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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Scholastic: Interactive Whiteboard Activities

Like every teacher I am always excited to find good resources. Over the past week I came across a great resource site for interactive whiteboards. This site contains many resources for Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, and others. The activities and media shared on this site are high quality and cover many different areas of study within each subject area. Many of these activities would be a great supplement to any teachers curriculum.

Check out this great resource at: http://teacher.scholastic.com/whiteboards/languagearts.htm

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Visual Digital Library

WDL

So often my Jr. High students seem to lose interest in their research and begin to complain that they can not find any good information. Wikipedia and other informational websites by their nature are not designed for younger students. So after the first few minutes of searching student interest is lost and they are off task. So I began looking for another website that might hold their interest a bit longer and found one that seemed to fit the bill, “World Digital Library“. This site provides images and a timeline that students can use to search for information on historical topics world wide. The great thing about this site is that it is very visual and seemed to captivate and keep student attention. There was a good amount of information on the website and I found it be a great starting point for students with research projects.

Check it out at World Digital Library http://www.wdl.org/en/

Below are some resource for other historical resources.

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QuizMEOnline Social Networking & Studying

This past week I was looking for a website to easily create online quizzes and tests that I could use to quickly assess my students to make lesson adjustments. As I was looking at the different alternatives available for teachers to create quizzes I came across QuizMEOnline. I found this site to be interesting and possibly useful for some teachers. This site allows students to social network and create study groups and other resources. Teachers can also create classes and and then provided quizzes, flashcards and many other resources for students to use in their studies. Reminds me of another classroom management website called MyBig Campus. This site is free and very simple to use.

Take a look and see what you think QuizMEOnline.

If you are interested in a simple quiz maker for your classes check out my post on Testmoz

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Making Citations A Breeze (Three Great Resources)

Cite This For Me

Helping students with their bibliography for their papers is always frustrating and confusing for my Junior High Students. So this year I had them use three great resources that helped them to create their bibliographies without all of the usual headaches. The three sites caught my eye this year they were CiteThisForME, Easybib and Bibme. Not only did these sites really seem to alleviate many of the citing issues for my students they were easy for them to use and created great bibliographies for my students. These sites makes it simple for students to select the correct source and enter needed information to create their citation. Then students just click on the copy and paste button and paste the citations into their works cited or bibliography page. Many of the students said that they will bookmark these sites and use them again in the future. These tools will be helpful to all students check them out at the following addresses:

  1. Cite this for ME: http://www.citethisforme.com/
  2. Easy bib: http://www.easybib.com/
  3. BibMe: http://www.bibme.org/
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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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