EXCELLENT RESOURCES TO HELP YOU INCORPORATE UDL!

Friday, March 22, 2013

LiveBinders Tip: Use LiveBinders as a Way to Enhance Assignments

Anytime that you give an assignment, you usually have 3 types of students:

  •  The experts - who don't really need your help 
  • Those who need pointed in the right direction from time to time 
  • Those who need your every moment of help 
How do you free yourself up to help the students who need the help, while giving students who don't need help, the freedom they need? A great way to do this is through LiveBinders. Check out my most recent AudioBoo posting about using LiveBinders as a way to enhance learning for all! It will give you tips for using the following ingredients:


Monday, March 18, 2013

Taking Podcasting and Social Media to a Whole New Level

There has been a tremendous amount of progress made in the world of social media over the past couple of months. In fact, I believe that we are in the midst of another social media shift. I came across a really unique free Social Media App from Apple called Audioboo. Do you want to see it in action? Check out this article as an Audioboo:

Audioboo is a podcast-like program that lets users share up to 3 minutes of their voice with the world. Share your opinions, interviews, or micro-podcast! Users can create their own account for free and upload their recordings, pictures, and geo-locations to Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks. 

A few months ago, I had my students create a podcast, where they had to research and record a news story about a product recall for a program like NPR. This could have been a great tool for students to share their research with the world! In fact, one teacher I recently talked with told me that "when students know the rest of the world is watching (or in this case listening), they are more likely to step up their game." 

Not a big fan of student recordings? You might want to check out the Audioboo channels for short audio recordings. I am a big fan of CNBC and found some great interviews on the Italian financial crisis. This is a great resource for any classroom! 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Storage Ideas Made Easy for the iPad

iPads have made life so much easier for all of us, which makes it even more important to be able to access your files on the go. What options do you have for accessing PowerPoints, Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, and PDF files? Here are a few Apps that you might want to be aware of:

Dropbox - this free App gives you 2 GB worth of free space when you sign up; however, you can increase your box size by inviting others to use the service. When you automatically save photos and videos, you can earn up to 3 GB. From personal experience, if you need to access files from Dropbox website, it is very easy to use.

Box - this free App gives you 5 GB worth of free space to store all of your pictures and files. This App has a Microsoft feel because many of the icons look like the familiar icons of Windows.  Although very similar to Dropbox, it doesn't have the auto-upload feature for photos like the popular App.

What Apps do you use for file storage? I'm curious.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Interactive Classroom Presentation Tools

In case you haven't heard, the old model of the classroom lecture is changing. Teachers are no longer required to broadcast information like a television station. In fact, more interaction is a great thing! How can you create more interactive presentations? Here are some ideas:

Sign Up for Presentation.io

I have several computers and iPads in my room and wanted a way to share a presentation with my students on their computer screens. Doing this used to mean purchasing expensive software that doesn't work half the time. Now there is a free alternative called Presentation.io, which allows you to make a live presentation, sharing slides and all, on any device in real time. The best part is that it is free.

I tried it the other day and was amazed at how easy it was to use. I was able to upload my presentation in the form of  a Word Document, PDF, or PowerPoint and then presto! I could share a link via email or through a unique URL, which students accessed on my Edmodo page. As we went through the presentation, my students were able to post comments and chat about each slide. It was a great way to provide excellent classroom discussion in a unique 21st century way. We could even keep the presentation and notes for up to  48 hours in the free version.

Create YouTube Quizzes

Want a way to engage your students and assess them at the same time? You could use Blubbr.tv as a way to create "trivs" or YouTube quizzes, where you can embed quizzes into YouTube videos. There are hundreds of pre-made "trivs" available for your browsing pleasure or you can create your own.

