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Tagged With: visual learning

10 Ways to Use Thinglink in the Inquiry-based Classroom

thinglinkI follow a lot of tech ed forums (like Larry Ferlazzo, Richard Byrne, and Alice Keeler) as a way of keeping up with tech ed trends and what teachers are using in their classrooms. The last few months, it’s been Thinglink. I’ve received more than a handful of questions about this multimedia webtool on my Ask a Tech Teacher Q&A column and it’s popped up in many education discussions about inquiry assessments and year-end summatives. I met Thinglink a few years ago and–like colleagues–was so excited, it often became a favored part of lesson plans to enable students to share their knowledge.

Then, I got away from it. Like Typing Club (a few years ago, this was everyone’s go-to online keyboarding program and then fizzled away), the tech ed opinion leaders moved on. Me, too. I read about so many new tools that I got sidetracked from this phenomenally versatile, robust, and differentiated tool. When I went back and took a second look, I again was soundly impressed and came up with lots of ways to integrate it into my workflow.

Before I get into those, let me back up and explain Thinglink: It is an interactive media platform that allows students to use multimedia content and links to share their knowledge and tell their story by tagging images or videos with hotspots that include additional information.

[gallery columns="2" ids="8521,10525"]

This includes photos, videos, maps, pictures, and drawings. Completed projects can be collected into channels that are then shared with colleagues or select students. They can also be shared via social media, a link, or embedded into blogs or websites. With the new addition of 360-degree images and virtual reality (available on the upgraded platform), it has again become one of the most exciting learning tools in the educator’s toolkit.


Categories: Multimedia, Web Tools | Tags: | Leave a comment

50 Sites to Add Rigor and Authenticity to Word Study

Memorizing word lists and testing on them doesn’t really work very well. Here are 52 websites that will make student academic and domain-specific word study more relevant and sticky. I’ve collected them into various categories–pick what works for you:

  1. Character Trading Cardsword study websites
  2. Context Clues Game
  3. Context Clues Millionaire
  4. Flashcard Stash–collect words, view sentences and images
  5. Friendly Letter Maker
  6. Identify the Main Idea
  7. Jelly Fish
  8. Katie’s Clubhouse
  9. Main Idea Battleship
  10. The Patchworker
  11. Using a table of contents
  12. Web-based Mad Libs
  13. Word Balloons
  14. Word Central—Merriam Webster
  15. Word Family Sort
  16. Word Games
  17. Word Magnets
  18. Word Play
  19. Word Pond
  20. Words in Context


Categories: Word study/Vocabulary, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

47 Visual Learning Options for your PBL

Here’s a wide variety of visual learning options for your students, from graphs to infographics,


  1. AmCharts
  2. Barchart
  3. ChartGizmo
  4. ChartGo
  5. Chartle
  6. Creately
  7. Highcharts
  8. Hohli Online Chart Builder
  9. JS Charts
  10. LovelyCharts
  11. LucidCharts–for desktop and GAFE app
  12. Online Chart Generator
  13. OnlineChartTool
  14. Pie Color
[gallery columns="2" ids="34150,34155"]


Categories: Websites | Tags: | 1 Comment

Tech Tip #57: How to Create a Chart Really Fast

tech tipsAs a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: What’s the easiest way to introduce 3rd graders to Excel charts?

A: Before making charts, try this easy and fun intro to Excel columns, rows and tools (If you’re a member of my co-teaching wikis, click the link; scroll down to Dec. 9th 2010, to creating a gingerbread house in Excel).

When students have gone through the basics and feel like that treacherous interface (with the blank boxes and letters and numbers) isn’t so scary, you’re ready to create a chart. Collect class data (If you’re a member of these K-5 co-teaching wikis: for step-by-step directions, go to Excel Graphs Jan. 28th on my 3rd grade wiki,). Highlight the labels and data and push F11.


Categories: Spreadsheets, Tech tips | Tags: | Leave a comment