via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

TESiboard is a collection of interactive whiteboard activities that has been made available to teachers for FREE!

A product from the UK, TESiboard activities are grouped by years. They don’t correlate perfectly to our grade level system but, when looking for an activity, it will get you fairly close.  EYFS might be preschool, KS1 might be Kindergarten through grade 2, and KS2 looks a great deal like our 3rd-6th grades.

You can play the activities right from the website or download to your computer. Some of the activities have a “one and your done” page, while others can be played over and over again. Though I have only played with a few of the charts, I believe that this site provides activities for all grade levels through middle school. Several students I shared this with today got caught up playing the TESiboard where you add decimals  in order to get enough fuel to launch the rocket.

So, if you are looking for a quick interactive activity to practice or reinforce skills, check the TESiboard collection!

This great resource was shared today on Twitter by Vicki Davis, the Cool Cat Teacher. Have you checked Twitter today??

Sluggish iPhone or iPad??

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

I am often a day late and a dollar short when it comes to technology news, so I hadn’t planned on sharing this information. However, after talking to several iPhone/iPad aficionados that were equally surprised, I decided this may be helpful to someone after all.Is your iPhone or iPad running sluggishly or is your “home” button not working consistently or responding more slowly than when your device was new?? It could be that ALL of the apps you EVER have opened are still running in the background….and you don’t even know it.

To see these apps, click the “home” button twice. The lower part of your screen will then display a row of apps in a new, little window. Touch and hold one of these icons (as if you were going to delete it) until a minus sign appears. Then “subtract” them one by one until those apps are gone. Your iPhone/iPad is now free from all those opened and secretly running apps!

You should NOT close down any apps that are pushing notifications—this includes “Words with Friends” (or you will miss your turn), your calendar (or you will forget to move the netbook cart—sorry Alicia!),  Google + apps…etc.

If this is a surprise to you, then you are probably sharing my initial reaction….oh my gosh!!
Enjoy and pass along!



via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

OK folks! We just have to learn to use this one. Today was a rough day for the access points, hardware, or iBoss. I really don’t know what the problem may have been, but, on occasion, everyone has to ask the question: is it just me and my computer??? And this site is better than the Magic 8 Ball!


Down-for-everyone-or-just-me is a web site that will do the work of your local TIS, checking to see if that webpage is really down as opposed to being blocked or just loading so slowly that it might as well be a dead link. Also known as isup.me, pasting your evasive link in the empty box and hitting return will provide the answer you seek.

Oh….if it doesn’t work, then please call for help!

iTunes Match

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

Many teachers are using their personal smart phones as a technology tool in the classroom. These devices allow teachers to take role, quickly send e-mail, use apps to solve discipline issues and to fill the learning environment with music. 

For those heavily invested in the music end of things, yesterday iTunes finally rolled out  “iTunes Match“. According to iTunes, “With iTunes Match, even songs you’ve imported from CDs can be stored in iCloud. And you can play them on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC — whenever you want and wherever you are, without syncing. iTunes Match is just $24.99 a year.”

This only pertains to iPod Touch 3rd and 4th generation, the iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone 3GS or later and devices must have iOS 5.0.1. It will work with Mac or PC with iTunes download 10.5.1 For those wanting access to all of their music in the cloud, this will be the way to go if you can swallow the stiff annual price. 

Thanks to “The Loop” for this information!

Skype Revisited!

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

When the staff first received laptops, Skype was discovered as we sat in training. It was like the video-phone from “The Jetsons” or the viewscreen from Star Trek had come to life! One by one, teachers created accounts and we “Skyped” each other like miscreants instead of attending to the lessons at hand. Some teachers quickly found ways to use Skype in the classroom. My kindergarten class would get the “weather report” from another class that had just returned from recess; we “Skyped” people on college campuses and businesses during career week; teachers at workshops or out-of-town could Skype their classes to “check in”.  After leaving the classroom, I became a “fairy god-teacher” to a class or two, sending educational gift packages and following up with a visit through Skype.

This year, it seems we are revisiting Skype! Jerri Davis recently set up a Skype connection for one of her third grade teachers, and the two classes quickly planned an online collaborative lesson! More teachers are hearing and asking about this great tool, and this past week,  Steven Anderson’s blog included an entire list of great projects that classes can join if they have access to Skype, projects that can open a whole new window to a world that many students never dreamed they would experience!

Skype is important to me in a personal way as well. I have been using Skype to “call” my children at college. This visual connection has become even more vital since my twin boys, who have Asperger’s syndrome, moved away to college. Never great at conversation on the phone, Skype has provided a much-needed visual connection to my reluctant communicators.

