Monday, June 25, 2012

More Popplet!

As I was sitting here- I thought of more ways to use Popplet!  You could use it in math to organize math vocabulary.  At my school we categorize it by the State Curriculum strand and that could be done using a Popplet- like the "Number" strand could have all words associated with operations and place value attached to the popple called "Number."  I can't wait to use this with my students! 


No- it's not the Popples of the 80's and early 90's- but it's just as fun!

Popplet is a brainstorming tool that allows you to map out ideas and thoughts to make webs and idea boards.  You can use it to collect images like a virtual pin board, draw on it, or use the popples (bubbles) to organize text and ideas.  Some examples from the site include: History of Coca-Cola Bottles, Facts About Earth, Cabin Design, and someone's Travel Log about New York. 

What I like about this tool is that it easily lends itself to distance learning because you can share your Popplets and let other users add to it, which is really helpful for collaborating with others when you plan a project or have to jigsaw what you know about a topic or reading.  In order to share your Popplet, you can use Facebook, Twitter, make it public to be modified, or send out a link to specific users to have others add to the Popplet.  As I was looking at the examples, you could use a Popplet to brainstorm like we do in a Circle Map about almost any topic and have the students add to it once you give them the link.  I think you could use Popplet to create a community helpers Popplet, ecosystems and landforms, or even one that focuses on their home state and branching out to list jobs, foods, tourist places, etc.  You could even set one up on a blog and have people that view your blog add their names and countries.  This could also be an easy way to exchange ideas with people from far away if you give a topic- like holidays, and having people from different parts of the world add their own popple to the main topic. 

You can change the colors of the borders, popples, draw pictures, connect the popples, etc.  The site is very user friendly in that all you have to do is click and it guides you through it without being annoying like some guides can be. 

I think this tool is an easy to use interactive organizer that would be a snap to share with students and getting them to collaborate quickly without much pre-teaching.

Popplet Example

My first Popplet.  It is such a fun tool and I can't believe how easy it is to use.  I want to use this instead of Thinking Maps because it is much neater than what I typically draw in class. 

Here's a link to the Popplet Blog called Popplet Rocks!- which has up-to-date news about Popplet and shows some different ideas about how to use Popplet. When I was looking at the blog, I discovered a Civil Rights Movement Popplet with leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and the contributions they made. I also found out that Popplet has an Iphone/Ipad app too!

I made this Popplet in a matter of minutes and was sorting some common Web 2.0 tools as an
 example to show you :)
I even used the drawing tools to draw that little computer on the Web 2.0 Tools popple. 


Jing is a screen capture tool that is free to download and easy to use.  You can use it to capture images and make short videos of what is on your computer screen.  I have been using this for my Web 2.0 blog to take screen shots so I don't have to crop it in Microsoft Word, so I can just save the image.  I haven't used Jing's video abilities yet, but you could make your own video tutorial on how to use a Web 2.0 tool for a distance class, or even how to use a web platform like Moodle to check assignments and grades.  I was thinking if I could get permission to download Jing onto our school computers, or even my school laptop that I use for our main classroom computer, to have students take turns using Jing to show how to solve math problems.  For example, they could use the document camera to take images of solving long division problems step by step and use Jing to put the video together.  Jing could be helpful for distance learning to share what students find on the Internet or to create movies for class.

If you like Smart Notebook's photo capture tool- Jing is very helpful because you can also manipulate images by adding text and auto shapes without having to insert the picture into another document or file first.


My new favorite thing is Pinterest.  I think I missed the boat when Pinterest was really popular, but I have had the best time creating a virtual bulletin board of ideas people share.  You can make a board for almost anything, but as a teacher, I'm finding it very helpful for coming up with new ideas for school.  I've taught fourth grade for awhile, so it's nice to get some new ideas to use in the classroom, especially when you feel as if you have used all of your fun ideas, or maybe even just to try something new. 

Here's a snapshot (thanks to Jing) of some of my school board.  I have 80 pins on there just for school alone. 

My friend made a Pinterest account and she has even made separate boards for the subject areas she teaches so it is very organized. 

I don't know that Pinterest would be a good distance education tool- other than possibly making a "Me Board" to get to know one another at the beginning of a class, like we do in class with "Me Bags" where the students decorate a bag and then fill it with things that are important to them and then we share them in class. 

