Monday, December 19, 2011

10 of the best apps for education

As iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches become more integrated in the classrooms, educators and students are seeking ways to apply them to the learning process. Applications on all of these devices can assist in current classroom processes or present innovative ways to learn.

eSchool News' Jenna Zwang has assembled a list of education “apps” for Apple devices that are noteworthy. Five are free, and the other five range in price from 99 cents to $9.99. Enjoy!

Name: Word Lens
Best for: Language Classes
Cost: Free
Features: Instantly translates signage from one language to another through the camera application
How to Use: Language teachers can use this program for scavenger hunts

Name: Molecules
Best for: Science Classes
Cost: Free
Features: Allows users to view and manipulate three-dimensional models of different molecules
How to Use: Visual learners can see how protein molecules are composed and can download new molecules from the RCSB

Name: Blackboard Mobile Learn
Best for: Students and teachers whose campuses already use Blackboard
Cost: Free
Features: Course listings, organizations users are involved in as well as access to any readings
How to Use:Users can enroll in any classes or organizations that they have registered for and download any assignments their instructors have posted

Name: Today in History
Best for: History Classes
Cost: Free
Features: Lists notable events in history as well as important figures who were born or died on a specific date
How to Use:Use for trivia quizzes or facts of the day

Name: Math Ref Free
Best for: Math Classes
Cost: Free
Features: A free version of Math Ref, this app offers 600 out of over 1,300 formulas, figures, tips, and examples
How to Use: Use as a formula study guide or to view graphs of different equations

Name: PI83 Graphing Calculator
Best for: Math Classes
Cost: $0.99
Features: With over 100 math functions, the graphing calculator is a clone of the TI-83 without the $70 price tag
How to Use: Use in place of any calculator to input data, make graphs or matrices

Name: Star Walk
Best for: Astronomy Classes
Cost: $2.99
Features: An astral telescope; Star Walk adapts its view to wherever the user holds it up to, highlighting constellations and planets
How to Use: Use for guided tours of the night sky or to find the location of any specific astral objects

Name: Cram
Best for: Anyone in need of test prep
Cost: $3.99
Features: Both teachers and students can create flashcards and tests and import and share them with others
How to Use: Use to study for standardized tests or exams, or create study materials for students

Name: Essay Grader
Best for: Teachers pressed for time
Cost: $5.99
Features: Providing instant results, eClicker charts the class responses, showing which areas are understood and which need more work
How to Use: Students select a response to a question composed by the instructor and are then able to participate without fear of being wrong, since only the teacher views the results

Name: eClicker
Best for: Teachers looking for classroom feedback
Cost: $9.99
Features: Essay grader comes with a bank of pre-written comments and helps teachers cut down on grading time without writing the same comments over and over again by hand
How to Use: After assigning a grade, teachers can then eMail the grade sheet directly to the student or export it to the computer for editing and printing

Source: Jenna Zwang, eSchool News

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

PBS LearningMedia - Digital Resources

With thousands of digital media resources to hook every student and classroom, this new service, free to educators everywhere, is your destination for curriculum planning. Dive in through a robust search that delivers what you need, when you need it.

Ecology, Grades 4-6,
Discover how all living and non-living things interact in an ecosystem. Learn about biomes, the food chain, ecosystems, and more in this info-packed video. Watch now.

Amazon Rainforest, Grades K-5
One quarter of prescription medicines include rainforest plants. Understand the major threats to one of earth's most fragile ecosystems, home to thousands of species of plants and animals. Learn more.

Frozen Frogs, Grades 6-12
The common wood frog displays an amazing adaptation for surviving harsh, cold winters. See how it’s able to freeze solid without damaging its cells, and then resume function in the spring. Learn more.

Guess How Whales Hear!, Grades K-5
What does the ocean sound like to a whale? (It isn’t quiet). This resource reveals how one marine biologist used the scientific process to uncover what and how whales hear. Learn more.

Biomes, Grades 3-12
From grasslands to tundra, get the facts on biomes. This interactive features seven different biomes and includes maps, charts, photos, and essential information. Learn more.

Antarctic Ecosystem, Grades 5-12
Investigate the variety of organisms that inhabit the unique southern polar ecosystem. Explore the region's living bounty with this activity. Learn more.

Source: PBS

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Integrating Technology for Active Life-long Learning (IT4ALL)

Integrating Technology for Active Lifelong Learning (IT4ALL) is an informal volunteer network that offers free or low cost professional development workshops for educators on how to integrate technology for active lifelong learners (IT4ALL) via blended (BL) and blended online learning (BOL) courses, workshops, communities of learning, international collaborative projects, and live online events.

