Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Deleted review from friday :(

Posted: February 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Not sure where my review from friday has disappeared to, but I’m trying to locate it.

In the meantime, check out this list of emerging technologies from Wikipedia.


I know I’m a bit behind on the technological curve on this one, but I don’t have an iPhone. Many of my friends and students do, so I get to mess around with them quite often, and I’ve been on the fence about getting one for awhile. Things like this make me lean much, much more to the iPhone side of the fence.

Google translate takes voice input and it translates it for you in up to 50 different languages? That’s amazing! As a language teacher this makes me unbelievably excited (it might even make learning a foreign language cool again!), and as a human being who travels frequently I can see the many applications dancing before my eyes.

Well done, google… again.

TED talks

Posted: February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you haven’t checked them out before, I highly suggest that you check out the TED talks. There are a variety of videos there on almost any topic imaginable. I’ve downloaded one to use in my class tomorrow, and I’m excited that my students will have the opportunity to hear from some of the most intelligent and influential people in the world.

Take a look! No matter what subject you teach, I can guarantee you that you’ll find something useful.

I have an unnatural love for Google. Seriously.

That love only got stronger when I read today in the Google Blog that they’ve added an education category in the Google Apps Marketplace. If you’re lucky enough to be part of a school district that uses Google Apps for Education, this addition is big news. The new EDU section allows your administrator to purchase (if necessary, some are free) and add apps quickly and easily.

Here’s a quick video:

To begin my 2011 ed tech challenge, I did two reviews of websites that aim to help students study. The first week I took a look at HeadMagnet, and last week I reviewed StudyBlue.  I found both of these websites to be great new ways to get even the most reluctant of students review and studying their notes.

There are, of course, plenty of other apps to help students study. There are tools available for cell phones, ipod touches and ipads. With that being said, I believe that I picked two of the best to review and present to my students. I believe that there’s a place for both StudyBlue and HeadMagnet in any classroom, and I intend to use both regularly in my courses from now on.

Like I mentioned in my reviews, I’ve found that both websites have unique strengths:

HeadMagnet is an excellent tool when used regularly to review concepts and ideas. Its ability to help students predict what they will forget can help them review concepts for long-term recollection and understanding, rather than just cramming for a test the next day.

StudyBlue is a great website for on-the-go students who want to have their notes available to them anytime, anywhere. There is also the collaborative function that I found to be slightly easier to use than HeadMagnet’s.

My plan for the future is to use both sites, which is made easy by the fortunate fact that both allow you to import notes. Beginning next semester I plan to have students create a database with terms, vocabulary, and concepts. The students will decide for themselves which items to include in their spreadsheets (This will be effective because I teach at the high school level, if I taught younger students I would give them a list of items to use). From there they will have the option to upload their spreadsheet onto HeadMagnet so that they can review as often as they need to.

For my younger students, whose study skills are still developing, I plan to give marks if they can demonstrate to me that they have been using either StudyBlue or HeadMagnet before a test. For older students I will simply verify that they’ve completed the spreadsheet, and let them use it if they choose.

I have great hopes that this system will help students to learn concepts in the long-term.

I thought my faithful readers would enjoy “100+ Online Resources That Are Transforming Education”.

The article divides the resources into 9 different categories of websites and apps that are changing the face of education. As someone who’s new to all this, I found this categorization really helpful.

There are so many different ways to use technology as part of your teaching, these categories make everything easier. You can choose one way that you want technology to influence your classroom.

For me personally the tools in “Learner Tools” and “Collaborative Learning” fit well with my teaching style and practice. However, I know many teachers who would benefit from the resources in “Hardware for Education” or “Online Content”.

If, like me, you’re trying to integrate technology bit by bit this is a great place to start.

11 ways to learn in 2011

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

I thought this was a great article for teachers interested in technology (and tech geeks in general). There’s some great, inspirational links that will show you some great ways to interact with web 2.0 on both a personal level and a professional level.


Home for the holidays

Posted: December 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

In the spirit of the holidays, I will be taking some time away from the internet to spend with family and friends. See you all in the New Year!

Tips for Online Discussion

Posted: December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Not much time for a *real* blog post today, as I’m busily preparing for Christmas and semester two once we return to school. I have found an amazing resource that I wanted to share with everyone from the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence. The resource gives many tips and tricks to facilitating online discussions with your class.

Online Discussions: Tips for Instructors

Let me know what you think! Do you have online discussions with your classes?

Web 2.0 Workshop

Posted: November 28, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

If you’re looking for an amazing resource on using the internet in your classroom, take a look at the Web 2.0 Workshop.

The link features a ton of website and information on various web 2.0 tools, as well as some examples of how to use them. I’ve been perusing this site for a few days now and still haven’t been able to get through even 50% of it.

Happy reading!