The Battle of the Timelines “Timetoast vs. Xtimeline”

timeline

This past week I had my students use one of the following timeline creators,(Timetoast, Xtimeline) to discuss the major events leading up to the Declaration of Independence. Since both of these tools are free and simple to use I thought that they would be a great fit for my class.

Both tools required no instruction to use and my students found them easy to navigate. They do require the latest flash player and an updated web browser. As my students progressed with these tools I did notice that not having a spell checker was an issue. Since nothing was underlined red they assumed everything was spelled correctly, which was not the case. But as far as use and functionality they both seemed to work well for my students.

From a teachers perspective I found that timetoast was a bit friendlier to use. Timetoast has a text view option that allows you to see all of the content for each date so that you do not need to click on each event to read the student material. This was really helpful and saved time in the grading process.

Check both of these tools at the following addresses:

Here is a link to a previous post on “14 Ways For Students To Create Timeline

15 Free Safe AVATAR Creators

Every year as my class begin to create their online blogs they always want some type of unique avatar to represent themselves. After a long talk about he dangers of an online presence and why not to use their real name, birthday and image of themselves, I point them to the following safe list of avatar creators. These sites are all free avatar creators. This list also represents the most popular avatar creators among my students. If you have another that is popular with your students and is free please drop me a line and let me know.

  1. DoppelMe – Free Dynamic Avatars Create simple cartoon characters to represent ou as your avatar.
  2. Create Avatar – South Park Studios Create a South Park Avatar to represent you.
  3. Marvel Create Your Own Superhero | Make Avatars with Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Thing, Wolverine, and more Marvel Characters | Marvel.com Simple and easy to create superhero avatar creator.
  4. Toy story toy creator Create your own Toy Story avatar.
  5. M&M’S® Become an M&M’S® Character: Home Create your own personalized M&M avatar.
  6. Raster Boy Avatar Creator Easy to create full body cartoon Avatar.
  7. FaceYourManga.com | Shake Yourself! Another simple cartoon creator.
  8. Lego Avatar Creator Easy Avatar creator that creates Lego Avatars.
  9. Makewee Wii Avatar Creator just like the the Wii console.
  10. Clay Yourself! | Hotels.com Create a claymation avatar.
  11. HeroMachine 2.5, Superhero Generator, Create Your Own Hero – UGO.com Super Hero Avatar creator.
  12. avatarizeyourself.com Create an Avatar movie Avatar. Upload your own picture and then turn yourself blue.
  13. Wimp Yourself Diary of a wimpy kid avatars.
  14. Portrait Illustration Maker : Free Illustration Generater! Simple to use avatar cartoon character creator. Has many different options and styles.
  15. Voki Home This site allows you to create animated and speaking avatars. You can post a link to these speaking avatars on to your website. They can not however be downloaded.

 

Teaching Channel “Reading Like a Historian”

Question mark

Question mark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past week our school has been focused on the use of questions in the classroom. As I began looking into the many approaches and types of questions teachers can use effectively in the classroom I came across a great video on the Teaching Channel. This video was titled “Reading like a Historian“. I found this video quite informative and a great starting point for our teachers to begin discussing the use of questioning in the classroom. Take a look and tell me what you think or stories you have of using questioning in the classroom.

Click here to watch the video on the “Teaching Channel”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Video Project:Free Sound Effects and Music Tracks

As the year progresses and my students begin to look for new ideas for projects they begin to see the value of not only sound effects but sound tracks. Music is a powerful element in a movie. Which leads them to begin using music in

Iconic microphone image based on the design of...

Iconic microphone image based on the design of the RCA Type 77-A microphone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

their videos. This ends up causing some copyright issues. But finding sites and collections of audio files that are safe for school projects and without violating copyright laws can be a bit difficult. Below is a list of sites that me and my students have compiled over the years that provides students with almost all types of audio files that they would need to create most types of video projects or podcasts. All of these sites do provide free audio files however there are files that are for sale as well so students should be aware of this before they randomly start looking and downloading files.

