Monday, January 31, 2011

Delicious for Educators

Delicious is a social bookmarking website. Why would teachers want to use it?

1. It makes it really easy to share websites with colleagues
(A teacher at PSI asked for websites and resources for the lattice method of multiplication, so i created a tag on delicious called psi4 and sent her this link: Now anytime I add another bookmark with the tag psi4, it'll appear on that website)

2. You can find great learning websites on your home computer and easily share them with yourself at school

3. It can be easier to find websites for a educational topic than google or yahoo search

4. You can quickly and easily create a link to your delicious bookmarks for your students, no more messing around with rschool to put up links!

MOBI Creative Use #1: Spelling

A teacher an Aquila uses the MOBIs once a week to do a quick review of spelling.

Goal: Keep students engaged while reviewing spelling words.

Prep time: none


1. She connects the MOBI and opens up a new page in Interwrite Workspace
2. She hands the MOBI to a student. The rest of the students have their whiteboards from the HM Math Expressions program.
3. She says a spelling word. All students are expected to write it. The student with the mobi writes it on the MOBI.
4. The class compares their word to the word on the board.
5. The student makes corrections as necessary and passes the MOBI to the student sitting next to him or her.
6. The next student writes the word on another part of the screen.


1. Have students highlight (using the highlighter pen) parts of the word that are tricky
2. Have another student write another word related to the previous word (an antonym, synonym, homonym, capitonym, word family, root word, etc...)


If you have any other suggestions, add them in the comments below!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Great School and District Websites with Resources

Minot, ND Smartboard Lesson Wiki: Repository of Smartboard lessons based on Math Expressions and NWEA MAP math RIT bands.

NWEA MAP Reading Resources:A website from South Washington County linking to activities based on RIT Band on the NWEA.

Oswego: Great school website with flash games. Lots of math games.

Springfield, IL: Springfield's Technology Department website has a lot of information about the CPS clickers and MOBI systems.

Boston Public Schools OIIT - BPS's technology Department's website with some resources on the MOBI.

Wichita Public Schools - Smartboard Lessons

Woodlands Junior School - Links to great games, organized by math, literacy and science!

Springfield Township High School Libguide - Lots of great videos and links for podcasting, video making, mindmapping, wikis, blogs, and much more.

Center School District - Links to smartboard lessons created by Center, MO teachers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tech Sites and Blogs you should be reading

Larry Ferlazzo's Website of the Day: You should be looking through his website for great resources for education. He is a ESL teacher by trade, but his resources tend to be applicable to any grade.

FreeTech4Teachers: An interesting blog that has links to interesting videos and webtools that are very teacher friendly, and very useful. Thanks MizJ for the link!

Teacher Training Videos created by Russell Stannard: A resource of videos created to teach teachers how to use various programs and websites.

Best Links for Smartboards and Mobis

Make sure you check out the Great Links for Teachers for more great tools that are specifically for Smartboards and Mobis.

All Subjects:

Smart Exchange: Website created by Smarttech for teachers to share lessons and activities that they created for use with the smartboard.

Mr. B's List: Great resource for websites that can be used with the Smartboard. It includes ratings by users of Mr. B's List so you can have some idea if it's going to be decent or not.

Teq Smart: A website that has a large number of Smartboard files. Great tools, for example a trash can, fractions slider, and other interactives. Look under learning Objects for a lot of fun objects.


Starfall Calendar: Great Flash calendar that can be used to talk about the calendar and can be modified to fit with your classes important dates.


Storyline Online: About 18 stories including Polar Express and Stellaluna, that are read by Screen Actors Guild Members. Includes a video of the actor reading it, and activities to go along with the stories.


BBC - KS3 Bitesize Science: Interactive videos narrated by a pleasing British voice. Fantastic science, and very engaging!

BBC - KS2 Bitesize Science: This is the primary grade appropriate version of the BBC Bitesize website. Has reading material, quizes and an interactive game for a number of scientific topics.

Social Studies:


ANAYA: Interactive flash games in spanish in a variety of languages broken into 6 levels, that roughly correspond with grade level. Links to each grade level: 1º de E. Primaria 2º de E. Primaria 3º de E. Primaria 4º de E. Primaria 5º de E. Primaria 6º de E. Primaria

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tech Tidbit: Tab Sidebar for Firefox

When you start really using the internet, particularly websites, you quickly find yourself with multiple tabs in your web browser with sometimes cryptic names. It can be difficult to quickly discern which tab you want. Here is a sidebar add-ons for firefox (which you can install without administrator access). It puts the tabs on the side of your screen instead of on top, and it also includes thumbnails of the page, so you can see what the tab is before you go to it.

