Cool Sites: A Little Help from my Friends

What do I do when my lesson is out of tune? The Beatles said it best, “I get by with a little help from friends.” Several of this week’s cool websites came from my Personal Learning Network (PLN)‘s blogs that I subscribe to in my RSS reader! I love my PLN who continually shows me new tools to breathe some energy into some of my lesson plans! What I love about finding tools in a blog post is that educators have the tendency to show the reader how to integrate the tool into the curriculum. I love reading the ideas and seeing the examples! I hope you will find some new blogs to follow with this post. If you missed the previous weeks of this series, just click here.

Scrapblog

Janet Bianchini revealed this wonderful tool for students to create visual scrapbooks or digital stories. Students will have all sorts of fun through embedding videos, integrating music, and choosing various transitions! Check out the Scrapblog example below, Imagine by Little_M. The example shows a type of lesson for English language learners!

LiveBinders

Pilar (aka Dreamer) revealed this website which allows students or teachers to create 3D binders. The binders are similar to 3-ring binders with tabs. Under each tab the teacher or student includes several links and resources. Check out this Web 2.0 tools binder by Lesley with an extensive list of resources!

DomoNation

Kelly Tenkely has one of the best educational technology blogs! She has even created her own song. I love her blog, because she shares various tools and explains how to integrate each effectively into the curriculum. This week she shares the DomoNation website. Domo is a funny character from Japan who my niece adores. In this website, students create their own stories with animations. They choose the backdrops, characters, props, music, special effects, movements, and create the dialogue! Read Kelly Tenkely‘s blog for more information.

Ziipa Links

I found some great links via Ziipa that I had to share.

Two great vocabulary sites that would help students improve their vocabulary are Weboword and WordAhead. Students remember the definition of difficult words by looking at cartoons that illustrate the meaning of the word through Weboword.  Students can watch videos at WordAhead to discover the meaning of a word. Some of the cartoons and videos can help English language learners, but several of the words are very difficult.

With FunFacer, students can create animations, videos, photos, and games! They just upload a picture and have fun. Unfortunately, not every scene is student friendly so you may want to use this tool with precaution.

Clipgenerator has the potential of being one of my favorite video tools. This service is similar to Animoto where you can create a fantastic video for free. First, choose from a variety of popular music. Then upload images and video. Add some text and complete! The set-up is easy, but the uploading of the video took some time then failed. This tool is still in beta so there are several bugs. I noticed that I could not upload pictures and instead typed in the image url from my Flickr account. Also, some songs would not allow me to upload any images. Right now this tool would not be stable enough to be used with students but when the bugs are fixed, students will love it!

Challenge:

Subscribe to the blogs mentioned in this post to receive fantastic tips on how to integrate various educational technologies into your curriculum!

You may want to subscribe to receive regular updates, leave a quick comment of how one of these tools helped you, tweet this, or share this series with your Personal Learning Network (PLN) through your RSS reader or Delicious account.


Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

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