Friday, April 27, 2012

Create a Video for Nixa Eagles Film Festival and Win!

It's time to show off all the great things your students have learned this year and possibly win some fabulous prizes for your classroom! All teachers are encouraged to enter the Nixa Eagles Film Festival!!

This year's theme is ..... "Technology to Me..."

Technology can be your best friend or worst enemy. Why not feature that with your students in video? Be creative with the theme, be funny, be unique, and you just may be a winner!!

Deadline for entries will be May 4th

Winners will receive:
1st Place: Flip Video Mino HD, Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD software, Flip Video tripod and a wide angle lens for the Flip camera.
2nd Place: Hue HD webcam and Hue Animation software
3rd Place: Flip Video Mino HD

Steps to Submit Your Movie:
1. Submit your video for the contest by first uploading it to either your school webpage, You Tube, School Tube, Vimeo etc.
2. Then go to my school webpage: . Look to the right on the page under "Class Homework" and submit the URL of your movie. Make sure to tell me what class it is from in your message. (See sample pictures below)

So get those cameras rolling for the Nixa Eagles Film Festival! Who knows, maybe we will see the next Scorsese!! Complete directions are below as well as the handouts for the festival. Happy Filming!

Movie Contest 2012

Movie Contest Video Submission 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Functions and Features for SMART Notebook Version 11

SMART Notebook has released Version 11 of it's SMART Notebook software this week. There are some great new features that have been added and will definitely enhance the lessons you can create. Now with Version 11, you have SMART ink which allows you to write directly on any window and it stays with the window when moved. You also have SMART note which is a note pad that can be used for quick notes and captured in SMART Notebook to be saved. Check out the video below to see all the new features of SMART Notebook Version 11.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Google Introduces Google Drive

Today, Google introduced a new service for saving, sharing, and discussing files online. The new service is called Google Drive and it combines some of the best elements of Google Docs and Google Plus into one package. In fact, Google Docs is now a part of Google Drive.

With Google Drive, you can:

  • Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.
  • Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just... there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.
  • Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.
You can get started with 5GB of storage for free. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

Watch the video below to learn more about Google Drive

Applications for the Classroom:

Just like Google Docs, Dropbox, and other online files storage services, Google Drive eliminates the need for flashdrives/ USB drives and eliminates the need to send email attachments in order to share files. The threaded commenting option could be very useful for peer review of work as well as be useful for teachers to use to offer feedback to students.

Google Drive provides 5GB of free storage which should be more than enough for the vast majority of students. The only scenario in which students might use up this space is if they have a lot of video and music files stored in their Google Drive accounts.

A Fun Site for Pre-K to 1st Grade Called Cookie

Cookie is a site offering dozens of excellent educational games for pre-K and elementary school students. Most of the games that I viewed were appropriate for the PreK to first grade level.Cookie doesn't just provide games, it also offers short animated video lessons. At the end of each lesson there is a short quiz that students can use to test their new knowledge. Each game and lesson automatically launches in full screen thereby eliminating and potential sidebar distractions. There is even a new tab that has FREE books for the interactive whiteboard.

Applications for the Classroom:
An embed code is available for the games and lessons on Cookie. If you have a resource page for your classroom or school, Cookie's resources could be a great addition to that page.

Happy Tech Academy Teachers with New Technology!

Level 1 Nixa Technology Leadership Academy members received their new iPads during the April meeting. We spent the whole meeting talking about apps, checking out the new features, and just playing! It was like Christmas in April!! To say they were excited would be an understatement. The application process for the 2012-2013 Nixa Technology Leadership Academy is open until May 11th. You can apply by going to this link.

Build Your Owns Computer Game with Sploder

If you have not checked out Free Tech 4 Teachers, I highly recommend this site. I find something on here almost daily to share with you and to use for myself. Yesterday, they posted about a free video game making site called Sploder.There are four basic game templates that you can modify to your heart's content. The four templates are a physics puzzle game, an algorithm creator (which reminded me a little of Zelda), a shooter game template, and a blank platform.

Creating games on the Sploder platform is a drag and drop process. You can select as many elements as like for each scene of your game. Game elements can be resized and re-used repeatedly throughout your games. When you think you're ready to publish your game, use the Sploder game tester to try your game and see how it actually works. If you find something you want to change in your game, you can do that at anytime after testing it and before publishing your final product.Sploder has a YouTube channel containing some tutorials to walk you through creating games.

Applications for the Classroom:Creating a game on Sploder could be a good way to get students to think about the logic and sequencing used to plan and develop video games. A great tool to try out during Summer School so you will be ready to implement during the school year!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It Should be Earth Day Everyday!

