Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bio Poems

Bio Poems enable students to introduce themselves in a creative way. Check this website posting for some samples: "Bio Poems, Created and Composed by Div. 2." Use the Play button to scroll and see each sample.

Mr. Kaliar is the teacher, and on his website, Our Learning Journeys, look for the tab, Student Showcase" to find examples of other student projects.

Here are two examples of the students' Bio Poems.

After looking through more examples of the Bio Poems, what do you think of this class project? Have you tried similar projects? If you looked through samples of other students' projects on the class site, what do you think of theses? How do you feel about teachers publishing student work on websites or blogs?

Three Approaches to Blogging

One of my favorite bloggers, Richard Byrne, just posted a blog, "Three Approaches to Blogging," on his famous blog Free Technology for Teachers.

image: headers on
In this post,  "Three Approaches to Blogging," Byrne outlines the benefits of blogging, its varied uses, and its potential for reaching a wide or varied audience. Do you believe teachers should maintain blogs? Do you have one? If you don't, would you consider having one for your students as an audience or for the parents of your students to read? With what points that Byrne makes, do you agree?

Friday, December 21, 2012

The New Digital Divide

In this recent feature article (Dec. 2012), "Bridging the New Digital Divide," from District Administration Magazine, we hear advice for school superintendents to take the lead in integrating technology into the schools. Some key points addressed include:

  • Teach students with the tools they are already use
  • Students in the most poverty-stricken schools need even more so to be introduced to the technology early on to level the playing field
  • Teachers need more guidance in the successful use of technology tools
  • Principals as well need to take on leadership roles in pushing for technology integration
  • The digital divide separates the world of education from the world of business, with the world of education behind the times
One image in the article speaks to the very last bullet point:

Read the article in full. What is your response to the assertions found in the article? With which to you agree? Which do you believe need further analysis? Where do school systems with which you are familiar fall in terms of the "new digital divide"?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Help Desk

This video, Medieval Help Desk, produced in 2007 is still worth watching today. Its message remains relevant through the ages, but particularly as a parody of our adaptation to technology. Take a look, and leave your reactions. What does this video say to you? Why do you think it was produced? Why is it a good spoof?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More About Author Will Richardson

Given Will Richardosn is the author Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the classroom, to learn more about his perspective, here is a slide show presentation he recently delivered at an educational professional development event. After viewing the slides, project the themes of the presentation and add comments about your perspective on those themes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Megan's Popplet

Megan designed this Popplet that shows how the tool works as a graphic organizer. Thought I would share her Popplet here to make others aware of the site and its capabilities. Looks like a good site to use in class also with a group of students to brainstorm and cluster ideas, or in other stages of the learning process, even for reviewing concepts covered in a unit of study or relating a piece of literature to one's life. In what ways can you see Popplet or other graphic organizers used in the classroom or by students outside the classroom? Have you used any graphic organizers? If so, which ones?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Anne Marie's Bitstrip Reflection on EDUC 584

Use the arrows to scroll through the story. In this moving comic strip, AnneMarie offers her thoughts on EDUC 548. Enjoy.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Baby Thinks a Magazine is a Broken iPad

In case you have not seen this video that has gone viral, now you should. What does this video say to you about the students who will be in your future classrooms?

Friday, April 27, 2012

What I Learned

Students taking a course, ECMP 355, at the University of Regina, create at the end of the course a reflection piece on their learning. At the end of the semester, I check on a few. Some are posted here.

Here is one done with GoAnimate--enjoy!! This one is really funny and clever!

Well, I could post some more, but the point is that technology has allowed us to cross borders. Each semester, I check in with Alec's students to see what they are learning, and I learn from them. I even follow some of them on Twitter and follow their blogs using Google Reader.

Well, Alec, just posted another one to Twitter, so I am adding it because it is a bit different than the others. You need to see it through to the end to really appreciate it! To learn more about why the student, Matt, used stop-motion movie techniques, check his blog post: Summary of Learning

Okay, so I tweeted out to Alec that I posted his students' videos, and he tweeted back to check out this one, so here is another one:

Most of all, through technology, I don't need to move to Alberta, Canada, where University of Regina is, to learn what the students there are doing with tech. I just need to go to Tweeter and follow through. Even more so, I can now share with you what I discover. If you're on Twitter follow Alec @courosa

Let me know what you think of the students' testimonials.

