Monday, April 29, 2013

Five Found From my Feedly

Another week has gone by and it is time for another dose of posts that I read from my Reader.  It is starting to grow on me after being used to Google Reader for so long.  There are several features that I am still getting adjusted too, but so far is working out just fine as a replacement.

1.) So....You Wanna Use Blogs in the Classroom is a great introduction post to learning about blogging in the classroom.  More and more students and teachers are turning to blogs as a way for students to write and then publish their writing.  From the Blogging About the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom.

2.) 12 Ways to Integrate (Not Just Use) Technology in Education from Edudemic provides a chart showcasing the differences between Using Technology and Integrating Technology.

3.) What is the Role of the Librarian is a great post for helping all of us Educators remember the importance of the Library in the school system.  Google has definitely changed how research is done, but utilizing the library and the librarian is still very important.  From Educational Origami.

4.) 17 Awesome Google Chrome Extensions interested me as I have finally made the switch over to Google Chrome for my everyday browsing.  There are several extensions that could be very important for educators inside and outside the classroom.  From A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet.

5.) StudyBlue Announces Annual Teacher Appreciation Program "Thank a Teacher a Latte" is a post from Educational Technology Guy that helps to explain the program and how students, parents, and other stakeholders can get involved in thanking a teacher our our ever important job.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

EntourageBox - Allow Others to Upload to Your Cloud Storage

EntourageBox is a service that allows users of DropBox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3 to share their account with friends (or in educators cases fellow teachers or students) so that they can upload files to your cloud storage.  By using EntourageBox you are giving access to others to a public folder within your cloud storage where they can upload files.

Using the service is very simple.  You just choose your cloud storage service, allow EntourageBox to connect with your cloud storage service, and then choose or create a folder that you want others to be able to upload too.  After that, the service will generate an upload URL that you then share.  For security, you can provide a password as well if so desired.  You also can deactivate the URL at any time, so if you wanted to use it for a single upload you could.  The service is completely free.

I could see teachers utilize this service that use Google Drive as a way for students to submit assignments or projects.  Principal's could use it as a method of collecting lesson plans or meeting minutes from committees and departments.  EntourageBox could be very helpful in removing the clutter from emails with attachments.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

RollyPolly - Interactive Video

RollyPolly is a new option in making watching videos interactive.  One problem with videos is being able to comment and discuss the video WHILE the video is playing.  RollyPolly lets users comment and interact with videos in real time which helps to improve engagement.  Users can sign in to comment using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or by creating a free account.  RollyPolly supports Vimeo, YouTube, and Brightcove.  As users comment on the video, the comment is organized by the time stamp that the video was playing at that time which makes it easier for users to see discussion points based on the video.  There is also a polling option for letting others know whether you like the video or not.

You can use RollyPolly without an account by just providing the URL of the video and then choosing the layout for the commenting section.  The service will provide you a URL or HTML code that can be pasted onto a blog or webpage.  If you create an account can track videos, get analytic's, and have some other options for the video as well.  You can see a sample image and video below without creating an account.

I could see RollyPolly being used in the classroom for students to discuss the video they are watching while also asking questions about a certain point in the video as well.  Students could use this for video projects to gauge student's thoughts about their video as well.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Five Found From My Feedly

Weekends bring about a lot of great information from educators across the world.  Here are five from the past few days that I think are worth sharing.

1.) Happy Earth Day!!  Free Technology For Teachers has provided 10 Educational Resources for Earth Day.

2.) Looking for some summer reading?  8 Education Technology Books Ever Leader Should Read and 7 Must-Read Resources on Social Media for School Leaders would make a great starting point for a list to select some books from.

3.) The new Classroom 2.0 Book which contains several education and technology related articles is a great starting point for new teachers looking for some teaching and learning strategies.  You can find more information at Never Ending Search.

4.) May is just around the corner and so is Cinco de Mayo.  If looking for some resources for your classroom, Larry Ferlazzo has a great page with his Best Sites for Teaching and Learning About Cinco de Mayo

5.) 55 Content Curation Tools to Discover and Share Digital Content is a great list for people who are looking for the best way to learn what all is out there and then save and share it when they find it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


AppoLearning is a resource for teachers looking to learn about the best educational iPad apps available.  Experts on the site evaluate and score apps across grade levels and through multiple categories to make finding an app even easier.  Apps are scored based upon Educational Content, Kid Appeal, Assessment, Features and Design, Value, and Safety and Privacy.  Users can look for apps from early childhood through high school.  If a category is unavailable, users can also request one.

There is an app of the week and a blog that can be followed to learn about other educational technology interests.  Each app provides scores, content information, and a direct link to the app on iTunes.  If you find yourself using an iPad in the classroom a lot and think you could become an expert, the opportunity is also available to do that.

If looking for an iPad app for your classroom, give AppoLearning a try.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Five Found From My Feedly

With the move from Google Reader to Feedly, here are five resources that were shared this weekend that I thought readers of this blog might be interested in.

1.) 18 Fun Resources to Help Kids with Vocabulary comes from A Media Specialists Guide to the Internet.

2.) How to Determine Reading Level of a Document comes from the U.S. Government Teachers Blog

3.) Come Relax and Learn With Me This Summer is from Free Technology for Teachers and provides information about professional development he is offering this summer.

4.) 10 Current Events Resources is from Edudemic provides resources for teachers looking to integrate several current events.

5.) The National Digital Public Library is set to launch and the Never Ending Search Blog provides you some necessary information for learning about this great resource.  

