Monday, February 7, 2011

Tech Tuesday February 8

Happy Tech Tuesday everyone! Here is a collection of goodies you might want to use in your classroom. I've provided more information on the tech conference I'll be hosting with Wayne State University on May 7th.

Stag'D! - Here is a great site that I heard about from @ktenkely and her blog iLearnTechnology. Check out the complete review that she gave the site here. Long story short, Stag'D allows students to tell stories in 3D. I can see this being used in many different ways in my English class. I could have students use it to re-create events from stories we are reading to emphasize themes, symbols, motifs, etc. Social studies classes could use this to re-create historical moments or speeches. It is another fun and interactive tool that allows students to not just learn material, but to create with it. Creating with the new information has made a real difference in my classes and I think Stag'D is another great tool to facilitate that creativity.

Learning Word Order on the SmartBoard

Here is a nice little site I came across that will allow teachers to use their Smartboards in class with the elementary Students. Click here to be taken to a fun site that allows students to manipulate the words on the screen and place them in the correct order to form a coherent sentence. The cool part is that the computer will say the word that is touched by the students. Once all of the words are in place. just touch each word in order and it will read the sentence to you.

This site has great programs that will work wonders on the SmartBoard. Under Social Studies, there are some games that require students to touch and drag the names of States to the correct location on the map.

At times, I know that I have found it difficult to find applications to use my SmartBoard effectively. This website is a great resource for elementary and middle school teachers looking to find ways to get their students up out of their seat and actively participating in the class discussion. Take a look around and see if you find something particularly interesting and share it with others.

MathTrain.Tv is a wonderful site provides more Math help through video, but the thing that separates this from other Math sites is that the videos are created and uploaded by students. It's students helping students. This is a great concept to explore in your classroom. Imagine offering credit or extra credit to students that create Math videos to post to this site or even your own school website. Sometimes we learn ideas better if we have to teach them. This site is a great example of how Math can be interactive and use technology to spread ideas.

Here is a great site for teachers that want to show some youtube videos but might only want to show certain selections. Tubechop is a website that lets you take any youtube clip and chop it down to size. It is very simple to use and does not take very long. Just select the video you want, select the portion you want to watch and click the chop button. You will be given a link or a code to embed into a website. Below you will find a chopped version of The Ghostbusters Music Video by Ray Parker Jr. The orginal clip has an extra minute at the end that I don't need to see, so I chopped it out. Take a look at the video.

For those that like to show video of interviews or clips from movies, this is a great way to condense that information. No longer will you have to waste class time searching for the right part of the clip you want to show. You can set it up ahead of time and post on your website for kids to use safely.

Project PLN - The Passion Issue

Here is the February Issue of Project PLN. It is a collection of post from teachers all over the country explaining why they are passionate about education. It's a great read and I hope you will take a second to look it over.

Edcamp Detroit

I have one teacher from North and a student teacher from South signed up for edcamp Detroit. Over 60 educators from all over the Mid West and Canada have signed up. Come join the fun on Saturday May 7th.

Last May, a bunch of teachers organized an event called #edcampPhilly. The event was an unconference. The cool thing about an unconference is that all of the sessions are run by the people who show up. The schedule is loose to allow people to talk about whatever they want. #edcampPhilly was a huge success and edcamps started to appear all over the country. I attended one in New York City and Kansas City to see how they worked and meet some friends that I've been working with online for a few months. After seeing how they operated, I'm proud to announce that #edcampDetroit is open for registration! After tons of planning and organziation, we have a location (Wayne State University's College of Education), a date (Saturday May 7), Sponsors (Click the link to see. More are being added every day) and a price (Free!).

I have spent a ton of time this past year attending conferences and learning many great things. Despite some of the awesome sessions I attended, I always seemed to learn the most from talking and sharing with other teachers around me. The purpose of an edcampis to connect the teachers directly. Teachers have so many great ideas and practices, but they are not often given a chance to share them with others in their own school. Edcamp is a way to bring these teachers with great ideas together from all over to help the students in the classroom.

I would love to see a strong showing from my District at this event. I think I teach in one of the best districts in the country and would love to show everyone the amazign things that our teachers do each and every day. This conference is not a tech conference! This conference is about sharing ideas that work. Best practices for teaching various subject matter. Administrations isues could be addressed. There are countless topics and many conversations that can be had because we all work so hard at our jobs and it would be just greedy not to share with other teachers eager to learn.

We are limited in space (250 Max), so please click here to register. Space is filling up and will get jammed after we spread the word in March at MACUL, so sign up sooner than later. Maybe our district would even give us conference or workshop hours for attending (cough cough hint hint). Please pass this conferecne along to any other teachers you might now. A ton of work goes into putting on a free conference and I would love to share it with some of the best teachers I know. Thanks in advance.

Here is a video #edcampPhilly put together that does a nice job explaining #edcamp.

Give these great tools a try and see what they can do for you and your students.