The workshops at IT4ALL promote lifelong, authentic, collaborative learning. This means that participants engage in collaborative social learning by doing hands-on activities, creating artifacts, and providing ongoing feedback to the other members in the discussion forms.
IT4ALL embraces a life long authentic learning methodology where participants are responsible for their own learning. The facilitators guide and facilitate the participants' learning journey. The online courses are not limited to time or place. The participants can access the content, interact with the other members and the facilitators, and work on the assignments anywhere and at anytime. However, since most of the workshops are only 4 weeks long, participants are expected to be actively involved and to do their very best to keep up with the weekly tasks.

Most of the courses and workshops at IT4ALL are free for members, but donations are always appreciated since the network is self-funded (donation box). IT4ALL is run by volunteers who are passionate about online learning. You are invited to join the team of facilitators and contribute your time and expertise.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

URLs for Parents of Children with Diverse Needs

ALLIANCE National Parent Technical Assistance Center (NPTAC)
The ALLIANCE National Parent Technical Assistance Center (NPTAC) provides Parent Centers, Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), with innovative technical assistance, up-to-date information, and high quality resources and materials.

Family Voices of California
Family Voices of California (FVCA) is a statewide collaborative of locally-based parent run centers working to ensure quality health care for children and youth with special health care needs.

IMPACT is a California statewide all-volunteer, non-profit organization of parents, teachers and professionals serving deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Established in 1986 by 12 parents, IMPACT has a current membership of over 300 and is supported and encouraged by a host of organizations that serve the deaf community.

Hands & Voices
Hands & Voices is a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families and their children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as the professionals who serve them.

American Society for Deaf Children
The American Society for Deaf Children supports and educates families of deaf and hard of hearing children and advocates for high quality programs and services.

Friday, September 23, 2011

REL Northeast & Islands - Policy Challenges Webinar: Supporting the Transition to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics


Policy Challenges Webinar:

Supporting the Transition to the

Common Core State Standards in

Mathematics Webinar

Thursday, October 6, 2011
3:00–4:30 PM EDT


Breaking Through Barriers to Learning

Technology has expanded the learning opportunities for students across the nation - and particularly for those with special needs. Although school budgets are limited, investing in assistive technology can help special-needs students learn, while helping schools in the process.
Click here to read more.

Source: eSchool News

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2.0 Language Learning Websites

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Breaking Through Barriers to Learning

eSchool News Logo

Go to eSN Online today and:

Find out how to be a leader in assistive technology
Learn which programs are succeeding and why
Discover five key trends in assistive technology
See how special-needs students are benefiting
from new technologies
Visit Breaking Through Barriers to Learning ERC

Technology has expanded the learning opportunities for students across the nation--and particularly for those with special needs, such as students with reading disabilities or vision impairment. Although school budgets are limited, investing in assistive technology can help schools navigate Adequate Yearly Progress and can give teachers a new way to help special-needs students improve their learning and boost achievement.

With the generous support of Care Innovations-- a combination of GE Healthcare's Home Health Division and Intel Corp.'s Digital Health Group--we've assembled this collection of eSchool News stories, along with other relevant content, to help you choose wisely when investing in assistive technology.

Visit This ERC Now Online

--The Editors

This resource center is made possible with financial support from Care Innovations

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Find pi with Your Windows 7 Calculator

What you need to do is to open the Windows 7 calculator by clicking Start and typing calc into the Search box. Hit Enter or click the calculator icon that appears in the list…

This will open up the calculator. Now, click on View and choose Scientific. Alternately, you can press Alt+2 to enable scientific mode.

Once in scientific mode, press the letter P on your keyboard.

Source: WorldStart's Computer Tips

Monday, July 4, 2011

Clear Specific Site Cookies in Internet Explorer 9

This for anybody using IE9 that wants to get rid of the cookie data from one particular website and keep everything else. Simply browse to the site you want to delete cookies from and hit F12 on your keyboard.

This will open up the developer console – a mysterious and potentially scary place – although we only need it for one thing. Click Cache and then Clear cookies for domain towards the bottom.

It’ll ask you if you’re sure…Click Yes.

Source: WorldStart's Computer Tips.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Free Technology for Teachers

Click on the image below to visit a resourceful website for teachers!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Temp Directory Shortcut

Here's a quick and easy tip for Windows Vista and 7 users who want to get to their TEMP directory to do a little manual cleaning.

Press Start, and in the Search Box type %temp%.

Now hit Enter to access the TEMP directory. Next, highlight and delete as needed.

Source: Worldstart Computer Tips

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Interactive Technology Techniques

Enjoy the following technology techniques! Kevin Yee from the University of Central Florida has made it easier for educators to tap on effective strategies by compiling them into one file. The techniques have multiple benefits, as the instructor can easily and quickly assess if students have really mastered the material through interactivity that truly engages the students in learning! They are fun and more effective than lectures in enabling the students to learn. Have fun as you choose the techniques that will work with you and your students!


