Additionally, if you are tired of getting too many catalogs, visit this site, Catalog Choice to register for do not send. I did this 3 years ago and have dramatically reduced the number of catalogs I receive in the mail. With the holiday season gearing up, you may want to get on this right away so your mailbox is not stuffed with catalogs you do not want. Plus it is good for the environment.
Most people are very set for the first month of school. Review of material, setting the climate of the class and reminder of your rules. Here is a site that offers handouts, lesson ideas and more for most subjects and includes K-12. I thought it would be just a few black line masters, but upon closer review I found that even after 3 clicks deep, the site revealed pages of links to sites for additional information. If you teach more than one subject, you could get lost in this site for days!
Enjoy....Free Teacher Handouts
- Yearbook yourself
- Create your own Marvel Comic SuperHero
- The Hero Factory
- Bless This Chick
- Spud Yourself
- Simpsonize Me
- Elf Yourself - not available until November 1st
- Terminate yourself - turn your face into "The Terminator"
- Madmen Yourself - men and women
- 12 sites to cartoon yourself - preview yourself - not sure about some of the images for school
- Santa Yourself
- Scrooge Yourself - available at holiday time
- Many many create yourself and make items site - preview before using with students
- Animate yourself - preview before using with students
- Trek Yourself - make yourself a StarTrek character
- Build your Wild self
- Make an Anime
- Lego Yourself - make a LEGO character
- Create an M&M piece
- My Avatar Editor
- Monster Mash by JibJab
- Make a Western Style Wanted Poster
- Mr. Picassohead
- Make a beast!
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid! - wimp yourself too
- Avatar in video using webcam
- Digimi - starts w/characters in underwear-caution for kids - risque outfits
- MyWebFace - cartoon yourself
- DoppleMe - small cartoon style join free to make more choices (some alcohol in item choices)
- Portrait Icon Maker - from a photo or from scratch
- Meez - moving avatars, can make one for free, if you join, be aware of the games section not sure if appropriate for your school
- Zwinky - photo to avatar - PC only no Mac version so it says on site
- TizMe - some alternative clothing (risque) and alcohol as items
- WeeWorld Avatar - no alcohol, but can change the size of the breasts! Ads were OK today, but may not be sometime. Looks like movie ads.
- Digital Tools for Teachers Blog - with ideas for using avatars in class
- RasterBoy - simple, but 2 alcohol items
- My Designer Games - not compatible with Macs - PC only
- Super Dressup Girls - not compaitble with Macs - PC only
- Fairy Maker - free click buttons to change the features on the butterfly fairy
- Komono Maker - dress up the female on the page by clicking on buttons
- Elf Maker - dress up a female elf
- 15 more Makers from same site including dragons and unicorn, warrior, and history.
- Faces I make - use food objects to create a funny face
- iVatar - app for iTouch/iPhone to share avatar to Facebook or email
- Switcheroo Zoo - change features on animals, and learn about habitats
- Creature Creator from Underland Chronicles
- Mr. Magorium's Toy Creator - simple for small children more creators at the bottom of the page
- Sonic Charrie Maker - from Deviant Art fun and simple
- Sonic Character Maker -
- Male Furry Doll Maker - cartoon style
- Female Furry Doll Maker - cartoon style
- Spore character maker - like the game
- Chao Maker - cartoon
- Pokemon Trainer character -
- Many movie characters, Shrek, Robocop, Minnion, and be in the Dove commercial, e*Trade ad and more.
- Clay Yourself
More and more schools are adding Google Apps for Education as part of their scheme for low cost services including GMail, Docs, Sites, Video, and Calendar. Our district has made the decision to move to this as well. The benefits are: low cost (free), integration of the 5 products listed above, ease of use for students home/school connections, ease of collaboration for students as well as teachers and simplicity of use of the products.
Our teachers are pretty computer literate and this should be a welcomed transition. We have FirstClass email at this point, and will keep it for faculty use. Part of our training session will be to show teachers how to get their contacts from FC over to their GoogleMail. Another important part will be to show them how to have one email account push all messages to the other so that they only have to check one mail service. This is particularly important for teachers who are new to Google services.