Also, if you want to quickly switch between tabs (even if you don't install the sidebar tabs), hit option-command-left/right arrow.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to link to PDF's (or other files) on an rschool website

Here in St. Louis Park Public Schools, we use rschool. While it does a great job of standardizing websites, it makes it hard to directly link to websites. Here are the steps to create a link (thanks Julie!):

1st. Copy the link (you have to right click on a PC or control-click on a Mac)

Here's my link that I copied:


As you can tell, that is not a correct url link yet.

2nd. Delete everything after the first .pdf. In this link that means the apostrophe to the semi colon.

Here's what I deleted:


3rd. Delete everything up to the /school###. In this case it starts with javascript and ends with ..

Here's what I deleted:


4th. Now you need to add the server name to the beginning of the link.

Here's what you have to add:

5th. Now you've got a working link. Here's what mine looks like:

Try it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tech Tidbit: Spotlight on Macs

Have you ever lost a file on your mac? You know you saved it on your mac somewhere but you can't remember where. Spotlight is your friend in this case. It is a great feature that allows you to search your entire mac. Can't remember where Quicktime Movie Player is located? Hit the Magnifying Glass in the upper right corner of your screen and type "quicktime" into the text box. As you type it'll find files that match the letters you have type.

You can even put in simple mathematical phrases like "300 + 567" and it will give you the answer.

Hope this helps!

Great Webtools for Teachers

Prezi - presentation video creator
Taggalaxy - great pictures from Flikr. Read our review!
bridgeurl - create a slideshow of websites
podbean - post podcasts for free
wikispaces - free wikispaces for educators. See our wikispace!
delicious - a online, social bookmarking site.
wordle - create word clouds
jigsawplanet - create a puzzle out of a picture
blogspot - great place to host a blog
glogster - create an interactive digital poster
storyboard - create stories (students can do this)
dabbleboard - easy way to make webs, doodles and graphic organizers
google posters - gives some shortcuts and hints on using google apps
qwiki - uses wikipedia and pictures and graphics to create a short interactive video about a topic
twitter - a great way to connect with other teachers and share and find ideas.
watchknow - place for people to find and share videos from throughout the internet
Simple English Wikipedia - Have you ever wished that there was a simple version of wikipedia for younger children? Here it is!
Thinkfinity - a great website with lots of lesson plans and ideas that integrate technology into teaching.
Son of Citation Machine: quickly and easily create citation. create diagrams. Turns the notes you take on the website into flashcards.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ten Minute Tech Training: Intro to Skype

This video will teach you everything from the 10 minute tech trainings from last week on Skype.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tech Tidbit: Twitter, an educators best friend

Twitter can be an educators best friend. Already, I've found countless great links to educational research, resources for ed tech and ideas for teaching. On top of that, I'm building a great collegial group that is able to help find answers and provides me with ideas. It takes some practice becoming good at twittering though, and I won't claim I'm an expert, but here are some good ideas (many taken from will richardson):

1. If it's a twitter account for professional reasons, use your real name. You want colleagues to be able to find you by your name, and you want to be recognized for the contributions you post to discussions. However, if you plan on doing this, it would be good to read this blog post about blogging for educators, and modify it for twitter. Basically, don't badmouth your district, and don't post anything you wouldn't want your boss to see.

2. Look at the people you're following. Who are they following? Whose posts do they retweet that you find interesting? Start following those people. In this way you'll build up a bunch of valuable tweeters (is that a word?) rather than just Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

3. As a corollary to number 2, if you are following someone whose posts you just keep skipping, stop following them.

4. The @ symbol followed by a screen name means you are "mentioning" that person. It's a great way to send a post to someone that you think might be interested in your post. The # symbol (hashtag) means that people who are following for example #edu will see your post. I find some great ideas and links this way. Here's some more information about #hashtags.

5. Use a link shrinker to post a long link, like It shrinks a url down to about 12 characters, which is important since twitter only allows 144 characters per post.

6. Some great hashtags to follow: #edu #edtech #edchat.

7. Follow me or nate at twitter!

Some more links about twitter:

here's a great intro into twitter.
here's a ten step guide to twitter for educators.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ten Minute Tech Training: iCal

This is a summary of the information I gave teachers at the Ten Minute Tech trainings on the week of January 3, 2011. Hope this information helps. If you have any more iCal resources, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tech Tidbit: Tag Galaxy

Tag Galaxy is a great resource for teachers and students to find pictures that tie into a subject area. It pulls pictures from Flickr. When you type in a search term(for example railroad), it will create a solar system with your search term as the sun, and related search terms as planets. Click on the sun, and it will create a "planet of pictures" which have been labeled with your search term. Click on a picture, and it will give you some information about the picture. Great fun, easy to use, and a great resource!

Additional Tech Tidbits