Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Website Wednesday

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Website Wednesday

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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Getting YouTube Videos for Student Assignments

Sometimes you find a great YouTube video to introduce, reinforce or review a concept being taught in the classroom.  As educators in our district, you can access and show those videos through your teacher computer, but what happens if a student is absent.  Sometimes, it is necessary for students to watch video content at different times based on the progress they are making in an individual project or assignment.  Below are in instructions on how to download YouTube videos and share them with your students.

Need to print this how-to sheet?  Click here - Install YouTube Downloader

Website Wednesday

Website Wednesday is back!  For those of you new to our blog, I compile a list of 5-10 websites that can be used by educators for student multimedia projects, lesson plans, professional development and more.  Use what you can and push the rest to the side.  You can always come back later if you feel like you missed something.

Don't forget, you can access and search all the sites bookmarked for Website Wednesdays at  Search by Tags, lists, titles or URLs.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Primary Sources? What is that?

A map of Philadelphia and parts adjacent from the Library of Congress
At the start of this month, I attended the Tech Integration Group at Essdack where we covered Primary Sources in Social Studies.  Several teachers asked me to share out what I learned and any resources.

Before I delve into what I learned, I want to get everyone on the same page with a definition of primary sources.  A primary source is an original document or physical object written or created during the time period being studied.  Primary sources include speeches, journals/diaries, news film footage, letters, interviews, official records, clothing, pottery, art, music, novels, etc.  More specific examples of primary sources include:

  • The Constitution of the United States
  • Diary of Anne Frank
  • Photos of 9/11 - the day of and immediately following
  • News footage of the Kennedy Assassination
  • Audio of the "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King
Historians also refer to secondary sources, which provide an interpretation and/or analysis of a primary source.  This includes textbooks, criticisms, encyclopedias and commentaries.  Magazine articles can become a confusing source, but the best way to decide if it is a primary or secondary source is to ask if it is an interpretation or review of the event (secondary source) or a first-hand account from a participant or observer of the event as it unfolded (primary source).

Primary Source Sites:

At the TIG session, Glenn Weibe presented several activities for using primary sources in social studies.  One activity involved two maps taken from Google Earth of the same area, but different time periods.  We didn't know anything else about the maps and were asked why the difference between the two photos.  However, we first had to determine which photo came first and how did we know that.  After several decoding attempts related to the two photos, we were told what happened which then tied into the actual historical event and a novel study.  Another activity had us in groups and each group was given a quote.  Based on the quote we had to move to one side of the room if we thought the person was racist and the other side if we didn't think they were racist.  Of course we did't learn until later in the activity that the groups had different quotes and the quotes were all said by the same person.  The activities themselves really made us think and process the source we were examining.  With the new common core, the ability to analyze and synthesize information becomes more important than names and dates.  While a general knowledge of what happened when is essential, the ability to evaluate and analyze why events happened is crucial.  Primary sources become a key tool in making students work to determine their response.  Glenn shared the links to his presentation and resources, although I noticed today that his presentation has changed some since our meeting.

Here is the original presentation:

Here is the new presentation:

Additional resources from Glenn Weibe:
Using Primary Sources in the Social Studies Classroom
Social Studies Central
History Tech Blog
Weekly Tip

If you haven't looked at the primary sources on the Library of Congress website, you are missing out on a plethora of teacher guides and tools for teaching with primary sources.  They also have specific primary source sets centered on topics like:
Oakland, Calif., Feb. 1942 from the Library of Congress

The site also has Teacher's Guides and Analysis Tools providing a template and suggested questions for having students analyze various types of primary sources.

As a former English teacher, I used primary sources to help the students understand the time period prior to reading a novel, short story or poem.  It helped the students visualize and analyze the piece we were studying.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Come Play with Technology

As many of you know, I've been taking 2 teachers with me to the Tech Integration Group at Essdack this school year.  It is an opportunity for teachers to "come play with the big boys."  (It really should be come play with the geeks, but I've always wanted to say the other.)  This group explores technology - new web tools and apps, technology techniques like augmented reality, ideas for incorporating technology in the classroom and more.  Below is a little more information about this technology opportunity including future dates and topics for 2013-2014.

I have already taken several teachers this school year and asked them to share about their thoughts and experiences from the day.

