TGIF ~ May 7, 2010

Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gem ~ a website or application that might work well for you or your students is a new tool teachers can use to create practice activities for students. You can sample activities shared by other teachers or create a free account and make your own. You can share your activities with your students in two ways: by giving them a link to the activity or by creating individual student accounts for them. If you create student accounts (which don’t require a student email address, by the way) you can track their progress. Activity types include matching, sorting, multiple choice, and crosswords. (

Idea ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology

When working on vocabulary or writing, particularly when writing in other languages, or in Math and Science classes, the traditional “English” keyboard often doesn’t provide all the marks and symbols that you need. On our Macs, there’s an easy way to find out how to make those special characters. On the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on the flag icon and choose “Show Keyboard Viewer”. A small keyboard will appear on your screen (click the green button in the top left corner to make it a little bigger). If you click on the “Option” key on that keyboard, it will show which keys will make selected symbols or characters when the Option key is held down at the same time. For instance, if I want to put the accent on resumé, I type resum then hold down the Option key and the e (the accent will appear) and then type the letter e (the e will be placed under the accent). If you or your students need to type special characters, this Keyboard Viewer can come in handy.

Fact ~ Just a bit of information (or something fun)

You’ve probably used as a reference tool, but did you know that they also have a variety of word games? I’m not always a fan of “arcade” style games for learning because too often they’re more about the “game” than the “learning”. But these word games are challenging, yet fun. For instance in Clockwords, players have to type words to fend off bugs that are trying to steal an inventor’s secrets. You can type any word you want, but using the letters shown at the bottom of the screen gives you additional power. This game could challenge students at any level. (

Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!



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