Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~Author Unknown

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Online Gradebooks and Rubrics

Online Gradebooks
If your looking for a great way to keeps track of grades online Learn Boost is a great option. This site is free for teachers, standards supported, safe and secure.



Rubric Makers
These sites our great for finding or creating tons of different rubrics.
Rubi Star
Rubrics and Rubric Makers by Teachnology
Kathy's Schrock's Guide For Educators

Friday, November 5, 2010

RSS Feeds

The next topic I wanted to bring up in this blog that helps you learn how to enhance your curriculm with technology is, what is a RSS feed?

I just recently discovered what a RSS feed is and am so glad I did. A RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) according to Wikipedia is "a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed",[3] or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship."

If you find yourself not having enough time to check out each and everyone of your favoirte blogs daily or even weekly setting up a RSS feed could be a great option for you. Personally I never really even followed an blogs until I had the opportunity to set up a RSS feed and now I have learned about some great blogs and throughly enjoy my time reading them.
So, how do you do it?
First, you want to find a site that allows you to easily set up your RSS feed. I set up my feed through google. If you already have a google account you can just go to your acoount options and set it up, google makes it simple to do. If you don't have an account goto www.google.com/reader. Once you have signed in to your account or create a new one you can easily search out for your favorite blogs or you can search for new ones. One of my favorite blogs that I have discovered and added to my RSS Feed is "Free Educational Technology For Teachers."
For even more information on how to use google reader, check out Google's tour on Google Reader.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Edmodo

If your not really looking to start a whole website or don't really want to start a blog or wiki there is another option out their that your students will love. Edmodo.com, is like a facebook for the classroom. This is a perfect way to stay connected to your students and help keep them updated as well. There are so many options out there for you to chose from and if you use them your bound to create a learning environment that your students will love.   
video

Classroom Websites: A Must For Any Teacher Who Wants To Be Technology Savy

Imagine having your very own website for your classroom where you can post class assignments, have a blog or wiki, and post classroom pictures.  If your school does not already offer you a classroom website through the school district, take the initiative and create your own. There are several sites out there that can help you create a site easily and for free.
Lets take a quick look at a website specifically designed for classroom websites. classroomwebsites.com states that you can design your entire site in just 30-minutes, talk about easy. Through this site you can have:
  • Password Protected Photo Gallery
  • Blogging Tool
  • Integrated Assignment Calendar
  • File Cabinet
  • Contact Information
  • Downloadable documents
  • Class schedule
  • News & Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Links to reference materials
The only down side of this site is that you can try out the site for free but you will have to pay for the site eventually.

Education.weebly.com  is another website great for teachers and its free. This site also allows your students to be able to create their own sites as well.
What can I do with Weebly?
  • Easily create a classroom website & blog
  • Manage your students' accounts
  • Accept homework assignments online
  • Keep your parents up to date

Great Lesson Plans Websites

Most teachers are aware of all the great sites out there that teachers can utilize in order to find some very creative lessons. However, for those who aren't familiar I wanted to share with you some of my favorites.

Education World- Has tons and tons of lesson to choose from. This site though is an all around good site for teachers to bookmark, because not only does it offer lesson plans it offers information on professional development, technology integration, and other great articles for educators.

Edutopia- This site is not just a great site for lesson plan ideas but great for staying up to date in the world of education. It has some great blogs to read, videos to watch, teacher development information and so much more. If you have never checked out this site before I highly recommend that you take some time and see everything that edutopia.com has to offer.

Lesson Plans Page- With so many lesson plans available to teachers for free you are sure to find a lesson plan that will work for your classroom.

A to Z Teacher Stuff- Lessons, articles, printables and so much. Its another great site for teachers.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Zooburst

Zooburst.com is a fun little site that allows you to create 3D pop-books online. This site can be used to create lessons for your students or your students can use this site to create their own stories. Think of what a fun time big buddies could have creating a story of their own and sharing it with their little buddies, or have them work together to create one. The limits of this site and its possibilities our endless. Go have some fun and check this site out. Getting started is easy, simply start out by signing up for a personal or teacher account. The basic account is free, however if you want more features you can pay a small fee and get more options. From there it's easy, create a new book and tell your story. Check out the link below to go straight to the zooburst website or check out the video below and find out even more about zooburst.