During Friday's Tech Integration Group, I learned some helpful tips for integrating technology into my Social Studies classroom using primary documents such as maps from Google Earth. We did an interesting activity comparing maps from the same location during two different periods in history. The activity required us to use critical thinking skills and come up with reasons for why the maps were different as well as which one was the earliest. I can't wait to use that same idea in my classroom! - Sandie Raper
I really enjoyed the day. I think what I learned most is to appreciate the thoughtful and deliberate decisions made by our tech department. I also learned that I can explore new programs without trepidation. Today I learned how to network with other educationally minded people in order to share ideas. I was happy to have the time to "play" around with edmodo, and I feel confident in introducing the program to my students next week. However, most of the students are probably aware of it if they have taken classes from Mrs. Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Wilcox, or Mrs. Schmidt. I also look forward to creating new projects in my English classes that may reach reluctant learners. - Janet Fleske
I learned about several new apps for the ipad. Shadow puppets and Tiny Scan were two that I thought would be helpful in my classroom. We also had a guest appearance from Glenn Wiebe. He showed us several ways to use primary sources such as pictures, quotes etc. He also showed several different ideas for lesson plans using Google Earth. We then went to his website which has all kinds of websites, tools and ideas to implement. He explained to us what the new social studies standards would be like and how the kids were going to have to use Historical thinking to be able to answer correctly. We were then given time to play around on these resources and try to figure them out and get experience on them. - Stephanie Bauer
Attending the technology PLC, I was not sure what to expect to begin with. I really like the sense of community that is developed with the goal of focusing on technology and the incorporation of technology in the classroom. The ideas that are brought up and the questions are great for improving technology in schools, as well as the different problem/ solutions that the different districts are facing. 
I feel that our district is ahead of the game compared to other districts. I’m thankful for the technology connections that our district has and the ability to explore different educational tools. I was surprised by the fact that some district can’t have google apps or other technology things that our district has. I also feel that our district is ahead of the game with teachers starting to use more and more technology all the time. 
When the guy from Mcpherson College talked, he said that things students learn need to be concrete and tangible student improvement. I think this is very true of education, how can we engage students so the content they are learning is concrete and tangible to them. - Joy Schmidt
If you have not had the opportunity to take advantage of one of these technology days, look through the dates and topics below.  Find one that peaks your interest and send me an email to reserve your spot!

App Showcase

I learned about a couple of great apps last Friday that look perfect for math - Number Pieces and Number Pieces Basic by the Math Learning Center.

What is Number Pieces?  

It is a technology version of the base ten blocks teachers use in the classroom when they are teaching place values.  Students gain a deeper understanding of place value while working on their computation skills with multiple digit numbers.  Students can regroup, add, subtract, multiply and divide.  While most teachers have access to and use physical manipulatives of the base ten blocks, some students will enjoy using technology for learning these basic math skills.  This is a great option for implementing differentiated instruction and a math center alternative.  I can also envision teachers using this app for introducing the base ten blocks and how they work on the "big screen."  The only downside with this app is it's for iPads only.

While I was searching for the app links to include in this blog post, I also found a website where you can use Number Pieces right on the computer.  So if you don't have iPads or only have a limited number of iPads, you could also use the computer.  When you go to the website, click the 'i' in the lower right corner for How-to instructions.  This would work well with a SMART Board or up on the "big screen."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Earn Your Black Belt with Class Dojo

Most elementary teachers have a wall chart with clothespins that you use to mark student behavior throughout the day.  Imagine having a system that not only marks the moment, but tracks and reports on the day as a whole.  Now imagine students and their parents logging on to a website at night to review and talk about their behavior in school.  Meet Class Dojo, a behavior management tool that records all this information for you on each student.  All you need to do is give points for the good and not so good things on each student throughout the day.  You can also track your class as a whole to check for specific trends or patterns.  With the aid of a mobile device, your task gets even easier as you travel around the room and track student behaviors.  This gives teachers a better opportunity to catch their students making good choices!

So, how do you get started?  Go to and create a new account.

#1 Create a Class

Select your grade level & content area
Give your class a name
*You can always go into the basic info on your class an edit this information later.

#2 Add Students

If you have a student list on your computer already, you can copy and paste the list to add all your students at one time.  Otherwise you'll need to enter each student name individually.

