Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dropbox Video Tutorial for Teachers!

Hey everyone! It's Sarah from Miss A's Kindergarten, and I'm THRILLED to be sharing this technology tutorial with you today! It's definitely one I love to use on almost a daily basis. Today's video tutorial is on...

Dropbox is a tool you can use to save your files through the internet! It allows you to share your files with your colleagues as well. Here are some ways you can use this as a teacher:

  • Send your new files you compiled digitally instead of walking over with a flash drive to share them.
  • Have parents send you photos of family in different places (like a Flat Stanley project, maybe!)
  • You could even send parents information/files through it as long as they have an account!
  • Backup all your teacher files (and freebies!) so that if your computer dies, they will still be accessible
The sky is the limit!

There are so many ways to use Dropbox, so I'm going to go ahead and introduce it to you through this YouTube video I recorded last night. I think I'm coming down with a head cold, so please don't judge me too harshly! :) I wanted to get this video out because I feel that it is so useful for you as a teacher!

Here it is!

I hope that you take the time to fill out this quick form to help me out! You don't have to put in your email address. You can just click this link here --> Get Your Dropbox Account!

How would you use Dropbox?

Make sure you drop by my blog to see all my old technology posts as well. Oh, and click the follow button here on Technology Tailgate! You won't regret it! This is the new home of all things TECHNOLOGY in the CLASSROOM! :)

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Using QR Codes in the Classroom

Hello, friends! My name is Mrs. K., and I'm the author of The Teacher Garden blog. I'm so excited to write my first post for Technology Tailgate!!

Have you been bitten by the QR code bug yet? I sure have! I can't wait to incorporate them into my classroom next year.

QR codes are those funky little squares you've probably seen on websites or promotional fliers; you scan them with your smart phone and get to see special coupons and other information. It's almost like a secret code. :) (If you need more information about what a QR code is or how you can generate your own, check out my blog post by clicking HERE.)

I've been busy brainstorming ideas for using QR codes in the classroom...turns out, there are lots of ways to use them to spice things up at school!

Here are some of my very favorite ideas for using QR codes in the classroom:
  • Give absent students the work they missed: Generate a QR code to whatever you did the day before. You could link to the worksheet you gave to the students, a video presentation you showed, an explanatory YouTube video, a link to the class discussion, etc. You can even link to plain text to give students instructions! Post that QR code on the calendar. Students who are absent need only to scan that code to access what they missed while they were gone.
  • Show students' latest achievements in the hallway: Decorate your bulletin board with student names and/or pictures. Allow students to pick work they're proud of and generate a QR code to it. Post that QR code on the bulletin board underneath their name/picture so that passerby can scan it quickly to see achievements. 
  • Help parents shop: Generate a QR code to a class wishlist or school supply list and put the code on the class newsletter. Parents can scan the code before a shopping trip so that they always have a list of needed items handy.
  • Give instructions: Attach an audio file of yourself giving instructions (say, at centers). Students could scan the code when/if they need help or an extra reminder. 
  • Take attendance/lunch count: Post a QR code by the door so that students can scan it immediately upon entering the classroom. The code can link to a warm-up question (a Google doc questionnaire would work perfectly for this!) or even a multiple-choice question about what each student wants for lunch. As students respond to the questions, you get an attendance and lunch count.
You can find lots of other ways to use these neat little codes on my blog; just click HERE.

I'd love to know other ideas you have for using QR codes in the classroom!

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Welcome Giveaway

Hey Everyone!  We are SO excited about our new blog, Technology Tailgate!

We would LOVE for you to take part in our welcome giveaway! We are raffling off a $25 Gift Card to Starbucks.  We have a great team of coaches on board to help you integrate technology into your classroom. Check out their bios below!  Thanks for being a part of Technology Tailgate!  Drawing will end at midnight on July 4th.  Thanks for participating! Happy Fourth of July to all of our U.S.A. friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 (The name directly under each author's button is linked to their own personal teaching blog, check them out!)
EduKate & Inspire

Kate is a second grade teacher from Ohio who is passionate about reading and writing workshop, Whole Brain Teaching, and utilizing technology in the classroom.  She is a brand new blogger and is excited to blog {and relax} this summer!

A Turn to Learn

A Turn to Learn is FULL of great ideas and technology tid-bits! Make sure you check them out, her tutorials are so thorough!  Check out her weekly polls and help determine what her blogs will be about. 

