Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tech Tuesday for May 28

Here are a couple of cool things to check out this week.


The idea behind UJam is simple and awesome. Allow anyone the ability to create music and share it with the whomever they want. Here is a video that explains how it works.

As a teacher, this could be a fun way to introduce new concepts to class and create songs to make some ideas more memorable for the students. This could also be used by students to create their own songs for any number of projects. For the musically minded, UJam is a great FREE web tool that can attract students to almost any lesson.


E.ggtimer.com is a simple timer any teacher can use. Here is how you can use it. 

Example usage:

By typing in the time you want after the /, you can create timer as long as you want. There are also some special timers you can have fun with in class or at home. 

While not a revolutionary idea that is going to change the way we teach, it is a nice little FREE web tool that can make class run a little more efficiently.

I want to thank my friend Steve Dembo for showing me these, and many more, web tools that I know get to pass on to the great educators of Grosse Pointe Public Schools.

Give them a try!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tech Tuesday for May 21

Happy Tech Tuesday! Here are some fun websites to check out.

Digital Storytelling Apps

Do you have an iPad and are you looking for apps that will allow you to make fun and exciting stories to share with your students? Well, here is the site you have been looking for. It's a simple Google site that offers a few different apps and explains how they could be used in digital storytelling. See if you can use any of these in your class or at home.

Algebra and Geometry Games

Here is a link to some fun Algebra games. The tabs say Grade 6-8, but this might be useful at the HS level. Take a look and see if these would work in your class or at home with your kids.

Gary's Social Media Count

Here is a very cool graphic that can show you the role Social Media has in the world today. Our students are responsible for much of the content that is being created on the web right now. It's important to keep that in mind as we look for different ways to infuse technology into our classroom. It might not seem important to you, but your students might be ready for something completely different.

- Give it a try!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tech Tuesday for May 14

Here are three really cools sites for the kids in the classroom and your kids at home. Take a look at these sites and see how you might use them in the classroom. Give it a try!


One of my favorite projects I did in grade school was researching my state. Every kid in class was assigned a different state and I was the lucky one that pulled my home state of Michigan out of the hat. I thought I knew everything there was to know about my home, but there was so much information that I found out about Michigan. The only problem was that I had to search high and low (pre-internet) for current information. I wish I had access to 50States.com back then because my job would have been much easier.

50States.com is a wonderful resource for all things US States. It even has information on US Territories and Commonwealths.

50States.com also offers a tremendous list of resources for kids to look at. State birds, state trees and even state songs, are all provided by 50States.com.

This is a very simple and free site for teachers, parents and students to access to find the most up-to-date information on their favorite state. This is a wonderful site for all social studies teachers to bookmark and share with students. Take a moment and see how this great site can be used in the classroom or in the home.

Walking with Dinosaurs

I loved Dinosaurs! Who didn’t have a favorite growing up? I’m actually shocked I haven’t written about a good Dinosaur site yet. The BBC has a great site dedicated to all things Dinosaur related. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/dinosaurs/ The site covers everything from the different types of dinosaurs to how fossils are formed to the theories surrounding their mass extinction.

With video and wonderful supporting stories, there are plenty of resources for many different age groups. If you are interested in having kids do research on dinosaurs, check out http://dinodictionary.com/ for all of your dino needs.

This site has everything you could possibly need from a research standpoint. Just type in the name of the dinosaur you are looking for and you will be taken to page filled with information. http://dinodictionary.com/ is actually part of http://www.dinodatabase.com, which has even more information on dinosaurs and their lives on earth. They are a great pair of sites for any kid that needs information on their favorite dinosaur.

Earth Rangers

According to their website,

Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that believes in the power of kids like you to take action to help protect wildlife. We have an amazing web site, EarthRangers.com, with information about the crisis facing wildlife (the Biodiversity Crisis) and more importantly, about what YOU can do about it. You can also find out more about some amazing animals that are at risk of extinction, connect with other Rangers across Canada and play eco-games!”

You do not have to be Canadian to want to save the planet so sign up your kids to play some fun games and learn some important things about conservation and wildlife. Every state has their own wildlife and conservation concerns and this site could be a great way to start a conversation with kids and have them look at local issues and what they can do to help. Adults around the world are working hard to save the planet, but it is important that we get the younger generations excited and educated about the dangers of deforestation and pollution.

As kid sites go, this site is fun for all ages and I found myself playing the different games for almost 45 minutes before I even realized it. I found plenty of interesting articles that kids could take home from school to read or find on their own. I found an article about a recently discovered type of fungus that turns ants in zombie ants!

I always get excited when I find little gems like this on the web. It is great to see sites that are dedicated to teaching kids about very important issues. EarthRangers.com is a wonderful site that is worth sharing with your kids. Heck, it’s worth sharing with your friends. You might be surprised at what you will learn once you log in.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tech Tuesday for May 7

The example I posted might have trouble loading on the school computer. Maybe it's just slow today. Check it out at home if the computer is taking too long to load it.

Blabberize is a very fun site that could be used in a single class period in the computer lab. It's an online computer tool that allows you to add your voice to a picture of your choosing. The cool part of this is that you can select the area over the images mouth and the mouth will open and close while it plays the recorded message.

The message can be recorded via microphone, audio file or your cell phone. The cell phone option is really neat if you do not have a microphone on your computer at home. It gives you a number to call and a 4 digit pass code and the site will record your voice and save it to the picture you have selected.

You could use this as a fun option for students to find characters from a novel and record their favorite line or lines from the story that best suit them. At the end of the class period, you could play a selection for the class. If you are a History, you could use the site to have kids record parts of speeches for historical figures.

This site might not revolutionize education as we know it, but it is a nice tool to have in your drawer if you decide to do something a little different with your students. If you are not sure how to use it in class, just show the students and I'm sure they can come up with some fun ideas for class projects.

Here is my goofy example. It only took me 5 minutest to put together.

Try having some fun with Blabberize and see the silly thing you can do with it. You might just want to create a few fun pictures and place them in a Power Point or on your class website. Give it a try!