Friday, March 18, 2011

Teacher Technology Talk

This is a post for all my teacher readers out there. Especially if you're a technology guru like I am. Or a "digital native" like my older coworkers like to call me.

Yesterday I attended part 1 of a 2 day technology workshop in my school division. The purpose of our workshop was to incorporate technology into our performance tasks (we use a lot of UbD {understanding by design} if you're familiar with that). I learned about some very cool tools to use in the classroom, and as always, I believe in the power of sharing. If you enjoy incorporating technology into your lessons, these websites are all fabulous (and totally free!).


The idea behind this website is you create a private chat room for your kids and you can use it to discuss anything. There are SO many uses for a site like this. Once you're done with the room, you can pull up a transcript of the whole conversation and print it off. This would allow for you keep all student responses for assessment (either summative or formative). Before I throw out all my ideas, I want to also say that TodaysMeet requires NO sign up or account. You just type in your name and go. I love when websites are simple.

Some ideas I had for it in the classroom:
  • Responding to literature (I can't even write down all the things you could discuss here)
  • Responding to essential questions (especially in science and social studies)
  • Receive input on something. For instance, we just finished a science unit on light, I could have asked my students which light investigation was there favorite and why.
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Museum Box

Museum Box is a site the basically allows kids to build museums on any topic. You could pick one broad topic (such as the Civil War), and then make boxes for different parts of your topic (such as different battles or famous people from the Civil War). You can include images, videos, and text in your boxes. This is from the "About" page on Museum Box:

Museum Box provides the tools for you to do just this. It allows you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. You can display anything from a text file to a movie. You can also view the museum boxes submitted by other people and comment on the contents.

How fun is that? Your school has to set up an account, but then you can create individual student accounts.

Some ideas for use in the classroom:
  • Famous People
  • Events in History
  • Time Capsule
  • Science (ideas that I could use with my curriculum: parts of a cell, rocks and minerals, kingdoms, types of weather, simple machines....I could go on and on!)
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Fodey is another simple site that requires no sign up. It's just a website that allows students to write a newspaper article and then it generates an actual newspaper clipping for them. If you visit the site you'll see a picture of a clipping immediately. The student can come up with an article, and headline, a newspaper title, and the date. When finished the image can be saved as a jpg. This means you could end up using that image a power point, in a museum box, in a pixie many places you could use it.

As for ideas on when you might want to use this in the classroom:
  • Current Event
  • Past event from history
  • Weather
  • Write about an event in a book
TONS of ways this could be used. That's what I love about technology in the classroom, you can use it over and over, but find new uses for it all the time.

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One last fun thing I picked up from my workshop...Minute to Win It. I'm sure you know of the show on NBC. Well, turns out NBC posts little "blue print" videos on their website that give directions for all the games. This would be a neat Friday activity to do with the kids. It would be a fun way to get the kids moving and a good excuse for a brain break in between subjects (I always like to do a mini break between my math and science lessons). These activities are a cheap and fun way to give your kids a quick break in the day.



  1. this is awesome rachel! such great tips and sites! would you want to post this onto Teachers Who BLog blog?

    let me know!

  2. Thank for sharing! These will be great for my classroom.

  3. Wow these are great! I'm in school to become a Middle School Social Studies teacher - I'm taking these to class on Monday night. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for the post! I love the museum and newspaper websites, thanks for sharing:)

  5. Thanks so much for the websites! I can't wait to try them out!

  6. My kids would love the minute to win it challenges! Better than recess!!

  7. Love these ideas! I will be definitely checking out the museum and newspaper site!! Thanks!

  8. Such great ideas... thanks for sharing Rachel!!!

  9. thanks for sharing!! these are all really cool- i'm a semester away from my masters of teaching for elementary ed, so i always love new websites to check out! i'm new to blogging, please stop by!