Thursday, January 27, 2011

Qwiki - A Multimedia Learning Adventure

Qwiki is a new online multimedia encyclopedia that you must see to appreciate.  You can easily view and hear multimedia presentations on many topics by searching for your topic of interest.  Here is the Qwiki for the Castillo De San Marcos, in my favorite city of St. Augustine, FL.  Enjoy this "new" learning experience!  The site "keeps it simple" and you will navigate and learn its features quickly.

After you watch a Qwiki, you can embed it as I have done in this blog.  You can also get a link to the presentation so you can build a list of Qwiki's for your classroom lessons.
I love the fact that you can hear the narration as you read along. This provides another tool for your ELL students and those with reading disabilities. While watching the Qwiki presentation, you can click on a picture and see the source, along with related Qwiki's on the topic. The narration stops when you click one of the pictures and resumes when you click out of it. I also appreciate the simplicity of seeing the image source as a quick way to demonstrate proper citation of images to students.

There are Qwikis on many historical topics, along with topics of personal interest.  History teachers could check the site to support textbook topics. If your students are not able to take their textbooks home, Qwiki could supplement and extend your lessons, anywhere and anytime.  Because the topics are wide ranging, this tool can be used by all teachers.  I checked out the Qwiki's on simple machines and they were informational and engaging.

Qwiki allows you (and your students) a new way to experience information.  I have included their mission.  In previous blog posts, I've written about a number of  digital storytelling tools that teachers can use.  Add Qwiki to your storytelling toolkit! It is a new, engaging way to learn about a topic.

The ultimate goal is for subscribers to create their own Qwiki's, so stay tuned.
Qwiki features link.

I am enjoying my Qwiki experience so far and I see tremendous potential for it's use in schools.  I can't wait to begin sharing this with educators.  Check it out and share your thoughts about using it.

Do you think Qwiki will become a verb as has happened with Google?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Know It All - Interactives for Every Subject and Level

Know It All is an interactive web learning portal that was developed by South  Carolina Educational TV through grant funding.  If you use an interactive white board or even an LCD projector in your class, you have to search this site.  The url is:

They include links to virtual field trips, games and puzzles, and so much more.  You can also sign up for a free newsletter.

This site is well developed and worth a peek.

A few "keeping it simple" things I really like about this site.
  • The site layout is clean and simple.  
  • It has tabs with resources for students and  parents & teachers.
  • You can search by subject,  by grade level and alphabetically.
  • The site has interactives for elementary through high school so there is something for all teachers.
  • You will find dozens of quality interactive actvities and lessons.

You can access the site areas as a "guest" or you can join FREE with a user name and password. 

One of the sites I have used is Hobby Shop, a math and science interactive website.
There are several activities.  i am sharing screen shots of the microscope interactive with the human bone cells.

You click on objects to move through the activity.

You can choose to view onion cells or human bone cells under the microscope.

You make microscope adjustments and here is the result. Obviously, it is more engaging when interactive but I hope you get the idea.

On the site, you can read more information about S.C. Ed TV and the funding for this web portal.  I hope you find somthting you can use in your classroom and that you share the website with your students.

Consider sharing how you use Know It All on a blog comment below.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You Could WIn a Computer Lab

Discovery Education and CDW-G are sponsoring a contest and the sweepstakes prize is a wireless computer lab.  There are monthly drawings for other prizes.  Employees of public, parochial and private schools in the United States are eligible to enter.  Registering is easy (keeping it simple).

While you are on the Discovery Education website, check out the free resources and materials that Discovery Ed provides for educators. 

You won't win if you don't enter!!