Monday, April 25, 2011

Flash for iPad

That's Right... Use FLASH on your iPAD!

Thanks so much, Karen, for showing me Splashtop Remote: an app available in the App Store for $2.99!  I'm the type that has to 'see it to believe it.'  So, when Karen was telling me how she uses her iPad as an air tablet in her classroom (wireless writing pad $399 and remote), I was super excited to try it out.  Then, she further explained how her students could now play the once forbidden Flash games by using her iPad.  Of course, as soon as I got home, I had to check it out.

It took me about ten minutes to set up the install:
1.  Download and Install Splashtop to your computer (free download, click here)
2.  Visit the App Store and install your new purchase.
3.  Know your computer's ip address (click here)
4.  Open the Splashtop App on your iPad/iPod and follow the directions

*Please play the CinchCast above to hear more about installing the app and the possible uses in the class.

Whoo-Hoo!  Now, you can:

Access your full iTunes™ or Windows® Media library to watch videos and play music stored on your PC.
Play online Flash,as well as PC and Mac games
Work on your computer documents, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, from your tablet or phone.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

P.D. by P.L.N

Premium Professional Development by your Personal Learning Network

Are you a virtual social butterfly?  

Have you enjoyed watching your teaching practice transform simply by the great network of people you've met online through blogs and other social sites? 

Cultivate the Creativity of your Classroom through Connections!

Because I firmly believe in the power of networking and the creativity, inspiration, and knowledge fellow teachers have to offer, I've been searching for affordable and effective ways to enhance my current instructional practice.

By far, the best avenue I've found is my own personal learning network.  Twitter has been an amazing resource for me to gain inspirational film segments - which started TubeTalk - to use within my writer's workshop, meet other top educators, and learn about beneficial websites to use with my students.  After tweeting with friends, I quickly began to find out about many educational Nings available.  The shared resources have truly benefited my practice.  Having an international network of friends who share common interests is such a powerful tool.

Often, when I'm searching for a great idea, once I tweet about my need, dozens of friends have instantly passed along their resources.  Quality resources in the blink of an eye... in today's time (where there aren't enough minutes in the day), having a personal learning network has maximized my time with my family and strengthened my lessons for my students.

Click here to peek into my personal learning network for some of the best resources I've found!  You may wonder how one can 'keep up' with the mass streams of social networking.  Well, RockMelt has a solution: click here to read more about the best social networking browser!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Teaching Blog Addict

We are a community of teachers, home educators, parents, grandparents, mentors, and tutors. We love teaching and want our children to love learning. This site provides bloggers and readers direct access to the most amazing teaching blogs. 

Click here to view my post on TBA.  Also, be sure to click here and view the amazing: Blog Authors, Blog Hoppers, and Blog Addicts.  You'll find that you, too, are addicted!  Join the fun today and become a member.

Grab my Button for your site... let me know by leaving a comment on this post or by emailing me privately by clicking here, and I'll add your button to this site.  Teachers helping Teachers = <3  

Grab My Button

Geography Sites to Travel the World

Travel the World without Leaving your Classroom:

Google Earth started a revolution that transformed the way we teach social studies and how we could integrate other content areas with ease.  

Today, there are so many wonderful sites to support your classroom studies of geography and literature.  Our students love seeing the setting in their books come alive by their virtual visits.  Sites such as History Pin allow one to even travel back in time to the way a place use to appear in that exact moment!

360 Cities  

World's Largest 360° Panoramic Photography Community

The place where people come together to share their historical pictures and stories. Together we want to collect old photos to build up an archive.  See locations as what they looked like years ago. 
Sites in panophotographies - immersive and interactive panoramic images.

Zoom from space to street level - tour the world; Find maps, driving directions, hotels, restaurants and more.

Arounder gives travelers a vivid sense of what a city has to offer: historical cathedrals and works of art, museums featuring famous artists, local cafes and stores, breathtaking mountain-top views, quiet parks and gardens. Each issue contains a series of interesting panoramas giving you a full immersive view of the cities. Navigation is easy with Google maps of the city and surrounding area. Every issue also links to local merchants with virtual tours of hotels, restaurants, spas and stores.

National Geographic provides free maps, photos, videos and daily news stories, as well as articles and features about animals, the environment, cultures, ...

Visit my Class site by clicking here to find more resources to support your Social Studies Instruction.

Richard Byrne's site, Free Technology for Teachers, is a great resource for all teachers.  Click above to view his post for a plethora of games and maps.

Click here for United States games and Click here for World Geography games.

Interactive Universe
An Interactive Journey through Time and Space

Explore the Titanic

If you're like me, you're fascinated by the majestic ship, The Titanic.  Our students recently did a project centered around this theme after reading a short story in our literature series.  You can view some of their projects here.

I recently found another site that would have been great to have shared while this project was going on:  Expedition Titanic.  Dive deep through this interactive model to see authentic re-creations of the ship while learning about its rich history.  What a great resource!