I want to recommend two great services for training your teachers as well. The first has been developed by Google as in a comprehensive support page for the GoogleApps for Education. There are video tutorials as well as written instructions for the tools. The second resource was created by several Google Teacher Academy members as part of their project and is called Tech Training Wheels. This site was created to be a resource for those who train others in their district to use Google tools so we could share resources. Rather than have 100 people creating the same videos and documents for training, this site offers videos and documents to share. Start with this video and hopefully you can add to the library or learn something there.
For other Google links to resources, I share my delicious library: http://www.delicious.com/RMOM/google
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- Check Out the Google Apps Training Center (freetech4teachers.com)
- App Tuesday: nine new apps introduced to the Google Apps Marketplace (googleblog.blogspot.com)
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Looking for another way to share insect biology with your class? Check out Orkin's Virtual Cockroach. Really, it is not gross, but a scientific view of the parts of this insect. If you zoom in you can see an actual photo of the anatomy. I found it quite fascinating. Another link takes you to the Orkin Learning Center. There are lesson plans a pest zoo and games for young children. So use this as a great opportunity to share the love!
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Image by mtsofan via FlickrWhile looking for some tutorials for Google, I noticed quite a few links to some great teaching information. The first one is for back to school discounts and specials for teachers from many stores. Watch your local paper for other deals and specials from Target as well. In addition, Dollar General is offering 20% off with the coupon printed from this page.
There are thousands of great websites teachers use to inspire students, but here are a few games that I'll bet you have in your basement, closet or can get your hands on quickly. They are classic games that teach many different skills, thinking, compromise, teamwork, problem solving and of course being a gracious winner or loser!
Image by rmom352 via FlickrI attended the Google Teacher Academy in December 2009 in Washington DC. It was a fantastic two days of learning about the different tools Google has and how to apply them to the classroom. I met some awesome educators from around the country, and one from Canada! The Lead Learners shared their experiences with Google products in their districts, we were treated to excellent instruction on several tools I had not tried, a statement from someone from the Department of Ed and of course the micro kitchen!
Part of the process in becoming a Google Certified Teacher is to create an action plan for implementing the tools in your district. My plan was two-fold 1)plan and implement a training for our UCFSD teachers 2)share the tools with the Wilkes University graduate classes I teach. The WU course began in January and we quickly jumped in to creating a blog using Blogger. Most of the folks had never even read a blog before, so we worked through the process. Each week there was a topic for a blog post. They started slow, but by the end of the semester were very comfortable using Blogger. I strongly recommend it to beginning bloggers, as it is so simple to edit, change templates, add photos an post.
Throughout the semester we moved into other Google tools including, docs, mail, iGoogle, reader and squared. They enjoyed the process and many created lessons to use with their students. The one area where we struggled was using the presentation tool. The assignment was for the class to work in pairs and each pair create 3 pages of a slide show using presentation. I had created a template for them to edit. We discovered that when two people are using the same template page at the same time only one of their work will be saved as it overwrites the other person's work. There was a really healthy discussion about setting up projects and testing things before giving students access. Good lesson learned for all.
My second goal was to create a workshop for our staff. In April 2010 I created the 5 on the Fly - Workshop for teachers sharing 5 Google Tools; GoogleForms, Google Squared, GoogleDocs, Custom Search, iGoogle. We will focus on how these tools can be seamlessly integrated into their classroom or their management of a classroom. The content of which is available HERE.
About a month after the workshop, our tech director decided that we would be going forward with Google Apps for Education for our students. This summer I have been able to use what I learned at the GCT days in Washington DC to prepare our staff for the changes in the fall. We will be implementing GMail for our middle school students and teachers. There have been numerous hours of planning and creating to get ready for when our teachers return at the end of August. My experience at the GTA gave me many tools to be an advocate of this change. The GTA also exposed me to some of the best minds in education around the country. I have followed many of them through their blogs, but now I can call many of them friend. They have been a great source of information for deploying Google in our district and
Image by Ludwig Gatzke via FlickrThere were so many links shared at the DEN Symposium, that I want to be sure that you have them too! Most of these are found from within the Edmodo.com group as well, but I found it easier to see them in this format.
