How To Do Your Banking  

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    Finding images on the internet for classroom use has been a problem problem for many educators, for reasons such as copyright privileges, inappropriateness, etc.

    While there are a number of paid solutions for finding images such as
    Nettrekker or Discovery Streaming, there are a number of free alternatives that work nicely as well.

    However, keep in mind that most of the sites listed below do not have built-in filters for images. These image search engines should be used either by educators (adults assisting students) or go in hand in hand with a school district filtering solution and Acceptable Use Policy.

    1.     Pics4Learning - Very popular site to find free, safe-to-use images for teachers and students.

    2.     Cyclo.ps - Search engine that searches the most popular free image engines around and provides one-stop shopping.

    3.     School Clip Art - Great site for free school clip art.

    4.     Ookaboo - Creative commons (free) site for finding great images for class work.

    5.     Picsearch - Excellent image search engine, if used with a district's filtering solution.

    6.     Veezzle - Wonderful free stock photo search engine.

    7.     Google Swirl - Innovative way to search for images and see their relationships with each other (use with Google Safe Search enabled).

    8.     Free Photo Bank - Easy way to find creative common images.

    9.     Open Clip Art - Great way to find free clip art.

    10.   Find Icons -  Nice site for free icons.

    Top 10 Safe Search Engines  

    The other day I received an email from an educational listserv requesting safe search engines for students. After thinking about it (and having just done a list on Top 10 Search Engines other than Google) I was able to come up with a number of them that meet this need.

    However, keep in mind when dealing with students and surfing the internet that no site is 100% safe -- even when using filtered search engines. That being said, when choosing search engines for students' use, consider starting with following sites:

    1. Sweet Search - A group of experts, including librarians and teachers, evaluates all content from this search engine.
    2. Top Marks - A great site developed in the UK by teachers who approved everything on this site.
    3. Quintura for Kids - An innovative search engine for kids that displays results in a cloud-based style. Also, has apps for mobile devices.
    4. Kid Rex - Wonderful search engine designed around Google's safe search. Very nice visual appeal for kids.
    5. Ask Kids -  Search engine designed for kids ages 6-12.
    6. Yahoo Kids - Previously known as Yahooligans, Yahoo Kids is a fun site for kids to gather information on the internet.
    7. Famhoo -  Family-friendly search engine that filters all content.
    8. One Key - Developed in 1996, One Key, in collaboration with Google, does a nice job of creating a safe search engine.
    9. Google (safe search) - Google has a safe-search setting which can be locked into place at the browser level for those that use Firefox.
    10. Nettrekker -  Great paid site for searching the web -- not only for students but for teachers as well.

    Top 10 Sites for Creating Digital Comics


    Creating Digital Comics has been one of my favorite thing to do with students when trying to integrate technology. While this can be done with any number of applications, such as Comic Life or Toon Boom, there are many online alternatives (mostly free) that offer a nice solution as well.

    1. Pixton - Has an educational portal (paid) that is ideal for schools (no student email account necessary). Also, there are a ton of options such as voice recording, drag-n-drop interface, and importing/exporting features.
    2. ToonDoo Spaces - One of the most popular online comic creators that is very similar to Pixton, with the ability to create a private space for education for sharing/collaborating on comics.
    3. Comic Master - A very nice-looking site that is user friendly with lots of features to choose from such as: backgrounds, objects, speech bubbles, etc.
    4. Bitstrips - A great site with an educational instance (paid) that allows students to create comics in a safe/secure environment.
    5. Stage'D - A great-looking site for creating animated comics!
    6. Make Beliefs Comix - A wonderful site with lots of options to choose from -- it even lets users create comics in Spanish.
    7. Super Hero Squad Show - A fun site for kids to make comics off of their favorite Marvel super hero.
    8. Chogger - A nice site for creating a comic, with the ability to create a drawing from scratch.
    9. Comic Creator - From Read Write & Type, a easy/simple to use comic creator that is nice to use with the younger kids.
    10. Witty Comics - A comic creation site that focuses more on creating text more then anything else.


