Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where do YOU Vote this Tuesday?

Lovely Charts





Lovely Charts is another site that offers users a place to create and share diagrams, mind maps, and flow charts. Signing up for the service is completely free.  You can view a screencast of the software in action to get a better understanding of how it works.  You can also take a tour to see some of the features.  Lovely Charts uses a drag and drop feature that makes the creation of charts easy.  The software will make assumptions based on the type of diagram you are creating to make the process easier.

Math Resources

Several resources for math teachers.  I was asked to search for some by a teacher in my building and these were some of the ones that I came across.  I hope that you find one to be useful for your curriculum. 

1.) Amby's Education Site - Math Resources - This site has some virtual games and manipulatives for various content in the math classroom.  Each resource is broken down into 8 different categories to help you in your search for something to use in the classroom.  Check out what there is to offer here.

2.) XP Math is a site dedicated to various math games.  There is an arcade that is available for students to learn math through video games as well.  There is also a math discussion board and help finding jobs related to math curriculum.  You can also find math worksheets, but we know how so many of us feel about those! 

3.) The Problem Site is another site that offers math games.  Kids love to play games and we are finding more and more available resources on the web for students to improve their math abilities by playing games.  Even if you don't use these in class, provide the links to your students, show the link in class and have them do it for homework. 

4.) Geogebrawiki is a great wiki with tons of resources for geometry and algebra.  You can find links to simulators and other manipulatives to help improve a students understanding of math.  You can even  find a great page to some links to videos on YouTube. 

5.) Maths Online Gallery contains interactive multimedia for a better understanding of math practices.  Many of the resources that you will find use Java, so make sure that you have it updated. This site has been around since 1998.

6.) Real World Math is a site dedicated to learning math using the great tool Google Earth.  What a great real world application of mathematics.  I highly recommend sharing and using this site. 

7.) Visual Fractions is a site for, well, learning fractions through visuals.  This is a great site for elementary and middle school teachers to help students get a better understanding of fractions using various visuals.

Friday, October 29, 2010

IfItWereMyHome.com


If It Were My Home gained some popularity during the oil spill because it was able to virtually place the oil spill over your home town and get an idea of how large it was in comparison to your hometown and surrounding area.  Now the site offers some even more features.  You can now make comparisons of the United States to other countries and view important statistical data and compare the size of the countries compared to your home.  This feature alone is good to offer students the real perspective on the size of other countries when you compare population statistics, especially density.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Several Resources for YouTube

It seems more and more that you can find someone to make YouTube an even more valuable tool then it already is in the classroom.  There are several websites out there that allows you to manipulate the videos to your liking for your classroom.  I had a student today tell me that they didn't use a YouTube video in a presentation because it was too long.  At that moment, I didn't even think to mention the software out there that allows you to clip a section of a video to meet your needs.  Below are resources to use in relation to YouTube.

1.) 100 Incredibly Useful YouTube Channels for Teachers - Another one of those list from another one of those Online College websites.  Very useful though and separated into categories and subjects.  Worth taking a look at. 

2.) CaptionTube allows you to create captions for your YouTube videos.  It is free and easy to use and creates a different dynamic for the videos that you upload.  It provides a transcript for your viewers. 

3.) Clip Converter is a site that allows you to take a URL from a YouTube video (and several other sites) and convert it to several different video formats that you can choose from.  I do want to warn you though that on the main site it does mention converting Porn videos from specific porn sites, so use independently from your students and do not share it with them.  The site can be useful if YouTube is blocked at your school and you have a video that you want to share from the site. 

4.) YouTubeTime.com is a site that allows you to copy and paste a YouTube URL and then enter in the time that you would like the video to start (unfortunately it does not have an end time) and it will then provide you with a secondary link that will take you to a site to play at the moment in time you requested.  I suggest that you read the bottom of the page to realize that you can do this anyway just by adding to the original YouTube URL. 

5.) Meep is an add-on for Internet Explorer that allows you to save and download videos straight from YouTube.  Could be useful...if you are an Internet Explorer user.

Carryout Text

Carryout Text is a site dedicated to creating a simple way for you to convert text into audio.  The text is converted into an MP3 format.  This makes it very feasible to take lectures notes that you have created for students and make it into an audio file that students can listen too.  It could be very beneficial in creating a way for students who struggle with reading to have audio to following along with. 

Carryout Text is a site dedicated to creating a simple way for you to convert text into audio.  The text is converted into an MP3 format.  This makes it very feasible to take lectures notes that you have created for students and make it into an audio file that students can listen too.  It could be very beneficial in creating a way for students who struggle with reading to have audio to following along with. 