- Edmodo.com - to create a collaborative environment for members of a committee or the whole faculty to communicate online, share links, video, photos
- Symbaloo.com - create a start up page with "buttons" to link to places you use most often. IF you have used PageFlakes, or NetVibes, this is a similar concept.
- Padilicious.com - create content for your iPad
- iPad app suggestions
- iPods and iPads in the Classroom blog
- iPad Pilot Project in Palm Beach County, FLA
- More iPad apps - iAnnotate
- Medical apps for iPad
- FableVision.com - FREE poster library
- Geocaching Wiki by Porter Palmer includes her Prezi
- Bacon! a widget by Purina
- ScanLife - a place to make QR codes for your website
- Zooburst - augmented reality in pop-up books
- UDL - Universal Design for Learning Wiki Toolkit
- Supporting Every Learner UDL
- Lisa's Civil War Project Wiki - resources, life of a soldier
- TripWow - from TripAdvisor, you can create a slide show with your images from various online sites
- TechyNana Glogster links
- Patriotic Glogster sample
- Glogster Ambassador Program
- WallWisher from AmeriDEN iDol how to use Wallwisher? WallWisher #2 from DEN
- LiveBinders from the DEN, a sample
- GoogleFight - compare your online presence to another, funny
- PD for the Teachers using 21st Century Skills a GoogleDoc
- Cell Phones in the classroom a GoogleDoc
- Using MP3 Players in classroom a GoogleDoc
- How to get a 1 to 1 program going a GoogleDoc
- Prezi Resources from Lance
- DEN event ideas a GoogleDoc
- MyVR Spot - User created content
- Discovery Educator Anthem w/ Lodge McCammon
- Lodge's site with all his songs and lyrics
- Group videos from session with Lodge
- Marco Torres website with hints and instructions for using Music/Video in class
- Dr. Howie DiBlasi - from BLC webpage with links for this thoughts and programs
- Jeff Utecht's links and presentation materials from BLC
- Dean Shareski - preso from BLC - 4 Billion Photos
- Julia Leong - from BLC Re-Imagining Learning with Collaborative Technology
- Darren Kuropatwa presentation at BLC Disign Matters
- Richard Voltz preso from BLC - Communication Tools for Administrators
- Sarah Kajder's wiki presentation from BLC
- Tom Daccord's blog from BLC
- Encyclopedia of Life: Biodiversity Encyclopedia from BLC
- The 3R's Rebooting the Early Years wiki
- Joyce Valenza preso from BLC and her Glogster with web2.0 tools
- Lee Kolbert presentation resources
- Digital Storytelling with the iPad
- David Jakes presention resources
- Gary Hayes Social Media Counts
- 10 embeddable resources
- Lemons for Literacy - just like FREE RICE
- Region 2 Digital Library - many links to explore
- Paper.li - let someone else aggregate your Twitter feeds or #tags and put into a newspaper style for easy reading
- How secure is MY password?
- Site for creating objectives
- Backupify - free site to do back up of social media
- Greetings from the world wiki project
- Forensic Science prezi
- Steve Dembo's Day in the life prezi
- DEN Prezi webinar
- Jen Brinson's Prezi and introduction on her wiki
- Jen Dorman's Google Tools site
- Lisa Parisi's blog post about Chris Dede
- Steve Dembo's post about Chris Dede w/ link to Dede's presentation
- The Augmented Reality Game on video from Dede's presentation
- Simple Augmented Reality wiki with great resources
- Wikispaces Augmented Reality site
- Commoncraft on augmented reality
- 4th grade augmented reality game - Energy
- GE Augmented Reality from above game
- Games Alfresco - augmented reality site with examples
- Flight demo of augmented reality
- Radford Ourdoor Augmented reality at school
- Wiki created at DENLC with more links
- ARGNet - augmented reality gaming network
- More augmented reality in the gaming world
- TED talk about augmented reality
- TED talk#2 about wearable augmentd reality devices
- Microsoft's Future Vision video from Dede presentation
- World Simulation Project - Digital Ethnography
- Yolink - will extract websites from a page - try it to gather the sites from above!