World Art Day Resources

In case you didn't know, today is World Art Day.  In celebration of Art, I wanted to share some Art resources that you might be interested in utilizing in your classroom or sharing with students.

1.) The Google Art Project - This is a tool that puts thousands of pieces of Art at your fingertips.  A great resource for not only art teachers, but also Social Studies teachers as well.

2.) Art Finder - A place to find and purchase Art from all over the world.

3.) Picasso Head - Create your own version of a Picasso.

4.) The Endless Mural - An interactive and collaborative Art website built in HTML5

5.) DrawSpace - Learn to draw with over 200 free downloadable lessons.  With a profile, users can keep track of progress.

6.) 50 Awesome and Inspiring Blogs for Art Teachers and Top 20 Art Blogs for Educators.

7.) SmartHistory from Khan Academy - The leading open educational resource for Art history.  The content is free and high quality.

8.) ArtLex Dictionary provides definitions for over 3,600 terms used in discussing art and visual culture.  There are also thousands of supporting images, pronunciation notes, and quotations as well.

9.) Artcyclopedia is like a wiki for art.  Tons of information, images, and other resources for art research.

10.) Artist A Day provides visitors with information and resources related to various artist.  A great way for students to visualize various types of art from all kinds of different artists.

11.) Scoot and Doodle is a collaborative drawing environment that uses Google + Hangouts.

12.) Psykopaint allows users to turn images into abstract art and apply shadows to pictures.

13.) My Oats, This is Sand, Jackson Pollock, and Bomomo provide some fun art creation.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fliite - Group Mentioning/Messaging App for Twitter

Many educators are taking to Twitter as a method professional learning and also for communicating with students.  One of the issues is that if you wanted to mention several people in a tweet is that those mentions take up your 140 characters.  The other issue is that if you want to send a direct message to Twitter users, you can only send one at a time.  Fliite is a new option that will soon be available for the iPhone that allows users to group message/mention multiple users on Twitter.  Fliite could come on handy for those teachers that utilize Twitter in the classroom.  You can sign up to receive an email notification when it is available, but it seemed promising, so I thought I would share.  You can see the video below for more information.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Five Found In My Feedly

With Google Reader getting ready to be gone for good I have permanently switched the blogs I follow over to Feedly.  I hope to regularly bring you some of the great information shared across the web from other blogs that I follow.  Here are some from this week.

1.) 50 Digital Storytelling Websites and Apps from the Technology Tidbits Blog.  The list is available in alphabetical order which makes it easy to discover sites and apps that you might not be familiar with.

2.) Dealing with Dashboard Decisions - I don't really use them myself, but homepages that mimic a dashboard look are popular for many people.  This post provides a great list of options.  From The Never Ending Search Blog.

3.) The Bammy! Awards - An Award honoring the Education Community from A - Z.  You can find the nominees HERE.

4.) 89 Cool Sites, Apps, and Tools for Teachers from the Cool Cat Teacher Blog has a great list for teachers looking to integrate technology into the classroom.

5.) 21 Reasons to Stop Saying 21st Century Teacher from the Free Technology for Teachers Blog makes a great case for removing this terminology from describing teachers.  I wrote two eBooks called "Tools for the 21st Century Teacher" (1st Edition and 2nd Edition) and looking back, a more proper name probably would have been "Tools for Today's Teachers."  I have to agree with a lot of what Mr. Byrne is saying in this blog post.  We are teachers and this is the 21st century, so naturally we are all 21st century teachers.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chalkfly - Order School Supplies and Support Teachers in your Community

Chalkfly is a office and school supplies online retailer looking to match wits with Amazon, Staples, and other office supply stores.  There are several categories from over 50,000 supplies that users can choose from.  Chalkfly hopes that users will like their site because it has an easy and simple user interface which will make for a more friendly shopping experience.  Chalkfly has a 365 day return policy, offers of free overnight shipping, and 24 hour customer service.

In order to further separate itself from competitors, Chalkfly will donate 5% of every sale to a school or teacher of the customer's choosing.  Teachers can sign up and include their name and school name in the online registry for parents to complete shopping on the site for their classroom (Similar to a wedding or baby registry).  Customers can also look for a teacher to donate to even if they don't have a registry but have signed up for the website.  If a teacher is not on the list, customers can add their own as well.  If a teacher or school is not selected, Chalkfly will make the donation to a school or teacher in close proximity to the customer.  Learn more about the Registry HERE.

In order to make Chalkfly successful, it would be worthwhile to share it with local businesses as a method of supporting your school while buying supplies they already need.  Teachers could also share with parents for when they are purchasing supplies for their students in the teacher's classroom.

When doing a price comparison, they were cheaper on my favorite pen (Pilot G2) by a penny.  With free shipping and supporting teachers and schools in my area, it is a logical choice in choosing to shop with Chalkfly.  

PrintFriendly - Clean Up How You Print

As a social studies teacher I would have my students complete a current events journal by using articles found on the Internet.  I also required students to include a copy of the article for each entry.  I remember getting several pages for articles because of ads and pictures that were not necessary.  It was a waste of ink and a waste of paper.  With a service like PrintFriendly, students and teachers can use the service to clean up a website to only include the important information for a page and make it more....printer friendly.

To use the service, users can copy and paste a link and get a print preview or they can get a bookmarklet for their browser that will allow them to easily print articles from sites they visit.  It might be worthwhile to have computer lab assistants put this bookmarklet on computers in the lab.  If you have your own blog or teacher website, you can also get a button that visitors can use.

To learn more about PrintFriendly, see the video below.