Bee Clip – Create Beautiful Online Portofolios

Bee Clip is a new Web 2.0 app that gives the student the potential to create their own online scrapbooks, online portofolios, collages, moodboards and for many other ways. The user can add images, videos and texts and also can share the scrapbooks online or print a hard copy.  It is free and you can try it without the need to register.  I really like this Web 2.0 app and I am going to use it for some project work with my students.

Here are some excerpts from beeclip website:

Empower creativity

Creativity is all about ideas, not software. The software you use in your classroom should amplify your students’ creativity, not inhibit it. Our easy-to-use, yet powerful, scrapbooks will unleash your students’ creativity like you couldn’t imagine. There are no limits to what they can create on Beeclip EDU.

Engage students

Keeping students engaged is a tough challenge. Our innovative blend of technology and creativity is already loved by students all over the world. Maybe it’s the drag’n drop interface, the cool backgrounds, or commenting on each others’ scrapbooks. Whatever it is, they just can’t get enough.

Save time

Using technology in your classroom should save you time. We’ll have you up and running in a matter of minutes. And once you’re going, you’ll find the way you manage students, projects, and scrapbooks a real breath of fresh air. You don’t need to be a technical whizz to get the most out of Beeclip EDU.

 

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You Have to Check ‘Check This’

I have recently came across to a wonderful Web 2.0 Tool that can motivate your students to write wider texts in English. This tool is Check This and what is really great about this tool is that you can make a simple website without even registering. Moreover, you can make your page more interesting by adding images (from your computer but also by catching them onyoutube line), video from youtube and vimeo, contact form and others. The user can also choose the theme of the website or add his/her own picture as a background to the website.

Great Features:

  • Excellent for use with all ages of students (registration is not required in order to start creating your website)
  • User can choose if the website will be public and visible to all or accessible just to the people
  • The user does not create a simple – plain page but can add pictures, videos, audio etc.
  • The user (in our case students) can share their work by email to the teacher or  share it with a co-student (peer-review)

It is a great tool that can be used for practicing:

Writing – Ask students to create their own websites (essays, letters, applications, reviews, express their feelings about sth etc)

Reading – Create your own website and share the link with your students to read it (you can add some reading comprehension questions)

Listening – Add a video of your choice from youtube and create an activity on this listening.

I would love to hear your opinion and possible lesson ideas.

 

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Some Great Educational Wikis Worth Visiting

Wikis can be powerful teaching tools as well as tools for teachers’ proffessional development. Here is a list of some worth visiting wikis.

One of the main goals of the project is to ‘flatten’ or lower the classroom walls so that instead of each class working isolated and alone, 2 or more classes are joined virtually to become one large classroom. This is done through the Internet using Web 2.0 tools such as Wikispaces and Ning.

This Wiki is a place for MHMS teachers to share information & professional development products for creative instruction.There’s no need for you to join it to enjoy it’s wiki-awesomeness!

It’s maintained by Gwyneth A. Jones – The Daring Librarian and is Creative Commons Share Alike.

“In fact, one of the saddest but most common conditions in elementary school computer labs (when they exist in the developing world), is the children are being trained to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  I consider that criminal, because children should be making things, communicating, exploring, sharing,not running office automation tools.”

—Nicholas Negroponte, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab

This Wiki will house information related to the iPad in Education sponsored by the Department of Educational Technology in theSchool District of Palm Beach County.

This Teaching with Thinking and Technology wiki is designed to document ideas and collect resources for teachers and students who are interested in using the web effectively and smartly.
My aim is to assist in developing a curriculum that meets the academic, social and personal needs of our students.
The major focus of this site is investigating how Web 2.0 applications can be used to promote thinking, sharing, collaborating and communicating between teachers and students.
The sites listed here are but a few of what is on the web. It will hopefully begin a journey of discovery for you.

This site has been compiled by Lenva Shearing.
If you are using a cool web 2.0 tool in your classroom that is not included here, please email me and I will add it (email link in navigation bar)

Winners Education is a greek school wiki that shows how they adapted and how they use Web 2.0 at their school. Here are some words about the story of this wiki from the creator of the wiki Effie Kyrikakis:

For the last few months I’ve been exploring the fantastic possibilities of web 2.0.
It has been wonderful at times: When I managed to find great tools for use in class, when I linked with groups of wonderful,
like-minded, supportive – and much more advanced- teachers from around the globe, when our students’ eyes flash with excitement at the prospect of getting to talk with students from schools at places they have only heard of …

At other times the discovery journey is just frustrating: Everything is new and takes time to explore. Sleepless nights are on the menu more often than not! Challenges present at every curve: For some reason youtube won’t upload my videos one day, the blog doesn’t look the way I’d like it to, I can’t upload my voki and what on earth is a wiki?

Well, my Austrian friend Katherine, a wonderful, energetic teacher who has set up a skype group to connect schools from around the world has something to say about that: “Problems are here to be solved”! WinnersEducation is now a member of this network and we’re ardent supporters of Katherine’s dictum. We’ll just insist and face the challenges!

Plus, this whole adventure has reminded me what it feels like to learn from the other side- that of the learner.
This precious insight cannot but make teaching better, don’t you agree?

Help me build this list. If you know a wiki that worths sharing please comment below and I will add it to this list. 

Create Online Personalized Newspapers

Here are some applications that will help ypu create your online personilzed newspapers that will help you gather and share interesting news. I personally use the first one but the two others are equally good.

