im, I could have recorded these stories everyday and had the book written for me by the end of the year!

Tips: Current.im doesn’t include any terms of service so I assume it is okay for all students to use.  Registration for an account does require an email address.  The email address doesn’t need to be confirmed so if you have students without email addresses, they can use an @tempinbox or @mailinator account (just add tempinbox or mailiator to the end of any word to instantly create an account).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Current.im in your classroom!

Web 2.0 Library

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, collaboration, Create, Grade Level, Teacher Resources, Web2.0 | Posted on 13-06-2011

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What it is: Many of us are heading into the summer vacation months, a time when our non-education friends and family view us with envy over our “2 month break”.  I don’t know about you, but I NEVER had a summer where I wasn’t working on education in some capacity.  Summer is a time to prepare for the next school year, dream up new projects and explore all of those things we didn’t have time for during the school year.  Web 2.0 Library is a fun one to explore this summer for some new resources for your classroom tech tool box.  Find web tools that will help teachers and students connect, collaborate and create.  When you choose a topic, you will be taken to a login page.  Click “login as guest” to proceed.  Icons accompany each tool that offer additional understanding for each tool.  The i give more information about how to use the tool, the @ gives activities that can be done using the tool and the video icon includes a video that teaches more about the tool.

How to integrate Web 2.0 Library into the classroom: Web 2.0 Library is a great one-stop shop for Web 2.0 tools that can be used in the classroom.  These tools are well organized and the supporting information makes it a snap to find the perfect tool for your classroom.  Quickly get ideas for activities, get more information about the tool and view a video about the tool.  You are sure to find some new goodies that can make your classroom more connected and creative!

Tips: Don’t forget to login as “guest” to access all of the web 2.0 goodness.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Web 2.0 Library  in your classroom!

Gudli: learning games for math, language, science, puzzles and fun

Posted by admin | Posted in Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Websites | Posted on 09-06-2011

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What it is: Gudli is a collection of games for kids that makes learning fun.  Students can play these interactive educational games while developing skills in math, logic, memory, words, creativity and more.  Gudli is free to use and a fantastic learning space for students in kindergarten, first and second grade.

Learning games include:

Math

  • Color Addition
  • Learn Shape
  • Color Subtraction
  • Number Series
  • Number Wheel
  • Add Numbers
  • Match Shape
  • Minus
  • How Many
  • Number Writing
  • Spider Counting
  • Color by Number
  • What Number Missing
  • Billing Counter
  • Time Zone
  • Table Memory
  • Mission Subtraction
  • Tick Tock Time
  • Quick Match
  • Math Story
  • Pattern Match
  • Counting Coins
  • Mission Addition

Language

  • Simple Sentences
  • Lead the Way
  • Rhyme Time
  • ABC Words
  • Word Rhyme
  • ABC Jigsaw
  • Word Trail
  • Sight Words
  • Labeling
  • Save Panda
  • Letter Blox
  • Word Hunt
  • The Blank
  • Opposite Adjectives
  • Spellathon
  • Scramble
  • Phonic Train
  • Googly Balloon
  • Alphabet Writing
  • What Letter Missing
  • Word Search
  • English Memory

Puzzle

  • Connect Pipe
  • US Map
  • Jigsaw Wonders
  • Stardoku
  • Shape and Shadow
  • Jigsaw Puzzle
  • Tetris Mania
  • Tricky Shuffler
  • Tic Tac Toe
  • Sliding Puzzle

Science

  • Butterfly Life Cycle
  • Grow Plant
  • Water Cycle
  • Animal Quiz
  • Jigsaw Safari

In the side bar student will learn fun “did you know” facts, Math tricks (like “Multiply by 9: Multiply by 10 and subtract the original number”) and grammar hints.  Each game is labeled with the grade level and has a short description of the game and learning goals.

How to integrate Gudli into the classroom: Gudli is a fun way for kids to practice learning in math, English and science.  These games make great center activities to support learning.  The games are short enough that they can be set up on classroom computers and students can take turns reinforcing learning and skill practice.  Gudli has enough games that students can play several in a lab setting where each student has a computer.  Students can choose the games that best meet their learning needs.

Gudli is a great site to share with parents looking for some ways to reinforce learning over the summer!

Tips: Gudli has a brand new virtual world coming soon!  Students will be able to explore a fun virtual world, “chat” with their friends, play in an interactive environment, challenge friends to games and of course learn!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Gudli in your classroom!

eduify: virtual writing coach making writing easier

Posted by admin | Posted in collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 08-06-2011

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What it is: eduify is an online tool that acts as a writing coach for students.  As students write they have immediate access to tutorials and writing examples, the built in ability to discover and cite sources automatically, the ability to verify citations and safeguard against plagiarism, the ability to store, share and edit documents online, and the ability to get help from friends and experts.  eduify takes all of the guess-work out of writing and puts the focus back on…well, writing.  Students can focus on getting their thoughts out and expressing learning, eduify helps take care of those little details that hang students up.  Students can even find quotes and additional sources for their writing directly within eduify.

