Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I am frequently discovering new websites. I find websites to use with students, to increase my knowledge on a particular topic, or information to read later. The trick is keeping track of all these web resources. Usually people bookmark websites they want to return to later, but then the list of links is trapped on the computer it was created on. Therefore, I use a browser add-on called Diigo to keep track of the websites I bookmark. This add-on not only keeps all of your links in one place, but you can also access them from any computer via the Diigo website. In addition, you can tag each link and then share them with others.

You can also use Diigo to search for resources on a particular topic. I have recently been researching information on the Common Core Standards, and the public bookmarks collected on the Diigo website have been an excellent resource.

If you have trouble remembering all of the web resources you find, Diigo might just be the solution for you. I have included a link to my bookmarks about the Common Core Standards as an example below.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Audioboo: Record and Share Audio

This week i want to introduce you to an app i have started using called Audioboo. The company tagline is that it is the simplest way to share audio. Audioboo works with Android, Nokia, and Apple devices. If you don't have a smart phone, you can also record directly in your web browser. I have been using the iPad app, but the process works the same with another smartphones or the Audioboo website. Simply open the app, click on the record button, and begin talking into the microphone. When you're done with your recording, press stop, and then click the upload button. You can then go to the Audioboo website to view the audio clip that you created. You can share the audio file via Twitter, email, or there's also an embed button so that you can embed the clip into other websites. Right now, I am using the app to create audio agendas of what we do in class each day. This helps students who are absent and need to make up the work they missed that day. The agenda takes no more than two minutes to record. I'm also thinking of using Audioboo to create book talks with students. Students will describe and evaluate books they have read, and other students will be able to listen to their opinions. I'm sure that there are many other ways to use Audioboo. But these are the two ways that I'm using it currently. Below I have embedded an Audioboo of this TechTip.

You can also view my class website to see how the Audioboo player looks when embedded on a webpage.


Techtip Audioboo (mp3)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Creating Secure and Easy to Remember Passwords

With all of the websites teachers have to sign-in to these days, it is easy to forget your password. Luckily there is a way to create passwords that are both easy to remember and secure. This tip can also work for teaching students how to create passwords. Just click on the link below and watch the tutorial.

Getting the Most Out of a Google Search

The folks over at HackCollege recently posted an excellent infographic about how to get the most out of a google search. I frequently use the tips they provide. For example, I was looking for a list of subjects to help students create theme sentences. I used the search parameter “filetype:pdf” and then searched for “theme list.” I found an excellent list of over 100 subjects that students could use to discover a theme in literature. The infographic would also be an excellent resource to share with students.

Downloading Videos from YouTube

This post is an update of a tip I provided last year. YouTube is an excellent resource for teachers looking to add multimedia content to their PPTs, flipcharts, or other presentation formats. Since YouTube contains videos that range from educational content to the bizarre to videos that are offensive, it is understandably blocked in school districts. But a teacher can still include worthwhile content discovered at home in a lesson for students by downloading the video and inserting it into the lesson content. Probably the easiest way to do this is to use Zamzar.com. In order to download the video you only need the URL of the video in question (ex. http://youtu.be/IbLz9-riRGM) and an email address. Visit Zamzar.com and click on the “Download Videos” tab and paste in the URL of the video. Choose the format you want to convert the video to since YouTube uses Flash Video as default, and enter your email address. You will shortly receive an email from Zamzar.com that contains a link to download the video. Now you can insert the video into your presentation software and watch your students become more engaged in your lessons.