You can copy and paste text or you can upload the text from a file.  The information you provide will then be converted and will take time to do.  The time will all depend upon how long the text is.  A 412 character text (the paragraph above) took about 10 seconds.  The file will be available for 24 hours.  When the process is complete, you can play it through the web, or download the file. It provides the length and size of the file as well.

I have to tell you, I am impressed with the quality.  This could be a very useful tool for Special Education teachers.  I HIGHLY recommend sharing this with your teachers.  Hopefully when Carryout Text is no longer in beta they will have some options for educators. 

OER Commons - Open Educational Resources


OER Commons is a website that allows you to search for educational resources that have been shared on the web by educators from all over the world.  You can browse through different grade levels and subject matter.  The search results within OER Commons are very organized and easy to read through.  Many resources are for lessons that incorporate many of the web based tools that we are becoming more familiar with.  If you register for an account you can save the items that you find as well as contribute content. 

Another great feature is that not all of the resources are just for teaching subject matter.  There are several resources available for classroom management, leadership, primary sources, and educational materials.  All these can be searched through by browsing through the different categories.  Once you do a search, you can "uncheck" the areas that don't apply to your needs as well.

Another great feature for those of us that have an iPhone, you can download the iPhone App and complete searches right on your phone. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weekly Core Subject Resources

Science
- From NBC Learn, the Science of the NFL.  This site contains videos that help explain the science of football.  This would be a great way to increase interest in science for several students in your classroom.  You can also visit Lessonopoly for teacher resources to go along with the videos.  The final video will be posted this Friday.

Social Studies
- From National Geographic here is a great resource for the Underground Railroad where you get to experience the journey as a slave.  Another great resource is the History Lab.  This site is a homepage for teachers to learn from other teachers how students are learning social studies through the use of digital tools.  You can search by subject matter and by digital tool. 

English
-Want to help students become faster readers and increase the words per minute that they are able to read?  ZAP Reader does just that.  You can copy and paste text from a website and it will display them at a speed you determine to help you improve your reading speed.  See the video below for a better understanding.  Another great site is Citebite.  Students can copy and paste text into a text box.  Then copy and paste the URL.  When you click the Make Citebite, you get a link to the page and a highlight of the text.  Be a great way for students to cite information for a paper. 



Mathematics
- A Maths Dictionary for Kids is a great resource for learning common math terminology that students come across.  Search via Letter and then by term.  It provides the definition and examples for students.  Would be a great way to introduce a math vocabulary word each day. 

All Subjects
- 200 Free Movies Online - These are some of the classics by some well known producers and directors.  Some are also not as well known documentaries and Indies. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Conceptis Logic Puzzles





Are you smart?  Can you think logically and solve puzzles?  Then Conceptis Puzzles are for you.  What about for your students?  Conceptis Puzzles offer a variety of different types of puzzles that can all be completed on the computer for completely free without downloading any software.  Several puzzle types include Sudoku, Hashi, Battleships, Calcudoku, etc.  These would be a great activity and time filler in the computer lab for students to work on when done with their assignments.  The puzzles are very challenging.  I would recommend them for high school students only, although some might be easier for middle school students.  Below is an image of the different puzzles available on the website.

Wolfram Alpha Widgets


Wolfram Alpha is a search engine that does a great job of helping you find the specific resource that you are looking for.  This specific site though provides the ability to create widgets for your blog or website to search the Wolfram Alpha Site.  What is really great about these widgets is that you can embed a widget that is specific to the content of your website.  You can create your own widget to meet your needs or even browse the gallery for one that meets your needs.  Each widget offers something different and can be a fun way to add something to your website.

You really could create a whole web page of widgets!

Here is a sample widget that I liked

Edutechintegration.com

I finally decided to get rid of the "blogspot" and have my own domain for this blog.  I figured it was only appropriate as I approach the 1 year anniversary of my first blog post.  I will still maintain the same title unless something else more creative comes along, but I don't anticipate that happening, at least not anytime soon.  I do anticipate changing the layout in the coming days to make it more presentable and more web like and less blog like....I guess.

So you can now find this blog at http://www.edutechintegration.com.  If you subscribe to this blog, it might be worth checking to make sure that the RSS feed still works and you are still receiving posts to this blog...I mean website..I mean blog...you get the point. 

