Information for New ITS

Posts Tagged ‘word clouds’

Digital Footprint Refresher

No Comments

Every school year begins with the review of acceptable use policies and online security. With the presence of mobile devices in classrooms and the vast amount of online tools for sharing personal expression and creativity, all learners have to be refreshed on securing their digital footprint. Scott Hibberson recently shared Getting Learners to Check Their Digital Footprint with Taxedo. This was a creative way to to use a word cloud as an ice breaker to get to know one another and introduce digital footprint. Whether you use a word cloud creator or other creative tool, learners should be aware of their digital footprint now and throughout the year.  A photo or poster of a footprint would be a great decoration for your media spaces. How will you share your digital footprint refresher with your community of learners?

Five for Friday – Digital Footprint Resources

Lesson Plan – Trillion Dollar Footprint (6-8) – This is an excellent resource from Common Sense Media that includes video and handouts. Common Sense Media is a great site to use throughout the year with resources provided for different grade level sections. You will need to register to download the materials.

Six Reasons Why Kids Should Know How to Blog – Mind/Shift shares the importance of a positive digital footprint as more students are blogging. This is a must read as students begin blogging this school year.

Teaching Kids About Their Digital Footprint: the who, the what and the how – This is an excellent post to share with your learning community.

Digital Footprints – What are Digital Footprints? – Kidsmart provides lots of information for younger learners and shares a digital footprint template.

Cybersmart -Digital Footprint – This site also provides content for the younger learner as well as more resources for online security.



Learning on the Fly – Share


What opportunity can I take today to learn something new? As life long learners we are constantly trying to keep up with the latest and greatest by learning on the fly to improve our personal performance. Using Share, a new authoring tool from Tech4Learning, learning on the fly was recently accomplished by jumping right in and producing a few web pages to share out word cloud sites. Share provides many features for students to reflect and create interactive presentations, animations and web pages using text, images, video and voice. Tech4Learning provides a free evaluation of Share you can download and use for thirty days. Challenge yourself to see what you can produce while learning on the fly with this application or by investigating some new ways to use word clouds to engage learners. Can you encourage yourself to try new things out of your comfort zone and share these new skills with your personal learning community?

Five For Friday – Word Clouds

5 Favorite Online Word Cloud Applications – Here are a few word cloud applications beginning with sites for young students to reflect and compare and others to create and embed in other products.

Top 20 Uses of Wordle – The Clever Sheep not only offers great ideas but provides examples and added resources for each idea.

Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom – Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways is a great collection from educators across the globe.

Ten Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom – Inksights, a great resource from Andy Fischer, provides some great ideas in other content areas.

Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom – Jen Wagner share her ideas and also shares Guess the Wordle, a web site that provides a new wordle, Monday through Friday, centered around simple topics on Monday to more complex on Wednesdays.

Image Created Using Image Chef- Word Mosaic

Disclaimer – This is not an advertisement of Share but a quick peek to see the possibilities of usage in the classroom and to keep learning on the fly.

Stand Out!

No Comments

Do you stand out as a valuable asset to your school community? During this time of budget cuts and teacher furloughs you must communicate what you do and share the value of your position beyond the walls of your building.  Showcase your work, teachers’ work and students’ work, in innovative ways that will capture the communities attention.

Can you create a showcase page of learning for the school web site that highlights how Activotes and ActivExpressions are immersed in daily instruction using the IWB?  Do you have examples of how teachers are using tools such as VoiceThread, Wallwisher and Wordle and how they are used to improve  communication and written expression in the classroom and engage learners to express themselves for the larger audience?  Can examples of student creativity be shared via the school home page or the instructional technology page? How can you stand out and share what you do everyday for your teachers and students?

This week’s #edchat asked the question, “From an educator’s point of view, what should be cut from education budgets when times get tough?” Here is an interesting read summarizing the #edchat posted at Edutopia by a first year teacher, Luke Miles. Edutopia Guest Blog: What Should We Cut?

Four for Friday – Sites that Stood Out This Week

  1. Tagxedo – Here is a new, awesome word cloud creator. Try this one out and see what you can create.
  2. Word Sift – Another great tag cloud creator with additional features such as images and Visual Thesaurus.
  3. Primary Pad – A word  based processor similar to etherpad that was designed for schools.
  4. – Another word processor created by etherpad.

Tech Tip – Adobe Fireworks

Creating a Color Cutout – Quick and easy directions on how to make a color cutout as shared in the photo above.

Trapped – Old Instruction – Spring Forward

No Comments

Observing this daffodil and how it was trapped with the dead weight of last year’s leaf, made me think about students and how they too may be trapped. Trapped with the old, dead  traditional ways of instruction from years past. Who will release this leaf and lift off the dead so that this bud will blossom? Who will shed previous years’ instructional strategies and gather new ideas and tools to help our digital natives learn and grow?

Many classrooms abound with teachers weeding out the old and planting new ideas to engage, but what is happening to educators  that haven’t looked beyond their traditional gardens for ways to engage our digital learners. As Instructional Technology Specialists it is our defined role that keeps us moving forward to collaborate with all teachers and together become facilitators and celebrators of learning.

How can you remove the dead so that students that are trapped under traditional instruction can be engaged and bloom? How can you move forward to work with unwilling teachers to build that collaborative culture? How can we seek out the unwilling and make a difference in their classrooms?

Kim Cofino shares a cyclic, collaborative model that has no beginning or end. Cofino shares, “Bringing together the pedagogical expertise of the classroom teacher and the technological understanding of the coach not only provides consistent embedded professional development, but makes the most of the extensive resources most schools have to offer in a way that effectively meets the needs of today’s students.” Read more at Creating a Culture of Collaboration Through Technology Integration.

Four for Friday – Grab the Interest of the Reluctants

Edu.Glogster – Glogster EDU is a tool to create online multimedia “posters” that can incorporate all types of elements into a web poster that contains links, images, text, videos, music, and more. Be sure you use edu.Glogster instead of Glogster and collaborate and plan a layout for content and structure to keep the students on target.

ABCya Word Clouds – Word Cloud site for educators that lets you right click to delete an unwanted word. Here is an example of text copied from this blog. This ABCya site also offers education games for grades K-5.

The Tired Teacher – Here is a reference site (part of that offers many resources to enrich teaching. It is a no frills site but has some awesome resources that can engage interest and spark new ideas.

Classroom Learning 2.0 - This free site from the California School Library Association program offers 23 activities educators can complete in 9 weeks to become a tech-savvy teacher. This easy going online experience could be the ticket for the technophobic educator that likes to learn on their own. If you organize a group of educators to participate, they offer a free management guide.

In Conclusion

Read more on how three-quarters of K-12 teachers are now using digital media @ The Journal. This is up from sixty-nine percent in 2008. A full report is located @ PBS Teachers. Don’t forget about the twenty-two percent infrequent users and those trapped kids. Reach out to that infrequent user and move them forward. Are you willing?

Photos shared from irewired.

Daffodil still struggles from being trapped too long.