    Some great resources for Science

    Here are some great resources for science on Science Lab Safety, Research and Science resources.
    Science Safety
    Discovery Education
    Misc. Resources

    Ten Ways to Get Smart With SMARTboard

    “What can I do with a SMARTboard?” was the biggest question I had from teachers after we got our brand new interactive whiteboard.

    I decided to present a workshop on the SMARTboard at our district level Professional Development Academies and found that most of the teachers, being new to the SMARTboard, were not even sure how to use an interactive whiteboard instructionally with their students. The teachers were not as interested in learning the SMART Notebook software as they were with using the SMARTboard for integrated, interactive lessons. It is my job, as the Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, or ITRT, to go into the classrooms and model lessons, constantly providing templates, samples, and resources to my teachers. The idea is that they can learn the software as they become more aware of what they can do with the SMARTboard with their students. My ultimate goal as an ITRT is to help guide them towards more independent use of technology.

    The workshop sessions started out with a quick overview of the SMART Notebook software. I showed them the Page Sorter and Gallery. I had one teacher come up to the SMARTboard and develop an “All about Me” page using the clip art from the Gallery and the pens to write anything she wanted about her interests. The volunteer and the other participants got to experience the use of the SMARTboard as if they were students. We explored the templates and backgrounds available in the software.

    We continued the training with examples of different ways you can use the SMARTboard instructionally with the students. I called volunteers up to the SMARTboard for at least one example of each of the ten ways to use the tool.

    Listed below are the top ten ways in which I have used the SMARTboard with students and teachers. Please note that I have given examples of each including the grade level in which I have used them.

    1. Notetaking and Brainstorming ~ Give students time to brainstorm on a given topic. Record these shared ideas. Once recorded, these ideas can be dragged and dropped to other areas for grouping. With the SMART Notebook software you can also extend the page to add more notes to the same page, or insert blank pages. Written text can be converted into type-written text which is helpful if you decide to print these notes for your students to use as a study guide.

    • American Revolution ~ use KWL charts, for example — Grade 5
    • Communities ~ For example: What can you do in a suburban area? What can you do in an urban area? What can you do in a rural area? — Grade 2
    • Graphic Organizers — Circle maps, Tree maps

    2. Games ~ Many teachers will use a laptop hooked up to a television or an LCD projector to play games using technology. Try a game of Jeopardy using the SMARTboard! The students can choose their topic and the dollar amount by touching the SMARTboard.

    • Number Line Addition with Kenny Kangaroo — Grade 1
    • Jeopardy Games, Hollywood Squares, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? — all grades

    3. United Streaming ~ Our school system has a subscription to United Streaming through our local public broadcasting station. At United Streaming you can view and download educational movies, images, lesson plans and teaching tools related to any and every topic! You can view whole movies or just clips of movies.

    • “Water: A First Look” — Water properties — Grade K

    4. Interactive Flannel Board ~ As a preschool and kindergarten teacher I used a flannel board quite often to tell fairy tales, fables and nursery rhymes. The SMARTboard makes a wonderful, easy-to-manipulate flannel board for the younger students.

    • Hickory, Dickory Dock, Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty — Early Start/Preschool

    5. Click-and-Drag activities ~ Most of the activities I do with the SMARTboard involve click-and-drag activities. I sometimes call them electronic worksheets, but they are a great way to review concepts the students have already learned.

    • Continents and Oceans — Grade 2
    • Measurement Tools — Grade K
    • Needs/Wants and Goods/Services — Grade 1

    6. Interactive worksheets ~ There are Websites that allow you to create your own worksheets which can then be printed out. Why not create the worksheet for use on the SMARTboard? It could be used as a guided practice lesson or independent activity at the “SMARTboard Center” in your classroom. Students could work in pairs and check each other’s work or you could provide answer sheets for self-checking.

