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Links of the Week 2009-2010

Page history last edited by Mike Trump 11 years, 6 months ago

August 31, 2009




Huh?  Did he just say Twitter?  Isn't that where people just post stupid stuff like "I'm on the porch," "...going to the grocery store," or "I like to text and drive at the same time!?"  The answer; not in the professional world we don't.  Twitter is one of the BEST collaborative resource and support sites I have ever seen or had the pleasure of using.  You "follow" other educators and share resources, problems, and ideas amongst one another (most professionals follow 100s of people so the amount of information is endless if you want)  Ex. a Technology Facilitator in VA just posted "50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative and Interactive Classroom: http://tinyurl.com/ljttlk

Did you know our school is on Twitter and we have over 50 parents / staff / students following us and it's growing almost every day?  http://twitter.com/ncmstitans  We are one of 7 schools here in Cabarrus using it currently!
So you're on Twitter, now what?  For those of you looking to expand your Personal Learning Network you MUST check out this page as it contains 100s and 100s of teachers you can follow from your content area.  You'll be up and running in no time flat!

September 9, 2009




I LOVE this site and it just screams USE ME on a SMARTBoard.  Things to look at in particular are Imagination (great way to start a lesson), Planetarium (wow), Anaglyph (write in 3D!) and Strobe (not for students without making sure no one gets seizures first).  Have fun! 


September 16, 2009





Forget Powerpoint and static, user-driven linear presentations; students have been doing that since elementary school.  Say hello to making presentations through the use of digital, interactive posters: say hello to Glogster!  Glogster is a new way of looking at how to present data - students create "posters" that contain videos, graphics, text, links, stickers, etc. and they LOVE doing it!  I have several links at the bottom of this email that I URGE YOU to check out because seeing is believing....this is something you have to see and use in order to learn....


September 22, 2009



Ok, here's one I found that should make things easier for you when it comes to not being able to print Adobe Acrobat .pdf documents on these older network printers.  This FREE site converts a .pdf to a .doc Word file and mails it back to you.....simple as that.  This is also great for those documents that you'd like to edit but can't since they're Adobe! 


September 29, 2009





Remember Inspiration, that great mind-mapping software that once upon a time was on all our computers?  Or, you've never heard of it but are very aware of mind maps and visual thinking models since you see them every day hanging on your classroom walls?  Want to actually use them with your students in a way they'll love instead of remembering and gazing longingly at posters?  Well, look no further!  Webspiration™ is an amazing FREE online visual thinking, mapping and modeling tool that allows students to map out ideas, organize with outlines, and collaborate online.  Create concept maps, mind maps, idea webs and other powerful visual thinking models that enhance thinking, learning and collaboration......did I mention that it's free?


Check out some examples:



Getting Started Guide:  http://www.mywebspiration.com/gettingstarted


October 12, 2009



Need more technology CEU credits than you can get in one year?  Want to learn things that your school technology facilitator, no matter how wonderful he is, just can't offer in a year?  Want extra practice?  Look no further!  Atomic Learning is an online staff development program that contains more than 37,000 show and tell tutorials on over 110 applications as well as individualized workshops.  Thanks to a partnership with Kannapolis City Schools, we have this resource until May 1, 2010!  You'll need to keep a log of tutorials and workshops you have "attended" throughout the year in the CEU Spreadsheet and turn it in before May in order to receive credit but there is no limit as to how much you can get.  Go to http://ncmstech.pbworks.com/AtomicLearning for more information...


October 19, 2009



I love, Love LOVE this site and has quickly become one of my main sources of information for news, both National and World.  Newsmap's objective is to demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in today's news media; put simply, it is an interactive picture of the world at any given moment.  Stories are grouped by similar content and color coded with the size of each box determined by the amount of related articles that exist for that cluster.  You can quickly identify which news stories have been given the most coverage, view the map by regions, topics or time!  Want to know what's up in Germany?  Check the box on top w/ all the other countries!  Want to just know what's going on in Technology?  UNcheck other group buttons at the bottom!  Want to read an article?  Click a box!  You'll have to SEE this one to truly comprehend it.


October 26, 2009



What's a Wordle?  A new type of cross-breed poodle?  A doodle that wants to be word when it grows up?  Well, not really.  A Wordle is defined as "A Beautiful Word Cloud" but once-upon-a-time you may have also heard them called Tag Clouds.  This a simple website that allows you to type or cut and paste words that are alike in some way, tweak a couple of settings and generate a cloud that you can then save and print or share.  What a cool activity! 


November 6, 2009




PUZZLEMAKER from Discovery Education allows you to make (free) puzzles such as:


  • word search
  • criss-cross
  • maze
  • letter tile
  • math puzzles
  • and more using your OWN word lists!


November 17, 2009



Want to be able to make exemplary rubrics in a short amount of time?  How about being able to access them from home, school, or on the road?  Well, say hello to Rubistar!  It's a FREE web tool and very easy to use - what more can you ask for?  :)


December 2, 2009


Ever assigned projects to students where they had to find pictures online that weren't copyright protected?  Made a presentation or handout where you needed a picture but had trouble finding what you were looking for?  You weren't sure just where you could go or what was legal to use?  Well, here's a great site FULL of copyright-friendly images for both teachers and students!  This library consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers all in a categorized, searchable list. Unlike many Internet sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all of the images donated so no more worries!  Check it out.....