NASA's 50th Anniversary

I first heard of NASA's 50th Anniversary from Kelly Tenkely - she's always recommending wonderful sites for classroom use.  Because of her great reviews, I knew this had to be a fantastic site.  As soon as the animation began, both of my children ran from the living room to see what the hype was all about coming from my computer.  Thus, this post was delayed because they insisted on playing for hours.  I didn't mind not only because it is a top educational resource, but also the music for each decade is incredible.  Way to go NASA!

Travel through time as you explore the past 50 years of space exploration.  Students benefit from bringing history alive as they jam out to terrific songs from key points in time, launch their own rockets, gain information via their robot guide, hear speeches from the era, and fully become immersed in science.  Click now to join the fun!

Free Quality Images for Classrooms

About Pics4Learning: (borrowed from their site):
Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students. The Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers. Unlike many Internet sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all of the images donated to the Pics4Learning collection.

You can even browse by topic, most popular, or contribute your own images!  What a safe and friendly site - free of copyright issues.  Start exploring today!  Great for ALL classroom K-12 (and teachers, too).

Microsoft Mouse Mischief

1 Computer + 1 PowerPoint + Multiple Mice = Learning that's Fun

Microsoft Mouse Mischief offers an interactive platform for all students to become actively engaged in each lesson, every day.  Furthermore, teachers can tell, immediately, which students are understanding the concepts being taught - while students receive immediate feedback and teachers allow each question to drive his or her instruction for reteaching points or enrichment opportunities.

Multi-mouse presentations are available for teachers to download already created lessons to adopt for their own use, too.  Therefore, teachers are able to use lessons that have already been shared by other teachers.  Best of all, the program is free of charge as long as you have the Microsoft software updates.  Read reviews, sample lessons, and inspired ideas here.

A teacher could start out small by purchasing 5-6 mice for small groups to use during lessons as a team, or for an affordable price, one could purchase a class set of wireless mice.  Another idea would be to add a wireless mouse to your school supply list.  Watch below how this could work for you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

MRA Hosts - Kelly Gallagher: Readicide

Michigan Reading


Hosts: an Interactive Book Club
Kelly Gallagher, author of Readicide
via Facebook

What is this event?
The Michigan Reading Association is hosting an interactive book club for anyone to join.  Simply join and begin to network with fellow educators all over the country while discussing a wonderful book.

How do I join?
Click here to view the Facebook invitation.  On the left hand side, select "I'm Attending."  You can also 'Like' the MRA Facebook page, too.

What will I be held responsible for?
You will be responsible for having fun and enjoying yourself as you connect with others, share your ideas and reflections, and enhance your classroom practice by gaining insight from top teachers in the world such as: Kelly Gallagher, Donalyn Miller, and Jim Burke (English Companion Ning) as they chime in our discussions, too.  What an opportunity!

How often do I have to participate?
The book club will take place over the month of May.  We are all very busy - MRA understands this.  Simply log in whenever you are available - even if it is only twice during the month.  Browse the posts and add your thoughts as you see fit - or just view others posts as you reflect on your own thinking.

How will I know what to discuss and when to discuss which parts?
There will be a posting outlining a general roadmap chunking chapters per each week so that we can keep on a similar pace; however, feel free to add to any conversation as it adds value to the group.

What can I do until May 2nd (when the book club begins)?

- purchase Readicide
- follow him on Twitter
- like the MRA Facebook page
- listen to the CinchCast below to further explain the book club
- get the Cinch App for your Smart Phone
- sign up for a Cinch Account
- follow this blog (on the right... scroll down a bit and add your photo)
- follow me on Twitter
- subscribe to Kleinspiration (top right side) to get email updates
- begin reading Readicide

Click Play Below: (the triangle)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Day Made of Glass

Foreshadowing for our Future... via Corning:

There is a lot of hype surrounding technology in education right now.  Most understand the added benefits; however, some are still on the fence about whether the gadgets of tomorrow are simply toys for students or perhaps an ever changing trend that is impossible to keep up with - especially considering the money involved.  To what degree should schools implement technology integration into the curriculum and content areas?  -- and with what products should one invest to get the biggest instructional bang for his or her buck?

Many districts are cutting not only programs and resources but also staff.  In a struggling economy, how can a district expect to keep up?  How important is technology in the classroom?  Can the resources we, as teachers, currently have available be effective enough to produce the same academic results as other more affluent districts?  When we do have funds available, how should they be allocated?  Are teachers 'savvy' enough to seamlessly integrate technology while still covering the standards without feeling overwhelmed?