    • Plant Parts — Grade 4 ~ label the plant parts
    • A+ Math — create worksheets online
    • 100th Day Worksheet — Grade 1

    7. Board Games ~ Flash animated dice allow students to play board games using the SMARTboard. As a classroom teacher I constantly developed my own board games, using file folders for students to play, especially when learning and reviewing math concepts.

    • Pick a Path COLBlm — Grade 2

    8. Graphic Organizers ~ If you have been a teacher for a while you probably use some kind of concept map or graphic organizer in your teaching. The SMART Notebook software includes some templates of graphic organizers such as Venn Diagrams which are great for comparing and contrasting two things. I have also used triple venn diagram to compare and contrast three things such as the three main Native American tribes our students must know — Sioux, Pueblo, and Powhatan.

    • Triple Venn Diagram — Indian Tribes — Grade 2
    • Animal Adaptations — Grade 4

    9. Interactive Websites ~ The Internet is full of interactive websites for students to use. We have used these sites in whole group lessons as well as with individual students at the computer center.

    Top 10 Alternatives to YouTube
    1. School Tube - Excellent safe place for students and teachers to share and view video.
    2. WatchKnow -  Wonderful site with 1000's of videos for students in multiple subjects, organized in a clear, precise way.
    3. Neo K-12 - All videos on this amazing site are a 100% safe. Also, there is a complete suite of educational tools for educators to choose from, such as quizzes, presentations, and more.
    4. Snag Learning - An interesting site that brings documentary-style films to engage students in discussion and classroom participation.
    5. Qwiki - A very new (alpha) site that brings an innovative twist on video experience. While the content is still growing, one can't help but notice that amount of promise that is shown here.
    6. Explore -  Great site, similar to Discovery Streaming for educational video. Users can either view on the web or download for their own convenience.
    7. Kids Tube -  Excellent filtered site for kids' videos.
    8. Teacher Tube -  Excellent site for educators to find videos for students and share in the wonderful educational online community.
    9. Vimeo - A nice very popular alternative to YouTube. I recommend using with a filter of some sort, or view all content before introducing to students.
    10. Clip Blast - A huge collection of videos can be found on this nice site; must be used in a filtered environment for safety reasons.

    100 Ways Google Can Make You a Better Educator

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    We all know that Google offers a great search program, and you might even use other apps like Gmail or Google Calendar, but have you realized what Google has to offer for educators and students? Using Sites, Google Earth, Wave, and more, you can turn your classroom into a place where you can share, collaborate, and publish on the world wide web. Read on to find out how you can put Google to work for your class.


    These are just some of the advantages that Google apps have to offer for educators.

    1. You can save money for other uses: Google's services are free or extremely cheap, which offers a financial savings over most other educational software.
    2. Students enjoy using Google: Many students are already familiar with Google products and are happy to use them.
    3. Apps can be used without support: Support is rarely needed for using Google apps.
    4. Google apps are easy to deploy: Google Apps work easily with what you already have.
    5. Google offers centralized storage: Instead of keeping information on a single computer or network, you can keep it available through Google systems.
    6. Inspire students with posters: Improve search results with tips and inspiration in these posters from Google.
    7. Google offers lesson plans: Use these classroom-ready lesson plans that make use of Google apps.
    8. Your privacy is protected: Google secures data and offers privacy settings for apps.
    9. Create bulk accounts: Google will allow you to create student accounts with a .csv export.
    10. You can access any time: Google offers 24/7 access, instead of having to wait until you are at school.
    11. Google offers support: You can find help for Google apps with the help center, groups, and more.
    12. Google has good filters: You can benefit from Google's excellent security, spam and virus filters.
    13. You'll find compatibility: Google apps import and export traditional file formats.
    14. Google offers freedom: With Google, you can get freedom from desktop applications.
    15. You can take Google mobile: Google is accessible using any web-enabled mobile device.