December 10, 2009



ZOHO Writer is a great solution for those students who do not have Microsoft Word at home (or have the wrong version) or have issues converting files from whatever program they DO use upon returning to school.  Unfortunately, it seems to happen more often than not.  ZOHO is a free, web-based word processor that looks and works just like Word!  It is very easy to use and students can access their documents ANYWHERE....once back at school they can export their docuement as a Word file and there you have it!  All they need is an email address to get an account...they can use their parents'.....this is a great resource.

December 21, 2009



Just for fun, Happy Holidays!



January 5, 2010




If you are not familiar with this site, you MUST go there.  NOW!  Learn NC is provided by UNC Chapel Hill and contains a plethora of lesson plans, teaching strategies, multimedia, online courses and even entire textbooks online for all subjects.  Also, everything offered is aligned with the Standard Course of Study! 


January 13, 2010



Voted Best Free Educational Website by Library Media Connection Magazine, Thinkfinity offers lesson plans, interactivities, games and student/teacher educational resources for all grades and disciplines.  Even better yet, it's completely searchable!  This is a super weapon to have in your resource arsenal....


January 19, 2010



Concerned about inappropriate comments in YouTube when you want to show a video in class?  How about the inappropriate MATERIAL available to students when having to find videos for projects?  TeacherTube, for the most part, takes care of these worries!  I say "for the most part" due to the fact that not everything you find on YouTube can be found in TeacherTube, however, you may find things that are even better.  Also, you can download any videos you find for FREE!  YouTube has its place and, if properly supervised, is an amazing source for information but for the Middle School age especially, TeacherTube is a better solution.  Signup is free and needed to have videos play without advertisements; that would be the only "catch."


Be sure to check out this TeacherTube video when you have the chance!  Yes, you can even embed videos into your web pages.....


January 29, 2010



Behave. The Rasterbator creates HUGE, rasterized images from any picture you upload. You can make posters for your classroom that from up close, look like a bunch of dots but once you step back, a huge picture appears! The image will print out in multiple sheets that you can then tape together to form the poster, or entire wall....check out the gallery while you're there!


February 9, 2010




Curriki is "an online environment dedicated to the development and free distribution of world-class educational materials for grades K-12."  It's a curriculum wiki that is built and edited by it's members - other educators, learners and experts from around the world - and moderated by professionals in their fields.  Find, edit and share lesson plans that are aligned with state standards!


February 17, 2010




Flockdraw is basically a Microsoft Paint canvas, or a small SMARTBoard, that everyone can edit AT THE SAME TIME.  No usernames or logins required....start a project and let the collaboration begin!  Paint a simple masterpiece.  Make a point visually.  Do whatever you want.  Do it together.  Grab a tool.  Pick a color.  Draw something.  Show a friend.  Show the world.  Share your vision!   Too cool.....


February 23, 2010



Ever want to show a YouTube video in class but couldn't because some idiot made an innapropriate comment (aka f-bomb) right underneath the video?  How about finding a great video but turning around a week later and it's gone?  With KeepVid, those worries are no more!  It's as simple as copy and paste.....once you find a video you want to keep, all you have to do is Copy the URL (up in the address bar, for example http://www.youtube.com/hhwnfi7weg) then go to KeepVid.com and Paste in the box on top the page Click the Download button, choose where you want the file (USB Drive is good) and that's it!  Now you have the video file to use whenever and where ever you want.....just be aware of copyright infringement (delete within 48 hours of showing) and be sure if it's a movie, it's been approved through the Media Center and that's all there is to it.....


March 2, 2010




Voicethread is a unique and super easy way to integrate digital storytelling into a project.  It's a collaborative, multimedia slideshow that holds images, documents and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in voice, text or video.  Conversations are collected and shared in one place and can be gathered from your classroom or from classrooms all over the world - group discussions all on one page or pages!  The best way to truly understand how a Voicethread works is to see one in action; check out this super example below: 



March 10, 2010



Screentoaster is a FREE online recording tool you can use to record your voice, video, desktop or ALL THREE at once! You can even just record portions of your desktop if you wish to instead of the entire screen to focus in on what you're trying to convey. Before I've mentioned using the SMART Recorder because it's on all of our computers here, however it is 1) a program you have to download and activate in order to use at home whereas ScreenToaster is web-based and accessible anywhere and 2) it does not record in as high of a quality as ScreenToaster does. Teachers have used this for their classes several ways:

  • Record Powerpoint presentations and post on teacher website
  • Record lectures
  • Visual read-alouds
  • Tutorials (like the ones I've sent out) Ex. in ELA, how to use comma properly (using Word while talking)

After you are finished recording, you can even add subtitles....choose save as .mov file or the site itself and ta-da!  See below:



March 22, 2010



SAS Curriculum Pathways is a FREE online resource site offering lesson plans, activities and resources directly aligned to the NC Standards for all subjects grades 8-14.  There are over 1,200 lessons currently available, many of which are interactive and work great on a SMART Board!  This is a must-see program. 


March 31, 2010



What's a Voki?  Only one of the coolest avatar (talking voice character) creators on the web!  You can create cartoons that look like yourself, or about anything you want (Stephanie Bruner is a Panda http://bit.ly/dovsNf) and embed them into your school web page.....these speaking avatars can add a more "human" element whatever you are trying to convey online.  Vokis are a great way to get information to students in a whole new way....and they love them!  Check out one of mine below:





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