Linda- In my online course I have recently added podcasts to help students learn about the coruse. At the time I used audacity to record the podcasts but in the future I may consider using Gcast. I really think that is a great way to share things auditorially.
In addition I have become a recent user of JOTT - http://jott.com/and I love all that you can do with that. I shared it with my son’s 8th grade teachers and I they are now exploring how to use it to send homework and project updates to their various classes- so when they have it figured out I will share.
As highlighed I recently used Help Guide with my Pre-Service teachers and they loved it. Not all of them are tech savvy so showing them this tool to use for themselves and with students was pretty amazing. They especially like that there was no cost associated.
I discovered Jott when it was totally free. I could use my cell phone to "call in" a message to myself during my 1 1/2 hour commute in the morning - then, when I got to work, the email would be there waiting. I used it for everything from "don't forget to take laptop to the meeting" to "pick up bread on the way home" or "just heard this artist on the radio - get the iTunes version for my iPod!!" Then, they took away that free service and now charge for it! And the monthly fee was more than I could justify to myself. Since you're using Jott now, are they still charging for cell messages? I loved it!
I too stopped using Jott when they started having a monthly charge- it was a neat thing to use and explore- but where I am right now I could not see paying for a service. If I was in the classroom and used this a communication tool with my students or parents then I might be willing to pay.
Its too interesting to know the best tech tools for class room of so many shared. Nowadays my best teaching tool is nptel courses freely available on utube. I take help from them to make my lecture notes and obviously my library resource is my authentic resource and i try to get the resource on net which is free and easily assessible.
My favorite web tool or tech application is difficult to identify. The reason is that I find different tools or applications are used based on the needs of the students and/or lessons. I find I use a lot of different applications on the computer based on what my lesson or goals are for the day. I'll try to summarize some below:
1. ActiveStudio - the software used with the Promethean Board in my classroom.
2. iWeb - I have a student who is undergoing cancer treatment and I try to keep all information relating to class online to assist with home tutoring.
3. Internet site - http://teachersdomain.org this site has SO many interactive science activities I can help students learn material we could never experiment with (e.g. inside of the body as if surgery opened it up to watch.)
I am so glad that Vanessa reminded us of Teacher's Domain. I agree that it is a fantastic resource for both teachers and students. It encompasses many subject areas and has lesson plan ideas, videos, .pdf files, and engaging on-line activities. To use Teacher's Domain effectively, make sure you register. (you have a limited number of activities you may do as an unregistered user.) In fact, I created a username and password for my school's students to use (can have 20+ simultaneously logged-in with the same user name.) I've found it helps to create folders associated with classes as well as topics for those classes. I have created groups to share with students as well as other teachers. Each group gets a Group number allowing you to share that number with those you invite into the group. This makes it SO MUCH EASIER to have students accessing the activities you provide for them. (I have seen other teachers have their students "search" for a specific activity to do on Teacher's Domain. This is a very ineffective way to access and use the site.) If you have not tried Teacher's Domain yet, please ask me for help. My experience on the site has convinced me that many more teachers could use this site if they knew how beneficial it can be for them and their students.
As far as resources go, I must admit that I love teachers http://www.teachersdomain.org/ ! There are so many other resources, but I keep coming back to teachersdomain for digital media.
My current favorite tool is the Smartboard(both the hardware interface and the Notebook software). I love the tools(the recorder is a good "poor man's" substitute for Camtasia, for example) and my kids love the interactivity of lessons I develop with it. It is by far the most popular tool for teachers in all three of the schools I serve...because the kids respond so well to it...
I also love both of these websites: tappedin.org(for a collaborative website) and wikispaces(for, uh, wikis!)....Again, because kids/teachers enjoy work on both these interfaces...
All three of these have one big selling point: they ENGAGE kids...and if you can do that, the kids LEARN what you want to teach...
Another good site for screen capture is Wink http://www.debugmode.com/wink/ This software reminds me of the Qarbon ViewletBuilder http://www.qarbon.com/presentation-software/viewletbuilder/ but it is FREE! Sorry Glen W but no Mac version.
