Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Everything I Know About Technology Integration I Learned From Watching 90's Nickelodeon Part 1

This, like many of my tech integration posts, originate from silly twitter conversations. I was sitting on the coach with my wife, @jenniferpro, and I was struck with this vivid memory of the the show Hey Dude. Within minutes, my mentions icon lit up with people talking about that show and a whole host of other shows from SNICK (Saturday Night Nick) and other afternoon Nick shows. I realized that I had finally reached that point, along with the rest of my generation, where we all of this shared cultural/media experience. Our humor and ideas stem from memories we had of shows that made us laugh (Clarissa making fun of her brother Fergeson), cry (Kelly dumping Jeff for Zach. I mean, WTF!?) and shreak in terror (Are YOU Afraid of the Dark?).
My first tech integration post was on my love of cooking. I wrote my next one after finding out that certain tech people I know (cough cough @Ktenkely cough cough) had not seen Star Wars. I was horrified by this fact and thought I would write a post about how those movies can teach us about tech integration in the classroom. People tolerated my silly comparisons and started to suggest other movies for me to write about and it's been crazy since then. I decided to focus on a time period of my life when I was in love with television in a way that might not have been healthy. I know everything about these characters and the shows they were on. I was by no means a couch potato. I played Soccer year round and was even in plays during my Senior Year in HS. These shows left a mark on my brain because I felt they were written for me. Technology in Education is the responsibility of every teacher that wants to give every student the chance to learn and grow as a person. Every teacher should want to knock down walls and prepare kids for the global community. my posts are designed to reach out to teachers that are on the fence and need a push to our side. The tech side. My next installment is geared for that generation that did not think anything was weird when Sam climbed the ladder into Clarissa's room whenever he wanted. It's for a generation that wanted to form their own Midnight Society to exchange stories of horror. It for a generation that was ok dealing with the fact there were two kids in the same family named Pete. This post is for us. (P.S. Other people can enjoy this, but you might not get all of the jokes that are not very funny, but will have many of us ROTFL with tears in our eyes.) Enjoy!

Everything I Know About Technology Integration I Learned From Watching 90's Nickelodeon Part 1

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The first video is the intro that I grew up remembering and loving. The next clip is from the first episode and I realized I hit the jackpot. The video is about PLNs. The Midnight Society gets together once a week to share stories about a topic they all love. They come from different backgrounds and different schools, but they have this one shared passion. "Are You Afraid of the Dark" was about finding people with like interests and sharing their creativity with one another. Don't we do this every Tuesday with #edchat?

Developing your PLN is an important part of tech integration. Teachers need to find like minded people so they do not get burned out or beat down by others that might not be on board with tech in their building. My PLN comes from all of the world from many different types of schools, but our shared desire for educational reform and tech integration has brought us together to share ideas on how to accomplish a common goal. As a teacher, it is my job to find the best ways to reach my students to ensure they are prepared for college and the rest of their lives. I think some of the tools I have discovered and the tool shared with me are helping me do that.

When it is the turn of someone in the Midnight Society to tell a story, all eyes are on them as they spin a yarn of terror. In my PLN, I know I have a captivated audience that is looking to change the way they teach to help their students. When someone else is telling their story, I become a part of the captivate audience. It is a great group to be a part of because so much sharing and learning take place.

It might be hard to nail down completely, but it is possible that The Midnight Society might be the first documented PLN. It's not surprising though. Kids have plenty to teach us about working together and learning. Funny.

Clarissa Explains It All

I would be a liar if i did not admit to having a crush on Clarissa Starling aka Melissa Joan Heart. What wasn't to like about her. She was super funny, had an awesome sense of style, had a cool room with a computer and disliked her brother as much as I did. We were the perfect match. Ahhhhhhhh. Any way, I found an episode for you to watch if you would like. I will make a couple of references to it in this part of the post. I remembered everything about this episode the second it started.

Make Connections with Technology

As I said, there were many thing to love about Clarissa and how she explained it all. I'm sure I didn't realize it at the time, but there were some great elements to the show that engaged me as a viewer. If you watch the first 50 seconds of this episode, Clarissa is talking to you. She was directly interacting with the person watching her on TV. I felt this was such a cool thing. I loved it when Zach did it on SBTB (Saved By The Bell) and I liked it when Clarissa did it as well. This engagement had me hanging on every word. I felt a personal connection that I didn't get with other shows. I realize that this style of communication has become a part of the way that I teach and the way that I feel tech integration should happen. 

The wonderful thing about Twitter and other Social Media is that it allows people to knock down walls and talk to a person from anywhere in the world. Clarissa did the same thing when she addressed the camera. She as able to knock down the fourth wall and make viewers from all over feel as if they were directly interacting with her and the show. That is what technology can do for teachers and students. It allows all of us to come together and feel part of something much larger. As a teacher, my goal is to engage students on a one on one basis as much as possible. If a student can feel like they are the center of your attention, they are more likely to listen and learn. Technology allows students to connect with others. That ability to be interactive is what students crave today, just like I did when I was younger. 

As a teacher, strive to bring that connection to the classroom. Let students reach out and talk to others beyond the fourth wall of the classroom. You might be surprised at what they learn and how they remember it.   

Technology Helps the Visual Learner

Another part of the first 50 seconds of this episode, as well as many different parts of other episodes, was the fact that the show often had crazy graphics that would pop onto the screen when Clarissa was explaining something. Here, we see her showing us what drives people. A fun little pie chart slowly appears with labels. As a visual learner, I know I was drawn to the pictures on the screen. It's a simple trick that ensured that the show had my undivided attention. 

Technology can be used the same way in the classroom. Teaches that are still using the"stand behind the podium and talk for 50 minutes" style of teaching are not only not helping a portion of their class learn, they are actually hurting a portion of their class. If a student only encounters that style of teaching, it can turn them off to that subject or all subjects. The tools are available to make lessons more interactive and accessible to this generation and it is up to the teachers to reach out and help those students who need visual learning. Teachers do not need to rewrite all of their lessons, but they should consider adding visual elements to some of their lectures. Funny pictures, cartoons, graphs and other visual stimuli could help students make connection to the material. Tech allows the art challenged teachers (ME!) find images and use them in class. Try to impress this point on teachers that have not might the jump to visual presentations yet. It's hard to believe, but there are still many teachers out there like that. 