To get started using Skype in the classroom, use Skype’s educational site: http://education.skype.com/
The direct link to Skype’s list of ways to use Skype in the classroom: http://education.skype.com/projects
To download Skype: http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/
For other ways to use Skype, visit 50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom.

Once you get hooked on this versatile tool, the only thing you might need will be a “morning mask”.

Share Our Nation's History

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

Great resources from Scholastic. com on “The First Thanksgiving”.

I always think of the month of November as the month of “thankfulness”: a time to really focus on all our of blessings both at home and in our nation. As educators, I believe it is critical that we share our country’s rich history and develop an early appreciation within our students for the freedoms and gifts we enjoy as Americans, and this experience doesn’t need to rest solely on the doorstep of the Social Studies or History teacher. Integrated learning experiences can bring the past to life, reveal the timeline of science, technology, and history, and expose the true value of the”everyday” things that we now take for granted. Read the journals of the pilgrims, study the diseases that claimed so many lives, wonder over the tools and materials that had to be hand-crafted, and marvel at the courage of those who dared to leave everything for the unknown. Could we have done the same?

So, get involved this season by sharing the past with the students who will create our future. If you need a great place to get started in looking for ways to engage your students, Scholastic has wonderful resources for all age groups and includes videos, a timeline, and a tour of the Mayflower.  Teachers First is another great site and the lessons often include great technology tools such as Tagxedo, Vocaroo, and VoiceThread.
Take advantage of this season to share our history as we nurture our students to become productive citizens of tomorrow.

Web 2.0

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

The web is so full of new games, gadgets and gooeys (gui-s?)  that finding the new or the useful can be complicated. I sometimes become so distracted while “resource surfing” that I forget what I was looking for in the first place!So, to keep me on track, there is a website that I use when looking for “new” stuff to try: Go To Web 2.0!

Go To Web 2.0 is easy to use because you can search the index of tools by using “tags”. So, if I need a photo tool to create a gallery for display, you can use those tags to weed through it all, winnowing thousands of resources to just a few! That is how I discovered Blipfoto.com, a daily photo-journaling site.

There is also a newer site I have been using: Web 2.0’s Top 1000 List!. This site comes from Web 2.0 Search Engine, but the new site is in a list format in which all the most popular web 2.0 tools have been neatly organized!

As you search, keep in mind that not all things are free, but, with so many resources at our disposal, these searching sites can provide you with the options you need as you are looking for new technology tools to spice up instruction and learning in your classroom!

Ideas to Inspire

This week, two of our administrators attended a meeting in Kilgore where they were introduced to Project Share. Of course they immediately came back and shared the fun, including the website, Ideas to Inspire.Ideas to Inspire is an interactive idea site. Decide if you are interested in presentation, hardware, software, or online tools, and it will provide you with a list of selected resources in that category. Once you have made your selection, a pop-up window will appear with a presentation containing multiple ideas to get you started.

Here is a video on 32 Interesting Way to Use an iPod Touch in the Classroom. I know that it is HUGE, but I couldn’t change the HTML—I did try though. Just click the little box to open in another window. Sorry!

Ideas to Inspire is the creative genius of Mark Warner, who also authors the blog, Teaching Ideas.


re-posted from Technology Tidbits
a Twyla Felty blog

U.S. Geological Survey

Learning is always more interesting when it pertains to current events, and nothing can provoke more discussion than a natural hazard that sweeps the news. Teachers can take advantage of sudden student interest as these events occur but may need quick and ready resources. 

Well, the U.S. Geological Survey has its own website and it covers these natural hazards! I first found this site when students showed an interest in the floods that were occurring in the northeast, but the U.S. Geological Survey also covers earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, geomagnetism, and other coastal and marine geological events.
The U.S. Geological Survey has an educational link at the top that offers grade-level materials including lesson plans, videos and animations. I re-visited the site today and was able view time-lapsed animation of Io, Jupiter’s moon, in eclipse!  This site would be a great place for students to investigate as they study the world around them!

re-posted from Technology Tidbits
a Twyla Felty blog

iPad Comparison Chart

Wow! The other day, I sent out a simple e-mail and just happened to mention that Christmas was only 64 shopping days away, and, suddenly, I am flooded with e-mails asking for help in selecting technology products for Christmas gifts.

Since I am really a Kindergarten teacher disguised as a technology integrationist, I turned to my PLN for help, and one of the individuals I follow is Kim Komando. On her radio show she mentioned a comparison chart for individuals wanting to compare the iPad 2 to other options on the market, and I think that anyone purchasing such a device would find this chart extremely useful.

So, happy shopping, and, by the way, there are now only 53 shopping days until Christmas! Have fun!!

re-posted from Technology Tidbits
a Twyla Felty blog