    Here's how Google will help your students, other teachers, and more collaborate and share with each other.

    1. You can collaborate easily: Google makes it easy to collaborate on documents and information.
    2. Buzz makes collaboration simple: Buzz allows you to carry on conversations in a variety of subjects, as well as share files and information.
    3. Securely share videos: Google Video allows you to securely share videos that can be commented on, tagged, and rated.
    4. Manage projects: Science fair and group research projects can be worked on together using Google sites.
    5. Discuss documents in chat: Google Docs has an onscreen chat window that allows you to discuss additions and changes in real time.
    6. Create your own moderated forums: Google Groups will allow you to create moderated forums and mailing lists for discussion and more.
    7. Share resources on Google Notebook: You can collaborate with colleagues, sharing resources in your subject area.
    8. Collaborative note taking: Google Wave can be used to put together notes among your students.
    9. Electronic documents are easy to access and edit: With Google Docs, you and your students can create documents and spreadsheets that can be accessed and edited by others.
    10. Update with Blogger: Use Blogger to create your own blog where you can share assignments, information, and tips for tests.
    11. You can learn and share using Google Knol: Share, publish, and collaborate on knowledge documents.
    12. Share media: Use Google Buzz and other tools to share media like text, links, and photos.
    13. Plan parent conferences: Schedule parent conferences with teachers and multiple schedules.
    14. Share lesson plans: You can share lesson plans with substitutes, administrators, and other teachers using Google Wave.
    15. Set privacy levels: Restrict who can edit or view documents with privacy levels.
    16. CloudCourse for scheduling: Schedule your courses using this app for Google Calendar.
    17. Education groups: You'll be able to create education groups using Google Buzz.
    18. Share feeds: Add and share feeds from social sites with Google Buzz.
    19. Embed documents: You can embed documents into emails and more.
    20. You can create private blogs: Your students can create their own classroom blogs and set them to private.
    21. Content can be shared easily: Using various applications from Google, you can share information online.


    Google News has great applications in the classroom.

    1. Stay on top of current events: Your students can use Google News to find the top news stories.
    2. Get alerts: Set up alerts for Google News to find updates on what you're studying in the classroom.


    These are a few of the ways Google's Search can be put to good use.

    1. Get around blocked websites: Use Google's cache to find blocked websites.
    2. Search classroom keywords: With certain keywords, you can find great classroom keywords.
    3. Set up a custom search engine: Help point your students in the right direction using Google's custom search.
    4. Search videos: You can find Google educational videos easily.
    5. Find a timeline search: Type view:timeline and your search to find a timeline of the topic.
    6. Get definitions: Type definition:word to find the definition of a desired word.
    7. Spellchecking: Type a word into Google's search, and you'll find the corrected spelling.


    These ideas will help you better use Google for communication.

    1. Communicate within your department: Use Google Wave to discuss communications in your department.
    2. You can use free voice tools: Google Talk has free IM, VoIP, voicemail, file transfers, and more.
    3. Use Google Voice as a personal secretary: Google Voice can transcribe your messages and listen as messages are being left.
    4. Share links: You can share links to web resources with Google Wave.
    5. Publish the school calendar: Share the school's calendar to your website so everyone's informed.
    6. Administer class discussions: Materials can be uploaded and discussed easily with the help of Google Buzz.
    7. School admin sites: With a Google site, you can help teachers and administrators stay on top of events, policies, and progress.
    8. Help students in Groups: Make students more effective at learning and helping each other by creating a Google Group for your classroom or school.
    9. Share private conversations: Set Google Buzz conversations to private to share only within your classroom.
    10. Send quick updates: Use Google Buzz to send out assignment and course updates to let your class know right away.
    11. Create a class site: Use your class site to keep track of events, assignments, deadlines, projects, photos, and more.
    12. Make class groups: Keep your communication organized by creating groups for different classes.
    13. Collaborate for group work: Google Groups offers online discussions that allow students to work together, even in different locations.
    14. Gmail has excellent storage: Gmail has 7GB of storage, and is great for sharing or storing large files.
    15. Keep parents in the loop: With a classroom site, you can let parents know what their children are learning about and doing in school.
    16. Gmail can be customized: Your sc, hool's branding can be customized on your Gmail and Google Calendar.
    17. You'll be able to stay connected: Gmail offers a built in IM, chat, and more.
    18. Record conversations: You can record conversations with experts for archiving.
    19. Share voice recordings: Leave messages for students through email, links, and more.
    20. Record tutorials: You can set up mini tutorials by leaving yourself a Google voicemail.
    21. Forward messages: You can share messages with administrators and more via email.
    22. Protect your phone number: You can be contacted using Google Voice widgets without having to post your number.


