Mar 27 2011

Little Bird Tales


When I found Little Bird Tales I couldn’t stop playing with it. Little Bird Tales allows your students to create a story, animate it, narrate it, and publish it! It’s strong point is simplicity! You do have to register for an account, but I discovered that the piggyback method with a gmail account works just fine. After you create an account, you are ready to create your story.

You can then create the cover either by uploading an image, or drawing one using the built-in drawing tools. You can even draw over or annotate on your uploaded image. How cool is that?

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Mar 23 2011

Build a Fake Facebook Wall for a Character or Historical Figure


This handy site is still being developed some (it’s in Beta right now), but it’s got all kinds of potential. We’ve seen some offline projects where history teachers have students draw Facebook profiles and walls for certain historical figures- and have seen something similar in literature classes during biography units. But this site allows students to build what looks like an authentic Facebook wall for the person of their own choosing. They can upload images of the selected person as well as their fake FB friends (contemporaries of the character). Students then make fake FB posts by the character, complete with “likes” and comments from other characters. Take a look at this nice Benjamin Franklin wall:

Now before you get too excited, there are some things (limitations) you should be aware of:

  • Other users cannot post comments on the created fake walls of others.
  • The site is full of ads (that’s how they make their money). I use a browser plug-in (Ad block plus for Firefox) that is set to not show all these ads. So although my screenshot looks clean, it’s really not so clean in reality!
  • The site has been fairly slow here lately… I’m just saying.
  • Registration is required to build a wall.

Mar 23 2011

CUE 2011 and onward!


We had an awesome time in Palm Springs last week and enjoyed meeting so many great people. As always, we learned¬† much from talking with y’all (that’s the way we say it here in Texas)! Our sessions went great overall- Web 2.0, Google Earth (Earth Mashing), and Print, Cut, Fold. Here are a couple things we wanted to share with you..

1. If you didn’t get a chance to make it to one of our presentations that you wanted to, you can find all the links and materials on the Presentations page here on this site (look at the top of this page). Feel free to share those materials with your colleagues if you think it will help them out!

2. Feel free to subscribe to our newsletter using the Newsletter link at the top of the page. We send out an email newsletter once every 2-3 months (OK, maybe 6 months here lately) with a summary of the new, cool websites we’ve found for you!

3. You can subscribe to our RSS feed if you know how to use an RSS reader. There is a link in the address bar as well as at the bottom of the page. Or if you want to subscribe manually, the feed is:

4. Please comment on our posts to let us know you’re there! We know our blog is getting an average of 4500 hits each day- but we don’t really know how many of those are bots and spiders. Every now and then, please just comment to let us know what we are posting you find useful. That is always encouraging!

Once again, thank you to our California CUE friends. And if you are one of our regular readers, we’d like to hear from you as well!

Mar 18 2011

Squirrel! I mean Sqworl!


This cool website allows you to create your own visual collection of bookmarks and share them as a jump page or start page with students or friends. You simply enter the URL (or use the bookmarklet like I did) and add it to a group (each group has its own URL). Here’s a screenshot of what one of ours looks like:

To access this awesome list of websites, click here to see the sqworl page!

Mar 8 2011

Wicked Cool Organizing- Wikicards!


This is one of those sites I have been waiting for! I love using index cards to organize my thoughts, create outlines for classes or lessons, and to review all sorts of material. The ease in which they can be created and rearranged and grouped is what I like best. And until now, I have never found a suitable digital solution. Sure, I could use electronic post-it notes, but how are you supposed to group those? And what if I want more than just text on a card? And now enters Wikicards!

This awesome site allows you to create as many “cards” as you want. These cards can be text or uploaded files such as documents, images, website shortcuts, almost anything! Then the cards can be grouped, tagged, and rearranged. To top that off, projects can be shared with others, password protected and more! The possibilities for this are endless. Here’s my example of research for events leading to the American Revolution. If you want to see the actual project, follow this link.

Now, there are some limitations, so before you get too excited, read carefully. In order to drag files into your project, you must be using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox 4+ (which is still in beta at this time).  This is due to utilizing several components within HTML 5 (which is in its infancy at the moment). Also, after adding cards or files, you may need to click the refresh button on your browser to see the changes.

How else can this be used?

  • Arranging ideas and planning for writing assignments
  • Managing “to-do” tasks
  • Grouping and arranging photos
  • Vocabulary lists
  • Classifying items
  • and on and on and on

Mar 4 2011

Super Teacher Tools


If you haven’t had the fortune to run across this cool site, then your luck is about to change! If you read our previous post about the site title Triptico, a really nice UK site with all kinds of useful tools then you’ll find some similar tools here. Unfortunately, Triptico is no longer available as a web service, though you can still download the tools for free!

This site allows for the creation of Flash-based games and other tools for classroom management. These include:

  • Classroom Jeopardy
  • Speed Match Quiz Maker
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire
  • Board game
  • Seating Chart Maker
  • Group Maker
  • Random Name Generator
  • Splitflap Counter
  • and other fun tools, too!