Scoop.it!  is an online application which allows you create a topic, add some key words and then the application finds related posts from facebook, twitter, blogs etc. You can then curate the posts to your digital newspaper and share it to social media.

Paper.li works the same way as Scoop.it. You name your newspaper and you add key words and sources from where the news will be found. You can then share your newspaper online.

Trap!t captures what you want from the internet. You add your key words and interests and the application ”traps” your post that might interest you. You can log in from your Twitter or facebook acoount or you can simply sign up with an email.

Get Free Pictures from Kozzi.com

    Kozzi.com – photos without borders –  is a great website that contains a really huge number of pictures that can be used for about anything. They are free and the user has the right to download and use them without giving any credits. You have to sign up in order to start using the photos but the registration is free.

Here are the categories of pictures that are included:

What is also  commendable about this site is that it gives you the option to create a lightbox folder where you can bookmark pictures that can be downloaded or used later. You can also share your lightbox folder to social media (students, collegues etc).

Here are some screenshots of this website:

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My top 11 blog posts from ’11

Magic in Education! is a blog that was created for the needs of a presentation on technology in the classsroom. Me and my collegue Makis Aggatheris were assigned to create a 3 hour workshop on New Technologies in Teaching. While we were preparing the workshop I came with an idea of having a blog where the participants can visit and see the links that I suggest them to visit. When the workshop was over, I decided to maintain the blog and keep publishing my ideas on technology in classroom. It is now 8 months amd it has been already visited from visitors from all over the world.

Here you can see my top 11 blog posts (according to the blog’s statistics) from ’11:

11. Make your own comics, Witty Comics

10. Penzu, your own personal journal and online diary

9Using Blogs in Education

8Wallwisher, Words that Stick!

7. Social Networks in Education

6How we created an interactive whiteboard with low cost!!

5. Web 2.0 apps

4. Prezi.com – Creating ashtonishing presentations

3.  How to create your own superhero comic

 2. 30+1  Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom

and….

1. Glogster.com: Poster your self! (Text, Images, Music and Video)

A Christmas Lesson Plan: Write a Letter to Santa Clause

Dear Santa.... (Photo taken from operationsanta.com)

The 25th of December is approaching and I was thinking of giving a proper ”goodbye” lesson for the Christmas holiday to my students. Thanks God my experiment was successful and I received a lot of hugs from my 10 year old students) at the end of the lesson. What did I ask them?

”Write a letter to Santa Clause! Present yourself, Tell him about your likes and dislikes and tell him what you want him to bring  you for Christmas”

Short Lesson Plan:

Objectives:

  • Writing. Learn to self-present
  • Grammar. Practice Present Simple using I like/I don’t like.
  • Vocabulary. Revise Christmas vocabulary

Aids:

  • Printed Santa Clause Letters. I had mine from last year but here is one that I found on the internet or you can easily make yours on a word processor:
  • Love and excitement!

Christmas Letter. Credited to blog.christmaslettertips.com

You can find more word and publisher templates here.

Warm-up activities:

  • Chat about Christmas and Christmas traditions. Ask them what kids do in Christmas eg carols, gifts etc.
  • Announce that you expect them to write a letter to Santa Clause.

Before Writing:

  • Teacher explains the writing activity.How start, paragraph and end the letter. Make sure that you ask them exactly that you expect from them.

While Writing:

  • Help the students with any unknown vocabulary or any other inquiry.

After Writing

  • Ask them to read their letters aloud (some peer review subtly conducted)

The whole procedure lasts about 30 minutes. My students were excited throughout the activity and they could not wait to go home and to place the letters under the Christmas tree.

I am thinking to take it a step further and reply to their letters. I have not decided yet. I wish every one MERRY CHRISTMAS! xoxoxoxo

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Create easily comics with writecomics.com

Writecomics.com is a really simple comic strip generator. It does not require a registration to start creating. It is free and really easy to use with your students. There is a variety of characters and backgrounds to use. This tool is also perfect if you want to include some humour in your classroom as it has a section with alien characters. After creating your comic the website gives you a link to your comic strip and you can grab the picture online or you can save the comic as jpg file to your computer.

If you click on the image below you can see a tutorial-like video:

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More comic-maker applications described in this blog:

Knovio.com, Create and Share Video Presentations

    Knovio.com is a free online application in which you can create video or voice presentations. The procedure is really simple. You only have to upload a PowerPoint file and then start recording your video or your voice.

Knovio adds personality to your presentations. It adds your voice and your face and the result is personalized and more effective presentations. It is a perfect tool for presenters but also for teachers. I have assigned to one of my students to make me a presentation of the environmental issues and he came back with a perfect presentation. He told me that this tool helped him a lot with his speaking skills.

Special features:

  • Webcam or voice recording next to your presentation
  • User friendly environment
  • Sharing & publishing instantly to private spaces or your social networks
  • Excellent results
  • Make changes without  the need for video editing software or skills
  • Share privately and invite your audience
  • The viewers can send you instantly feedback

Cons:

  • Sometimes (according to the internet connection) the webcam video gets stuck.

I tried knovi myself and I prepared a video. Please excuse me for my anxiety. It really was the first time that I have recorded myself in a video. In order to see the video you have to click on the picture and it will link you to the video presentation:

Here are some pictures from the operational side of the application:

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