Friday Recap: Apps, jobs, new blogs

Happy Friday!!  Fridays during the summer are especially wonderful aren’t they?  Nothing better than a weekend ahead, some sunshine and fresh air and flip-flops.  Bliss.  I finally managed to keep up with posts here and get a few in over at iPad Curriculum with some application reviews.  Next week we are beginning to interview for positions at the school I am starting, Anastasis Academy.  If you are interested in applying, get yourself in gear and get your application in soon!  The job does require that you are in Colorado 🙂  On a serious note, we are looking to build a ball team.  I happen to believe that my PLN is made up of the best educators in the world, if you are interested please do apply, we would love to have you!

I ambitiously started a new blog last week for the school called Stand Again (I must be crazy, I think this makes blog #7…)

Below are posts from iPad Curriculum:

Stick Pick– I am VERY excited about this app from my friend and blog alliance member Buzz Garwood, worth checking out!

Virtual Rat dissection– just as gross (and educational) as you would imagine.


Happy weekend to you all!  I hope you find some time away from work and technology.

iLearn Technology Top 10 Posts of 2010

As 2010 winds down, I thought I would do a quick recap of the top 10 most popular posts on iLearn Technology this year (because who doesn’t love a good top 10 list?):

10. My Macmillan McGraw Hill Treasures reading curriculum supplements for 1st-5th grades.

9. My iLearn Mac in education ezines

8. 31 of My Favorite Digital Storytelling Sites

7. Interactive Advent Calendars

6. 16 of the Best Internet Safety Sites for Kids

5. My Promethean Quick Tips (page)

4. My Um-Bloom-ra Blooms Taxonomy Umbrella

3. 14 Online Interactive Advent Calendars (including my Web 2.0 Advent Calendar)

2. My Bloom’s Taxonomy Bloomin’ Pinwheel

1. My Bloom’s Taxonomy Bloomin’ Peacock

As it turns out, your favorite posts are my lists and content that I created…nice!

Remember you can buy a pack of all of my Bloom’s posters here ($.99). Or get the Bloomin’ Peacock on a variety of items.  All sales in the month of December will be donated to a Donor’s Choose project.  ***UPDATE:  Bloom’s Posters are now only available through my Kickstarter project!


I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and holiday season; I hope it is filled with family, good memories, love, and of course…technology! 😉

Taking over the Internet one blog/website/social network at a time

Did you know that I am other places around these interwebs other than iLearn Technology?  It’s true!  Sometimes I have to remind myself that not all of my readers have been with me since 2007 hanging on my every word (I know, I’m shocked too) and may need a refresher from time to time on where else they can find me.

I used to be a computer teacher and technology integration specialist. These days I am still working in education as a consultant, offering PD, writing, and working on starting a school.  When I was a computer teacher, I taught elementary and made this website for my students.  It is separated by grade and subject and has my very favorite websites (at the time- I haven’t updated it recently) on it.  These are what I used most often with my students and needed fast access to.  I bet you will find some fun websites you can use with your students, or pass it along to your students knowing that everything they find there will be a safe place for them to be.

I write another education blog that is a collection of my dreams for what I want education to be. It is called Dreams of Education, not as many followers there but great conversations!

I freelance write for The Apple on occasion about a variety of topics, usually technology, always education.

I keep a blog where I record great stories of learning, it is called Stories of Learning (imagine that!)

I keep a blog all about iDevices (iPods, iPads, iPhone) apps and their uses in education it is called iPad Curriculum.

I have a Facebook fan page for iLearn Technology.

I write with other incredible bloggers on Cooperative Catalyst and Confident Teacher.

I am an Apple fanatic and have written two magazines about using Apple products in education. (I wish I had time to do some more of these!)

I am on Linked In here (I’m not very active there but check in on occasion when I remember to).

I am on Twitter here (I am good about checking in here).

I have created a few websites that I used with my students but will share with you including:


Internet Safety for Parents

iVerb Project

Web 2.0 Advent Calendar

(I’m pretty sure I have more of these floating around but this is what comes to mind at the moment- I tend to make a website for EVERY project I have going at any given time :))

I do keep social bookmarks but use a platform that doesn’t seem to be free to use any more (except for me?) Simply Box.

