Add a little technology to your classroom!


7 ways to: Bring Today's Tech to your Classroom! (Instructor Magazine)

#1- Have your students BLOG!- Have a blog that your students participate in! Have them post book reviews, creative writing, and podcasts! You can get a BLOG site through Class Blog Meister! Students can post from home and the greattt thing about this site is that teachers can read and approve each post before it goes live on the site. In order to protect the students identity, some teachers use the students initials, a self drawn portrait, or pictures of the back of students' heads! Teachers you can also use Edu Blogs to post scheduling information, homework assignments and more! Both sites are advertisement free and free to use!

#2- Create a Social Network!- You can use a social-networking software from Elgg. This can be used like Facebook and Myspace without the open forums for students to harass each other. Students can create personal profiles on this social network site and learn to connect over shared interestes and leave respectful, constructive comments for one another. Students aren't the only ones that can have profiles! Students can also make profiles for characters from novels and books by adding pictures, likes and dislikes, and even blog entries from that characters point of view. This is a password protected and FREE social network!! Dive in!!! To create a free, ad-free social network for 7th & 8th graders, look into Ning!

#3- Create PodCasts!- Student can record podcasts quickly and easily using these podcasts sites, Gabcast and Gcast. With a classroom podcast, students can share research on any projects, record an announcement for the class or class website, and more. All you need to record podcasts is a phone!

#4-Use Wikis for big projects!- Though blogs may be the easiest web sites to maintain, they're not great for large, collaborative class projects that sort a lot of information onto separate web pages. For that, it'd be easier to have kids contribute to a wiki. It's a great way to create a large web stite without knowing HTML or web design. A classroom from Kansas collaborated and made a wiki called Arrrpirates, where the posted their reports on the history of piracy! The wiki lets them easily link to each other's work using the same collaborative method and internal linking that you see on Wikipedia. To start you class wikis, go to Wiki Spaces! They are now providing free, ad-free private wiki hosting to the first 100,000 K-12 teachers who request it!! Get started pronto!!

#5- Try Social Bookmarking!- This is a great way to share online resources with students, parents, and other teachers. One school district uses this to share websites. If someone finds a website they want to share, they can send the site to their school's media specialist with relevant tags, and the specialist will add it to the county's account. It's quick and easy to search for things that are relavant to you! All you would have to do is click the French or Grammar tag and all that apply will pop up! You don't have to go district wide to take advantage of social bookmarking. You can create your own Delicious social bookmarking account and add it to your class web page so students can navigate to your favorite websites easily! Once they have your username, they can track your bookmarks from home or the library as well!

#6- Post Videos!- Use this to encourage your students to create video "discussions" for each chapter of a book. Students can summarize a chapter of the book and raise several discussion questions about the chapter. You can also send links to the parents for the videos! You can even post these videos on Teacher Tube! You can create and edit videos on Macs using iMovie and create fun intro credits using Animoto, like a teacher from Nebraska did. If you don't have a Mac, you can use other open-souce video-editing programs that work on Windows and Linux, such as Avidemux and VirtualDub.

#7- Explore with Google Maps!- With a litte creativity, Google's mapping resource can be useful for more than just locating things. One teacher from Manhattan made an in-depth Google map to track the locations of Odysseus's journey around southern Europe. At each major stop, students included an illustration and a description of what happenes at that point in his journey. Students also used Google maps to locate all of the major buildings for the Beijing Olympics and then created a virtual 3D model of each building using Google SketchUp (an easy and intuitive program!).



Story Place- This website lets students read electronic stories, print out activities, and gives a book list of great reads!

Story Line Online- This website lets students listen to stories read by The Screen Actors Guild Foundation (people such as Haylie Duff, Jason Alexander and Amanda Bynes!)