How to integrate eduify into the classroom: eduify acts as another teacher in the writing classroom.  Because we don’t have the ability to work one on one with every student at once, eduify steps in and guides students until we can offer personal support.  Students don’t have to wait around for coaching, they can get help as they need it.  Students working on writing from home also have access to that support.  In my experience students are hindered in sharing their learning through writing by the writing “rules” and process itself.  They are so stuck on form that they lose the content and passion about a topic along the way.  eduify gets them out of the writing rut, giving them the freedom to focus on content and ideas first and form second.  Like a writing wingman.  Awesome. Where on earth was this when I was in school?

Use eduify as a writing platform in a one to one setting where every student has access to a computer.  Students can store their papers safely online for easy access both at school and home.  Papers can share their papers for review online with the teacher or with other students.  In a one or two computer classroom, set up computers as an eduify center that students can visit for writing support as an editing center.

Tips: eduify is in beta right now.  Students (and teachers) can request a beta invite code, mine came right away.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  eduify  in your classroom!

iPad/iPod Touch App Bloom’s Taxonomy

Posted by admin | Posted in Blooms Taxonomy, Classroom Management, iPod, Teacher Resources | Posted on 07-06-2011

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I’m sure you all have figured out by now that I am a fan of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Big. Fan.  How could an organization freak like me not be impressed with a way of categorizing how we learn and produce?  Recently I came across not one but two Bloom’s taxonomy resources for apps.  Organizational heaven I tell ya.  I thought I would share all of this appy, bloomy goodness with you!

Bloom’s Apps

Teach with Your iPad: Bloom’s Taxonomy apps

Pretty cool right? Right.  Didn’t get your fill of Blooms?  Here are some other resources I have created:

Bloom’s Taxonomy Live Binder

Bloomin’ Peacock

Bloomin’ Pinwheel

Umbloomra

Bloomin’ Tree

Oh yeah, in case you forgot, I organize ALL of my posts by Bloom’s Taxonomy level both here on iLearn Technology and on my app sharing blog iPad Curriculum.  Just choose the level of Blooms in the category search in the sidebar and away you go.  Happy bloomin’ friends!

You can purchase my Bloom’s posters in PDF 8.5″x11″ format from my store (only $0.99 for all 4, a steal!)  Sales help fund Donor’s Choose projects like this one that funded a class set of Leap Frog systems:


PSToM: Parents, Students, Teachers of Mathematics

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 06-06-2011

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What it is: PSToM is an online portal for math classes.  With PSToM parents can follow their child’s progress and know exactly what their child is learning in math.  Students can learn at their own pace, assess their own learning and know how well they are doing in math (and why!).  Teachers can recommend math videos, know each students strengths and weaknesses and tailor classroom instruction to get more out of each class.  PSToM has built-in math problems with an area to solve them, math videos that can be shared, built-in tests and a place to discuss learning.  The site is simple but the learning possibilities are pretty incredible.

How to integrate PSToM into the classroom: PSToM is a fantastic supplement to the math classrooms.  PSToM makes it simple to create a blended classroom with online content, discussion and problem solving supporting what is happening in the classroom.  As a teacher it is easy to assign math videos and problem sets.  All data is collected and shared with students, parents and teachers.  PSToM is a great connection between the math classroom and home.  The mystery of the math classroom is taken out for both the parents and students.  Everyone knows what learning goals are being worked on, the progress and what skills need to be practiced.

Use PSToM as a supplement to your math classroom and to customize math lessons for your students.  Give students the opportunity to work on math at their unique learning level in a computer lab setting or as a center on classroom computers.

Tips: Be sure to tell parents about PSToM, it is a great way for students to get some extra practice and opportunity for understanding in at home.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  PSToM  in your classroom!

Min.us: Instant document sharing

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, Download, iPod, Middle/High School, Open Source, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Websites | Posted on 06-06-2011

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What it is: Do you ever find yourself wanting to share a file quickly and easily without relying on email to deliver it?  You do? I thought so.  Min.us is a great way to share files quickly and easily, it even provides file sharing options between devices!  Students and teachers of all ages can use Min.us to share files.  Just drag the file onto the screen and click “Start Sharing”.  It could not be easier.  Choose to share publicly or privately.  Share using the unique URL that is generated.  Easy peasy.  No need for students to sign in.  A built-in timeline shows all of the files that have been shared.  Min.us has a desktop application that can be downloaded and placed in the task bar for sharing without opening a browser.  Min.us has apps for sharing on mobile devices including the iPhone, Android, and Windows 7 with more mobile options coming.

