Monday, May 28, 2012

Embed PPT with SkyDrive

Here is a great tip for PowerPoint users! Use an online public folder in Microsoft's Sky Drive to embed a Power Point file into a blog or Web site so your readers can view it without having any special software/apps installed, and without having to convert anything before you post it! It even works (to view, at least) on iPad!

Embed A Power Point Presentation on a Web Page

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Voice of District #205

Very soon our district will be launching a new integrated telecommunications system. While there is much, much more to it, what our community will notice first is that we will seem to have a new and much more modern phone system, including a call-routing system with voice prompts. During the past couple of months our school district has been conducting a contest to find a real live person to record these personalized voice menu prompts instead of using some random computer-generated voice.
The Voice Crop1
We are proud to announce that Dan Powell, (right) Social Sciences Teacher at Galesburg High School North has been selected to become “The Voice.” Dan will spend a portion of his summer recording these messages for all schools and buildings in our District. As reward for this commitment, Dan has received a tablet computing device, a certificate suitable for framing, and “a really big check.” …LOL…

If you would like to conduct a similar activity in your own school or district, you can read the details of this contest on our website for The Voice of District #205.

Spin To Win, from Teachers Love SMART Boards

Here’s a great resource to tuck away for next school year. James Hollis of Teachers Love SMART Boards has created a “Spin to Win” review game template for use on SMART Boards. All you have to do is enter the text of your questions and answers. Kids can tap the board to randomly select review questions of varying difficulties or categories, depending on how you set things up.

Instructions on how to edit the file and play the game are on one of the last slides near the end.

Here’s a quick video overview showing how to edit the file & use it in the classroom.

Download the file for free from Teachers Love SMART Boards!


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Best Websites For Learning About Memorial Day

As we wind down the school year, it is important to remember that Memorial Day is more than just an unofficial beginning of summer or a signal for municipal pools to open for the season.

Memorial Day was originally established as Decoration Day following the Civil War to honor soldiers who had fallen in battle.  Over time the traditions have expanded this remember all loved ones who have passed away.

To learn more about this observance across the nation and similar ones around the world, I highly recommend Larry Ferlazzo's The Best Websites For Learning About Memorial Day

Fake Facebook Profiles for Historical Figures

Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers introduces us to the latest way to create fake Facebook-like profiles for historical figures.
Fakebook now allows users to animate events on a Fakebook profile, so users can experience the progression of events in a figure’s life, etc.
The post also includes links to other ways to incorporate false Facebook-like profiles into instruction.
At this point in the year we’re all looking for a way to hook kids’ interests – this would be a great tool to tuck away for next year.
Learn how to use Fakebook in 90 seconds.

The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons

Here's an interesting and though-provoking approach to teaching History. from Larry Ferlazzo. What a great idea for an end-of-the-year "look back" at what students have learned.

The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons

What do you think would have happened if... That question alone stimulates higher-order thinking about what students have learned...

How GPS Works

Here’s a great video explaining how Global Positioning Systems (GPS) work. This and more can be found at NASA’s eClips channel on YouTube.

Thanks to Free Tech for Teachers for this tip!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Google+ PLN Experiment


I’m slowly dipping my toe in the waters of Google+ as a Professional Learning Network (PLN). One of the neat features is that blog posts here can be shared automatically to my Google+ stream, so anyone else who wants to participate can also read my blog posts.

So, if you’re feeling adventurous – or if you pity this poor Johnny-Come-Lately – visit Google+ and add me to your circle!

Monday, May 14, 2012

7 Ways to Keep Students Focused While Using Technology


Great Post from Vicki Davis on the Cool Cat Teacher blog: 7 Ways to Keep Students Focused While Using Technology (from Edudemic). While on the surface these may seem a bit elementary, the details offer surprisingly helpful tips for your next foray into the computer lab, etc.  Read the full post to learn more.

  1. Encourage direct engagement
  2. Ask for more participation
  3. Delve into a topic
  4. Make use of online resources in class
  5. Assign research topics
  6. Use real-world problems
  7. review what they’ve learned 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bats Live Free E-Field Trip

imageLearn 360 and BatsLIVE are hosting a free interactive electronic field trip Thursday, May 17, from 1-2 pm ET (12-1 Central Time). The e-field-trip is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and produced by the Prince William Network.

BatsLIVE focuses on Bat conservation and is intended for students and teachers in grades 4-8. Click here to learn more and register if you have a Learn 360 account. All others can register through the BatsLIVE web site.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lucas Honors Teachers

Filmmaker George Lucas published a letter honoring teachers today, Teacher Appreciation Day, on Edutopia.

There is no other job more important than education. It is the foundation of our democracy. By seizing on what’s working, and recreating those successes from one classroom to the next, we can make it better for everyone.

Thanks to every educator out there for all the hard work and extra effort you put forth every day!

In Honor of Maurice Sendak

Today, educators and children alike mourn the passing of Maurice Sendak, beloved author of Where The Wild Things Are. 
To remember Maurice Sendak, here are some helpful and nostalgic links:
And finally, a couple of video versions of WTWTA from YouTube:

Thanks to Read Write ThinkBright Hub, and Free Tech for Teachers for tips on these resources

Kids with Special Needs & Tech–from NetSmartz


Each month, the NetSmartz Workshop publishes “The NetSmartz Five” – an email digest of 5 tips for safe and educationally relevant tech use ideas and resources.  To sign up to receive these emails, visit the NetSmartz Web site.

This month’s email – viewable here as a Web page – is entitled,5 Things You Should Knows About Using Technology with Special Needs Children.” It contains some great ideas and advice from experts to help teachers and parents use technology tools with students having special needs. Check it out!

Read the latest post!

"New" IAR Replaces PARCC in IL

Image from After several years and no small amount of controversy, PARCC in Illinois is being replaced by the IAR: The Illi...

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