However, as an educator, I think Pinterest could be a valuable tool to refresh our teaching when we need some inspiration.

Schoology Uses and Resources

Schoology is a social network for schools, much like Edmodo.  Schoology could easily be used to host a distance learning course because of its discussion capabilities.  The site allows for easy assignment postings and is easy to administer quizzes and collect data from the completed quizzes.  With a site like Schoology, you can import courses from Blackboard and Moodle, share resources from Khan Academy,and upload ExamView quizzes.  Students can submit Google Docs as assignments using Schoology as well, which is helpful because most people have Google accounts.  I joined the site as a teacher and as soon as you sign up it offers you a quick tour of your page to give you an idea of what to do and how to use the tools offered. 

As far as the NETS standards for students, Schoology allows students to communicate and collaborate in a secure space on the Internet, meeting Standard 2.  When students use Schoology they are also trying to understand and use technology systems in order to learn when completing assignments and participating in on-line discussions on Schoology. 

  • The attached link takes you to case studies and success stories of schools and districts using Schoology and finding success.  User Testimonials
  • Wikipedia's information on Schoology
  • Schoology is involved with social networking for Facebook and Twitter
  • You can use your Schoology account to conduct a research project
  • I made a quick sample page for my Treasure Time class (small group reading) that I can use in the Fall.  I made a basic reading inventory and uploaded a link to the textbook website also.  Here is a screen shot of the page that I made.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Timetoast Uses and Resources

Timetoast is a free online timeline creation tool.  When using time lines in the traditional sense, this makes a neat presentation of historical dates and events.  However, you could also use it to sequence events in a story.  For back to school, you could use it to create a timeline of important events in a students life to have them get to know one another.  Or, instead of a PowerPoint like my team and I had our students do, students could work on a timeline throughout the year and record field trips or activities they liked throughout the year to share on the last day of school.  Students could also probably use Timetoast to plan an essay.  My school is big on setting goals and Timetoast could be a good way to visually represent their goals throughout the year and track their progress for tests and subject areas.  Any of those projects could be done with distance learners. 

This Web 2.0 tool allows you to have students create and demonstrate what they know using words and pictures in a linear format.  Students can upload pictures to help illustrate events or topics they are discussing on the timeline which works with ISTE's NETS standards for students as far as creativity and communication standards.  However, for distance learning collaboration, it does not seem to let teams manipulate a timeline together.  Collaboration can be achieved because once the timeline is published, it can be commented on by viewers and be rated.  This could be good for teaching peer assessment and feedback skills.

  • The link below is a sample of Timetoast but shows you how to use Timetoast as you practice navigating your way through the sample timeline.  How to use Timetoast
  • This link has helpful frequently asked questions about Timetoast. F.A.Q. about Timetoast
  • Timeline Ideas from Teachers
  • Really Good Stuff Blog about Timelines

Tubesnack Uses and Resources

Tubesnack is a web 2.0 tool that compiles a list of videos from YouTube  or videos that you have created.  As a teacher this tool could be helpful to create a video play list based on topics or skills to re-teach students from Internet clips like Khan Academy or things from Teacher Tube or YouTube.  If you make your own videos, you can use Tubesnack to compile them into categorized play lists, also.  For distance learning or even traditional classroom settings, Tubesnack could be a great way to collect student created videos and compile them in one place, for reference or for a presentation of projects day.  (I included a Youtube tutorial that has this idea).  Tubesnack could also be a good place to store video resources from the Internet or from your own clips so you can share them on a class website or blog because you can store 50 videos per play list.  Of course, if you were going to share student samples on the web, you would need parent permission and even parent permission for them to film videos. 

Resources for Tubesnack:
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Tubesnack
  • Filming Ideas for the Classroom
  • Video Project Guide
  • How to use Tubesnack to teach and show student examples at the same time:
    Below you will find a video clip of a science teacher showing his students how to find example videos of cell songs because they will be making their own which he is going to compile on Tubesnack for the class.  It's a bit of a long video but he takes you through the steps of what you do when you create a video play list.  I like how he uses it to show examples of projects while teaching how to use Tubesnack, with the goal of the students eventually making their own Cell video. 