Earth Day is April 22nd. Why not try to make the world a little greener with some paperless activities in your classroom? Here are some resources to celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day Lessons from Lesson Planet

Earth Day 2012 Missouri Resources

Plant Seeds for Earth Day

Scholastic Earth Day Lessons for Smartboard

Earth Day 2012 Activities for Kids

Applications Now Being Accepted for Nixa's Technology Academy

Applications are now being taken for Nixa's Technology Leadership Academy. You should see fliers like the one below posted in your faculty workrooms and by your mailboxes. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at or call the Tech Center for more information.
Application Revised March 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Math Sites Other Than Khan Academy

I am always looking for good Math resources and sites to help with my everyday lessons and tutorials for students. Free Tech 4 teachers had a post yesterday or the day before about Math sites other than Khan Academy that provide great instructional video and resources for the Math classroom. is a great site for high school Algebra and Calculus classes. It contains over 600 videos for AP Calculus as well as Algebra I and II. There is also a mobile version too!

Numberphile is a You Tube channel about fun number facts like 998, 001 and it Mysterious Recurring Decimal, Pi and Bouncing Balls, and 1 and Prime Numbers. These are all Math professors and teachers talking about Math! 

Ten Marks is an online tutoring service that offers Math tutoring videos. Some of the lessons include measurement, decimals, fractions, probability, and more!

Math Class with Mr. V is also a You Tube channel that features 7 play lists made by a mathematics teacher teaching lessons on basic Math, geometry and algebra. There are more than 300 video lessons with a lot of problems demonstrated on the whiteboard to show how to solve problems.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. It is celebrated every April in the United States. So, to celebrate this month and all the great poets in your classroom, here are some sites to add your classroom lessons and technology library.

Bring Poets into Your Classroom

National Poetry Month

Jack Prelutsky

I Am Poetry from Read, Write, Think

Poetry Printables from Shel Silverstein

Activities and Ideas from Read, Write, Think

Reading Rockets Poetry

30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

2012 National Poetry Month Poster

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Today is National D.E.A.R. Day!

D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything and Read. National D.E.A.R. Day is a special reading celebration to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis a family priority.

When is National D.E.A.R. Day? The birthday of beloved author Beverly Cleary is the official event date, April 12th. Ramona Quimby, the program’s official spokesperson, is responsible for spreading the word and the love of reading.

National D.E.A.R. Day Resources

Reproducible Resources

Additional Activities

The World of Beverly Cleary

D.E.A.R. Resources

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Free Tools for Creating Websites and Simple Webpages

If you don't have the time or desire to build webpages from scratch there are plenty of free online tools that will do the heavy lifting for you so that you can concentrate on just adding useful content to your course webpages. Here are free services for creating websites and simple webpages.

Wix is a free service for creating and hosting beautiful websites. Wix recently announced that their templates and the websites you build with them are now available in HTML5. That means that sites created in Wix are visible on all devices including iPads.

Whatfolio is a free service for creating online displays of your digital works. Whatfolio is essentially a homepage to show off what you have created or what you can do. Whatfolio pages are highly customizable for a variety of purposes.

Weebly was one of the first website building tools that I played around with when I got started on my technology integration journey. If you're looking for a tool for students to use to create websites of their own, Weebly for Education is a good resource. Weebly for Education includes all of the intuitive website-building and blogging tools found on Weebly plus features built specifically for education. Weebly for Education offers bulk creation of student accounts which teachers can manage and moderate. Students can create their own websites and blogs using the accounts that you create for them.

School Rack offers a free service for teachers to build and host their own classroom websites. Unlike other free website solutions that are targeted toward a general audience, School Rack has features designed specifically for teachers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tech Academy Level 1 for April

Appitic... A Great Site to Find Apps for Core Class Areas

Great Apps to Get for Your New iPad:

Live Binders
Slide Shark
Splashtop HD
Dragon Dictation
Socrative Teacher and Student Apps
Draw Free

Apps to Help You:

App Advice
App Start
App Deals
App Shopper

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Phrasr: A Fun Way to Present a Phrase or Sentence

I came across this site today while searching for fun Tech in 20 sites for next month and wanted to share it now. The site is called Phrasr. You type in a phrase or sentence, and Phrasr will pair up the words with a picture found from Flikr. You can change the picture until you find one you like. These can then be saved or you can send it to a friend! Could be a fun way for you to introduce a new topic or skill. It may be fun for students to create a phrase or sentence about themselves and then match the pictures to their creation.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Last Minute Grammar Needs?

Do you feel the need for some last minute grammar help? Here are a few sites that will entertaining yet educational:

Grammar Ninja There are three levels to Grammar Ninja. Great for differentiation.

Grammar Blast (Grades K-5)
Grammar Blast (Grades 6-8)

Road to Grammar
Road to Grammar Junior


Go Green Earth Contest from Glogster

Glogster EDU and the Go Green Initiative have teamed up to celebrate Earth Day 2012 by putting your environmental awareness to the test! This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about your community and earn Earth Day-themed prizes for you, your classroom, or your school. Ready to go green?
Start off by choosing one, two, or all three of the following systems in your community to focus on: the water system, the food system, and the energy system. Then create a Glog with text, images, audio, and video demonstrating how the system(s) work in your community and ways the system(s) could be greener or more sustainable. The most informative and creative Glogs by individual students, classrooms, and schools will win.

Entries must be submitted by April 22, 2012.

Let me know if you enter or if you need an additional set of hands. I would be happy to help!