When in doubt, search ktenkely it is the name I use everywhere on the interwebs.

A few tips and tricks for iLearn Technology- if you are searching for ANYTHING type in the keywords into my search box…9 out of 10 you will find something great!  Don’t know exactly what you are looking for? Do a multiple category search (find it to the right of this post in the sidebar).  Select items from as many of the drop downs as you would like and click “search” Every post or tool that matches that criteria will come up.  I sort posts according to Blooms Taxonomy level, grade level, subject, and resource type.  Go ahead and give it a try, I know you will find something you can use!

iLearn Technology has a store- in it I sell lesson plans, flipcharts (for use on the Promethean), and my Bloom’s Taxonomy images (Peacock, Umbrella, Tree, and Pin wheel). They are all $.99/ download.  I use this money to keep my blogs and websites going.  I add to my store occasionally so check back every once in a while for some new finds.

I am a Promethean certified trainer (although it has been 6 month since I have done a training!) I keep my Promethean resources here.

I hope in all of these resources you find something that is helpful for you!

iLearn Technology Change the World: Vote for your favorite Donor’s Choose Project

**** UPDATE The poll has closed due to the OVERWHELMING number of votes, however, your vote can still be counted!  Please leave a comment with your name and the project you would like to cast your vote for. Voting ends on December 20, 2010.  Thank you!

In September, I joined @adambellow’s Change the World project here on iLearn Technology donating 1 penny for every unique visitor that I had on iLearn Technology in a little over a month.  Right before Thanksgiving I announced the amount I would be donating ($400) and have since received some generous donations to add to mine.  I asked you all for your Donor’s Choose projects that needed funding. The results are below and it is time to start voting!  Send this post to all of your family and friends until December 20 and ask them to vote. Depending on the winner, I may be able to fund some runner’s up as well.  It isn’t too late to add a donation, you can help us fund even more!  Please contact me or leave a comment if you would like to help fund one of these awesome projects!

The time has come to start voting for the Donor’s Choose project(s) to fund!

#NTchat & the history of iLearn Technology

Yesterday I was the guest moderator for #NTchat on Twitter.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, #NTchat is a chat held on Twitter.  The chat happens weekly on Wednesdays and is geared toward New Teachers.  To participate in the chat, anyone who wants to join in uses the hash tag #NTchat at the end of their tweet.  @teachingwthsoul asked me to talk about how new teachers could utilize iLearn Technology.  You can see the archive of the chat here.   As I started tweeting, I realized that many of my readers probably don’t know the history of iLearn Technology.  For those of you who are interested, this is how it all started…

Out of college, I taught in a second grade classroom.  As a new teacher I had very few resources (no file cabinets full of lesson plans and activity ideas), very few learning games, few books in my classroom library, and as a newly wed out of college, very few funds with which to purchase said items.  I was also frustrated, it wasn’t fair for students in my classroom to have fewer resources available to them just because I was a new teacher.  In college, I stumbled upon abc Teach and Teach-nology.  That first year of teaching, I frequented both sites regularly for printables, games, and lesson ideas.  A few months into the year, I read my students Jan Brett’s The Mitten.  They were enamored with the book and I wanted to take advantage of it.  I didn’t have any resources to accompany the book so I wandered online to see what I could scrounge up.  I found Jan Brett’s website and couldn’t believe what I found.  She had SO many printables for the classroom, from bulletin boards to flash cards, and calendars.  She also had a teacher’s kit and sent my students monthly postcards about new projects she was working on.

