Mar 232011

Links/Resources for ED 5320 – Comprehension for Content Reading on March 23 2011:

Bouns: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake recipe….

    Mar 222011
    Interactive Whiteboard Resources

    Looking for some ideas on how to use your Interactive Whiteboard? Below are a variety of web sites and resources that UEN gathered just for you.


    Preschool Interactives

    UEN gathered a variety of online activities that are appropriate for Preschool aged children. They are organized by Letters, Numbers, Me and STEM.

    K-2 Student Interactives

    UEN’s collection of online games for kindergarten, first and second grade students is perfect for your Interactive Whiteboard.

    3-6 Student Interactives

    Engage your whole classroom and promote collaboration by displaying these grades 3-6 online interactives.

    7-12 Student Interactives

    See your 7th – 12th grade students get excited about learning with this collection of interactive games and tools.

    PBS KIDS Interactive Whiteboard Games

    Here is a collection of interactive whiteboard games from PBS. Like their programs, all of their games are age-appropriate and vetted by educators.

    Thinkfinity: Student Interactives

    Thinkfinity provides free online learning interactive games and activities for students of all ages.

    National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

    These online manipulatives and activities allow K-12 students explore and examine math concepts.

    Shodor Interactivate

    This is a popular set of interactive online materials for math and science education – for grades 3 through 12.

    This site offers a bank of visual teaching-aids and interactives for the Science classroom.

    Thanks to the good folks at UEN for bringing these great Interactive White Board activities and eMedia videos together for Utah teachers.

    Spread the word!

    Mar 222011

    There is a little-known trick in Gmail (and in turn Google Apps users) that will let you delegate multiple ‘virtual’ Gmail addresses to a single account.

    In Gmail, account names with periods anywhere in them are ignored. Also, and more importantly for schools, Gmail will ignore anything following an account name appended with the ‘+’ plus sign.

    Yeah, it took me a second as well to grok what that can mean for teachers….

    I have worked with a few different elementary schools, and they would really love to have their students be able to use Gmail, along with some of these new, amazing Web 2.0 tools such as Animoto and Prezi. These services require that you have an email account to create an account. The problem is that Gmail requires (by mandate of federal law) that account holders be at least 13 years of age. If the school/district does not have a student email solution, or if their solution is that students can use Gmail, that leaves anyone under 13 out of luck.

    If I would have known about the Gmail addressing trick, the problems would have been solved for these teachers and students. Now I know that 1 Gmail account can be managed by 1 teacher, but have as many unique ‘users’ delegated by using the + addressing trick.

    Let’s explore… Let’s say that you teach 5th grade, and you create a new Gmail account called ‘tanners5th’, so your address is Now, if you wanted your students to use any web services that require an email address, you allow them to sign up as:

    …and so on using whatever naming convention you want. The account will receive any and all messages addressed to any of these delegates – Gmail ignores the + and what follows, but keeps it in the address so that you can easily use filters or can see what message was directed to whom in your class.

    One account for the entire class, but as many unique email addresses as you need to sign up for these excellent Web 2.0 tools. A very neat and clean solution!

    Mar 182011

     There has been a lot written about this project in the local news and not all of it positive. However, what I saw today while visiting the school was nothing short of amazing. I saw engaged students and teachers using the devices in a variety of ways. 

    From their website:

    Welcome to our 1:1 iPod Touch program called iCougars! The iCougars@KHS project seeks to increase student achievement of our high school students through a student-centered, one-to-one mobile technologies model by providing every student and staff member with personal access to a mobile computing device in a wireless environment. The mobility of these devices will allow staff and students to use them for learning both inside and outside of school, engaging a 21st century 24/7 learning environment. Mobile devices in class will enable students to engage in research, team projects, classroom activities, and academic coursework. Beyond the school campus the devices will remain in the hands of students, available for homework, email, extra-curricular activities, independent learning, and problem solving. Using the devices for formal class work as well as independent study and personal interests, students will gain not only immediate academic benefits but also valuable 21st century skills that will benefit them in their lives and careers. 1700 students and nearly 100 teachers will participate in the largest iPod Touch implementation to date.

