Sunday, August 30, 2009

PC users: Get Paint!

About a year ago, I stumbled on, a totally FREE digital photo editing program that does the same thing as Photoshop, but without the pricetag. I have found many exciting and practical uses for it. I think that PC users will be thrilled to find this... Mac users are happy with their tools for now. So Windows users start falling in love with too. So if you're ready to do something fun with your photos, try it Have fun!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Beloit College Mindset List

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college. It is the creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Emeritus Public Affairs Director Ron Nief. It is used around the world as the school year begins, as a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation. It is widely reprinted and the Mindset List website at receives more than 300,000 hits annually.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Attention, multitaskers

Attention, multitaskers (if you can pay attention, that is): Your brain may be in trouble.

People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time, a group of Stanford researchers has found.

Oh, My a few of us are in trouble

More here

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Thanks for Dr. Clif Mims for posting this on his blog. This was just what I needed as I prepare to meet our students. How about showing this to your class?!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Handle Facebook Privacy Settings for Your Kids

Post worth reposting from my PLN

The explosive growth of the social media site Facebook now boasts a user demographic so diverse that at least one family member in nearly every internet-savvy household is on it.

The popularity and reach of Facebook represents an anomaly among today’s technology landscape: Households with children, parents and grandparents all using the same online service. This generational ubiquity provides several intriguing story lines, but perhaps the most relevant is the “teachable moment” that allows us to provide our kids with valuable life lessons on protecting their personal privacy in a digital world.

Facebook is now a kind of “social hub” for teens. As the social network has increased its offerings and integrated more with third-party applications and software, it now functions as their main portal to all online communications including e-mails, news and chatting with friends. The convenience and functionality is the main pull for teens and, let’s face it, for adults, too. With such a strong reliance upon a relatively new technology, how can we ensure that our kids know how to stay safe as they integrate more and more of their lives onto Facebook?

The first step is to make sure you and your teen are making full use of the privacy controls that Facebook provides. Read more here

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swine Flu in Shelby County, TN

I heard today that there are more cases of Swine Flu in Memphis, and many cases at the University of TN-Knoxville (in fact, for sorority recruitment chapters asked for additional help last weekend). So how do I keep my own students healthy?
Here is a video that I ran across that would explain Swine Flu to elementary students.
For an add free version, just have it run full screen.

Swine Flu - Made Simple - The funniest home videos are here

Monday, August 24, 2009

New online games aim to make science fun

To help stem the tide of apathy toward science and make it more engaging and relevant for students, Tabula Digita , developer of the DimensionM series of educational video games for math, has releasing a new immersive online game series for science. Called "The League of Scientists," the series is being offered for free to students in grades three through five. It allows students to compete against each other in a series of multi-player games, constructed around a standards-based science curriculum. The League of Scientists currently includes four interactive games: Lab Rat Race, Beaker Blast, Butterfly Boss, and Circuit Center, with additional games planned. Provided by the International Society for Technology in Education, the science content can be chosen based on a teacher¹s desire to introduce or practice life science, earth and space science, or physical science concepts. "We are catching students right at the point when in engagement in science fades," said Ntiedo Etuk, chief executive officer and co-founder of Tabula Digita. "By providing a fun, out-of-school method for students to build and review their knowledge, we hope to keep science fun and engaging for students."

I am not sure how this would work for school use. I suggest that teachers try it for themselves. Registration asked for a student email address and a parent email address. Great educational games involving science concepts. The student will not know they are learning physics or genetics!

I learned about this on in their Website of the Day section. Eschool news is a free site to get the latest in educational news.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mark Your Calendar/Sign Up

Don't Miss an Exciting New Virtual Conference & Expo for K-12 Educators and Tech Staff

Dear Readers,

FETC and T.H.E. Journal invite you and your team members to participate in the all-new FETC Fall '09 Virtual Conference & Expo, live on October 22nd. This extraordinary online educational event delivers valuable presentations and unlimited networking opportunities straight to your desktop — FREE of CHARGE!

Register now to attend this 100% FREE online event to enjoy:

  • A dynamic exchange of best practices and tips for success
  • Expert speakers sharing their views in an effective, interactive way
  • A virtual networking lounge to reconnect with colleagues and make new contacts
  • Real-time access to other participants through instant messaging
  • Technology product and service demonstrations in our virtual exhibit hall
  • Free content downloads and presentations to go
  • And much more!

Attend as many sessions as you like, visit the virtual exhibit hall at any time and network when it's convenient for you. There are no travel expenses. No lines. No substitutes to schedule. No funding approval needed.

