Monthly Archives: September 2012

Jump for joy when you use Jing!

I discovered this Website when browsing through Teacher Training Videos (an absolutely amazing Website).  Russell Stannard does such a great presentation of how to use Jing, I’ll let him do the talking – http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/Jing/index.html.

Use Jing to create a live video of what you are seeing on your computer screen with your voice over providing audio instruction.  It is very simple to use.  Once you download the software (and it’s free!), you click and drag over the section of the computer screen you want your viewers to see.  Then everything you say is recorded.  Jing saves the video with your audio recording for you. 

This is a great idea for when you want to walk students through an online lesson or you are presenting a PD for your peers where they will need to use a computer.

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Filed under Websites for sharing

Where can I post activities for student group projects AND use it to connect with personal friends?

Have you ever wanted to post a hot topic for your students to debate?  Did you want your students to have the ability to post messages back and forth on a group project?  Have you wanted a central location to wish a family member good luck or plan a surprise party?  Then Wallwisher.com may be just the site for you.

 Wallwisher is a free site that works like on online corkboard or dry erase board.  It is an easy to use “virtual wall.”  You can create your account using your Google identity or make a “new” persona.  There is the ability to add links, videos and pictures.  You can customize your  background and adjust the settings so no-one can post a comment without your approval.  The site provides the ability for you to share the link to your wall through multiple methods.

Here are some ideas for ways you can use  Wallwisher:

  • Put up a topic with opposing viewpoints. Have the students post their thoughts to start a lively discussion which can connect to lessons in the classroom.
  • Put up extra credit questions for students to answer.
  • Have students who are performing a group project use the page as a forum to communicate.
  • Place links you want students to utilize for their homework, to view a presentation, watch a video, etc.
  • Bookmark sites that you feel would be beneficial for your students or you want to have as a list to share with your colleagues and/or friends.
  • Brainstorm with your grade and department peers from home.  Be able to see everyone’s thoughts and opinions at once without having to scan down through various e-mail responses.
  • For personal use – people can RSVP to a party or you can post an announcement.
  • Make check lists that students can refer back to regarding projects you give them.  Students can let you know if they are having difficulty with a particular step.
  • Get feedback on a lesson you taught.  What worked? What didn’t?  What would help the students in the future?
  • Are you creating a lesson for a staff PD?  Get real-time responses to use during breaks that you can address when everyone reconvenes.

I am sure you can come up with many more ways to use this site.  I think it will be a time saver both in your professional and personal lives.

 

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Miss, is it true if I forward this e-mail money will be donated to hungry children?

We’ve all been there.  An e-mail comes in our mailbox claiming a friend’s child has cancer, but you can help because the hospital will take money off of their bill for every hundred forwards.  Another one is that Bill Gates is giving  away $100 to the first thousand people to respond to this e-mail.  How do you know if it’s true?  If a child can be helped, you want too – but, what if it’s a hoax.  What if (gasp) you get a virus by going to the site?!

There are a number of places you can go to on the Web which will tell you the answer you are looking for; however, there is one so respected that it is used by librarians around the world.  It is Snopes.com – www.snopes.com.  Snopes.com is considered to be the best Internet resource for finding the facts about myths, hoaxes, urban legends, current news stories making the rounds that is being debated as factual and other forms of misinformation.

This site is so respected that hoaxers will claim in their e-mails the facts have been validated by Snopes.com on such and such a date.  Just click “here” to find out.  They have created a clone site for you to go so you believe what they are saying is true.  If you see this in an e-mail, DO NOT click on the link they provide or accept their statement as accurate.  Just type in www.snopes.com into a new browser page and check for yourself.

It is easy, type a few key words into Snopes.com’s search field.  You will receive a hit of all the items that matched your criteria on their Website.  Most often, you will see the exact wording used in your e-mail or in the “story” you’ve heard about.  Snopes.com will tell you what parts of the text are true and what parts are false.  You will be provided with dates and links to supporting documentation or citations of the print sources where you can find the information for yourself.

The only negative part I have found in using the Website is that there is always a pop up ad when you first enter the homepage.  Usually it is for a harmless company like Netflix, but it is still annoying.  I guess one can’t complain since it is such an easy and free way to accurately verify information.  Also, you can always turn on your pop up blocker.  😉

So if you want to check up on the story your student/child told you, need to know if the e-mail your friend sent you is true, the newest virus e-mails making the rounds or just curious is that story you heard about so and so on the news correct, Snopes.com is the place for you.

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Filed under Website Reliability

You asked, I answered

For the past two years, I have forwarded links and information I thought might be helpful for you to use in the classroom or to bring a smile to your day :).  Some of you requested I create a centralized location to place these items so you didn’t have to worry about “losing” the e-mail or printout you made.

Voila – you asked, I answered :).

At least once a week, I will post something that could be beneficial for your research and education needs.  I will re-visit old topics and introduce new ones.  If there is an area you’d like for me to post about, just drop me a line and I will be glad too.

I hope you enjoy this blog, it is here for you. 🙂

 

 

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A place to share teaching resources and ideas.

A new Website has come into being to help teachers of all grade levels share ideas, lessons and resources which can be utilized in the classroom.   When you are looking for help, who better than another teacher knows what you are going through?  On ShareMyLesson – www.sharemylesson.com teachers share their ideas, lessons and experiences which have worked for them in the classroom.  Best of all…. the site is absolutely free!

The American Federation of Teachers recommended this Website in their September/October 2012 issue of American Teacher as a wonderful resource for preschool to college level teachers.

Need help with the Common Core Standards?  Not to worry.  With the emphasis of these standards in education today, you will find many resources on this site to help you.

Why not give ShareMyLesson a try?  It already has over 180,000 resources available for you to use. 

Good or bad, let me know what you think.  Happy exploring 🙂

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Filed under Common Core, lesson planning