Thanks to everyone who has been a loyal reader or occasional visitor through this first year and journey with me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Educational Technology Cost of Political Campaign Ads

Negative advertisement after negative advertisement. Makes me want to stay home on election day. But then I got to wondering, what could all the money spent so far on campaign advertisements...remind you...JUST ADS, be better spent on when it comes to educational technology. So far $180 million dollars has been spent on political campaign ads and we are not even in "sweeps" week for the candidates yet.

Allow me to do some math. If you spent all that money on one piece of technology what would you be able to buy?

- 1.2 million FLIP Cameras
- 470,000 Document Cameras
- 180,000 SMART Boards
- 203,400 Clicker Systems
- 425,000 Airliners
- 360,000 iPad's
- 720,000 iPod Touches
- 450,000 Desktop Computers
- 150,000 MacBooks
- 1.8 Million 1 year subscriptions to Glogster

So the question then becomes, how could you spend $180 million dollars to benefit education and students across the country. While our future "leaders" THROW AWAY MILLIONS, we are fighting over education reform. Is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

EduHound


EduHound is an Educational Technology resource site that aims to provide a central hub for all resources related to Educational Technology.  It appears that several areas of the site are under maintenance right now, such as their "EduHound Site Sets" but you can still search through their categories at the bottom of the page and find resources for topics that you are looking for.  Each category is then broken down into subjects to narrow down your search for resources and then provides an outside link to click on.  You can also search for free lesson plans for all subjects and grade levels.  You can also find some very useful classroom tools and tips to use in the classroom.  They also have a huge source of clipart, for those of you that just can't stop inserting them into PowerPoint presentations.  Eduhound also sends out a newsletter that you can subscribe to that provides links to resources and their tools and tips.  This is a site well worth exploring for some Educational Technology Resources.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Documentary Heaven


Documentary Heaven is a site dedicated to providing documentary movies for free on the web.  You can search for movies based on several different categories and topics.  These videos are found at other locations and then embedded onto this site. I will warn you that several videos in certain topics might be deemed inappropriate, but that does not take away from the educational value that several hundred of the other videos can provide in your classroom.  My suggestion is that you take a look at the videos for yourself and see which ones you might find useful.

Conjugate Verbs


Conjugation.com is a site where students can learn how to conjugate verbs.  Students can type in a verb and the website will provide affirmative forms, negative forms, interrogative forms, definition and examples, and translations in several different languages.  Conjugation.com is a simple site and could be a great addition to share with students in English classrooms.

Collaborize Classroom


Collaborize Classroom is currently a free software for teachers to create a social network with your students.  You have until October 31st to create your own community (social network) to collaborate with your students in a safe environment.  You can see a video on the main page of a teacher sharing her experience using the software with her students.  Sign up is simple, all the usual information.  Once you decide to join there is a simple wizard that you can go through to setup your network with your students.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekly Core Subjects Resources

With this edition I will include a fantastic site for art teachers who might be interested in having students create computer generated art.

Mathematics
ACT Math Question of the Day - This site is great for understanding the concepts and problems that students will face when taking the ACT.  It is broken down by the different math curriculum based on the percentage it would appear on the ACT.  Each problem is then in a Flash video with an explanation of how to get the correct answer.  These make GREAT bell ringer activities.  Students can complete it and then be shown how to solve it to check their answers.

Science
Sixty Symbols is a site that has videos related to various symbols in physics, science, and Astronomy.  These videos would be very useful in high school science classrooms.  It helps to clarify many of the confusing symbols that we see in science classrooms.

English
Interactive Folio: Romeo and Juliet.  Found on Free Technology For Teachers, this is a great interactive for learning about Romeo and Juliet.  The interactive does a fantastic job of helping students interpret the text from Shakespeare.  You can search through the various Acts, Scenes, and Page numbers if looking for a specific resource. 

Social Studies
American Journeys: Eye Witness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement.  Primary documents from the Vikings all the way up to the 1800's.  This site is fantastic for finding resources about early America.  There are several documents and images that you can search through, as well as a Teacher Resource area.  This would be a great starting point for research.

Art
Sculptris is a 3D sculpting software for your computer that you can download and use to create 3D images.  I highly recommend viewing the video to see it in action. 

ZooBurst


Zooburst is a site that allows the user to create 3-D pop-up books.  If you have a web-cam then the books use Augmented Reality.  Zooburst offers two different account types (free and premium) for you to choose from.  the concept is rather interesting.  You can search for characters and input speech bubbles for the characters and arrange them in the 3-D space on the book.  With the basic account you are limited to 10 books and 10 pages per book.  The books can be embedded into a web page as well.  Zooburst offers another way to create Digital Stories across the curriculum.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My TeachMeet KY Presentation

From my previous post about Technology Alternatives for the Standard Homework Assignment I will be presenting the following presentation at TeachMeet KY in Bowling Green.  Thought I would share it with my readers.