I love the RSS feed and Google Reader. This allows me to create podcasts, save them to a podcacher and help students/teachers receive subscriptions automatically as I complete them. This works well for assessing whole group assignments and is the perfect way to help everyone learn from each individual's mistake.
I tried hard, but could NOT just list one tech tool or web application. So, with that said, here is my "List!"
1. The tool that gets the most use in my classroom is a Promethean ActivBoard (Interactive White Board.) The key to my use of this tool is "engaging students." Most days I have some activity that gets students out of their seats and interacting with the board. They all LOVE being an active part of the lesson.
2. The second most used tool in my classroom is a digital camera. I use it to document learning in the classroom and students use it to document experiments.
3. Now here is my list of web 2.0 apps that are used on a daily basis:
There are MANY other apps that I use regularly but that do not have a direct tie into my students as much as these. For those who do not tweet, I highly recommend twitter as I have developed friends and learned much from my PLN (Personal Learning Network.)
I'm also a big fan of Voicethread.com. I use it a lot for students to provide feedback to one another. Usually students create books and then use Voicethread as a publishing and sharing site. I'm also a big fan of Picnik, Gcast and the following photo enhancing/sharing sites:
Visual Storytelling is making a big comback! Comic use in education was featured in the Winter 2008 edition of the . The term 'Visual Literacy' is nothing new: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_literacy. Educators are increasingly finding better ways to use visual storytelling to make a significant impact on many areas of their curriculum.
A Best Practice for the instructional use of Comics is to start small with very narrow criteria. A first comic criteria list could include: Use 5 frames to tell the story, Use at least 5 speech bubbles, Use only photos from the server directory provided by the teacher, Show good understanding of the concept of Supply and Demand. With a very defined time limit given, students can quickly create that comic. As you repeat that assignment product, add more elements of the comic-creation tool. Many provide backgrounds (setting), creative text art (Wow! BAM!), the ability to change and edit fonts, and make multiple-page comics as well.
The easiest publishing is of course just printing the comic. Printing them on the monochrome laser printers is not always bad. Shading main ideas in colored pencil is not only very artistic, but a great way to make ‘the red shoes’ stand out on a page.
Comic Life will also export the comic as a gif image or series of images, as an html file that can be placed on a webserver for internet viewing, or as a Quicktime file. If you have the ability to place a folder of files on a web server, the html version is great because it gives you navigation buttons for multi-page comics. Example of web version with navigation. Publish as PDF online example.
Here's a couple more online tools for creating comics!
No drawing necessary, simply click and drag to create comic strips. I haven't used this online tool yet, but a teacher I know uses it often with her students.School accounts can be set up for students to create, remix and publish their work. Very cool!
Comic Creator http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/comic/
Not nearly as sophisticated as Pixton, but easy to use.
My third graders and I love Comic Life too! They are always super-motivated, and I think they really learn a lot about making sure their ideas are clear, and writing realistic, purposeful dialog.
The last few years we have started sharing the kids' stories as podcasts. The kids rehearse reading the different parts with appropriate expression, then record and build their podcast.
I tried this from the Intel thread on Photostory--but felt it should be noted here too--
If you haven't tried Animoto for doing classroom movies, you've missed out! Free and easy and a web portal interface!
Thanks Glenn W.!
Here is my latest/greatest tech tool find and it is free.http://storylineonline.net/
Online video streaming featuring SAG (Screen Actors Guild Foundation) members reading childrens’ books aloud. Each book has various activities and lesson plan idea. This month’s featured book is “ To be a Drum” read by James Earl Jones
Appears that Vanessa and I have similar taste in types of classroom tools.
Storyline Online is a wonderful site. A similar site is Tumblebooks. It's a subscription service...but you can link to it for free from the New York Public Library Website. Tumblebooks has a hundred or so multimedia books for kids to watch, listen, and read.
Go to the New York Public Library Website http://nypl.org
Click on the NYPL for Kids Link (on the lower right hand side of the web page).
Click on the Tumblebooks Button.
and here you have a choice of activities, but if click on the Storybook Button You'll see the Storybook Library.
