Showing posts from March, 2012

Friday Freebie: Triptico IWB Resources are Unbelievable!

This week's Friday Freebie is a MUST HAVE for anyone with an interactive whiteboard and a YOU SHOULD STILL GET IT for anyone else!

Triptico: IWB Toolkit (available at is a collection of 23 interactive resources that teachers are always looking for to engage students. It is not a web-based resource, rather it is a downloadable program that runs on Adobe Air (which will be installed if you don't have it). The whole installation process takes less than 5 minutes.

Once you've installed it, you open it and get the  window you see above. You then use the scroll bar at the bottom to scroll through the 23 resources. When you find the one you want, double-click and away you go. So, what are these wonderful resources? Well, here are just a few ...

Word Magnets - You can create a list of words than be dragged and placed on the board. For the board, you can have a blank screen or choose from a variety of templates like columned charts, Venn diagrams, or cause &…

Loving My New Kindle Fire!

At a recent budget meeting with our elementary school principal, she expressed an interest in looking at a different delivery method for technology in the early elementary grades. Specifically, she wanted to explore the use of Kindle Fires in the classroom I have a "regular" Kindle and I have an iPad, but I didn't have a Kindle Fire. So, being the good Technology Director I am and wanting to make an informed recommendation, I purchased one. (Any excuse for a new toy, huh?)

Well, I finally got it last week and have been "playing around" with it for a few days. I absolutely love it! I'm not sure how this sleek gizmo passed me by, but I have found it to be an incredibly handy device for reading, browsing, and learning. It's small and lightweight and easy to navigate. The keyboard is much smaller than my iPad's so that took a little getting used to.

While there are not nearly as many apps in the Kindle Fire "store" as there are for the iPad, …

Friday Freebie: Socrative Cloud-Based Student Response is Awesome!

I don't know how it is I haven't blogged about Socrative before. It's a free student response system that, as their website puts it, is as easy as raising your hand. Accessible from any laptop, netbook, tablet, or mobile device, this system provides easy to analyze real-time data from your audience.
Their are two different logins, one for teachers and one for students. As a teacher, you get a "Room Number" that you give your students. You can then create questions "on the fly" by asking questions verbally and gather the responses through the system. You can even pre-build quizzes and deliver them as student led or teacher led quizzes.
Rather that try to give the site justice through words, I decided to create two quick intro videos. The first video shows the teacher view, the second video shows the student view.
This truly is one the easiest and best looking response tools I've seen. Get it a visit!

Friday Freebie: Create Books with Student Voice!

I've shared some great collaborative online sites with our elementary teacher that allow students to create books online. Sites like Storybird and Mixbook come to mind. All the teachers really appreciate these sites, but I often get a mixed response from our early level teachers. They love the sites, but point out that their Pk and Kindergarten students aren't at the point where they can write.
Our teachers are wonderfully creative and come up with ways to use these sites anyway. They let the kids create the story while they type or they let the pictures talk for themselves. But in doing so, we leave the students somewhat out of the creative process. Well, I finally came across a gem of a site that lets the students narrate their artwork to create a wonderful online book.
Little Bird Tales allows students to create images online or upload their artwork into a book. Then, using a very simple interface, they add their voice to each page. The final product can then be emailed to …