How do you do it? When you sign up for your free Blubbr account, you will have to create a name for your "triv." After you have come up with a name, you can search YouTube for your perfect clip. I am currently teaching financial literacy concepts to my Accounting classes, so I though that I would create a clip from my old "Mr. Bergman's Money Minute" videos on YouTube. I created several multiple choice questions to strategically place within my video clips,  for my students to answer during the presentation. When I was done, I shared my "triv" with my students and they got to compete to see who had the best score!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Special Guest Post by Ivy Delfin


I always love receiving requests for guest blog posts; however, I have never received one outside the United States. Don't you just love the power of technology? Here's a special guest post by a new friend of mine named Ivy Delfin. 

Could speed reading and memory techniques to help your studies?

The key success, according to many philosophers, business people, entrepreneurs and CEOs, is the ability to process a lot of information and retain what is important. The problem is, not all information is important to you, and to know what is, no matter how unexpected, you have to be able to go through it. In reality, no one else can do this for you. I know this sounds like an impossible task. Who can realistically read everything that might have some potential importance to them? Well, the answer is nobody, but you can definitely maximize your intake and refine your summary skills with some memory techniques from Gloo The Memory Company.

You can refine your memory skills with things like information mapping techniques and effective speed reading, which will allow you to process and store large amounts of information better than your external hard drive, and have key points and details at the ready. What could be more useful for study than being able to understand and store a whole semester's worth of work in a set amount of time. The benefits of having a good memory are clear, but until I discovered these techniques, I assumed that a good memory was simply something that you were or weren't born with. Now I understand the brain to be something that can be trained and refined, just like a set of muscles. Using memory techniques has revolutionized my studying, and I know that they will continue to be useful throughout my professional life.

Ivy Delfin is a copywriter working with Gloo the memory company. We specialize in combining Memory Improvement with Speed Reading Techniques to help you save time and get more done each day. When Ivy's not writing content she enjoys swimming, shopping and taking her dog for a walk.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Create Your Own App with Yapp

Wouldn't it be cool to create your own App for a special event? Sound crazy? You might not be a technologically-savvy person or you might be completely scared, but it's possible with Yapp.

Yapp allows you to create an App for your event to share directions, time schedules, photos, etc. in just a few minutes. Users are using Yapp to create their own customized Apps for reunions, weddings, parties, book clubs, and fundraisers. Could we use it in education? Imagine creating an App for the next professional development day or back to school night? The potential is there!

The best part is that you can customize it with the best backgrounds and your own personal pictures for free! You can view it on  your iPhone or Droid. Check out this cool video on Yapp.



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Literacy and Vocabulary Tools Galore

Literacy and vocabulary tools are the theme for this post. Over the past week, I have had several people suggest some great tools that I would like to pass on to you. Let me know what you think!


  • Ruzzle - a student of mine named Jazzmine introduced me to this "Boggle"-like word game, where you compete against friends and others to form words. When I asked her if she ever heard of Boggle, she replied "What's that?" I certainly felt my age after that one. What I like about the game is that you can use it on your iPad, iPod, or iPhone and it allows you to play in practice mode. I'm interested in knowing, how would you use this in your classroom? 
  • Teach Your Monster to Read - this site out of the UK is a very interesting way of teaching your students how to read. The free site gives students the chance to navigate through 8 levels of game-like scenarios, to practice letter, reading, sound recognition, etc. My only concern is that this site originates outside of the US and some of the spellings are different; however, it may be a great way to learn basic skills in a unique way. To learn more about how this game works, check out this link.
  • Lexipedia - I have heard of visual dictionaries, but I have never heard of a visual thesaurus. It is very much like Visuwords, in the sense that you type in a word and get a visual of potential words. The site gives you the ability to filter words, based on parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms. This is a tool that could be used in any classroom K - 12. 
  • Mathwords - ok math people, here is a great tool to use in your classroom! Mathwords provides a visual and text definition of Math vocabulary words on any level imaginable. Need to know what a ray is in Geometry? How about what an average is in a fifth grade class? This may be a great resource to have available for students to use inside and outside of the classroom. 


What tools would you add to this list? If you have an idea, please share!