- Dean Mantz CoverITLive of sessions on Kansas DEN Blog
- Wiffiti.com - publishes real time messages from many sources
- Mrs. Liles Moodle sample
- Kelly Hines BLC10 Bookmarks on Delicious
- Bloom's Digital Taxonomy wiki
- Quest Atlantis - game site
- Seth Godin's book Tribes - a free download from audible.com
- Project Gutenberg - links to free books
- Story in EducationWeek on cell phones in classroom
- SMS to a group with TextMarks
- Remember the milk - app for cell phone organization
- Jott.com - send yourself a voice message and it will convert to text and email it to you
- Film on the Fly - quick cell phone video contest
- Liz Kolb - blog on Cell Phones in Learning
- Dragon Dictation apps for mobile phones
- Google Voice is open for all
- The Horizon Report
- Learn through Doing - Interact Simulations
- Christine Southard's blog with many tips
- Lisa Parisi's blog - join the conversation
- Reading Made Easy
- vozMe - type in speech and it will repeat in Spanish or Italian, Hindi, Portugese
- The Awesome highlighter
- ProScope HR for wireless connection to iPad
- iPads in the classroom
- GoogleSearch stories - make your own
- the DEN LSymposium LOGO
- DigitalWish is a way to get some funding
- Recycle toner/cartridges with Fundingfactory.com and get some cool stuff for your school
Image by rmom352 via FlickrEven though most of us were not there at the DEN LC Syposium or the DEN Summer Institute, in Bentley University, we followed the discussions on various ways; Twitter, Edomodo, CoverItLive, Plurk and of course reading the blogs that were posted with tips, websites, videos and photos of the action. The first day Steve Dembo introduced us to using Edmodo to share thoughts, opinions and information that needed to be shared. Not only did the groups do that, but produced several smaller groups for specific information. Here is a link to the notes and group codes for The DEN LC Symposium if you wish to look back at some of the conversaton. So not only was our collaboration side by side, but across the miles as we followed, responded and even made some real face to face friends.
See you all next year!
Image via CrunchBaseTuesday evening the two guys from Glogster, Andrew and Jim, came to get input from the group about what new features they would like to see. There were questions about connecting and collaboration which we will see in the newer versions of Glogster in about 6 months. Did you know that the product was developed in Prague? Most of us did not either.
You can become a Glogster Ambassador by clicking on the link at the very bottom of the main page. Read through the details carefully and send along your information. In addition to the Ambassador program, Glogster will send you some information, handouts and some previews for the pro version to give away at any training session you deliver.
In addition to the above enhancements, Glogster is in talks with Discovery for some direct connections. This follows their announcement that you can now embed glogs into wikispaces and PBworks. Watch for some announcement about Glogster for iPad as well, it is in progress.
When starting out with Glogster be sure to view the introduction tutorials and if you email the team about an enhancement or feature you think will improve the product, you just might see it in the next release!
Image by rmom352 via FlickrToday was filled with unconference sessions set by request of the participants. There were 24 different sessions offered in 4 time slots. My day began with geocaching in the rain with Porter Palmer. She confessed to being new to geocaching, but has a great depth of knowledge and enthusiasm about sharing it with others. We started with a discussion of devices vs iPhone app and decided to go with the Garmin device for this morning's adventure.
Porter placed over 10 caches on this campus for participants to locate during the conference. After learning how to use the Garmin, we set off in search of the first find. There are many types of cache containers and objects to use, but she recommended using the travel bugs from geocaching.com since they offer their services for free and selling items is a source of income for them. It is nice to support this organization in this way. Containers can be the leftover container from Chinese food, to official boxes purchased online.
