Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Tutoring Solution

Recently, I published a guest post on The Tutoring Solution.  I'd love for you to check out their site, view my post, and leave a comment.  I think you'll enjoy the web 2.0 tool mentioned.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

As the end of school wraps up, my posting has slowed a bit; however, rest assured, it will pick up very soon.  Cheers!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fusion Universal: Get SMARTer

I recently found out about Fusion Universal through Richard Byrne's site, Free Tech for Teachers.  As a SMART Exemplary Educator and A Plus Workshop Presenter of SMART products, I always get excited when I come across features that help connect more people with the potential that SMART products offer.  Fusion Universal offers free, short and specific video tutorials on a range of topics to help teachers become more acclimated with the abilities of the board and the software.  Click here to browse some of their featured film content.  

If you're interested in having a SMART workshop held for your school or district, click here to get more information.

A Few of my Favorite SMART Sites:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Personalize your own Yearbook with TreeRing

Have you ever noticed that school yearbooks only have about 2 photos of your child? Recently, I’ve discovered a company that is trying to change that and personalize yearbooks. It’s called www.TreeRing.com, and it allows the yearbook team to create a bulk of the yearbook online, and each student or parent creates their own personalized pages with photos and memories from the past year. Upon completion, parents purchase the yearbook and hard copies are delivered to the school to keep up with the school spirit.

Because families create and order their yearbooks directly online through TreeRing, schools no longer have to pre-purchase and resell yearbooks, an antiquated and wasteful practice that regularly leaves schools with unsold books and lots of wasted money. TreeRing’s innovative automated process eliminates the financial burden on schools to pay upfront fees for conventional yearbooks. TreeRing even plants a tree in honor of each yearbook sold.

Like the growth rings of a tree, each memory in a TreeRing yearbook is marked in a student’s personalized copy. The memories, accomplishments and activities of each student's life are capture and preserved, so that years from now they'll look back at their TreeRing yearbook and remember all of their great times they had each school year.

Yearbooks for the Internet Generation: NBC News...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Create Your Own Visual, Digital Story

Create Your Own Digital Story! click here for more examples...

It only took seconds to do... imagine the possibilities within the classroom:

A Few Creative ideas... share you ideas, too - leave a comment!

- beginning of the year 'get to know you' ice-breaker
- examples of explorers
- favorite works of art for a particular genre
- student's book recommendations
- groups of a science class can create different cubes for animal families
- professional development: departments or grade levels can share favorite website tools

If you have a creative idea, please share below!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SchoolWAX: a resource for all students!

Do you ever get lost in the 'web' or searching on the Internet?

SchoolWAX can help!  This user-friendly site divides content up by elementary, middle, and high school levels.  Additionally, they offer a section for educators.

SchoolWAX is a 'one-stop-shop' for search engines, dictionaries, essay topic ideas, citation machines, and online textbooks.  What a great resource to share with your student's parents!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Visual Vocabulary: Got Brainy?

Got Brainy is a Perfect Site for Interactive and Visual Vocabulary... what a great way to add a fun flare to words!

Students can create a BrainyPic or a BrainyFlick.  Simply upload a photo or video and add an original sentence or dialogue to demonstrate meaning of a particular word or concept.

If you don't want to create original content, feel free to just browse the submissions posted to enhance and encourage discussions surrounding vocabulary.

For quick reference, check out the word lists.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Math Train

Eric Marcos, math teacher in Santa Monica, CA, has truly enhanced the meaning of math in a project based manner that allows his students to not only synthesize the material and concepts but also publish their learning to help others, too.

His students have developed Math Train TV, short screencast segments to demonstrate their understanding.  Check out the fantastic and innovative video below:

How do the students create such videos? 
 The wonderful developers at TechSmith have made this possible through Camtasia Studios:

To view more great videos on Mathtrain.TV, click here!  There is an App, too!

Another way to have your students create short math tutorials would be to use Sonic Pics.
Tools Needed: paper or dry erase boards, pens or markers, ipod, student, Sonic Pics App

A few other Math Favorites:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Study Blue: study online or on the go!

I recently did a post featuring Study Blue, and I firmly believe in the quality of their product.  Imagine being able to study anywhere, without having to carry around cumbersome notes and books!

StudyBlue is your online home to store lecture notes and make flashcards. Study online and on your phone for effective, productive learning. Free.

Friend and amazing teacher, Kelly Tenkely, also did a post explaining how the product works and how this application can be seamlessly integrated into your curriculum; click here to read more.

