Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts
Friday, May 21, 2010
Gem ~ a website or application that might work well for you or your students
Students are sometimes more motivated to write when they know they’ll be publishing their work in creative ways. ZooBurst is a new (very new!) site that allows users to create virtual pop-up books. Choose from clipart pictures in their library or upload your own. Add speech bubbles as well as text that appears at the bottom of the page. There is even an “augmented reality” option for viewing the books on computers that have webcams. This site is so new that this is its alpha release (like a first draft). You have to request a free account to create a book, but anyone can view the books. The site says that they’re working on special features for educators, but for now teachers can create one account and login for their students. At this point there doesn’t appear to be any way to make books private, so I would recommend that you not include photos of students or use their whole names. If you’re looking for something different to end the year, give ZooBurst a try! (Click here to see a ZooBurst book that I made.) (http://alpha.zooburst.com/index.php)
Idea ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology
Eyeplorer.com describes itself as a “graphical knowledge engine”. Type a search term into the box in the middle and hit return. Eyeplorer searches for information related to the term and displays each bit as an “eye spot” on the circular chart. Each wedge of the chart organizes the information into categories. The size of the “eye spot” indicates how much information there is about each item. Click on an “eye spot” to read more about it. If you create an account, you can also drag the information onto a notepad at the side of the window so that you can save what you’ve read. Currently, Eyeplorer‘s searches are limited to information from Wikipedia, but the site claims that additional data sources will be available soon. Eyeplorer.com could be an interesting way to build background knowledge and activate thinking by showing students the connections between concepts. (http://en.eyeplorer.com/show/)
Fact ~ Just a bit of information
It’s getting to be that time of year again….time to make sure that all of your files are safely saved in your network folder (H drive) and not just on your computer’s hard drive. Some of our teacher computers will be replaced this summer and you don’t want to risk losing all your files. If you need help, just let me know.
Have a great weekend!