Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Here is my example ( <-- click) that I made. It is about a trip that I took during Spring Break. I uploaded pictures from my computer. You also have the option of drawing your own using a program similar to Paint, but as I am not an art teacher I will spare you that pleasure. It was very simple to load pictures, type what I wanted, and record my voice. It also reminds you to save your work before moving on. It really took me about 5 minutes. I can definitely see my students being able to do something like this on their own.

This website is also collaborative. Children can start a story, save it and share it with others who will have access to it.

Some other features I like is the little bar in the top corner that tells you how much data space you have left. Another is the ability to purchase an MP4 of your tale. It does cost .99 but can be played on any device that plays MP4's.

Using littlebirdtales.com to create books covers a few standards in the CCSS. With regards to Writing, teachers can have students write narratives to develop events using technology and well-chosen details. It also uses technology to produce and publish writing to interact and collaborate with others. Following ISTE standards, littlebirdtales.com allows students to demonstrate creative thinking using technology and also as a support for individual learning.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another Behavior Management Tool

A similar tool to weebehave.com is classdojo.com. It also aims at helping to improve behavior in the classroom. Classdojo allows both positive and negative points. It also enables you to email parents with a daily report for their child. Another feature that I like, is the ability to use a smartphone to access your class and award points through it, instead of just through the computer.
Another Writing Tool...

A similar tool to littlebirdtales.com is storybird.com. Where littlebirdtales.com is geared to the primary years, this is for the older ones. Instead of creating their own artwork for a book, students get to choose from hundreds of artist created works. Their claim is that this is "art-inspired storytelling". Students can begin simply by selecting artwork that they have an interest in or selecting a theme. If students select a theme say for instance pirate, they will be given artwork that features pirates. (Examples below were taken directly from the website)

Educational Uses
I have to say my students loved this website. They were hooked from the moment they created their user details. I used it as a way to just get students to use their creativity to write.

Did I mention that storybird can also be done as a collaborative project?! Well there ya go, it can. Students can invite others to help write a story. Many of my students didn't have to be told how to do this, they figured it out on their own. Just goes to show you how easy this website is, so easy a 3rd grader can figure it out. Many invited a partner to edit their work. The website more so centers the collaboration with adults, but I find that the children enjoyed getting help from their peers versus an adult.

Here is a snapshot of the Library where my students put their stories in during this past school year.

I really learned a lot about ways to improve the use of this website with my students. I kind of gave this to them as a way to see what they could do. I was very proud of them for jumping and getting to work on a few stories together though. I found that I could use this site to help students edit each others works. It also could be used in a mini-lesson for elements of writing. It would be a great way to track the growth in a students writing over the school year.

What others have to say about this site:

Teachersfirst.com recommends this site be used for Special Education students as a weekly update on progress. They also recommend that this site benefits those students who have difficulty following rules by evaluating themselves and comparing it to that of the teachers evaluation. 

My Example
Here is my "class" that I set up to dabble around with the site. 

As you can see, Joe has 2 goals for his day. I have filled in the full amount of spaces, 3, for completing homework and only 2 for starting work. It totals each item and has a mark to signify to teachers whether or not parents have viewed and "signed" off on the chart.  Once the daily data is in, there is a Dashboard that allows you to view all of your students progress. 

  • If you would like to experience how easy it is to create a question to your students, check out the video below. 

  • This next website also takes you step by step on how to create a question. It also gives a few great ideas on how to use this in your classroom. Lessons like asking what topic students would like to study next or creating a questionnaire for students (or colleagues) on a topic that needs to be reviewed for complete understanding. The site also gives an actual tricider for each example. 


As this website lends itself to so many topics, there really aren't any specific ISTE Standards that I can pinpoint. It lends itself to Critical Thinking and Decision Making (Standard 4). Depending upon how it is used, it can also meet Communication and Collaboration Standard. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Writing Tool

 This is a really cute website! It is an online storybook that can really get a child interested in writing. Although aimed at primary students, I feel that even my third graders would enjoy this. Children illustrate and write a story, then upload their images and record the story using their own voice. To use this in the classroom, the teacher creates an account for themselves and then for their students. A great security feature is that the accounts can be made private or open.

This website really encourages creativity in a student from beginning to end. Once a child has finished their story, they can then share it!

