Monday, July 12, 2010

Wordle (Web 2.0 PD Menu)


Wordle is a way to generate word clouds using text. Word clouds can be tweaked by changing the color, fonts, and color schemes of the text. Wordles can be used in different curricular areas within elementary and secondary levels.

Wordles can be saved as a PDF. The following are instructions on how to save a Wordle as a PDF using a MAC and a PC. There's a "Print..." button below the Wordle area, on the left-hand side. Press it. You will be prompted to allow the Wordle "Java applet" to access your printer. Please check the check box that says "Always permit", and accept the dialog.

On the Mac, you'll have to press the "Print..." button again. Mac users can simply "Save as PDF" from their built-in printer dialog.

Windows users will need to use third-party software to generate a PDF from the print dialog. Adobe Acrobat is fine, but u can use the free CutePDF Writer. If you do use CutePDF, you'll also need to install Ghostscript, a free PostScript interpreter.
The PDFs you make in this way are fully scalable, and suitable for making posters, T-Shirts, etc.

Wordle Tip:

If you place a ~ between compound words or words in a sentence, the words, phrase, or sentence will stay together. This is a great tip for educators to know when having their students create Wordles.

Examples of Class Wordles created in CSD:





Thursday, June 10, 2010

KidBlog-Elementary Student Blogging

One frustration for Elementary teachers is finding a blog service that allows elementary students to blog without using an email. Does such a service exist? Kidblog is simple for elementary students to use, it's free, and it is safe to use in a classroom setting. This is a great tool to use that allows students to focus on their writing instead of focusing on the technology tool. Teachers have the control of the comments that their students leave and the blog can only be seen by the teacher and students. A teacher can set up the account where parents can view the blog, but a password is required. Comments cannot come from outside sources and personal information is not collected in Kidblog. I feel that when students blog, teachers are encouraging collaboration, but it needs to be in a safe environment. This is one solution for elementary teachers to use to encourage blogging. Check it out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

VOIP-Social Software

VOIP is shortened for the term Voice over Internet Protocol and is a general term used referring to the family of transmission technologies used for the delivery of voice communications over the internet ( These are a few places found where you can sign up to call your family, friends, and co-workers for free, or for a lower price, over the internet. Check these out. Just sharing!

Lingo Talk

Skype (My personal favorite.)


Friday, January 8, 2010

Creative Educator

The Creative Educator is an educational magazine produced by Tech4Learning, inc. that can be subscribed to for free. Creative Educator features articles about educators and how they have used educational technology in their classrooms. This magazine is filled with ideas, tips, etc. and is really worth subscribing to if you are a teacher. If you go to their website, and click on subscribe, there is an information box for you to fill out and submit to the magazine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Microsoft Updates

I have been amazed at how many teachers have not done microsoft updates on their computers. Then I started thinking about if I have done mine recently. It is problematic if you do not have your updates set to run automatically for microsoft. So, if you want to make sure that you have updated your microsoft software, this is what you will need to do to make sure it has been done recently. Open up a word document in microsoft word. Click on Help which is located in your Microsoft tool bar. Then click on check for updates.

After you click on check for updates, a box will pop up that asks you How would you like to check for software updates? Make sure you click on Automatically so that the updates will be checked on a more frequent basis.

If updates have not been installed, it will take awhile for updates to be checked and installed so that your software is up to par. Thanks to Bonnie Young who is the tech teacher at Midvale Elementary. She took a minute to show me how to run an update, so I wanted to share what was shared with me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Technology Teacher Survey

Here is the link for the CSD technology survey for teachers to take in the district. The survey was created in google documents as a google form. Please make sure you click on the submit button after you fill out the survey. Thanks for taking a few minutes to answer these questions.

Friday, November 13, 2009


AudibleKids is an audiobook website where books can be downloaded for adults and kids to listen to and read. It is a great website for parents, kids, and educators. Books can be downloaded for free through the RIF (Reading is Fundamental) program. To access free books, click on the link for audiblekids, scroll to the bottom of the page and look on the bottom left of the link, and click on the RIF logo. Books can be downloaded on your computer or MP3 player. I think that this is a great site for teachers to use in the classroom.