Friday, November 30, 2012

Trading Card Creator

Trading Card Creator is a free Web 2.0 site that allows students to create trading cards on a variety of subjects: people (both real and fictional), place (both fictional and real), physical object, event, or abstract concept. 

There is also a free iPad app (Trading Cards).   

Either version is very easy to use.  After naming and choosing the subject of your card, insert an image for the card, and fill in information specific to the subject chosen (in case of a person this includes background, major events, development, and memorable interactions).  Once the card is completed you have to option to print, save, or share (via email) your final product. 

Classroom Integration Ideas:
Students can create a set of trading cards about 
  • historical figures
  • characters from a novel
  • places or events being studied in social studies classes
  • scientific objects
  • original character creations of a students own design 
The cards could be used  
  • as introduction points to lessons
  • study cards for tests

Friday, September 7, 2012

Free App Friday - TapQuiz Maps World Edition

This Friday's Free App is a great tool for social studies classes to master geography.  TapQuiz Maps World Edition allows users to learn the countries of the world as well as the fifty United States through a fun and engaging game.  From the main screen users can choose from the following regions:

  • North America
    • United States
    • Canadian Provinces
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Oceania

Each region has its own quiz. Once the the quiz begins, just tap the answer to each question on the map.

A timer and overall score is shown during and after the review game, challenging students kids to improve their previous scores.  In most regions, there are various sub-regions resulting in 22 overall geography quizzes.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Free App Friday - A Triple Feature

To help start off a new school year, today's Free App Friday will be a triple feature of useful apps.

Spelling City (a wonderful Web 2.0 site) now offers a free app version that gives users access to a list of over 40 thousand words.  There are separate activities such as Teach Me, Test Me, Match It, Word Unscramble, Hang Mouse, and Which Word. While registration isn't required to use, if you do register, you can then create custom lists for your students.

Applications for Education: 

  • Use pre-created or custom word lists for students for spelling tests.
  • Use Teach Me activity to have words or sentences read out loud to younger students.
  • Use games such as Hang Mouse and Word Unscramble in learning centers.

Geometry Pad is an app students can use to learn geometry and understand key geometry concepts through practice. With Geometry Pad you can: move/resize geometric shapes and watch how its metrics are changing in real time, demonstrate theorems about incircles and excircles locations, and create and annotate complex geometric figures.

Applications for Education: 
  • Create geometric shapes and measure all its possible metrics like length, angle, area, perimeter, intersections, distance between points, angles between lines.
  • Demonstrate circle theorems by creating and changing inscribed and center angles.

K12 Periodic Table of the Elements is an app that lets you explore the elements and their key attributes in an easy-to-use manner.  Simply tap on the element and a display of the elements  name, symbol, atomic number, atomic mass, Lewis dots, and radius appear. Colors change in the table to show classification, melting point, boiling point, outermost orbital, radius, ion radius, electronegativity, and ionization energy. Temperatures are shown in Kelvin, Celsius, and Fahrenheit scales.

The table even includes the newly named elements Darmstadtium (110), Roentgenium (111), Copernicium (112), and Ununhexium (116).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer is over, so as you prepare for the new school year, here is a Web 2.0 resource that is perfect for student laptops or a personal student device. is a free and simple site that allows you to create simple one questions polls in a matter of seconds. There is no registration required for the site. Simply go to and type your poll question. You can enter up to eight answer choices for respondents to select from. 

A URL is given which you can then share with anyone you would like to participate in the poll. 

Classroom Integration Ideas:
  • Use to poll students prior to introducing a new topic
  • Take a poll during a class discussion 
  • Use with faculty during a campus meeting or training

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Tutpup is a free site that allows students to practice math skills as well as spelling in an online game format. The site is made for students from elementary through junior high.  Students can play the games without creating a login. If both teacher and students create their free logins, the teacher can keep track of student scores, and students can complete directly against other classmates in the learning games. 
Inside each section students can choose the difficulty level they would like to use. 

Math categories include addition, division, multiplication, and division mixed into the basics called MATHS 101, or MATHS MIX. 

A multiplication section covers 2-11

An Algebra section lets students either add, subtract, multiply, or divide by a variable. 

There is also spelling section that pronounces words for the students to spell. There are five levels of difficulty for students to choose from. 

Classroom Integration Ideas:
Tutpup's fun head-to-head competition gives the students a chance to practice mathematics and spelling in slightly pressured environment while focusing on specific skills. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

4 For Free

Here are four free apps! All are simple to use for early elementary and pre-K grades.  

Long Vowels is a fun app for students to learn and practice phonics by piloting a spaceship and shooting at planets to identify each word that has a long vowel sound.

Applications for Education: By identifying words, this app helps students recognize common word patterns. They also will begin to understand how the initial consonant, middle vowels, and ending consonant affect pronunciation.

Little Writer is an simple but fun app that allows students to trace letters, numbers, words, and shapes. If the student traces correctly along the lines, they can collect items as prizes.  The app includes upper and lower case letters, numbers 1-10, basic shapes, and 3-4 letter words.

Applications for Education: Letter tracing is an important skill for beginning readers to master by helping the development of letter recognition and fine motor control. 

 Hungry Fish is an extremely fun app that helps students master addition skills.  By tapping or dragging number bubbles together to add up to the number on the fish, students will "feed" their very hungry fish. The surrounding sea life will blow out new bubbles for students to continue to add together to feed the fish. 

Applications for Education:  Students will develop fast mental addition skills as well as learning multiple ways to add up each sum. 

