Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Kwout is a free webtool that allows the user to capture the internet in pictures. All you need to do it drag the bookmarklet into your bookmarks bar, find part of the internet you want to share, and click on the bookmarklet. After you do that, you will be whisked away to a picture version of the site you are wanting to "kwout." There you can draw a box around the part you want and click "cut out." Now you have a snippet of the internet that you can keep or send away directly from the Kwout webtool.

How this applies to your classroom you ask? Have you ever found a part of a website that you wanted to share with your students, but you didn't necessarily want them to access the entire site? I think we've all had that happen. We find great examples and snippets of information that we want to share. However, taking them to the entire website can be somewhat cumbersome if it is loaded with information and you want them to scroll to find the specific point you want to share. With Kwout, you send the screenshot to them. This is great for my East Noble teachers because all students have an email address for the purpose of receiving materials from the instructor.

Check out my video if you want to know more specifically how to get the bookmarklet into your browser:

Monday, April 29, 2013


If you missed the previous post, eSebco is an online library that the Kendallville Library has purchased for the community. They have purchased over a hundred texts that are always available with online access.

I should have done my research a little more carefully. As it turns out, eSebco is actually available on a regular computer as well. So if you are using a PC, Mac, or Chromebook, it will function just fine straight from the website. You will need to visit. http://www.kendallvillelibrary.org/ to access the link for eSebco.

Here are the directions for accessing the collection of books:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

ITT 1 - TubeChop - Instructional Tech Talk


This is a very useful resource for teachers that want to only show portions of YouTube videos. This could be really handy if you need to cut out the suggested videos at the end. I love YouTube, but sometimes I wish I could turn off the suggested videos without taking the time to embed it on my own site.

Thanks goes to Jeff Herb for posting this!

Here I added a tutorial on how to go about using the webtool:

Friday, April 26, 2013


eSebco is an online digital book program that the Kendallville Public Library is providing for the community. Students can participate as well if they have a library card. If your students need library cards, please contact Beth to find out how you can get students set up with this valuable resource.

I was curious as to how well this application would work on the iPod Touch, but was pleasantly surprised. It is easy to navigate through a text and easy to view even though the device is smaller in size. Download it from the app store today!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

30 Hands - First Grade How-To Pieces

Here are a few examples of "how-to" pieces created by first grade students in Mrs. Yoder's class. This activity took place over a couple of days to work with their devices.

Steps in the activity:

  1. The students created their rough drafts on paper with illustrations. The paper included four boxes and four spaces for text to make the piece a grand total of four steps.

  2. The students then used Pic Collage to snap a picture of the illustration and type their text in order to make "slides" for their presentations. It was then saved to the camera roll.

  3. The slides were imported into 30 Hands. Recordings were made for each slide as the students read their pieces aloud. The final product was saved to the camera roll as a video.

  4. The last step was for students to upload their video to Kidblog using the title of their work for the title of their blog post.

After finishing this project, the students were very excited and engaged in the process. The students love the opportunity to create a high quality publication using their iPod touch. So much potential lies within those devices. When students are given the opportunity to share their work through a creative means, it becomes very motivating for them. The amount of students off-task in other applications or in the settings was kept at a minimum due to the nature of the activity.

How to Write a Story


How to do University Time


And my personal favorite...

How to be Good


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Geometric Solids Using Pic Collage

As a former fourth grade teacher, one of the typical activities I would do every year when talking about geometric solids is have the kids do a scavenger hunt to find examples throughout the room so that they can connect the concept to their world. I would have them jot the objects down on a paper as they found them under each three-dimensional shape category. The students always found it fun and engaging to go on the scavenger hunt because who doesn't like the opportunity to get up and roam around the classroom in order to complete a task in elementary school?

Mrs. Caylor of Avilla Elementary utilized Pic Collage for the same purpose. She had the students use pic collage to snap pictures and label them accordingly. This is an enhancement to the previous method. I can't imagine how long it would have taken them to complete the same task without an iPad or an iPod touch. Not only that, but I would find it hard for someone to argue that it was less engaging than the previous method.

Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Caylor!

[gallery type="slideshow" ids=",1424,1425,1426,1427,1428,1429,1430,1431,1432"]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Me by Numbers - Skitch

"Me by Numbers" is an activity developed by Mrs. Yoder that she performed with her first grade students. In studying measurements and how they are a relevant to our everyday lives, she utilized the Skitch application on her class set of iPods as a means to produce a recording of the students' work. The students had a partner take a picture, and then they proceeded by finding their weight, date of birth, height, etc.

Skitch is a great app for both iOS and Android devices. It is a simple app that gives students an easy way to demonstrate their knowledge about any subject. Imagine how long it would have taken you as a teacher to take pictures of every kid, print them off, and have students hand write these tidbits of information about the subject?

