Saturday, December 3, 2011

Draw, Sketch, Paint

Paint Online with Sketch and Paint. Pretty sophisticated program with many choices of shading, pen/brush size, pressure, etc. Color choices can be basic or with an unlimited pallet.  Program uses Flash, so some devices may not work.  Children can use it easily, but it is sophisticated enough for adult use.

Choose the image size at the beginning.  Files when complete can be saved as a .jpg and downloaded to your desktop. You can also open an image already on your computer and add to it.

Best of all there is no login required, no need for students to register and have an email address.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Top Tools for Learning

Great summary by Jane Hart of the top 100 (actually 102) best tools for learning for 2011. Best of all, most are free and available online.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A slightly different word cloud

Tagxedo will 'shape your word cloud in many different ways. Use text, a web page, tweets, and choose from a variety of "outline shapes", colors and fonts. Here is a sample from the GVC home page.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mind mapping plus!

SpiderScribe is a new mind mapping tool that does more than just organize ideas.  It also allows you to add pictures, documents, Google maps, and adjustable notes. A calendar item is also available.  Best of all the mind map resides in "the cloud" so can be accessed from any location.  It can also be shared and multiple, simultaneous edits are possible.  It does use Flash, so iPad use may not be possible if you have not added the Flash plugin.  Registration is Free.  There is no limit to the number of mind maps you can create.

See a 2 minute video about use of SpiderScribe.  Teacher training videos are available here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Curate your favorite topic

Scoop it "creates your topic-centered media by collecting gems among relevant streams.
Publish it to your favorite social media or to your blog," Scoop-it browses the web and 'collects' media; you edit and select what you want to appear in your "scoop".

Want to see a good example?  Take a look at Susan Oxnevad's Ten Minutes of Tech.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

GVC Free Programs for Education

Our Global Virtual Classroom [GVC] Project is a worldwide program for any primary or secondary school that chooses to participate. Approximately 33,500 students and 1,920 teachers from over 600 schools in 62 countries have participated in this project over the years.

The GVC is now accepting applications for the 2011-2012 web design contest.  Contest has cash awards for top winners and software awards for Merit Award winners.

Registrations for the non-competitive Clubhouse program are also being accepted. For more about both programs, check our website:

New GVC Wikis - viewable by the world, but participation is by invitation only.  Teachers must register for the contest or clubhouse.

The Teacher's Lounge Wiki, will provide a summer of learning and getting to know other teachers.  In September teachers can request one partner; the other will be assigned. Enrollment in this wiki is for teachers only.

The Clubhouse Wiki not only has lessons to use with students, but discussions, and projects in which to participate.  This wiki is for teachers and students. Students do not need email, and cannot be contacted by anyone not a member of the wiki.  One on one paring of schools is still also available.

Record and Share Presentations

With Present Me, you can now record yourself AND your presentation!  What a great way for students to learn the real power of PowerPoint.  With design aimed at the essentials not every single word on the screen, PPT (or a PDF) along with audio/video content equals one complete presentation.

To carry it a step further, think of the students who were sick or had and early dismissal, and missed the presentation for your class.  Now with Present Me, they can pick it up anytime from home.  What another use?  How about the time that it takes in the classroom for each student to get up in front of the class and give their presentation on the assigned topic?  By the end of the 10th or 15th or 20th student, even the teacher isn't paying attention anymore.  What if students created their presentation and delivered it using Present Me, then were each assigned 5 other students presentations to view and evaluate? Valuable class time saved and a much more meaningful opportunity both for presenters and listeners.

Editing is simple, so no problems with doing it all in one shot.  If you make a mistake.  Just do that 'slide' over again.

Say goodbye to 'death by PowerPoint!'

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Twitter blocked?

Well, it might well be in classrooms around the world, and for many reasons.  However, at the urging of fellow teachers, a tech guru (who is also a teacher) in Canada, has created a closed, safe system for education.  It's called 'twiducate' the social networking program for schools. Teachers need to sign up in order to participate and students are given access only through their teachers.  No student email is needed.  Access can be via computer and/or cell phone.

Great blog post on 35 ways to use twiducate for deeper learning. Really a great way to bring the 21st century into the classroom!  As this blog post says, the best thing about it is that it is free!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Need to Resize for Web?

If your original image is under 1MB, this handy tool: Make a Thumbnail, will create a small image (from 100x100 pixels to 300x300 pixels). You can then link this on the website to a larger image or just use the small thumbnail as a button to go to another section of the site.

Very easy to use. Just click browse to locate the image on your computer, select the size desired, and click "Make a Thumbnail"

Example to the left of gazing out the window on a lovely fall day. The 100x100 pixel image is only 4k!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Free Video Conferencing

FaceFlow is a free, easy video conferencing system that will allow up to 4 people at once. Browser based, so no need for a separate application. Chat system as well as video calls. Interesting alternative to Skype.  Below is a short video of how to use FaceFlow

Monday, June 6, 2011

Store and Share Files

Another storage spot, but this one also syncs and gives you 2 gig of FREE space.  (You can pay for more if you need it.) It's called DropBox.  When you join there is a small app to download to your computer.