Glogster

Glogster.com is a great site for teachers to use and also a site for you to let your students as well. Glogster helps students and teachers create a wide range of poster for whatever subject you want. One example of how you could use glogster is to have students create a glog in order to introduce themselves. Students could also use them for book reports, chapter reviews, summaries, etc. Glogster is a great way to change things up and can help students get excited about the assignments you give them. Here is an example of a glog created by yours truly.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Virtual Field Trips

With the economy in its not so good situation and the increase demand on standard based learning, our classes are left with little time and money to go on field trips. One low cost or no cost way to allow our students to experience the outside world without leaving the classroom is virtual field trips via web cams and video conferencing. Don't get me wrong this isn't a substitute for field trips where students get a hands on experience, but in these tough times it is a valuable option.
Imagine your students sitting in their seats while they get to connect to a live person at a remote location through video conferencing. Students would be able to watch the person present and they would also be given the opportunity to ask questions. Its pretty cool and costs only a fraction of the cost of field trips. With video conferencing students would also be able to check out a lot more places, places they would never be able to see on a regular field trip.

Check out the following links to see what virtual field trips might have to offer your students:
Favorite Video Field Trips
E-learning, Free Virtual Field Trips
Knowledge Network Explorer

Here is an example of a Virtual Field Trip


Here is an example of a virtual field trip using skype


Whether you decide to purchase video conferencing equipment or use am online program such as Skype you are guaranteed and experience that your students won't soon forget.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cool Current Events

Trying to keep students interested in current events can sometime be a taunting task. Here are a few sites that I have found that can help students look foward to finding out about today's current events. The first is http://www.theweekinrap.com/. I personally have used this site in the classroom. Students loved it!!! Here's what I did... Explore the site with students, watch several of the raps. Then have students chose either to research one current event further or write a rap of their own about the school or your class. Have students then present their findings or rap.


Other great current event site include The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition (http://classroomedition.com/cre/) and the tweentribune (http://www.tweentribune.com/).

Monday, October 25, 2010

blogs and wikis

Hey everyone, here is your first helpful tip for enhancing your curriculum with online resources. Wikis and Blogs are a great way to spice things up in your classroom. It is also free to create them. Sites such as this www.blogger.com and www.wikisineducation.com make creating wikis and blogs easily.

What is a blog? Blogs serve in a way as a personal diary that is updated regularly. You can find blogs for almost any subject. Check out this site to find some great educational blogs  The Top 200 Educational Blogs 

How can you use a blogs in the classroom? There are many different ways to use. One example is that students can use blogs instead of journals. Each student could be responsible for daily or weekly entries in their blog. Blogs instead of pencil and paper are sure to spark your student entries. Teachers can use them as a way to notify your class of assignments or post questions you want them to answer. The possibilities of what a blog can add to your classroom is endless.

What is a wiki? Wikis are similar to blogs except that anyone has access to add, edit, or delete entries. A great example to a wiki is Wikipedia.  

How can you use wikis in the classroom? Wikis can be used in the same fashion as a blog can. When I think of incorporating wikis into my classroom the idea of using wikis as part of a group project pops into my mind. By having students create a wiki as a group as a way of presenting information would definitely change things up.

So, if you haven’t already begun to see how you can incorporate blogs and wikis into your classroom, start today!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What you have to look foward to

So this is my first blog ever, so hang in there with me while I figure it all out. The purpose of this blog is to teach educators all the great things that I have been learning about educational technology. Get ready to learn tons of information about how you can enhance your curriculum with online resources. Not only will I share some great resources with you but I will help you understand exactly how to use them in your classroom. Hope you all enjoy!