Sunday, September 26, 2010

Confessions of a Former Twitterphobe

Hi, my name is Alli and I am Twitter-phobic.

Yes, it's true.  Just a few short months ago, I would have told you that Twitter was for the birds.  Tweet, Tweet. But in this effort to become an open minded learner to all that is out there that may benefit educators, I have found a new love for Twitter. Much to my surprise, it has become one of my most used tools in the past few weeks.

But most likely, I don't like it for the reasons you think.

I will never rival Ashton in number of  "this is what I am doing" updates. Sure, it is an easy way to communicate, but I don't think most people care that I pulled resources off of the Smart Exchange ( for a teacher at 2:17 on September 21st.

What I am using Twitter for is a modern day PLN.  I enjoy pulling up my list of who I follow each evening to see what is new on the edtech horizon.  I have an app on my phone so I can easily scroll through and see new headlines and blog posts.  I forward anything worth looking deeper on or worth sharing to my email for later review.  Anytime I see something interesting, I check to see who that person is following too, in case I can find a new source of resources.

Yep, my Island friends will laugh at me, but I have succumbed to Twitter.  Maybe you should too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Simple Way to Make Movies

One of the awesome teachers I know shared this site with me (shout out to Kelsey at DC!).   It is a web-based movie making tool that offers animations which can be customized.  The site is called and I made the video below to explain just how simple this can be. 

Some of the animations include a sports-theme, presidents, even a Larry King show mockup.  The kids will love this!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blog: Defined

As I was researching blogging, I saw a Twitter post about a site that is basically a video dictionary. I got excited (as my nerdy self often does) and decided to check it out. I was blown away. This site not only has many video definitions (by some famous people I might add), but it screams integration! How cool will it be to have students researching origins and definitions of words and then create video clips of them? This is an activity that I especially see for Denton Creek, home of WORD UP!

But I digress. I tried to steer myself back to blogging and found this awesome Wordia entry. Here's Adam Westbrook, Blogger, Lecturer, and Journalist saying what I've been thinking about blogs, but in a much more eloquent way...

blog - wordia

Learn more about Wordia here.

Video Blogging

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Picasa Masterpiece

This blog is many things and today it will be a troubleshooting site. :) I am working on troubleshooting a teacher's issue with Blogger and Picasa, so what better activity than to create a Picasa and place it on my blog? All I had were some pictures of an old eInstruction kit to work with, but I easily uploaded them to Picasa, gave them some captions, and selected share to Blogger.

Hope you like it...though I haven't seen many of these older clicker sets lying around lately. Most schools I've seen have an RF type where you don't have to aim at anything. Even so, maybe this post will lead you to being curious about clickers, aka Classroom Response Systems or Picasa or both!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

All About Me and Smilebox

Update - 9/19 - I just learned Smilebox has an educator license.  This would be a great way to access this tool in a larger way without upgrading to the premium license. 

Smilebox is super easy to use.  All you need are some pictures and the ability to drag and drop them into premade templates.  It makes it seem like you did something cool when really, you took 5 min to create!

Check out my All About Me I made in about 10 minutes.  Can you think of all the possibilities for students??  Let me know in the comments!

Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Make your own picture collage

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Voicethread about Voicethread

Voicethread is an awesome tool for student response and collaboration. I can see many uses for this tool from a new way to publish a Writer's Workshop piece to a Science Lab reflection to a new way for students to enjoy a read aloud or book report.

Check out this Voicethread about Voicethreads!

Interested in making one? Sign up for a free, single educator license here.

Excited about what other ideas you can use this cool tool for? Check out the gallery here. I searched for using Voicethread in education and found some really cool things!

Happy Voicing!