Here is an invitation to Join:

 DropBox can share with anyone, even if they are not a drop box member.  Here is a folder of Catherine (my cat) viewing several photos from my friend Ann when she was in Hawaii.  Don't worry it will NOT automatically download anything, but will let you view the pictures in the gallery and download if you wish.

Creative Commons and YouTube

Google has announced the labeling of videos under Creative Commons licenses. Now you can know which videos can be re-used and can even use the YouTube Video Editor to get just that right portion of the clip to add to your video!  When going to the Video Editor, click on the CC button to search.

Yes, you still need to give credit, but the source videos will also be in the video description.

Learn more about the CC on YouTube here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Multimedia Chat

Webdoc is a cross between a multimedia poster and an interactive chat tool. Embed images, video, etc. You can add your own text and easily resize and move things around.

Those who reply can also add those same things.  Registration is required, but free.  I think this would make a great discussion tool for a class studying any issue.

Here is a webdoc created to announce the GVC Clubhouse.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slide Shows

Yet another slide show maker you will say!  Kizoa is really easy to use and allows also for simple editing.  You do have to register, but registration is free.  It also had direct import from facebook as well as editing and then you can republish back into facebook (or anywhere else). Lots of special effects, music too.  Burn slides to DVD, post, or just simply email to friends.
Below is a spring slide show created by students of Lincoln School in Oak Park.
[note: I did go into the code and change the size from 640X480 to 320X240]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Animoto for Education

Teachers can apply for an education account to create unlimited videos.  When approved, you will also receive a code for 50 students to use for 6 months free of charge.

Enjoy this short video of teachers who were part of this year's GVC contest.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Create Photo Effects

You don't have to be a professional or have expensive editing programs to create stunning effects.  PhotoFunia will create them for you. All you need to do is click on the thumbnail of the effect you'd like and then upload photos. The site will do the rest. What to see what that can look like? Here are some GVC teachers using six different effects. There are a few hundred from which to choose!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Draw Faces

With various face shapes and features, make a drawing that looks great! With, you actually can become a 'sketch artist'.

Believe it or not, this really does look like one of our staff!

Imagine the possibilities, especially during those self-conscious early teen years when many students think they cannot draw a person.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Simple Story Animation

Totally free simple animations can be created using Domo Animate. Registration with an email address is required. Girl Meets Boy by GVCManager

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Real time collaboration

iEtherPad allows users to word process in real time. Great for brainstorming! CAN also use asynchronously. Users need the URL. Creating an account allows you to have your own iEtherPad url as well as designate yourself and selected others as administrators.

Good points

REAL, real time brainstorming
No advertising
Easy to use
Membership is free
Public pads do not need membership
Administrator can add a password to a public pad
Only Administrators has access to security and can change pad to public and add a password.
Public AND password protected allow anyone with the url AND password to write, so students do not need to join or have email.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Collaborate synchronously or asynchronously

Edistorm - stickies on a wall with collaboration.
Perhaps we should just let them "speak" for themselves:

Best of all it's FREE!

Story Writing

The UK has created a site of Myths & Legends and encourages the retelling of these stories. This in itself is a great place to visit when studying that genre! However, there is even a better reason. Story Creator 2 allows students to create their own tales with sound and animation. If that were not enough, you can even register your school to enable you to review and approve student's stories. You can download creations and keep them or put them on your own website. Best stories can be submitted to the site's competitions.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Help with spelling, grammar and more...

Google Scribe is writing tool that helps not only with spelling but also grammar and offers suggestions "predicting" the word or phrase you wish to use next. Great tool for beginning writers and for non-native English speakers.

I used 'scribe' to write the following sentences ONLY with their suggestions.

The following content has been identified by the user as possible while still maintaining the integrity of the information. The results are presented for informational purposes only and should not be considered complete.

It really is pretty amazing, but a bit slow for someone who types quickly. It's a very useful tool. It helps keep the sentences flowing, and stimulates the thought process for the writer who is searching for the right word.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No Ads YouTube Video

ViewPure Lets you watch YouTube videos withouth comments, suggestions or ads along the side! There are still pop up adds available in the ad bar at the base of the video itself.

Great when you want to add a specific video for a class, but don't want the students 'distracted' and going off in other directions.

Simply paste the YouTube url into the space provided!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

JewelBeat Royalty Free Music

Just what creative students and teachers need, a place where they can use, remix music and sound effects!

In the creator's own words: "Use these free music tracks & free sound effects for any production - advertising, education, videos, photos, YouTube...etc.

These music tracks can be looped seamlessly & repeated to create a longer music track for your projects.

You only need to link to our website from yours:
"Music by JewelBeat. Download your free music and free sound effects at"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Google Wonder Wheel

It's been around for over a year now, but you may not have ever tried it out.  Why should you? Because it presents your results in a graphically relevant way.  Not all students (or teachers) find it easy to scan down a page to choose which link to follow.  While this is still text, it's organize in a mind map type of format ... and clicking on one of the subcategories will expand out with another wheel... an so on.

For illustrated directions: