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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In Conclusion... or is it...

So this project has come to an end.  I came in to this course and this project knowing there were many different Web 2.0 tools out there, but not really knowing much about them.  This assignment allowed me to investigate several different web 2.0 tools and through reading other's blogs, I was able to learn about many more.

As I said in my first blog I did not really know much about blogging nor did I find it worthwhile.  After having to blog about these different tools, I see why it can be so popular.  Blogging can be a great tool to share your opinion or present information.  The format can be about whatever you choose.  Linking to other sites gives you an opportunity to see how other's interact with different topics.

Blogging and all of the other tools I came across really makes me think about the future of education.  Many of my colleagues and I really are behind in how we present our information to the students.  There are numerous ways to present information and the internet holds so many great ideas for you to use.  I feel as if my outlook has changed and I look forward to the best way to make it happen.  So thank you Blog... I have learned!

Now, if you would like to check out my comments to other students, please visit the following sites:
1.   Jackie's Tikatok Example
2.   Joe's Wiki Wiki
3.   Patrick's Note Flight IV
4.   Kristen's Doodle Polling
5.   Eileen's "how to" Blog Video for Students
6.   Sarah's Weekly Planning
7.   Sarah's Glogging
8.   Leslie's World of DropBox
9.   Leslie's Flickr
10. Leslie's The Power of Social Network
11. Iffeisha's Social Networking in the Classroom
12. Jackie's Storybird

Monday, January 10, 2011

Educator's Kerpoof

Kerpoof has approved my educator access to their website, and so far I'm fairly pleased.  When you first log-in to the site you are shown to the screen shown below.  On this page you create your class name and add students usernames and passwords.

As far as I can tell, there is no limit to the amount of students or classes that you can have.  There also did not seem to be a username availability check.  Another nice feature about this page is that there is a link to print log-in cards.  You can have a set of cards for the classroom and send the cards home with the students.  Below is a picture of what these cards look like:

As you can see this little card is very kid-friendly and simple to understand and use.  Yay!  The student page that it asks you to visit isn't much different from the general page except that it pops up with a student log-in.  Once on the site, there is a mail button where if you allow the students to communicate, they can write notes to the class.  There is also an inventory button that enables the students to see their saved projects and projects done by members in their class.

This website also includes a teacher's best friend:
This .pdf file is a wonderful thing.  It gives detailed instructions on how best to use this site and more specifically the educator site.  It's a wonderful experience, it's something you should check out if you haven't already.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Diigo Improved

After having an opportunity to use Diigo with my students and become more familiar with the feature, I think this is a phenomenal tool for educators.  This allows you to create numerous lists featuring numerous websites.  It is wonderful for really any education classroom.  The links can be used for parents, for students, or for colleagues.  Not only will they have a list of websites that align with the curriculum or a project or whatever you're using it for, you can also leave specific notes to help navigate through potentially difficult websites.

While this website is not a difficult website to navigate, I have highlighted the username and password and added a note to tell the students where they can find the needed information.  This can be helpful because as we all know, as soon as they get home, everything leaks out through their ears.

As Cara mentioned in her blog this is a great site to keep in your hand-out folder so that the students can access it with ease and get where they need to go quickly and not waste time.  I don't know about everyone else's schools, but I feel like the computer lab is checked out at the most random times and I can barely make time for an hour's visit.

One of my most favorite features of this site is this:

As soon as you bookmark a page (using your Diigo toolbar) this little box pops up.  This allows you to name the bookmark, create a description of the site, tag key words, assign it to a list you've created, or post the site to a social networking tool.  The reason I think this is so great is because of the description and tags.  This allows parents or students to read what they will find when using the site.  They can see if it contains manipulatives, interactive games, research help, or whatever you decide to include.  From someone who often clicks through many different sites before finding one I like, I think this can be a real time saver.

With all of the uses for this excellent site, what are you waiting for.  Visit today!

Glogster Revisited

So as I stated in my last Glogster blog, I love Glogster.  After having more time to peruse the site and come up with sample lesson plans, I came across Glogster EDU.  I was thrilled to find that while there is a Premium version there is also a free basic site.  I was hoping that I could just convert my account to the educator account, but I had to create a new account and just used my HCPSS e-mail.  Anyways, minor details.  The free version allows you to have 50 student subscriptions and it allows you to access and view each child's glog(s).  You can even message each student.  Below is a picture of the educator dashboard:

Apparently with my test run of the Glogster EDU basic, I have also qualified for a month trial of the Glogster EDU premium.  With the premium account it allows you to create projects for the students to access.  It allows for messaging between one another, which the teacher can view.  This is something that I look forward to using with my students.  I am not sure how many glogs you can make under each student name, but that will be something I will look into.

I have immensely enjoyed using this web tool to create different lessons.  Below I used Glogster for a math activity.  In our first quarter curriculum the students are asked to complete a number map for a multiplication problem.  Glogster will provide a creative way to do it.

I also used Glogster to make a Social Studies presentation of a selected Maryland geographical region.  In the first quarter of fourth grade social studies there is a big focus on the regions and with the video, images, and graphics the students can choose a region and present what they've found to their classmates.
Another idea I came up with for using Glogster was a homework assignment that could be completed at the beginning of the year.  Teachers often use some creative activity to have the class introduce themselves.  Glogster is ideal for allowing the students to present their interests in a creative way.  The students can use text, video, or audio and I think it could really show their personalities.
So really Glogster is my new best friend and I cannot wait to check out the computer lab so that I can get my students as excited as I am.  I'm kind of afraid to try out this new Premium Glogster EDU because I will probably want to use that more frequently and I just cannot afford:
Maybe a grant....