Computers Are Cool!

The writers on Clarissa Explains it All knew that computers were cool and their target audience would think the same. Little did they know that their target audience would be leading the charge of technology advancement in the classroom. At the 11:44 mark in the above episode, Clarissa creates one of many different video games to show how she is going to accomplish one of her wacky plans. Her BFF Sam is always at hand to see the game. Clarissa was doing something that I try to convince teachers every day to do; teach using computers. Kids love computer. Kids want to use computers. Use computers to deliver information and then let them use it to create content. This was something true in the early 90s when this showed aired and it is even truer today. 
Computer can be used to teach anything out there. It only takes a teacher to sit and work out the plan of attack like Clarissa did. Sam saw what she was trying to do and students will see it as well. It seems sad that in 20 years, some people have not moved in this direction despite the attitudes of multiple groups of students that have moved through the system. Computers might have been seen as a fad, but should be no excuse now. Students want computer content and teachers should start to incorporate this tech into the classroom. 

The Adventures of Pete and Pete
"Sick Day"

Here is one of many funny episodes of The Adventures of Pete and Pete. There are many great things to say about this show. One of them is the many great guest stars that showed up from time to time. The episode above had LL Cool J, Chris Elliot and Bebe Neuwirth. That is a nice group of actors for one random episode. Other guest starts include; Adam West, Steve Buscemi, Selma Blair, Janeane Garofalo, Debbie Harry, Michael Stipe and even Iggy Pop! That is a great collection of talent. Pete and Pete are brothers with the same name and they get involved in crazy adventures. After watching an episode for the first time in a while, I was struck by some important messages I could take away from it.

Take Chances

The one thing the Pete brothers always seem to do is take chances. No matter what anyone tells them, they will try and do something. In this episode, Young Pete decides to fake sick and take a look around town. He is told over and over again that the first cardinal rule of a fake sick day is to never leave the house. Despite the warning of Ray the Meter Guy he goes outside anyway. His risk almost got him busted by his mom, but he ended up making a new friend.

Integrating new technology into the classroom can be a crap shoot. You can plan all you want, but you nver really know how it is going to turn out and I think that scares some teachers away from using tech in the classroom. As far as I am concerned, learning is all about taking chances. You might make a fool out of yourself standing in front of class of 30 teens when something you planned fails. On the other hand, you might inspire a class of 30 teens when your lesson knocks them on their butt.

Their is high risk and high reward when you take chances in life. We can all stay inside and do what everybody says is the standard, or we can try to do something new and exciting. We can take a step forward and be a part of the change in education. It is not going to be easy and we might stumble from time to time, but taking chances is the only way we are going to improve an educational system that has been stuck inside for too long ignoring the exciting world outside. I will happily take chances like Pete and Pete any day if I think it can help my students. Are you willing to take a chance with me?


One of the things I always loved about this show was the way everyone always worked together to accomplish their crazy goals. No matter how silly something seemed, Pete could always count on Pete to help him through it. Both Pete and Pete had friends that would also help them be successful when they needed them. This concept of teamwork applies everywhere in life, but for some reason, teamwork is not always evident in schools.
Teaching is a very singular act. I stand up and teach the lessons that I have created or tweaked all day. I have my classroom and my students that take my tests. Most lessons are designed with the single student in mind. Some teachers do not even consider group work during the year. Students need to learn the material and be tested on it by themselves. This is not a model to be used all year. Students need to work together to accomplish goals and be successful. Teamwork is key and tech integration can play a huge part in this process.

Tech integration can help allow students to work together in the learning environment. Twitter allows students the ability to work with students from all over the world. Blogs can accomplish the same thing if set up properly. Wikis can be another great tool to allow students to collaborate on projects. The days of having students just move their desk together to talk abut an idea are past. Allow students to take out the lap tops and create a web page with students from another class or even another school. Students want to work with one another and there is not reason to keep them separated.

Teachers also need to work together more. I thought I was pretty good at reaching out to other teachers in my district and sharing things that I find useful. Since I became an active blogger and tweeter, I realized that my sharing was extremely limited. I know share ideas with teachers from all over the world. I get great ideas from Germany, Italy, Colorado, Texas, California, West Philly (Born and raised in the playground where I spent most of my days...) and so many other wonderful places. By working with others and using technology I have become a better teachers. I can say that without any hesitation. As teachers, one of our goals should be to continue to grow as a learner and tech integration is the way that teachers can continue to grow. It might be hard to work in teams, but if two brothers who share the same name can do it, the all of us should have no problem.

Here is the end of Part 1 of the post. I still have plenty of other shows to write about, but I thought this was a good place to stop. Please feel free to comment on this post and offer any insight. If you feel I have missed something or you want to add your thoughts, please feel free to post a comment. I love to hear what everyone has to say about these silly posts. I hope you enjoyed this post.

iPod Touches in the Classroom

Here are some links that people requested I forward along after I requested some info on using iPod Touches in the classroom. I was given some great links and will pst others as I receive them.

I'm excited about the information I have looked over. There is some support in my district to use the iPod touches in the classroom. These links might push those on the fence over.

If you have any good links or lessons that you have used, please post a comment or hit me up on Twitter. I teach High School English, but any grade level or subject would be great. The more the better.

Have a great day everyone!

iPod Touch Ning

Wiki on iPod Touches in the Classroom

Shakespeare Rome and Juliet App

Research on 1-1 Computers in the classroom.


Monday, April 26, 2010

SNICK and Tech Intergration Preview

I've been doing some research over the past few weeks. Watching old episodes of "Are You Afraid of the Dark" and Ren and Stimpy have brought back tons of great memories. The responses from the Twitterverse and my friends have been overwhelming. I thought I would share a sneak peek of the post because I'm still  a ways a way from completing the two-part epic. I hope you like the direction I'm going with this set. As always, please feel free to comment or offer suggestions.

Everything I have Ever Learned about Tech Integration I Learned from Watching Saturday Night Nickelodeon (SNICK).

Please watch these first before you read.

The first video is the intro that I grew up remembering and loving. The next clip is from the first episode and I realized I hit the jackpot. The video is about PLNs. The Midnight Society gets together once a week to share stories about a topic they all love. They come from different backgrounds and different schools, but they have this one shared passion. "Are You Afraid of the Dark" was about finding people with like interests and sharing their creativity with one another. Don't we do this every Tuesday with #edchat?

