An edublog about integrating technology into the classroom.
IDroo: Online educational multi user whiteboard
What it is: IDroo is an educational multi user whiteboard that lets students instantly collaborate online. Everything that is drawn or written on the whiteboard is visible to all participants in real-time. IDroo supports an unlimited number of meeting participants, the only limitations are...
What it is:Gooru is a education search engine for learning that helps teachers find standards aligned content and study guides. 5th-12th grade math and science topics are covered and include resources like digital textbooks, animations and instructor videos. Gooru provides a place to connect with your worldwide personal learning network to share and ask questions. Gooru is not just for teachers, students can use the study guides and self assessments to guide learning. Based on the topics studied and the performance on self-assessments, Gooru begins to suggest resources and study guides to help gain mastery.
Gooru takes advantage of OER (Open Educational Resources) so that all content delivered can be accessed free of charge.
You can explore Gooru through resources, collections, quizzes, a standards library or a search engine.
How to integrate Gooru into the classroom: Gooru is a great step toward helping you personalize the learning experience for your students. Use Gooru to find resources for your classroom and for individual students. Invite students to create their own logins so that they can setup Gooru to be tailored to their specific needs. As they study and take quizzes, Gooru gets “smarter” and begins to recommend content for them.
Gooru is ideal in a 1 to 1 classroom set up. If you don’t have 1 to 1 access, much of the content can be shared using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer. Because of the nature of Gooru, it could be a great addition to the flipped classroom model.
Tips: Gooru is currently in beta, sign up to help them test it out and make it better today!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Gooru in your classroom!
The following is a re-post from my other blog: iPad Curriculum. I shared Send Felicity a few weeks ago as part of my advent collection but thought I would give everyone a little more information about this incredible site and invitation for play. Even though Send Felicity has an iPhone/iPod Touch app, the app isn’t necessary to engage in the creative play which is also available on the Send Felicity website and Facebook page. I encourage you to offer your students opportunities for play. I deeply believe that play is a strong catalyst for learning.
What it is: Everyone could use a little more magic and enchantment in their lives and Send Felicity brings students (and teachers/families) just that. Take a look at the video below to watch some of that magic unfold.
Felicity is six and three-quarters years old. She loves imagination, making things, and magic. She comes from a magical place called Thin Air. Felicity invites children everywhere to join her in play. Every day there is a new special surprise waiting for children. Each surprise invites students to engage in creativity, play, imagination, and learning. It is an enchanting-ongoing place that involves technology, imagination, and the real world in new ways. The artists, geeks, and minds behind Felicity are deeply committed to keeping the childhood experience one of magic, imagination, and exploration. They bring these values to life beautifully as an application, website, and social experience. What I love about the Send Felicity experience is the storyline behind Felicity, and the invitation to be part of something that is engaging, meaningful, and magical. The combination of the three makes Send Felicity a unique learning and interactive experience. So, how does Send Felicity work? Children can visit the application or website to learn of a new craft (adventure) to take with Felicity. Felicity takes every day objects like paper plates and makes them magical. Children follow the adventures and create and pretend along with Felicity. Children can take pictures of their finished masterpieces and upload them to the Send Felicity website, sharing the creative experience with others. The application is truly unique and takes what is real and adds a bit of magic (as you saw in the video).
How Send Felicity can enrich learning: Play is an important part of learning. It provides the building blocks for self-regulation and executive functions, promotes creativity, imagination, and divergent thinking. Unfortunately play is often stripped from the classroom. Send Felicity weaves together a wonderful tapestry of play and learning in the form of an application, a website, and a social movement. Felicity uses open-ended play and experimentation that leads to an attitude of fun learning. Felicity helps your students turn ordinary objects into creative works of magic. Use Felicity’s daily dose of magic to spark your students imaginations. Set aside some time for your students to do a little creative play. The benefits that play has on the rest of the learning day will be well worth the time invested. Go beyond the crafts and invite your students to write stories, poems, or secret letters in connection with the imaginative play of the day. Activities for Felicity are open-ended and include art, language arts, literacy, and even math and physics. Send Felicity marries technology and real life in new fun ways. The application is just a piece of the bigger picture. The application takes students physical creation and adds a little magic to it.
Today we are boldly making mistakes.Today, our children will make a small mess.
Today, we’ll set out on an adventure and begin with an “oops” and end up in a place where we can look and wonder. Together, we can do something mistaken and wrong; and audacious and wonderful to surprise everyone.
This project shows children that it is okay to make mistakes, and that, in fact, those mistakes can be turned into something wonderful, new, and meaningful. Students don’t hear often enough that it is okay to make mistakes and that it is indeed an important part of the learning process. Take a look at what these beautiful oops turn into:
The Send Felicity App has not yet been released to the iTunes store, but don’t let that stop you from using Felicity in your classroom right now, the Send Felicity website is full of fun activities, instructions, and even a bit of magic. You can also check Felicity out on Facebook where she shares creations made by children from around the world! Send your students home with a wonderful gift this holiday season and point them toward the Send Felicity website. Students will love the opportunities for play and imaginations, parents will love the ideas to keep their kids learning and playing. Let parents know about Send Felicity along with this article from Geek Mom for a little explanation.
The wonderful people over at Send Felicity are so passionate about creating a world of wonder and imagination for children to play in that they have made the technology that Send Felicity is based on open source. Interested parents, educators, and developers are invited to sign up to play along with them.
Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch iOS 3.1.3 or later
What it is: Curriclick is a site that I have mentioned before that provides free and low cost curriculum for download and use in your classroom. Today they released a 2009 Presidential Inauguration Lap book for download. After the speech today it would be great to download and use some of the reading and activities in your classroom.
How to integrate 2009 Presidential Inauguration Lap book into the classroom: I don’t know about you but I found that many of my students still didn’t “get” president Obama’s Inauguration speech even after viewing it. Use this free lap book download to help your students understand the history behind the Inauguration speech. Watch the speech again as a class or read the transcript of the speech. Help your students understand this historic occasion with the help of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Lap book. I wish that they had released this one sooner!
Tips: This is a 40+ page guide. Download the pdf version and only print out the pages you are going to use in your classroom. NOTE! I tried to access this site just a few min. ago and could not get to it, probably because of the flood of traffic. Try back later today if the links in this post don’t seem to be working.
Leave a comment and tell us how your students responded to the speech.
What it is: Not all technology resources require students on a computer, some technology resources are specifically for you, the teacher, to enhance curriculum or for professional development. Free Reading is one such site. This incredible open source instructional program helps you teach early literacy. Free Reading provides a 40 week scope and sequence of phonemic awareness and phonics activities. The goals of Free Reading are to help you teach kids to read, to make quality research-based instruction for reading free, and to provide a community of educators with a common goal of reading intervention. Free Reading is really, truly free… downloads, prints, teaching materials are all completely free!
How to integrate Free Reading into the classroom: Free Reading is ideal for the reading intervention classroom, or for small guided reading groups. The program is an excellent reading program for kindergarten through third grade and for pullout programs for struggling readers. Even if you have a reading program in place, check out Free Reading. You will find excellent tools and materials that can be integrated into the current curriculum.
Tips:Free Reading has some great live sessions, be sure to check one out! (It is, of course, free!)
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Free Reading in your classroom.
What it is: Summer is approaching and things are winding down on the school front. I don’t know about you but things are also slowing down on the computer front toward the end of the school year too. I always know when summer is approaching because my machine starts to run slower. I have downloaded hundreds of open source applications to try, pictures, fonts, and videos to my machine and I have created HUGE files of tutorials, videos, and lessons for my students. Normally I spend days sorting through all of the folders trying to find the culprits of my slow down and save them to disk or trash them all together. This week I learned about an awesome tool to help me speed things up from iJustine over at Tasty Blog Snack. Disk Inventory X is a disk usage utility for Mac OS X (sorry PC users, I am sure something similar exists) It shows the sizes of files and folders in “treemaps” (a graphical representation). Disk Inventory X helps solve the mystery of where all of your disk space has gone. Disk Inventory X gives detailed search results and you can delete files directly using the program…it updates live so you can see your disk space free up right before your eyes. The cost of this awesome little goody? Absolutely free!
How to integrate Disk Inventory X into the classroom:
Take a little time to free up your computer before the end of the school year. Clean your computers up for a fresh start in August. If you don’t have tech support that re-images your classroom computers, go ahead and run Disk Inventory X on them too. You are going to feel so speedy!
Tips: As a side note, if you are working to get your girls interested in technology introduce them to iJustine…she will have them amped on technology in no time!
Leave a comment and share how many Gigs you were able to free up with Disk Inventory X.
What it is: Carrying on with the interactive whiteboard awesomeness, here is free interactive whiteboard software for your Wiimote Whiteboard. If you have a Mimio, e-beam, Smartboard, Active Board, or Promethean, this software will also work with them! Kindle Lab will run on both PC and Mac. Now, I could give you a long explanation of everything that Kindle Lab can do but I am of the mindset that a picture (or in this case video) is worth a thousand words and can do a much better job of it than I can….
How to integrate Kindle Lab into your curriculum:Kindle Lab is meant to be used to enhance all of your existing curriculum. No matter what subject you are teaching Kindle Lab, along with your Interactive Whiteboard, can bring the lesson to life for your students. The range and scope of what Kindle Lab can do for your classroom is so broad and all encompassing that for me to give you some ideas here would really be silly. Download Kindle Lab, the PDF of the Kindle Lab tools and start exploring. I promise it will be pretty apparent to you how seamlessly this could be used for any subject at any level. So cool!
Tips: At the end of the video clip above, you may have noticed another tool which is called Eduism. This is a 3-D interactive environment that was created for the classroom. It is also a free to use open source project that is meant to be used with the Interactive Whiteboards. Be sure to check it out!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Kindle Lab in your classroom.
What it is:Drupal is an open source (free) content management platform. This free software package (downloaded) allows teachers to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. Teachers can use Drupal to create discussion areas for their class, as a content management system, for blogging, as a collaborative learning environment, for classroom social networking, a classroom forum, newsletters, podcasting, online picture albums, and file uploads and downloads.
How to integrate Drupal into the classroom: Make your classroom “classroom 2.0″ with Drupal. Encourage student collaborative learning, discussion, and outside the classroom self-guided learning. Drupal helps teachers to teach 21st century skills by providing the platform to do so. Use Drupal to build an online classroom community where students and parents can interact with one another and you. Post assignments online. Students can download and upload assignments. This will bring a whole new aspect of parent involvement in your classroom!
Tips: Drupal handbooks (on the website) are a wealth of information for using Drupal.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Drupal in your classroom.