Friday, September 14, 2012

Increasing Student Participation

I came across the following article the other day and as I read through the ideas, I found that some of them were perfect for integrating technology in the classroom.

For example, one of the solutions is to have a question box for the students.  You could have the traditional paper/pencil approach or you could use lino, an electronic bulletin board where collaborators can add sticky notes to the board.  You could create a board for the class or a specific topic and have students attach a sticky with their questions.  You could also use this for quick response answers from your students.

Another idea that came to my mind related to the KWL chart.  This year through Google Docs, we have access to Lucid Chart.  This online tool allows you to create mind maps, flow charts, venn diagrams and more.  You can then share the chart so others can write on the same chart.  As a teacher, I could create a KWL chart for a new topic, share it with the students and have them fill in their responses.  I could then project the chart so we could quickly see everyone's responses and discuss the common ground we all share and the questions we want need answered or clarified.

One final idea, relates to the idea of group work and the students presenting information to each other.  Traditionally, the students would have created a slideshow of some sort to present their information to the class.  This was a good start, but usually one student did all the work on creating the presentation because they could all work on the same document at the same time.  With the introduction of collaborative tools, students can now share the work load.  Google Docs offers a presentation tool that would allow students to work on their slideshow all at the same time.  Gone are the days of one student typing in all the information.  Now everyone in the group can add their contributions at the same time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Website Wednesdays

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, September 10, 2012


What is ThingLink?

ThingLink is an interactive graphic media launch.  So what does that mean?  It means you take a single image and create hotspot links to other resources or text.  For example, in the sample ab I have links to websites, videos and images related to the Titanic.  If I found online audio recordings, I could add hotspot links to those sites as well.

Getting Started

Go to the website -
Sign-up -- It's free!
Watch the video below from Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers author, for more instruction.

Using ThingLink in the Classroom

1.  35+ Interesting Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom

2.  ThingLink can even be used when working with ELL students or teaching a foreign language class.  Here is an example of an image used in such a capacity:

You could create the image yourself or have students create their own ThingLink images.

3.  Here is an example of an interactive mind map created with Thing Link:

For more resources on ThingLink, check out this image:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

495 Tech Resources

With the school year underway, I wanted to remind you of some technology tools available at your finger tips.

Keys to Tech

Use the Keys to Tech ring and it's companion website to learn about the applications on your computer, the tools available with our Google Apps for Education accounts, top pick Web 2.0 Tools and subscriptions purchased by the school district.

Tech Troubleshooting

This site provides tips and solutions for some of your basic technology problems.  There is even a section on Getting to Know Your Mac - a helpful resource for PC users switching over to a Mac.

Tech Training Resources

This site provides all the presentations and resources used for past district technology training.

12 for 2012 Challenge

Learn how to use 12 web tools.  You are given basic instructions on how to use the tool and a mini challenge allowing you the opportunity to try the tool.  Ideas for classroom integration are also provided at the end of each challenge.

Apps 4 Learning Wiki

The site provides resources for learning how to use the iPod & iPad as well as recommendations for classroom use.  You will also find listings of recommended apps for the various content areas.

Atomic Learning Tutorials

Video tutorials on various applications available on the Mac and PC.  There are also tutorials on numberous Web 2.0 tools like Glogster, Diigo, netvibes, Pintrest and more.

Technology Support - This site provides tutorials, manuals and references for your basic technology needs.  You must sign in to the district website to access this page.