Making It As A Middle School Teacher
Michelle at Making It As A Middle School Teacher teaches 7th grade Math and Social Studies. She's a self proclaimed "math nerd who loves to read and totally addicted to technology!"  How's that for a combination?  She enjoys the fun as well as the challenges of teaching middle school.  Michelle says "It's wonderful to establish connections with these 'in-betweens' and help them to feel confident and successful!They are our future and a huge part of that future will center aroudn the technology we can introduce to them today."
Raki's Rad Resources

Heidi Raki currently teaches at an International School in Casablanca, Morocco. She enjoys using technology to make content more interactive and enjoyable for her studnets.

Ginger Snaps

Ginger is currently a third grade teacher and adores this grade level.  She always wanted to be a teacher and loves that she is fulfilling her lifelong dream.

Miss A's Kindergarten
Miss A is a first year kindergarten teacher.  She has so much love and excitement for teaching it's contagious!  You will love her energy and all her wonderful tutorials!

Mrs. K at The Teacher Garden is so full of knowledge. She has a diverse background of educational experiences including a wide variety of subjects and grade levels. 

Teach with a Smile
Karla at Teach with a Smile has been a first grade teacher for ten years.  She absolutely loves teaching and loves technology!  She sees technology as a tool.  Technology allows children to move beyond basic learning and opens the door for innovation, creation and collaboration.  With technology the possiblilities are endless...

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Using Glogs in the Classroom

One of my favorite technology projects to do with my students is to create Glogs, using the website:  Glogs are online posters, that can include a large variety of text and graphics.  However, they can also be interactive, and include links to websites, videos etc.  Students can create Glogs about a book they have read, a topic they studied (science, social studies, health, art, music – even math!) or they can create a Glog as a “how to” to show their friends (or you) the steps to a process they have learned (like solving a long division problem).  The options are really endless!  Glogs are simple to use and if each student signs up for their own account, they are free.  (There is a way for you to monitor all of your students, but that is a paid service.)

Another use for is that as a teacher, you can Egypt - Information for Kidscreate an interactive poster for students to use during their computer center.  This is especially helpful if you have younger students, or if you have only one or two computers in your classroom.  However, a teacher created Glog would also be a wonderful way to make your interactive white board into an independent center.  For my class this year, I created a glog on Egypt (click HEREInformational Book on Egypt for Kids Free to view it) that my students used to complete their Egypt research book.  (Feel free to grab a free copy from Google Docs.) The students loved that they could click on the weather box and find out what Egypt’s weather was like on that particular day.  For my students who needed everything clearly given to them, all the answers were right on the main page, but for those students who needed a little more of a challenge, there are links to further information, allowing them to delve deeper into the subject. 

How could you use Glogs in your classroom?  I’d love to hear some of your ideas.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources    Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Hey guys!

My name is Michelle Lundy from Making It As A Middle School Teacher.  I teach 7th grade Math along with one class of Social Studies.

I am so excited to be part of this awesome new beside myself happy!

I'm sharing a video tutorial for a website that I love called  If you like trying different fonts for your documents, this is the website for you!

I hope you'll like it as much as I do.

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

VoiceThread in the Classroom

Hi everyone! This is Ginger from Ginger Snaps! I am a new contributor here on Technology Tailgate and I'm sharing a tech tool I use in my classroom to enhance their learning!

Maybe you have heard of VoiceThread, maybe you haven't, but this website gives you a fun way of teaching different subjects in your classroom! 

I was teaching all about land and water features last year and decided I would make a VoiceThread instead of just using a flipchart to introduce the information. It is super easy to do and can take as little or as much time as you wish. 

Here is my example...

All you have to do is create a FREE account, decide what skill you want to teach, choose and upload the photos you wish to use in your presentation, and then record your voice! The steps are very simple and the website makes it very easy! You can rerecord as many times as you need to until you are happy with what you said. I really recommend having something written down!

I literally took our standards support documents for science and read them during the presentation so I made sure I covered all the bases of what they needed to learn. 

Another great thing about VoiceThread is that you don't have to make your own! You can browse through thousands of premade threads and use them in your classroom at no cost! Just click browse and type in the topic you are looking for and VOILA! 

And finally, the BEST part about this website is that you can have your STUDENTS make their own VoiceThread as a review of what they learned! How cool is that!? 

So, go take a look at the website and let me know what you think!

Click HERE to head to the site.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Use a Computer to Enhance Your Listening Center

I’m so thrilled to be added to the roster of contributing authors here at Technology Tailgate.  On my blog, Raki’s Rad Resources, I have regular Wednesday Website Suggestions, and share various technology projects that I work on with my students.  I hope to use Technology Tailgate to share even more technology with you.

This year, I had only one computer, so it was often hard to get all the kids on to the computer.  One way I used my computer was as a listening center.  There are lots of great websites that have “online stories” that children can listen to, but here are three of my favorites:
1. Storyline OnlineThis is one of my favorites because it has Storyline Online - Online Stories for Kidscelebrities reading really good, quality books to the students AND it shows the words of the book on the bottom, so students can follow along.

