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Prezi zooms past 10 Million, releases PowerPoint Import | Prezi

28 Jun

Prezi zooms past 10 Million, releases PowerPoint Import | Prezi.


Upload your Power Points into Prezi


181 Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School

28 Jun

181 Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School [Updated] – Online Colleges.

Lots of Great Stuff!!  Here’s a run-down:

#1-35   Search Tips
#36-47  Education
#48-65  Google Docs
#46-95  Gmail
#96-107  Calendar
#108-120 Google Mobile
#121-154  Google Chrome
#155-165  Google Books
#166-170  Google Voice
#171-181  Google Services and Apps


Voice Thread in World Language

18 Apr

        A new site that I am just beginning to use is Voice Thread.  It is a site that we have begun using to collaborate with a classroom in Maryland.  I see immediately that it can be used for speaking practice and assessment purposes.  Our students have uploaded pictures of themselves and recorded themselves speaking just by clicking on the “Comment” button under their picture.  Once their Voice Thread is finished, other students can listen to it and make comments back.  The comments can be made with a microphone or students can just type in a response.  There are even options for phoning in a response, uploading a prerecorded comment, or using a web cam to make a response.  I am excited to find out what other uses Voice Thread has.  

      There are World Language teachers using Voice Thread for speaking practice in the form of dubbing.  The teacher uploads a short video on the current unit, students use Audacity or another recording program to record themselves making a conversation to go with the clip.  When finished, they upload it as a comment.  It works best if the video has no words.  You can do a search on You Tube.  The Vancouver Film School channel has lots of them!  I hope to give this a try before the end of the school year.

     Let me know if you have a cool use for Voice Thread!


Visual and Audio Vocab with Pinterest | Classroom Techknowledgey

12 Apr

Visual and Audio Vocab with Pinterest | Classroom Techknowledgey.


Using Pinterest to make presenting vocabulary more efficient and engaging.

Everyday WL class techy tools

7 Apr

There are some online tools that I use in my class for different purposes.  Here are my favorites:

Online Stopwatch:A simple timer that will do a countdown or a stopwatch.  Set the time, use the optional music, hear a bell when time is up.
It works great when you have different stations set up to give the students a signal of when to move on (a gallery walk, etc.).   Project it to let the students peek at how much time they have left.
I also use it when I tell the students they have 10 minutes and want to stick to it…
Class Tools also has a great timer.  I am just stubborn enough to stick with the one I started with.

Dice Server:
A very simple concept.  Click on the page and roll the dice.
As a class we have used it to practice verbs.  I have on the board a list of 6 subjects with the numbers 1-6 in front of them.  There is also a list of infinitives with the numbers 1-6 in front of them. Example:

1- Yo                                             1- hablar
2- Nosotras                                2- vivir
3- Ricardo                                  3- comer
4- Ellos                                         4- tener
5- Tú                                             5- ir
6- Mis amigos                           6- jugar

Once the dice is rolled, the first die tells you which subject to use, the second tells you what infinitive to conjugate.  Using the example above, A roll of a 2 & 4 would mean the subject is Nosotras and the verb is tener.  Students write their answer on the whiteboard, I count down from 10 (giving all students ample time) and they show me their answers.  Great check up on how they are doing!
I am sure there are many other possibilities.
You can also give the URL to the students and they can use their phones to do the dice rolling, although I prefer the movement of the real dice in partner games.

Random Name Selector:
When you want to do some speaking practice, this site works kind of like drawing out the Popsicle sticks with names on them in elementary classes (I have those too).  It does a little more than the sticks could though.  You can type in your student names once then have them any time you want!  Once you have a list of names you can get a URL to bookmark or an embed code to put in your class page to use over and over again.
As a bonus, once the picker has chosen a name, you can hit a timer.  For example, when you are doing presentations.  Choose who goes next with the picker, click on the number of minutes were the maximum or minimum.
Or, maybe you just want your students to speak on a topic for a minute or two.  Project the page and the visual helps them get their timing right.

Another similar site is the Team Maker.  Type or copy and paste names into the site to have teams randomly picked.  You can choose the names of the teams, and your output can be in web page or in Excel.  I suggest you have your classes typed into an Excel sheet to copy and paste when needed.  Those lists come in handy at times anyway.

My favorite everyday online site is Quizlet.    

We go over our vocabulary every day.  We begin with Spanish to English flashcards.  After a couple of days we switch it to English to Spanish.  To avoid students blurting out the answer before others can even process it, we do a 3 count.  The 3 count can be a mixture of snaps, claps, stomps, etc.  I let the students pick the 3 count sequence before we start.  Once they hear the word, they do the 3 count in unison (they do it-participation points count on it).  That’s the other awesome thing about Quizlet flashcards…there is audio for every word, and it is said correctly in Spanish (or French)  and in English because you set the language for each side of the flashcard.
Practicing with Quizlet is also a choice on their homework grid.  I have each of them make a free account at Quizlet, then join my group (based on what level they are in).  If they do any sort of practice, I can see it on my dashboard.  There have some choices of practice activities or practice games.
Be sure to make groups for each of your levels in your own account.  When you make a set of flashcards, add it to the appropriate set.

Just a few of my favorites I thought I would share.  Enjoy!


WL Assessment with Web 2.0

1 Apr

Speaking exams always gave me headaches.  One student at a time coming to your desk, the rest of the students busy taking a written exam or doing something else.  I didn’t like the fact that I could not monitor the students doing the written part because it took the whole class time to listen to students speaking parts one by one.

