21st Century Research & Information Fluency on Scoop.It

Scoop.it is a free and user friendly content curation service that allows users to collect information about a topic of interest and display it as an attractive visual magazine. The handy bookmarklet allows users to add content to a magazine with the click of a button while browsing the web. Users can follow others with similar interests and rescoop posts from one person’s magazine to their own. Scoop.it also generates suggestions that match your interest. This is an efficient way to share content. 

I recently started a new Scoop.it collection dedicated to the topic of 21st Century Research and Information Fluency. Below you will find an embedded preview of the magazine. Click the link below the preview to visit the actual magazine.

Wallwisher Senbazuru – A New and Improved Digital Wall

Wallwisher is a free and user friendly online tool that allows users to create a digital wall of multimedia sticky notes. In addition to text, the notes can include images, links and videos. Create a wall, then invite others to add stickies.

In early June Wallwisher released a new and improved version of the tools, known as Wallwisher Senbazuru – the best version of Wallwisher ever. This version is quicker, slicker and now has full iPad support. Here are some reasons I am very fond of using WallWisher to build digital word walls for teaching and learning:

  1. Build a collaborative wall without logging in.
  2. Add images, video and links to the wall.
  3. Create one place for resources, available 24/7.
  4. Give students a voice and a place to express themselves using a variety of multimedia.
  5. Embed a WallWisher wall into a wiki, blog or website.
  6. Enjoy Wallwisher Yubi for the iPad.
A Great Example for Building Vocabulary through Digital Word Walls, created by Mr. Ferrell and Mr. Burk

Here is an example of an embedded wall I created to provide students and teachers with tech support when creating a Google Presentation. I’m sharing this sample to illustrate how nicely Wallwisher displays embedded video. Feel free to double click on the wall to add your own comment, idea or resource. 


Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher in the Classroom:
Tom Barrett has created a collaborative presentation to illustrate Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher in the Classroom. Please view this slideshow to get some great ideas of ways teachers are using this cool tool and consider contributing your own idea to the slideshow.

Try Wallwisher for yourself at http://wallwisher.com

Vokis in the Classroom

Summer is a time for constructive play. You might want to have a bit of fun and try creating a talking avatar with My Voki. Once you see how easy it is to create one, you have the rest of the summer to figure out how to use them in your teaching.

Using Vokis with Students:

  • Record a welcome message for incoming students and embed it into your blog, wiki or website.
  • Kick off a contest of some sort, the winner can win the opportunity to create and publish a Voki.
  • Teach students how to communicate efficiently through oral messages or talking text.
  • Use voki’s to build and reinforce vocabulary.
  • Use Voki’s in your projects, allowing students the option to communicate a message through a Voki instead of typing bullet points. again

Please press the play button to hear a message.
Watch the voki’s eyes follow your mouse.

Try it for yourself at voki.comVisit the My Voki  website to view lesson plans submitted by teachers and create your own Voki.

A Day of Learning

The folks at SimpleK12 are hosting several Days of Learning this summer featuring free webinars for educators which are certainly worth exploring. I’m excited to be hosting one again on June 20th that will continue to explore digital differentiation with a focus on using multimedia tools to support all learning styles. Please join us!

Multimedia Tools to Support All Learners

Digital Differentiation: Digital Tools for Using Information – June 20, 10:00-10:30 AM Eastern

Learn to use free and friendly digital tools to design learning experiences that effectively provide students with the flexible learning paths they need to succeed. Develop a tech toolkit of resources and instructional strategies to support the diverse needs of all learners through multimedia. 

InstaGrok – Visual Search Engine & Interactive Learning Tool

InstaGrok is an intelligent visual search engine and interactive learning tool that collects educational content and displays it in the form of a cloud of related words. The tool is very appealing because it offers a variety of multimedia features to meet the unique learning needs of students. In addition to the visual map, content is displayed in the form of text, images, video and web links. Also, students can use the handy slider tool to access usable information by self selecting the level of difficulty of results displayed.

Just enter a search term in the box to generate a word cloud and instaGrok collects an assortment of useful and related content that is categorized and displayed on the screen. As users sift the information they can use the push pin to add relevant content directly to the word cloud, allowing for the construction of a personalized web of knowledge about a concept.

Search Results – Graph View

In addition to the the visual mode, an integrated journal and note-taking feature allows users to take notes without leaving the site. Click on the push pin to add content to the journal then add original thoughts and ideas as notes. Teachers should consider using the journal space for collecting citations too. The journal can be emailed or printed for convenience.

Journal View for Notetaking

As an added bonus for teachers, instaGrok displays auto-generated quizzes with every search to provide students with opportunities for self study. There is also a features that provides teachers with the ability to create classes and provide students with a code for logging in.

Wish List
InstaGrok is a relatively new tool and it is truly amazing right out of the box, but here is my wish list of features that could improve the tool:

  1. Integrate it with Google Apps, allowing students to click a button, authenticate their login and save the information directly to their list of Docs.
  2. Add an EasyBib button so students can jump to EasyBib to easily create citations and store them all in one convenient spot.
Many thanks to Grace at SimpleK12 for introducing me to this tool yesterday, what a great find!