*Replace Discussion Boards - Create a Facebook “group” (private/invite only) and use the Wall as the class discussion board. Students are notified by home page notification when someone replies to their thread.

*Notify Students Quickly - Message all members of your Facebook group with one click; this will reach your students much faster than an email, because most of them check Facebook regularly.

*Fan Page - An alternative to a group is a “fan” page, which has the advantage that your “status updates” will show up for students on their Live Feed. Disadvantage: some students turn off Live Feed and only see status updates of their friends.

*Direct Facebook Friendship - Allowing your students to “friend” you will give you unfettered access to them (unless they’ve set up a special role for you), but more importantly, your status updates will be visible to them on the home page (unless they block you manually). Disadvantage: too much information will be revealed on both sides, unless both you and the students set up “lists” with limited access allowed.


*Report from the Field – Students use smart phones to record their observations while witnessing an event/location related to the course of study, capturing more honest and spontaneous reactions

*Twitter Clicker Alternative - In large classes, a hashtag can amalgamate all posts by your students in one place, giving them a free-response place to provide feedback or guess at a right answer. Also useful for brainstorming.

*Backchannel Conversations in Large Classes – unlike a whispered conversation, a Twitter conversation (searchable by agreed-upon hashtag) becomes a group discussion. Students may also help out other students who missed a brief detail during the lecture.

*Follow an Expert – Luminaries in many disciplines, as well as companies and governmental agencies, often publish a Twitter feed. Reading such updates provides a way to stay current.

*Tweeted Announcements - Instead of Blackboard, use Twitter to send out announcements like cancelled classes.

*Twitter Pictures and URLs - Twitpic and other services allows for photo upload to twitter; and other “link shorteners” allow for pasting long URLs as short ones.

*Student Summaries - Make one student the “leader” for tweets; she posts the top five important concepts from each session to twitter (one at a time); other students follow her feed and RT for discussion/disagreements

*Quick Contact - Since sharing cell phone numbers is risky, instructors may wish to let students follow them on Twitter and send Direct Messages that way.

*Community-Building - A Twitter group for your specific class creates inclusiveness and belonging.

*Twitter Projects - Tweetworks and other apps can enable student groups to communicate with each other more easily.

*Brainstorm - Small Twitter assignments can yield unexpected brainstorming by students, since it’s happening “away” from the LMS.

*Twitter Poll - PollDaddy and other apps enable Twitter to gather interest, information, attitudes, and guesses.

*Post Links - News stories and other websites can be linked via Twitter (services such as will shorten URLs).


*Video Demonstrations - Using a webcam, record a demonstration relevant to your topic and post it to YouTube.

*Student Videos - Student projects can take the form of video instead of PowerPoint, and uploaded for the class to see.

*Interactive Video Quizzes - Using annotations (text boxes) and making them hyperlinks to other uploaded videos, instructors can construct an on-screen “multiple choice” test leading to differentiated video reactions, depending on how the student answers. Requires filming multiple videos and some editing work.

*Movie Clips - Show brief segments of popular movies to illustrate a point, start a conversation, have students hunt for what the movie gets wrong, etc.

*Embed Into PowerPoint - YouTube videos can be embedded into PPT as long as there is an active Internet connection; create a Shockwave Flash object in the Developer tab, and add the URL for “Movie” in the properties (the URL will need to replace “watch?=v/” with just “/v/”). Alternative: use one-button plugin from iSpring Free.

*Shared Account – Instructor creates a generic YouTube username/account and gives the password to everyone in the class, so student uploads all go to the same place.


*Group Wiki Projects - Instead of emailing a document (or PPT) back and forth, student groups can collaborate in real time with a free wiki such as

*Wiki Class Notes - Offering a class wiki for the optional sharing of lecture notes aids students who miss class, provides a tool for studying, and helps students see the material from more than one perspective.


*Questions to Students - Use the blog to “push” questions and discussion prompts to students like you would email, but in a different forum.

*Provide Links - The native HTML nature of the blog makes it easy to give links to news stories and relevant websites.

*Substitute for Blackboard Discussion Board - Students can comment on each post (or previous comment) and engage in a dialogue that is similar to Blackboard, but while out in the Internet in general.

*Electronic Role Play - Students create their own blogs, and write diary-type entries while role-playing as someone central to your content.

Online Interaction

*Online Chat (All-Day) – For classes meeting at least partially in an online environment, instructors can simulate the benefits gained by a chat-room discussion (more participation from reserved instructors) without requiring everyone to meet in a chat room for a specific length of time. The day begins with a post from the instructor in a discussion board forum. Students respond to the prompt, and continue to check back all day, reading their peers’ posts and responding multiple times throughout the day to extend discussion.

