Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

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.



The 12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers

Here’s a collection of holiday and winter sites for kids and teachers that should help make your last week of school festive and productive, and give kids some fun places to go on those cold, wintry days.

1. Snow-Line

In this über-popular game from Mini-Clip, your mission is to help Santa Claus collect the presents and get them ready for delivery on Christmas Eve. To do this you need to draw a pathway of least-resistance, collect all the presents, and finish at the checkered flag.  EdTechIdeas: Although mostly fun, the rules of physics play a part here and students must think and plan out a pathway that does not defy gravity. Also a good game if you have students who have not completely mastered the mouse.

2. Video Message from Santa (Portable North Pole)


Young children love getting messages from Santa. Here’s a site that sends you kids a personalized video message from Mr. Claus himself! Add in information like, what your child wants for Christmas, what he or she needs to working on to improve, photos, etc. and your child will be blown away with happiness!

3. TheNorthPole.com

Journey to the Northpole.com for loads of great activities for kids. Students can write letters to Santa, read stories, have stories read to them, create personalized stories, and many other activities. EdTechIdeas: Beyond having students explore and learn with this site, there is the Elf Pal Academy, which connects teachers to a plethora of printable Google Docs geared to lower elementary students and English language learners.

4. Ice Breaker RC

Another great game from Miniclip. Your mission is to slice through the ice and save the frozen Vikings by getting them back to their longboat! You really have to contemplate and plan out your moves in this highly challenging game.

5. Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers

There are tons of ideas, lesson plans, book activities, links tore-printable stories, teacher sharing ideas, and more. EdTechIdeas: The Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers would be a good place to start if you’re looking for winter inspiration.

6. Winter Mad Libs

Who doesn’t like Mad Libs? Classroomjr.com has a collection of 3 winter Mad Libs, along with 3 Christmas Mad Libs, some winter word puzzlesChristmas math worksheets, and some printable Christmas mazes that’ll keep students productive all winter break.

7. Norad Tracks Santa

Each year, Norad tracks Santa by using four high-tech tracking systems – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets. This site allows kids to watch as Santa is tracked as he delivers all of his presents. On Christmas Eve, students can click here to track his flight live in Google Earth.  EdTechIdeas: Norad Tracks Santa is a great site to learn about geography and places around the world. Students could chart the stops in Google Maps, calculate distances and speed required to make all of the stops possible, write a creative story about his adventure, compare and contrast Santa’s trips in the past using population data… I could go on forever!

8. ABC Teach

Great site for teachers, ABC Teach has downloadable bookmarks, border paper, word scrambles, coloring pages, some holiday book comprehension and activity pages, and more.

9. Education Place – Winter Theme

Education Place has a plethora of activities for teachers of grades K-8. Winter memory books, weather studies, seasonal comparisons, winter quizzes, word finds, snow sculptures, and more. If you’re looking for learning activities to do during the winter months, this is a good place to start.

10. Antarctica “Street” View

Google Maps Antarctica allows you to take a walk around parts of the white continent. A very small portion of Antarctica have been covered (for obvious reasons), but the views are amazing! In typical Google subtle humor, the normal yellow street view man in street view Antarctica is replaced by a penguin. EdTechIdeas: I realize it’s not “Christmassy” and Santa lives in the North Pole, not the South; but there’s some great images here not to be missed. Students could write stories about what life would be like if Santa lived in Antarctica. They could pinpoint where his home would be and find a suitable area for a landing strip.

11. Christmas Around the World

Students can learn about different Christmas traditions in several countries. While the title of the site sounds grandiose and all-encompassing, there are only 8 countries highlighted. However, for learning about some different traditions for kids, it’s not a bad place to start.

12. Storynory

Storynory is a site that lets kids listen to free audio stories that are read by storyteller, Natasha Gostwick. The stories can be streamed live, or downloaded to be played anywhere. EdTechIdeas: Storynory would make a great listening center and a place story starting ideas. Students can created their own audio recordings and turn them into podcasts for other students, parents, and teachers to enjoy.

Happy Holidays from EdTechIdeas!

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

Making Quizzes Using ActivInspire

Learn how to make quizzes using ActivInspire and your ActivExpression voting devices.

Center Horizontal Navigation in a Google Site

Now you can easily center your horizontal navigation in your Google Site. Watch the video to see how.

5 Great Tools to Teach Coding

Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Coding teaches you how to think.
Below are resources for kids (and adults) to learn more about the exciting world of coding!
Web Apps 

Scratch – Developed by MIT, Scratch is one of the best coding sites out there. Scratch teaches and allows students to create fun games while learning all about coding. There are some wonderful video tutorials, so even if you know absolutely nothing about coding, you will be off and running in no time!
Blockly – nice tutorials which guide students in the basics of coding.
Mobile Apps 

Daisy the Dino – Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur! This free, fun app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen.
Hopscotch – Using this beautiful, intuitive programming language, kids can unleash their creativity and build their own games, animations and programs.
Kodable – Kodable is a free educational iPad game offering a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving. For kids ages 5 and up, and tools for grownups too!

5 Reasons to Teach Kids to Code

With the Hour of Code coming up (December 9-15), here is a great infographic from Kodable explaining why coding is such a useful skill for kids (and adults) to learn.

5 Reasons to Teach Kids to Code

Changing the Default Image Size in Blogger App for iDevices

If you or your students use Blogger for ePortfolios like mine do, at some point, you’ll want to try out the Blogger App for iPad and Android devices. It’s very straight forward, simple to use and enables student to post on the fly!  One of the issues that I’ve noticed though is that the default image size makes the photos too big and they begin taking over the side bar on the blog.  Here is an easy way to fix that issue in just a few easy taps.

Blogger Image Settings

Open the Blogger App

  1. Tap on the gear icon
  2. Tap Image resolution
Open the Blogger App

Change Image Resolution

Set it to Large (400×300) and tap done.

Change Image Resolution

Create New Blog Post

  1. Add a post title (remember to capitalize)
  2. Write your post
  3. Add appropriate labels (ie: gr3)
  4. Take a photo by launching the camera app, or add a photo from the camera roll.
Create New Blog Post

Before and After

Notice the way the X-large image takes over part of the side bar.
The large image does not.

Before and After

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!

Creating a Diagram Within a Google Doc

Here’s a short video I just created for a teacher at my school who was wanting her students to be able to work on labeling diagrams within a Google Doc.

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.


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