Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Category Archives: Technology in the Classroom

7 Earth Day Sites You Didn’t Know About

April 22 is Earth Day and in recognition of this, I’m highlighting several of the greatest Earth Day sites for kids and teachers. According to the United States Census Bureau, Earth’s population recently surpassed 7 billion. Teaching awareness of our environment to children has never been more important. Here are 6 great sites to assist.

Eco Kids

Eco Kids has a lot of eco-awareness games and activities to help kids gain a better understanding of environmental issues in fun way. There is a homework help section with information on a variety of earth science related fields, a contest section, and a place where kids can become EcoReporters. The Teacher Section (free registration) has lesson plans, activities, class kits, ESOL Lessons, and many other environmental-related resources.

Eeko World

Aside from an annoying Gilbert Gottfried sounding monkey as a mascot (kids love it), Eeko World is a fun site for kids to learn more about things they can do to take care of our world. Eeko (which stands for Environmental Education for Kids Online) features an engaging interactive environment which invites kids to explore, experiment, and collaborate as they learn about conservation and the environment. There is a parent and teacher section that explains how to use the site, as well as how to integrate Eeko World into literacy activities.

Earth Matters


The aim of Earth Matters is to, “Assist classroom educators and schools in teaching a sustainable foods and earth systems curriculum for 4th and 5th graders and inspiring students of all ages to live more aware and sustainable lives.” To do this, Earth Matters presents in-depth, standards-based curriculum, news feeds, some informational videos, along with a few games, and ideas to become environmentally active. There are a couple of sections that are still under construction and I’m wondering if the site is currently being maintained, as the copyright date is 2006. However, the information and activities that are available, make the site a worthwhile visit.

Recycle City

Recycle City is a site made by the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Things I really like about this site are that it has Things to Do, a Teacher Information Center,  a free, downloadable activity book, and many other additional resources for kids and teachers.

National Audubon Society

The National Audubon Society’s education section has fun activities for kids where they can play games, watch videos of wildlife and see live webcams of nesting birds. There is also an adoption center where classes can learn about endangered animals, and how they can help.  In the educator section, there are links to activities, lesson plans, and tips on how to bring nature into your classroom.

Environmental Education for Kids (EEK)

From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, EEK is a very kid-friendly site with links to information on all kinds of animals (would be a great resource for animal research), environmental issues, and a section devoted to cool things to do and read about. The Teacher Page has activities, resources, event calendar, and a news section that will help teachers keep their students informed about environmental issues.

Best App for Making Your Pictures Truly Talk

yakitThey say that a picture is worth a thousand words, now with Yakit Kids, students can actually make their pictures speak. One of my favorite apps to help students bring any photo to life is called Yakit Kids. It’s free, has an easy to use interface, and kids absolutely love it! Students bring in any photo (either one they take, or any other royalty-free image) add a mouth, eyes, and other desired props from the app, and then record their voice. The mouth moves with their voice, and the pitch can be adjusted from low to high. The one drawback (which is not always a drawback) is that recordings are limited to 15 seconds, but being that you can save the videos to the camera roll, it is easy to combine multiple videos in iMovie.

Description from the App Store:

YAKiT Kids allows kids of all ages to let their creativity loose and share their creations with family and friends in a safe environment. Parents and teachers never have to worry as their children let their little imaginations run wild with YAKiT Kids.

• Make quick and fun animated videos with multiple scenes.
• Change the pitch of the voice to make it even funnier.
• Add expressive animated stickers to customize the photos – including facial features, props, characters, and special effects.
• Save the videos directly to your phone to send anywhere

Below are two examples from my third graders who are using Yakit to have geometric shapes explain their own characteristics :

The Difference Between Similes and Metaphors

Here’s a great little video explaining (via super hero animation and a very catchy tune) the differences between similes and metaphors.

Gifting Apps to Your Child or Student

1-1 iPad management can be a real headache. Seriously. Believe me…

One of the ways that we’ve dealt with this issue is to have family managed iPads. Each of our students has an iTunes account associated with their school email, and are able to download free apps. We’ve instructed our parents on the process of gifting paid apps to their children, but this process, if you’ve never done it before can possibly be daunting and at times, intimidating.

Below, is a quick and easy screencast video explaining the process of how to gift iPad apps to your child’s iTunes account.

Grade 3 Resources

If you’re looking for some great resources for third grade (and quite possibly 2nd, 4th, and 5th), take a look at Gecko Techo.

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Gecko Techo has tons of Blogging How-tos, lots of info on Google Docs, Presentations, etc. There’s digital citizenship information for both teachers and students, as well as keyboarding sites, coding info, and much more.

 

 

Easily Create Video Presentations Integrated with Google Apps

Here’s a very slick new tool that allows students and teachers to share a Google Doc or Presentation, record themselves along side the presentation or doc and email or embed the video on a blog. It’s called Movenote, and it’s free.

  1. Go to www.movenote.com

  2. Click login and select Sign in with Google

  3. When the Adobe Flash Player Settings window appears, select Allow and check Remember and then Close

  4. Select Add Content and choose Google Drive

  5. Select a Document or Presentation to upload

  6. After upload is complete, press record to begin recording

  7. Use the left and right arrows above the document or presentation to advance and go back.

  8. When you finish recording, press pause, and then Save & Preview

  9. You can now rename and select More Options to get the embed code

The Kids Should See This

Here’s a great site shared with me by a third grade teacher. She says that, “It’s a fun way to start the day off on a note of fun and positivity.  Sometimes we share jokes and sometimes fun clips from the internet.  This is an AWESOME site that you might want to check out.”

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The Kid Should See This is a site video site that is created, watched & collected by Rion Nakaya with her 2 & 5 year olds. It contains an awesome collection of science, nature, music, art, technology, storytelling and other assorted good stuff the kids of all ages will enjoy.

Follow @thekidshouldsee on Twitter

Blog Comment and Posting Guide

Here are 10 things you should be thinking about whenever you add a comment to someone else’s blog, and also when you are posting to your own blog.

Comment Guide via Kim Cofino http://kimcofino.com/blog/2009/09/06/student-blogging-guidelines

QR Codes, Voice Recording, and Google Docs

This is a great project for elementary and beyond. Report/bio/non-fiction writing in a Google Doc with an embedded QR code that links to the student reading excepts from their research. You may print out book style when complete, or create on online flip book using sites such as Issuu, Youblisher or Flipsnack.

Learn how to easily record your voice, generate a corresponding QR code and make your Google Doc come alive!

Google Sites in the Classroom

Thinking of creating a classroom website, or having your students create sites for themselves? Watch 9 year olds Grace and Sophie explain how easy it is to do with Google Sites.

EdTechIdeas 2012 Year in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 200,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 4 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Never Stop Searching

Another great year in review by the Google Zeitgeist project:

This is a nice video to use to generate writing prompts or ideas for students to reflect on and research current events.

2012 Presidential Election Recap – Prezi Style

Fantastic Prezi recapping the 2012 US Presidential election by K.D. Delany.
 

Interactive Scope and Sequence for Integrating Digital Citizenship

Common Sense Media has just released a fantastic new tool for integrating digital citizenship into your curriculum. The Interactive Scope and Sequence lays out simple lessons organized by grade level and divided into topics such as Digital Footprint and Reputation, Creative Credit and Copyright, Cyberbullying, and more.

Digital Citizen Starter Kit

Common Sense Media and Edmodo partnered to create this fantastic Digital Citizenship Starter Kit for your classroom. In it, you’ll find a series of activities and lessons designed to introduce digital citizenship concepts right in Edmodo, to help you get your online classroom community up and running.

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