WR (What Rhymes) is a great visual and auditory app that lets students match rhyming words.  After the the question of "What rhyme with..." is read aloud, students tap the image that rhymes with the corresponding word from a bank of four images.  Once the correct word image has been chosen, students are asked what else rhymes with that particular word.  Additional rhyming words are then read aloud by tapping below the images.  

Applications for Education:  Teaching rhyming words (which is a basic component of phonics) in preschool and kindergarten can help build a base for reading comprehension later on. Also a great app for speech pathologists. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012


instaGrok is a free search engine site that looks like a mix between Tag Galaxy and Google's Wonder Wheel.  When you type in a search term, you will get a connected web of results.  From the original search results, you can click on a subcategory that will then expand with a new web of related terms and topics.

For each search topic on the right of your screen you will see:
  • key facts 
  • website links to information 
  • videos
  • images
  • quizzes
  • concepts
A sliding button at the top of the page lets you toggle your search results from beginner to expert.  At the expert level you will get a more defined search of the topic, while the beginner level is a much broader scope.

If you create a free account with instaGrok, you then have the opportunity to keep a journal of your search results, and can even "pin" topics you wish to save.

Classroom Integration Ideas:
instaGrok can be a great tool for students to use to refine a research topic and to organize that information while conducting their research. Teachers can take advantage of the linked videos and quizzes to use in their lessons.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Three Timeline Tools

Being a former social studies teacher, timelines have always interested me.  Below are three sites that allow users to create interactive timelines  

Better World Flux is a site that allows users to create animated visualizations of development data. To use Better World Flux simply select a data(such as life expectancy, child mortality rate, mobile subscription, etc) set from the menu provided and select the countries you would like to see the data on. An animated data visualization is created, which will change as the years on the timeline at the bottom of the visualization change. You can see growth and recession of a statistic over time.
Classroom integration ideas:

  • Students can track the progress of countries from a list of given indicators
  • Students create and share most compelling visualization timeline

XTimeline is a site that allows students fine information about featured timelines, as well as create their own.  The timelines can be collaborated on, just as they would when making a wiki, to build a multimedia timeline. Timelines built using XTimeline can include text, images, and video, and will accept dates in A.D./B.C. format.

The timelines can be embedded into a website or blog.

Classroom integration ideas:

  • Students can easily research the life of famous figures. 
  • Students can create a timeline for a specific topic and include images. 
  • Younger students (or as introduction to timelines in JH) could create a personal timeline using their own images and information. 

Time Toast is free site that allows users to easily build their own interactive timeline.
To add events to a timeline, users click on the "add an event" button. An event box pops up, allowing the you to enter enter text, place a link, or add a picture. Once built the timeline can be shared via a URL or embedded into another site.

Classroom integration ideas:
  • Students can create a timeline for a specific topic and include images.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Zooburst - revisited

ZooBurst is a free website that allows users to create 3D pop-up books using nothing more than public domain clip art and ZooBurst's web-based editing tools. 

Users can view ZooBurst 3D books online as long as your web browser has Flash.  The books can be rotated in the 3D environment, and images on the book can be clicked on to open additional information for each.  [Check out the gallery for examples.]
While anyone can view the books already created, to create your own teachers must submit a short request form to have a free account created. Teachers can also create accounts for their students as well. Once a book has been started, the user can edit the pop-up book's page, and background.  Images can be uploaded to be placed on specific pages, then be resized and placed in the forefront or background of the scene.  Text can be added to each page, with word balloons to each specific image.  To create a book in augmented reality, enable the webcam, then click the ZB button present on each story.  
Once a book as been created, you can share it with a web link or embed it in a web page. 

Classroom Integration Ideas:
  • Students can create a pop-up book for a historical or literary character
  • Teachers create a book for a specific event / holiday 
  • Make a tutorial book on a given topic 
  • Middle School / High School students can use to create biographical projects
  • Creative Writing projects for any grade level

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Alphabetimals is a free site that helps students learn the alphabet. There is an interactive flipbook featuring animal sounds as well as the pronunciations of animal names.

The Alphabetimals characters can spell out any word that is typed. It can then be printed for you. Overall a simple but fun site for students learning the alphabet.

Monday, January 23, 2012


2EPUB is an free to use website that offers a simple way to convert text documents into ePub documents for viewing on all iDevices. 2EPUB supports the conversion of many file types including Doc, Docx, ODT, PDF, and HTML. You can provide 2EPUB with the URL of your documents or upload them directly from your computer. Once the file is uploaded, set the display parameters, and click convert. When the conversion is complete you can download your file and use it on any device that supports ePub display.

Classroom Integration Ideas:

Teachers or students can create documents that can be made available for viewing on the iPad or other iDevices. Such as:

  • study guides
  • student created short stories or poems
  • essays

Friday, January 20, 2012


gText is a new site that provides a great free service for group text messaging by creating groups in the gText account.  You can send text messages as well as share files, photos, and calendars as well.
Your texts can be sent from your phone or from your computer. By default gText keeps group members' phone numbers private.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sock Puppets

Sock Puppets is a simple app that let's you create digital stories using virtual sock puppets.  Students or teachers can select up to four different sock puppet characters and up to five backgrounds. After they   select the props and scenery they want to use, they can move the puppets around and record voices for each puppet. Each recording can be up to thirty seconds.

Classroom Integration Ideas:

Students or the teacher can use this app for storytelling to help them create and publish digital stories.   Several students can record their voices to create a short play.
An advantage of using this for speaking practice is that it’s the sock puppet that’s actually speaking on the display, not the student.

Other ideas:

  • Students could record short poems
  • ESL students could practice dialogue