Regardless of the answers to the above questions, one aspect is certain: our children truly are living in a would we are just getting use to.  As they're growing up being immersed in such an environment, we are training ourselves to maintain on the curve.  I reflect on my own elementary days when my family got our first computer - we used Prodigy to social network and our copy machine was larger than our love seat.  Believe it or not - Google didn't exist (how did we survive?).  Televisions were 'snubbed' in the classroom; however, by the time I reached middle school, they were a norm - in fact, we were then required to partake in certain programming.  In high school, I brought my 'pager' to school and stopped off to use a pay phone when I received a beep.  I always had spare change.  By the time I reached college, I could drive down the road while talking to a friend or family member (not that I ever did that!).  As a college student, I completed many of my courses online, participated in discussions with peers from all over the world, and never submitted an assignment that harmed a tree.  Now, as a mother, my daughter who is six has her own Webkinz account, receives itunes gift cards for holidays, downloads ebooks for car rides, and enriches her math skills using her school's curriculum created applications on my iPad through Everyday Math.  My son, who just turned three this month, handles my iPad as if it is his sippy cup.  The device is not foreign to him at all but rather second nature.  He navigates the gadget by turning it on via the home button, goes to his folder, selects the app he wishes to play, and practices his fine motor development and skills for learning.  Will my children even have the discussion when building or remodeling: granite or laminate?  stainless steal or not? or will it simply be glass -- after all, my first car was a stick shift... and I had to roll my windows down by rotating a knob on my car door!

In short, what will tomorrow bring?  What is our mission for preparing students?  Is it that kids are becoming less motivated and engaged - or are we becoming less in touch with their world?

In preparation for gearing up kids to be college and career ready, how are we best preparing our future?  How many iPads does your class have?  computers?  How is your school using project-based learning that is pedagogically sound with an emphasis on technology?  Are students working collaboratively, networking (internationally), and how immediate of feedback are we providing?

I believe the Corning model is here already... are schools?

An Educational Revolution: a must see by Sir Ken Robinson

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Access to Schoolbinders for Kleinspiration Readers

Thank you so much for subscribing to this blog, Kleinspiration.  As promised, Schoolbinder  (a great site for education) is offering our readers a free subscription to their site.  I know you'll enjoy having the access and resources. 

Please feel free to comment below on how you're using the site, how you plan to use the resources, or ask any questions you may have.  Again, thanks to our readers!

Click here to link to Schoolbinder and enter this invitational code:

You can still subscribe to our site (to the right).  I've also added my VCard via a QR Code; you can read my post about QR Codes here.  I look forward to talking and collaborating with you all soon!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Helping Students Grow with SMART

Recently, I submitted my application to become a SMART Exemplary Educator, and I wanted to share how SMART products have helped to transform not only my teaching practice, but also my student's level of active engagement coupled with academic gains... (I'd love any feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below).

Visit the SMART website to see their enriching educational tools for creative learning (click here).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

iPads for Education

A quick post for resources I've gathered:

If you have resources, please comment below. 

Teachers Helping Teachers = <3

Please enjoy the following presentation by Tom Barrett (one of my most favorite bloggers!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Peep perks up Science with IWB Games

This feature was last week's Tiny Tech Tip, but because it was such a fabulous resource for K-3 classrooms, I wanted to share the SMART Board games with everyone.  Enjoy and have fun playing while learning!

Primary students LOVE to learn about their world through their scientific eyes while engaged with their friend, Peep.  So, join the gang and surf, click, learn, and sing all while playing interactive white board games with Peep and friends.

 There are a ton of resources below to check out - all free and engaging!

Additional resources include: ( click here for their site map )
- Activities and More - anywhere science and math games, coloring page       printables, neighborhood safari, and recommended books
-  Interactive SMART Board Games
Music and Videos - free rich scientific film clips, theme songs, music, etc...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

QR Codes

 QR Codes are everywhere!  Every magazine is filled with QR, or Quick Response, codes to bring you to their site to learn additional information about a product, receive deals for upcoming sales, or gain insight for further knowledge into the advertisement or product.

On Twitter, there has been a lot of conversation regarding the place for QR Codes in the classroom.  Will textbooks be available only through eReaders soon?  Will publishing companies sell codes to SMART phone dealers as opposed to printing tangible copies?  Will teachers adopt this form of teaching?  Will schools be forced to purchase more technology due to a need for knowledge - and only being available through web applications? 

Regardless of where this will take us in the future, the information available now, is interesting.  I'm sure there is much more to QR Codes than I've mentioned - and far more than I know... I'm just beginning to explore the possibilities and use the codes myself (and loving it!).

A short tutorial on how to get your QR app and how to use the 2D codes:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Holocaust: Devil's Arithmetic WebQuest

I developed my first ever WebQuest, with two colleagues.  I've put my parts together, and would love your feedback.  My colleagues worked on the formative assessment pieces and one of the final artifacts.

Feel free to use the site for your own classroom use in language arts or social studies.  If you have ideas to add, please let me know... the best of work is always a collaborative effort of great minds!  Click here to enter: Selecting Your Fate, a virtual exploration.

Thank you to my PLN on Twitter for your AMAZING resources to include into our site.

Join my PLN on Twitter: click here and 'follow'
Follow Kleinspiration on Facebook: click here and 'like'
Subscribe to this blog, for free, by entering your email address to the right of this post under 'subscribe via email'
Build your PLN and get noticed by adding your photo to this site (to the right, scroll down, add as a follower): click follow (with Google friend connect)

Feel free to leave a comment on this post and offer feedback about the new WebQuest.  Thanks!