Classroom Uses
Some suggestions I have gathered from the links below that I can see myself using in class are the following:

  •  each student in the class can create and add a page to the story 
  •  students can create a scrapbook like video/story that displays what they did in a Science project, or on a field trip (great way to share with parents that didn't get to chaperone!)
  • uploading pictures of a students culture to share with classes around the world  

Here are those links:
A Behavior Management Tool

Ok so I wasn't quite sure that I liked the idea of having a behavior management tool on the computer as it isn't quite tangible for the kids, but I have shifted my views. This website is taking the place of your behavior charts or sticker charts. Even though there is no paper to be sent home at the end of each day, parents are still able see the status of their child's day. Parents are given a login code and are able to virtually "sign" that they have acknowledged. I definitely think there is a possibility for use of this in my classroom. 

Below is a link of directions on how to create an account. Also, take a look at this Bloggers 30-day challenge with 29 other Web 2.0 tools! 

Other Uses
Not only can this site be used in the educational context, it can also be used by parents for tracking their child's behavior at home. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Social Voting Tool

I can really see myself using this website with my students, coworkers and classmates, and I am so excited! This website says that it is a social voting tool. How it works is a question is posted. It can then be shared with an audience who is able to share their thoughts on that topic. They can also respond to what others have said and even vote on comments or ideas that have been shared if they like or dislike.

The creators of this site aim to improve collaboration and I believe that they have achieved this. The teacher/questioner can easily see the results as can other participants. They call it 'crowdsourcing'. This term means that spectators contribute their thoughts allowing for a real feedback and idea sharing. I will give an example of how the creators used this tool in a later post. Stay tuned...

Educational Uses
This tool can be used in the classroom all the time. I can ask a question about what kind of prize my students want for good behavior. I could ask a question based upon the lesson that was taught that day. I even could use this as a way to spark a conversation for the staff at my school. If you ask a question of students, they give their response, other students are able to leave a comment on that previous posters comment. While planning to integrate the CCSS, I found that using tricider.com would be a great way to evaluate MANY Language Arts topics...

  • predicting
  • synonyms
  • text features
  • ones personal point of view
  • chronology (sort of like a waterfall, each student can write the next event that happens)  

This tool is a really great way to collect ideas and thoughts from your audience. 

Here is what my first tricider looked like. It was aimed at asking a class partner for their opinion.

Here is another example of how I used Tricider with my Master's Class. I posted a question asking them to give an example of a telecollaborative project they has in mind. Here is a snapshot of what a few of them had to say.  
If you would like to take a look at the actual site that was created, click here to check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012



This is a great place to go to if you are looking for examples on how scoop.it can be used. It literally has 83 pages of links that range from Web 2.0 tools to articles on why you should integrate technology into your classroom. This is such a great site and I really can't wait to dive in even farther and see all the different articles it includes!

Although this link is not an example of how to use scoop.it in the educational context, it is an excellent site that is related to educational technology such as apps, 2.0 tools, and current articles in the field of education. Definitely worth taking a look at!

This website helps utilize quite a few ISTE Technology Standards.
2a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers
2b. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
2d. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
3b. Locate, organize, information
3c. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
4c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
6a. Understand and use technology systems
6b. Select and use applications effectively and productively

As our state (Maryland) has accepted the Common Core Standards, I have also included those that scoop.it qualifies under for Grade 3. W7: conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic. By using scoop.it to gather links for a research project, students are completing this standard.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Organizational Tool

This is a great bookmarking website that enables you to share content with others, or for yourself for a later date and time. There are 3 options for use, and of course 1 is FREE! I will explain how to get started in just a second.

Once registering, choose a topic of interest. To test this out myself, I compiled a list of places that I am interested in purchasing for a summer home. I was able to send my link to my mom and husband so that they can view the listings as well, at their leisure. Here is a pic of what it looks like.

How do I Scoop?
Simple!  Download the bookmarklet into your bookmarks bar. Whenever you are on a site that you want to add to your list, simply click on the bookmarklet and follow the simple directions.

Educational Uses
So, you ask how can I use this in my classroom? A teacher can use this site to gather sources for a select topic and allow the students to use those links for their research. This helps you as the teacher know where the students are getting their information from and know that the sites they are visiting are safe. I have also used this site as part of a masters class. We each gathered websites and found that using this site allowed us to view what each other found instead of sending emails with sooo many links.

This is not just a site where the teacher is doing all the work. Students are able to scoop all on their own! They can collaborate with group members to gather relevant articles and data sources and put it all in one spot for a wide audience to view. Not to mention the simple newspaper look really adds a visual interest for students instead of just having words on a page.

Welcome! This blog is intended to list a few Web 2.0 tools that I have found that can be utilized in the classroom.