#3  Customize Behaviors

Edit the default behavior icons and text OR Add your own behaviors
Behaviors can be both positive and negative

Don't forget to save your changes!

#4  Start Tracking Behaviors

Simply click on a student's name and choose the behavior you want to assign.  A bubble with a number will appear by their name.  Points will add and subtract throughout the day and the bubble will remain green if they've kept enough positive behaviors.  If they are being too negative that day, their bubble may appear red with a negative number.

Extra Features:

You can award multiple students at one time.  Just click 'Award Multiple Students' and select the students you want to award for the same behavior.  Select the behavior to be awarded and you're done!

Use the Timer feature as a stop watch or a countdown tool.

You can also reset your student bubbles anytime during the day or at the start of a new day.

Under the Settings feature you can edit specific class features.  For example, choose to have two separate point bubbles for each student, only show the positive awards and change the student order.
When you end your class for the hour or day, go to the Report page.  You will see the behavior of your class as a whole and individually.  The report also indicates the specific behaviors that were awarded.  You can customize your date range so you can view a single day, month or the entire year.  You can also sort your student list by most positive, most negative,  highest combined and more.
Don't forget to checkout the Class Dojo App - available on iPhone, iPod and iPad!

**Additional resources are available for sharing ClassDojo with your parents at

Browsers and more browsers, but which one do I use?

I get the following question a lot, "Which browser should I use - Firefox, Chrome, Safari?"  My response, "Yes."  When I first started working in the technology department for our school district, I was given the opportunity to attend a monthly Tech Integration Group.  This group met to share ideas and discuss questions/issues related to technology integration.  At my first meeting someone made the comment, "I always have 2-3 browsers open when I work.  Who doesn't?"  Of course the room erupted in agreement and if it wouldn't have been obvious, I would have slunk down in my chair because I only used one browser.  Since that time, I've come to understand why people use more than one browser.  For example, anything requiring the support of Java 7, like KeepVid, cannot be opened in Google Chrome because it doesn't support Java 7 at this time.  Some of the online software we purchase for our district works better in one browser over another, like WebKids.  So when I say "Yes" to the which browser question, I mean "Use them all."  Use what works best for what you are trying to accomplish.

What if none of those browsers work well for what you are trying to accomplish?  Then try a new one.  There are loads of browsers available for use on the computer.  Some of them include Opera, Slepnir, SeaMonkey, Flock, Prism, Camino, Stainless and more.  The article, The Ultimate List of Browsers, provides a nice list of browsers, their platforms (Mac, Windows, Linux) and a brief description.  I haven't tried them all myself, but when I start having issues with one of my current 3 browsers I try out something new.  Slepnir has been my most recent trial browser.  So far I've only found one browser that I can't endorse and that is Internet Explorer.  I think this illustration explains it all...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sticking out your tongue

I've been thinking lately about what I've been learning over the course of the summer. Preparing for the tech training days has helped me learn more about the programs themselves - the district website, Edmodo and iWorks. It has been interesting to watch how various people learn and process information as well as how they work. For example, most people learn best with the chunking method - giving it to them in small pieces so they can process and apply what they are understanding. But
then to watch them actually work has been eye-opening to me. I had one teacher who tends to stick their tongue out when they are concentrating. It reminded me of kids cutting with a pair of scissors and concentrating hard for fear of making a mistake. The tongue pokes out the corner of their mouth as though it will provide that needed element to obtain greater precision and accuracy. Another teacher just leaned back, crossed their arms and stared at the screen as though they were visualizing what their product should look like first and then determining how to make it happen. At first I thought the teacher was either bored or frustrated, but when I asked if they needed help they said, "No, I'm just thinking." Interesting that a simple posture can be misconstrued and perceived in a negative connotation . I realized then the importance of understanding how students learn, process and apply information and concepts.

In education we focus on various techniques for teaching content so we can reach the diverse learning styles, but we don't spend much time on the different styles of processing and applying information. As a teacher, we could have a total misconception of a student just because we don't understand what their body language actually means for them. Arms crossed over your chest has always been indicative of someone being closed off and not receptive, but with my teacher it was a sign of concentration and focus. Maybe he was closed off, but more to the distractions around him rather than the task at hand. Granted this may not be true for all individuals, but one size doesn't fit all. Another thing to consider is how individuals process information before they actually create. If someone walked into my office they would think I waste a lot of time - heck, I think that of myself sometimes. But the truth is I have a few different ways of processing and thinking out my ideas before they become an actual creation.

