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Showing posts from January, 2015

The Whole World - Now Free

Now is the time to download the pro version of Google Earth. What used to cost $399 is now 100% free!
What does this mean for you? Read more about it in this post by Google.
Try it out and let us know what you find useful.

Snip! (It has been hiding on your computer all along!)

Lisa's Scissors
I remember taking some old school scissors and glue to assemble custom learning materials for my students. There were times when I got super fancy and used tape! The end result was a paper that was custom made for my class to address some unique need.

Paper will always have a place in our classrooms but is there a way we can make custom materials that address the needs of our class digitally? Check out the Snipping Tool!

How to find your Windows snipping tool:

Open the Start screen.

Start typing Snipping.
Click on the Snipping Tool to launch the program.

Right click on the icon and pin it to your taskbar.

Using the Windows snipping tool:
Find what you need cut.
Click on the Snipping Tool icon on your taskbar.
Example: I need this information I found on the district webpage. You can snip anything you see on your computer screen. That includes your Image Mate software. This is one way to take parts of student work to save and show as exemplars.

Click New.
Use the+ icon t…

Did you know you can do this amazing thing with your ELMO?

Sometimes you need to show something under your ELMO and display a website at the very same time. That amazing mix of ELMO and website is possible with this technique.

(Note: Don't have Image Mate on your laptop? Take a look at this post and you will be up and running  in no time.)

1. Open the website you want to display.

2. Click and drag the website all the way to the left (or right) until the cursor can't move anymore. Then release the mouse.

3. Your screen should look like this image.

4. Open Image Mate. You can quickly find it on your start screen by typing Image Mate.

5. Click and drag the edges of the screen to re-size the ELMO image.

6. The perfect ratio of website and ELMO! 

Podcasting - Understanding to Production

Podcast Listen by Terry Freedman
What is a podcast?
A podcast is digital file that can be streamed or downloaded to a variety of devices. Most of these are going to be either audio or video files.

Here are a few interesting samples. Some are directly related to the classroom and others are just downright interesting.

1. Scientific American
This site offers a number of super short clips that are updated almost daily. The best part is they are only about 60 seconds long. Some of the topics will be closely related to what you are teaching and other topics are best not played in many classrooms.  I like this clip about what type of device to read on before bed. Is it an iPad or a paper book?

2. NPR
Here is a HUGE list of most every program on NPR around the country.

3. 4th grade - This page has a great selection of realistic fiction written and recorded by a 4th grade class.

4. 5th grade - Listen to these personal narratives recorded by 5th grade students.

5. audioBoom - audioBoom created …

What has been around for over 10 years and people are now just realizing the massive impact?


What is a podcast?
A podcast is an audio file you can listen to online or download to your device and listen at another time.

Why have kids podcast?
1. Super easy!
2. A great way for a student to check their fluency and re-record parts they are not happy with.
3. Share with the world! Parents and peers can hear what was recorded at anytime.
4. A super modern way to publish your work.

Getting Started
audioBoom for Education
Schools and universities around the world are embracing audioBoom as the easiest, most effective way to give teachers and students a voice. Audio enriches the curriculum, engages the learner, and creates conversations that build community. Take a look at some amazing ways that audioBoom is reinventing the classroom experience.

There are just three steps to publishing work on audioBoom. Most every audio recording is instantly available for the world to listen to. It might be a good idea to have a discussion centered on digital footprints and how to be a good …

Cookies and your iPad. (UPDATED!)

Have you hit a website on your iPad that asks you to allow cookies?  Follow this process to enable cookies.

See below for Chrome.

Click Settings.

Scroll down.

Click Safari on the far left. Scroll down in the new Safari window that appears on the right. Click Block Cookies.

Click Allow from Websites I Visit.
Chrome Open Chrome on your iPad. 

Click the hamburger icon in the upper right corner. Click Settings.  

Scroll down.
Click Content Settings.
Make sure Accept Cookies is On.

Sometimes music is too much.

You want some noise in the room but there are times when music is too much.  What do you do then?

Check out these apps and sites.


I really love this one.  You can mimic the sounds of a coffee shop, lounge at lunch and a university.  The ambient background noise really helps me tune out what is around me to focus on what is in front of me.

Simply Noise

The page for this site isn't the most appealing.  Click one of the buttons to change the type of noise generated.  I do like this but at a very low volume.

Where did I find these?  I was reading Inc. and found this article about 10 Productivity Strategies Backed By Science.

What do you think of using these sites in your classroom?

Sometimes you just need to jump into the uncomfortable. (Do you have $99 and 54 hours to join me?)

Go to this link. Startup Weekend EDU St. Louis
Scroll down and watch the video.
That short video got me thinking.  This is a very unique opportunity to work with others in the area making something that has a potential for changing the way we do things.  How in the world could I pass it up?

I just signed up to go to this startup weekend event. It is $99 but I felt it was something I couldn't pass up.
I have no idea what to expect other than a ton of energy and excitement.

Shoot me an email if you are going.