2. Reading Is FundamentalReading is Fundamental - Online Stories for KidsThis site has some great classic stories, like Cinderella and The Fox and the Grapes, and all the stories have the words for the students to follow along with.

3. Mighty BooksMighty Books - Online Stories for KidsThese original stories are very colorful, animated and well read.  You can get more books with a subscription, but there are 8 stories you can listen to for free!

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources   Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Storybird Video Tutorial!

Hey everyone! It's Sarah from Miss A's Kindergarten, and I'm excited to be linking up my first tutorial post on Technology Tailgate! I hope that it helps you in your search to become more techie in your classroom. Your kids will absolutely love you for that!

Storybird is a tool that can be used to create beautiful illustrated books without having to hire an illustrator. The artists that contribute have done an amazing job with their artwork so that we can write to our little hearts content! I think this would be a fun way to teach your shared writing lesson!
Below is the book that I created for you to look at. I tried to use all the different picture positions that Storybird offers so you can see all the ways you can do it.

The Monsters In My Closet! by sadams22 on Storybird  Okay well here you go! Below is the embed for the VIDEO TUTORIAL! I love making these and I hope that you enjoy watching them. Feel free to pin, share, comment, like, whatever you feel like doing! I'd love to help as many teachers as possible with these tutorials. I know that technology may seem like a scary monster to you at times, but just remember that the monster may turn out to be your friend like the ones in the book did. :)
If you would like to start your Storybird account and receive a FREE PDF download on sign-up, just put your email address in the form below. Your email is NOT required on the form, but if you do include it, the PDF that would normally cost you $2 would be free instead, and I would receive one free PDF download as well! If that's not a win-win, I don't know what is! :) If you like this post, drop by my blog and follow it so that you can see all my newest updates right as they happen! 

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Motivating Your Writers with Comix

I found a great website this summer and cannot wait to use it this coming year!  Have you all heard about Make Beliefs Comix?  It is a wonderful {and free} website.  Not only will it help to motivate reluctant writers, but it can also be used for teaching dialog, creative writing, social/emotional topics, and more!  {There is even a section on the site just for teachers!}
If you would like to hear more about Make Beliefs Comix and how I plan on using it this year, stop by my blog! 

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Student Blogging

Have you ever thought about having your kids blog?? I've thought about it SO many times, the hurdle I was having is finding a platform or way to do it.  I had even had brief brain storming conversations with administration on how to do it.  (They are very much in favor!)  Looking through the Common Core Standards, I know  kid blogging would help meet SO many of those standards!  Technology, collaboration, response to peers, the possiblilities are utterly endless!  Check out Tara's post over at 4th Grade Frolics.  She has it all figured out!!!

4th Grade Frolics: Do You Use Kidblog?? You Should:): Hello everyone! Happy Thursday and can someone please slow this summer down?! I am enjoying my relaxing and projecting and crafting, but...

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

iPads in the Classroom? Check this out!

50 Innovative  Ways To Use iPads In School | Edudemic »
Imagine if you will: your school turns out to be sitting atop a long-lost priceless treasure and your district is suddenly extremely wealthy. Each student is given an iPad because it's touted as being... more 
from edudemic
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rockin Computer Unit

Has anyone been lucky enough to attend a conference featuring Mr. Kurt Schwengel of Rock and Roll Kindergarten????  He is AMAZING with a great gift of incorporating technology into his kindergarten classroom.  Check out his unit on computers, he integrates learning with and about computers throughout every subject area in kindergarten! His ideas can easily be adapted to a variety of grade levels. Check it out! -> The Computer Unit

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012


  Are you looking for more ways to integrate technology into your classroom?  Do you love blog hopping, yet get overwhelmed by all the amazing and wonderful ideas out there? 

Well this blog is for you then!  This blog is dedicated to taking all those amazing technology ideas for the classroom and putting them in one place...a Technology Tailgate!

This is a brand new blog dedicated to you the teacher, by showcasing real technology ideas for use in your classroom through a collaborative effort of teacher bloggers. To share ideas and demonstrate real ways technology is being used in the classroom.  As we move towards full implementation of Common Core, many of us our asking ourselves, "How am I preparing my students to be digital learners, collaborators and leaders?" Please check out the tabbed pages for more information.
This blog will only be successful with collaboration and sharing from a diverse group of educators! We are on the lookout to showcase great ways teachers are using Technology in their classroom!  Please email me if you have a great technology post on your blog or website that you would like to feature here.   

Thanks for stopping by the Technology Tailgate!

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