Monday, January 31, 2011

Career Exploration Resources

When it becomes time to discuss careers in your classroom, there are many resources that can help students begin their exploration of different careers.  Below are a few I use in my classroom!

Drive of Your Life is an awesome interactive website that enables students to create a car, trick it out, then drive and explore different careers based on a students interests.  The site was created by The Indiana Youth Institute and is used by counselors in my school when they talk about careers in our Technology Classes.  My students have done this for several years now but I always find them going back and messing with different interests and exploring different careers on THEIR OWN TIME even after we are finished in class.

Although Drive of Your Life was originally created for Indiana Students, children from all over the country can use it.  It will easily allow you to change your State and City information when logging in.  Also, students only need to create a user name and password if they want to save their results and come back later.  They also DO NOT need an email address to sign up!

When students want to look at EVEN MORE information about their career, I start them at the sites below:

BLS Career Information Home Page  - A great site created by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Students start by answering a basic question about what they like or like to do, then the page gives them career choices based on what they like.  Very simple, with information that is very easy to read!

Bills itself as a"An Online Career Exploration Adventure" and offers quite a bit of information about different careers.  You will not find every job, but many are represented on CareerShip.  Students can click on "Match My Career Interests" and choose an Interest Area for a list of job that matches their interests.  Easy & quick with a nice amount of information!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reduce your footprint: Ecological Footprint Quiz by Center for Sustainable Economy

Reduce your footprint: Ecological Footprint Quiz by Center for Sustainable Economy

Ecological Footprint is an awesome site that allows you to find what your ecological footprint is (or as the site describes "how much 'nature' your lifestyle requires."  It is a great site to use when you are beginning to talk about the Ecosystem/Environment and how our lifestyles can effect them!

The quiz is approximately 30 questions and some may be a bit tough to understand.  However, each question does have a link explaining what the question mean/what it is asking.  So I would recommend walking through this with your students. The site says there is a  "kid" version of the quiz located at but it does not appear to be working at this time.
Live like me and we would need 6 Earths!

The best thing about this quiz is the end of it.  You get great suggestions on how to lower your footprint, which opens the door for further discussion and research.  We are doing this in my class as a challenge to help make our city "Greener."  My students have to create a presentation on what they found out about their own footprint, steps they need to take to lower it, and suggestions for the rest of the community.

Another look at how my lifestyle compares to the rest of the country!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What the Tech? Technology Definitions for Kids!

     In my class, we do a couple of projects where we define and discuss various technology terms.  My students will research the definitions of various Computer Hardware Vocabulary, Internet Safety Vocabulary and Internet Browsing Vocabulary Terms.  One of the struggles for me has been finding websites that have definitions for technology terms that are easier for 6th Grade or Elementary Students to understand.  Below are a couple of sites we are using now, and  I also posted a couple of more sites for younger and older students.  Do you have any great suggestions for Technology Dictionaries?

TechDictionary has many technology definitions and a button to submit technology terms for future updates.  If you can get past the falling snow on the screen and a few of the ads, it has some good definitions for students studying Technology Vocabulary.  You can even embed a search box on your website, Moodle Site, or your blog!

  TechTerms has some very kid friendly defintions.  Many of the definitions will have examples or scenarios that help explain the technology term.  They even search terms by the keyword, or browse through categories on the left hand side of the page. 


I want to like NetLingo.  The definitions are good and easy to find.  However, they do have "definitions" of Internet Jargon and Slang so kids can look up what WTF means in class.  Sure the words are blanked out, but I am afraid some students may be more interested in what IYSS stands for than their assigned terms.

TekMom's Buzzwords

This site is good for younger elementary students.  This site is very simple.  The words are listed in alphabetical order and are very easy to find and define. 

If all else fails, you can always resort to some of the tried and true originals. 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Who's a Cyberbully?" by Mr. Dean & Little L

This is a Glog that I created as an example for my classroom during an Internet Safety Glogs Project we were doing in class.  I really really wanted a music connection, or some type of song about my subject Cyberbullying.  I scoured the Internet, and found a 40 second rap song that was part of a contest.  I included the short animated video of that song in my glog, but still wanted more.  I decided to write my own Cyberbullying Rap Song that would explain the subject, give tips to prevent it, and tell what should happen if you are cyberbullied.  I had Nebula produce the beat, my 6 year old daughter record the chorus, and the rest was history.