I wanted to personally and publicly thank the team for recognizing and appreciating teachers across the country for hosting The Blue Apple Teacher Awards to honor extraordinary educators.  What a generous and kind gift you have offered to so many!  I'm very excited to  add the beautiful award to my desk; thank you!!

Ustream Producer

Ustream Producer has a lot to offer the field of education.  Educators can download a free version or upgrade to a pro version for a one time fee of $199. 

Ustream allows a webcam to directly stream onto the web so that multiple people can view your show at once.  Additionally, people can leave comments, and the show can be recorded for future use/playback.

Possible Uses in Education:
  • Online teaching (film lectures)
  • Have students interact globally with other classrooms
  • Record your own lessons for reflection
  • Ustream student projects to upload to your class site and share with families
  • During professional development sessions, stream your session for other's to be a part
  • Extend lessons for enrichment to post on the web
  • Record tutorials for classroom projects/web 2.0 sites, etc. to further explain 'how-to' aspects
  • Create a relationship to develop virtual pen pals
The possibilities are endless... if you've used Ustream before or have a creative idea to share, please leave a comment below. Happy Streaming!

Ustream is now on Facebook!  Get the app for free and enjoy filming today!

Live video chat by Ustream

Sunday, May 8, 2011

EdCamp Detroit Reflections & Resources

What an amazing experience: connecting educators who are committed to their practice and sharing their ideas!  Thank you so much to the energetic and compassionate group that hosted this year's enriching experience.

What is edCamp?
An 'un'conference... individuals getting together to network, share ideas, and learn so that we can all move forward together.  There are no 'pre-arranged' presentations.   The informal atmosphere cultivates an explosion of ideas all being shared at once.  Sessions mirror that of an open discussion forum guided by a common thread/theme/topic.

How can I attend?
EdCamp's are popping up everywhere!  Click here to view the upcoming locations near you.  Simply register (always for FREE) for the event, and you will be signed up and ready to participate.

Do I have to present if I attend?
You are welcome and invited to host a session; however, there is no pressure to do so.  You're welcome to simply join a session and enjoy the adventure.

What if I'm not a technology expert?
No worries - there is information and tools for every level of comfort.  The best part is... you pick your session and topic.  Additionally, by the time you leave, you'll feel like an expert.  :-)

EdCamp Resources: (click the links below)

A Few Additional Tech Resources:

My Personal Links:

Ed Camp from True Life Media on Vimeo.

Great Time Afterwards, too!  Thanks Tech Smith and Ed Camp
Loved Catching Up with Friends and Making New Ones, too!

Readicide Book Club Update

Recently, I posted an open invitation for Kelly Gallagher's Readicide.  As participation grew, the discussions became cumbersome to filter; so, instead of posting on the MRA Wall Page, we will now be posting on the MRA Discussion Page.

The conversation is still on Facebook, just in a different location.

Please click here to add your reflection and comments.  What a great way to connect with educators all over the country!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama bin Laden

Some of the best resources and lessons for teaching and learning about the death of Osama bin Laden:

Larry Ferlazzo has put together an amazing and up to date post on his site for teaching about the history and events surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden: click here.

Shawn McCusker has put together a great collection of resources: click here.

Additionally, Richard Byrne has compiled sites as well: click here.

Front Page News from Around the World: click here.

The News broke on Twitter: click here.

Sqworl: Bookmark with Style

Sqworl makes it easy to organize and share multiple links with just one url. Easy and clean visual bookmarking.

A few friends from Teaching Blog Addict had recommended this site, and I'm so glad I tried it out (thanks, Julie and Lynda).  

The site truly is simple to set up and easy to add your favorites!  I was hesitant at first because I already use so many social sites where I bookmark great finds.  However, what really sold me on Sqworl was the visual layout of the bookmarks.  I appreciate how all of my favorite sites are displayed in a layout that includes a thumbnail image along with brief description of the site.  I've compiled a list of my top sites:  My Educational Sites (feel free to bookmark these and pass them along to your friends, too).  I'm still adding to the site, and I'm sure I'll end up placing the files in a more organized manner... but for now, I'm good.  :)

If you have a site that you truly think is a top resource, please leave a comment below with the link and I'll add it to my Sqworl account - or you can contact me with your resource.  Also, if you have a blog button, leave me your link and I'll post it on this site, too!

All My Faves

All My Faves is a visual homepage that specializes in the best top 10 sites of each category. 

This ultimate homepage makes the Internet an easier place.

Each line is separated by category for easy surfing to find your favorites as you navigate the web.

This site is truly a wealth of resources - all at your fingertips!