Weekly Core Subjects Resources

This is my third edition of links/resources related to specific core curriculum.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to sustain this, but week after week I find something new that I can share with others.  Hope you find one useful.

Science
I have two this week for Science.  Scale of the Universe is an interesting interactive that allows you to see how big the universe is and how small we are.  I highly recommend sharing with students.  There is some background music, so you might want to have speakers on mute.  The second resource is Encyclopedia of Earth.  A great resource for geography and biology classes.  You can search for articles by subject and also find resources for educators as well.  If you are really motivated, you can become a contributor to the site as well.

Social Studies
The Supreme Court by PBS is an interactive website available for teachers to have a better understanding of the Supreme.  On the site you can find videos, games, time-lines, and lesson plans.  Another neat feature is that you can create a log-in and guess how the court will decide on this seasons cases.  This would be a great site for both Civics and U.S. History. 

English
Write for Ten is a website for free-writing.  The idea is to get people to just write for ten minutes and then share that on the web page.  The other idea is to help you work on a long document by writing on it for ten minutes at a time.  You will have to create an account to participate, but even if you don't, the concept of writing for ten minutes would be a great addition to the classroom.  This site might help foster some ideas.

Mathematics
The following is a site that has several Math Interactives that could be used with an Airliner or SMARTBoard.  "This multimedia resource includes interactive math activities, print activities, learning strategies, and videos that illustrate how math is used in everyday life. The resource addresses the following mathematics topics: Fractions; Integers; Percentages; Rate/Ratio/Proportion; Square Roots; Exponents; Patterns; Algebra; Linear Equations; Polynomials; Angles; Circles; Surface Area and Volume; Area and Perimeter; Triangles; Pythagoras; Trigonometry; Similarity and Congruence; Transformations; Shape Classification; Data Display and Graphs; Central Tendency and Distribution; and Probability."

Friday, October 8, 2010

OffiSync

There is a big push in education to use Google Docs.  There are also several school districts that use Microsoft, especially with the release of Live @EDU, Microsoft's free version of software to challenge Google.  OffiSync is a site that provides the ability to easier sync your Google Docs with Microsoft products (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).  OffiSync is a free download that integrates into the Office software.

OffiSync allows all the tools of Google Docs with Office, more specifically the sharing and collaboration aspect.  My school does not use Google Docs, but I am often viewing documents from Google Docs via Twitter, so this software would allow me to easily integrate them into my Office software.  To get a better understanding, you will probably be interested in the video below, that is also available for viewing on OffiSync's website.







For more information about OffiSync, and to compare the free and premium versions click here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Artificial Intelligence Typing


A.I.type is a site dedicated to the typing suggestions that we are getting used to on our iPhones and other devices.  A.I.type though offers more then just a word.  It also offers sentences suggestions as well as word suggestions.  You can also get translation into your own language as you type as well.  This is a great tool for ESL students and teachers.  A.I.type is also a great tool for lower level students who need assistance with writing.  Part of me wonders though if a technology like this will remove the necessity to even know how to type.  This is the next best thing to voice recognition that will remove the necessity to know how to type.  A.I.type is a free download that works with several platforms that you can view in the image below.  You can see it in action on their home page.

Simple Diagrams..and I mean Simple

Simple Diagrams is a site dedicated to creating...well, simple diagrams.  Stick figures, word clouds, and arrows.  For students who can easily be distracted this seems like a great option.  It also puts the emphasis on the contact and not on all the bells and whistles a software can provide.  It uses simple drag and drop features.  It is a software that you download to your computer and not web based.  There are more features that are available for a paid version of the software.  More information on the Free Version and Paid Version (only $19) are available on the site.

Here is a screen-shot from their website of the Free Version.  If you decide to pay for the software you will receive access to some other libraries of images that you can use.  The Free version for us cash strapped educators seems to offer plenty for classroom use.  Maybe an educational library will be available in the future.

I am looking forward to how I might be able to use this for professional development.

Popplet

Popplet is a mind-mapping tool but with a twist.  It provides the ability to add pictures to create and organize your mind-map.  Popplet provides a way to share ideas.  It would be a great way to share pictures showcasing change over time and provide information about those images at the same time.  It would be a great tool to use for before and after photos as well.  If you have an iPad, you can purchase the Popplet iPad App as well.  Popplet provides an alternative to presentation using photos, it could be another method to digital story telling in the classroom.