*Online Chat (Quick) – To gauge a quick response to a topic or reading assignment, post a question, and then allow students to chat in a synchronous environment for the next 10 minutes on the topic. A quick examination of the chat transcript will reveal a multitude of opinions and directions for further discussion. In online environments, many students can “talk” at once, with less chaotic and more productive results than in a face-to-face environment.

*Online Evaluation – For those teaching in online environments, schedule a time which students can log on anonymously and provide feedback about the course and your teaching. Understand, however, that anonymity online sometimes breeds a more aggressive response than anonymity in print.

*Pre-Class Writing – A few days before your computer-mediated class begins, have students respond in an asynchronous environment to a prompt about this week’s topic. Each student should post their response and at least one question for further discussion. During the face-to-face meeting, the instructor can address some of these questions or areas not addressed in the asynchronous forum.

*E-Mail Feedback – Instructor poses questions about his teaching via e-mail; students reply anonymously.

Source: Kevin Yee | University of Central Florida |

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Computer Shortcuts

New message (default) – Ctrl + M
New message (non-default)  – Shift + Ctrl + M
Open message – Ctrl +O
Print – Ctrl+ P
Copy – Ctrl + C
Undo-  Ctrl + Z
Redo – Ctrl+ Y
Move to previous folder – Ctrl+ Alt+ M
Delete – Del
Delete (bypass trash) – Shift + Del
Select All (works for messages or text in a message) – Ctrl+ A
Select Whole Thread – Ctrl + Shift + A
Edit Message (as New) – Ctrl + E
Expand All Threads - *
Collapse All Threads – \

Saturday, April 30, 2011

AmeriCorps NCCC E-Newsletter

As an AmeriCorps Alumnus (2004), I do my best to try to "get things done" for the Guam community. I encourage my fellow AmeriCorps alumni to continue to make a difference!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

TESOL Convention Highlight #3

Six Blogging Activities for Practicing L2 English Writing

Presented by Kristina Scholz, Northern Arizona University

Scholz introduced six blogging activities that encourage ELLs to write freely and fluently in a low-stress, highly personalized context. The activities shared relate to specific writing forms and incorporate various creative internet-based tools. The blogging activities introduced can be modified to fit a variety of teaching situations.

She mentioned that the following activities would enhance the learning experience of ELLs:

• Activity #1: Profile Writing

• Activity #2: Report Writing

• Activity #3: Evaluation/Critique Writing

• Activity #4: Creative Writing

• Activity #5: Explanatory Writing

• Activity #6: Reflection Writing

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Resourceful Websites for ESL Teachers

* (articles)
* (activities; membership fee required)
* (bingo games)
* (flash cards; membership fee required)
* (great information)
* (leveled books and reading ideas; membership fee required)
* (songs, poems, resources)
* (printables)
* (animated videos, free trial membership)

TESOL Convention Highlight: Resourceful Technology Tools

During the 45th Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit, I attended a presentation titled, "Technology Today: What Leaders Need to Know and Do" by Emily Reynolds, Boulder, Colorado

Reynolds focused on computer literacy and the various resources available to enhance instruction. She mentioned the following technology tools that I think would be useful for my fellow ESL colleagues. We have used some of these technology tools, but they're still valuable, so I have left them on the list.

*Audacity (audio recording software):

*Skype (real-time voice communication):

*Yahoo Messenger (with voice in PC version):


*Resources for Blogs and Wikis:


*Resources for Podcasting:

*Resources for PowerPoint:

*Making a Web Page:

*KompoZer (open-source HTML Editor for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux):

*Elluminate – real-time virtual classroom environment:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The following URLs are resourceful websites that ICC members/parents/teachers would find useful in meeting the needs of children with disabilities.

Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) -

Worldstart Computer Tips

Having trouble viewing parts or all of the newsletter? View the entire newsletter here!

This week in the News...

December 29, 2010.

3-feet high eggs could be South Korea's wave of the future.

Well, not eggs, exactly. Twenty-nine egg-shaped bots (named Engkey) have started teaching English to South Korean children as part of a pilot program aimed at supporting the blossoming robot industry.

The 3.3ft high bots have a TV panel (which shows a female Caucasian face) that that can speak to the students while wheeling around the classroom. They are able to read books and dance by moving their arms and heads. The kids love the robots, especially the shy kids, who feel more comfortable talking to a robot than a real person.

However, the robots are not as they appear. In actuality, the robots are run by well-educated teachers in the Philippines, who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.

As one South Korean administrator put it: "They won't complain about health insurance, sick leave and severance package, or leave in three months for a better-paying job in Japan... all you need is a repair and upgrade every once in a while.' The South Korean Government shelled out 1.37 million dollars for the pilot program.

Repair, upgrades and no health insurance, indeed.