  1. soundzabound – Royalty Free Music for SchoolsThey state the following on their website “the ONLY royalty free music library which meets all the licensing and technology requirements needed for education!” You do need to create an account. There are a great selection of sound tracks with many different genres.
  2. freeSFX.co.uk – Download Free Sound Effects List of many different mp3 sound effects from nature and man made. Worth a look for sound effects for movies.
  3. Royalty Free Sound Effects (FX) Library for Download  Great collection of sounds and simple to search
  4. Free Music Archive  Great collection of music that can be used for school projects and podcasts safely and FREE.
  5. Free Sound Clips | SoundBible.com  Another great collection of sounds and music that is royalty free and safe for podcasts and school projects.
  6. Free Stock Music for Educational Use  The name says it all great for sound tracks for movies.
  7. Free and legal music downloads – Jamendo
  8. freesound :: home page  One of the biggest collections of sound effects and music on the web. Great site to start with to find sound effects.
  9. Freeplay Music, Broadcast Production Music Library, Free and Mp3 Music Downloads, See Usage Terms. Good site for sound track music for videos.
  10. Mp3Skip.com – Free MP3 Downloads  Another good site for video music.
  11. film music | mobygratis.com  Really good music for films.
  12. Danosongs.com Free music site for videos.

Here are some past posts on Audio resources that might also be helpful.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Four Free Online Audio Editors

Well is that time of year again where students start to create projects. As always I spend time talking about copy-write
Audacity screenshot of Chromatic Fantasia (Bac...laws and what is and is not acceptable use of others material. This always leads to a lot of frustration on the part of students as they look for music and audio files to add to their movies, podcasts and radio plays and other assorted multimedia projects. To help my students I have over that past years bookmarked many different sites for students to use in creating their own music and audio files. There are many different options out there for students to use. The following four however seem to be the ones that my students have used over and over again. They like the simplicity and they all provide just enough instruction and materials to make it easy for students to create their own audio files. But the two best things about these four sites are that they are free and online.
One word of warning!! Have students create these files as the last thing that they do for their projects! They enjoy making music and can spend hours on these sites.
  1. Creaza    This is a free audio editor that is great for making podcasts, sound tracks and other audio projects. It has a simple to use interface that is typical for this type of application. Like most audio editors Creaza allows you to add files along the timeline and over multiple channels. You can also record sound and add it to your project. This is a free application but does require that you create an account.
  2. beatlab    Allows you to simply create your own background music and short music clips for videos and podcasts. This is a simple to use site that can be a lot of fun.
  3. Musicshake     This another free site that allows you to create sound tracks and audio tracks. This site is great for making podcasts, sound tracks and other audio projects. It has a simple timeline interface like other audio editors that allows you to have multiple channels. This site also works connects well with YouTube and Facebook. It is worth a look.
  4. FileLab Web Applications    This site allows you to edit audio and share them on the web. This is a free site and quite simple to use. Can only be used on a Windows machine. Again another typical audio editor.
Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Edtech Resources for Students

This year I have put together a list for my students of five sites that they might find helpful in their classes. These sites are ones that over the past few years my students have routinely used. I do not necessarily think that they are all great but there is something about them that students seem to like and have proven to be helpful in their studies.

Search Engines

InstaGrok: This is a great search engine that shows how facts and concepts are related. This is a great visual tool to teach kids about how searches are conducted on the web.

Fact Monster: This site allows students to find information quickly and keeps them on one site so that they do not get lost in a variety of links looking for information.

Images

Pics4Learning: Great website for students to use to find images for projects and other assignments. Teachers can use and feel safe that all images found on this website are appropriate for school.

Writing Tools

Wordsmyth: is and easy to use dictionary that provides definition pronunciation and alternative words for students to use.

Bibme: Is a great free citation and bibliography maker. It is simple easy to use and auto

Image representing BibMe as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

fills in a lot of details for the students.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Teacher Resource Edtech Tools

With the overwhelming amount edtechtools that can be found on the web, this is the first post in a series to highlight some that I

Classroom

Classroom (Photo credit: James F Clay)

have found useful in the classroom and are FREE!!

The focus of this post are some TEACHER Tools that I have found useful to use with my students.

  1. Dropbox:  This storage site has proved to be an extremely useful to store and access my files anywhere on any computer. Also the addon of DropitTo.me has been useful for my student to turn in their work. This is a must look at for all teachers!
  2. Classroom Timers:
     Classroom timers have become a staple in my class and are an excellent way to keep students on task. This website provides a list of different types of timers and all are free to use. online-stopwatch.com
  3. Duplichecker: This is a great plagiarism checker and will also check attached files. This is a free site and a great resource. I also have a list here of other plagiarism checkers.
  4. Testmoz: As they state on their website, ” Testmoz is a test generator that sports 4 question types, automatic grading, a really simple interface and detailed reports.” Have used this many times and found it to be very useful.
  5. QuizSnack: Is an easy way to create polls and surveys and post them to a variety of different websites.
Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 734 other followers