    Use Google to get organized with these tips.

    1. Messages are easy to find: You'll be able to easily find the messages you're looking for in Gmail.
    2. Create teacher appraisals: You can create teacher appraisal sign-ups using Google Wave.
    3. Share schedules and events: Keep students, administrators, and parents in the loop with shared calendars.
    4. You can share calendars: With Google Calendar, you'll be able to schedule resources, rooms, and groups online and with your mobile device.
    5. Work on to-do lists: Set up to-do lists within Google Wave.
    6. Enable timestamps: Keep track of student work using timestamps.
    7. Revising student work is easy to follow: Google Docs helps you track changes, save revisions, and collaborate.
    8. Take notes: Google Notebook allows teachers, students, and even entire classrooms to record notes, links, and more, and go back to edit them later.
    9. Make use of templates: With the Google Docs template gallery, you can save time with pre-made documents.
    10. Encourage comments: You can encourage peer feedback with the use of comments.
    11. Publish documents for parents: Through Google Documents, you can publish documents for parents and others.


    Here are some great ways to use Google Maps and Earth for education.

    1. Compare views: You can compare what streets and cities look like with Google Maps.
    2. Find pen pals: Use Google Maps to locate school pen pals.
    3. Study field trip areas: Before a field trip, your students can study the area using street, terrain, and satellite views.
    4. Compute the area of a region: Have students estimate the area of a region and figure things out with Google Planimeter.
    5. Create personalized maps: Google Maps makes it easy to create personalized maps with your route, adding fact balloons, photos, videos, and more.
    6. Create a place in time: Google Tools will allow you to explore images, geography, and more from a specific place and time.
    7. Make tours: Identify locations with comments, images, and more.
    8. Share a 3D model of the world: With Google Earth, students will have access to a 3D model that can be grabbed, spun or zoomed in on.
    9. Set up science projects: Science projects like global warming can be done using Google Earth.
    10. Create a Google Earth tour: You can create a quick Google tour of any location.
    11. Work on Google Earth models: Using Google Earth and SketchUp, you can create models of a location.
    12. Scavenger hunt: Use Google Earth to create a scavenger hunt for students.
    13. Travel the real earth: Use Google Earth to travel explorations, migrations, history, and more.
    14. Make placemarks: Include live pictures and more with placemarks.
    15. Share heritage: Students can use Google Earth and other tools to show where they and their families are from.

    Books & Literature

    Here you'll find out how to use Google to get more out of books.

    1. You'll be able to search books: Books in the public domain can be fully searched.
    2. Create literature trips: You can use Google Earth to discover where literature took place.
    3. Browse books like a library: Find books for your class with Google's Book search tools.
    4. Create your own online library: Add books to your library with Google Book's "Add to my library" feature.
    5. Find scholarly works: Google Books results for books offer links to scholarly works on the literary piece.


    Find photos, create models, and more with Google Images.

    1. You'll be able to find a plethora of photos: Find photos easily on Google.
    2. Create 3D models: SketchUp allows students to create 3D models of buildings and environments.