Monday, June 30, 2014

Useful Link: Social Bookmarking with Pearltrees



Pearltrees is a FREE online social bookmarking tool that will allow you to save, share, and organize bookmarks you find on the Internet.  It is a visual representation of your bookmarks.  






In addition, it offers an easy way to save your bookmarks in your collections. Just download the Pearler extension on your browser, then you can easily 'pearl' the website or save it into your collections.  You can also share your bookmarks on social media too.

Finally, you can connect and collaborate with other people to build a collection of common bookmarks.  

First, go to the Pearltrees website, create your account, and install the Pearler.  Then, start bookmarking websites you want and categorize them accordingly.  

Here is a link to my Pearltrees account.


I absolutely love Pearltrees.  I have been using it for a few years.  I would highly recommend it.  

Enjoy!




Thursday, June 26, 2014

Class of 2014! Congratulations Graduates!



This post is dedicated to my son, James Mattina.


As the school year comes to an end, many students will move on to the next grade, and many will move on to the next chapter of their lives!  Some students will attend college or vocational school, some will join the armed forces, or some may even learn a trade or skill and enter the work force.  Whatever path you choose, remember, to work hard and stay focused on your goal.  There is not a rule saying, you have to know what you want to do with your life when you graduate from high school.  Everything comes in time and everything always seems to work out, as long as you never give up on yourself!  Never take life to seriously, never take anything for granted, and never put off what you can do today!

As my son graduates high school today, I look back at his education and I remember all of the school parties, the parades, the crafts he made in elementary school, the poems he wrote, and the sporting events my husband and I attended.  We never missed one of them!  Whether it was soccer, football or wrestling, he knew we were always there and I am so thankful for that.  All of these events, made him the man he is today!

Graduating high school is a major milestone in one's life, but it is one of many!  A new beginning is upon him and I am excited for him as he moves on to the next chapter of his life.  Proud of you James!

Congratulations to the Class of 2014!
Pinelands Regional High School Graduate!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday: Web Tools to Create Books or Magazines


Glogster Edu


Glogster Edu is ideal for creating a one page magazine or an interactive graphic where students can use a set of multimedia materials including pictures, hyperlinked text, audio and videos. Glogs provide learners with  a number of templates and a neat canvas to mix text, graphics, audio and video and create a stunning one page magazine that can be shared with others through emails, social media websites or be embedded on classroom website or blog. Glogster Edu is not free but it does offer  some reasonable prices for teachers depending on the number of students they have.

The great thing about Lucidpress is that it allows users to collaboratively create multimedia magazines using the same collaboration concept found on Google Docs. It supports synchronous chat between different collaborators and provides a wide variety of features that make creating multimedia documents as simple as drag and drop. Working in small groups, students can use Lucipress to create their own customizable multimedia magazine using text, audio and videos. They can also import files and documents from their Google Drive and use it on Lucidpress documents. Watch the video below to see Lucidpress in action.



Widbook allows users to create awesome books using text, audio and videos. The feature I like the most about this tool is the collaboration part of it. Students can invite each other to collaborate together to finish their books or to provide comments on them. Widbook is completely free but it does require a sign-up using a valid email. Watch the video below to learn more about Widbook.



Glossi is a rich digital magazine that students can make and share with others. Glossi provides different forms of magazine templates to choose from. Each of these templates can be easily customized using text, images and videos. Glossi also allows for the use of animated pictures and different backgrounds. Here is a video explanation of what you can do with Glossi.

Original post is from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Useful Link: Thinglink



Thinglink is an online tool that will allow your images to come alive! You can easily create interactive websites, blogs, infographics, maps, photo albums, and presentations.   This is a great tool and it is FREE!  All you have to do is create an account, take a picture, upload it and add multimedia to it. Make your images come alive with videos, text, music and more.  

Another great option is that it can be shared to social media, embedded into a blog or website, or shared via a link.

Here is a few samples I created for staff on Google.  I added text into my images.  The user has to click on the black circle and it will provide a brief explanation of the item on the image.


Google Drive Navigation:





Google Calendar Navigation:
http://www.thinglink.com/scene/536183575872012288


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Netbook 101: "How To" Student and Staff Tutorials

I created a series of short video tutorials for students and staff at the +William Davies Middle School.  The videos range from checking your wifi to network folders.  +Joe Knopp and I kept track of helpful topics during the school year, and I compiled the topics into tutorials.  +Leanna Mullen assisted with the video process as well.