Developing your PLN is an important part of tech integration. Teachers need to find like minded people so they do not get burned out or beat down by others that migh tnot be on board with tech in their building. My PLN comes from all of the world from many different types of schools, but our shared desire for educational reform and tech integration has brought us together to share ideas on how to accomplish a common goal. As a teacher, it is my job to find the best ways to reach my students to ensure they are prepared for college and the rest of their lives. I think some of the tools I have discovered and the tool shared with me are helping me do that.

When it is the turn of someone in the Midnight Society to tell a story, all eyes are on them as they spin a yarn of terror. In my PLN, I know I have a captivated audience that is looking to change the way they teach to help their students. When someone else is telling their story, I become a part of the captivate audience. It is a great group to be a part of because so much sharing and learning take place.

It might be hard to nail down completely, but it is possible that The Midnight Society might be the first documented PLN. It's not surprising though. Kids have plenty to teach us about working together and learning. Funny.

This is what I have for this topic so far. It still needs to be cleaned up in a few spots, but I like the way that it is going. Hopefully it will continue to grow in the right direction. Have a great day everyone and I'll see you at he next meeting of The Midnight Society.

#Mission Monday - Ask THAT Question

Happy #MissionMonday folks. I trust that you had a great weekend and that you are excited for another wonderful work week with your amazing students. For this week,  was trying to think of something good. I really wanted to focus on me and how I can grow as a teacher and a learner. I realized the only way that was going to happen was to do what my students do every day in my class.

Asking questions is how we learn. However, as teachers, we sometimes feel like we are not allowed to ask questions. As tech people in our respective buildings or districts, we are the ones that have to have the answers for everything. It might be a hardware issue or a software issues, but we are expected to have the answer and make everything work when asked. We can't be afraid to say, "I'm not sure. Can I get back to you on that one?" I love searching for the answers to problem I don't understand, but sometimes asking questions is the best and fastest way to learn something new.

Another part of asking questions I think people should think about is asking THAT question. Every district has rules as to why you cannot do this or that and we take many of them as they are and go about our teaching lives. We might not like these rules, but we accept them. Sometimes asking people, "Why?" is all that it takes to change the system. Some rules have been in place because of past management and new management has never thought about them because nobody asks. Forcing people to explain rules might actually make them realize the need to change those rules.

EX: I asked the powers at be if it would be possible to use Skype in my class in the near future. Now, we have so many filters in our district, I thought there was no way that it would be possible, but I decided to ask the question and see where it lead. I was surprised to find that it was something they are considering but were not sure of the interest. When I'm ready to try it, I just need to let them know and it will happen. A simple question might now open up Skype to other classrooms in the district because I asked THAT question.

Your #MissionMonday, if you choose to accept it, is to ask THAT question. It can be the question you have been afraid to ask your PLN about because it seems remedial or it can be a question about a policy you think is outdated and needs to be revisited. The world changes when questions ask. If teachers don't ask questions, how can we expect students to do the same?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tupac and the Harlem Renaissance #ELA

(Editor's Note: This post is over a decade old and is probably not as relevant as it once was. However, the article, "Hip-Hop Planet" is a still a great piece and I encourage you to use it in your classrooms.)

I had some people inquire about my Harlem Renaissance unit in which I played Tupac for the kids. I'll give a little background to the unit before I explain how and why I decided to integrate Tupac into my Harlem Renaissance unit.

I teach in an upper middle class suburb of Detroit, Michigan. While diversity has started to make its way to my school, the vast majority of my students are white. I think our school district does a great job at keeping the curriculum diverse so that our student population gets a taste of various cultures they might not normally experience. In American Literature, there is a nice unit on the Harlem Renaissance, but I always felt that my students were just too far removed from the meaning of the poetry and essays to truly understand how Hughes or Johnson felt.

In 2007, I found this great article by James McBride in National Geographic. "Hip-Hop Planet" takes an interesting look at the culture of Hip Hop around the world and touched on many of the same themes that are explored in the Harlem Renaissance unit. By understanding the cultural significance of Hip-Hop and Rap music, students could understand the relationship Jazz and the Harlem Renaissance had with each other. I was happy that the students could make the connection between the article and the unit we covered, but I still wanted them to connect to the Art that was created during the Harlem Renaissance. Self-Expression is very important to high school students, but they are hesitant to recognize it in others. This is where Tupac comes in the picture.

I was born in 1979 and grew up during a very interesting time in music. Hair Metal was rolling right along and a new branch of Rock was emerging from the Pacific Northwest that I loved. Rap music was taking a very political stand in many different songs. "911 is a Joke" and "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy stood out from many other songs that were speaking about the neighborhoods people were living in but society ignored. Most kids today are not very familiar with Public Enemy so I needed someone a little more current and I decided to go with Tupac.

Tupac is a very interesting artist. He has some songs that are not appropriate for kids to listen to at all in a school setting, then he has others that send such a great message to everyone. "Changes" is the first one I play for the students. It really talks about the struggles of African Americans and the lives many lead because they do not have options. It has spurred some of the best conversations of the year when kids think about the meaning of the lyrics. I especially love the part where he says, "The world is not ready for a black President." It speaks even louder today than it did a few years ago when I taught this lesson. I also play "Keep Ya Head Up" for class. Another solid message about how to treat women. It's a wonderful message that really gets the kids thinking about what might spur someone to write a song like this. It also introduces many students to music they might never encounter on their own.

The link might seem like a stretch, but self expression through distinct cultural mediums was as much a part of the 80's and 90's in African American Culture as it was during the Harlem Renaissance. As each year passes, we are moving further and further away from "The Classics". Connections need to be made for students so they can reach "The Classics". Sooner than later, an entire overhaul of English Departments is going to happen because literature keeps going. In other subjects, much stays static without worry of new material, but the libraries need to get bigger and new books need to be considered so the themes and ideas of relevance can be passed to a newer generation. Representation matters and it is important that teachers consider this when looking to add materials to their curriculum.

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Monday, April 19, 2010

#MissionMonday - Say Thanks!