I recall doing activities like this prior to going 1:1 when I taught fourth grade. I also recall thinking that it really didn't take that much time to gather all the pictures, print them, and get them passed out to the students. That is just the preparation of the materials alone and we are talking about a considerable amount of time spent on this project. Yet, did it anyway because I found the value in it and I was excited about the activity the students were going to complete.

Using Skitch eliminated almost the entire prep work that went into this lesson. Technology makes completing tasks faster than ever before.

(I used Skitch to blur out the faces in these images. I felt it was necessary due to the nature of information listed in these examples. Another handy use of the app that would have taken me longer to do with a PC.)

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="1418,1419,1420,1421"]

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pic Collage and Skitch - Let Students Share What They Know

I love applications/websites that teachers can use across their curriculum. I especially love it when teachers tell me how well that application or website is working for them because they have found it to be an essential part of their teaching.

Here are a few examples that were sent my way this week:

The first example is from a first grader in Mrs. Yoder's class using an iPod Touch and the Pic Collage application. They used the app to quickly record a nonfiction text feature with a picture and label it. This is a really good opportunity for students to see that their iPods can be a recording tool while working with a paper text. I love the idea of students studying a text and having their iPod/iPad ready to document their findings.

Pic collage first grade non fiction features

The second sample was sent to me by Mrs. Abbs. Her first graders used Skitch to make a synonym web. I had never really thought of using Skitch in this manner, but I can imagine that it was a fun and engaging way to study synonyms and integrate technology. I learned something from this as well since I did not know that you could use a blank canvas for Skitch instead of an image. You can also find out more about Skitch here.

skitch first grade synonyms

The final example is from Mrs. Erexson's second grade. Here she is using Pic Collage to have students write a summary. This same task could be accomplished with applications like Pages. However, in many ways, Pic Collage meets the younger student's needs better since it is not fully featured.

Pic Collage second grade summary

Friday, April 19, 2013

Free Technology for Teachers: Check Out The Great New Features in Socrative

Free Technology for Teachers: Check Out The Great New Features in Socrative.

Richard Byrne recently posted about an update to Socrative.com. I was excited to hear that Socrative is now offering the opportunity to upload pictures to their clicker system. This impacts the teachers I work with greatly because  primary elementary students often need an image for a question instead of full text.
I would recommend checking out his blogpost since I am really just piggybacking off of what he has done. I have posted about Socrative in the past, but this should give a fresh update as to the capabilities it possesses.

via Free Technology for Teachers: Check Out The Great New Features in Socrative.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Big Universe Learning - Engaging Online Reading and Writing Platformfor K-8

Big Universe Learning - Engaging Online Reading and Writing Platform for K-8.

Last October I had the opportunity to participate in an interview about the benefits of using tools like Big Universe and also having a 1:1 technology initiative. Earlier this week I was contacted by Anil Hemrajani (CEO of Big Universe) about using the article to help promote his product.

I found it to be a great honor, and an awesome opportunity for East Noble Schools to shine in the ways we are integrating technology.

As I was reading through the article, I couldn't help but think that the vision of how we use technology has not changed a bit since October. We have to keep striving to communicate to the kids that their devices are tools for learning.

Now that East Noble School Corporation is entering into their third year of being a 1:1 technology school district, we really need to evaluate how we are using the technology. I challenge you all to think of ways that we can pursue "transforming" uses with the technology we have placed in the students' hands.

Are we having students accomplish tasks with the devices that were previously inconceivable? I think Big Universe can be included in this type of activity as students could take screenshots of parts of texts that they want to reference and annotate. They could then use apps like Skitch  to mark, highlight, and annotate as they wish. All of this without using a single bit of paper. Lastly, they could use an app like 30 Hands to create a slideshow with their voice recording what they accomplished so that it can be sent to a teacher in a video format.

When I was teaching fourth grade, these were activities that I could only dream of doing. Now the reality is here. Let's take advantage of it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hoops for Heart - Use Technology to Promote an Event

Mrs. Krebs of Rome City Elementary sent some samples to me today of a promotional activity she had her P.E. students perform for their Hoops for Heart program. The purpose was  to generate money for The American Heart Association while keeping hearts healthy and strong through fun exercise in class.  Here, Mrs. Krebs had students use Doodle Buddy to create the promotions.

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="1385,1386,1387,1388"]

Monday, April 15, 2013

JellyCam — Stop-motion maker - Tickly Pictures

JellyCam — Stop-motion maker - Tickly Pictures.

JellyCam is an easy-to-use stop-motion video maker for PC and Mac. If you are not certain what stop-motion is, think of claymation movies like Chicken Run or Wallace and Gromit. Even better yet, how many of you remember Gumby from a long time ago? (Warning: Watching the video may make you feel old.)

Stop motion is a lot of fun. By using JellyCam, students can access their webcam or if you have a P2V camera in your classroom, it may make the process even easier since the camera is a little more versatile.

The whole point of me bringing up stop-motion videos is that students could create reenactments of stories, historical events, or make up their own play to demonstrate their knowledge of a subject.

