Browsing Posts published by Jonathan T. Bartels

Project_GutenbergDo you ever wish you had a library of over 42,000 books in your classroom? Project Gutenberg makes that possible without forcing you to put all of your desks in the hallway. The  Project Gutenberg site houses over 42,000 digital copies (eBooks) of classic texts and provides access to more than 100,000 digital texts through their partner and affiliate sites. All of the eBooks hosted by Project Gutenberg are 100% free in the United States because their copyright has expired. You can download the eBooks in multiple formats that are compatible with most mobile devices, read them in your web browser, or download them to your computer to read. While all of the eBooks may not be a perfect fit for your class, Project Gutenberg still gives you the power to brag about your wildly extensive classroom library of classics.

Do you enjoy following twitter chats but always feel a step behind because of the slow rate of refresh on your everyday twitter client? Twubs can help. Twubs is a browser-based twitter application that tracks hashtag conversations in real time.

To follow a hashtag conversation, simply type the tag into the search box and Twubs will take you right to it. You don’t need a Twitter account to follow a conversation and Twubs provides html code for you to embed the streaming chat into your own website. If you would like to participate in the conversation, you can tweet directly from the Twubs interface by signing into your Twitter account from the Twubs site.

There are many great education-related Twitter chats going on every week: #edchat, #tlchat, #edtech, #learnchat, etc. Get involved and stay up to the moment with what is going on in your field with Twubs.

Video creation is a great way to present information in the classroom. GoAnimate provides a fun, animated alternative to traditional video projects. GoAnimate provides the characters, settings, and basic movements needed to create a short animated video. In the GoAnimate interface, the user creates individual frames to sequence the actions. Characters can talk, gesture, run, and even dance.

In the classroom GoAnimate could be great for students presenting role playing activities, presenting a historical event or literary scene, creating a public service announcement, and much more.

Using PowerPoint-style presentations in the classroom is nothing new and is a fairly common method of presenting information. Nearpod builds on that paradigm by broadcasting the presentation to mobile devices and web browsers and injecting interactive components.

In addition to synchronizing presentations across devices, Nearpod allows the presenter to show videos and guide participants through websites. Additionally, multiple choice, open-ended, and hand drawn questions can be included. With the different types of questions, the presenter gets real time feedback from the participants and can share answers with the entire group. Reports on participants’ performance can also be downloaded.

Currently, the Nearpod’s mobile app is only for iPad and iPod, but an Android app is coming soon. Nearpod can also be accessed and viewed in any web browser.

Nearpod is a great tool that can help you turn your presentations into engaging interactive experiences.

Photo Peach is a quick and easy online slideshow creator. The website’s minimal design makes for an easy to use and intuitive interface. Slideshows can be shared via link or embedded. There is a paid option that enables teachers to create private student accounts and allows for more customization.

Photo Peach’s simplicity distinguishes it from other options online for creating slideshows. Photo Peach is ready to help you and your students create visually stunning slideshows.

Would you like to incorporate more historical materials into your classroom? American Memory is a wonderful digital collection that could be used in all subject areas.

American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.

American Memory covers topics such as Native American History, sports and recreation, performing arts, literature, technology, environmental conservation, and more.

One of the best things about this website is that it should not be blocked by your school’s/district’s internet filter because it is published by the Library of Congress. Why tell your students about early film and sound recording when they can access and explore a database of Edison’s work with sound and motion pictures? American Memory can provide your students the opportunity to see and experience the media associated with the American history events you may be covering in your classroom.

Video conferencing can be a powerful tool for education. You can use these tools to connect distant classrooms, integrate guest speakers, and correspond with students and parents. Google Hangouts is a great addition to the vast world of video conferencing options.

Hangouts sets itself apart right away in the fact that it is designed for groups; up to ten people can be join the conversation in a Hangout. It also integrates features such as text-based chat and Google Drive applications in the same window as the hangout. Hangouts can also be broadcast live via YouTube and recorded.

In the classroom, Google Hangouts provides great opportunities to explore a new digital space for group engagement and the sharing of learning. You can co-teach your class with anyone in the world (or even just down the hall), students can use it as a collaborative meeting space to work on group projects or peer review papers, and much, much more. How could you Hangout in your classroom?

Sometimes it is challenging to interpret a technologist’s explanation of a problem or to give clear and direct technology instructions to students (or colleagues) because of all of the techno-language we use. Tech Terms is here to help decipher the code.

Tech Terms is an online dictionary dedicated to the language associated with computers and technology. Nearly every definition is paired with a real-world example of the term’s usage to help provide clarity.

Don’t be intimidated by techno-language – master it!

Have you thought about starting a B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) policy or incorporating mobile technologies in other ways in your classroom? You should check out Edutopia’s Mobile Devices for Learning: What You Need to Know.

This classroom guide maps out the pros and cons of mobile device integration, highlights some exceptional apps, and gives tips on getting started. This downloadable pdf will give you a foothold as you jump into the world of mobile devices in the classroom.

Do you love the content in your Twitter feed, but don’t care for the aesthetics of reading a twitter feed? Or maybe your Twitter feed is so busy that you have a hard time keeping up with all of the great content. can help. creates an aesthetically pleasing digital newspaper that pulls from your Twitter feed, as well as other digital feeds. In fact, you can set up a free paper that has pulls from up to 25 different feeds. Your paper can follow key search terms, hastags, individuals, and more. Published twice a day, one a day, or once a week, gives you a great and easy way to sit down and enjoy your twitter feed.