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I've really been enjoying viewing everyone's blogs and seeing what there was out there.  To make our blog connections more meaningful, I wanted to see if there was a new website that I could find that no one had mentioned yet.  Through the different search engines we learned about last class, I came across Kerpoof.  This website it free to use and seems to be a very interesting site.  It definitely gears towards students' creativity and states that it is best used for grades K-8.

There are several links on this site that are geared toward teachers.  There is a tab "For Educators" (seen in the picture above as an apple), "Lesson Plans" (seen in the picture above as lined paper), and "Teacher Tools" (seen in the picture above as a hammer).  As I said above this site is a free site that requires children's parents e-mail address in order to use on their own, but there is also a free educator account that you can create where you can add your students for free.  In order to have the educator account you must sign up for the free site and then tell Kerpoof your educator e-mail address.  Currently I am waiting to be approved by this site as an educator, but the free, general use site is very interesting.

There are six activities that the students can access.  They are Spell A Picture, Make a Movie, Make a Card, Make a Drawing, Make a Picture and Tell a Story.  I perused each of the activities and they are pretty easy to grasp and fun to use.

This is a picture of the Spell a Story activity.  In this activity you choose a background and then spell (either on your keyboard or on the screen using the mouse) pictures you would like to add.  So for example, I typed in the word "horse" and little clouds appeared with pictures of a horse.  I selected the horse I liked and it popped into the screen.  I have to say it was a little traumatizing when I typed in the word chicken and was shown different food dishes of a chicken and no feathery friend, but that is immaterial.  This would be a great tool for primary students or possibly even ELL students.

This is a picture of the Make a Picture.  This allows you to select a background and add pictures to that background.  With each picture the students can enlarge, rotate or add comic-like text.  It was fun to play with, but more importantly can be used educationally.  While I was wandering around the site I looked at the lesson plan page (I will go into detail with this later).  There were lesson plans linked with this activity used to make persuasive advertisements or used to illustrate poetry.  Yet another amazing thing about Kerpoof... it gives you lesson plans to use with their activities for various grades.  THANK YOU!

As I said there Kerpoof can be used by teachers to help enhance their lessons or classroom experience.  The lesson plans are professionally put together stating standards such as NCTM and ISTE.  Not all of the objectives are standards recognized by me, but all of the lessons they have listed seem to align with HCPSS curriculum goals and objectives.

In my next post I hope to explore the teacher page and see what options I can use.  Until next time...

Saturday, January 1, 2011


So as if Dr. Marcovitz had planned it, the November/December issue of Action Line's main article is entitled "Educator 2.0".  In the article it talks about the technology exposure our students have and one way to keep students interested and to reach them is to use web 2.0 tools.

So going through this article, I was looking for tools that I had never come across.  They had a list of "15 tools for the 21st century educators" and on that list was Diigo, a social bookmarking tool:

The main page as pictured above does a great job of explaining all of the features Diigo offers.  It was kind of overwhelming for me to see all of the things that this site can allow for.  On the main page it has a link for educators who are using this program.  Diigo for educators allows you to create student accounts for your whole class and student e-mail addresses are not required.  The students in your class will automatically be set up in a group and can use different group features like group bookmarks and forums.  Privacy is set by teachers and ads are education related sponsors.  Once you've signed up for a Diigo account, Diigo allows you to apply for an educator upgrade.  The upgrade requires you to fill out a short application by asking for your educator e-mail address and more interestingly they require you to explain how you will use Diigo with your students.

Diigo also allows you to download the Diigo toolbar.  The toolbar allows you to surf the net and add a bookmark, highlights, notes, or send a link via social networking tools.  I've tried to add a picture of the toolbar, but I can't find a size that will fit and be visible.  So my suggestion would be to try out this program on your own!

Below is a picture of the library that I've created to help my math students.  With this program I can create a list of helpful sites for students to use as resources or to get extra help and e-mail it to the parents.

Friday, December 31, 2010


I had never heard of the Glogster site until I saw it on Sarah's blog.  I was intrigued with the projects she shared that she had had her class complete.  I am a huge scrapbooker, so looking at the glog, it immediately made me think of an online scrapbooking activity.  I thought this could be a great opportunity for the students to use text, images, video, pictures, and more to express ideas.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love to get to the bottom of the features available with the glog.  I decided to create a summary of a book one of my reading groups read recently.  My students recently read My Name is Brain Brain.  This websites allows you to use a variety of papers, icons, animated icons, pictures, video, and sound.

Here is a picture of what I created:

I'm sure my kids could do better, but I truly enjoyed looking through all of the different options of how to present my summary. 

I can imagine using this program for a wide variety of subjects and topics.  This can be used to create a study guide for each social studies unit, a end of a novel activity, a math problem, and much more.  This site can be used safely for students with the right precautions.  You can set your glogs to private, so that they are not available for others to view. 

Overall I am very excited to bring this website to my team to see what we can pull together.  I am sure my students will be as excited as I am!