I quickly realized that the Internet had a lot of resources that could help me through my first year.  One night I was on the hunt for some additional phonics resources that I could print out and use with my students.  A Google search introduced me to Starfall.  I was gobsmacked.  I couldn’t believe the printables, activities, games, and online stories available.  It was truly like finding a treasure trove!  Back in the day, Starfall would send their work journals and cut-up books for FREE along with Starfall pencils and stickers.  I ordered enough journals and books so that every student could have their own. My students really enjoyed the print materials from Starfall, I knew they would love the online books and activities as well.   I was lucky enough to have two computers in my classroom.  They were old and didn’t do much outside of run a word processor, but they were connected to the Internet.  I couldn’t wait to show my students Starfall.  I wish that I could have bottled up their excitement over Starfall.  They were thrilled to be using the computers and loved the fun stories and activities on Starfall.  My students that were struggling with phonics seemed to suddenly get it, Starfall made it click.

This was the beginning of my addiction to the Internet.  After seeing what Starfall did for my students, I was eager to find more sites that could make learning fun and engaging.  I found Gamegoo and Book Adventure and soon had my students cycling through those two computer centers throughout the day.  My students were eager for literacy every day and couldn’t wait for their rotation through the computer center.  As the year progressed, I added a few new learning sites each month as a center in my classroom.  I saw the impact that technology made on student learning.  I saw how excited my students were about learning.

The following year, I took a position as a computer teacher at a local private school.  They were desperate for a computer teacher, and I was eager to learn more.  I spent my summer creating a scope and sequence (there was no computer curriculum), writing lesson plans, and searching for resources.  I had a handful of ideas based on what I had done with my students the previous year but knew it wouldn’t carry me through the whole school year.  As I was searching for online resources, I discovered that there were excellent lists of websites that could be used with kids.  The problem was that they were literally just lists of links to sites.  There was no description, no organization, it was cumbersome and took a long time to find the really good sites.  I started collecting sites in iKeep Bookmarks, writing detailed descriptions and ideas I had for using the resource with students.  It was my husband who suggested that I start a blog of all the sites and ideas for their use.  If I couldn’t find one comprehensive collection that was well-organized and had clear descriptions, chances were that others had run into the same.  I didn’t really think anyone outside of myself and maybe a colleague would ever use the site.  It really was a place where I could keep track of everything for myself.  Several thousand resources later and here we are 🙂

If you are looking for a resource that will fit your specific needs, you can search iLearn Technology in a few ways.  The first is by using the search tool bar in the header.  Enter any subject or keyword related to your needs.  I try to tag each post with keywords that I would search if I were looking for the resource.  The second is to use the multi category search in my sidebar on the right.  You can choose a category from each drop down or choose from only a few categories.  For example you might be looking for a science resource for your 2nd grade students.  You could choose “science” from the subject drop down and “Primary Elementary” from the Grade Level drop down.  Every resource on iLearn Technology that matches that search criteria will be displayed.

If you aren’t currently involved in Twitter education chats, I recommend you choose one to participate in.  They are always a source of great conversation, thinking, and camaraderie.  Check out @Cybraryman1′s Twitter Chat list here.  Find one of interest and join in the conversation!

How to make iLearn Technology work for you

iLearn Technology is coming up on birthday number 4!!  It is hard to remember a time when I didn’t blog, the 4 year journey has been amazing!  I have grown as a teacher, a user of technology, and (I hope) as a blogger.  As I reflected on iLearn Technology, I couldn’t help but remember my first steps into the blogging world.  It was the summer of 2007 and I had been teaching in the computer lab for 2 years.  At the time, I spent my summers searching the web for resources I could use in my classroom.  When I stumbled on gems I wondered why no one had collected all of the great education resources in one place.  I kept a notebook of the sites I was finding and would jot down a few words (which I later realized were tags) to help me remember what the website looked like and did.  I would also write any thoughts that I had about how I could use the site with students.  Every once in a while I would stumble on a collection of education resources for the classroom, but I was disappointed by them.  Most were just lists of website links, there was no information that indicated what kind of site it was or how it could be used.  It frustrated me that I had to click on each and every link to find out if it was worthwhile for my classroom or not.  I was quickly becoming a website snob and when I came upon a website of link lists, I would quickly move on.  It was too time consuming to sort through 100 website urls for the chance that I might find something worth keeping.

About this time, the iPhone had just emerged on the scene.  My husband bought one and promptly jail broke it so that he could stay on T-mobile network.  As he searched around the net for iPhone hacks and tips, he came across this little video from @ijustine.  Her AT&T phone bill unveiling.

