Category Archives: E-tivities

Present on the Web

Found these new free sites to add interest to any blog or learning endeavor. On MakeBeliefsComics, you can create your own cartoon.  On Slide.com you can create your own online slide show .  The funky themes and eye candy are a come-on for younger users, compared to other online slideshow sites such as Slideshare.com   .

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A Harvard Leadership Course for Parents in E-learningforkids.org

Visit http://www.e-learningforkids.org for a pre-screened resource for building skills in math, science, reading, and keyboarding.  It’s a site for parents, kids, and educators, specifically children from 5-12 years old.

What’s intriguing is the free leadership course for parents from the famed Harvard Business School Publishing

 Parents, if you haven’t tried e-learning, take this course from Harvard Online for free! There are 2 modules:  one on Managing Your Time, and the other Coaching for Results.   

I tried the coaching course.  The module site’s well-designed interface, nuggetted content, and ability to navigate back and forth, yet maintaining the needed linearity to take you through the stages of each module, allows you to enjoy the e-learning process as much as the knowledge built thru it.  I like the embedded audio link from Professor Linda Hill. I think this is the way of settling the parents into understanding how it’s like to make their own kids go through a an aided e-learning program via the Silver Cyberscreen.  Way to go! Any other courses you’d like to share?

Sites to Engage Kids (and Anyone Else) to Create Online Content!

And last but not the least from Larry (his blog is such a goldmine of teaching and learning links!!), how to get over techphobia and I.T. inertia through a sampling of these links.  Quick, easy and relatively painless ways of creating online content.

Larry’s post is so helpful, so I just have to lift his descriptions verbatim from his Best Websites of the Day. To quote Larry:

MAKE A MOVIE: Use Dvolver Moviemaker to create short animations with text bubble dialogue.  You can see many examples of these films on my Examples of Student Work page.

WRITE A SONG: Use Let Them Sing It For You to write lyrics, and have each word sung by a different singer.  You have to hear it to believe it…Or, if you’re an American Idol fan, you can try Don Pablo’s Tex Mex Serenade, choose a singer and a song, and then use a text-to-speech feature to act as one of the judges.  For more ideas on how to use viral marketing gimmicks like this in the classroom, please see my TechLearning article Samuel L. Jackson, My ESL Students, And Me.

MAKE A MAP: There are two sites in particular that allow you easily make and save maps (without registration) that include multiple ”pushpins.”  These are spots on the map where you can insert more information about different places.  These map-making sites are Quikmaps and TinyMap.

CREATE A PIECE OF ART: There are numerous sites that “fit this bill.”  They included Imagination Cubed (which actually has multiple uses — see the Solar Systems my students created), Art Pad, Mr. Picassohead, and Etchy (an online Etch-A-Sketch).

CREATE A CARTOON/COMIC: Again, there are a number of great sites in this category.   They include MakeBeliefsComix, the Toronto Public Library Tell-A-Story Builder,  Scholastic’s Captain Underpants, and Kiddonet.

MAKE A SLIDESHOW: Bookr is about as easy of a slideshow maker as they get.  You can search through images with a tag word, drag them into a flip-like book, and add text.  My students love it.  You can see some of their samples here.  For an even easier way to create a slideshow, you can try Colgate’s Smile Slideshow.

PICK AN IMAGE AND WRITE A SPEECH BUBBLE: There are a number of sites that allow you to easily grab an image off the web and add a speech bubble with your text.  The best ones are Bubblr and Caption Bubble.

TELL A MEDIEVAL TALE: Use the great Historic Tale Construction Kit to tell a story with images and text while you create a virtual medieval tapestry.

WRITE A POEM:  Write ones using virtual refrigerator magnets at Shocked Poetry or Fridge Messages.

CREATE A POLL: Come-up with questions for a poll you want your friends or others to participate in with Snappoll or Flektor (click on “guest”).

DESIGN AN EARTH-FRIENDLY HOUSE: My Abodo lets users design a house and then get a rating for how environmentally-friendly it is.

SUBTITLE A CLIP FROM A BOLLYWOOD MOVIE: Bombay TV lets you choose a scene from a B movie from Bollywood and have fun creating subtitles for the clip.

DESIGN A VERY STRANGE-LOOKING BACKYARD: You can design a bizarre Backyard Paradise, name it and then add a description.  Here are some student examples.

SEND A TALKING EGG-A-GRAM: This is another strange example of viral marketing.  You can choose the way you want your eggs — scrambled, hard-boiled, etc. — and then use the site’s text-to-speech feature by having your chosen egg “speak” your Egg-A-Gram.  Again, you can see some student creations here.

WRITE AN E-CARD: I have links to literally thousands of different kinds of E-Cards on my website.  They include ones of images from every country in the world (Nations Illustrated), a Dancing Santa Claus or a Christmas treedinosaur pictures, a Valentine’s Day virtual cake,  and a big selection of virtual gifts.  You can see student examples of these at my website.

CREATE A PICTURE SENTENCE: Write a sentence and select an image to go with each word by using Phrasr.

CREATE A CHARACTER FROM THE DARK AGES:  Dress-up the character of your choice from the Middle Ages (Viking, nun, knight, peasant, etc.) with all the accessories.

MAKE A TALKING OTTER: Yes, that’s what it is.  Build and send an Ottogram.  I wonder how they come up with these things….

DESIGN A FLAG: Go to We Are Multicolored and design and describe a flag that represents you.

CREATE A MUSEUM EXHIBIT: The Object Of History from the National Museum of American History allows you to create a virtual museum exhibition about a number of historical events, including the California Gold Rush, desegregation, and organizing for the rights of farmworkers.

End of quote.  Note that some of the sites may require you to subscribe, paid or otherwise. 

Kudos to Larry Ferlazzo and his love for edublogging. 

More from Ferlazzo: Lounging in the Computer Lab

On further surf, Larry Ferlazzo poses a good question how to spend effective time in a computer lab.  Good point. We sometimes use the computer as the substitute teacher, almost like putting the kids in front of the tv to keep them quiet and occupied! 

Use the computer to engage learners to be contributors rather than consumers of content.  Maximize the lab time for application and integration of lessons.

Take a different approach when teaching working adult learners in a computer lab set-up, especially those who are relatively comfy with the hardware but not with the software apps.  Early into the program, provide sufficient time for immediate hands-on exploration of the software interfaces in a semi-structured, small group activity.  Doing the reverse with adults:  try out timed, appropriate games to engage them!  Just some thoughts on how to help them get over initial soft-tech phobia and perceptions of isolation.

No computer can take the place of a face-to-face mentor–but it can definitely give bookpages a run for their money.

The Best Education Apps for 2007?

A lead from my favourite blog Master Maish of E-learningpost:  Tech Crunch links to Larry Ferlazzo’s top picks for best education start-ups of 2007.  Online learning just keeps on getting better. 

Just timely: I’ll be doing a roadtest for suitability of these tools for my forthcoming blended learning program on I.T. apps training.  Watch out for that!

Spend more time on Larry’s blog if you want to go through more of his lists for best sites that support teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), Social Studies, Science, and Math. 

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