My favorite stories are: Robert Mensch's 50 Below Zeroand Edgar Keret's Dad Runs Away With the Circus
By the way, the entire NYPLWebsite is extraordinary...what a gift! I particularly enjoy the image databases.
Google Now Includes Drawing
You can now include a drawing into your Google word docs. Nice addition!
I have done some testing with the new drawing extension for Google Docs. Here is what I have found:
I have experimented having three different collaborating editors on the same drawing at the same time and find it works quite well. Just remember that you do not automatically see changes being done by a collaborator. Force your drawing window to refresh and see changes by actually adding to the image being drawn.
You can access this “Insert Drawing” feature with a Document, Presentation, or Spreadsheet. I, however, have not figured out how to insert a drawing into a Form yet. I’d appreciate ideas if you figure out how to do that as well.
Have fun with this - I did!
Lisa Thumann (Google Educator) just started a graphic organizer doc with ideas for using the drawing tool in Google Docs
Please e-mail her at lisa.thum...@gmail.com or DM her on Twitter @lthumann if you'd like to be added to the doc
I read that in a blog this morning...can't wait to try it out! I also saw YouTube EDU....... http://tinyurl.com/dbbvh3 -no K-12 version yet!
The biggest obstacle for me is to find things that are not blocked in our district, so that pretty much eliminates many web 2.0 tools. I am with Glen on the Activboard and Activstudio software. I can not imagine classrooms without one. The teachers I train are wowed by it so I can imagine the students in a classroom. When you add to that all of the bells and whistles (slates, activexpressions, etc) you have the tools to provide engaging, critical thinking activities for any subject and any grade level.
Many schools allow Google Earth to be downloaded. I have been using google earth to create google lit trips. This was created by Jerome Burg, a high school literature teacher. They are multi dimensional learning activities that uses literature to plot character travels using Google Earth digital mapping tools. Students take a virtual field trip visiting places introduced through the literature. A trip may contain a .kmz file, podcast, imagaes and text. All tools needed to create a Lit trip and video tutorials can be found on Jerome Burg's website. You can find a short tutorial on my wiki site, http://ghholmes.pbwiki.com (see google lit trips). Google lit trips can be created by both students and teachers.
I like the name of your wiki Simply Holmes...nice sound to it. Your wiki is loaded with good information, thank you.
I have used the Jerome's Google Lit Trip site many times in my workshops and courses. What a gift to all of us. Please thank for me. I see that Jerome's profile link is part of the Global Education Collaborative Network Ning...I recognize a few of the other participants in the Ning. Jerome is in good company. (Lucy Grey is a member and she is an outstanding educator.) Both of you encourage me to get up to date with my blogs, website etc. Ning is very popular here on Long Island. I'll have to spend some time exploring the tool.
Thanks for sharing the teaching and learning tips. I like to use Google Earth too, for teaching of map reading. It is also pretty useful to attach fieldwork data (in the form of photographs, video links, routes and juxtaposed topographic maps). Geocaching can also be carried out too.
There are two free graphic organizers I like. One is http://bubbl.us. It is very easy to use, and if you register for a free account, you an save your concept maps online or share them with another user. The other is Cmap Tools. It's a free software download. There is a neat feature that helps students come up with additional ideas for the concept map - in case they get stuck & can't think of anything else to add. Just click the button that says "Suggestions" and the program scans your map for related concepts -- it lists the additional concepts on the right-hand side. You just drag and drop the new concepts into the map. If you arent sure what one of the suggestions is, then double-click it, and it performs a Google search of the main topic of your map and the suggested topic. I've tried it many times and the websites that come up in the search results are relevant, educational sites.
