Monthly Archives: August 2014

Weebly.com Easy Website Builder

Weebly.com

“It’s surprisingly easy to create a unique website” (weebly.com)

I have explored many fantastic sites for website development including Wix.com, Webs.com and GoDaddy.com.  They each have their own unique advantage (which I may discuss in future blogs).  However, during my classroom experiments, I have found that Weebly is the easiest program.  If you are looking for something that students will be able to master quickly to create beautiful websites, then you should check out weekly.com.  I have been using it for three years with my information technology and business classes but Just about any course of instruction could utilize this website.

Weebly for teacher websites

This spring, at a staff meeting, teachers at my school were encouraged to begin building websites for their classes.  In the computer lab following the meeting, I taught my staff how to use Weebly because it is so user-friendly. Even the non-techy teachers were able to begin creating sites using this free program.

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Animoto.com to Create Stunning Videos

Animoto.com

  • Make FREE 30 second videos
  • The easiest way to make beautiful videos online
  • Stunning video styles
  • Add captions and titles to your photos and video clips

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Using Animoto in the Classroom

I began using Animoto about a year ago to make short 30 second videos with my computer classes.  So far I have had 5 different classes (about 150 students) use this free program.  I am very impressed with its ease of use and video quality.  Students really enjoy using this program.  I would suggest that you have students experiment with different themes and add captions to their photos.

Using Animoto for School Assemblies and Events

At the end of the school year, I decided to put together a year-end video showcasing student achievement in academics and athletics for an assembly.  Since I am in charge of creating the yearbook at my school, I have access to hundreds of photos.  Because it had worked so effectively in my classroom experiments, I selected Animoto to put together this year-end video.  For this project, I purchased the $5/month plan because it allows you to create videos that are up to 10 minutes in length.  The finished product looked like it took hours to create but I was able to put it together in a fraction of that time.  The hardest part was sorting through all my images to find the best ones to use for the video.

Digital Citizenship Lesson

Digital Citizenship – Sharing Information Online Lesson

Digital Citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use
• This FREE lesson encourages students to “pause before they post” something online
• Watch a short video with the band Perry sharing information about the importance of “Pausing Before You Post”
• Create a response to the video and pledge

Here is the video…

 

Click on the image below to download this free lesson…

 

 

 

For a free digital copy of this lesson, click the link below…

Digital Citizenship Lesson

 

 

Google Drive Updates and Add-Ons 2014

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Google recently announced a series of updates and add-ons to Google Drive.  Here is a list I compiled of some of the changes…

  1. Edit Files Offline
  2. Edit and Share Microsoft Office Files – Without using Microsoft Office
  3. New Activity Stream
  4. Add-ons (including EasyBib Bibliography Creator)
  5. New Google Sheets
  6. Edit images right in Google Drive or Drawings

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Here are a few add-ons that you may be interested in exploring…

Kaizena is a fast and simple way to add voice comments, text comments and resource links to student work.

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WeVideo allows you to easily create and share videos and short animationsright in Google Drive.

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MindMeister – Create mind maps

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EasyBib – This Bibliography Creator helps you cite books, journals, and websites in MLA, APA, and Chicago style.

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2 Amazing Tech Videos

I have found that showing short, captivating video clips about technology engages students  because they love to hear about new advancements in technology. Everyday I search the web for new exciting developments on the horizon and show them to my students. I gauge the effectiveness of the video by the students reaction. I only keep the videos that elicit positive reactions and self-directed discussions from students.

A Day Made of Glass

Summary Points

  • Any glass surface becomes your monitor.
  • Sorting Photos, using GPS, Drawing etc. on any surface.
  • See 360 degree pictures of yourself in clothing before you buy the clothing.

Future of Screen Technology

Summary Points

  • Stretch the screen of an iPhone size device to the size of an iPad.
  • See-through monitors that can be flipped with the movement of one finger.
  • Any flat surface becomes a monitor including a bathroom mirror.
  • Connect 2 phones, slide images from one phone to another.