Happy #MissionMonday everyone! I have been thinking about this #MissionMonday for a couple of days and wasn't sure where to go with it. There are so many things we can all do to make a difference it is very hard to think of one thing to do. I was sifting through some great resources on Twitter this morning and I was hit with it. I wanted to thank so many people for tweeting some great info, but I didn't know where to start. I think that is a big obstacle we face as teacher at times. We want to thank all of the people that have helped us along the way, but we are too busy and promise to do it after this task is complete. Then another task comes up and another, so on and so forth. Taking a couple of minutes to thank the people that deserve it should be a priority and it is going to be my focus this week as I wrap up a unit, enter in report card grades and start the next unit.

Your #MissionMonday, if you choose to accept it, is to stop and thank the people around you that have helped you in some way. This person can be a parents, a mentor, a student, an administrator, a Twitter Friend or anyone else that has helped you in some way. Let them know how important their help was to you. Make a card, buy some flowers, post on your blog, rent a sky-writer, etc. We love nothing more than to be thanked for a good job, so we should thank others for doing a good job at helping us grow as teachers and learners.

Good luck with your #MissionMonday.

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Assessement Options: A Rant

I'm currently working on my Masters in Educational Technology. It has been interesting to from time to time. I'm currently in an assessment class. My biggest problem I have is that I'm being "taught" the importance of the Multiple Choice test and things of that nature. I recently wrote about my goal to go 10 weeks without tests and it was a huge success. The problem though, is that it goes against everything I'm being asked to do for this class. My philosophy on testing changed during this experiment and now I ned to smile and jump through the hoops. I can put on the good face, but the recent Discussion Board posts by fellow students annoyed me. Here are some excerpts from the posts.

Question: Is providing options for student performance assessments a “good” idea for classroom teachers? Explain your answer.


"is it really preparing students for the future?  Many times in our lives something is asked of us and we have to do it.  Our boss tells us something is due or needs to be presented and we have to do it.  If we allow students to choice the way they get assessed, we are not expanding there knowledge of how to do or take other assessments.  My students would love to be able to not have to take a test or quiz, they would so much rather give an oral exam about some math topic, then have to do it."

"I also think that sometimes giving kids the options allows for many of them to simply take the "easy" way out.  It is true that when giving a list of options for performance assessments, students will usually choose what they think is the easiest."

These are just two of a few teachers that are not big fans of the options approach to assessment. In fairness, the 2nd response did say some options could be good, but...

I love giving my students options and I work very hard to make sure that all of the options are difficult in their own way. I'm not asking for students to choose between drawing a picture of a book and creating 20ftX20ft mural  for a school wall. All options are equal in work, assess the same thing, but require different skill sets. That is what options in assessments should look like. If there is an easy way out, don't fault the student, fault the assessment. I would take the easy assessment as well if I was a students. Who wouldn't? It requires more work from a teacher to review their assessments and make sure that there are options for most students and that they are equitable in the work load. I would prefer to take the easy way out and assign one assessment for every unit and move on to the next one. However, I'm a teacher and I need to teach students to be creative and grow as learners.

I tried to respond as nicely as I could to these teachers. I told them that taking tests is not the rest of their lives. Teaching students to be creative and solve problems in new ways is how we have innovation in the future. If we don't teach students to look at problems in a different light and come up with alternatives to solve them, we will never progress as a society. We need to stoke the fires of creation by giving students the option to create. Those options are crucial the building of a life long learner. Without options, we will be a nation of people that are really really good at filling in an oval with a #2 pencil. I refuse to create those people!

Thanks for reading this rant.

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Monday, April 12, 2010

SNICK Tech Integration Post

I started a crazy Tweet conversation with the simple question, "Does anyone remember Hey Dude on Nickelodeon?" With that, a bunch of comments came pouring in about old Nick shows and the Big Orange Couch I'd SNICK. I received a handful of requests for a SNICK tech integration post. I think that might be the best post I have ever write. Ever!

I will need your help for this post. Please comment on this post and tell me what your favorite show on Nick was to watch. Did you have a favorite character or episode? List them in the comment box and I will spend the next month watching and taking notes to put together a post in Mid May or, depending on the comments, a two-parter that will close out the school year. Help be a part of the best tech integration post ever.

P.S. Don't forget about Pete and Pete featuring Iggy Pop. Ha!

- @TheNerdyTeacher

#MissionMonday - Listen

Happy Monday everyone! For some of us, we are getting back from a very relaxing break and are hitting the home stretch of the school year. I hope you are nice and relaxed and ready to grind out the last 10 weeks or so.

Today's #MissionMonday is hardest simple thing to do. I want all of you to listen today. Listen to your students, listen to your colleagues, listen to your friends and listen to anyone else you see today. I'm sure many of you have a wierd look on their face, so let me explain.

As an English teacher, I will assign reading to my students. The next day they will come back and tell me they have read the chapter. When we start discussing it, some of them have blank stares. They say they just can't remember it, but they read. I told them they read the words, but they did not actually read the chapter.

Listening and hearing are not the same thing.You might register the words coming out of someone's mouth, but are you really listening to them? I always try to keep an eye on my class when I'm talking to students to make sure everything is ok. I'm hearing the student talk, but I'm not listening all of the time. It's a tough job for teachers, but it is something we have to master. We need to listen to our students when the talk because it's not what they say sometimes, it's what they didn't say or even how they said it.

Your Mission, if you choose to accept it, is to listen to people this week. Take the time and give people the attention they need and listen to them. You might be surprised and what you will hear. :-)

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blabberize It!

I've been trying to put this post together for a couple of hours, but I was having trouble using Blabberize with Firefox. More about that later. There are so many different tools out there, it's tough to know which ones are going to be the most helpful in the classroom. Blabberize is a different type of tool as I see it. It's not going to change your life and the way you teach, but it can add a little spice to your website or lesson plan that might be missing. It will be fun to explore and consider the different ways to use it in class. Here are some of my thoughts after using it.

Blabberize is a very fun site that could be used in a single class period in the computer lab. It's an online computer tool that allows you to add your voice to a picture of your choosing. The cool part of this is that you can select the area over the images mouth and the mouth will open and close while it plays the recorded message.

The message can be recorded via microphone, audio file or your cell phone. The cell phone option is really neat if you do not have a microphone on your computer at home. It gives you a number to call and a 4 digit pass code and the site will record your voice and save it to the picture you have selected.