How would you use this in the classroom? Many ideas were shared including: following directions, scavenger hunts, informational cache, study guide questions at each station, group project at cache like math question and the answer will lead to the next clue, for smaller children you have one or two caches with prizes.
All in all it was a fun walk around this part of campus looking for caches of different types, even if there were a million steps involved!! Thanks Porter.
Image by rmom352 via FlickrLast night we had the pleasure of visiting the office of Peter Reynolds company, FableVision which are located in the Boston Children's Museum on the harbor. The work areas are whimsical as each person has their own collection of toys, books and visuals around their working area. Posters of Peter's artwork adorn the entrance to the offices, along with the numerous awards FableVision as received for software as well as animation productions.
In addition to 18 published books, FableVision has created several animated short films and a new feature film will be out next year. Their website offers many educational tips including a word of the week in a poster format so you can easily print and post in your classroom.
Peter graciously spoke to the group about his inspiration, a middle school math teacher who encouraged Peter to use his doodles to show what he knew about math concepts. He made his first animation at age 12 and never turned back. His latest book "Rose's Garden" is dedicated to this teacher and the story is based upon Rose Kennedy's love of gardening and the new greenway along the harbor of Boston. Each of us received an autographed copy of this book to remind us to inspire, desire and encourage our dreams and the dreams of our students to come to life.
Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via FlickrThis site will take to you a ma that will illustrate the size of the BP oil leak compared to a map of your area. I was appalled to see this in relation to my area.
Image via WikipediaCome to the Philadelphia Zoo this summer for FREE. The intent is to have teachers visit then plan to bring their students on a field trip later in the year. The Philadelphia Zoo is the nations first zoo and has made many improvements of the past several years.
In addition, their education department has a summer institute for teachers as described in this link.
Begin your trip with the Discovery video “Beyond the Bars: Zoos and Zoo Animals (1987)”. There are blackline masters, a teacher’s guide and a quiz you can use with your class too!
This site is full of logic games for many age levels. At this time of the school year, you may need a time filler at the end of class as students finish projects. You can even put this up on your IWB and have groups of students try their hand at solving the puzzles contained within the pages. Caution, their are puzzles with NO directions. Part of the puzzle is trying to figure out the puzzle! Be patient, as the flash loads very slowly. Enjoy...
Image via WikipediaSearching for information can be cumbersome if you don't have a plan. Random searching can produce a lucky find, but most of the time you need a plan for what keywords you will use and know a little about your subject. For example if you are searching for the text of Abraham Lincoln's speeches, using "Lincoln" in the search box will result in over 151 million hits. But if you narrow your search to Lincoln's speeches +text you may get around 65,000 hits. Well either way it is too many to look through in one day!
Here is a great resource for searching.
Image by rmom352 via FlickrThis is a re-post from Tim Childers' blog; Beyond the Bell. You can create a quick way to take attendance on an Excel spreadsheet that can be used in your classroom. Students check themselves IN. For a complete step-by-step series of instructions, visit Tim's blog.
Image by Stewf via FlickrLooking for a short tutorial for a student in your math class? Try this website and see if they have what you need. There are videos in all areas of math from the 4 basic functions, to quadratic equations. Try a few and put the links on your website for students to access this library when they need assistance.
Image via CrunchBaseI'll bet you have wanted to show a YouTube video in your class, but were worried about the comments, or side videos that arrive randomly on the page. Quietube is a site that will allow you to view these in a clean window. You can choose a white or black background and give the link to students or show them in class without the extras. You simply put a button in your toolbar so you can access it anytime you find a video you want to use.
Now I hear teachers at the water cooler, yes we really do have them here, talk about some new site where they found a perfect 3 minute movie to show to their class today. With the advent of new online resources, video is becoming a much better medium to use to emphasize a point. There are thousands of educational films being used daily around the globe to promote a concept.
