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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Google Art Project: Explore World Museums

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As the end of the year approaches, teachers are often looking for engaging activities to keep their energetic students on task. Perhaps you might want to consider taking your students on a virtual field trip to explore art museums from around the world.

Google Art Project is an interactive website that uses the same street view technology you've probably seen in Google Maps to allows visitors to virtually explore museums and view hundreds of pieces of art. Even better, visitors can view them at incredible zoom levels to get even closer than you could if you were actually standing in front of the original painting. Visitors can even create and share their own collection of masterpieces.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Flipped Classroom

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As an instructional tech facilitator my goal is to help teachers progress through the stages of technology adoption to get to the point at which they are using technology as a tool for learning, rather than using it as an add on to supplement traditional learning activities. To do that successfully, teachers must adjust their roles, moving from traditional teacher to learning coach or facilitator. Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams are a couple of innovative teachers who have developed an approach to teaching and learning known as The Flipped Classroom, which certainly supports the idea of teachers as learning coaches. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Edublogs Free Tools Challenge

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The Free Tools Challenge is a great online professional development opportunity for busy teachers provided by Edublogs. Designed to help participants learn to use free Web 2.0 tools, this 30 day challenge encourages us all to try one new tool each week through challenge activities created by by guest bloggers. I got the opportunity to be a guest blogger for the challenge and the activitiy  I created,  Free Tools Challenge #25: Using Jog the Web in the 24/7 Classroom, was published earlier this week.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Text Compactor: Simplify and Summarize Text

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Text Compactor is a free online tool for summarizing and simplifying text. It is extremely user-friendly and requires no login so it's a perfect tool for students to add to their own toolkits of resources.

Just copy and paste some digital text into the box, use the slider to determine the percentage of text you want to end up with, and view the simplified text.

Use it as a tool to help struggling readers of all ages. Try it at textcompactor.com.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

JogTheWeb for Guided Student Learning

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One of the best ways to use JogTheWeb is as a tool to create flexible, guided activities to help all students learn. It's easy to design a Jog for success if you set a goal of providing students with multiple ways to access and acquire information. Design your lessons to include video,  text written at a variety of reading levels, simulations and interactive websites then see if it makes a difference in the success of all students. Take a look at a very simple Jog I created, Let's Explore the Nervous System, to view multiple ways to present information to students.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tweet Topic Explorer

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If you appreciate a good word cloud you might be eager to learn about a tool that creates a word cluster out of the information people post on Twitter, commonly referred to as tweets.


This word cluster identifies the most frequently used words tweeted and also groups them to show relationships. Although the sample of my tweets below is only an image, you go to the actual website then  click on any word to highlight it in the tweets.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Photosynth - Capture the World in 3D

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Photosynth is a cool tool for capturing and viewing the world in 3D. This tool takes a series of photos and weaves them together to create a virtual tour. You and your students can explore the many photosynths already created simply by visiting the website, or create your own by signing up for an account.

Please enjoy this photosynth of the Chicago Skyline.


Try it for yourself at phyosynth.net

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