Currently, I am journaling which helps me get the ideas out of my head and onto paper. From there I can read over the content to see what information I could actually use in a blog post. I may only have a few lines or several ideas; regardless, the process has helped me clear my head and sift through the random thoughts to find the best pieces for a blog post. Another way I process information is by
talking it out. I grab one of the toys on my desk, usually my little stress ball and fiddle around with it in my hands while I talk out an idea. Sometimes I pick it up when someone is asking a question or explaining something to me. For some reason it helps me focus and become less distracted. It reminds me of a scene from the movie Murder Most Foul by Agatha Christie. Miss Marple is a juror listening to the judge explain the process to the jurors before sending them off to decide the verdict of the accused. She is knitting and you can hear her needles clicking together. The judge leans down and tells her either she'll have to stop knitting or he'll have to stop serving as the judge. She responds with, "It helps me concentrate." How many times have we told a student to stop doing something that really helps them to concentrate. Granted, you don't want their method of concentrating to infringe on another student's method for concentrating, but I think as teachers we need to remember to be alert and sensitive to these needs in an effort to help students process and apply the information they are learning.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Website Wednesday

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Technology, journaling and photography - Part 2

image from Morguefile
So, the other night I was sitting and enjoying the thunderstorm as it blew through town when I started thinking about technology, journaling and photography. Photography actually popped in my mind first because of all those awesome lightening photos online. I had a couple thoughts pass through with the storm. I shared the first earlier this week in part one of this post. My second thought relates to my experience with searching for a journaling app. When I first started working in the tech department last year, I was fortunate enough to receive an iPad to use on the job. I was struggling with typing on the iPad, so I picked up a wireless keyboard to use with the iPad. The only problem was it hindered the mobility of the device. If I wanted to type a note on the iPad, I either carried the keyboard with me or I learned how to type on the iPad. Of course the best way to learn any technology is through personal application, so I decided to start journaling on the iPad. I enjoy journaling because it helps me clear my mind of the thoughts, ideas and situations from the day. With a practical and personal application in my mind, I set out on my next task - finding a journal app.

I searched online for the best journaling apps, but at the time I didn't want to pay for an app because I didn't know if I would like journaling in the iPad. I tried about half a dozen free apps before I moved to a couple of paid apps - some of them I got for free when they hit Apps Gone Free. These journaling apps varied in format and functionality. Some were basic daily dairies with limited text, but extensive enhancement features like daily mood graphics and inserting photos. Some gave you the full advantages of word processing, but provided no means for backing up your content. I lost several weeks of writing on one of these apps. I did finally find one that allows you to have multiple notebooks so I could have one for personal and one for work. It gave me the basic word processing features, but allowed me to add images and turn my journals into eBooks that opened in iBooks. However, a new system update came out in the iPad and after I ran the update my journals were messed up. The dates all switched to the same day and some content was lost.  While that was discouraging, my typing skills on the iPad did improve. I loved that the device started anticipating what word I was trying to type and gave me the recommended word if I started to mistype the word. But it is a different experience typing on an iPad. Your fingers can never fully set on the keyboard like a real computer keyboard, and I end up typing with about three fingers from each hand. My thumb and pinky rarely see any action.

image from Morguefile
Sometimes with technology, we have to find that one purpose to get ourselves in the mood to explore and "play around" with the hardware and software.  It's not always easy and sometimes we just have to force ourselves to try things out.  When I was first learning to type on the iPad, I was ready to give up after the first day.  It felt awkward typing on this device and it slowed me down.  My brain was working faster than I could move my fingers.  After a few months of diligently working, my typing skills did get better.  But you know what else I discovered through this process?  I still like grabbing my little spiral journal and pen.  The technology is nice, but it isn't the right tool for me when I want to just sit and journal.  There are too many distractions for me with the iPad and I never get all of my thoughts and ideas written down.  This was a good lesson for me to experience because it helped emphasis the fact that laptops, computers, iPads and all those other devices are just a tool.  Like all tools, you have to
have the right one for the job at hand.  Does that mean I don't use these tools?  No, it just means that I have to decide which tools will help me complete the task at hand the best, even if it's paper and pencil.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Technology, journaling and photography - Part 1