Now you can check out my Cyberbullying Glog with my original song "Who's a Cyberbully?"  Enjoy and please dont be too harsh!

Here is a link or you can view it below:


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Soundcloud - Easy Podcast and Original Music Sharing!

     Soundcloud is a site that lets you share your copyright free music or podcasts easily on your blog or website.  In my Rap It Up Project, I always wanted to have a neat way to share my students' original Rap Songs.  This is the answer.
       A Free account allows you the ability to upload 2 total hours of your own music files.  You can then create sets out of these files such as "Podcasts" or "Historical Interviews" and share only these specific files on your blog or website (worked great on my Moodle Site).  You can even see an example of one of my SoundClouds uploaded on this blog!

Here is an example of the SoundCloud Player on my Moodle Site.
You can even allow for commenting on the files (which I turned OFF).  The player shows how many times each file has been played so you can track popularity.

Soundcloud would be a great site to share any podcasts, interviews, original songs, etc with your community.  I was able to upload 52 songs on my Free Account to share my classroom's rap songs.  I now want to create another account (hint, hint) so I can upload and share our podcasts.

Monday, January 24, 2011

SumDog Contests and Competitions now available for FREE accounts!

SumDog is a site that allows students to practice their numeracy skills in competitions versus other classmates or against students around the world.   Back in December, I recieved an email from Sumdog notifying me that all Competitions and Games are now available for FREE ACCOUNTS.

I setup a class on Sumdog and had a 2 week competition amongst my students.  You can even edit the "Leaderboard" to show only the top 10 student scores or your whole class.  What I thought was pretty cool was you could even have competitions against students outside of your classroom.  Some of the games even let you compete against other students within the game.

My classroom competition was only supposed to be completed OUTSIDE of my computer class.  Students were on Sumdog in Study Hall, at the public library, and at home.  At the end of the 2 weeks, I had a dozen students who had spent upwards of 14 plus hours outside of the classroom practicing their numeracy skills. 

I awarded the top 10 students with an icy cold Mountain Dew at the end of the competition.  A small price to pay to see my students practicing their math skill just 2 months outside of our big Statewide Standardized Test.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

GlogsterEDU in the Classroom! "Whatchu Glogging About? "

GlogsterEDU is a site that allows students/teachers to create interactive multimedia collages & posters to share with their school community or to simply show understanding.

If you are reading this blog, then I know you have already heard about Glogster. Hopefully if you haven't used Glogster in your daily curriculum, you are planning to in the near future.

Here are some ideas of how you could use Glogster in the classroom:  Examples of 5 Glogs my students made are in the picture!!

  • Biography of Famous People (We do a Biography of people who have overcome adversity to achieve great things. Here is an example of mine about Curtis Mayfield.
  • Create a magazine cover of activities that have occur ed at your school for the week. These can be posted on your school website and shared with the community.
  • Internet Safety & Awareness Posters (Another project we do in class. Students choose an Internet Safety topic and create a poster/collage with videos, links, pictures, and facts/information. Here is an example of one I created about Cyberbullying.
  • Jigsaw Information: Have students break down a chapter in their Science Book. Each group creates a glogster with information about a section from their text. Include Videos, links for more information, personal videos and more. Have each group present these glogs to the classroom. A great way to break down large/difficult subject matter and spread out the hard work.
  • Newspapers: Students can create glogs similar to newspapers summarizing big events (Iditarod, Olympics, Elections, etc) and update them daily/weekly.
  • Photo collection of subject matter or of classroom & school events.
  • Video wall of video collections to extend your classroom discussions and/or curriculum.
  • With the Premium Version, students can upload files to share.  You could then use GlogsterEDU as a "Digital Portfolio" to post and share work or projects (Presentations, Graphs, Spreadsheets, etc)!
What are you doing to implement GlogsterEDU in your daily curriculum? 

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