I was very excited when I found Clear’s Audio Drop Box.  Scroll down on the page to see the Drop Box link, but check out everything else, too.  Lots of great stuff there!  My procedure for exams now is to have one day in the computer lab and one day in the classroom.  In the computer lab they do the listening and speaking part.  In the classroom we do the writing, reading and culture.

I have a wiki page set up for the speaking and listening parts.  On the speaking exam page, there are 4-5 prompts and the audio drop box.  In front of the keyboard is an index card telling the students which 2 prompts they must address.  When they are ready they click on the audio drop box, type in their name, and perform their speaking exam.  Once they have spoken they can listen to the audio over again, then decide to send it or delete it and start over.  The audio clips come to me on a page provided by Michigan State’s Clear site.  I listen to them later and score them.  I have heard other teachers are doing the same thing with Google Voice.  I went to the site and was immediately confused.  I sense that someone needs to walk me through it.

The listening part is even simpler.  I put a link to the audio clip they must listen to on the wiki page.  Below the audio link is an embedded Google Form with their questions.  They can listen to the clip as many times as needed, then they click Submit to send me their answers. (Don’t forget to make one of the question “What is your name?”).  Back in my Google Docs page, their answers are saved spreadsheet style.  Google has another trick for you to use with the spreadsheet.

While your spreadsheet with the student’s answers is open, click on Insert then script.  Type in the search bar “Flubaroo”.  It is an amazing time saver!  Flubaroo grades the student answers for you.  Click on this Flubaroo video to see how to create your form and use Flubaroo.  Here is the user guide with step by step instructions.

Google forms can also be used on parts of the exam that are multiple choice.  Grade them with Flubaroo and some of the grading is already done!  I have also used them for quizzes and for feedback when we try a new site or activity to get the student’s thoughts.

Google forms are also a great way to hold students accountable for assigned collaboration.  We collaborate with a couple of different schools, one in San Jacinto and recently with one in Maryland.  Students will occasionally be assigned as homework or in the lab to respond to prompts made to the students, and also to reply to individuals from a different school.  To keep them honest and save a little grading time, I put a Google Form into a wiki page and they tell me which topics they answered and which students they replied to.  I just go to the spreadsheet to see who has completed this.  This way, when I am reading through what they have written, I can enjoy the reading and not have to be thinking about grading.

Just one more way Web 2.0 is making things easier.  I know there are many other sites that are useful for testing and grading.  Let me know what you like to use.


Twitter for teaching

27 Mar

I only began tweeting about one year ago.  As the kids tell me now, I thought it was just to say that you were at Shamrock’s having an ice cream cone.  They don’t see the usefulness of it now as I didn’t then.

That changed when I began following teachers and educational technology experts.  I am not very good at keeping up with them, I don’t regularly monitor my account.  When I do check in I always have some great links and programs to check out.

My favorite thing to do with Twitter is the #langchat at 8pm on Thursday nights.  I have missed it the last couple of weeks because of our school play, so I am very excited to return to it this week.  It is so well organized with a topic for the night that the monitors keep us focused on.  The summary email and archive are the true treasures.  They can be found on this wiki.  Besides the Thursday #langchat, I search the hash tag occasionally and see some great resources.

I did learn that it is best to use “Tweet Chat” for the Thursday night chats.  It automatically adds the has tag, which occasionally I would forget in the excitement.  It also makes the chat appear on a larger screen so I can see more of the conversation.

I do give points to my students for tweeting.  It is an option on their homework page for the week.  I just have them use the hash tag #bccsp so I can search for them.

Other useful sites I have found regarding Twitter:

Cyberman’s list of Educational hash tags.

20 hash tags every teacher should know.

Top Hash Tags for Teachers

5 Ways Twitter has changed Education

Why Twitter

5 Essential Safety Tips for Introducing Twitter to Students

Why Educators should blog & tweet

A Spreadsheet of Educators on Twitter

Online Twitter book for Educators

12 Twitter Tips for the Classroom

Twitter 101: Rules for Newbies

Pictures made from various tweets.  Just a fun site.

What else is out there?


Using Prezi in the Classroom | The Creative Education Blog

18 Feb

Using Prezi in the Classroom | The Creative Education Blog.


One day in the computer lab

9 Feb

I shared with participants in my presentation at the “World Language Mini Conference” at SVSU some of the sites I like to use when we are in the lab for a day.

Here is what I came up with, I know there are a lot more out there:

This is a site that I built a couple of summers ago for the Bay Arenac ISD WL teachers.  I keep it updated when I find new things.

With PhotoPeach students can create a rich slideshow in seconds. They add in background music, captions, and comments easily.   This is one of those sites where I have a log in and share it with them.  I use a common password, one I do not use outside of class.  Since they all log in with my user name and password, all of their shows are on my page for me to check out quickly.

This site is great for editing and commenting on videos.  I have heard some teachers say they upload videos for the students to dub in their target language, I have to try that…  It can be a great collaboration tool.

This is great to take polls or practice simple structures.  You can ask “What are you going to do this weekend?” and have the students answer in the target language on a sticky note.  Here is an example.

Students upload an image and make it speak.  Be sure to show an example before going to the lab.  It is also helpful for the students to write their script ahead of time.

Students create nice comics easily on any topic.  They have to print them out or I have them do a screenshot, paste it into Paint, crop, save as a jpg then put it on their wiki page.

Create and subtitle a movie.  Drag scenes into the queue, then type away! Students will need to email it to you.

Lots of fun stuff.  I like the trading card maker and the badge maker.

These are some of my favorites for students to create something.  We also do a lot of collaboration work in the lab, which will be the topic for another day.

Gracias, Penny

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