Lessons about using the Technology

Research Tools:

  • Boolify
    • Boolify is a search tool that aims to make it easier for students to understand their web search by illustrating the logic of that search. It allows them to visually construct and alter their search instantly by dragging Boolean search limiters onto the page. It's simple to use and great to use with your class or in your library. The search results are all filtered through Google's Safe Search Strict technology, so they are not likely to get any “objectionable” results. Overall, it is a nice take on the student search engine and can be a valuable search option for students learning how to search for specific information.
  • Creative Commons
    • The Internet makes wonderful resources available for teachers and students to use in the classroom. With a simple right-click of our mouse we can save/download content (pictures, highlighted text, and even music or videos) to our computers and portable devices, and repurpose this material for use in presentations, posters, and school papers. But should we? Just because we can cut and paste, doesn’t mean we are should do so. Students (and teachers) are creating more and more digital content and presentations for use in the classroom than ever before. As educators, we need to learn and teach “21st Century Skills” and “Good Digital Citizenship”. A lot of what I feel lies behind those buzz-words is an understanding of how to use content responsibly and respectfully. Creative Commons is a modified copyright license that an author can place on any type of work (pictures/audio/video/text/website/etc.). This modified copyright can allow for re-use, alteration, and even commercial use of images, videos, music, etc. The CC license may also ask for a simple attribution to the artist from whom the work originated.
  • Lesson Writer
    • Lesson Writer is a fantastic free resource tool for teachers. Using this site, educators can automatically pull vocabulary words, create exercises, and even create questions using Blooms Taxonomy and then quiz students based on copied material from a digital source. The site lets teachers customize the lessons based and even allows scaffolding for students of different abilities. As you might imagine – This is not a perfect tool nor a substitute to adequate planning. However, it is a quick and easy way to find lesson vocabulary as well as create graphic organizers to accompany lesson content.

File Storage:

  • Ge.tt
    • Ge.tt is a web tool that allows you can share any number of files, no matter how large, within seconds. It is a great way to send large presentations or multimedia files to groups of people. Unlike your typical School District issued Email provider, there is no file size limitations. That makes Gett great for sending and receiving large projects and even high quality videos and images. To use this simple service, you click on select files. Share the files with your students/colleagues. And that is it - Simple, quick, and very helpful.

Online Collaboration:

  • Wikispaces
  • Show Document
    • Show Document is a great site that allows teachers and/or students to conduct free web meetings and share/edit documents with one another in real time. This free service lets you do so many powerful things – Imagine exploring Google Maps as a group, surfing the web with peers or students, sharing and commenting on a Word or PDF document, or even using a virtual whiteboard space to conduct "meetings" or full interactive lessons. Show Document makes all this possible. There is even a live chat box that can be used during the collaborative experience.
  • **Popplet** is a wonderful engaging web tool that allows for a collaborative mind-mapping experience. With lots of great features, a slick interface, and easy to use note-taking or organizing tool. This is a full-featured site that can be used with multiple subjects and for myriad reasons. Users can create maps, timelines, flowcharts, organization materials, and so much more! There is also an iPad app available that can do some of the same features as the web-based app. This is a great tool!

Presentation Tools:

  • **JayCut** - Creating videos with students can sometimes be a challenge. Often times making a video for a class or school project takes longer than one or two periods and that can pose a whole bunch of problems. If you are working on a laptop or desktop to edit a video, you need to have the same machine in order to do any work. You can't start on one machine and then easily pick back up on another one because the video footage is usually stored on a physical Hard Drive and not on the school network. Even if a student wanted to work on the project from the library, at home, or some other location and they were on a different computer - they would be out of luck. Another problem arises if the school computer is a Mac and the student has a PC at home, there would be no way to edit an iMovie video on their PC.
    • That's why I am such a big fan of Jay Cut.
    • Jay Cut is a web-based video editing application that is easy to use and fun to work with. Users can upload videos to the site, clip and trim them as they wish, and then add music and titles. Jay Cut is a mix between iMovie and MovieMaker - but it is all online. Students can even record video through a webcam, audio narration or effects through the computer's microphone, and import videos from other sources to use with their own creation. Since it is web-based, logging onto the site and into your account will give you access to the project you've been working on and there is no format or platform problems. If you can access the web, be it on a PC or a Mac, you can use JayCut. It works nicely and gives you a good number of options for exporting the video when you are done, including saving the project and uploading it to YouTube.
    • Check it out at www.jaycut.com