Edmodo & ThingLink: Extend the Walls of Your Classroom

Edmodo is a free and secure social learning platform for teachers and students to collaborate and connect in the  24/7 classroom. The design and functionality of Edmodo is similar to Facebook, but the focus is on teaching and learning within a protected environment. Students don’t even need an email account to sign up.

Teachers and students can extend the learning by posting messages, holding online discussions, picking up work and turning it in.  Edmodo supports a variety of multimedia to provide students with flexible learning paths  including links, images, video and interactive graphics created with ThingLink.





Perhaps an engaging assignment for students would be to publish an interactive graphic to be explored prior to class. This type of assignment can provide students with background knowledge, front load the learning and  level the playing field to prepare students for success in class


The folks at ThingLink have made it very easy to use ThingLink with Edmodo and they’ve even created some video tutorials to help you learn how.

For more tutorials, Common Core Aligned Lesson Samples and tons of resources for using ThingLink in the classroom, please visit the ThingLink Teacher Toolkit.

An Interactive Tutorial: Google Presentation

Google Presentation is a great tool for helping students construct knowledge about a topic as they create. Here is an interactive tutorial designed to demonstrate how to use some of the handy built in features.

 .

If you are interested in learning more about the features in Google Docs Presentation, you might want to check out my recent post on GettingSmart.com.

Google Presentation for Collaborative Learning
//cdn.thinglink.me/jse/embed.js

A ThingLink Toolkit for Teachers

I am excited to share a ThingLink Teacher Toolkit of Resources.

The toolkit is designed to provide teachers and students with all the resources needed to use ThingLink as an efficient and effective tool for teaching and learning.

  • Several samples of Common Core aligned projects by grade level.
  • A collection of quick video tutorials to demonstrate how to use ThingLink. The tutorials can be used with students to provide tech support right when needed. 
  • How to integrate with Edmodo, Flickr and Facebook.
  • Resources for creating original artwork to be used as a starting point for a ThingLink image.
  • Samples of images used for Professional Development
  • A help button for support from a real teacher. (That’s me!)
  • An opportunity for sharing.
  • A brand new blog for sending updates. Sign up!

Edublogs 2012 Nominations



Nominations for 2012 Edublog Awards are open. 
The purpose of the Edublog Awards is to 
promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.” 



The nomination process supports the goal of the contest because it requires nominations via a blog post with a follow up link to that post submitted to Edublogs. What a great way to share, discover and credit the folks whose work inspires us and contributes to our own success!


My nominations for the 2012 Edublog Awards:

Individual Blog – The Innovative Educator

Group Blog – Mind Shift
EdTech Blog – Edudemic
Teacher Blog – Engage Their Minds
NewBlog – EduTech for Teachers
Library/Librarian Blog – The Daring Librarian
Administrator Blog – Life of an Educator
Twitter Hashtag – #edchat
Free Web Tool – ThingLink
Educational Wiki – Web Tools 4 You to Use
Social Network – Twitter

Learn more about the Edublogs awards.

Research Tool Added to Google Presentation


Good news for Google Docs users! The powerful integrated research tool made available in the Google Document last spring has made it’s way to the Google Presentation at last. The tool couldn’t be easier to use. Just pull down the Tools menu, click on Research and search for information in the research pane that appears on the right side of the screen. Users never have to leave the page.


This Research Tool is the perfect compliment to the Google Presentation because it supports the idea of using tech as a tool for learning rather than an add on at the end of a traditional unit of study. Students can find information, images, maps and quotes as they create a multimedia presentation without having to sort through the overwhelming amount of content yielded by a typical Google search.  Here are some of the highlights of the features found in the research pane:

  • Web results display a relevant snippet of information with citation information and a link to the full website. Select the Insert Link button to include a link to the full website in the document or select the Cite button to include a footnote citation in your document.
  • Maps are displayed in the search results when searching for geographic locations. Edit maps by zooming in and out and choose Insert to add the map to your body of your text.
  • Search for quotations with the click of a button, then choose the Insert button to include a properly formatted quotation in the document.
  • Choose Scholar to access a link showing the number of times an article has been cited and a list of sources that have cited the article. View the full website and insert a footnote citation into a document by selecting Cite.
  • Select your default citations format by clicking on Settings in the research pane. Choose from MLA, APA or Chicago.

Use the Research Tool to Check for Plagarism

In addition to the obvious ways to use the new integrated research tool, it can also be useful for checking for plagiarism. Just copy and paste a few sentences of text from a document directly into the search box of the research pane and the search will lead directly back to any article from which text has been plagiarized. I like to teach students how to do their own plagiarism check before turning in their work to help them understand the importance of creating original work.

What About Video?

Google Presentation already supports an efficient video tool. Just click on Insert Video to access a search tool for finding, previewing and embedding video into a presentation with the click of a button. Once again, users don’t have to leave the page.

Digital Tools for Differentiating Vocabulary: K12Online

If you’re looking for innovative ways to use free and user friendly digital tools to help students acquire vocabulary, please check out my session, Digital Tools for Differentiating Vocabulary Instruction at the K12OnlineConference. While you’re there you are sure to discover more terrific 20 minute sessions, available for viewing at your convenience.

——-

Teaching vocabulary today? Get ideas to “Kick it Up a Notch” at  conference.      innovate