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Links of the Week 2010-2011

Page history last edited by Mike Trump 10 years, 6 months ago

August 30, 2010 



I don't know about everyone else but I just LOVE to pop bubble wrap!  It's a great way to take out aggressions and de-stress, plus, there's just something about the explosive SNAP, CRACK and POP that always puts a satisfied grin on my face.  Hopefully this link will help you get through the year by popping a bubble, when what you really want to do is pop a student over his/her head instead.........it's really fun on a Smartboard too!


September 8, 2010




Wallwisher is an online collaboration tool to share ideas, resources, and thoughts on a particular topic........a FREE online digital bulletin board!  It's as easy as posting stickies except for these digital stickies can have text, images AND videos on them as well as give you the option of posting either with your name or anonymously.  The possibilities are endless and it takes NO TIME to set one up.  Name the wall, put in your name and email, choose a background and click done.  Easy Cheesy.  I made one for school Technology feedback that you can look at and I hope USE throughout the year so you can see how easy it is.  Just double-click anywhere on the wall to add a stickie:



September 8, 2010




The SMART Exchange is an AWESOME website hosted by SMARTTech that contains lessons, Senteo quizzes, templates, images, videos etc. from both SMART and other teachers around the world.  You can browse by subject, grade, file type and even NC Standards!  This is a great starting point for teachers still learning how to build lessons in the Notebook software........there are lessons already finished and ready to use!  Seasoned users.....why re-invent the wheel if it's already been done for you?  This is a MUST see and can be accessed through the link above, on the Tech Wiki or through the Notebook software itself in the Gallery toolbar.


September 15, 2010



This is one of the easiest, feature-loaded, FREE picture slide-show generators I've found thus far.  So simple - you browse for the images you want to use, choose skins, effects and backgrounds then add captions if you want.  Click on the big save button and it will ask you to register but you don't have to!  Registering allows you to save your presentation so you can edit it later but it's not necessary.  Once the code is generated, you can insert the presentation into your SchoolCenter page......make sure to click on the preset pictures to the right of the presentation on the home page to see some skins (my favorite is the iPhone).  Have fun!


September 28, 2010



WolframAlpha is a semantic knowledge engine that computes computable, factual knowledge - answering questions, solving equations, providing insights, projecting future behaviors, and more.  It is one of THE most powerful knowledge engines (even surpases Google in some areas) and is more and more becoming invaluable in terms of student research and data gathering.  Check it out and type in a question.....or a math problem (make it really hard) and be amazed at the results.  I typed in "How many calories are in a Big Mac?" and in seconds had more information than I could handle (or stomach)!


October 4, 2010



Every employee in Cabarrus County Schools is active on our very own Cabarrus Google Apps server......what does this mean?  It means you have some of the most powerful collaborative tools in the World available and you can use them to communicate with ANYONE in the District anywhere, anytime.  Before, you would have to have a personal Google account to access these tools and if you wanted to share something to use at school, it was linked to that account.  Now it's all housed here on our District server and you can keep personal information personal.  Over the course of this year. we will have training on Google Documents, Spreadsheets, Forms, Presentation, Gmail, Talk, Calendar and Sites.......all with a focus on how these tools can be used collaboratively within our school and the District.  Can we say PLCs?   





ToonDoo is a super-fun comic strip generator that was designed with the focus of creating a new way of expression for students with no drawing skills required.  It's very simple to use with an intuitive drag and drop interface that is easily, and readily, learned (and students absolutely love doing so).  You can register for a Free individual user account and right now, you can also get a 15 day free trial to ToonDoo Spaces that you can set up for students to use.  It includes a customizable home page for you students to log into and interact in a secure, private environment.  If this is something you wish to continue using with your students, registration runs about 10 cents per student.




This blog ranks up there as one of the TOP 10 best resources for free technology, tips, lesson plans, tutorials, ebooks, downloads and connections for teachers available on the web.  I had the privilege of meeting Richard over the Summer and he puts a ton of work into this site DAILY; one of the most dedicated teachers I've collaborated with.  I hope you'll be able to take the time to really explore this site and subscribe to it if you follow blogs or him if you are on Twitter (@rmbryne); for me it's a no-brainer!  Riding on the tailcoats of our Goggle Docs workshop, you'll want to check out the September 30 "How to Create Self-Graded Quizzes in Google Docs" tutorial: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/09/how-to-create-self-graded-quizzes-in.html





360 Cities is a site that contains the largest and fastest-growing collection of immersive, panoramic images of cities from all over the world.  Can't visit the Pantheon in person?  Go to 360 Cities, Search and you're there!  Push that tourist out of your way and look up!  http://www.360cities.net/image/pantheon-rome#179.90,-8.10,70.0  Just about anyplace you want to go, you'll find it.  The Louvre, Forbidden City, Vatican, Globe Theatre, US Capital, Times Square.....you can even pull up a map and check out what all is available around the area.  Be careful, you may get lost on this site.....I always find myself losing track of time as I either travel to new places or re-visit old ones.  Awesome on a Smart board......send a student to the board and let him/her explore!