Image found at morgueFile
I'm sitting at home with most of the lights off listening to my favorite soundtrack selections as the thunderstorm outside advances across the sky. As the lightning flashes, it spotlights the car sitting in my driveway. Sometimes the thunder rumbles and it really does sound like a bowling ball rolling down the lane aiming to strike a few pins. There is no crash though, so it must be a gutter ball. As I watched this moving picture, I started thinking about technology, photography and journaling. You're probably puzzling over the connection between these items. You might even be humming that little ditty from Sesame Street:
One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
So, how do technology, photography and journaling fit together? I always love those great photos of lightning storms with a streak of lightning shooting down from the sky. While I admire the quality of those awesome photos, my photography skills are sadly lacking. I know it's all about the right equipment and lens, but I just don't have enough knowledge and understanding to capture those breathtaking photos. I could learn, but I just haven't invested the time to learn. So, I will have to either be content with admiring the great work of others or invest my time to learn a new skill. You're probably starting to make the connection to technology, but let's look at how journaling fits into this picture. I love to journal. I don't call it writing because that reminds me too much of essay papers and after surviving the completion of my English major in college, I'd rather not think about essay writing. It gives me chills. Journaling, on the other hand, has been a great way for me to think through the random thoughts and events of the day. Sometimes they are a string of situations, events and ideas that have no direction connection, but somehow they seem to come together in some profound epiphany. Ok, maybe they're not always profound and maybe it isn't always an epiphany, but there usually are some revelations by the end of my journaling time. The one thing I've found about journaling is the more I do it, the more comfortable I become writing out my thoughts and ideas. Sometimes my brain moves faster than my hand can write. I may have had a little skill in writing before I started journaling, but like anything, practice improved the skill.

Are you grasping a connection yet? Well, here's a curve ball for you. When I first started filling out those infamous teaching applications in the hope of securing my first teaching position, they always asked you to write about your philosophy of education. I hated that question because I wrote what they wanted to hear. You know the answer. It boiled down to one statement. Every student can be taught. Well, they can be, but does that really mean they learn? I can teach English, but unless students put the knowledge into practice no real learning is occurring for them. The same is true with technology. I can go to workshops or watch videos and be taught, but until I actually act I never learn. So you may still be baffled by these loose connections. Let's see if we can tie them together.

Image found at morgueFile
As I watched that storm progress, I thought about all those teachers and staff who have told me how bad they are with technology. I've heard phrases like "tech tarded," "I'm no good at technology," "I'm stupid when it comes to computers," etc.  To them, technology is that looming storm hanging over their head. It rumbles and sends them into the gutter when they don't experience success. However, whether they realize it or not, most have a little skill, at least enough to turn the computer on and off. But seriously, most have more skill than that. They can check email and look at photos and videos from friends and family. Just like my journaling, they learn enough to do the things that are important to them. My journaling will never be a published masterpiece, but it does what I need it to do. Over time, my writing has improved just from continual practice. The same is true with technology. The skills improve just from regular use of the computer. Sometimes, however, we have to dive in deeper if we really want to improve and master our skills. I can take photos, well enough that I don't cut off anyone's head, but if I want those breathtaking images of lightning strikes during a thunderstorm, then I have to delve deeper in my learning. I either need to take a course, read articles and books on the subject or watch tutorials to gain more knowledge and understanding. Then, I must act on that knowledge by practicing the skill. Like writing in my journal, my photos will improve from continual practice.

Am I stepping on toes? Maybe. Am I preaching to the choir? Sure. But I find that sometimes I have to be reminded of the obvious. It's like this blogging business. It does have great value, but I'll never improve if I don't practice and do.

