Record mp3

Record mp3 is a simple site that allows you to make an audio recording.  It then allows you to save the audio recording on the web, and assigns it a unique URL.  One way that I can see this being used in the classroom is for multimedia QR code activities.  If you are interested in trying an interactive QR code bulletin board, like the one here, then Record mp3 can save you the extra step of uploading a recording to the web (and finding a place to host it).  Once Record mp3 gives you the URL for the recording, all you have to do is go to Kaywa or QR Hacker or one of the other QR code sites, paste the URL, and create your QR code for the recording.  For other QR code suggestions (that include some free printables) on this blog, select “QR Codes” from the categories on the right.


Socrative (Reblog)

For the summer, I have decided to use my Tuesday and Thursday posts to reblog some of my favorite posts that some of my readers may have missed the first time around.

Socrative is a student response system that pretty allows you to use any device with internet access, instead of having to purchase expensive separate hand-helds.  Once registered (and it is free), the teacher can create quizzes, exercises, and quick exit tickets.  It could be used in “real time” by students who each have an iPod Touch/iPad or laptop, teams of students who share an internet enabled device, or even by students at home or rotating through one computer in a classroom center.  I used this on a regular basis with my students last year, and they loved it.  I appreciated getting instant feedback on what they knew or how they felt about a topic.  They enjoyed making it into a game with the “Space Race” feature that showed their team rockets moving forward on our classroom screen as they answered questions correctly.  The teacher can have a spreadsheet with the results sent by an e-mail when the quizzes are completed, and graphs can be viewed by the entire class of the results.  Many of these things can be done using Google Forms, but Socrative makes it easier and more fun for the students.

UPDATE:  Socrative can be used as a web-based program, but now also has an app for  Android and iDevices available (also for free).

Leave No Child Inside

“Leave No Child Inside:  How Nature Benefits Children” is a blog post on Roots of Action that showcases a video from the “No Child Left Inside Coalition” as well as some ideas for outdoor activities for children and families.  The video shows the importance of outdoor education, and the post by Marilyn Price-Mitchell also offers a list of other valuable resources.  I think that we often forget that taking the classroom outdoors can be an easy way to engage kids in learning.

Extend a Menu (Reblog)

For the summer, I have decided to use my Tuesday and Thursday posts to reblog some of my favorite posts that some of my readers may have missed the first time around. I think that you can find some of the best resources for differentiation at For more of my posts about tools and lessons from that site, check this out:

This is an invaluable tool for teachers to help with differentiation for all levels.  If you click on the “Demo” at the top, you can create your own menu using “The Differentiator”.  You do not need to pay to use the demo, but there is a $20 subscription service that allows you to save your menus online.  These are brought to you by

108 Ways to Use Word Clouds in the Classroom

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“108 Ways to Use Word Clouds in the Classroom” is a fabulous post from 21st Century Educational Technology and Learning.  Word cloud generators, such as Wordle or Tagxedo, have become quite popular amongst teachers.  However, they are often used for the same few activities.  This post, from Michael Gorman, gives so many more options, and breaks them down by subject.  For example, under Social Studies, he gives the suggestion, “Show different climates of different cities showing the scale of city size using average temperature, or rainfall, or snowfall, or your idea.”  What a great way to differentiate for those higher level students in your class!  Be sure to visit Michael Gorman’s post for even more phenomenal ideas.

What is a Flame?

As part of the World Science Festival going on in New York this weekend, The Flame Challenge (presented by Alan Alda) asked adults to come up with a way to explain what a flame is to an 11-year old.  The finalists will be judged by a panel of, well, 11-year olds, fittingly enough.  This particular animated video, “What is a Flame?” caught my eye, and my ear, with its graphics, comedy, and music.  But, does it meet the challenge?  We will find out on 6/2/2012.  You can see the other finalists on this page, and judge for yourself who should be the winner.

Bring on the Learning Revolution!

Thanks to our principal, Mr. Hinds, for showing “Bring on the Learning Revolution!” during our final staff meeting of the school year today.  I had seen Sir Ken Robinson’s other TED video, “Schools Kill Creativity”, but had somehow missed this later lecture from Sir Ken Robinson. I really loved everything about this inspirational speech, but one part sounded eerily like something that I have observed myself in our educational system.  Sir Ken Robinson says, “I think we are obsessed with getting people to college. Certain sorts of college. I don’t mean you shouldn’t go to college, but not everybody needs to go and not everybody needs to go now. Maybe they go later, not right away.”  He speaks of finding the passion of our students and of not trying to stick to such a linear progression in our school systems, where everyone is expected to travel the same route from Kindergarten to College.  I hope more people will view his video, and participate in bringing about this learning revolution.

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