Tech Tip Tuesday ... Google URL Shortener

Have you ever tried to get a room full of students to type in a L-O-N-G web address? If so, you know how frustrating it can be. One little hyphen missing, a "dot" in the wrong place, or even a misspelled word and you're completely out of luck!

There are a variety of resources where you can create a "shortened" URL. This address will be much easier for people (children AND adults) to enter correctly and get to the desired site more quickly. Google has a really easy-to-use URL shortener that I recommend.
  • Copy the original URL (the "long, unruly, and nearly impossible to key in correctly" one!)
  • Go to goo.gl
  • Paste the URL in the box and click Shorten
  • Viola ... you're done! 

Now you're all set ... even our younger kiddos can key in this simple address!


Free Educational Apps for iPads, iPhones, or iTouches!

If you're lucky enough to have an iPhone, iTouch, or iPad, you will want to check out this special deal from Kindergarten.com.

April is Autism Awareness Month!  Kindergarten.com is making all its Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) flashcard apps free to download for this monthl. 

These apps would be great for anyone working with young children or children with disabilities.

24 FREE apps is quite a deal - check it out at the Apple Store here.

I read about this special deal at The Education Technology Blog and Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

Tech Tip {Wednesday} ... Let's Go Live!

I hate to make excuses about not posting on Tuesday of this week, but ... it's a super busy week in our department because we are finally getting to be out on campuses and share exciting news with you all! If you haven't already met with me (or your district IT) about our transition to Windows Live, you will soon!

Windows Live is basic enough that you're going to be able to get in, look around, and figure things out (after we give you the specific details about Windows Live IDs, passwords, etc.), but I wanted to give you a few more resources that will be helpful during the transition and as we begin fully implementing Windows Live during the first week of May.

www.emsisd.com/live is a site we've developed that should be your first stop for LIVE resources. You will find direct links to your Email Inbox, Web Applications, and your Skydrive. You will also find a copy of the Computer Use and Data Management Policy for our district. It's a good idea to brush up on it! Scroll down further on the page to find several short video tutorials from Microsoft that will be helpful as you begin using these new tools.

EM-S ISD Tech Tips is a new blog that will be used to share helpful hints about Windows Live as well as other district systems. Check it out now to see posts about these and other topics:

  • How to use the District Address Book in Live 
  • How to Change the View in your Live account (because really ... who wants a plain white page when you can make it pretty???) 
  • How to change your Display name! (This will be especially helpful for those of us who go by a different name than our legal name. You cannot change your actually email address, but if you go by "Sandy" instead of "Sandra", you can change your display name so that it appears the way you want it in the Address book.)
If you have questions about the tranistion or how to do something in Windows Live, please leave a comment here or on the EM-S ISD Tech Tips blog.


Tech Tip Tuesday ... NeoK12 Educational Videos & More

Wow, what an exciting find for this week!

NeoK12 is a ginormous collection of educational videos, lessons, quizzes, and games for kindergarten through high school students. The topics are conveniently listed by subject-area on the homepage. Just click any desired topic to find a wealth of resources. You will find pictures that can be used for presentations, links to online games and puzzles, and then a list of videos and lessons. All of these resources have been reviewed by K-12 teachers, but it's always a good idea to review these yourself before using them with your class. =)

The Educational Games, Puzzles, and Quizzes is really outstanding. Many of them would be fun to use with an interactive board/projector or even at a computer station in your classroom. Be sure to check them out.

You will also find many Interactive Diagrams that focus on science and social studies skills like Ecosystems, States of Matter, Simple Machines, and the American Civil War.

This example is from the "Label the Diagram of Plant & Flower" interactive diagram:

From any page of the NeoK12 site, you will see a "Today" button on the far right. Click it to see the "What's Up Today?" page with historical events for today, the word of the day, a daily photo gallery, and other interesting facts.

What do you think? Let me know how you're able to use NeoK12 with your students!


GMail Motion ... Wow!

Have you heard of GMail Motion? I really think they're on to something over there at Google!

Okay now, be honest ... how many of you clicked the link???


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