What's on here?

Cool finds, new technologies and useful hints for all things online teaching and learning

Monday, October 10, 2011

Digital Learning Environments

Here is another extremely resourceful site for teachers.  Not only does this one page provide a wealth of links to Web 2.0 tools but also includes resource pages on topics such as digital storytelling, Web 2.0 from A-Z, Animation Tools, web tools for collaboration, web tools for math, and more! 

Among the various resource pages on this site, there is a 4-part series called "20 Technology Skills that Every Educator Should Have."

I wholeheartedly agree that this list begins to give teachers an idea of the skills they will need.  Here are those 20 skills you should have a good working knowledge of to be considered a "tech-savvy teacher." The list includes these 20 skills:

1.    Google Tools Knowledge
2.    Google Earth Knowledge
3.    Wiki Knowledge
4.    Blogging Knowledge
5.    Spreadsheets Skills
6.    Database Skills
7.    Social Bookmarking Knowledge
8.    Social Networking Knowledge
9.    Web Resources in content area
10.    Web Searching skills
11.    Web2.0 Tools
12.    Interactive White Board skills (SmartBoard and Promethean)
13.    Website design and management skills
14.    Presentation Tools
15.    IM knowledge
16.    Video and Podcasting
17.    RSS feeds
18.     Mobile and Handheld Computing
19.    Virtual Worlds
20.    Collaboration & Communication Tools

As part of this series, there are four pages that provide links to specific tools used to address each of the 20 skills above.  All in all, another resource that is jam-packed with tools for you to choose from!


Friday, October 7, 2011

22 Best Apps for Education

Brought to you by CollaborationIdeas.com, this blog post provides teachers with yet another plethora of mobile learning apps that you can incorporate into your classroom - online and face-to-face! These apps are all for iPad or iPhone and are inexpensive at $4.99 or under. Most are even free to use and enjoy!

Some of the FREE highlights include: 

LeafSnap - great if you're students are studying botany of any sort.  It has great graphics - actual photos and not illustrations. 

Vocabology - excellent vocabulary building app with audio pronunciation of the words! 

Flashcards+ - build your own custom flashcard decks.

Human Anatomy - great visuals of the human body, including muscular system and skeletal system. 

If you visit CollaborationIdeas.com you can also find collections of a variety of tools and ideas to help encourage collaboration in your classrooms.  For instance, Education 2.0 - Updated Tools and Resources is another great find!  I'm sure you'll find many more great pages on this site too!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

COFA Online Teaching Gateway

For anyone interested in learning almost anything about teaching online, this site is a comprehensive landing spot! This site is very well organized and provides rich, professional content about the various aspects of online teaching.  Visitors to this site are provided with free and reusable video content as well as professionally-done, supplemental PDF files. Also, these supplements contain several additional sources of information will add to your library of online teaching tools.

The areas this site covers includes Content, Planning and Teaching, Case Studies and a Technical Glossary.  Under the Content, Planning and Teaching area you will find videos and materials on topics such as Planning Your Online Class, Engaging and Motivating Students, Managing Your Time When Teaching Online and much more!  The Case Studies area highlights topics such as using blogs, wikis, Twitter, podcasts, eBooks and audio in online learning. Again, these individual videos come with supplemental PDF files for furthering discussions with your colleagues.

This is an excellent resource provided to us by the Australian Teaching and Learning Council under the Creative Commons license.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

iPad Resources by Lisa Johnson

 While each of these links provided by Lisa Johnson, Instructional Technology Specialist for NEISD, could be a separate post on this blog, Lisa has done an exceptional job of collecting a vast number of resources focused on K-12 technology.  She offers this list as an iPad-focused set of resources but these lessons, ideas, and tutorials can be used in any computer-based environment.

This particular link leads to her iPad Lesson Links page but she offers a great deal more information if you care to peruse the links on the left side of her page!  What an excellent resource for teachers. We are all very glad she shared!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mobile Learning - 99 Resources

For those of you who may be keenly interested in all things Mobile Learning (mLearning or m-Learning as the case may be) here is an extremely useful and comprehensive resource on the subject.  The site is created by Educause so we know that means quality.  The tabs at the top provide access to 19 Publications, 41 Presentations, 17 Podcasts and 22 Blogs all discussing mLearning. Thanks to BSU Master's in EdTech student, Sheila Bolduc-Simpson for sharing!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

iPads in Education

Of course, no good educational technology site would be complete without at least ONE resource on using iPads in the classroom. Since I want to highlight emerging technologies, this is a BIG one!  This site gives teachers tons of great ideas on using iPads in their classrooms. The site is broken down into specific topic areas as well and gives you a list of apps you can get for your iPads based on the topic! Really nice resource site!

Simple K-12

These folks have collected so much great EdTech information on one site it's hard to know where to begin!  There are plenty of free resources, videos, e-books, etc. However, if you really want to delve deeper into their content you will have to purchase an annual subscription to the UNConference! With this subscription you have access to forums, tutorials, you own blog site and so much more.  There is pre-developed student curriculum available as well.  They boast over 500 hours of online tutorials! While this one does come with a price tag, it looks to be worth it with so much to offer!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kodu - Video Game Design

Okay, for all you aspiring game designers out there - young and old - here is a great tool for you to begin with!  Kodu is developed by Microsoft and is a free download.  The site also gives excellent video tutorials on how to begin using this application.  The interface is a bit simplistic but at first glance this appears to be a pretty robust game development application!  But it's easy enough for young people to use too!  This would be a great way to introduce topics on almost any subject while infusing that element of fun into the learning experience.  Also, have the students create their own "worlds" in Kodu and have contests to see who can incorporate the most points from a lesson - really the options are endless!  Looks like another mark for combining fun, technology, teaching and learning in one free application.  Way to go Microsoft!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Emerging EdTech

It seems that there is no end to the number of websites that are collecting free technology tools for educators!  Here is another great example of a site that is chocked full of great resources that teachers will definitely want to get their hands on.  The website link does lead directly to the Free Productivity Resources for Teachers page, but you will want to check out all of the other tabs across the top of the page for much more information.

