Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sound Effects

Free sound effects.

File Converter

I usually use zamzar, but just found this site. Have not tried it yet, but it appears to do most formats.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Personal Narrative Podcasting/External Peer Review

This is a great way to do podcasting. The site is free for basic accounts, but with a project like this, I had to buy the basic membership. It is about $30 a year, but I can see using this for a cross-campus peer review, students recording speeches, booktalks, or many various projects. Well worth the small investment for a class that comes equipped with twenty ipods with microphones.

For this project, my students recorded a rough draft of their personal narrative project and we uploaded it, along with the text version, to the podbean site.

Students in Jen Mitchell's college composition course then listened to the podcasts, and filled out an anonymous peer review feedback form using google docs. Her students' responses showed a high level of engagement and the stewardship I have found in similar projects.

My students then made final versions based on the comments received. These final versions were then uploaded to the podbean site.

I love the last line in the final version of this student's narrative. It displays the level of engagement this type of technology project can create.

It is a little bit of work to record and upload the podcasts, but the results are worth it.

Rebranding Girsl

Great collection of adds about gender rebranding.

Gender Ads

National Geographic Films

Here are 75 full length National Geographic films totally for free. These might be better for a science class, but there are lots of great documentaries here.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cool Photos

National Geographic posts many beautiful photos. could be used in classrooms for prompts and such.

National Geographic Visions of Earth


My students get tired of doing reflections, but to me it is a more realistic way of grading what they really learned. Good questions and repetition lead to better reflections.

Here is a good article.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Issue Online Graphic Novels

Wow, this looks super cool. I will be doing Maus with my freshmen next semester. Maybe I could work in something like this.

Graphic Novel Technique

It requires an artist, but it is a free, creative version on Comic Life.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Storybird Character Analysis

We did a project with where students did a character analysis from the book Reservation Blues. To show their understanding of character motivations, students created an original scene involving the character. They needed to use literary devices similar to those in the book and reveal something new about the character.

A few students recorded their storybirds. Here are a few examples of students who met all of the requirements:

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

This was a really fun project, and students at all levels enjoyed it. Plus, the teacher accounts at Storybird make it really easy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another Animation Technique

This is a great looking animated movie technique.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

21st Century Education

Here is a student created film by one of my US Literature classes.

I got the idea for this from Greg Kulowiec at History 2.0, and I decided to use it to showcase students working in groups with new technology.

We spent one day talking about how education is changing, and what businesses are looking for when hiring today. Then, I asked them to work in groups to answer the question, "What do I want to be able to do when I graduate from high school?"

After they had some good ideas going onto paper, I asked if anyone knew how to use a camera, who wanted to direct, and who knew how to put things together in Windows Movie Maker.

They truly exceeded my expectations, and this great movie is what they came up with:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Green Screens

History 2.0 does it again with green screens.

RSA Animate Project

Like Ken Robinson? Here is a way to do it with students and white boards.

Annotating Youtube Videos

This article by History 2.0 looks like a lot of fun for creating choose your own adventure videos. This could be great for a creative writing course. He uses it in history classes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Poll Everywhere

Greg, from History 2.o Classroom, talks about using poll everywhere and his techniques for "screens down," scales of agreement, and scales of understanding in this great article.

Student Reflections

Here are a couple of interesting posts about student reflections and the important role they play in learning. This is something I want to incorporate, but have not found a way to yet. Maybe I could try some of these.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


This might be pretty cool. I have not tried it yet, but I like the idea for character analysis or book reports. Only problem I noticed is that the comics are only 3 boxes long. Maybe too concise.

A new alternative to Glogster. No teacher accounts, but easy to use and students can create multiple pages for a whole magazine feel.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


This is a fun, basic project that any class would enjoy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Online publishing?

Here is an article about the increasing awareness of the importance of online publishing. Maybe the future is really here.

Importance of reading Aloud in the Classroom

Here is a great blog post on how important it is for students to read aloud in the classroom. It opens up many connections to the text, and allows for a richer interpretation after. There is also some insight into a new use for google docs.

Mark Sample's Post

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Teenage Brains

Here is an article about how the teenage brain develops. It sheds a lot of light on why teens act out and take risks. It actually helps with our evolution into better thinkers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kinetic Text

This could be great for Media Studies. It could really focus students on powerful text.

Here is a sample I made. It does not have audio, another step, but the basic idea is there.

If you want to see a cool example, check out "Cat in the Rain."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Speech Podcasting/External Peer Review

During the Fall semester in 2010, I got to teach 4 speech classes at Fossil Ridge, and we worked on a great project while I was there. We created podcasts of rough drafts of speeches and posted them on a web page with the written text. These were then anonymously peer reviewed by Greg Pierson's Forensics class and Kim Salz's AP Language classes using google docs. The speeches were then revised and the final versions were posted.

A significant portion of the class--over 10% of all students participating in the four classes, and I would guess maybe 80% of the students who actually submitted to the national project--were then published on the This I Believe webpage.

The rough drafts and the podcasts were all available on Fossil's Web Page before they created a new layout for their system. The links for This I Believe still work.

Since the main focus of the project was to have students meet the requirements for getting published on this nationally recognized program, I think the anonymous external peer review process with podcasts is another successful way to use technology in education.

Creative Writing Cross Campus Peer Review

In the spring semester of 2010, I participated in a fun project with Jason Clarke, who is doing fantastic work in educational technology. We conducted a cross-campus peer review in which his AP students read and reviewed the work of students in my creative writing class. Mr. Clarke's students used the track changes and insert comment features of word to give peer feedback on short stories and personal narratives that my students had written. They then filled out a peer review feedback form to help my students produce their final drafts and to help all students think about writing, editing, and revision.

You can check out all of the student's web pages here. The peer review papers are under each student's personal web page under "peer review paper." Yet another example of how technology can be leveraged to create unique opportunities for students to learn!

Here is a video of my students talking with a Technology for Educators class at CSU:

Thank you Jason for everything you did, including writing this summary of the project.