Tech Learning Made Simple(r)

Here is a link to an amazing wiki with an amazing number of online resources.

E-mails made into text message

  1. Students rarely check their e-mail leading to a lack of communication between teachers and students (think about your snow days, for example).  so you can use which lets you set up a class and the kids who want to receive a text can then do so and all you have to do is login and send out messages.

Free Access To Computers For Your Students

Some students do not have computers or have just one for multiple children using the same one.  There are several free sources for laptops.

  1. Computer Learning Centers Partnership (1-7)
  2. Fairfax County Clubhouses (Hours: Noon-8)
  3. Fairfax County Libraries

Google Docs

  1. Google Drive: (An 8 minute how to of the basics for Google Drive)
  1. How to have your students share in Google Drive, grade their work and collaborate with colleagues.
  2. How to for FCPS Google Apps (you must be in FCPS Google Apps)
  3. Blackboard
  1. How to put a Google document in Blackboard (24/7) 
  2. Blackboard Mobile 
  1. Search tips
  2. Create a document
  3. Presentation (written) video
  4. Excel spreadsheet Here is how to put a link in a box with a name
  5. Collection
  6. Drawing Here and here are how you can do it
  7. Forms How to
  8. How to link from an excel box
  9. Survey  How to video  How to grade
  10. Here is an overview of each item in the Google Docs suite.  Here, here and here are written how to sheets explaining all of the above.
  11. Here is how to set up FCPS Google Apps
  12. If you want to use GDrive on the ipad go here.

Organization Using Technology

  1. Diigo is a cloud based site that allows you to bookmarks your sites so you can find them on any Internet device in the world.  Diigo How to set up How to use video (allows you to save webpage links for future use and to save your login/passwords for all the sites you use).  How to put on Explorer page.  Go the search engine and type in “Fairfax” and then push the enter button.  Once you do that, click on the green link for Fairfax and then right side of the page hit the first link and it will bring up the “add” button on the left side.
  1. PDFs Into Word.  Most people know how to make a word document into a pdf, but what about the other way around - so you can save on printing and fill out the form or make changes on a lesson someone sent you without having to re-type.  If you have a short document (5-6 pages) and can wait and hour for it to be sent to you go to and you too can convert PDFs.
  2. Split Screen. What does this half to do with organization.  How many times have you printed something out just to copy it somewhere else.  Watch this sixty second video tell you how you can split your computer screen and look at two items online at once.  
  3. If you do not want to show an entire video that you find on, then go to and you can just type in the start and end points and it will create a new url and even a embed code.

Social Networking for Teachers and Students

  1. Blogging is a good way to share ideas and have others comment. is one great way to use this and it also allows you to share posts on other mediums.  Here is how you would create it.  You can also set it so only you and the student (or their parents) can see it.  Another great one is WordPress.  You can also set it so that you can use an aggregator (mentioned in the section above) such as so that you do not have to go to each student’s individual url, but can have them posted on one page.  Bloglines actually bolds a url when there has been a new entry.  Blogbooker allows you to also make your blog entries into a pdf and, of course, you can use to change a pdf into a word document.
  2. Classroom 2.0 is a way to connect to teachers and collaborate with them.
  3. Sometimes using Blackboard to communicate can be awkward.  Students do not use it as their “go to” site.  Edmodo gives you a Facebook-like site (with far better privacy settings), and can be used for education only.  You can upload documents for students to view, students can upload assignments, create groups by class period or even by prep.  Why is this better than using Blackboard?  It is more intuitive, and students will be much more familiar with the interface.  You can use the social learning environment to extend learning outside of your classroom.  This blog post gives a good review of the site for use in the classroom.  There’s even an app for it.
  4. Teachers Connecting is a site that helps you find another teacher to collaborate on a project.
  5. Today’s Meet is a great site where you can set up a room for your students who can “talk” for between two hours up to a year.  Here is a how to video for it.  Also, if you want your students to include urls, they can go here to create them.  Finally the room also allows one to set up a chat room on Twitter.
  6. Twitter: When non users think of Twitter, they think it is something that you use to quickly follow people’s lives.  But there are thousands of people using Twitter who send out helpful ideas and sites.  Here are tips for using Twitter and here are a number of educators, you might want to follow.   Here is how you can use Twitter as a learning tool for both the teacher as well as the student.

Student Mastery

  1. Digital Story Telling.  Mixbook is a great site to have your students create pictoral storybooks where students can put their pictures and words and turn then the pages can turn just like a book.  The books can be embedded in websites or you can get a url as you can see in these examples. Another resource you can use is Yudu which would allow your students to create a story within word (and if you use Google Docs, you can add and change your own pictures) and then change into a book complete with pages that turn.  Movie Maker is also on any computer that has Microsoft.  
  2. Fakebook allows students to create a Facebook page for a famous person and does not require a login/password, nor going on Facebook
  3. Glogster allows students to make posters using video, words, pictures and do it on multiple pages.  Teachers can have their own private pages so that student work is blocked from being seen by outside users.
  4. Google Translate allows students to instantly translate into fifty-eight languages.
  5. Movie Maker - this is on your computer if you have Microsoft Word and most of the students already know how to use it, but if not, go here or here.  
  6. Popplet lets you create an online chart in which you can put pictures, video, words, etc. and connect with lines into a graphic organizer.  This would be great as a review for students.
  7. Podcasting allows students to “present” a “radio” show.  If you click here, you will see five resources.  The best one is which does not require any downloading and gives students all the tools online to create a class podcast.
  8. Prezi allows you to create a PowerPoint like presentation which is web based and in their words it can “create maps of texts, images, videos, PDFs, drawings and present in a non linear way.”  
  9. allows students (and teachers) to create flash cards to study from.  Also if someone else has created cards, then you can use them yourself as a study tool.
  10. Here are 10 different ways students can create storybooks including ones where the teacher can create a page so there is no login/password necessary for the student.
  11. Jaycut is a free version of Movie Maker that is entirely in the crowd.  Here is a great video explaining how to use it.

Teacher Mastery

  1. This is a page that helps students write an essay.  If you want more for essay writing skills, go here.
  2. FreeTech4Teachers has four updates a day  on technological uses for teachers and students.
  3. Learn It In 5  gives teachers many resources for those who want to watch short videos for items they can use in the classroom such as Edchat (a way for teachers to connect on Twitter) Edmodo (see Social Networking, above), Glogster, Skype, Voicethread, and much more.
  4. One hundred technology sites to help you in the classroom.  If you enjoy using technology, this site quickly tells you sites and their uses for the classroom.
  5. Prezi allows one to have a non linear PowerPoint as you can see here. It also allows you to work with multiple partners who are on different computers at the same time.
  6. Video Ant allows you to upload videos and annotate them.  You can add notes to a particular segment of a video to add in additional information that you would like your students to know about the topic.  You can also now annotate a video in youtube and connect to other videos - here’s how.
  7. Wordle allows you to take any text and turn it into a “word cloud”.  It creates a visual representation by analyzing the text and determining which words are used the most or the least.  Here is an example of the U.S.Constitution as a Wordle.