This is a FREE event to qualified participants. Invite your colleagues and staff to participate —at NO CHARGE! Your promo code is AX9V01.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Webinar: Teaching Search in the Classroom

Date: August 19, 2009
Time: 5:00PM – 6:00PM PST (That’s 8:00PM Eastern)
Panelists: Googler Dan Russell (Google Search Quality Expert); Google
Certified Teachers Lucy Gray, Kathleen Ferenz, and Cheryl Davis
Register online here or copy and paste the following url in your browser:

Web search can be a remarkable research tool for students - and we’ve
heard from educators that they could use some help to teach better
search skills in their classroom. Working with Google Certified
Teachers, we produced an initial set of nine search education lessons.
>From developing criteria to click on the right results to succeeding
with the most challenging searches, the lessons they created will help
students, and you, get the most of Google search in the classroom. We
encourage you to check out the lessons online at:

Drawing on their vast experience with search education, Dan Russell,
along with Google Certified Teachers Kathleen Ferenz, Cheryl Davis and
Lucy Gray will discuss how to teach search in the classroom. Having
developed Google’s Search Education Lessons, they will discuss how
you can customize the contents to the needs of your class and how
guide your in-class discussions. The webinar will take place on
Wednesday, August 19 at 5PM. Don’t forget to register online here and
invite fellow educators to join us!

We hope to see you soon!
The Google Search Education Team

Monday, August 17, 2009

Practice Texting while Driving

You HAVE to try this site and Pass it on to others. I was very distracted while driving and texting..... YIKES!

Richard Byrne had this post at his excellent blog:
The New York Times has an excellent interactive game that every teen driver or aspiring driver should play at least once. Gauging Your Distraction requires players to try to read and reply to three text messages while negotiating lanes of traffic. The game ends when all three messages have been sent. I gave the game a try and found it to be quite challenging.

Applications for Education
Gauging Your Distraction is an excellent activity to incorporate into a driver training program.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fuel Our Future Now!

Fuel Our Future Now website is a join venture of Discovery Education and the US Department of Energy. The resources available are divided among the High Schoolers, Middle Schoolers and Elementary students. There are also tabs for Educators and Parents. The purpose is to provide resouces and activities about promoting activities, tips, resources and discussion points about green technology, energy conservation, fuel efficiency, alternative energy sources and more. The future is riding on the young minds of today.

Keep the momentum going with additional tools and information to enhance your students' STEM education.

Find links to government and academic sites, complementary classroom materials and helpful background essentials.

Topics include:

  • fuel efficiency
  • energy conservation
  • fossil fuels
  • car emissions
  • greenhouse effect
  • global warming
  • biofuels
  • hybrid/electric cars
  • ...and more!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cyberbullying Prevention lessons

NSBA's Technology Leadership Network is pleased to partner with CyberSmart! to distribute the free CyberSmart! cyberbullying prevention lessons to K-12 schools nationwide. This set of lessons adopts an integrated approach, examining all current research findings and using best practices from the fields of cyber security, school violence prevention, and character education to impact behavioral change. Together, these materials offer schools the opportunity to begin a dialogue with students and build a sustained cyberbullying prevention campaign to continually remind the school community about safe, ethical online use. Standards-based teacher lesson plans, student activity sheets, home connections, prevention activities, and optional Web 2.0 strategies are included.

Click here to download this completely free set of lessons...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

H.I.P. Pocket Change

Coins are so Cool!
You can have fun and learn from them at the same time.
At the U. S. Government site, teachers and students will find some resources that will pay for themselves.

H.I.P. Pocket Change is all about fun and information, especially coin information. It all started in 1997, when President Clinton asked federal agencies to find resources that could "enrich the Internet as a tool for teaching and learning."

In response, agencies joined forces to form the Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) Working Group. The FREE group has pooled hundreds of educational treasures and posted them on the U.S. Department of Education's Web site.

At the teacher/parent site, you fill find links to the 50 states coin progect which would be great as students are studying the US by regions. Webquests, Westward Journey Nickel Series Lesson Plans, the Presidential $1 Coins Resource Center AND financial literacy resources. A GREAT Site. My mind is just amovin'!


Saturday, August 1, 2009


Free software download for both Macs and PC’s. The software contains two parts, the first is an atlas with interactive maps and details for each country including the capital, flag, land and water borders, length of the coasts, the population, official languages, internet and country code, currency, international organization membership, and more. The second part of the software is a game offering more than 100,000 geography questions about worldwide geography. The game lets players give an answer or choose to answer with clues or multiple choice. After answering a question, students can view their score and look at detailed data for the territory.

How to integrate GeoEdu into the classroom: I’m not sure why school supply stores still sell the pull down atlas, with all of the amazing atlas and map tools available for free, buying a map seems so last century! GeoEdu is a bright and colorful interactive atlas with great details for each country. This free software is perfect for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector. The game included is a great way to increase student geography knowledge. Play the game as a class during geography or any time you have a few extra minutes. Keep a running score going throughout the year that can be added to easily. GeoEdu is also a great download for classroom and library computers. Use GeoEdu as a geography/atlas center where students can stop by and interact with maps and play the game.