You could use this as a fun option for students to find characters from a novel and record their favorite line or lines from the story that best suit them. At the end of the class period, you could play a selection for the class. If you are a History, you could use the site to have kids record parts of speeches for historical figures.

This site might not revolutionize education as we know it, but it is a nice tool to have in your drawer if you decide to do something a little different with your students. If you are not sure how to use it in class, just show the students and I'm sure they can come up with some fun ideas for class projects.

I was having some trouble using this on Firefox, but it worked wonderfully on Safari when I switched over. This is the only problem I encountered with Blabberize.

Here is my goofy example. It only took me 5 minutest to put together.

Try having some fun with Blabberize and see the silly thing you can do with it. You might just want to create a few fun pictures and place them in a Power Point or on your class website.

Thanks to @DoremiGirl for helping me troubleshoot the Firefox problem. You rock!

- @TheNerdyTeacher

What Would Romeo's Facebook Page Look Like?

Facebook Template for Class Projects - Suzanne Whitlow's Great blog 

This is such a  great template that can be used in any subject out there.  I would use this in my Lit Classes and have student create a Facebook page for characters in a story. Imagine what Romeo and Juliet would post on their pages after a wonderful evening on the balcony. What might Tybalt post on Mercutio's wall after a exchange of harsh words in town? I love being an English teachers because it really allows me to do almost anything I can think of when it comes to projects. English is not the only class that you could use Facebook templates for though.

You could create Facebook profiles for famous men and women in history. What might Winston Churchill place on FDR's wall? What does Cleopatra do with here constant relationship status changes? The possibilities are endless and could lead to some great projects as students research the type of music that these men and women might have listened to or they type of plays the preferred to watch. I created one for Romeo using a template. It took me 35 minutes to complete this and post it to slide share. It was fun and required a little research to make sure I had the time-line correct. I think that my students will love this when I ask them to do it for Holden in The Catcher in the Rye.

You need to download the SlideShare to see the pictures for some reason. I assure you, it is worth the download! Sorry.

This is such a great way to present information for the first time to students or give the information in class and ask the students to create the profile using primary sources of information. They could stretch their research legs while flexing their creativity muscles. I think this would be a blast to use in Social Studies if I have to teach History again. What would Douglass put on Lincoln's wall after their famous debate? How crazy would a Northerner's and Southerner's Wall look after war broke out? What if they were brothers? The ongoing debate of the Constitution would be very cool to see through Facebook Wall posts. Use of the template doesn't stop at Social Studies, it can be used in Science Class as well.

Science Class could be a blast as students create profiles for animals or even elements on the periodic table. Oxygen is in a relationship with Hydrogen. :-) Other bonds could be created and broken and students could find pictures that represent the elements they have chosen. Allowing students to explore different connections with the elements might help them remember these concepts for an exam. It might take a bit more creativity to come up with different profiles, but kids are great at projects like these. The harder they think about the profile, the longer the information will be stuck in their mind.

There are many different ways that this template can be used in the classroom to allow students to explore a different way of learning. Students can have a better experience with the material if their are allowed to "play" with it. Let them create with the information you provide in class and they will have an easier time recalling it later in class.

I hope you enjoyed the different sites I pulled together over break. I want to give a shout out to my PLN for sharing these great resources with me and the world. You make all of us better teachers by sharing. Please feel free to leave me a comment or suggest a helpful site you want others to see.

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Funny or Die on California Budget Cuts

My wife just showed this to me and I had to put this up. Michigan, as well as many other States, are feeling the same crunch as California. To all of my California readers, know that we support you and the great job you do everyday in the classroom. Pass this around to get the word out.

Everything I Needed to Know About Technology Integration I Learned From Watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off


As teachers, how many times have you called a student's name over and over again while taking attendance? I've caught myself and smirked a bit when I realized what I was doing. Sadly, many High School Students have not seen this movie and it is a shame. A wonderful movie with good clean humor for the whole family even if you think there is a messed up Fight Club thing going on. Check this link (Scroll to #4) out to see what I'm talking about. It makes you think the next time you watch it. 

I have put together another fun filled, quote filled, silly technology integration post. I hope that these are not getting too redundant. Many of the same themes keep appearing over and over in these posts. I've decided to do something a little different this time around.

I usually watch the movie, jot down some notes and then I put together the post in a couple of days. This time, I thought it would be neat to do that first part, then watch the movie as I type up the complete post. This will be a funny running blog post on tech integration and anything that I find weird or funny about the movie and the school system Ferris attends. I hope you do not mind this new approach, but I like to change things up. So now, I present to you....

Everything I  need to know about technology integration I learned from watching Ferris Buller's Day Off.

Ferris: Ladies and gentlemen, you are such a wonderful crowd, we'd like to play a little tune for you. It's one of my personal favorites and I'd like to dedicate it to a young man who doesn't think he's seen anything good today - Cameron Frye, this one's for you. 

Poor Cameron. He just cannot find anything good going on in his life. Some teachers are the same way about technology. They think that there is nothing good out there even though they are surrounded by amazing pieces of technology. They have access to the internet and they still claim there is nothing good out there. As teachers that love and support tech integration, we need to be Ferris to our Cameron teacher friends and show them the wonders of technology all around them. If we need to get up on a float and sing it loud and proud, then we will do it...maybe with a Voice Thread or Fotobabble. We need to drag them to the tech because they will not go to the tech themselves.

[Ferris is talking to the camera. I always found this weird when he did this, but thought it was cool when Zach Morris did it on Saved by the Bell. Little did I know that Shakespeare was using the aside like a mad men in many of his plays. Does this count as an aside?]

Ferris: Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we'd be in gym?

Playing by the rules is something that we have to teach students because they need to know where the boundaries are in life. Once they get older and see the boundaries, hopefully they will have enough knowledge to know when it is ok to push those boundaries. Having said that, as a teacher in a building where some other teachers and admins are not as tech forward thinking as I would like, I find that what they know will not hurt them. I'm sure to follow all of the major tech guidelines, but they are a bit old and have left plenty of gray area. It is far easier to say sorry than it is to ask permission. Remember that when you want to have your kids use something fun and educational in class.  