My husband sent me the video with a link to her blog and said “You should start a blog”.  I quickly shot back something snarky like: “oh yeah, what would I blog about my Nokia?”  Lucky for me, he ignored my snarky comment and told me to start an education blog where I reviewed all of the sites I was finding for my classroom.  I wasn’t sure how I could keep a blog going through the school year or how I would find enough material to keep it current, but it was July and I decided to give it a go.  You have to understand, when I started iLearn Technology, I had NO idea what blogging was really all about.  I didn’t really understand how it was different from a website (other than being updated more often) and I am pretty sure the term RSS was foreign to me.  I started it anyway thinking if nothing else, it would be a good place for me to keep track of what I was finding and would be more easily searchable than my spiral notebook.  I didn’t really expect that anyone would read my blog.  I didn’t really expect to get a following of any kind.  Thus began the journey of iLearn Technology.

Looking back over the past 4 years, I am still baffled that I find time to post every day.  I am still dumbstruck that you all read my blog and come back for more.  I am still amazed that I continue to find resources that are worthy of posts (I decided when I started iLearn Technology, if it didn’t pass the test of my students enjoying it, there would not be a blog post about it).  Each year I get a little nostalgic in July and look through my old posts.  I remember what projects I have done with students, make note of the sites that my students still beg for, and look forward to new finds.  I also try to find something that I can improve on.  This year I decided that I needed to make the resources I post about easier to search.  In my sidebar, you will see a category list with several drop-down menus.  I have categorized all of my posts by grade, subject, and resource type.  The new category search lets you search within multiple categories at once.  You can choose a grade level, a subject, and a resource (or just choose one or two categories to search).  This should make it easier to find resources that fit your classroom needs.  My hope is that iLearn Technology can be your one stop shop for finding the very best student-tested resources for your classroom.

I realize that not all of you have been with me from the beginning of this journey, I thank you for joining me when you did and for sticking with me as I continue to learn and grow!  Most of the tools I have posted about I still use every year.  They are outstanding resources! I don’t expect you to go back through each and every post on the off chance that you will find something that fits your needs, but hopefully the new multiple category search will encourage you to go through some previous posts that you may have missed to find just the right activities for the next school year.  As seems to be the case with technology, not all resources have stood the test of time.  Some sites have shut down, others are no longer free resources.  I am working on amending these posts accordingly but if you come across a site that is no more, leave me a comment and let me know about it.  I can offer some alternative resource suggestions and update the post to indicate the changes.

Try out the multiple category search and let me know what you think! You don’t have to make a selection from every category, just choose the options that best fit what you are searching for.

Obama’s Inauguration Speech

What it is: Barak Obama’s inauguration speech is taking place tomorrow morning!  Make sure that your students (regardless of age) are a part of this historic moment.  Wouldn’t it be neat if your students remembered sitting in your classroom watching and discussing the speech?  Hulu is going to host the speech live.  Because traffic to Hulu is bound to be heavy, I am also going to embed the speech right here on iLearn Technology.  Feel free to come here and watch the speech with me!  


How to integrate Obama’s Inauguration Speech into the classroom:  It isn’t every day that you can watch history in the making live in your classroom!  This is a historic moment that every student should be a part of.  Come back to iLearn Technology or Hulu to view the speech live.  It might be fun to make up a speech bingo card and see how many of the words students can pick out of the speech.  I’m sure a ready made bingo card will pop up somewhere!  If it does, I will update this post with the link.  


Tips: It will be interesting to see what people are saying about the speech via Twitter! 


Leave a comment and tell us how your students responded to the speech.

Tech Chick Tips

So, here I am listening to a podcast of Tech Chick Tips in iTunes while I update my blog with Mapness and what should I hear but a shout out for iLearn Technology!!  So much fun to know that I have a hand in (sort of) creating episodes of Tech Chick Tips!  If you haven’t subscribed to Tech Chicks yet, it is a great blog/podcasts all about technology in education.  Episode 45 is the one that mentions iLearn Technology.  Check it out 🙂