Each tutorial is no more than 1 minute and displays a variety of styles. A few videos demonstrate no audio and some use narrations. In addition, I used a variety of tools, such as, Screencast-o-matic, Bitstrips, Windows Movie Maker, and Moovly+Leanna Mullen used Final Cut Pro on her MacBook.

Here are the videos.  Any feedback is appreciated.  Thanks!








Useful Tutorials on Google Chrome



I am in the process of creating short tutorials on basic concepts for staff at the +William Davies Middle School on using Google Chrome.  Currently, many staff members use Internet Explorer and are not familiar with Google Chrome.  However, when using Google Apps for Education, it is recommended that they use Google Chrome.  I personally prefer Google Chrome over any other browser.  It is more secure, faster, and allows you to have many user profiles.

Here are my short videos that I  have so far for staff.

Show the Bookmark Bar using Google Chrome
http://youtu.be/6ieZAulP1RU




Add a Bookmark using Google Chrome
http://youtu.be/qPKuUH-Kfb8



Extend the Bookmark Bar using Google Chrome
http://youtu.be/YTTCXvzvN0M



Delete a Bookmark using Google Chrome
http://youtu.be/uZh9aPCuNw0 


Create Folders for Bookmarks using Google Chrome
http://youtu.be/eG_5jAuSvos 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CCCS and Tech Ed for Reading

Are you looking for resources for summer reading for students or looking for online news websites for students?  Here are a few to mention and worthy of looking into.  

Newsela




Newsela is an innovative way to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that's always relevant: daily news. There is a free and paid subscription to this application.  Teachers would create the account and share the classroom code with the students.  It offers the following:  
  • Every article is offered at 5 different levels.  This will allow the entire class to read the same content but at a different level.  
  • It is aligned with the Common Core, which will allow you to assess students on the content. 
  • It offers many interesting topics.  




Curriculet

This application will allow teachers to create a learning unit based on a novel. Teachers can rent books for students to read.  This inexpensive rental includes annotations, reading comprehension questions and quizzes, which are all aligned to the Common Core.  In addition, teachers can create or edit curriculets, which will allow you to customize the assessments. Once the curriculet is completed, you are ready to assign it to the class.

When a teacher signs up for this application, the classes must be entered in your profile. This will allow you to assign the curriculet to the class and manage the class much easier.




This application offers a free and paid version. It is a tool that will help engage students in reading informational texts for ELA, Science and Social Studies. Topics are leveled by grade for grades 4-12 and include technology and society, culture and change, social responsibility, and policy and debate.







Youngzine is a one-of-a-kind Web site where children can learn about current news and events shaping their world -- in a simple, engaging and interactive manner. Their goal is to help parents and educators create a vibrant community of globally aware young citizens in an increasingly connected world. Along with news stories written specifically with a young audience in mind, Youngzine strives to inform using fun trivia, compelling visuals and videos.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday: Digital Portfolio Template




Each year, I have my 8th grade students create a digital portfolio.  The purpose is to allow them to showcase their best work while meeting the requirements of the New Jersey Technological Assessment for Proficient and Literacy  NJTAPIN rubric

The NJTAPIN rubric must be completed for all 8th grade students, to determine if they are proficient in technology literacy before entering high school.  They are assessed on NJ CCCS Strands 8.1 Educational Technology and 8.2 Technology Education, Engineering, and Design. 

Since there are over 300 students in 8th grade at the +William Davies Middle School, this process can be tedious and time consuming.  Having the students create the digital portfolio helps me assess their work quicker and gives them a chance to reflect on their work.   

The students must insert specific content into their digital portfolios.  This will allow me to check just one file for specific skills, rather than searching their entire network drive for the files that contain the skills.

Here is the digital portfolio template that I have the students use. 



Monday, June 16, 2014

Useful Links for Certificate Creator Applications



If you are looking to printout certificates for your students, I would recommend visiting these two websites. They are both free and allow you to download the certificate as a pdf file.





Certificate Magic

Select your certificate design, personalize it, and simply download it as a pdf. In the design phrase, you must select the design category, formal, fun or kids, then select your design, personalize the certificate, then finally download it as a pdf file.  Here is my sample certificate.  It is quick and easy!








First, select the template you would like to you use from this website.  There are many templates to choose from.  Then, download it as a pdf file.  Once this is completed, you can edit the pdf file and personalize it.  This website does offer free templates, however, the certificate will contain the watermark. For $.99, you can download the premium version without the watermark.  Here is my sample certificate.





Friday, June 13, 2014

Information about Google Classroom



Google Classroom seems to be a promising application that may be available in September 2014.  Although gClassFolders, creates classroom shared folders, and Doctopus allows you to manage assignments and feedback, this workflow could be challenging and difficult for some teachers who are not comfortable with scripts.

