Animoto Education Accounts

If you don't already know about Animoto, then you'd better check it out now! Animoto is an online video creation tool that allows anyone to create extraordinary, professional looking videos from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

The process is incredibly simple:

  1. Insert photos and/or videos (upload from your device, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  2. Customize your style (select a video style, choose music, add text, etc.)
  3. Share and Enjoy! (download the video, embed it, or share via Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, or more)
Education Accounts
Educators can apply for a FREE Animoto Plus account for use in the classroom. The regular price of this pro account is $249/year. Educators can get free accounts at animoto.com/education/classroom. Don't miss out!
Education Account Expired?

Your Education account will expire somewhat frequently, but reapplying is easy.
  1. Receive email stating that your account is about to expire. Click the link to reapply.
  2. Sign in to Animoto, if necessary.
  3. Click your name > Account

  4. Don't fall for the tricky-tricky giant Renew Now button. Instead, click the link UNDER that button.

  5. Click the Apply Now button.

  6. Complete the application with your information and click Sign Up.

  7. You will receive an email confirmation with your promo code. Go back to your account information and enter your promo code.


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Check out some of the ways our community is reaching out and saying "THANK YOU" to teachers this week:

  • RaceTrac: FREE any size coffee or fountain drink all week long, limit one per day, scan key tag in store to receive offer
  • Chick-fil-A: Tuesday, May 7, 10:30am-close, one FREE Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich for all Educators, Teachers, Faculty & Staff (must have valid school ID)
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill: Bring your school ID to any Chipoltle on May 7th from 4pm to close and get a buy one/get one free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos.
  • New York and Company: all nurses and teachers can receive a 30% discount in stores through May 8, 2013 (must have valid ID - business card, badge, pay stub, etc.)
I know there are more deals out there, right? If you know of any, add them in a comment below!

Keep in mind that teacher appreciation discounts are available throughout the year from businesses like Microsoft, Apple, Office Depot, Staples, Barnes and Noble and more. So don’t limit your rewards only to this week of recognition. Check out this list of 90+ everyday discounts for teachers!

10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips

I love sharing tech tips, and I also happen to love reading (and listening to) David Pogue! Don't miss this 5(ish) minute tech talk. I promise you'll learn something new!

Tech columnist David Pogue shares 10 simple, clever tips for computer, web, smartphone and camera users. And yes, you may know a few of these already -- but there's probably at least one you don't.


Copy Paste Character!

Do you use special characters (♫ ✄ ➲)  in your emails, documents for Facebook posts? What about an accent over the e (é) or a tilde over the n (ñ)? I know there's some crazy key combination, but I can never remember what it is! copypastecharacter.com means that you never have to look up those combinations or try to hold down the alt key while entering 4 digits, etc. 

When you need to use a special character, simply head to copypastecharacter.com  find and click on the desired character. It will automatically be copied to your clipboard. Go back to your email or document or wherever ... and paste! 

Yep, it's that easy. 


Jeopardy Labs

A few years ago, one of the "big things" was to create a Jeopardy-like PowerPoint to use with your students as a creative and "techy" way to review for any and all curricular areas. I created quite a few. I even conducted professional development sessions on exactly this topic. I loved it. Kids loved it. Teachers {sorta} loved it. Two big complaints about these were the crazy amount of time it took to set one up, and all of the detailed action links from one slide to another slide, etc. Even the most basic of templates could have 50+ slides for one game!

Jeopardy Labs is a site that makes it super-easy to create Jeopardy-like games. Quick Build allows you to create a free Jeopardy-like game. You will need to create a password for each game, and as soon as you create one, it will be available for anyone to use. You can also become a Jeopardy Labs Member, which gives you a fancy template manager, privacy control, and delete control (you can't delete templates you create with the free version). The LIFETIME membership fee is $20. If you really like Jeopardy Labs and think it's something you will use for a while, this might be worth the cost. If you're not sure, then stick with the free Quick Build version for a while.

One of the things I like BEST about Jeopardy Labs is the "browse" feature! I was going to create a game about weathering, erosion, and deposition. I decided to browse for one first, and I found TONS of them already made and ready to use! (Give it a try!) You will want to be sure you've gone through the entire game and checked to make sure that it's accurate information and it supports your curriculum, but I bet you can find some good ones!

Check out Jeopardy Labs today and let me know what you think!

Clean Print

I generally do NOT print things from the internet. I save interesting sites, blog posts, recipes, etc. into my Google bookmarks or I copy the information into OneNote. However, from time to time, I do need to print something. Clean Print is a free browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari that can help you save toner and paper when printing. I learned about this new tool on one of my favorite bloggers, Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers).

This short video explains how to use Clean Print:

What I like the best about Clean Print:
  • It's FREE
  • It works on any of the internet browsers I typically use (including Safari on my iPad!)
  • Instead of printing to actual paper, I can use Clean Print to save the "cleaned up" version as a PDF on my computer or email it to a friend
  • I can decrease the font size to save toner and paper OR, I can increase the font size to print something for a student
  • I can even add my own text on the document before saving or printing it


Please Explain!

Are you looking for ways to help your students understand basic (or even complex!) concepts? I've recently come across a couple of sites that create and publish animated explanations of all sorts of topics.

C.G.P. Grey is a YouTube video creator. He is known for creating witty and entertaining educational videos. His tagline is "Complex things explained." He has created and shared many videos like Daylight Saving Time Explained, Are Daddy Longlegs Spiders (8 Animal Misconceptions Rundown), and Copyright: Forever Less One Day. Be warned: he's a fast talker, and sometimes his humor might be a little confusing for our younger students. Be sure to watch the video completely first and be sure it's appropriate for your students.

The first video I ever saw from this YouTube channel absolutely fascinated this good ole Texas girl ... check it out!

Explania provides hundreds of animated explanations, interactive tutorials, and instructional videos for a variety of topics including health, money, sports, and even TECHNOLOGY! (Can you guess which subject I've spent the most time exploring?) Some of my favorites are What is Twitter?, How to Choose a Safe Password, and How Does Cloud Computing Work?

What do you think? Do you think some of these explanations would be helpful to you or your students? And seriously, did you know all of that about Texas? Fascinating! =)


Crickweb - Free Online Education Resources & Games

Looking for ways to get your kids excited about learning? Crickweb is a fantastic collection of educational interactive teaching resources and activities. If you have an Interactive Whiteboard or Projector, let the kids take the controls and watch them learn. If you do not have an Interactive device, no problem! The activities and games are just as fun and beneficial when using a computer mouse!

Their resources are organized into Early Years (PK-K), Key Stage 1 (1st-2nd grades), and Key Stage 2 (3rd-6th grades).

Don't forget to check out the Fun Games and Links sections of the site. Be sure to check the activity first because of the terms this site uses aren't exactly the same ones we use on this side of the pond, and some activities might be confusing. 

What's your favorite Crickweb activity?


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