TGIF ~ October 9, 2009

Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts

Friday, Oct. 9, 2009

Gem ~ a website or application that might work well for you or your students

I generally try to avoid mentioning the “cool” factor when I tell you about these sites, preferring to focus on their ability to enhance teaching and learning. But this one has both! is a site that provides space for people to share thoughts on a common topic. A teacher can create a wall with a question or topic and then give the link to students. The students add their thoughts on virtual “sticky notes” that can include text as well as links to websites, images, or videos. Students do not need to register. Teachers simply provide a name and email address to register. Click here to visit my TGIF Demo Wall and give it a try. I can think of lots of ways you might be able to use this with your students, but I want to see what you think…so share an idea on the wall! (By the way, you can also subscribe to a wall using its RSS feed, so you can easily keep track when students add new notes. You’ll find the RSS link under “Do More…” at the top of the page.)

Idea ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology

The Smithsonian Channel’s website offers short, online video excerpts from some of its shows. While the collection is not as extensive as some video sites, the short clips I previewed were of high quality and would make great activators. There’s no option to download the videos, but they play well from the site. (

Fact ~ just a bit of information

Last year one of the TGIFs included a link to, a site that allows users to download videos from online sites and convert them to different file formats. Many of you have commented that it’s been useful in allowing you to show your students clips from videos that appear on You Tube or other sites that are blocked on the District network. Unfortunately it appears that Zamzar may be infected with viruses/malware, so we have blocked Zamzar indefinitely. Please try either Keepvid or Movavi if you need to download or convert a video. Both are free and easy to use. Also, be careful if you use Zamzar on your home computer. (,

Have a great weekend, everyone!



2 thoughts on “TGIF ~ October 9, 2009

  1. Jane Killian October 9, 2009 / 8:23 am

    Zamzar was useful twice this fall for me to convert Works files from students to Word docs. Boo hoo! Do you have another site for converting text?


  2. Megan Quinlan October 9, 2009 / 9:48 am

    Thanks so much for these great tips – I love reading your creative ideas each week!


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