Thursday, January 31, 2013

Little Bird Tales

Little Bird Tales is an easy to use digital storytelling tool that can be used online (they do have an app also that is $2.99). Students can upload their own artwork, record their voice, add text, and can be shared by purchasing an mp4, emailing, embedding in your classroom website, or creating a PDF. 

Here's how it works:

You could set up accounts for individual students and have them write stories...

 or create class books, like this example:

They also have Common Core templates build in for grades K-5 when you set up a teacher account!

Looking to learn more? Here is another tutorial and other ideas to use it in your classroom. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Skitch is an app that you can use to personalize and annotate images. You can take your own photos, upload images, or even use maps!

Here's an overview of how it works:

There are so many uses for the classroom! How about labeling a picture with vocabulary words?

Or a map?

What about Spanish vocabulary (or any other foreign language)?

Pictures can be saved on the iPads, emailed, and printed. 

Looking for an idea for Martin Luther King Jr's birthday? I found this idea on the Technology Tailgate! After reading the book Martin's Big Words, the teacher used Skitch to have students take a picture of themselves and write their own "big words". Very cute idea! I imagine a writing project could also accompany the students' picture depending on your grade level. 

If you'd like to learn more about how to use Skitch, check out their tutorial.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Here comes 2013...!

I saw an article on Mind/Shift the other day that sparked my thinking about where technology in education is headed. After all, after the iPad "changed education" just a few years ago, it's hard to foresee what's next! 

The article discussed 3 big themes in learning over the coming year:

1. Smart use of tech
Computers have been present in classrooms for a number of years now- we have desktops, laptops, iPods, iPads... the projection for 2013 doesn't necessarily include new devices, but continuing to find innovative ways to integrate technology into instruction. Maybe it's simulating and/or presenting a science experiment, turning math and vocabulary drills into games, or promoting online collaboration among students. 

The article also predicted that we would gain a better and more realistic sense of what technology can do for students, as well as what it can't. "Young people still need to interact with classmates and teachers face to face. They still need physical activity and hands-on experiences, whether in the art room or science lab." 

2. Advance of the Common Core
Training has already begun on the Common Core State Standards, which has been adopted in 45 states to date. 

I found another website, Mapping Media to the Common Core, that asks the question, "What do you want to CREATE today?". There are several options to choose from: interactive writing, narrated art, radio show, visual notetaking, etc. The links for each project take you to a page with its definition, workflow, tools, and examples. 

3. Learning outside of school.
"More than ever before, 2013 will bring a recognition that learning can happen anytime, anywhere- not just in a classroom and not just during the school day... We'll continue to explore, for ourselves and with our children, the wealth of information and ideas available on the web."

So.. where are you and your students headed in 2013? What innovation do you want to bring into your classroom and share with your students?