Sunday, October 31, 2010

Technology Applications Conference

I was lucky enough to get to go to the Technology Applications Conference at Region 4 last week.  It was very exciting to go and see things that I have just been learning through the “23 Things”.  It was even more exciting to see things that were new to me. 
One of the things that I discovered as I sat listening to someone speak while using an interactive board was that even though I don’t have an interactive board in my class I do have a touch screen computer and I can use all of the Smart software (we have a site license for that).  Now if I can just get the tech people to give me access to the Smart software and the folder that has all of the games that will work with it. 
Some of the other things that I can’t wait to take a better look at are:

kidblog is a safe site for teachers and students.

Edmodo is another safe site that I was told looks a little like Facebook and teachers that are intimidated by blogs seem to be more comfortable with this site. has many games and fun things for students.  I have seen this site somewhere in searching for my 23 things.
Voice Thread children can respond by voice, from what I remember it can be used like a blog where students respond but by voice not writing so it would be great for younger children.

Museum Box would be great for history!  Create your own box, or see boxes that have already been created.  Lets you put video, text into a box.

Capzules puts pictures and audio into a timeline effect.  Would be great for a history a presentation.

Voki is an Avatar that talks, very easy to make, easy to email but I’m still trying put it in this blog.

vuvox is a little like capsules, another tool that would be a great alternative to a power point presentation.

Google lit trips a way to teach literature with a road trip

Tween tribune articles that will cause controversy in the classroom

Tagul word tags, looks like wordle but words are linked to a URL.

Vodburner videos Skype.

I’m sure you can tell by my descriptions that I have not explored all of these fully.  Some I have looked at more than others, but from what I saw of them last week they look really useful, so I wanted to share them quickly!  I hope you see something here that you haven’t seen before and you learn something new also.  Next year's Technology Application Conference is already scheduled for November 27, 2011.  I hope I see you there!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thing #13: Tagging and Discover Delicious

I really like delicious.  I have never used a social bookmarking website.  As I was playing around with it I came across several sites and activities that I would like to use in my classroom in the next few weeks.  In the past I would have emailed a link to my school email then once I was at school made those sites a favorite.  With delicious I just bookmarked them and tomorrow when I have time I will open delicious and be able to get what I need off of any of the sites that I have already looked at.  Since I use a computer at school and 2 different computers at home it is sometimes hard to remember which computer I saved a web site too.  It will be so nice to get everything I use in one place.  It would be nice for the teachers I work with to have a delicious account and be able to share things through delicious and not have to save the link and email things to them.  Maybe one day soon I can convince my coworkers!
I looked at Delicious and also at, I didn't care for it, it seemed a little more like a Tabloid website to me. I also looked at but without signing in I could only watch a video and was a little frustrated at the time so I watched the video and left the site.  From the video it does look like it would be helpful to find information on specific topics, I'll have to go back when I'm not feeling so pressed for time and give it another look.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thing #11: LibraryThing

I have used a site like this before, but Library Thing seems to be more user friendly. For some reason, it seems easier to navigate than the other site.  The only thing I would like Library Thing to have and I haven't found is a wish list, or a place to add books that you want to read.  I did find some groups that interest me, historical fiction and YA readers are two of them.  I was surprised when I was looking at the groups to click on "see more tags" and see so many more groups.  I looked at many of the challenges too,  some of them look very interesting, there is no telling what you might end up reading!  There didn't seem to be much for children, but if /when I work with students that are reading YA literature Library Thing might be another tool for finding recommendations for books that might be interesting to them.  I would like to add a Library Thing Gadget to my classroom blog.  It would be much easier to post some of the books that we read to Library Thing than to cut and paste the cover to the blog like I sometimes do now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thing #10: Online Image Generator

I enjoyed this "thing".  I went down the list and played with the different websites.  I have used Wordle before and that is fun, it could be used in any class or subject.  Just have students use words that describe a specific country, or period of history, book that they have read, the list is endless.  I have had a hard time doing anything with Wordle except printing, saving or embedding is a problem for me. 

I also made a flower text from ImageChef, it is supposed to be on the side bar, it was there a few minutes ago, I hope it hasn't moved.  It was very easy to make, just type in the short message that you want, then type the place you want it to go, a blog, Facebook, Myspace, there were several other options.  The only problem I ran into was that if it was smaller it would fit better on my sidebar, but I can't shrink it!  I think it would be fun to change the message on a flower text in a blog to give a hint about something that will be happening in the library.  The text needs to be very short though, 1 or 2 words.

Big Huge Labs has so many things that you can do with your pictures, it is amazing.  It was hard to chose where to start.  I played with the Hockneyizer because I thought it was just so different.  The look of the polaroid is what got my attention.  Wouldn't it be fun to have this type of pictures of students involved in group projects or other activities in the library around the library or even in the hallway outside to promote the library?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thing #9: Useful Library-Related Blogs and News Feeds

I have spent many hours on this post also.  It is so easy to start searching and either get off track and end up reading all kinds of blogs or stay on track with educational blogs but spend way more time than you meant to looking for the blogs that you will actually want to spend time reading on a regular basis.

I looked at and thought it seemed like a great way to get national and local news, until I continued to read and started seeing that people were just making up and writing things that were completely crazy, evidently anyone can post to it and comment. award winners made it easy to fine blogs that are what I was looking for.  Although the name of some blogs doesn't really fit the content, it was quick and easy to open the blog and see if it fit what I was looking for.

One of my favorite blogs that I found was  They have so many free things that are very useful for teachers.