Friday, September 17, 2010

You Can Do "Shmoop"

Shmoop is a resource you should explore.  From their website: 

Shmoop will make you a better lover (of literature, history, life). See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are relevant today. We want to show your brain a good time. 

Our mission: To make learning and writing more fun and relevant for students in the digital age.

Who can argue this this mission?  This site has been a wealth of resources for English, Music and Social Studies teachers and now they have Pre-Algebra resources.  Shmoop resources are available free with an easy registration.   Here is the link to Twilight by Stephenie Myer  The page includes everything from an overview to quotes to teaching Twilight.

One of my favorites is the music section, with analysis of the song as you listen.  Here is a link to Jay-Z and Alicia Key's, Empire State of Mind.  Click "listen" to check out the feature.

Shmoop now has PSAT, SAT and AP exam "game" prep for a subscription fee.  I am not promoting this service.  However, you can decide if you think students would benefit from studying with Shmoop.

Teachers I have worked with are very excited about Shmoop and I hope you will check it out and see how simple it is to integrate this robust tool into your classroom.  It is easy and I know you can do Shmoop.  Happy Shmooping!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Around the World - Interactive Map of Newspapers - Wow!

 Newseum is an interactive website that brings you the front page of more than 800 newspapers from 80 countries.  

              Keeping it simple
    • Website should open with a map of the US
    • If you want maps from other countries, click a tab.  You'll travel anywhere from North America to Oceana to Africa.
    • Click a pin and the "hometown newspaper" front page for today will open. 
      • You can read from the site, print the page, create a PDF, or click to go to the newspaper's website. 

Give it a try!  How do you use maps, geography, news, journalism, foreign languages, reading & writing, or tourism in your curriculum?  This site has many possibilities to support your curriculum (educator resources) and I also see this as a tool to support the home/school connection.  Get your students to share it with their parents/guardians.
Check it out and let me know how you use Newseum.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trying Tagxedo and You Can To!

 Tagxedo is a word cloud tool that has some options that Wordle doesn't have right now.  I linked to my twitter account and tagxedo created a word cloud for me.  One cool feature of Tagxedo is that you can create your cloud in different shapes and you can import a picture for your cloud.  I imported my headshot.  Doesn't it look like me??  
Then, I changed the cloud to a star shape with one click.  The words are the same but the look is very different. 

Using word cloud tools is easy and can spice up your lessons, an assignment or a presentation.

Give Tagxedo a try for your class and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Simple Timer - Online Stopwatch

This is a simple timer that you can save to your computer's desktop and click when you need a count down or count up.  Great for an interactive white board.  It's easy to set and could become a classroom favorite. 
Keeping it simple
Click the site below.  
Click "use the online stopwatch full screen." 
Click start for the stopwatch.  
If you want the countdown timer, click set and start when you are ready.

Check it out and let me know how you use it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Secret

"The secret of getting started is breaking your complex,
overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then
starting on the first one."
              - Mark Twain

This was today's quote on my I-Google Page, Inspirational Quote gadget.  How appropriate for my first post on my "you can do tech" blog!  This is the secret to learning anything, including integrating technology into classroom instruction.  If you learn and practice one tool, you are on your way to becoming a 21st century educator.

I have been working with teachers for many years and for the past year, working in the NYC public schools as a technology integration consultant.  I find that it is easy for teachers to become overwhelmed and my job is to keep it simple and provide the "what's in it for me and my students" answers.  

I hope you will enjoy my sharing and you will find you can do it, whether you are a novice or expert technology user.