    We were able to visit 4 classrooms today. We saw students in a Japanese 1 class using a variety of apps to learn not just to speak but to write the Japanese language. We saw a photography class using the devices to copy notes from the teacher, then using those notes heading off to different websites to do research. The next part of their assignment is to create flash cards with definitions of terms on them. Finally, they are to “bump” their devices with at least two other students to share their flash cards. Then they can compare and determine which definitions are better and can delete the ones they don’t select.

    We were also able to visit with a multimedia class, actually the class that creates student news show at Kearns. They have a lab full of computers yet the students were out shooting video and recording audio and video interviews with their iPod Touches connected to some of the coolest homemade tripods, and steadycams I have seen. This teacher has found apps that at least illustrate and mimic the concepts as all of the software he has on the PCs. He stated that the students actually grasp the concepts better from the iPod apps and are able to transfer that learning to the PC software. 

    Finally we visited a debate class. These students told us stories about how they use their iPods for 15 minutes and would have kept going for hours I think if school wasn’t ending. One young lady talked about the difference the iPod had made for here. She talked about the fact that her handwriting was so terrible that even she couldn’t read her notes. So she rarely had anything to study from for quizzes and test. With the iPod (and she had an iPad keyboard dock she was using with it). She could now take notes quickly and most importantly read them easily Due to this her grade were rising. Then another girl shared that her GPA had gone from a C- in the first quarter to a B+ in the second quarter after the iPods were rolled out. She attributes that success a lot to the iPod. Someone in our group asked if anyone else’s grades had gone up. 24 of the 26 students raised their hands and a few more shared stories of how the iPods had helped them feel and be more successful. One young man offered that his biggest problem in school was keeping organized and the iPod helped him to do that. 

    Finally we asked one more question of the group. “Have your feelings about school changed since the introduction of the iPods?” All but one raised their hands to signify that their feelings towards school had markedly improved since the start of the program. 

    This is all anecdotal evidence, but I think when real measure are taken, Kearns High will see some astounding achievement growth. They have already seen astounding school pride growth.


    Well said. Why are ‘We’ so afraid of these new technologies? It’s amazing the impact that they can have if we simply just let them in.

    Thanks for sharing, Kelly.

    Mar 142011

    Here’s the link to view today’s presentation

    Links and resources mentioned in our session:

    What if your students do NOT have an unlimited SMS plan or even a cell phone, but they DO have an iPod Touch? Try the textPlus app (iTunes link)

    Poll Everywhere polls:

    Mar 082011

    Why Collaborize Classroom?

    Collaborize Classroom is designed to complement classroom instruction and engage students in online activities, assignments and discussions that allow for deeper participation inside and outside the classroom.

    • Do more with less. Allow your students to participate on their own time with an easy-to-use platform.
    • Enrich your curriculum with multimedia. Embed Microsoft Office documents, videos, pictures, and PDFs.
    • Give every student a voice. Teach students how to have productive, respectful and supportive discussions online.
    • Publish discussions to a results page so students can see tangible outcomes of their conversations.
    • Access detailed student participation reports that make grading easy!
    • Download FREE lesson plans to help get you started.

    Collaborize Classroom looks like a great tool to enable student engagement and interaction online around your classroom topics. What’s better, it looks much easier to use and navigate than other learning management systems like Blackboard.

    This tool also lets you go beyond the normal quick-response multiple-choice questions – you can require students to actually WRITE WHY they chose the option that they did, in both Pro/Con and multiple choice question formats.

    And, they guarantee that it’s 100% free for educators since they make their money on a paid business version of the site.

    Want to give it a shot? Check out the Resource Documents & How-To Videos! You can also follow their updates on Twitter @Collaborize.

    Mar 042011

    Links and Resources mentioned in this presentation:

    Here’s the ‘Google Docs in Plain English video:

    Which Presentation “Deadly Sin” have you broken most often?


    Mar 042011
    Here’s the presentation for the session today:

    The Topics of Discussion:

    Other links & resources:

    Poll Everywhere Questions:

    Question 1

    Question 2