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.

 

Hundreds of Great Ideas and Just One Classroom!

Well it is that time of year again and I can already hear the school bell ringing. Like many teachers I am hitting the web and my classroom resource creating and organizing lessons. As I peruse the web looking for ideas and resources I can feel my stress level rise as I see hundreds of ideas and resources to use in my classroom.

The problem is the web has so many great ideas that it can be overwhelming. Just today I came across two great posts one from edudemic.com titled “50 Educational Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About” and Getting Smarts “50 Essential Edtech Tools By Category” each had 50 different tools or resources. This just added to my stress and frustration about what to do in my classroom. I quickly realized that I need to have a specific goal in mind so that I can focus on one or two aspects of Edtech in my classroom. So over the next two weeks I will be posting about 4 or 5 really good tested Edtech tools to use in the classroom. Each post will focus on a specific content area with Common Core in mind. My hope is to help myself get organized and maybe help someone else out in the process.

GAME ON! as the 2012-2013 school Year starts!

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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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New Year! New Whiteboard? Here Is Where To Start!

So, if you like many teachers in the country received a new Whiteboard in your classroom this summer you are probably wondering how you can use it. I was in this position a few years ago. The whiteboard I received came with no training or help just the expectation that I would incorporate this tool into my classroom. Well like most technologies there are some things you need to know to effectively incorporate this technology into your classroom. Often there are help files and manuals that come with these new whiteboards but they are not enough to really allow you to truly integrate this tool into you classroom. Some of these boards like the Promethean boards have a great website to assist you.  Promethean Planet  “http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/”, this is a great website that provides example lessons and tutorials on almost all areas of their whiteboards. There are also some third party websites that have been truly helpful in learning how to incorporate whiteboards in the classroom.To help you get started here are a few resources I have used over the last few years to assist me in using my Whiteboard.

Other Resources:

  1. Promethean Planet
  2. Whiteboard Training
  3. Polyvision Tutorials
  4. SMART BOARD for BULLDOGS 
  5. Activeboard Resources 
  6. Whiteboard Tutorials 
  7. SMART Board Tutorials 
  8. Whiteboard Resource Room
  9. SMART Board Resource
  10. Whiteboards with Math Tutorials
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Sustainable Forestry Tour

I am currently taking part in the North Idaho Sustainable Forestry Tour.  Check out their Facebook page by clicking here. As we toured the Chilco Lumber Mill and the Inland Empire Paper Mill today I was struck by the amount of technology used now in these industries. At both mills most of what we saw was automated machines running things with just a few workers monitoring the computers. In both cases less than 15 people were running the entire facility.

In the image below the people you see in the lower left hand corner are those of us on the tour.  In this particular area of the mill there were only two to three workers running the entire cutting portion of the mill. There was enough lumber cut at this location to frame 4 to 5 houses an hour. The technology employed here not only cut the logs but also computed the best way to cut each individual log. Every log run through this portion of the mill was scanned by computers at least three times to ensure the best cut and optimal amount of lumber generated. This was all done with three workers. Every portion of the log is used to generate their lumber or sold to other companies to create other products. The efficiency was extremely efficient and very impressive.  This has been a very enlightening tour so far and am interested to see the actual logging tomorrow.

Chilco

Technology

Technology at work in the Lumber Industry

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How Students See the World

The video below was a project asking students to show the world as they see it.  This is a very interesting video that poses some serious questions for educators.  We all know that every generation is different and to be a successful teacher we have to adapt to meet the needs of the current generation. The integration of technology for the current generation is not a gimmick or fad it is how they interact, learn and live their lives. To be a successful teacher and reach the current generation technology is now a key component. Watch the video below.

Click here to see the project

http://visionsofstudents.org/

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