Google Classroom seems to replace that workflow.  It seems to mange students and assignments similar to Edmodo.  This application can be a great tool for school districts who are currently using gClassFolders and other scripts to help manage assignments.  It has the capability to replace the entire gClassFolder and Doctopus workflow in a user friendly interface.  

See for yourself!


Useful Link List: End of the Year Tools and Activities

There are a wide variety of activities you can use with your students to wrap up the school year. Students can make posters, scrapbooks, digital portfolios, and memory books.  Here are a few tools that can be used for these assignments.  

1- Reflect on your school year, make a poster 


One of the great ways to wrap up your school year is by reflecting on the year. They can include pictures, hyperlinks, and images. Some of the tools you can use for this purpose are:

2-  Creating Scrapbooks
Scrapbooking is another good way to end the school year. Students can combine a wide variety of multimedia materials such as text, clip art, and images to create a story of their memories. When the scrapbooks are ready, students share them with their classmates and peer-comment on each others' work.



3- Creating  Digital portfolios
Creating digital portfolios is a good way for students to document and showcase their best achievements during the entire school year. Some of the best web tools they can use are:



4- Creating Memory books
Instead of the pen and paper version of memory books technology now affords a wide variety of possibilities to create awesome memory books stored in the cloud and accessible anywhere anytime. Some tools for this are :




5- Creating Autobiographies
There are different ways for students to create autobiographies. They can do it through a write-up using tools such as Google Docs or by video clips. Some tools for this are:  



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to: Schedule Posts using HootSuite



There may be times when you are not able to post to social media. Well, I am happy to report, that all you have to do is schedule your messages using HootSuite.  I am sure there are many tools that will allow you to schedule messages to social media, but I use HootSuite and I would recommend it.

First, you must create a HootSuite account, there is a free and a paid account available.




When you compose a new message, you need to select the social media platform(s) you would like to post to. This is displayed on the left side of your screen.  Your social media platforms will appear in a drop down list box.

Once your selected your social media platforms, you must compose your message.  This is your post.  When your message is complete, then click on the calendar icon.   This will allow you to setup the schedule of when you would like your post to be published.

You can setup individual messages, or you can setup bulk messages.  In addition, an email notification can be sent to you when the message was posted.  Enjoy!





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday: 6 Apps for Student Interactions


This apps will allow you to conduct polls, communicate and interact with your students, and setup a gaming learning environment.  These apps are available in the web version, text and/or app market.

1- PollEverywhere



Create multiple choice and open-ended polls. Students respond by going to a URL on any device or computer or by sending a text message. See the results in real-time on your iPad.

2- Kahoot

Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system. The teacher can create quizzes and surveys on getkahoot.com. Students join on any device or computer by entering the game-pin at kahoot.it

3- Plickers



Poll your students without the need for them to have any devices. Simply print a card for each student to hold up. Pan your iPad across the room so Plickers can scan the cards using the camera.

4- Remind101



Use the Remind101 app to send text messages and emails to groups of students or parents. Teachers never see students' phone numbers, and students never see theirs.

5- Game Show Soundboard



Top to instantly play sound effects that are great when playing game shows in the classroom. There are even countdown timers, complete with dramatic music. Sound best with speakers.

6- PicMeBuzzer



Have up to 5 students gather around your iPad to host a little competition where students buzz in. You can clearly see who touched their number first. PickMeBuzzer can be set up to work with multiple Apple devices.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Follow up: Top Tech and Internet Savvy Blog from VoiceBoks




Again, I want to thank you for all of your votes for making my blog, The Tech Lady, #1 and most influential Tech and Internet Savvy Blogs from VoiceBoks, The Voice of Parenthood.

Click here to read my interview.

Click here to see VoiceBoks, Wall of Fame page.




Useful Link: Padlet for the Classroom


Padlet is a free online collaborative tool that will allow you to share a wall of information.  First, create your account, then go ahead and create a new wall.

Once your wall appears, you can go into the Settings menu on the right side of the screen and assign the wall an icon, title, and description.  You can also modify the layout, privacy settings, notifications, obtain the link, and delete the wall through the settings menu.

settings.png

After you saved your settings, you are now ready to start adding information to the wall.  Just double click on the wall to create a post.

wall_post.png

You can attach a link, upload a picture or file, or take a picture using your webcam using the icons at the bottom of the post.  If you want to delete the post, simply click on the trash can. If you want to edit the post, click on the pencil.