Meghan's Students' Literacy Project

Here is the video of Meghan's students reading their stories.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another Example of a Creative Presentation via Prezis

This one illustrates how a teacher used Prezi to create a digital resume.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Outstanding Prezi

I found this Prezi on the Ning Integrating Technology.  The Prezi was created to capture the teaching philosophy of an award-winning University of Pittsburgh's Professor, Katie Phelp.  I'm posting the display because it is one of the best examples of a Prezi that I found. Most of the Prezi displays I have seen are bits of text and pictures zooming in and out with an occasional YouTube video embedded.

This example takes full advantage of the tool to communicate a vital message about how one professor approaches teaching. Although she did not create it--a student in the tech area did--the final presentation exemplifies that a powerful Prezi is a labor-intensive project.

Leave some comments after going through the display. What do you think of Professor Phelps' teaching approach? What was your response to the techniques used in the Prezi? View the display in full screen to see all the features!

Empowering Students with Google Docs

The Ning Classroom 2.0 featured a video of an 8th grade language arts class using Web 2.0 tools to engage and empower students and promote literacy skills.

I have embedded the video because it offers firsthand experience of what the students are doing in the classroom and in particular how they use Google Docs to enhance their literacy skills.

What is your response to the video?

Find more videos like this on Classroom 2.0

Using Glogster with Middle School Students

In his blog, principal Eric Sheninger from New Milford High School, NJ, has a guest post from a middle school special education who describes how she has uses Glogster to engage students in reading, writing, and critical thinking.

When asked to create a Glog of their "bucket list," after reading a book, students came up with a variety of examples. Here are a few of their examples.

Amazing Facade of a Public Library

Just had to share this picture of a facade in front of the parking garage near a municipal library. It is the Kansas City Public Library.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Going Mobile

This powerful video reinforces the inevitability of mobile devices in the classroom and what both the present and future holds. Leave comments after watching it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Are Standardized Tests Valid?

In an era where standardized test not only drive the curriculum, but also affect teacher performance appraisals and what students are promoted, we need to worry about the validity of these tests. Do multiple choices really serve to tell us who the best teachers are, or what students can accomplish?

A recent press release about an invalid question on the New York State exam has raised the issue of not only the absurdity of one test question, but other test questions as well. 

The controversy has surrounded a reading passage, "The Hare and the Pineapple" and the multiple choice question that followed. These screen shots are from The Washington Post story listed below.

Here are links to some of those stories.  I found this group on Larry Ferlazzo's Best Posts of the Day:

State Scraps “Pineapple” Test Question is from The New York Times.
‘Talking pineapple’ question on standardized test baffles students is from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.
Now that you have reviewed these articles, how do you weigh in on the issue?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Photo Story Tutorials

I have been practicing with what I hope is an easy-to-use tutorial site that allows you to create tutorials with text, images, and video in a step-by-step process. Below is a hyperlink to access a tutorial on the site that I just created about how to use PhotoStory.

Let me know if the tutorial process on Tildee works for you. Did you find it easy to access the tutorial at the site? Did the videos about PhotoStory help you learn about the software, or were you already comfortable with it?

If you have a chance to create one of your own tutorials with Tildee, let us know how you found the process.

Also, try blogging about the process of creating a tutorial with site, and then make a link to the tutorial in your blog post. If you click Share in Tildee after creating your tutorial, look for Blogger as an option and select it. Your blogger account should automatically open for you to write your blog post, with the link to the Tildee tutorial already posted inside the blog post window for you. What could be easier? Just try it out. If you don't want the tutorial in a blog post, you can share it in other ways through the options offered at Tildee.

Photo Story on Tildee

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips to Enhance PowerPoint Creations

PowerPoint remains a stable for augmenting presentations. However, a poor PowerPoint can detract from your overall presentation. We have all heard of by now the phrase "Death by PowerPoint." The problem is not the tool, but people's understandings of the features in the software. People tend to mimic what they see modeled. As long as people continue to see poorly designed PowerPoint presentations, the more the vicious cycle of boring, ineffectual presentations will continue.

On the other hand, I have seen several presentations with tips for making engaging PowerPoint slide shows to augment one's presentation. Although this one is not my favorite, it still makes some good points and offers helpful advice, including how to work with color schemes and where to find acceptable use images.

10 Tips for Making Beautiful Slideshow Presentations

View more presentations from Edahn Small

What ideas did you pick up from going through this slide show? How might you now be able to enhance your own presentations?

You might also want to check out Doodleslide's Advice on PowerPoint for additional points about creating and delivering effective presentations. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

80 Alternatives to YouTube

80 Alternatives to YouTube is an e-book, which its author, Med Kharbach, has made available for sharing. I will embed the ebook below, but you can also access it as Google Doc if you prefer to review the book in that way. After skimming through the book and options explored, let us know which of these alternatives you have used, which you want to explore, and which you think you might want to use in your teaching.

Use the forward > mark or the scroll bar to advance through the book. 
Use the magnifying icon to enlarge the image and text.

Google Forms

This is a sample of a Google Form. It is very rough, but it is to give you the gist of how to show others in the class how to access and use the form you created. You can also share the form with others by sending it to them using email. Their email is available in the class contact form.

Here is a link to the simple form I created.

I have also embedded the form into the blog, using the embed code that is available from the More Actions options in Google Docs.

By the way, I found an example of an excellent way in which one school is using Google Forms to get feedback from students about books they would like to see the school library stock as well as other information. Once the forms are created, they are embedded right into a wiki where students can submit their replies. Check out this blog post about the project:

Community Conversations Using Google Forms, Docs, and Wiki to Connect Outside of Your School

Image from:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Education Kills Creativity!

In this TED Talk, Sir Kenneth Robinson speaks about creativity, education, and the future. Listen to what he has to say. Although he notes creativity in education is at all-time need, he questions if we are addressing this need.

Do you agree that education is killing creativity? How can education better inspire and nurture creativity?

Why Use SlideShare

I first began using SlideShare as a way to store PowerPoint presentations so I did not have to worry about where they were when I needed to do a presentation. That is, I did not have to store them on a portable drive (e.g., flash drive), carry around a laptop, or save them to a network drive. Instead, I could simply upload my presentations to SlideShare and access them from anywhere.

However, in the last few years, I have also discovered the beauty of using SlideShare as a social networking site. As the name implies, SlideShare is a place to share. Many users upload their presentations and grant rights to others to use these presentations. This feature can be a real time saver. When a user finds a presentation on SlideShare that he or she wants to use, the user simply needs to save it to "favorites" and can easily access it when the need arises. Using tags when saving to "favorites" can help when searching through the "favorites" to find a specific presentation. Type in a search word to find the presentation. On the other hand, if you don't have many presentations stored n as "favorites," just scroll through them looking at the titles and thumbnails.

This morning, I came across a link on Twitter for a SlideShare on Personal Learning Networks (PLN), a topic I am covering in the course Integrating Technology and Literacies in an attempt to build a spirit of educators as lifelong learners who can increase their PLN by accessing resources online. I decided to take a look at the presentation. I discovered the creator archived the presentation under Creative Commons Attribute for use as long as the creator is identified. Here, I embed the slide show for a variety of reasons. One is to demonstrate the ease with which a SlideShow can be embedded in a blog. Another is for viewers to review the very content in the presentations: ways in which one's PLN can be increased by using online social media. Another and third reason is to persuade viewers to make use of SlideShare if they are not already.

Creating a Personal Learning Network
 Presentation from from Corinne Weisgerber and Shannan Butler

Do you have a SlideShare account? Have you used the service? If you make PowerPoint presentations and lose track of where they are saved or don't want to be bothered storing them on a portable device, which can easily get lost or damaged, consider the convenience of SlideShare. Moreover, presentations saved on the site can be viewed from the site or downloaded to a specific computer to show on that computer during a presentation.

Once you become a regular user of SlideShare, you will not only find links that others share to presentations that you can access, but you will find presentations by browsing the site itself. If you like one presentation a person put up on SlideShare, you might find another one you like from this person by just browsing through the thumbnails of that person's presentations. You can also do a search with terms to find presentations. For instance, recently, I was looking to spice up an educational research course I am teaching. Although I could find a few excellent YouTubes, this site is blocked in the school where the course will be taught. Searching through SlideShare, I found some excellent alternatives.

Of course, finding relevant presentations on SlideShare not only is a timesaver because we don't have to create our own PowerPoints, but also it allow us to let another voice speak in our classrooms or for other audiences. Whereas our own PowerPoints can have a distinct look and feel, using someone's else can add variety.

Take some time to look through SlideShare perhaps on a topic you will be teaching soon. See what you find and check the creator's options for sharing. If you already use SlideShare, let us know what you think? Can you see how the site can open new possibilities and also contribute to your PLN? Would you consider putting your PowerPoint presentations on SlideShare?

Another similar site to check is AuthorStream, but if you need to begin somewhere, start with SlideShare, where you will find a host of ready-to-use presentations, such as the one I embedded above and other ones embedded in this blog. SlideShare can also help you with brainstorming for new presentations you want to create. By viewing others' work, you will get ideas.

Post your comments. What do you see as your potential use for SlideShare? After exploring for awhile, find a SlideShare to embed on in one of your own blog posts or to share with your students or others. Remember to give credit where credit is due and to check the sharing rights to use the presentation.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Best of the Web

Richard Byrne, the author of the Free Technology for Teachers blog, created this Google doc presentation for a conference. Skim through the slides to discover new resources.

What new sites or tools did you discover that you want to explore? Have you used any of the sites mentioned in the presentation? If you are not already following Byrne's blog in your Google Reader, you should consider doing so.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Not to Be Missed: What Makes VoiceThread Unique

VoiceThread has features that other online digital story sites are missing. It is a highly collaborate site that invites viewers to post text or audio comments alongside of images that the presenter has entered. In fact, the site can easily be used to enter images created by any and all students in a class or group. In that way, the site encourages collaborative authorship. However, the authorship extends further once the images are uploaded as any guest to a site with permission can edit the presentation and add text or auditory comments. Many have noted the best feature of VoiceThread is the ease of adding auditory comments, creating a soundtrack in effect.

What is a VoiceThread?  Check this introduction video.

Looking for samples of ways VoiceThread has been used in a variety of classrooms, K-12? This wiki, VoiceThread4Education is an excellent source. Samples are sorted by grade level.

VoiceThread is an excellent tool to promote the 4 C’s: Communication, Commenting, Creativity, and Collaboration. I am including a link to access from a wiki a Slide Show (use arrow keys to advance through the show) that outlines these four features and also includes  links to specific VoiceThreads that illustrate each concept.

Once you access the wiki, VoiceThread4Education, note the side links to access VoiceThreads by grade level and to meet other needs.

Here is a list and links to some of the model VoiceThreads you will find on the wiki. In addition, the links will take you to the teacher tips about the VoiceThread, and once there, you can scroll down the page, where you will find links to specific VoiceThreads. Once you open a VoiceThread, go through each screen, clicking on the audio and comment buttons, and then use the arrow key to continue to the next frame in the presentation. Be sure to have speakers on!

The listed VoiceThreads below are categorized by the feature they exemplify: commenting, collaboration, commenting, or creativity, though all VoiceThreads are likely to integrate all four features in some way. Check the wiki, VoiceThread4Education, often for additions, and if you create with your students a model VoiceThread, be sure to add it to the wiki.

Other Examples shared
Thank you to Colette Cassinelli for sharing this excellent information at the June 2011 International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) Conference.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What's Your Lollipop Moment?

Check this TED Talk,"Leading with Lolliopops," by Drew Dudley.

What's your lollipop moment? How does this TED Talk talk to you? What does it mean to you? What does it say about being a leader? What about being a teacher?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Web Writing Tools for Fun and Exploration

In this Alive in Five video, "Web Writing for Fun," we learn of three web writing tools: Fodey, Figment, and MixBook. These tools vary in their functionality. Listen and watch the video, and if you check any of the sites, let us know what you think.


Alive in Five has numerous videos explaining how and why to use specific Web 2.0 tools. For instance, here are links to some:

Once you are on YouTube looking at any of the Alive in Five video, you'll find more videos in the series.  Breeze around, and let us know which of the videos you recommend.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Skyping with Alan November

Tracy Mercier tweeted out our Skype with Alan November. Later, she collected her tweets using Storify. I am embedding the Storify here to recap some of the points from the Skype. Feel free to comment.

Digital Stories Live On

Here are three more digital stories to get you thinking of ideas and how you might use digital storytelling in the classroom. All were created with PhotoStory 3.

The first was created by a 7-grade student for a social studies project. Each student in the class picked the name of an American Revolutionary War character from a hat. The student then needed to create a digital story about that person using PowerPoint, PhotoStory, or Movie Maker. The student selected PhotoStory.

The second video was created by an elementary school teacher to tell students about the life of Helen Keller based on a book they were reading about her.

The third video  was created to be used with middle school students to give them an eyewitness account of the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. After viewing the stories, feel free to leave comments.