The site is currently in Beta and you will need to request access to use the site.  You can view the video below to get a better idea of the capabilities of the software and see if it is something you might be interesting in testing out and discovering ways that it could be used in the classroom.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Software From Microsoft

Recently our school district, well, actually our entire state has gone to Microsoft Live @EDU.  Microsoft has a lot of lesser known useful tools that educators might find useful as part of their Windows Live Essentials and other software..  I wanted to share those here.

Windows Live Writer 2011 - This software is intended to provide a place to write blog post off of the web.  It can be integrated to Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal and others (Not sure about EduBlogs).  It provides the ability to add videos, pictures and a Bing Map.

StickySorter - This program is similar other post it note type sites but with many more features.  You can categorize and organize (sort) your notes into groups.  You can also import data from other files like Excel.  You could easily use this site to organize dates, events, people, etc in a class assignment/discussion; especially if you are using a SMARTBoard. 

ZoomIt - This is a tool for screen-casting that also allows you to zoom in to particular areas of the computer screen for technical presentations.  The program runs from the hot tray and uses customizable hot keys to activate for use.  It also allows you to draw on the zoomed in area.

Professional Development 2.0

Jason Bedell who is a member of my PLN, has put together a great Professional Development document that helps to explain this movement in education by educators to embrace Social Media/Networking, join Twitter, and start blogging.  He does a great job of outlining how to get started in joining this movement towards becoming a 21st Century Educator. 

With this document you can learn about what a PLN is and how to start creating your own network of educators.  You can also learn about blogging and how it can help you reflect on teaching and learn to use blogs by other teachers to make you a better teacher, as well as integrating blogs into your curriculum with students.  He also discusses Social Bookmarking (sites like Diigo and Delicious) and this other new movement in education, the UNconference.


Project PLN Issue #2

Project PLN issue #2 is out and available.  The focus this time around was "Best Practices for the Start of School."  You can view my submission in this issue as well.  You can click on the link above below.  Happy Reading!





projectpln10 - Project PLN Issue 2

Create Your OpenZine

Weekly Subject Based Websites

You can see my previous and initial post in my weekly series of post dedicated to sharing resources for specific content areas. 

Social Studies
I have two for you today - From the iLearn Technology Blog, Today's Document is a site dedicated to bringing history from the national archives to life in cartoon form.  I really like this idea for bell ringer activities.  Kids of all ages like cartoons and this idea is very helpful to sharing events in history in a fun and informative way.  Thanks for sharing Kelly!  The second one comes from Free Technology For Teachers and it is Vote Easy, which is a site dedicated to helping students and people learn about the candidates in their state and local elections.  This would be a great tool to bring the election to life in your classroom.  Would also help foster some great discussions.  Thanks for sharing Richard!

Science
This resource came to me from a great education blog by Vanessa Cassie and it is a Periodic Table game that allows you to learn about the elements while also learning where they belong on the Periodic Table.  This would be a great activity to use a SMARTBoard or Airliner/Wireless Slate with. 

Mathematics
This resource is mainly for 7th-9th grade math, with 10th grade coming in the future, but Wired Math offers games, lessons, and resources for those grade levels.  Each grade is then broken down into different categories making finding a resource easier.  These resources would also be great to use with other pieces of technology in your classroom.

English
Wordia - Bring words to life.  Wordia is a high-quality online dictionary: a professional authoritative textual dictionary but with one big difference, it allows users to search for the spelling, meaning and etymology of a word but what makes Wordia unique is the ability for users to explore the personal connotation of word through video.  Teachers can create their own free account and set up the ability to track students vocabulary learning.  This would be a great way to use FLIP camera's in the classroom.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Zotero


Zotero is an add-on for Firefox that will help you collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources.  It lives right in your web browser and can be a useful tool for research purposes.  You can collect information on books and other sources, archive entire web pages, and store anything from the web.  You can organize your notes so that you can easily find what you are looking for within your research.  The interface is very similar to iTunes.  It even has a drag and drop bibliography and can cite in several styles.  Zotero can be accessed anywhere, even from mobile devices.  When finished, Zotero allows you to collaborate and share your collections with others.  

Remember when doing research, teachers would require you to keep index cards for all your sources, well Zotero is meant to replace those index cards.  If you are doing research or requiring students to do research this is a great tool.  Students really struggle with citing sources and references and Zotero would be a great tool to help improve students abilities.  I know that a lot of computers at school do not use Firefox, but it would still be worth sharing for home use.
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