Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Noisli is different from the tech tools we typically talk about in class. It is basically a white noise generator for your classroom. It allows you to mix different sounds and volumes. This is more of a teacher tool to manage the environment. This tool allows classrooms to personalize their Noisli until it helps everyone focus. This would be beneficial to a classroom with students who need auditory input to focus. The adjustment tool can help make the noise pleasant for everyone in the classroom. You could offer it to specific students and have them use headphones. -Sophie

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Creaza is a digital learning tool that enables students and teachers to work with different subjects and topics by creating mind maps, presentations, cartoons comic strips, movies, and audio productions. Creaza contains hundreds of ready-made activities related to different subjects, topics, and curricula. Teachers can easily assign these activities to their students. They can edit and adjust the activity's title and description, set a due date, and add media files that the students can use. Creaza is completely web based, no installation or downloading is required, and users can work on their products wherever they have a computer with an internet access. This tech tool is a fun way to get students engaged in a way that they might not be able to if they were simply reading out of a textbook. -Richele L.

Monday, November 28, 2016


WriteAbout allows students to browse through writing ideas and visuals; it also provides them with the space to write online and get feedback from their peers. Teachers can leave private feedback for students in the form of voice recordings, written comments or annotations. -Kelly T.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Guest Post Week" on SpeartipEDU

Throughout the week, I will be sharing various tech tools for education through "guest posts." My SDSU students scoured the internet to find hidden gems and valuable technology tools for the classroom. I will feature a guest post each day this week. Check out these tech tools and perhaps use them in your class to increase engagement, learning, and fun!

Is there something you would like to contribute? Perhaps share an idea or your expertise in something? Contact me if there is a guest blog post you would like to write. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The $2 Bill

$2 bills are rare. Let's not let kindness be rare. 
This Thanksgiving, I am thanking for The $2 Bill.

My family and I have been going to this small country church for the past five months. When I say small, I'm talking about 20-25 people each Sunday. It's the type of church that when it's time to "greet each other," everybody gets out of their pews and walks around and shakes hands with each person, including the pastor. It's the type of church that when someone is gone, it's obvious and where everyone sits in the same spot, essentially having a "seating chart." So that's the context of this story. 
I had a birthday on November 15th. The next Sunday after my birthday, my name was in the bulletin under "November Birthdays."  I thought that was nice, but didn't think much of it. Tuesday night, just a few days later, there was a Thanksgiving service. During the time to greet each other, a lady came up to me. Her name is Virginia and is shy and quiet. She wears a blue hooded sweatshirt. She's probably in her mid-fifties. I have only ever said "hello" to her so we are by no means friends. In fact, I would say we are just one small step above "strangers" to each other. But at this Thanksgiving service, Virginia came up to me and handed me a envelope with a card inside. It was a birthday card with a nice message and a $2 bill. I sat there in my pew staring at the $2 bill and just thought, "wow, what a thoughtful thing to do." It meanta lot to me. Here I am, a stranger to Virginia, yet, she saw my birthday in the bulletin and took the time to buy a card, write a message, and put a $2 bill in it. 

I am thankful for Virginia and people like Virginia who go out of their way to make people feel good, even if they are strangers. Virginia didn't say anything to me when she handed me the card, yet I could tell it made her happy and feel good to do so. Virginia reminded me that a "gift" doesn't even have to be something with a high monetary value. It could be a card, a nice message, a handshake, a pat on the back or just a genuine smile. 

I am thankful for the good that is somewhere in everybody. I am thankful for thoughtfulness. 

That $2 bill was worth way more to me than two dollars. In school, the $2 bill could be a smile to your students. A quick note telling them how much you appreciate their effort latley. Or taking the time to listen to a story, no matter how long or "boring" you think it is. Playing basketball with them at recess. It could be making copies for a co-worker or bringing them a coffee if you notice they have been having a particularly stressful few days. It could be bringing a student aside and asking them how things are going. It could be sitting with a "not so popular" student at lunch. It could be emailing a parent, letting them know how much you enjoy having their kid in class or how hard their child has been working lately. It could be a tweet to a co-worker.  

The $2 bill is showing someone you care about them and that you are thinking about them. There's no price tag for that. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Hero Machine gives your students the ability to create their own superhero. With its user-friendly setup and process, students can design their own superhero and share it. Great way to work on creative writing and creative thinking: You could have your students create a superhero with this site and then provide the back story of how the super hero became a superhero, or how that superhero "saved the day" or the epic battles with the villain, etc. You could take it a step further and have your students design a "superhero" like Franklin Roosevelt, Walt Disney or Anne Frank and then have the students provide details about the life of this "superhero" complete with bio, special talents, environment, accessories, enemies, theme song, etc. This site gives all students the chance to create something they are proud of, whether they are good at drawing or not. Check it out! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Garbage on the Road

When I go running, I take the same route every time. For the last three weeks, while running my usual route, I've seen this piece of garbage on the road. It's just harmlessly laying there by the curb. It appears to be some sort of cable wire for a building project going on nearby. I notice it every time and every time, I just run over it as it's not that big. Each time I see it, I think, "Eh, someone will pick it up." And sure enough, the next day, that piece of garbage is still there. So one day, as I approached "the spot," I noticed it was yet again, still there. So I decided that when I got done with my run, I would drive in my car to that spot and throw that piece of garbage away. So that's what I did. 

Sometimes, if you want something done, you just have to do it yourself. 

Don't wait around for someone else to do it. Don't rely on others when you are totally capable of doing it yourself. Take action and be the one to initiate something you want to see happen/change. Seek out opportunities to help and lead. 

If you want your classroom to be more engaging and fun, don't wait around for someone to come by and do it for your or give you an idea. Take action and go do it yourself by connecting on Twitter. If you have a student who is not doing their work or being a pain, don't wait around for someone to come "fix" that student, do it yourself with kindness and compassion. If you are getting stressed out, don't wait around for someone to come take that stress away, do something yourself that will help, like reminding yourself why you are a teacher in the first place. If you want to try a new tech tool, don't wait for someone else to show you how to use it, just use it yourself and see what happens. 

There's lots of garbage on the road. And if we just wait for someone else to pick it up, nothing will happen and we will find our streets littered. Take the initiative to do something about it. Pick up that garbage with a positive mindset.