Dabbleboard Uses and Resources

As I said before, Dabbleboard is an online whiteboard that allows people to collaborate at a distance using drawing.

 I like Dabbleboard because the free version is fairly easy to use and has many features without paying extra for them.  Dabbleboard immediately lends itself to using it for group projects, especially for distance learning or after class projects because you can chat and illustrate ideas in order to plan a project.  However, since most of my elementary students are visual learners, we could easily use this in the computer lab and work on individual computers and have them collaborate.  For example, in science this year my students had a project where they had to classify animals based on observed traits by creating a zoo.  Dabbleboard would help my students plan their zoo project digitally instead of using paper. 

Dabbleboard also appears to fit well with the Student NETS standards, especially the first, Creativity and Innovation, second, Communication and Collaboration, third, Research and Information Fluency, and fourth, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making standards. 

Students would be creating visual images to explain their thinking and ideas.  Dabbleboard's chat and sharing options allow for easy communication with everyone involved in the project or activity that Dabbleboard is being used for.  Dabbleboard allows people to visually plan activities or projects and share resources in one work space so that everyone can synthesize information.  Lastly, Dabbleboard relates to NETS Standard 4 in that students are able to plan their projects in order to complete their projects and collect information in order to complete their work. 

Resources for Dabbleboard:
  • This link takes you to different ways that you can use Dabbleboard for making graphs, organizers, floor plans, labeling pictures, etc. 
  • Here's a wikispace that I found on how to use Dabbleboard with SmartBoards and some articles about why using Dabbleboard is such a great idea.
  • The official Dabbleboard Tour from their website:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Looking for another option besides Edmodo to set up your own online classroom space to post assignments, have electronic quizzes, share resources, and have a place for students to turn things in?  Well- here's another option-!  What I like about this site is that you can track where users spend there time when on the site- if they focus more on assignments or quizzes to see which resource is more valuable. It also allows you to take quiz information to help target student needs more efficiently so you can re-teach.  Just like the other tools featured in the table below, you can communicate with students and parents in a secure environment.  You can get most of the features for free, but of course, with most Web 2.0 tools, you can upgrade for a fee. 

Here's the comparison table to help you compare this tool to Moodle, Blackboard, and Edmodo.


Timetoast is a website that allows you to create your own timeline for free!  The site also features
pre-made time lines that you can use for teaching text features.  These time lines can be shared on the web and you can sign in using your Facebook account.  The time lines allow users to comment so they can also be interactive or conversation starters.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Tubesnack is a website that allows you to compile YouTube or personal videos and share them on the Internet for your own personal web page, or to curate a video clip collection.   It is free but like most web 2.0 tools, there is also a paid membership option.  I am curious to see if this could work in our district where YouTube videos are blocked.  Here's the address if you want to check it out. 

The company also features website creation services, banner makers, flip books, photo slide shows, pod casting, quiz making, pdf displays, and file sharing "snack" options.


Hi, I found a really interesting Web 2.0 tool today that allows you to have an interactive whiteboard space online so you can collaborate in groups.  It is basically like a free version of Smart Notebook the way that you can draw on the whiteboard.  The site has various packages, but even the basic free package allows you to have a text chat as you collaborate with others in the whiteboard space.  By creating a free account, the Dabbleboard allows you to save images that you draw and puts them into a library so you can use them again.  There are also tools that you can use to create shapes in case you are wary of freehand design.  Documents and images from the web and/or your computer can also be uploaded into the Dabbleboard.  This is a pretty neat site, and this could be a Prezi alternate to collaborate because of the text chat feature. 

I found this videoclip on YouTube where this nice person demonstrates how to collaborate with Dabbleboard on both Mac and PC.  The Dabbleboard website has a very helpful tutorial, but I like how this one gives you the basics of what Dabbleboard can do. 

The website is, feel free to give it a try!

My New Blog

Hi everyone,  I had a little issue with Google- so here's my link/new blog again.  Sorry.  Anyway, this is where I will be posting some (hopefully) new Web 2.0 tools for us to use in class or with our students.  I hope you find them helpful.  Please comment :)  I look forward to reading your blogs as well.