Monday, January 31, 2011

Qwiki - a Whole New Way to Get Information

I recently learned about Qwiki - a new way to search for information.  When I was a student, we used encyclopedias to get information.  All of the information came in the form of print and images.  Well, now we have Qwiki, a multimedia encyclopedia, and it is quite impressive!  Take a look for yourself!  I found it to be an interesting informational experience!  I think students who are doing research will enjoy this type of resource.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Week's Tip

This week tip is about using You Tube videos with your students.  In our district You Tube is blocked to our students, and I agree that it should be.  Recently I've been working on putting our health units on the human body onto Smart Notebook in the form of online interactive lessons.  Part of my interactive lessons involves using You Tube videos to enhance the lesson.  When we are learning about a body system, I will show the lesson on the smart board and then link an image to a You Tube video for the class to watch.  Since we have one-to-one computers, I have been trying to find a way to upload the You Tube videos directly into the Smart Notebook lesson. 

Recently I came across a site called Clip Converter.  It allows you to download any You Tube video onto your computer by just copying and pasting the URL into the Clip Converter site.  I then download, save and insert the video directly into Smart Notebook. You need to convert You Tube videos to FLV for Smart Notebook.  I found this method to be simple and easy.  It works great because my students can view the You Tube video on their own without needing to go onto the Internet.

I recently helped students in Brenda Rapp's class use You Tube and Clip Converter to prepare videos to show at Thursday's Quest Open House.  I had fun working with these students and now Mrs. Rapp has a You Tube site!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This Week's Tip

Here are a couple of tips about Gmail that I have shared with a few teachers.  They have found these tips useful and so I decided to share them here with you!

Bonus add on! (Which means I forgot something in the above tutorial!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

QR Codes - The Next Big Thing

This is what a QR code looks like!

I could take the time to write all about QR codes or even make a tutorial about them, however, there are so many great resources already on the Internet on QR codes, that I've decided to use them to tell you about this neat tool.

What is a QR code?  Learn what they are here.

Find great ideas of how to use QR codes in the classroom here.

Check out these great resources on QR codes in this Livebinder.

Here are some more ideas on how to use QR codes in the classroom.

Click here to see one way to make your own QR code.

Here is the Google presentation I made to help explain QR codes to our 5th grade class.

Here is the QR reader, Quickmark,  that I downloaded for our students to use on their laptops. It worked very easily!

We have been using QR codes with our students and I have downloaded an app on my android phone.  Check out possible apps here.

Well, that about wraps up my resources on QR codes.  If you would like a live demonstration of how QR codes work, I'd be happy to show anyone who stops by my classroom.  I definitely think younger students would benefit from using QR codes to take them to different sites on the Internet. I know our students absolutely love using these for learning!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This is an Amazing Timeline!

The British Libraries out of the United Kingdom has a very neat interactive Timeline!  With a simple click you can launch an amazing 3-dimensional page.  The Timeline includes samplings from literature, sociology, history, everyday life, science, technology, explorers, medicine, and more.  The timeline covers events starting at 1210 and goes to the present.  With another click, you can zoom from one century to another.  Some events even include audio.  

There is an option to save your favorite items to your timeline so that you can retrieve an item quickly.  I could see using this timeline to enrich a lesson.  I can also see students searching the timeline for research and information.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

How Geeks Show They Care

Geo Greeting is a site that allows you to send a greeting in a very unique way.  It uses Google Maps.  The creator became interested in seeing how many buildings looked like letters of the alphabet when viewed in Google Maps.  So Geo Greeting sends a message using various buildings from around the world to show each letter of your message.  The message you create can be emailed to friends or you can copy and paste the URL.  Each letter will then include a pop-up showing the letter and the name of the building and its location.
Click here to see the Geo Greeting I made.  Neat, right?

I plan to use Geo Greetings with students.  They will send a message to a friend and we will explore Google Maps as well as have fun.  Geo Greetings could also be used to send your students an important message or directions.

Would you like more ideas about using Google Earth in your classroom?  Click here

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Friday Fun

Happy Friday everyone!

Make-a-Flake is a neat site where students can create their own snowflake.  They use virtual scissors to cut into the virtual paper.  Then they can preview the snowflake and choose to email the snowflake or download the snowflake as a JPEG image.  We're going to have students create snowflakes and then save them as their desktop image.


Winterbells has a challenging game where you have to make a rabbit jump and reach as many bells as possible.  I was able to get a high score of 2100!  Here's the proof!


Line Rider is just plain addicting!!!!  The challenge is to draw a line and then see if a little character can ride the line you drew.  Try as I might, I was not successful with a loop nor did I manage to not injure the little guy.    I found Line Rider to be challenging and addicting at the same time!!!

Need more Friday Fun?  Check out the sites on my Weebly!  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Artistic Talents Show Through at This Site

Odosketch is a simple, yet powerful, on-screen drawing tool.  It provides a palette of colored pencils and a blank page.  Check out my drawing!

My favorite part of Odosketch is to look at art created by others.  Just visit the gallery, click on a drawing you like and watch a replay of the creation from start to finish so you can see exactly how the artist completed the sketch.

Viewing a slideshow is another tool available at Odosketch.  Just click on Sketch Slideshow and watch replays of sketches from the gallery.

Note:  You do need to sign up for a free account to save your drawings.  You can also use a screen capture to get a copy of your sketch.

Ideas for the classroom:  
Students can illustrate stories.
Students can show their artistic talents.
Use your projector to show a slideshow between transitions.
Please add your own ideas by leaving a comment.

Here is another site that allows you to draw a picture and then replay it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fifty States in Fifty Days!

Roger Johnson traveled the 50 states in just 50 days!  He had his picture taken by a welcome sign in each state, therefore, he calls himself the world's first self proclaimed welcome sign photography expert.  At his site you can click on each state and see Roger's picture along with general state information such as the flag, seal, flower, bird, etc.  There is also a link to each state's official website.  You can see the actual route that Roger took to visit all 50 states and much more.  I plan to use Roger's site when we are learning the 50 states this quarter in social studies.  

A quick side note:  Click here to see which state's welcome sign is Roger's favorite under the FAQ's section.  

You might also check out Postcards from America.  This is another site that shows the travels of a couple who traveled all 50 states!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Infographics Are Great Discussion Starters

Have you heard of an infographic? It is a visual graphic of information and they are popping up all over the Internet.  Infographics are interesting to look at and can be great discussion starters for your classroom.  I plan to incorporate infographics into our morning meeting (bell work).  Students will need to read and analyze the information and data presented in the infographic and will need to interpret the data to make conclusions.  They can also compare and contrast data.  Using an infographic students can state opinions and debate a point of view.  I think these neat visuals lead to many higher level thinking skills. 

Take a look.  Here are four infographics I found through a Google search.

#1 2000 Vs. 2010  (Click on the infographic to make it bigger)
Shows the changes in the world over the past decade.

#2 Holiday Waste
Illustrates the amount of waste in the U.S. and has very interesting data on spending.

#3 What is the Web thankful for?
Shows the top 12 items that people are thankful for in their lives.  Before viewing it would be interesting to see what our students are thankful for compared to the infographic.

#4 New Year's Eve: national traditions
Describes the different ways people in other countries celebrate the New Year.  I think Italy has a great tradition and I want to give it a try!

I like this article from Langwitche's Blog about using infographics with students and thinking about how students could create their own infographics.

Want more?  Look here, here, and here for more lists of infographics.