Monday, April 14, 2014

Newsletter April 14, 2014

Post Spring Break
As we get into the last quarter for the school year, I wanted to share some tools that I have found from Advisory Council, the Ohio Technology Summit and from ISTE's Magazine. I'll be posting a couple of newsletters and info on my site gradually in the coming month.

Thinklink ( has a free educational account. The premise of Thinglink is to turn any picture into an interactive image. You can use an image to jump to multiple locations or pieces of content based on where you click on it. EX: You have a picture of a famous cityscape and when students clicks on the first building, they go to a video about it's history. When they click on the second building, it takes them to a web site about a famous event that happened there. The third building would lead to a piece of music that was composed there. This could be useful for a teacher web site, SmartBoard, or for student presentations. 
Canva for Graphic Design 
Whenever possible, I try to focus on free tools that I find. As teacher's it is often hard to find software or web sites that don't cost money on some level. I am not much of a graphic designer but it is becoming pretty essential to have some form resource to create eye catching graphics. Canva is a tool that I came across at a recent session ( You can use Canva for free to make posters, flyers, web graphics, presentations, invitations, and more. They do have a paid component but it's only needed of you want access to their extended library. If you find that you want a quick and easy way to make some graphics with a personal touch, this could be the option for you.

Gliffy Google Docs Add Ons
Gliffy is a Google Docs Add On that allows you to create and add flowcharts and diagrams into your Google Docs. It's completely free and could be used in a wide variety of disciplines for teacher or student use. 

Math Mess is a brand new video experience that is rolling out in the fall. Basically, for grades 5-8, these are videos that provide math problems set in everyday situations. They have accompanying teacher guides. The videos are also able to be downloaded, so you don't have to worry about streaming if you are in a tough location for wifi. While they are still developing the series, 7 videos and guides are already posted. 

Comic Life
At this month's Advisory Council, Art Technology Teacher, Amanda Sears was discussing using as a tool to create storyboards and maps. Students are able to use their own pictures to craft stories with dialogue balloons, effects, and additional content. It is free and does have an app for devices. There is a paid version but you can continue using the free version beyond the 30 day trial. It just puts a watermark on the content. 

If there is anything in this newsletter or on my web site that you need help with using, please let me know. I'd love to help. We can always schedule an appointment around your planning periods.

How to schedule a time to meet?

The easiest way to contact me is through email at Please let me know what you'd like to meet about, your room number, free periods, and any other info that might be helpful to me in order to prepare for our meeting. I'd love to meet with you to see if I can help facilitate any issue you might be having.