This is a really fun website containing news, games, activities, stories, educational videos, tours and more from National Geographic.  The activities that are presented throughout the year that correlate with Holidays and current events are fun for all ages (the recipes look great) and every grade can pull something from the site that can be used in the classroom.






Just in time for EOS testing, the BrainFlips site claims that it contains “the World’s Smartest Flashcards” and Boy howdy, it has a LOT of them.  On top of that, they are searchable, made by other educators AND……this is the best thing……you can MAKE your own!  Free.  Once you sign up for an account (took me all of 1 minute) you are able to go in make your own cards, save them and choose how you want to deliver them to your classes.  Simply name the deck, click on title to add questions and answers and save.  You can even add pictures or sounds/recordings to the cards if you want!  When it’s time to use them with your students you have 3 options…..Introduction Mode shows cards side-by-side, Traditional shows question than answer and Response allows the students to type in an answer or chose from multiple choice (would be neat on a Smartboard, they could “type” on the board).  You can also choose how the cards are shown; in order, shuffled or Smart cards (figures out which cards the student(s) is missing the most and displays it more often).  Neat.





This is an amazing site that allows you create unlimited videos that only take MINUTES to make and look like they were done by a professional.  Upload some pictures, music or video clips….or all three….and Animoto will do the rest!  It automatically analyzes everything and orchestrates a custom video that you can then tweak as much as you want; add text, download, share, even remix the entire thing.  NASA, Discovery Education, Scholastic and the School Library Journal all marvel over Animoto…..take a look!





Ok, think back to when “you forgot your flash drive, you forgot your flash drive……..”  Well, Dropbox takes care of that problem no matter where you are, what kind of computer you’re using or what kind of information you’re working on as long as you have an Internet connection.  When installed on your machine, it puts a blue folder in your My Documents called “dropbox” that is really a link to a secure backup server out in cyber-space; whatever you save there will be available on any computer that has Internet capability!  Use it to backup and save lesson plans, presentations, SMART files, etc. and be able to work on them at home without having to save them to a USB drive or email them to yourself first.  Share pictures, music, or videos  across multiple machines.  I know business that use dropbox to share files across the company and with other volunteers at home (kind of like a shared S: drive that you can access from anywhere, not just at school).  I’ve been using it for a while now and love it.  You start out with 2GB but there is an option to pay for as much as 100GB, also, you can refer each other and up your storage…….up to 8GB!  Check out the video on the site to learn more…..





The Read Write Think site is sponsored by the IRA, NCTE and Thinkfinity and contains a plethora of free lesson plans, interactive activities, games, mini-lessons, projects and printouts for all grades and subjects.  Everything is searchable and categorized by grade level, resource type, learning objective or theme and, as an added bonus, there are professional  development and Parent / Afterschool resources as well!  It’s definitely worth your time to browse through this awesome website.





Tag Galaxy is an amazing way to search pictures (Flickr to be exact) through linked tags.  The way it works is, you enter a word for what you’re searching for and that word becomes the “sun” of a new universe…...it  creates itself right in front of you eyes!  The planets that circle around this new sun represent other words, or tags, that relate to this main word.  If you click on one of the planets (tags), a new galaxy will form with the combination (main word + tag) as the new sun.  When you are ready to see the pictures that have resulted from the search, just click the “sun” and a new planet will be built of those pictures!  Click on a picture twice to see it full-size.  While browsing a universe or looking at a newly formed planet, make sure to click and drag to move it around or use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out…..you can even go full-screen! (bottom-right corner)  You have to see and play with this one to truly understand how it works, words just can’t describe how fun and thought provoking it is……beware, it’s addicting!





PurposeGames is a site that contains over 40,000 interactive quiz and trivia games covering all the core subjects and beyond (I particularly liked the Simpsons quizzes – no they’re not all educational)  Best of all, games are searchable, browse-able and even tagged for your finding pleasure!  If you sign-up (it’s free) you can even make your own games……






The Hot Potatoes suite is a FREE set of six puzzle making applications that allow you to create interactive multiple-choice, jumbled-sentence, short-answer, crossword, matching/ordering & gap-fill exercises.  It has been around for some time (you have to download and install it) and is now freeware meaning you can use it for any purpose, or project, you want!  You can access a Tutorial here: http://hotpot.uvic.ca/wintutor6/tutorial.htm  Happy hopping…..





Gaggle is a suite of online learning tools that are hosted in a safe, secure and monitored 24/7 environment that each student at NCMS has an account with.  ALL of our students have email accounts that teachers can use to communicate, send and receive homework, lessons etc. without having to worry about using their personal (yahoo, gmail, aol) ones. Several tools that are also available in this suite are collaborative ZoHo Docs (word, spreadsheet and presentation), homework Drop Boxes, Social Walls, Blogs, teacher Message Boards, monitored classroom Chat Rooms and one of my favorites, Filtered YouTube.  Training will provided to both students and staff.





With EOGs just around the corner, I thought we all (staff and students) could use some words of encouragement!  That’s why this week’s link is GreatWords; a site containing 1000’s of searchable, categorized and motivational quotes from all over – even proverbs.


 If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane. - Jimmy Buffett.




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