[Ferris just changed his total absences from his computer at home. I remember thinking that was the coolest thing anyone could ever do with a computer. He would continue his hacking skills in War Games. Wait, I think that came first. Hmmmm. Anyway, he complained about not having a car. For most kids, a computer in the house is now standard. Times they are a changin'.]

Ferris: The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"   

There is no better way to express the wonders of tech exploration. Do not just stop at one tool and rest on that for the rest of your teaching career. Go out and try all of the different types of tech out there. There is no reason to try just one piece of tech. It's like Pringles, you can't just have one. Wait, maybe it's like Pokemon and you have to catch them all. Whichever one works best for you. Anyway. go out and look for the different parts of tech that are out there or at least ask some of your good PLN buddies to recommend some good sites or tools to use in the classroom. There are too many great things out there to ignore.

[Ferris just gave Cameron the ultimatum about coming to pick him up. He told him he could find a new best friend. There are some teachers that I know that are still rocking the overhead and I want to tell them the same thing if they do not start using the Smartboard or doc camera. Also, Cameron is wearing a Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings Jersey. I always thought that was cool since I am from Detroit. Now that I'm older though, he is kind of a jerk wearing a Wings jersey in Chicago. What the heck is that all about. No wonder he doesn't have a ton of friends. That would be like me wearing a Wings Jersey to Denver when I go to the ISTE Conference this Summer. Which I will be doing. ;-)]

Ben Stein (Econ Teacher) In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. "Voodoo" economics.

Don't be this guy! These classes are the worst. Is your class like this? Imagine what a Prezi could do for him and the students. The kids drooling in the back would be awake and engaged. I understand that this movie is set in the early 80's, but some teachers are still teaching this way. I'm not just talking about older teacher. There are young teachers that stand and lecture because that is how they were taught and it seemed to work on them. Try to infuse new tech into your classroom. Even a little bit can go a long way.

[I'm watching Cam make the phony phone call to Edward Rooney. I always thought that was really funny. The whole plan was crazy and ridiculous and was going to happen in my high school for sure. Now, parents just call the students in my class to let them know they can leave after 5th hour. Good times.]

Ferris: [describing Cameron's house] The place is like a museum. It's very beautiful and very cold, and you're not allowed to touch anything.  

Technology needs to be hands on for students. It's great that you are using Prezi to present the information to the students, but think about how much more they would learn if they were able to use the Prezi themselves and create a presentation for you. That is a very fancy SmartBoard in your class. Do you ever let the students give presentations with it? Why not? Let them have the fun you get to have while presenting and teaching. Technology should be shared with all of the students so they can learn and grow as well. Let them play and you might be surprised at what they can teach you.

[Ferris is picking up Sloane right now.  Rooney is super funny as he tries to let Sloane know he understands grief. They are kissing right now and if it were today, Rooney should have notified Child Protective services. Creep Show Kiss!]

Ben Stein: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? 

Simone: Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious. 

Here is the token Communication part of the post. There is a slightly different twist to this one though. We often forget that kids having been using the technology we want to use in class for years. It is ok to listen to the kids for some very important tips and information  about using tech in the classroom. You don't have to make it a big deal, but ask the kids what fun and interesting sites they have been using lately. You might be surprised to find they have been doing some outside learning that you would love to bring into class. Simone had some important information to share with Mr. Stein and he listened. The kids love passing along information to teachers. Let them partake in the sharing process that we all are a part of in this PLN.

[They are leaving the car in the garage right now. You have to be kidding me. Cameron is a little on edge, but he nailed it about not wanting to leave the car there. I'm parking that bad boy myself and I'm taking up three spaces. That doesn't make for a very good plot twist, but common sense should prevail sometimes.]

Grace: Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude. 

Look at all of the different types of students you could reach if you use more tech in your classroom. I think Grace put together a stellar list and I did not want to leave out Liquid Paper sniffing secretary from this post. 

[Watching the Mom get duped by the mannequin and the snore tape. I could never get mine to work that well. Stupid movie tech guys giving me false hope.]

Ferris: Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond. 

There are going to be some teachers and admins that are going to be like this and there is nothing you can do but keep showing them the wonderful success stories you are having in class with certain students. I had one teacher see the name of a student working on a Discussion Board question and was shocked they were doing work. They said that tech can motivate that student, then there is hope yet. It's important to keep trying because you might be able to get them to change their mind. On the other hand, Admins that can create diamonds from coal with their butts could be very valuable in these tough economic times.

[They are getting the table at the French place now. Did you know that they order and eat Pancreas? That is freaking gross. I love how that scam really worked. How does Ferris' Dad not look over at the table with the idiot in the Hockey Jersey? Moving on.]

Ferris: Cameron has never been in love - at least, nobody's ever been in love with him. If things don't change for him, he's gonna marry the first girl he lays, and she's gonna treat him like shit, because she will have given him what he has built up in his mind as the end-all, be-all of human existence. She won't respect him, 'cause you can't respect somebody who kisses your ass. It just doesn't work. 

Don't fall in love with the first piece of tech you use in class. You need to try many different types before you settle on one. If you choose to early, that piece of tech might not work well and it will break your heart and you will never want to try tech again. (And that was your stretch connection of the post ladies and gentleman. I hope you enjoyed it.)

[after making a horrible noise with a clarinet] Ferris:Never had one lesson!

Please give your tech a complete run through before you take it for a spin in front of peers or students. You might think you have the hang of it, but it could turn out badly for everyone involved. Take the time to get a good feel for the tool. See what it can do and can't do. Make all of the mistakes you can and try to note the common mistakes so you can teach people what to do when they make them.  I'm not saying to avoid making mistakes in front of kids because I think they can learn from that as well. So much learning going on it is hard to contain it all.

[Ferris was on TV at the Cubs game. How many times have you ditched work to go to a sporting event and were afraid of getting caught on TV? Ya, I haven't done that either.]

Girl on Bus: Gummi bear? It's been in my pocket; they're real warm and soft. 

I love the end of the movie. It is so funny to watch Rooney have to take the Bus back to school and ride with the kids. When he is on the bus, a lovely young lady offers him a Gummi Bear.  I think this really shows all of us the importance of sharing with other people. It wasn't much, but she offered what had to a man who looked like he needed something nice. We should share technology the same way. Look around at the other classrooms and see if there is a teacher that might need a hand sprucing up a lesson plan or two. Don't be pushy, just offer some help and see where it takes you. Sometimes people are looking for help but are too afraid to ask. Keep an eye open and give a Gummi Bear to someone who needs it.