How to integrate Min.us into the classroom: Min.us is an easy way to share documents with your students, colleagues and parents of children in your classroom.  Drag and drop a document and share the link for fast, easy sharing.  Include permission slips, class documents and make-up work as Min.us links in a weekly newsletter for easy access to EXACTLY the document that each family needs.  No more sending emails full of attachments that get filtered or bounced back!  Quickly share documents between teacher and student computers.  Students can use Min.us to turn in work, teachers can use it to share documents quickly with classroom computers or share documents immediately with a computer lab full of computers.

Tips: Login to follow your documents (how many downloads, a feed of documents you have subscribed to and a full history of all of your documents).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Min.us in your classroom!

19 Pencils

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, collaboration, Create, Teacher Resources, web tools, Websites | Posted on 03-06-2011

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What it is: 19 Pencils is a beta site that provides teachers with a place to share websites, quizzes and video from one central, customizable location.  From 19 Pencils you can discover, organize, manage and share content with your students for learning.  19 Pencils is very easy to use and makes it fast to share collections of online material with students.  Collect and share websites, create and use ready-made quizzes and track student progress on that online content.  Teachers can share one link and students can access all online content for the classroom from one location.

How to integrate 19 Pencils into the classroom:19 Pencils makes it easy for teachers to collect and share resources with their students online.  Clear out all of those sticky notes and the bookmark bar crammed full of web addresses (or am I the only one that does that?) and compile them all in one place that is easy for everyone to access.  Add websites (complete with preview picture), teacher-created quizzes and video to your 19 Pencils classroom space.  Students can easily access all classroom materials from one URL on classroom computers, in the computer lab or at home.  This is a fantastically easy site to use!  Even the technology novice can put together a collection for students quickly.  Create 19 Pencils collections for units of learning, subjects or just as a collection of learning site recommendations for students.

I am a big fan of the site visual previews, this is SO helpful for young students who are just emerging as readers. No matter what age group you are working with, more learning is possible when students aren’t spending times typing in long urls.   19 Pencils also makes it easy to share with your colleagues!

Tips: Want to create a comprehensive website for your classroom?  Check out Weebly, Wix or Bloust!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  19 Pencils in your classroom!

Isle of Tune: Create a musical journey

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Create, Geography, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 31-05-2011

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What it is: Isle of Tune is a site that has just significantly impacted my productivity today- I can’t stop playing!  Thanks to @Matt_Arguello and @dancallahan for this share today on Twitter!  Isle of Tune lets students create musical journeys out of street layouts.  Roadside elements act as instruments and cars are the players.  Students can create whole islands of music by creating a street layout, adding objects that generate different sounds and adding cars to play the music.  Each object has an object panel where students can adjust the sound, volume or clone the object.  Students can determine when a sound will be played based on the ground lighting up when the car passes.  Junctions change the course of passing cars or can “loop” a sound.  It is easy for students to get started, they just click “Create a new island” and away they go.  Students can name their island anything and save to return to it later.  No need for registration, the Internet browser they are using just needs to have cookies enabled (this is a bit of a problem for shared classroom computers with a single account).

How to integrate Isle of Tune into the classroom: Isle of Tune is an enchanting place for creation.  The sky is the limit as students create music based on visual creation.  Aside from teaching some great music principles, Isle of Tune would be a fantastic way to teach students pattern.  Students can use Isle of Tune to construct patterns of objects and actually experience the connection between math and music as they “play” their pattern tune.

Isle of Tune would also be a fun place for students to learn about maps and ordinal directions and basic graphing.  Students can start with oral directions about where to lay their street “Four street squares North East, two street squares West”.  After directions are given, students can customize their islands with trees, houses, lamp posts, etc.  You can quickly tour the room for some formative assessment while students complete their island.  Let students take turns listening to each other’s Isle of Tune, noting similarities and differences based on the patterns made.

Use Isle of Tune as a creative writing prompt.  Students can create an island and tune and write an imaginative story about the island they created.  The saved island makes a nice visual-aid and soundtrack for their finished story.

Isle of Tune makes a great interactive whiteboard, or projector-connected computer activity.  Students can work together to create a giant island of tunes.  Use the annotate over the desktop feature to label directions, coordinates and patterns.

The shared songs are pretty incredible- many of the “top” shares are popular music that has been created using Isle of Tune.

Tips: Isle of Tune is currently available on the web, keep an eye out for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad versions coming soon!  If Isle of Tunes inspires your students to want to become architects or engineers, point them toward online CAD Drafting classes.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Isle of Tune in your classroom!

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