Star Fall- This website was designed for younger grades, Pre-K-2nd. It includes how to teach letter-sound relationships, games with simple word families, mini-movies for kids and much more!
Book Adventure- Students can take quizes on books that they have read (they have over 7,000 titles to choose from). They can earn points by answering questions correctly, and earning prizes!
Kids Books- This site is like It has many lists of books and reviews written by students. Have your students write their own reviews!
Classroom Cast- Watch videos of authors talking about their book(s)!
Kids National Geographic- This is a great way to get kids more interested in learning! They can play games, read stories, watch videos, all while learning about our world!
Flash Light Readers- This is a club for your students to join to share about their favorite books! This includes games, activities, author info. and more on their favorite books!



Writing Fix- This site has to offer many word and writing games from 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade teachers!

Poety Publish with Jack Prelutsky!- You can get your students poems published on the web! Make sure to read the Terms of Submission first. They don't ask for any personal information, that's a plus!

PBS Stop and Go Writing- This site is where students write the end of the story using a picture, or a mini-movie clip!
Kids Are Authors- This is an annual competition, through Scholastic, for grades K-8. It encourages students to write their own books. The winners books are published for people to buy!
Book Report Sandwich Station- Here is a tasty way to make sure you have all the ingredients needed for a great book report. The students can write their book reports using a computer and print it too!
Myth Brainstorming Machine- This is to help students come up with their own creative myths to write about!
Poetry Idea Engine- Here, students will be able to write haikus, free verse, limericks and more! Great for a computer center or a writing center! They can print their poems when they are finished!
Write a Review- Have your students write a review on a book that they have read. They even offer tips to keep in mind for writing a review!


Social Studies

If you were President- How would you run the country? Have your students play this game to see the important decisions that they would have to make if they were president. Afterwords, they will be able to print out a report on their progress!

Dear America- Here are some exciting activities for students to get their hands on! This site includes a womens history quiz, arts and crafts, framery, downloads and more!

Immigration- Ask recent kid immigrants questions! Read immigration stories! Take an inter-active tour of Ellis Island and more!

Awesome biography websites:

Garden of Praise

Link list of many famous people, with printables for everyone (word search, crossword puzzle, study sheet, and student worksheet).

Time for Kids

Bunches of resources, plus teacher resources.

White House Kids

All of the presidents and mini-bios on each!


Lots of bios on famous men & women to pick from!



Spelling Wizard- Use this to help your students spell or get some vocabulary practice! All they have to do is type in their words (up to 10), and it will make a Spelling Scramble and Word Search of their spelling words! This would work great as a computer center!

Kid PodCasts- Your students can listen to celebrity PodCasts! OR watch a video of a celebrity talking about their favorite books or authors!

Card Factory- Your students can create cards online! They can pick their own border, background, and images to add. An e-mail address DOES need to be used to send this card. But it would make for a neat project with pen pals! Send the cards to the cooperating teacher!
Videos4Kids- "From Einstein to Gandhi, Pocahontas to Shakespeare, check out [their] videos full of fun facts created just for kids!"

Surfing the Net with Kids- This is an amazing website! I have found so many online games and activities, that it's hard to notice all of them!

Online Math Manipulatives- This is a great place for your students to be able to use manipulatives!

SOAR (Student Online Achievement Resources)- This is a web-based educational resource specially designed for military families. Students take an assessment and SOAR takes them to tutorials so they can improve skills where needed. Parents can receive resource materials and monitor their child's progress from any where!

Junior Pest Control- This site gives kids the 411 on integrated pest management, an ecological way of understanding and controlling pests.

Buzz Lightyear- Buzz has taken off in a space shuttle! Students can read his journal, listen to transmissions, and play science related games.

Discovery Edu. Streaming- Discovery can help you integrate into any curriculum 8,700 full length videos!!! They are tied directly to state and national standards!

Flip Video Camera- This video camera is great to use in your classroom! Easily record and download videos of your students! All you do is point and record, then plug the camera into your computer using the built in USB adapter to download! The camera is so easy to use, your students will also enjoy using it! (Teachers also get a discount!)

The flip video camera also has a tripod!



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