In addition to regular blog postings, this author also provides a video discussion about the blog posting for those who would rather watch video than read the post - great for those who gravitate more toward visual learning (like me!).

Enjoy another wonderful collection of tools to help infuse your teaching world with technology!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Try Live Binders!

This is one of the best web-based tools I have found yet!  If you're into collecting information on a variety of topics then this tool is for you.  You can create virtual "binders" that can be on one single topic or many different topic areas.  Binders can be divided up by using tabs. These tabs serve as sub-topics for your information.  When you're surfing on the Internet you can automatically add an interesting site to any of your binders and keep track of all the cool information you find all in one convenient place!

This is a great tool for sharing collections of information you find on the Internet.  If you want to collect sites on a certain topic you are teaching then you can also embed your binder into a webpage or in your LMS course page for students to access.  You can really build an entire course resource area using a live binder by making new tabs for each module or subject you teach throughout the entire course!  Give Live Binders a try and see how many ways you can find to use this awesome tool!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guide to Using Free Web 2.0 Tools

Starters Guide to Web 2.0 in the Classroom

Thanks to Brian Thomas, here's a great presentation that offers links to Web 2.0 tools. Not only does it showcase the tool itself, you are also given some really good ideas for actually using the tools in your classroom! If you click on the Download button at the top of the presentation, you can also have a local copy to save for future reference!

The Educator's PLN

PLN stands for Personal (or Professional) Learning Network.  In my opinion, every educator should belong to several PLNs. There are so many of these groups to be found on the Internet today that there really isn't a good reason not to take advantage of these resources.  This particular PLN page is yet another resource that holds a wide variety of tools, ideas and teaching strategies for using technology in the classroom.  The difference with this site is that all of the ideas are provided by hundreds of teachers who are active in teaching right now.  The list is constantly being updated.  There are discussion forums, video postings, tutorials, Twitter chats and so much more.  There are also at the time of this post,  89 sub-groups you can become a part of.

If you want to become part of an active Professional Learning Network for teachers, this is the place to hang out.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools

Here is yet another site chocked full of Web 2.0 tools for teachers. This site provides you with endless lists of tools for presentations, research, collaboration tools, video tools, slideshow tools, tools for audio, images, drawing, music, organization tools, mapping, quiz and poll tools, graphing, and creativity tools. I actually even left a few out because the list is so long!  This site is your one-stop shop for access to a huge variety of Web 2.0 tools - most are absolutely FREE, and we ALL like free stuff, right?

Since this is a Web 2.0 tools type of site, as expected, the Collaboration Tools section is pretty impressive. You could spend hours on this one page alone! Everything you need to set up a collaborative environment for your students (or yourself) can be found here.  Pick several and try them out before you commit to just one though. Each of these resources has their own individual unique qualities and you need to find the one that works best with your style of collaboration.  I'm sure everyone can find something they can use here!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

25 Free E-Book Sites

This website has compiled a list of 25 websites where anyone can download free e-books on a wide range of topics.  While some of these sites want you to pay to download the "high speed" version, I found the the "slow download" to be quite speedy. Hey, the books are free, I'll wait!  And, like anything that is free on the Internet, the quality will vary greatly from site to site. However, you should be able to find some nice, free materials on a few of these sites if you're willing to spend the time to sift through their offerings. I've already found several good free resources here in just 30 minutes.  Happy reading!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pete's Powerpoint Station

Just stumbled upon this very useful site! This is the place for teachers (of any age students) to go for pre-developed Powerpoint presentations on virtually ANY subject. I can see where this would save teachers a ton of time in developing presentations for their classrooms. Of course, these are free to use and revise. You may want to revise the Powerpoint files for some of them so they suit your specific style of teaching. I reviewed a few of them and most were fine the way they were. However, some might need a little fixing - I'm very focused on making sure slides have graphics on them to help stimulate thinking and adding interest to the presentation. Some of these presentations are a bit lacking in the creativity department BUT the hard work is already done. All you need to do is add the FUN, creative part!


This site is a very comprehensive collection of Internet-based tools designed especially for PreK-12 teachers. There are so many resources on this one site that I just can't list them all! For elementary teachers, I would suggest starting with the first link on this Home page:  Grade Level Help for PreK through 8th grade. Teachers can select their grade level and topic and find a wide selection of Internet-based games, materials and activities to enhance the teaching of their lessons.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Free Tech 4 Teachers

This blog has received numerous awards including the best resource sharing site for all things educational. Richard Byrne, the blog's author, provides so many technology resources for teachers it's amazing!  Most of the resources he points out are free to use. There are even books he has written that you can download for free. These books discuss everything from using Google Docs to creating videos for your classroom. This is an essential resource for all teachers who plan on incorporating technology into their classroom. I highly recommend subscribing to this blog to get on board with all of the upcoming technologies he will uncover for teachers.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Than 100 PowerPoint Tutorials & a Free Template » The Rapid eLearning Blog

 More Than 100 PowerPoint Tutorials & a Free Template » The Rapid eLearning Blog
Tom Kuhlman is the king when it comes to designing learning materials in Powerpoint.  His end of 2010 blog post holds a wide assortment of Powerpoint tips, trick and tutorials as well as a few reall nice templates. If you subscribe to this blog you will be regularly rewarded with new inspiring Powerpoint templates you can freely use to help you create unique teaching resources.
Enjoy these resources from Tom!