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

myHistro: A Great Teaching Timeline Tool

Tallinn, view

Tallinn, view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the great things that I have enjoyed about blogging is communicating with people all over the world. Recently, I had a message from a reader  Valeria from Tallinn, Estonia who brought to my attention a great website called myHistro. This is a great site that combines maps, timelines, images, video and puts it all together in a presentation format. This is a great tool to teach students about a sequence of events like battles and other historical events.  Click the link below for an example of a basic myHistro presentation on the battles of the Civil War.

Click here to see a good basic example of a myHistro presentation.

This is a great tool to be used in the classroom. Check it out at www.myHistro.com and thanks again to Valeria for bringing it to my attention.

Click here to read about other great timeline tools.

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Videos that Make for Great Teacher Professional Development

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

While I normality like to post my ideas and thoughts on education and technology. Occasionally, however I come across a post that is just so outstanding and on the mark that I feel it is just too good not to pass on to my readers. “Ten Videos Every Educator Should Watch (and Reflect on)” was written last February and while I have written about and discussed many of the videos contained in this post I really like the fact that they are all placed together for teachers to look at and think about. This is the time of year when many teachers have the time to look at and think about new ideas and teaching strategies. So I encourage any teachers looking to expand their teaching techniques, philosophies and teaching strategies to look through these outstanding videos and reflect on them.

Click here to read Ammar Merhibi’s “Ten Videos Every Educator Should Watch (and Reflect on)”

And Ammar thanks for taking the time to put this post together. To read more from Ammar Merhibi check out his blog “Eductechnalogy

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Best Place to Find Technology For The Classroom

picture of an e-learning classroom

picture of an e-learning classroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As my regular readers know I am always looking for new technologies to try out in my classroom. But the task of finding new technologies can at times be overwhelming. The amount of apps and programs out there is daunting at best. Often times it takes hours to find something that I think will work and feel is worth giving a try in my classroom. This past weekend however, I was catching up on some of my educational blogs that I read and I came across a post by Audrey Watters who might have found a great starting point.

Audrey Watters writes a blog called “Hack Education” and she wrote about a site called “EdShelf“. This is a site that lists hundreds of educational tools to use in the classroom. The best description is the one they use on their website that describes their website as,

“… a directory of websites, mobile apps, and desktop software that are rated & reviewed by educators, for educators. We decrease the friction of using and procuring effective technology into the classroom.”

As I reviewed the site I found it to exactly that. This is a great starting point for anyone looking to add some technology to their classroom. The reviews and ideas that can be found on this site are quite valuable and will significantly reduce the amount of time teachers spend searching for new tools and ideas. I highly recommend this site to educators looking to add something new to their class.

Check it out here.

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Visual Search Engine: instaGrok

Over the course of the the last few days my students have begun to use instaGrok as a search engine in class. This site conducts searches in a very visual way that invokes students to explore and learn. Often times I see them digging deeper into a search due to the visual nature of the the search engine. The visual nature also seems to spark  the curiosity in students to explore and look deeper into a topic. Another great thing about this search engine is the layout which provides students immediately with key facts, videos, images and other resources. Saving students time in looking for these resources next which they often need to do for many assignments. I was very happy with how engaged my students were and how they seemed to really like to use this search engine.

Check it out for yourself at: http://www.instagrok.com/

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Digital Textbooks

Digital Textbooks

I don’t think that there is any question that textbooks will be going digital in the next few years. The ability to incorporate different types of media to help students understand concepts is just to enticing. But currently there really is only a few options in creating online textbooks that are really going to work in the classroom. The first option is iBooks Author check out there video here:

The second is Moglue. I found out about this site from a Richard Byrne‘s blog “Free Technology For Teachers”. If you have note visited his site I truly recommend it. While I am an Apple fan I am very excited about anything that is cross platform. Lets face it in todays society to make effective use of a product in a school setting it has to be capable of  being utilized on Window and Mac platforms. Moglue does just that. Check out the video below and see what you think. But if you are going to spend hours creating a book you will want to make sure that it can be used on as many devices as possible. 

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Testmoz a Simple Online Test Creator

I used Testmoz this past week in class and found it to be quite useful in simple summative assessment. This site provides an easy to use interface with all of the basic question types. Results are broken down by individual questions and by student scores. They do require a one time donation to the site to support them but then you are able make as many different quizzes and tests as you would like. Once your test is complete you can either embed the quiz on  your website or provide a link to the actual quiz on Testmoz. Both options seemed to work well for me.  This is definatley one to go into the teacher toolbox for me.

Check out Testmoz at : http://testmoz.com/

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