30 websites in 30 minutes


So many websites and so little time! Here are the latest, greatest, and cheapest technology tools and a few examples of ways to use them in the classroom and library!

4Teachers Family of Tools

A whole host of tools -- Rubistar, PBL Checklists, Classroom Architect, TrackStar, Web Poster Wizard, KidsVid

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Create stunning video presentations in a matter of minutes! Animoto creates actual wide-screen videos out of your selected sets of images (from your hard disk or from image-sharing sites) and with your preferred music in a matter of minutes and in a completely automated way (it even has an engine to determine transitions according to musical accompaniment). Animoto videos can be embedded on blogs, wikis, and other web pages or downloaded to your computer. Animoto can also upload your video directly to Youtube and Facebook.
Examples: Fractions, Magnetism, Free at Last, Tibet and China, Bill of Rights.

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Teach students how to create podcasts in the library or the classroom through the use of the free download program. An example of how this works is in the August issue of Library Sparks. Additional information about podcasting is available at:
Library Sparks article:
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Big Huge Labs

Teach students to create posters, cards, puzzles, and more for classroom projects, notes, letters, or programs. Digital photography and the ability to use limited, yet powerful words to grab attention, can be used for various subjects at the 4-12 grade levels.

Create motivational posters for fun......

Just when you thought it was safe to come out to play!

...or for instruction-------->

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Big Universe

Don't go crazy trying to collect writing samples of your students' best work to create your classroom anthology. This year, it's time to go digital! Big Universe not only allows students to read a wide-variety of picture books online, they can also publish their own in just a matter of minutes. The best part? It's FREE! (An in-depth review of the product is available in the October issue of School Library Journal's "Digital Resources Column.")
Example: The Determined Dog

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Bookmarking service

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Great mind-mapping/graphic organizer tool. Example of templates: http://www.exploratree.org.uk/explore/templates.php
Another mind-mapping tool: Text2Mapping http://www.text2mindmap.com/

Flickr logo. If you click it, you'll go home
Flickr logo. If you click it, you'll go home


Some great ways to use Flickr in the classroom or library include:
  • For single image analysis.
  • For single image writing prompt
  • For multiple image digital storytelling projects.
  • For creating slides shows within Flickr.
  • For virtual Field Trips,
  • For illustrating poetry with Flickr.
More ideas are available at Flickr in the K-12 Classroom.

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Upload your podcast or create your own virtual fieldtrip podcast using your cell phone and GCast as your hosting site. Here's an example:
http://www.gcast.com/u/sbrisco/main To use your cell phone with a Gcast account dial 1-888-65-GCAST (888-654-2278), enter your Gcast pin number and begin your mobile podcast from any venue.

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Glogster is a new service that lets users create web pages (they call them posters) using Flash elements. Upload photos, songs, text and other stuff, drag it around, and call it a day. You can even embed the poster on another website. An example of how this can be used at even the university level comes from Oklahoma State. This problem-based learning lesson focused on an engineering activity. The scenario was that each group designed their own model airplanes and created a process for mass production. Then, they had to convince "the powers that be" that their town and production process were the best. They used Glogster to make the case. Examples: Crescent, Shawnee, Ripley, Keys

Google Earth: Image Overlays

Students can create images with editing software and then insert these into Google Earth as image overlays. These can be exported as KMZ files, and shared with each other or compiled into a single Google Earth database. Many instructional uses can be drawn from this functionality. Google Earth KML Gallery

Google Lit Trips: http://www.googlelittrips.org/

Google for Educators: http://www.google.com/educators/all_grades.html

Google Suite

I'll bet you thought Google was just a search engine. Well, you thought wrong. Google has full-blown e-mail (Gmail), word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation software (Google Docs) as well. Manage your blog feeds with your reader (Google Reader) and your calendar with Google calendar. When you use the iGoogle suite, you can manage them all in one spot. Google ROCKS!

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Find great music ---- from Elmo to Adele---it's all here! You can listen online or create your own widget and post your music on a website or digital worksheet for students to use their listening skills. Try it!**

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Applications for Education
Jing is a very useful tool to have installed on your computer. Jing makes it easy for teachers to create short screencasts and screenshots to explain to students how to use a new piece of software or a new website. Screencast can be particularly useful if you're students are going to be doing work online away from your classroom. Post your screencasts online and your students can watch them when you're not available to answer their "how-to" questions.

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Picture books that you can discover, share, and talk about...all online and full-text!! A great way to read before you buy and share with parents, students, and other bibliophiles!

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Open Office


Digital Scrapbooks with PowerPoint

PowerPoint with Digiscraps
Forget the tape and scissors! Teach students how to create their own "digital scrapbook pages" for reading, literature, social studies, history, science, and more! It's all free and it's waiting for your creativity to complete! For tons of resources, digital scrapbook embellishments, and directions for using PowerPoint as a digital scrapbook in the classroom, go to the School Library 2.0 wiki.
Digital Scrapbook page in PowerPoint
Digital Scrapbook page in PowerPoint

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This is one of the easiest photos--to---video programs available! In addition to creating your own "videos" from still photos, you can also add music from the music library available.

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Read the Words

Choose a digitized voice to read and save your text. A great way to read text aloud and in other languages!

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Digital Story created using PhotoStory3 and posted to StudentTube: The Best Place in the World to Grow Up

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Want to make your next booktalk a bit more jazzy? Looking for a way to introduce the Sequoyah books to your students? See how Smilebox can help you create a fast and fun way to showcase your new books. Here's how Jan McGee from Louisiana used it for her school's state award books: http://secure.smilebox.com/ecom/openTheBox?sendevent=4d7a59774e5459334d3377334d6a49344d6a6b790d0a&sb=1

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Use this tool to collection information quickly within the class or around your school. Find out the results within seconds! Forget counting paper ballots for your next Sequoyah Book Award voting...use Survey Monkey instead. Here's an example.

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Global Warming lesson cartoon

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Twitter is a great way to stay in contact with people all over. You can just watch and listen, or you can join the conversation and "tweet" yourself. It's a great professional development tool!

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Have students do demonstrations, storytelling, and projects on voicethread! I've used it to post pictures of puppets that I have available for checkout in my school's library. I also created a vacation scrapbook. Since voicethread is interactive, my daughter was able to comment on the pictures that I included. I plan to make voicethreads to demonstrate how to independently check out books in our library. I am planning to have students do presentations of their information gathered for research reports on voicethread as well. You only get three free voicethreads, then it starts costing money. Details are on the voicethread.com website.
Concentration Camps voicethread by Erin Lester

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A collaborative site to share information with others. This is a great way to introduce group projects for students AND teachers. One example is the Texas School Librarian's wikispace...which you're using now! http://txschoollibrarians.wikispaces.com

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This is not a site to surf in class, as its content is not monitored, but there are some exciting possibilities for teacher use if carefully done. We’ll look at possibilities and ways to navigate use for (but not necessarily in) school safely that will jazz up the classroom.

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Biography of Emily Dickinson
Famento http://famento.com This is a timeline tool for family memories

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Have you ever had the file you need, but you need it in a different format? Then Zamzar is the website for you! Convert files from one format to another for free. The only catch: the converted files are only available for 24 hours.

Zoto Show

Zoho Show http://show.zoho.com
Example Zoho Show