The ultimate resource in my book is DiscoveryEducation Streaming. If your school, county or state has provided this service to you by all means, USE IT. DES purchased United Streaming years ago and has since added much of the material from the DiscoveryChannel to the mix. There are different levels of the subscription at different costs. For example, the Planet Earth series is available through DiscoveryEducation Streaming, but you must upgrade to DES PLUS to be able to use the materials available with the new LIFE series. In addition of video, DES has images, clip art, songs, teacher resources and much much more.
In a recent online reading, I came across this link to a site that have 100 Video Sites Every Educator Should Bookmark. There are tremendous resources on this list and you should definitely explore some of these offerings. Who knows you might just strike gold in this plethora of resources.
Image via WikipediaIf you are a musician looking for some specific sheet music, check out MusicNotes.com. Not only can you buy sheet music for reasonable prices, but you can get 10% off this week (March 22, 2010). Music from the television show GLEE, Celtic Woman and Shrek are all available in addition to the classic music for an orchestra. The Shrek version of Hallelujah is only $5.25 before discount. Enjoy!
Image via WikipediaHere are several links for your enjoyment for Pi day:
- How to celebrate Pi Day
- A Teachers Resource for Pi Day
- and Many videos on YouTube, but you should review them before showing to your class.
Image by L1mey via FlickrYou can get UV widgets, smartphone apps of the UV Index for your town at this site. Post the widget to your Facebook or school page for all to see. There are teaching materials, such as presentations and lesson plans available here as well as a song: "Sunscreen Dance". If you wish more information and teaching materials visit www.epa.gov/sunwise The username is toolkit an the password is foryou.
Find all of these great resources and more at : http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/schools.html
SunWise has an 11.5 minute video about sun safety on the site. Be one of the first 10 to spot an error in the video and they will send you a pack of ultraviolet (UV) sensitive beads. Email them at: SunWise@epa.gov
There is even a "NO FRY DAY" set for the day before Memorial Day weekend.
Details are at the site. Why not have a UV alert mailed to your email. Then you can plan ahead when you know the prediction for the next day!
Image via WikipediaLast week PBS aired the show Digital Nation about how our world is changing by use of electronic devices and gaming. I would suggest that you visit their website to see more details.
When my kids were younger we used to have "electric free weekends." It helped all of us to focus on our relationships more. But as they got older, I got involved in teaching online, we neglected to do that at a time where we should have been doing it more.
We have no dining room, but 2 computers a tv and an xbox set up there(a bit cramped). But we were communicating about our enjoyable hobbies. Sharing our interests, the high points of a game, a new zoo created or a funny YouTube video. If kids and parents take their tech to another location, there is no sharing. As a result, we would all be in the computer room on the TV, phone or one of the computers at the same time. The sharing became something different. We shared what we were doing online or a show because we at least were in the same room. I learned a lot about zoos and about what different animals need in their environments. now I am learning about farming from my daughters Facebook game.
I saw that show too and was fascinated by some parent reactions as several educational bloggers have mentioned. When my son was 13 or so I realized he was on the computer for several hours(before the dining room setup) and finally asked him to stop. "but Mom, I am making a cool map for the game". He has been working on his passion of map making for his favorite game. He would upload the maps to the game site for others to use. I had no idea this was possible. Now,7 years later he is at Full Sail in the gaming program so he can be a map and level designer for video games!
My point is that monitoring is still the key to communication and knowledge of what your kids are doing online and encouragement or punishment can affect the direction of their participation. Ask what the game is, or what part they play, and be interested in their world. It matters to them and creates some crazy conversation, even if it is about how zombies walk funny!
Image by alicepopkorn via FlickrPerhaps you have participated in past Earth Days. Each year the celebrations become larger and more public and more promoted, so get involved. NASA has prepared resources for you to use with your classroom on this site. Or try one of the following sites:
Image by just Luh. via FlickrVocabulary words in video. A-List Education has created a large number of videos using pop culture and humor to get a message about using words everyday. Many of the vocabulary words are done as parodies of current television shows like Lost, Gossip Girl and The Office. There is a small subscription for this service with discounts for custom licensing. If you can't afford the fees, then have your own students create this type of classroom instructional video.
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