Cool Web Tools for Teachers and Kids! Part One

By Nancy Jang on March 24, 2011
  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12


I just came home from a fantastic technology conference in Palm Springs called Computer-Using Educators, or CUE, and my head is about to explode (in a good way). I would love to share some of these fantastic cool tools and apps with you. If you ever do any projects online or offline, have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, or are just a tech geek like me, hold on to your heads for some AMAZING tools that you can use right away, to make teaching easier in almost any grade level or to make your life easier at home. Special thanks to all the presenters at CUE for inspiring others to bring tech into their classrooms! Read on to check out some super amazing techy things to do with your class and some cool apps for you!

 

CUEIGNITElogo

If you have a conference for technology and education in your area, I highly recommend you go — if not for technology, then for math, reading, history, or whatever you have a passion for. I love technology, and every year, I make it a point to attend CUE. Next year, the International Society for Technology in Education is going to be in San Diego, and I can't wait. I always feel energized, excited, and blown away by the amazing resources and applications out there and the inspiring teachers who are using it in new, creative ways. 

Print, Cut & Fold

OK, the first resource for you is on the Web, and it's actually a resource that uses a program you already have, PowerPoint! But these PowerPoint slides are not for presentations, but for creating templates for books and 3-D projects.

Printcutfold The Print, Cut & Fold session, led by Jim Holland and Susan Anderson, shared several free resources and templates that use PowerPoint to create impressive looking brochures, towers, cascade books, mini books, and study cards. I purchased a great book Print, Cut, and Fold: Creative Technology Projects for Grades K–2 that includes step-by-step instructions and templates. There are some FREE templates available on the Web site, as well as information on their books. These templates are easy to use and require only a few prerequisite computing skills. All of my 2nd graders will be able to create all of the templates using skills they already have. Here are their other titles:

 

The geniuses that sharted the wonderful Powerpoint templates also gathered the wonderful Web 2.0 applications that I know you will love using in the classroom. All of the applications are free and easy to use, and there is nothing to install. If you want more information or more Web 2.0 tools, check out Digital Goonies and click on the Sqworl link

Kidblog2.0_KIDBLOG.org Kidblog.org

The free site Kidblog.org allows kids to create, write, and use a blog in a safe, protected environment. Kids, even young kids, can write on the Web. Besides being really cool, this site gives students a real-life application and purpose for writing. You can set up accounts for your class in under a minute, and it doesn't require your students to have email addresses.

 

Xtranormal

Xtranormal

Xtranormal is a very neat online application that allows users to write a script online and use animated characters to act it out. It's easy to use and gives you an embed code for your movie when you are done.

 

 Open Clip Art

Openclipart

Open Clip Art Library has thousands and thousands of totally free, good-quality clip art images with NO watermarks. You don't even have to open an account to start looking and downloading. You can download clip art in two formats, as SVG or PNG files.

Timetoast


 

 

timetoast

Use timetoast to create interactive time lines. The time lines allow you to write in a text box, and add a picture and link for each event featured on the time line. This would be a cool way to chart historical facts or biographies, but at the 2nd grade level, I picture using it to chart events in a book, in a historical figure report, or in an all-about-me project.

Lincoln

Tagxedo

Move over Wordle, now there's Tagxedo! This application works similarly to Wordle, but the words get popped into images instead of word clouds. For example, words describing Lincoln get formed into Lincoln's portrait. There are a ton of images to choose from. You do have to download a plug-in called Silverlight for it to work.

 

 

Quizlet

Quizlet

I'll be using the online application Quizlet in my class right away. It allows your kids to study vocabulary in a fun way. Best of all, it only takes five minutes to type in your words, and there are iPhone, Android, iPod Touch, and iPad apps for it, too. It can auto define them or you can type in the definition you want students to learn. It allows you to choose from their image library to attach a picture to the definitions. It also has an audio pronunciation of the word and the definition. You can even export them, print them, or share them via Facebook or Twitter. It also gives you a link or embed code so you can put the cards and games right on your Web site or blog.

It has three modes: learn, study, and play. In the play area, there are two games, Scatter and Space Race. Scatter is  fun to play and even more engaging on an interactive whiteboard. There are also tons of lists already archived by other people that you can search through. Can you imagine how easy it is to create a set of cards for a foreign language? It's available at Quizlet. And of course, it's easy and FREE.

Join me next week for part two of "Cool Web Tools for Teachers and Kids." I will be sharing "Ten Ways to Makeover Your Classroom Web site" created and presented by Brent Coley at CUE.

Happy teching,

Nancy

 

 

Comments

Hi Nancy,
One warning about the Open Clip Art Library. While it is a great resource for teachers, I would advise against having students search the site as the titles and images are not always kid friendly. For example, I looked today and "F___ Propaganda" is the title of two of the featured images on the first page.
~Jayme @jaymej

Stella, I am using it whole class with my interactive whiteboard and in small groups under supervision. It looks above them, but I do most of the work entering the definitions or finding lists. I am using it for my Houghton Mifflin Vocab words for each story. We play the Scatter Game in teams in class. My kids have a hard time with the Space Race game. There are many of the story lists already created too. I hope this helps.

Happy Teaching, Nancy

I checked out some of these great resources. I looked into the Quizlet site and it doesn't allow children under 13 on it. It also looked above them. How are you using it?

Aurora, Thanks for your comment. I really enjoy the experience of going to conferences, but when I can't, I love hearing from other teachers that went! I agree that it improves us all as teachers. I hope you find some great resources.

Happy Teaching, Nancy

Thank you so much for these great resources. I love when fellow educators go to a conference or workshop, gain some useful information and share it with others. Sharing makes us all better teachers.

Kathy, Thanks for leaving a comment. I had a wonderful time at CUE and I'm excited to be able to share these resources with other techies here on the blog. Sorry I missed you too.

Warm regards, Nancy

Mary Ellen, Thanks for your comment! You were the winner of the Blog Giveaway and your items are in the mail. I hope you find some of these apps useful in your classroom.

Happy Teaching, Nancy

Nancy, thanks for all of this great information! I'll be checking out these resources soon. Mary Ellen Frank

Great post Nancy--lots of great ideas! Sorry I missed you at CUE!

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