Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WatchKnowLearn - Free Videos

WatchKnowLearn is a great site with thousands and thousands of free videos organized into a directory categorized into subject areas. All videos included in this directory were based on teacher suggestions. All videos include titles, descriptions, age level suggestions, and ratings. WatchKnowLearn resources include videos from YouTube, Google, Hulu, National Geographic, and various other sites.

WatchKnowLearn offers high quality videos that are kid safe. The videos cover all subject areas covering grades PreK to 12. WatchKnowLearn requires no registration and is free to teachers for classroom use and to students for home use.

WatchKnowLearn is definitively worth spending time and finding the perfect videos.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Pics4Learning offers copyright friendly images for educational use. Pics4Learning allows teachers and students to use images found on its site for any type of multimedia projects for educational purposes.

Pics4Learning has thousands of images that have been indexed and sorted for more efficient use. Each image from Pics4Learning contains all the information needed for appropriate citation as well. All the photographers, while retaining the rights to their work, have allowed the use of their photos through this collection. Pics4Learning is definitely a resource to have for you classroom.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Starfall is a wonderful website for young and/or struggling readers. Starfall is free and promotes reading with phonics and phonemic awareness. This site is designed for students in Pre-K through second grades, as well as students in special education and English language learners.

Starfall begins with the basics of letters and their sounds. Starfall names the letters and their sounds so that beginner readers can see and hear the letter. Starfall then associates the letter with a word that begins with the letter. Students are able to practice hearing and reading words with the letter sounds they are working on. The practice is fun for the kids and Starfall provides positive feedback for the readers!

Starfall then moves on to making words to match prictures, reading sentences, and short stories all the while engaging the reader with bright and fun images and providing positive feedback. Starfall is self-directed so that students are able to move at their own pace. Starfall also offers printable materials to help practice writing letters and to reinforce letters that readers are currently learning.

Starfall is definitely a site worth checking out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Many Words Do You Know?

How many words do you know? Would you like to find out? Then Word Dynamo is for you!

Word Dynamo is an excellent game site from Dictionary.com . Word Dynamo is a fun way to enhance vocabulary skills. First, Word Dynamo has the user answer 10 questions to obtain a word score, and then the fun begins!

If an account is created in Word Dynamo then the user receives a customized homepage so that personal progress can be tracked. Word Dynamo covers words from all subject areas including SAT and ACT words. This sites offers challenges appropriate for all ages. In the word challenge games are designed specifically for the users skill level and as levels are mastered then new challenges are unlocked. Word Dynamo allows users to practice vocabulary skills with activities offered that include matching, crossword puzzle, writing, listening, and flashcards.
In Word Dynamo you can create an account, then receive a customized homepage that tracts your progress.

I learned about Word Dynamo from Kelly Tenkely's blog iLearn Technology. I highly recommend Word Dynamo and iLearn Technology and find out what you have been missing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cloud Computing...

A couple of weeks ago a colleague asked me to explain cloud computing...with a job title of Technology Integration Specialist, it is something she expected me to know. So I answered her question with, "you know it's when you create and save work online." After that conversation I decided I probably needed to at least learn the basics of cloud computing.

After a lot of searching and watching video after video, I began to feel I would never understand cloud computing and therefore would remain inadequate to answer any further questions. Then I came across this video: Cloud Computing - How it all Works. This video offers a nice, simple explanation about cloud computing.

Nice and simple seem to work for me...I now feel like I know something about how it works and can now at least offer an explanation to my colleagues.

Monday, November 7, 2011

PLNs - a Sketchy Explanation

While working on a presentation over PLNs, I came across this video describing how to start building your PLN. It is really a great little video that mentions various ways in which you can start your PLN and the tools that are most helpful in accomplishing the goal. I believe everyone should be activity involved in their own PLN. In effect, a nurtured PLN will grow and produce resources and experiences that will make us better teachers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Color Me Happy...

I was introduced to Color Scheme Designer during the Super ActivBowl presented by Promethean during the TCEA 2011 conference last February. I fell in love (if you can love an app) immediately. Color Scheme Designer is an app that provides a color wheel which displays complementary colors that can be added to web pages and presentations to give your work "a little something extra". Appropriate colors help alleviate distractions and redirect attention to content to you want highlighted.

Color Scheme Designer is a fun tool that provides a appropriate colors for your work. It is definitely worth checking out. Have fun and color yourself happy with Color Scheme Designer.

Bloomin' Google

If you are concerned about how using Google Apps will address the higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy then Bloomin' Google is for you. Bloomin' Google is a fabulous tool created by Kathy Schrock. Bloomin' Google is a Google form which includes an interactive map that indicates where each Google App falls in Bloom's hierarchy. The interactive map allows you to visit the many different Google Apps by clicking on the icon in the map. Bloomin' Google helps you determine how to address Bloom's using Google Apps.

At the bottom of the Bloomin' Google form is the link to the Google spreadsheet which has many, many suggested uses of Google Apps by other educators. You may also fill out the Bloomin' Google form to share ways that you are using Google Apps to support Bloom's in your classroom.