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lots of great ideas for kindergarten tech integration

Got Skype, Now What

March 5, 2010

presentation at

Ideas for use

  • Skype other room – pose math puzzle, reading, share video or other files
  • give everybody in the school skype and use for basic communication
  • rainy day recess fun times
  • planning or meeting when resources are in different locations
  • workshops and training across district
  • connect with library, read across library, special events at the library, etc
  • skype with a school in another state, ask each other map based questions and try to figure out where the person on the other side is…
  • partner class and share learning, or ask each other questions to go find out and answer next time
  • festival of lights type traditions, skype with someone there that can talk about the traditions
  • skype an author
  • find people at

other links

Education | Glogster

November 13, 2009

Glogster, Poster Making 2.0 Education | Glogster.

This site allows you to make a multimedia digital poster. This is a highly engaging way for students to communicate and share their learning.

Our students today expect to access and create information in the digital realm. We have the technology to meet them where they are. Also, many of our students are visual learners, Glogster gives us and easy way to capitalize on that.

Brenda Blog at discusses the importance of teacher students visual literacy and how Glogster can support that. She also provides links to examples of Glogster in elementary education.

This PDF shows you how to get started with

Here are more examples



Visual Poetry

December 11, 2008

PicLits Beach Haiku

PicLits Beach Haiku

PicLits [] is a beautiful new web site that could support poetry, creative writing, or really any descriptive writing. is a creative writing site that matches beautiful images with carefully selected keywords in order to inspire you. The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.

There is a vast library of compelling images that you can browse through. Find one that moves you and write about it. This could be a great way to teach poems, haiku, etc.


Office 2007 Resources

December 2, 2008

Office 2007 offers many improvements to make your work easier, faster, and more efficient. You just have to put in some time and energy to learn how to get the most out of the improvements.

Ofice Button

Ofice Button

One of the biggest changes is the file menu. It is gone. Well not really gone, but replaced with the Office Button. You will find save, print, open and many of the other file menu tools under the Office button. Things are rearranged a bit, for example if you are looking for page set up (to switch from portrait to landscape) you go Office button > Print preview > Page layout. Or you can use the Page Layout ribbon.

Read more the Office button in Microsoft’s article “What happened to the File menu?

Office 2007 Ribbon

Office 2007 Ribbon

The ribbon system is another major interface change. Many common tasks that used to be on various toolbars are now more easily accessed through tabbed ribbons. Read more about the ribbon system in Microsoft’s article “Use the Ribbon“.

Many people find Office 2007 intuitive to use. Spend a few minutes getting oriented with the Office button and the the ribbon system and then get busy. Try to insert and format a table in word or make graph in excel. It will take a few extra minutes to find things but it will be worth it. People that have been using 2007 for a while say they find things to be more logical and that they are more productive once they learn their way around.

Office 2007 Training Resources

Microsoft Office Word 2007 Quick Start Guide [] – This 2 page PDF would be useful as a hard copy sitting by your computer as you get used to the new Word, lots of information in a small package.

Microsoft Office Training Courses [] – learn from the source, these are the official training courses from Microsoft, organized by application. These are very thorough and comprehensive, jump to the section you need.

Office 2007 How-Tos on the How-To Geek [] – This is a list of “How to” do specific tasks such as “Add Background Color To Word 2007 Documents” and “Add Background Pictures To Excel 2007 Worksheets


Where in the world are you? How do you know? What does that look like?

I am talking about maps here, one of my favorite tried and true Mind Tools – they are a visual representation that makes a ton of data easier to understand and solve problems with. And now with free mapping tools, multimedia and mash ups there are some very interesting maps out there if you poke around a bit.

First kids need to understand how maps work. Here are a few games that teach map skills

Show World [] – this world map lets you select the criteria and the map resizes to show relative amounts in different countries.

Visualize Election Results

Visualize Election Results

US Providential Election Map [] – A state is not blue or red, these maps help us understand the how purple we are.

Atlas of our Changing Environment [] – Uses a google map overlay with before and after images that make environmental changes obvious, deforestation, dams, and climate change are made obvious to the eye.

Hunger Around the World [] – How many people are starving in different countries around the world? Click and zoom to find out.

US Climate at a Glance []: climate map from NOAA – this map will show departures from norm for temperature or rainfall for a time period you specify. You can also click the National link [] to identify climate change trends.

Native American Tribes [] – Native American Tribes organized by clickable state map.

Flip Camera

Flip Camera

The Flip video camera is such a handy little camera. I think we have reached one of those watershed moments – the Flip is so easy and cheap that now anyone can make video. There are only 4 buttons on the whole device; power, record, play and delete. It is truly just point and shoot. Teachers will undoubtedly find great uses for the Flip.

Here are a few quick ideas for teaching and learning with the Flip:

  • film science as it happens, they play back and review, debrief, take notes, etc
  • film model behaviors to serve as example
  • interviews
  • documentary style video of student project
  • illustrate a concept creatively

Several people have been writing about flips, Technology ‘N Teaching and The Flip Camera and Movie Magic helped with this article.

How will you use the Flip?

SMART Board training video

October 25, 2008

This 30 minute tutorial video is very good. It takes you to the next level with SMART Board Notebook software.

Timeline Worthwhile Task

October 22, 2008

I am on lately about worthwhile tasks. I think a few quality tools could be used well as repeated worthwhile tasks. Repeated is a key word there. It takes some effort to train students to be self sufficient with a technology tool. So it makes sense to pick a tool that you can use over and over.

Timetoast is one of those tools. []

This free site allows you to make timelines. This is all done on the web, including text and images, and they look very nice.

Here is a quick example I made on the history of Asheville:

I got a better idea of how teachers are doing worthwhile tasks the other day during an afternoon professional development session. I took two big ideas away from this, 1) worthwhile tasks need to be educationally rich [as opposed to the filler to keep the kids busy while the teacher pulls groups] and 2) students need to do worthwhile tasks independently.

Voicethread is a tool that could easily lead to rich learning and at the same time be easy to do in the classroom. Teachers can sign up for free here

Here is a description from the VoiceThread site:

A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.

How would you use this as a worthwhile task? You would upload images that students would then take turns looking at and commenting on. The image could be anything you can get onscreen. You could have students discuss something they are reading, make observations about images of butterfly life cycle, or pose wonder questions about an historical image, etc, etc…

Here are a few examples

Of course, just like any worthwhile task, you would need to teach the students how to do it before you put it in practice. But once they get it down, you would have a rock solid worthwhile task that many students would be eager to participate in.