[The Parade Scene. First, I had no idea that Wayne Newton sung Danke Shoen. I would have bet my meager savings at the time that it was a woman that sang it. His voice really creeps me out. Also, have you seen him lately? He has spent too much time in desert. Yikes! I also love how the entire parade falls apart and they start signing and dancing around the float and all chaos breaks out. Everyone is happy and line dancing. It looked like the first Flash Mob. Something to look into. Rooney is about to break into the house. Can you imagine if you caught your Principal in your house. WTF? That would be so crazy. I love that Jean says that she has Herpes in an attempt to scare the "rapist" away. Sound strategy if you ask me.]

Ferris: Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

I love this quote. It really sums up something that is really important for all teachers and people in education. We work so hard at creating lessons and ensuring that all of our kids are taken care of, that we often forget to stop and look around us. I only have 10 weeks of the school year left? When did that happen. I've been busy with regular school stuff, Union stuff because we don't have contract right now and this blog/twitter account.  I'm a firm believer in integrating more technology into the classroom. It's important for us to prepare kids using the tools they will encounter in their own lives. This connection is important to make, but let's not forget to stop once in a while on our journey of tech integration and look around. There are tons of great things out there you do not want to miss.

[Cameron just freaked out after seeing the mileage on the car. Did he expect 0 mileage to be earned on the car? The odometer was going to go up. They were driving the car. Did he really think that they were gong to drive the car backwards? I think he overreacts to the whole situation. If you believe in the Fight Club theory, this whole scene in the pool and hot tub fits in nicely there. He could be completely crazy and the entire trip was made up in his head after he trashed the car his father loves so much. Think about that one for a while.]

Ferris: You're still here? It's over. Go home. Go. 

The last lines of the movie that appear after the credits. This is the main reason why I stick around at the end of movies. It is a bit lame, but if you stick around, you might get one last laugh or teaser for a sequel. The connection I see to tech integration is that it is important for all of use to stick around and help people who need it and keep an eye out so we can spot the latest tech tool to help our kids learn. Keep working hard and helping others is key for users of technology in education. We have to keep spreading the good word and offering 1:1 PD if necessary to have as many teachers ready for the advances in technology that are still coming and the breed of child that will be in those desk that will not be captivated by Chalk Boards or Power Point.

[Hey look, it's Charlie Sheen. It's nice to know his life is now imitating his art. He really has come full circle. What? Too soon? Cameron just admitted to peeping on Sloane while she was changing and she is ok with it. Another example that she might not be real, or Ferris scored a really kinky girlfriend. Opps, there goes the car. It is always a painful scene to watch, but it had to be done. Cameron becomes a man in this scene. It had to happen eventually. The mad dash by Ferris to get home before the parents is always funny. He stops and talk to bathing beauties. Runs through the house and lets the family know dinner is ready and uses the conveniently placed trampoline to jump over the fence. If they remade the movie today, the trampoline would have all of that weird protection netting and bars all around it.  Have kids become more uncoordinated over the years? Seriously, I grew up in the Jart generation and I turned out relatively fine. We would throw the spikes in the air and run to avoid them. Yes we were dumb boys, but we developed cat like reflexes because of it. Anyway, kids need a little danger to learn some valuable lessons. Having said that, come back and see my thoughts on the subject when I have my first kid. I'm sure TheNerdyTeacher Jr. will be wrapped in bubble wrap at all times. Rolling credits and the end.]

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I clearly enjoyed writing it. It was a bit self indulgent, but I think there is one key point in there somewhere that someone might actually find helpful as they work to integrate more technology into the classroom. Feel free to leave a comment  and make a suggestion about the next movie I should write about. I'll put up another poll shortly and you will post a new topic in May. Also, I was thinking about collecting these and organizing the various quotes by category and putting them in an e-book after I get 12 or so post. What do you think?

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tech Integration is like Cooking...(Reboot)

This past #edchat, we talked about passion and it reminded me of this post. I gave it a reread and it made me smile. Cooking is something that I am passionate about. This was my first Tech Integration post and I had no idea what I was doing. Well, I still don't have a clue, but maybe more of a clue now than I did in January. Very early in my blogging life, I was not sure what to write about and did not think anyone would care. I stumbled upon so many great teachers since this post, I truly feel I have grown up since then. Here is a look back at some of my first thought son Technology Integration.   ..............................................................................................................................................................
Before I start this post, I want to give a shout out to the Teacher Twitter Nation that responded to some of my tweets that led to this post being written. @ktenkely, @cpoole27, @mattpearson, @fejoknom, @BArcher001, @ShellTerrell, @Russsauntry, @SeanBanville, @Marissa_C, @msmithpds and anyone else that re-tweeted my comments. With educators like these, the world of education is heading in the right direction. :)

I love to cook. It's  right up there with gardening. People think I'm weird when I tell them I love to do those two things. I've always been a bit of a jock and videogamer, but I have a creative side I get to show in the classroom when I teach, but also when I garden and cook. I was thinking about cooking, mostly because I was hungry, but I realized that there is a link to how I learned to cook and how I have integrated technology as a teacher. I hope these comparisons help you or teachers you know start to bring new forms of technology to your students.

Start Boiling Eggs Before You Make A Turkey

 I needed to start off simple so I wouldn't overwhelm myself on the first time out. Once I mastered the easy stuff for myself and then my friends and family, I could move on to more complicated dishes. You need to build confidence as a cook. You are not going to run your own kitchen on the first time out, but you can develop some very important skills while learning the ropes on easy dishes that will prepare you for more difficult ones later on.

Finding new technology for your classroom is the same. You need to find things that you feel will be easy to take on when starting out. It can be a blog, a discussion board or a class website. Whatever you feel you can tackle first, start there. It's important that you use something you feel comfortable with before you start to share it with students. If you are not comfortable, they will not be. Imagine a cook that does not look confident biting into their own burger, Yikes!

