Programs

Motivator

The motivational posters that have become common in many offices and classrooms are a snap to make using Motivator. Upload your image, make a few design choices, and write your title and caption. Click the Create button and download the finished product. 

ImageChef

Create banners, buttons, signs, license plates, bling and a host of other graphics using the pre-built images in ImageChef. Choose an image, add the words, and click Preview. That's it. To save a creation, click Post to Blog or MySpace, choose the size image , and drag it to your desktop.

Cameroid

If you have a webcam, Cameroid uses it to modify the user's image. Choose from a variety of special effects, filters, frames, and scenes; align your picture; and click the camera. One click saves it to your desktop.

The Fodey Generator

This tool, like ImageChef, allows you to add your text to pre-created images. One nice feature is that it creates html scripts for pasting into web pages for animations. 

Generator Blog

Variety of tools. Here are a few examples: caricatures, comic strips, bumper stickers, keyboard, text editor, pet switch, quote, word cloud, disease, what would you look like as a super hero, fantasy novel title and restaurant menu.

Podcast

WHAT IS A PODCAST?

What is a podcast? A podcast at its simplest is an audio recording that's available on the Internet. 

PODCASTING IN THE CLASSROOM

Listening to podcasts will help you understand their purpose. High school history students can record reports on Chinese dynasties, while first graders can narrate paragraphs about their class star of the week, and fourth grade classes can produce a weekly news bulletin. 

The steps are easy -- record, upload, and share -- and the hardware can be as simple as your PC, or even a telephone. Below are two options that fit a variety of situations. (Note: For option 1, you'll need a microphone.)

Option 1: Podcast Using Audacity 
Audacity is a free and easy way to record and upload podcasts for the classroom. Basically, just talk into the mic, export as an MP3 and upload to the Internet. You can even do some simple audio editing.

Option 2: Podcast by Phone with BlogTalkRadio
Don't have a microphone, or need to podcast off-site, maybe on a field trip to Washington, D.C.? With BlogTalkRadio.com, you simply dial a toll-free number and record a podcast anywhere, anytime using only your telephone. 

After using one of the above options to record and upload your first podcast, the last step in podcasting: sharing. Let parents and students know where to find the podcast online, perhaps linking to your podcast from the school's site or even just posting it there.

What should you podcast? Classroom ideas include:

  • Students reading their original poetry or short stories.
  • Foreign language teachers narrating passages to be translated at home by students.
  • Biology students recording two-minute overviews on specific genetic disorders.
  • Music students recording original compositions.
  • History teachers recording classroom discussions or lectures for absent students.
  • Elementary students recording a greeting to pen pals across the country or world.

Skype

 Skype allows you to speak/video chat with participants all over the world. 

Wikispaces

Wiki's are an amazing tool, both for a teacher personally and for his or her class. The ability to share information and grow information with a wiki is truly wonderful. And since a wiki can be sorted by page topic -- rather than by date (as with a blog) -- it makes it a very powerful tool to use. (Note: Wikispaces is giving away free wikihosting for teachers.)

CommonLit

Make your students better readers. FREE reading passages and progress tracking tools for grades 5-12. 

A free service that helps teachers by providing thematic questions for a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction articles. Book Pairing provides teachers with a collection of short articles to supplement the books that their students are reading. The articles and accompanying questions are intended to help students draw connections between the books they're reading and real life events and issues.