Elmentary teachers often complain about not having available resources for students to use in the classroom. They would like to have gaming activities that combine the curriculum with educational games that could be used in centers as well as during group activities. I have found this website to be very useful and good at increasing math scores. http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/,
If you have not watched any of the Common Craft Videos I highly recommend them as a way to learn or share how to use web 2.0 tools. I shared the "Wikis in Plain English" video with an English teacher at my school. Prior to watching the video, he was a firm believer in using worksheets to show learning. Halfway through the video, he began commenting on how important it is that our students learn and use Wikis to collaborate and share their ideas. I was surprised at his enthusiasm for the concept. As I reflected on the experience, I realized the video had guided his thinking because he comprehended it. I enjoy and have shared the Twitter, Social Networking, Blogs, RSS, Social Bookmarking, Online Photo Sharing, Social Media, and Podcasting videos. I've learned from watching and encourage you to watch some of these videos and see what you can learn.
I love http://livebinders.com/ for organizing my web resources as well as sharing with others. It's a binder in the cloud. You can create tabs and subtabs, insert your own material and search for others who may already have binders on the materials you're searching. I have found it to be a great tool!
I like the LiveBinder tool as well. I had my students teach a piece of software to the class and the student that had LiveBinder to teach was towards the end of the semester and she took all the tools we had learned and put it into a LiveBinder and then the rest of the remaining students added to it when the taught a piece of software. It sent a powerful message about how to organize their information and share it with others.
The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives. http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/
The great part of this collection is the way the music tells the story of American history. Just the songs about the great flood of 1927 along the Mississippi tells a story that is interesting in light of current events. And then to find the songs about an event from different points of view is a great lesson for students.
There are so many tools these days- and I try to focus only on the FREE ones. I have several sites in my Diigo list which give lists of tools and sites, but I really like "Cool Tools for Schools." The navigation bar at the left gives links to particular categories of tools. Of course not all tools available are listed here, but my goodness- there's more than you will be able to explore in a summer break!
Thanks for all the good ones in this discussion!
For situations where students need to "sketch" something or design a process or replicate an image, I like Queeky. It is very easy to use and to export what they have drawn as a .jpg to use in a presentation or for the web.
Intel Education has done such a superb job with a collection list in the Intel Elements Collaboration ecourse found under the resources tab. http://intel.com/education/elements I am attatching a few resources for you to review as well. I am also including the link to my resources in my shared Box.net files to assit your efforts. http://box.net/naomiharm and search for the title of Web 2.0 or any other shared folders to assist your efforts.
Best of luck to you!
I use the Promethean Plant and my white board with each content area in my class. I have created several flip charts - if I can't find one already created to use. I use the doc camera daily, and the Activ Expressions with my students. I also use the digital camera and take picture of there learning engagment...I hang them in the room to remind them of the content throughout the year that we have covered..I helps to remind them of the content when they can see a picture of themselves engaged in the learning!
If you want to try a presentation tool that really engages the class (and staff members in meetings), try Prezi
I agree with the Prezi tool. It is such a great tool to use. students seem to love the design and they also like to use it. I have them use it for their presentations instead of powerpoint. It may take some a few hours of tinkering with it, but it ends up being a great way to present information.
Candice, here is another site that is geared to K-5, but I like the word cloud generator because you can save the picture as a jpeg and you can't do that in Wordle. Here is the link to ABCYA
powerpoint & Teacher domain are commonly used in my class. It's a great help on the part of a teacher to make use of these tools.....it lightens the burden of work...nice presentation and can be stored for future use and can be revise easily. Students can learn also thru online activities.
My new (at least to me) favorite tool is http://www.flubaroo.com/ It is an online grading tool that works with Google Docs. I LOVE it! It is super simple to use....check out the overview http://www.flubaroo.com/flubaroo-user-guide Do you have any assessment tools or rubrics you like to use with your students?
I have two favorite sites.
an online binder thta allows you to organize your documents and sites into folders.
A place to add all of your favorite sites for easy access.
I love using both of these sites for training. They are great.
I have two more sites that are my favorites.
eNetColorado's DREAM site (Digital Resource Exchange and Marketplace) Lesson plans that are aligned with our state standards as well are resources such as Rocky Mountain PBS, Khan....One great place for outstanding resources... http://enetcolorado.org
Haven't checked this out yet; just read about it in Newsweek: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/03/04/is-pinterest-silicon-valley-s-next-big-hit.html
Site is called Pinterest
Some pinned photos not appropriate for classroom setting.