Thursday, August 24, 2017

Background Noise on Steroids: "Noisli"

If you are the type of person that likes to have some background noise while working or trying to relax, then Noisli is the tool for you. It's a highly customizable way to create the perfect background noise for you while trying to be productive or to just relax. You can combine sounds to create the perfect mix of background noise. It's free to use and you don't even need an account to use it (though you can create an account if you wish). 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Interactive Timeline - "Sutori"

If you are looking for an interactive, engaging timeline tool, look no further than This tool works great for engaging students in new learning or in a review of content. It's many features provide a unique, interactive experience for the students. Let's explore what these features are:
*Text: students can add text to explain, describe, share, etc. 
*Pictures w/captions: Students can add a picture/image to go along with and support text
*Video: Students can embed a video to reinforce what they are working on
*"Did You Know": These "Did You Know" facts can be inserted throughout the timeline to provide extra, interesting facts about the topic. 
*Forum: Students can engage in dialogue with the forum feature. Post a question or discussion prompt and the viewers can add their thoughts/ideas to the forum and have a discussion. 
*Questions: Students can include questions that the viewer must answer throughout the timeline. Question options are multiple choice and matching. 
*Audio: Students can insert audio clips to add to the multimedia experience. 

My Life - Sutori Example
(Click Link for example)

Friday, August 11, 2017

That August Feeling

August is the perfect time to give yourself the "Am I meant to be a teacher" test. The summer has just ended, the school year is about to begin so this "in between" time can tell you all you need to know about yourself. So if you are ready to discover whether you should be a teacher or not, take this test. It's only 1 question. It will take about 1 minute, depending on how long you have to think about your answer. That, though, is also telling. If you have to think about your answer for a long period of time, that might tell you something right there.
So here's the test: Right now, in the middle of August, with the summer ending and the school year about to begin, I want you to think about how you feel. How do you feel about summer ending and school beginning?  Think about it and answer it honestly to yourself.

How you answer this question, how you feel about summer ending and school beginning will tell you all you need to know about whether you should be a teacher or not. If you aren't at least a little excited for the school year to begin, you should quit teaching and find something else to do. It's natural to be bummed summer is ending because summer is great and we all love it. However, a bunch of new kids are about to enter your classroom so if you aren't at least a little bit excited to meet them, work with them, and get to know them, then you are not meant to be a teacher. It is okay if you haven't done a lot of "professional development" over the summer. Sometimes, the best "PD" is to just relax and recharge the batteries over the summer. But if you are meant to be a teacher, you were at least thinking about school a little bit over the summer, brainstorming and thinking up new things to try with your students. If you haven't thought of even one new thing to try with your students this year, you are probably not meant to be a teacher.  If you find yourself dreading the school year beginning, you are certainly not meant to be a teacher. Don't be a teacher just because that's all you've ever done. Don't be a teacher just because you don't know what else to do. Only be a teacher if you are passionate about kids and about learning. If you are, then you would NOT dread the school year starting and you would be okay with summer ending.
A new challenge is upon us. Relish the opportunity to make an impact!