To share your wall, click on 'Share/Export' button on the right side. You will have the option to share via social media, export as a file, email or print, embed it into a website, or share via the qr code.


Remember, classroom teachers need to create an account and simply share the link with the students.  You can add the link on your website, or in Edmodo.

Ideas for the Classroom:
  1. Discussion Board 
  2. Do Now assignments
  3. Exit Tickets
  4. Research tool to keep links
  5. Complete group projects





Thursday, June 5, 2014

THANK YOU!!!




My blog was voted #1 in the Top Tech and Internet Savvy Blogs from VoiceBoks, The Voice of Parenthood.  I am thankful to have been able to win in this category.  I truly enjoy writing about my experiences and helping others with technology.  

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for my blog.  Without my family, friends, the  +William Davies Middle School family, and you, my audience, I would not have been so lucky to have won first place in the contest.

Thank you to the other nominees in the category.  I will be bookmarking your blogs and following you on social media too.

Read my Review from VoiceBoks.  The top ten list is included also.  Enjoy!




My Follow Up to Moovly


At the +William Davies Middle School, we have a 1:1 initiative.  As a Technology Integration Coach, I am creating "how to" or "did you know" movies for the students at the school for the 2014-2015 school year.  I experimented with Moovly and I would like to share it with you.

As I stated in my previous post, you can create presentations or animations.  For my moov, I created an animation that allowed me to do the following:
  • drag an object from the library to the canvas
  • re-size the object 
  • rotate the object
  • adjust the timing of the object
  • insert and play animations
  • adjust the timing of the animations
  • add text
  • change the text properties
  • import my own images into the project
  • export the animation as an .mp4 file

The free version has a lot to offer. However, it is limited to the size of the file you can export.  For my purpose, I found the tool to work fine.  Here is my short animation.  


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday: Tools to help students study, Collaboratively!


Students can use these tools to study and work together on projects and assignments regardless of their physical location.  Here are a few examples of web 2.0 tools that will allow students to work collaboratively:  



1- Examtime


Examtime is a platform that allows you to create, share and discover resources, build mind maps, flashcards, quizzes and notes for free. Examtime also has a feature called "groups" which enables students to create study groups. Study groups are a good place for teachers and students to share learning materials and study resources.

2- Thinkbinder


Think binder is another platform where students can create and host their study groups. Study groups in Think binder is a space where students can share videos, pictures, and links.They can also collaborate with their peers through text and video chat, or use the collaborative whiteboard to work on problems.

3- Google+ Circles and Hangouts


The social platform Google+ has some excellent integrated tools that students can draw on to study collaboratively. Two of these tools are Circles and Hangout. The Circles feature allows users to create group of contacts with whom they can easily converse and share materials. Google Hangout allows you to hold video conferences with a limited group of people. You can for instance share your screen, collaborate on a Google Doc or even use a collaborative whiteboard. Hangouts can be recorded and streamed live on YouTube.

4- Skype Group Video Call


A few weeks ago Skype made group calling free ( used to cost $9.99 a month). Students can use this functionality to organize study groups, collaborate synchronously and also record their video sessions and share them with other peers.

5- Open Study


Open Study provides students with a place where they can create their own study groups or join study groups created by others. Open Study is ideal for sharing and recording study notes and for synchronous collaboration.

6- Wikis


Wikis are also good places for students to create their study groups. The different editing and collaborative features wikis provide are good for enhancing group work. There are several wiki platform that students can use most popular among them are Wikispaces and PBworks.

7- Google Docs


Google Docs is a wonderful web tool ideal for working on writing projects. It provides a host of awesome features that facilitates collaboration and group work such as real time peer editing, tracking editing history, text and audio comments and many more.

This post was published and shared by Educational Technology and Learning.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Get to Know Moovly



Moovly is a free online tool that will allow you to create animated videos, presentations and a display ad.

After you create an account, click on 'create a project', and give it a title and description, then hit 'continue'.

Under the 'My Moovs' section, click on 'New Project' and a blank canvas will appear.  Once the blank canvas appears, there are many tasks that can be done such as:

  • drag an object from the library to the canvas
  • re-size the object 
  • rotate the object
  • adjust the timing of the object
  • insert and play animations
  • adjust the timing of the animations
  • add text
  • add text to the stage
  • change the text properties
  • open your personal library
  • upload sound and adjust the timing of the sound
This online tool reminds me of Powerpoint and Movie Maker combined in one application, however, Moovly has a lot more to offer.

Feel free to leave feedback on this tool.  I would love to hear your opinions and experiences.