Do these videos give you ideas of how to integrate digital storytelling into your teaching? If so, what new ideas do you have?.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Need Examples to Pump Your Juices for Your Digital Story

Here's some help. I am posting for your convenience some digital stories completed by former EDUC 584 students. Please leave comments, and let us know what you think of the videos and if any give you ideas for your own digital story.

Here is one on using podcasting in the classroom:

Here is another one based on poetry. Here is what the students said about it: "Our group put together a digital narrative of the poem "Nappy-Headed" by Latasha A. Willis. The musical accompaniment is the song "I Am Not My Hair" by India Arie."

These examples were saved in Google as .wmv files. Use the links to access them.

A Teacher's Story You will really like this. It is all about the struggles and joys of teaching.

Shapes focuses on teaching young children about shapes, a geometry lesson for elementary school students. It is interactive and engaging, and asks students to think about shapes that surround them in their everyday world.

Tigers is a photo story about tigers and their life habits, which works well for a science lesson in a study of animals for the elementary school classroom.

Life Cycle of the Painted Butterfly This one, like the one above, works well for a science lesson on animals for the elementary school classroom.

States of Matter is a common unit of study in 3rd and 4th grade classes. Check this video if you do a unit of study on three states of matter or are looking for examples of digital stories for the science area.

13 Colonies is a social studies lesson for the upper-elementary classroom for a unit of study on the early colonies.

A Special Place, can be used in almost any grade level. It shows photographs of places that are special to the storytelling. You can then ask students to write a script for a similar story. Starting this project with the photos will help students to write their scripts.

Holocaust Memories, is for higher-level social studies class; as expected, this one is a serious review of an important event in world history. The photo story would also work well  in a unit of study of Elie Wiesel's book, Night.

What ideas about using digital storytelling across the curriculum did you get from viewing these stories?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stuck in a Boarding School, but Liberated by Online Edcuation

Stuck in a Boarding School is a powerful blog post written by a high school senior enrolled in an online Advanced Placement US Government History course.

Image from Stuck in Boarding School post
Read this powerful blog post, Stuck in a Boarding School, and the comments following it.  Once you get to the student's blog post, you will also learn that the post is on a communal blog for students enrolled in the Online Girls School AP US Government & Politics course. Each day another student in the class posts on the blog.

Feel free to read some of the posts to find out what students are learning in the history course and what their online learning has meant to them.

There's also an About link to learn more about the school, the course, and the blog.

Later in March, we will Skype with the teacher, Mike Gwaltney, who also teaches in a regular brick-and-mortar high school in Portland, Oregon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Easy Tutorial to Follow to Help You Get Going with Twitter

This tutorial, created by Shannon Smith, a vice principal explains in clear, simple terms and with excellent visuals how to set up a Twitter account and the very basics of using the account. I highly recommend watching the video to get you going with Twitter. Even  if you are already using Twitter, but still looking for some basic tips, this tutorial will be of value. It is one the most basic and simple ones I have found. I hope it helps. Let me know by leaving a comment.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Master Card, Priceless: Create Your Own Commercial

Jewelry by Alex
You've seen the commercials: MasterCard Priceless. Why not create your own?Challenge your creativity! Tell your story!

I've gathered some examples from students at the University of Alberta who are required to complete a MasterCard Priceless digital story as a course assignment.

Writes one student, Melissa Comte:

For my ECMP 355 class we had to create a Mastercard Priceless video and I really enjoyed making mine. I used Windows MovieMaker and it was actually quite simple to put it all together. The other day I was going through pictures on my computer from my trip to Europe in the summer of 2010. As I was going through the album, I thought those pictures would make a grate priceless video. Even though we had to pay a chunk of money to go, the memories are truly priceless. It was a trip of a lifetime. Check out my video. Hope you enjoy!

The volume on Melissa's is low, but you should be able to get the idea from the images in the video of her time abroad.

Here are a couple others to get your juices going. The volume in these should be fine.

In this one, the student tells a personal story of meeting a family member.

Here's one that took another approach, using Harry Potter to create a spoof:

Here's one final one, which you'll appreciate if you have young children, and even if you don't, you'll find the video straightforward, cute, and entertaining.

Have these students' videos given your ideas for creating your own digital story? What did you think of this class project of creating MasterCard Priceless videos?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Variety of Digital Storytelling Tools

Image: Flickr, laurensimon1
What digital storytelling tools have you used? Look through the list below, as well as think of others.

Below is list from Melissa Comte, an undergraduate education student at The University of Regina in Alberta, Canada.  I've been following her blog, and caught her Tech Task # 6  post with this list.

Melissa selected Google Search Story to try because "it is easy" and creates "a story in an interesting way." She also likes Dippity and Five Card Flickr.

Here's her Google Search Story about her dream to go to Spain and teach English classes there.

Here is a list of the digital story tools that professor, Alec Couros, offered the class:
  • Google Search Stories--easy to create stories based on Google searches
  • Flcky--generates random 5-photo stories
  • VoiceThread--group conversation tool
  • TooDoo--easy carton creator
  • Pixton--another popular cartoon creator
  • Glogster--for creating online multimedia posters
  • Wayfaring--for creating personalizes maps
  • Flickr--various ideas include 5 frame stories, 6 word stories, pictures with stories
  • Blabberize--a strange storytelling tool
  • Animoto--alternative to slide shows (sign up for the fuller-functioned Ed. account)
  • extraNormal--"if you can type, you can make movies"
  • Prezi--another slide show site, known for its zoom feature
  • Zooburst--digital pop-out books
  • Ahead--impressive zooming presentations
  • Dipidity--creative interactive timelines
  • Sketchcast--draw and record audio instantly
  • Fotobabble--creating talking photos
  • Jog the Web--create web tours
  • Bitstrips--comic maker
  • GoAnimate--make easy cartoons and animations
  • Storybird--create short, art-inspired stories
  • MapSkip--create stories around places
For more information specifically about how Google Search Story Creator can be implemented in the classroom setting, check this blog post: Tool Review: Google Search Story Creator.

Which of the tools listed above have you used? Would you recommend this tool to others? How can the tool be used to promote literacy?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Skype to Connect Students Across Class!

Click on the URL to access the sites! Let us know if you find a project of interest. How would you use Skype in your teaching?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Alan November's TED Talk

Alan November TED talk: In this talk, November addresses what we need to do to improve student learning and make schools relevant.  His ideas will shock some.  To others, he'll make perfect sense.

Go through the talk in its entirety. It's worth the wait to hear all of provocative points. Some of the most powerful examples are in the second half of the video, but the first part provides the context. Listen to it all.

After listening to the talk, leave a comment.  What lessons do you take away from the talk? What will you most remember? With what points do you most agree? With what points do you most disagree?

For additional resources about Alan November, check these links:

Alan November on Technology and Students (Newtown High School Blog)
November Learning

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

50 Sites

As a fan of SlideShare, when I come across an excellent slide presentation there, I save it to my favorites for quick access.

Screen shot of My Favorites in SlideShare
Today, I was emailed a link to an excellent slide presentation, and once I opened it in SlideShare and viewed it, I marked it as favorite. Here it is embedded for your easy access. 50 Sites in 60 Minutes is an overview of new websites organized by categorized with direct links to the sites and a review of each site. Given these are newer sites, you might not know of many of them. All have applicability to education. Let us know which are of interest to you and why. If you check into any of the sites, let us know your reaction.

50sites ver3
View more presentations from David Kapuler

Saturday, February 4, 2012

100 Tools for Learning

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2011 You might want to go through this presentation quickly the first time, and then pour through it more slowly and jot down some notes of tools to explore.

View more presentations from Jane Hart

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2011

by Jane Hart on Nov 13, 2011, 5th Annual Survey of Learning Tools

Which of these tools do you integrate into your teaching or your own learning? How do you use them? Which tools do you want to learn? Which do you see as best promoting literacy?  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Twitter: Move On With It

Yes, Twitter takes some adjusting. This pictorial infographic says it well.

Are you ready to start your adventures on Twitter? Have you already? If so, what stage are you at?

Here's a quick news spot about how one teacher is using Twitter in the classroom:

In this NEXT video, we learn about a middle school English teacher uses Twitter with her students and parents.

Do you believe that is about time for teachers to get on board with using Twitter? What are your concerns? What do you see as the possibilities?

Once you do get on to Twitter, use the "search box," and enter any one of the hashtag resources found in this post "20 Hottest Hastags." You will see what prominent educators are posting and discussing. Feel free to lurk for awhile using such popular educational hashtags as #edchat #engchat 6thchat #ntchat, etc.

Are you yet convinced of the power for Twitter for professional development and finding resources for teaching? You need to begin to follow educators with similar interests as well as experts in the field. What more do you want to know about Twitter as a tool for educators and professional development?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

64 Interesting Ideas for Blogging in the Classroom

Image from 64 Ideas created by Tom Barrett 

Tom Barrett (on Twitter as @tombarrett) shared this presentation, 64 Interesting Ideas for Blogging in the Classroom. There's a wealth of ideas offered in the presentation. Of the 64 ideas, which ones strike you as most inviting? Why? How can these ideas be used to promote literacy skills?

Monday, January 30, 2012


GoAnimate is a site where teachers, students, and others can create quick animated videos. Here is an example of a 45-second animation focused on teens. Check out the site GoAnimate, and take some time to view other animations. Let us know what you see as the potential for this site in the school setting. School News for Teens! FREE TV Show Opening! by null

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Animoto: Quick Way to Create Video from Images

What is Animoto and What Does It Do?

Animoto is a popular Web 2.0 tool for making movies from collected images. These images can be photos or pictures located online. The images are collected and then uploaded into Animoto. Once uploaded, the series of images can be rearranged and specific ones can be deleted.

Music from the site can be selected to play in the background. In addition, depending upon the final template chosen to create the movie, text can be added. However, text can be added in only a limited way, and with some templates, text can only be added at the beginning or end of the show.

Once your presentation is completed and saved, Animoto will create a "mix," automatically making the movie for you. An email will let you know when the mix is completed. You will click on the link and be able to view your new "movie."

Within your Animoto account, you can store the movies you create and access them from there. You can also embed your Animoto "movie" into your blog, which is a good idea, as you will have easy access to it and others can write comments in your blog about your movie.

Animoto: Big Buddies with Kindergarteners

Here is an example of an Animoto created by a kindergarten teacher featuring activities in her classroom based on a Big Buddies project. The project used photographs that were uploaded to Animoto. Music was then selected. The final "mix" is the video: To learn more about the project, after viewing the video, click on the link to the teacher's blog.

 I found this example on kindergarten teacher Marie Knee's blog The KinderKids' Blog 

Animoto to Capture Scenery or For Geography Lesson

Here's one of the first Animoto displays I created. The photos are from a trip I took to Costa Rico. I used Animoto as a fast way to show others photos from the trip. Given the incredible geography of the country, I also realized this kind of movie could be integrated into a geography study of countries in Central America, or even a science lesson on flora or fauna. Did you know the national flower of Costa Rico is the orchid, which grows in the wild? Did you know that Costa Rico has more species of birds than the US and Canada combined though the country is no larger than the state of West Virginia? Did you know Costa Rico has no military? The government instead uses its funds for protection of the environment and to promote ecotourism. Did you know that the typography of Costa Rico is largely shaped by volcanoes, which are still active today?

As you view this Animoto, you will see I still need to edit it to remove some of the photos. That is easy to do: I just need to go back into my Animoto account, open the video, edit it, and then save it for another "mix."

Animoto to Teach an Elementary School Math Lesson on Geometry

Recently, I learned of an Animoto a 1st-2nd grade teacher created with her students to reinforce what they were learning about geometric shapes. Aviva Dunster, the teacher, offered this information on her class blog:

"This afternoon, we went on a Shape Hunt around the school. Students had to find and photograph different shapes. Here’s a short Animoto slideshow with some of the photographs. What shapes do you see in these photographs? What are some of the properties of these shapes? What other objects do you know that are the same shapes?"

Here's the Animoto the class created. 

Animoto to Teach Social Studies: Commercials of Historic Figures

Here is a link to find a series of Social Studies "Commercials" on Historic Figures that students created for a class project. You'll find 8 examples using the link.

I embedded one to tempt you use the link, to see more. Notice how the teacher conveniently created a table of contents to find the examples: Social Studies "Commercials" on Historic Figures

Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

Animoto to Teach Social Studies Lesson in 1st Grade Classroom

On her Education 584 blog, Roseanne Field has created a blog posting that includes several Animoto Videos her students created to complement the social studies curriculum. Check her blog posting. There you will also see one that two children created for their mother in celebration of her birthday.

Now that you have seen a bunch of Animoto videos, surely you have ideas for using Animoto in the classroom or for other professional needs. Share those ideas with us, posting a comment. What are some ideas you have for using Animoto in the classroom, for professional purposes, or personal enjoyment? What is the next Animoto you plan to create? Discuss your ideas for using Animoto in the comment section.

Before signing up for your own Animoto account, be sure to use the code you have for creating a free account, which is good for approximately six months.