Don't Reinvent the Cookbook

When I started cooking, I relied on The Food Network, The Naked Chef Cookbook and various websites. These sources of information were helpful as I tried new and different things. Although one person might be an award winning chef, someone else might have an even better take on the same dish. I looked for sources of information that could help me become a better cook. You might be surprised to know that your friends have recipes that you would love. At this stage, I did not need to create a new recipe every time I cooked, I just needed to see what recipes worked for me.

With Technology, we are blessed with so many people out there that know more about tech that you or me. These teachers are dying to share their information with the world. The only thing you need to do is look around. If there is a teacher in your building using "Clickers" in their class, ask them how they use it and if you can watch. There are many blogs by teachers and for teachers that deal with technology. Your reading one right now.  Once you find something you like, try repeating what they did. Once you master that, try changing it to better fit your needs.

One Spice Does Not Fit All

In my early cooking stages, I would find a spice I loved and I would use it on everything. I did not care if the spice was for pork only or chicken only, I used it on everything. There were a few meals that were not great because of it. I had to learn that certain spices work for certain foods for a reason. Find the right spice for the right food and you will have a better meal in the long run.

It is very easy to assume that this new technology you have fallen in love with will apply to all areas of your curriculum. That is not always the case. Trial and error is the best way to explore, but be prepared for a bad lesson or two if you use it on everything. Use your tech sparingly on the outset. Look for ways that lessons can be connected using the tech and integrate them that way. Not all lesson might need a spice of technology.

All Of The Spices At Once Is Not A Good Idea

Spices are good things. They can enhance the flavor of any dish. They should be used to accent a flavor already found in the pasta, meat or veggie. Adding too much or too many spices will take away from the food itself and can even make the meal taste terrible.

Don't just use all of the technology at once because technology is good. Use only some of it here and there to add some flavor to your lesson plan. They should not take over the actual lesson, but just give it a little kick to appeal to a wider audience.

You Need A Few Bad Meals Before You Create A Masterpiece

I cannot even count the number of failed recipes I tried to put together when I started to explore my personal creative side of cooking. I would mix and match spices that seemed great separately, but were a total disaster. Learning cooking times for certain veggies and meats so that everything can be done at the same time is not an easy thing to learn on your own, but it was important that I do not get discouraged as I cooked. I was ok with making bad meals as long as I went back and noted what went wrong and tried to fix it or scrap it and start over.

We have all created lessons that have not worked out in the classroom. We go in with the best intentions and sometimes it is just a dud. At the end of the day, we sit back and try to figure out what went wrong. Sometimes it's something very simple and the lesson is a hit next year. Other times, the whole thing needs to be scrapped. Integrating technology needs to be treated the same way. You might plug it into a lesson and it works great or it fails. It's important not to give up and try to find what went wrong. If ti can be fixed, fix it. If it can't try to find another way to make it work with a different lesson. You can't give up after a few bad lessons. Most of us would be gone after the first year if that was the case.

When You Finally Get the Right Recipe, Write It Down!

There have been too many times where I finally found the right mix of spices, cooking length and other variables and then I realize I did not write any of it down. I got so into the process and the great thing that I was creating that I didn't take a second to jot some notes down. It's ok if you get used to cooking something that you no longer need a recipe, but it is always good to have in case you need it or your friend asks for that awesome Eggplant Parm you make.

Bookmark or save pages that are helpful to you. Write down and save lesson plans that you create. These are great sources of information when something works or doesn't work. You can go back and hopefully pinpoint the best or worst part. Also, when something works well, you should share it with the world. The only way you can share that awesome lesson on The Declaration of Independence is if you have it written down somewhere.

Know Who You Are Cooking For

I love Tomatoes. My Wife does not like Tomatoes. It's amazing we got married despite this terrible division. When I cook , I need to remember that she is not a fan of tomatoes and I need to make adjustments to my recipes. Some tomato use is unavoidable and she grins and bares it, but I try to make the accommodation because I do not want to eat alone.

Just because you love the Document Camera does not mean everybody is going to love the Document Camera. They should try it, but they don't have to love it. Your students might not like the different types of tech you bring to the class. That might change from year to year. Kids are picky. You need to be ready top adjust your lessons so everybody can enjoy the learning process. Like my wife though, some students will have to have some technology whether they like it or not because it's just part of the recipe, I mean lesson.

You Are Now Ready For Thanksgiving Dinner

After spending time working on the various recipes, I felt confident to invite the family over for Thanksgiving Dinner. I decided to use a combination of personal recipes and ones borrowed or tweaked from other people. I had others who helped me along the way, but I was in charge of the show. There were a few stumbles along the way, but the meal went very well. Drinking Wine along the way did not hurt. :)

After some time, you will feel comfortable to show everyone what you have learned. You can do this at a department meeting or in front of the entire staff. Know that you do not have to do this alone. Ask others to help you along the way and do some of the little things so you can focus on the big picture. It would be a shame if you learned all of these new tech tips and did not share them with the teachers in your building. Sharing is what teachers do. Teaching teachers is not an easy thing to do, but if you can teach one teacher, you are teaching hundreds of students.

Post a comment with your thoughts.


That was my first tech integration post. It is weird to look back at your writing and try to think about what you were thinking att he time. I remember everything that led up to wanting to write the post, but the actual time spent and thought process behind it escape me. I've never been a "jot your ideas down then write" type of guy. I like to let the idea flow freely and then edit where it is needed. That was not a great format early in my HS writing career, but I got better at it. It works really well for blogging. I love just jumping on and posting something I found or a thought about a topic that has been on my mind. I hope my posts have been interesting, helpful and most of all, entertaining. As educators, we need to find the humor in what we do or we would not make it very long. Have a great day everyone!

Great Youtube Editing Tool: Tube Chop

Here is a great site for teachers that want to show some youtube videos but might only want to show certain selections. Tubechop is a website that lets you take any youtube clip and chop it down to size. It is very simple to use and does not take very long. Just select the video you want, select the portion you want to watch and click the chop button. You will be given a link or a code to embed into a website. Below you will find a chopped version of The Ghostbusters Music Video by Ray Parker Jr. The orginal clip has an extra minute at the end that I don't need to see, so I chopped it out. Take a look at the video.

For those that like to show video of interviews or clips from movies, this is a great way to condense that information. No longer will you have to waste class time searching for the right part of the clip you want to show. You can set it up ahead of time and post on your website for kids to use safely.