I do have one other thought relating to technology, journaling and photography, but you'll have to wait for the next post.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Website Wednesday

  • Students learn and practice the rows. They receive instant feed back on their accuracy and progress through the lesson. They can retake an exercise if they did poorly. Set-up a free teacher account under Teacher Portal to create & manage student accounts and track progress & improvement.  Several lessons can be completed in a 25 minute time period.

    tags: typing Keyboarding tutorials

  • Provides games for students to work on their typing abilities in a fun way.  Some games are good for the beginning typer while others require mor typing skills.  You'll want students to wear headphones when playing the games.

    tags: keyboarding typing interactive Games

  • Find out how many words per minute you can type while practicing the various rows of the keyboard.  After your lesson, you will see the words per minute and number of errors.  Not engaging for younger students.

    tags: typing keyboarding tutorials

  • Provides 16 lessons for students to learn and practice typing.  If you click on the lesson, you will be timed while you practice typing.  If you the click the blue video camera next to the lesson number, you can watch a short video tutorial on the keys you will practice in the lesson.

    tags: typing keyboarding tutorials

  • Provides an introduction and practice to touch typing for students age 7-11.  Covers  home row and the other letters, a few punctuation marks and how to make caps.  You will want students to use headphones.

    tags: typing keyboarding tutorials

  • Online typing lessons appropriate for students and adults.  It covers all the rows, numbers and math signs.  There is no tracking option for teachers, but this would be good practice for students.  Not real engaging for younger students, but good for older ones.

    tags: typing keyboarding tutorials

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

Friday, April 19, 2013

Website Wednesday

  • Don't let the name fool you - this site contains science and math activities that you could use tomorrow morning.  Lessons provide you with age appropriateness, materials (w/cost) for the activity and a detailed activity sheet that you can download or print.

    tags: science math activities resources STEM

  • Great collection of photos and video footage from wildlife photographers.  Site provides lessons and activities for the classroom.  If you want to be grossed out, watch the African rock python eat lunch!  You'll grab the attention of your reluctant learners.

    tags: science animals biology photos nature resources

  • Library of short how-to videos produced to help students and teachers in the digital classroom.  All videos are based on Web 2.0 technology tools & demonstrate how-to use the applications.

    tags: technology how-tos video Web 2.0

  • Rap song about graphing - could be used to introduce or reinforce graphing for those musical learners

    tags: graph math rap song

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Website Wednesday

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

Choosing the Right Tool

photo credit: fixedgear via photo pin cc
When preparing to fix something around your house or on your car, you always check to see if you have the right tools for the job.  I recall the first home remodeling project I started in my house.  The computer room was covered in wallpaper that had been drawn on with pen and marker by the children of the previous owners.  So, it was decided to remove the wallpaper and paint the walls.  Of course, I got on the internet to look for easy ways to remove to wallpaper.  Several home recipes later, I found myself slowly winning in the wallpaper removal battle.  Before tackling my second wallpaper removal job, I purchased a small wallpaper steamer.  That little steamer and I got the job done in a few short days.  The tool made all the difference!

The same is true when working with technology.  There so many cool hardware and software tools to try out that when it is time to choose one for a class project with your students it is hard to make the best choice.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on a tool:

1.  What are the objectives of the lesson? - Will the tool enhance or improve instruction?

2.  What are the objectives or purpose of the project you are having your students complete? - What knowledge should students gain through the project?  Will the tool you choose help students apply the content and learn new material?

3.  How the end product will be shared? -  Is it a stand-alone piece?  Is it a visual add for a speaking presentation?  Will it be published online?  Is it on an iPad and you want to move it to the computer or publish it online?

4.  What type of learner are your students? -  Are they good in front of a camera?  What level of technology skills do they have?  This doesn't mean students shouldn't step out of their comfort zone and try new tools, but maybe you can give them a few options so they can choose one that seems less threatening to them.

5.  Is the tool accessible? - Does the tool need to be purchased?  Does the tool require you to create an account?  Does the tool work on the student filter?

Here are a few final points not to forget when working with technology tools:
1.  Provide students with getting started instructions for the tech tool(s) you are asking them to use.  You don't have to show them all the advanced features because they will figure those out as they go or from their peers.

2.  Allow students time to learn to use the tool.  Before they use the tool on a major project, create a small project for them to use that tool.  One teacher introduced her students to Glogster and had them create a fact/opinion Glog for their first project on Glogster.  Later they used Glogster to create a book report (see samples).  The first assignment helped the student learn the tool and it helped the teacher work out issues with the tool relating to the filtering system.  It made the book report project run smoother and the students produced better projects.

3.  Allow for peer editing.  Sometimes we forget that a technology project is no different than a written Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything.
essay.  We take time in class for peer editing on essays, but we don't think about that option with a tech project.  Allow one day in class for students to present the content of their project and obtain feedback on how to improve the product.  There are some great rubric templates for technology projects at

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Website Wednesday

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