Here is an example of how to use JellyCam.

Teaching American History - American Revolution Interactive

If you are looking for a great resource for teaching the American Revolution, check out teachingamericanhistory.org and their interactive map for the American Revolution .

Here you can find a map with each location listed in chronological order. At each point on the map, a short description of the significance is given. The interactives are broken into three sections: 1775-1778, 1778-1781, and Treaty of Paris.


via Teaching American History - American Revolution Interactive.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pic Collage Examples - Second Grade

Thanks goes out to Mrs. Sibert of North Side for sending these examples to me today. If you have not yet checked out Pic Collage, I would highly recommend trying it out for yourself!

I had the opportunity to sit down and collaborate with Mrs. Sibert this week as she wanted to know about some of the things I was able to learn while at the MACUL conference in Detroit. One of the things that we talked about is using applications that you can use in any subject, for any project you can imagine. One of those was Pic Collage. Instantly, Mrs. Sibert started rattling off all the ways in the very next day that she could integrate Pic Collage into her lessons.

Here are some of the examples that pertain to cause and effect relationships:

pic collage cause and effect2

pic collage cause and effect

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stamp Booth and Face on Coin

Face on Stamp Booth and Face on Coin Booth essentially perform the same task. You can take a photo and impose it onto a coin or a stamp. Not only do you get to insert the picture, but you can also add text to replace the words that may go around a stamp or a coin.

So what is the point you ask? There are multiple avenues for integration to the classroom for these apps. Try them with characters or historical figures. Have the students create a stamp or coin for the purpose of adding it into their writing. Try it with vocabulary words and definitions. They could easily take their own pictures or find images from the internet that would match vocabulary terms. The students could then create a coin or stamp with the descriptions/definitions surrounding the image.

Not only that, but it is just a lot of fun, and I'm sure that the kids will love using it.

Let me know how it works for you. Send some examples to me. Let me know of your creative ways that you are implementing these apps.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013



Phonto is an application for the iPod Touch and the iPad that allows you to place text on top of a photo. I know have have blogged about a lot of applications that will perform the same task, but I the thing I like about this one is the inclusion of speech bubbles. Students can take a picture directly from the app which is always good because it keeps the rapid finger flicks of a first grader from filling up an iPod. They can then add a speech bubble or shape and place the text within it.

One drawback is that it does have advertisements. You will need to train your young students to not tap on them. You will also need to train them in case they do accidently tap on an advertisement to click on the homescreen button and go back into the application. Here is a Mr. Noble comic to help guide the discussion of advertisements. 

As far as the classroom application goes, this would provide students with a quick way to share their thoughts about a book or any of the content the teacher is covering. Here are some ideas that I have:

1. Take a picture of a character and share a thought he/she might have, ask an interview question for a character, or share character traits.

2. Choose a historical person and think of a question to ask or a famous quote that they have given. Make it a part of their writing project.

3. Write a vocabulary word and have the word share synonyms or antonyms for the word.

Here is a video that briefly shows how to use Phonto. I didn't make this one, but it does the job.


What are your ideas for an application like Phonto? Share them here!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

LabelBox Examples

Labelbox is an app I posted about in the presentation tools section of the blog recently. The app is really easy to use as the students are able to quickly take a picture and place labels on them. Mrs. Yoder wondered how it could be used with their fractions study. Here are some examples of what her students were able to accomplish today:

labelbox 14 braden

lablebox 14

The students were to find a rectangular or square-shaped object, break it into fourths, and label each piece. We were specific in saying that the students had to use the red label maker for the purpose of cutting. They could then choose whichever kind of label they prefer for the labeling of pieces. When they were finished, they saved it to their camera roll, and saved it to Kidblog.

Overall, it went really well considering it was their very first time using the application. Keep in mind, these were first graders using an iPod touch. So many great things can be created using an iPod touch!

Pic Collage Examples - First Grade

I posted about Pic Collage last year, but had not said much about it since. I didn't mention it much because it has a feature that allows it to search the internet for images. For the most part, it filtered things fine. However, if the search language got specific, then it would provide some inappropriate images for our young ones.

This year, our filtering system is blocking the image search. This is not such a bad thing because you as the teacher can provide them with a collection of images so that they can safely gather materials for their projects.

Pic Collage allows the user to gather a collection of pictures and add text all to one board. This application could be used in all subject areas and at a rate that was previously inconceivable.

It is available on iPod Touch and the iPad.

Here are some examples created by first graders on their iPods:

[caption id="attachment_1346" align="aligncenter" width="632"]The image was emailed to the students. The students wrote their inference based upon the picture. The image was emailed to the students. The students wrote their inference based upon the picture.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1347" align="aligncenter" width="428"]Author study example. Author study example.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1348" align="aligncenter" width="632"]This student drew pictures in Doodle Buddy and saved them to the camera roll. This student drew pictures in Doodle Buddy and saved them to the camera roll.[/caption]