Going Green (green screen, that is!)

Looking for an easy way to bring Green screen into the classroom? Green Screen App by Do Ink
This $2.99 app may make things easy for you.

This article offers 5 easy tips and a couple of examples to get you started.


Spicynodes: A visual and interactive option for classroom projects

SpicyNodes is an interactive mind map creator that allows students to explore any topic by clicking on the different information boxes. It took me a minute or two to get it, but the gallery includes an interactive poetry creator that I just loved. This is a tool that will work in any classroom. Check out the gallery to see what I mean.

Stop Motion in the classroom

At TIE, Ms Angel Gallegos-Jung from Littleton presented on the use of stop motion movies in class.

For some of her examples, you can visit her YouTube channel:

And if you would like to make your own, below are wome of the tools she highlighted for us:  The Jellycam requires download and install. Right now, it’s free, but there is a “donate” option if you like the tool. SAM animation is a recommended app that is for K-12 teachers as well.

We discussed the LEGO Super Heroes app on iTunes, but had no hands-on experience.

Infobytes for March


Looking for a place with Fair Use music clips? Try where you and your students can download and remix a variety of clips.


How about an online publishing option? Scribd offers a collaborative option for publishing academic papers and collections of articles about a particular subject. This is a great resource for publishing a class project.

We’ve been talking about Glogster in the library this week. It’s really a fun resource.  If  you are a creative, non-linear kind of person (Especially you scrapbookers!) this will appeal to you for poster projects and even as a classroom resource.  I put one together for the library, and it took me about 30 minutes from sign-up to publish.


Looking for an easy way to add audio to your classroom? offers free, easy podcasting options right from your phone. Record your message and use the app to send it out. This is being used in our World Languages department with great success.

We’ve mentioned online slideshow options like Voicethread, Animoto, and Sliderocket in previous entires, and now here’s another: It’s free and easy to use.


Want to jazz up your photo album a bit? will allow you to upload and edit your photos. Another option is which will share your edited photo on facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

You all know how much I love my Catalog card generator at, well now you can create your own Newspaper clipping! go to and create your own authentic-looking newspaper article!

Using Online Games for Learning

A while back, we talked about the online game for learning Finance and business, Gen I Revolution, that Jon Poole showed me. Here are a couple of interesting options for Science and Math:

Looking to teach anatomy with games? Richard Byrne posted about  the Anatomy Arcade: With jigsaw puzzles, Whack-a-Bone, and videos, this site can make science even more fun!

Looking for a fun math resource? Manga High offers a gaming-based option for teaching math in the K-12 classroom. It has high appeal for students and you can check out a few trial games before signing up. If you’d like more access to math videos, try Byrne’s blog entry, 7 great resources for Math Videos

Richard Byrne recently posted about History Buff, a website that offers free primary sources for students and teachers. The online newspaper archive is not very well populated yet and I would still recommend our Pop Culture Universe database  from ABC-Clio  or  DPL’s Newsbank database over this site if you are looking for historic newspapers, but there are some interesting options for you to explore, including the historic panorama tours.

Infobytes: The “Did You Know…? edition

 Did you know that students can download cell phone ringtones that we can’t hear? It’s called the “mosquito” ringtone and it operates on a frequency that adults can’t hear. Want to test it for yourself? Try this link:

Did you know that you can access that link now by logging into the DPS network with your own login information? While I have found that it does not mean unlimited access to the web, you can click on the link in the DPS filtered page and log in with the username and password you use for Outlook. This will give you Youtube access. However, this also monitors your web usage, so make sure you log out and prevent students from using your computer because what they watch will be tied you YOUR personal account.

Did you know that there are tons of video contests out there for students? These contests can serve as extrinsic motivators or as great classroom tools to teach about editing, pacing, and audience. In fact, If you were to sign up for the Digital Storytelling Module offered by the DPS DEA( ) and co-taught by yours truly, you would have a great toolbox to help students create (literally) prizewinning videos.

 Would you like to know more about those contests?  The Online Video Contests ( )website has an easy to use setup, giving you a list of contests with brief overviews and a countdown of days left. Students can win $10,000 in college tuition if they create a winning video about safe driving, sponsored by the American Lawyers Association, or play golf with Annika Sorenstam by submitting a short video explaining why they should win. (And they check for creativity and copyright infraction) There are many more to be found.  Another great site is .  

Richard Byrne, author of the FreeTech4Teachers blog, has also pointed out a great contest from ( that asks students to create a video titled, “Washington DC through my lens…” which asks students: “Tell us about an issue, event, or topic that helped you better understand the role of the federal government in your life or community.” The focus is on looking at an issue from varying points of view for which our Opposing Viewpoints database or our E-Books would be fabulous. ( )

Did you know DPS-branded web options are coming? You can take a class from your humble librarian to learn more about these fabulous options for creating your own web page without having to wrestle with Manila. Stay tuned for the announcement from DPS and then sign up for my DEA Class (or bring me chocolate) to receive some in-depth training.

Did you know that our downtown library office offers three professional libraries for your use? The Classroom library ( ) is an excellent resource for classroom projects. If you need a selection of books on a particular topic at a variety of reading levels, our Classroom librarian can help you out. She can put together a book basket for you and send it through DPS mail. It does take about a week though, so plan ahead.

Our Video Film Library ( has a large selection of education-related films from jump rope techniques to a documentary on Mexico.

And our Professional Library offers a variety of titles for use in your continuing education. I am currently reading Teaching Generation M : a handbook for librarians and educators which has proven fascinating.

Did you know that Gale/Cengage has an app for your e-books? It’s called “Access My Library” The school edition will connect students and teachers with your library’s E-book collection using your school’s password. If you are a librarian, you need to call Gale to set it up, but then students can access your E-resources from anywhere with their ipod or iphone.

And lastly…

Did you know that these are my three favorite videos?




That’s all for this edition today, and thanks for reading the “Did you know” edition…Now you do!

♥Have a Great Week!♥

Summer Infobytes part 2

There were a slough of new tools to pick and choose from at the summer conference here in Denver. Here are a few more favorites:

Wallwisher is a program similar to the virtual sticky notes.  You can use this as a collaborative tool for posting comments from the class in a more visual format.  You can drag and drop posts to rearrange them, embed pictures, and create some effective collaborative projects.

I’m sure this blog has mentioned Dropbox before, but this is another tool that merits a second mention. We use Senduit at TJ, but Dropbox is more flexible and can be used for collaboration. Students can create an account and add teachers as collaborators for documents. In this way, the teacher has the option to offer feedback during the drafting process. While Dropbox is a download, it is also an online storage option so, unlike Senduit, it’s permanent.

Still not jumping on the GoogleDocs wagon? Try TypeWithMe for an online collaborative document creation tool. Students share the link for the document and each student is assigned a different text color. You can see revisions and you know who typed what. This can be a good tool for in-class collaboration.

Want to use the clickers in the classroom but can’t yet purchase the set? Try Microsoft Mouse Mischief. This downloadable plug-in allows students to click on polls, charts, and other options using wireless mice. You can attach multiple mice to your computer and students can interact with your lesson plans. The introductory video on the homepage is a bit self-aggrandizing but this is a free interactive tool for use in the classroom.

Many of us have been using Zamzar for our online file conversion, but here’s a new fun tool: online-convert. This tool offers options for audio and video files,  documents and images, and even includes a hash tag generator and an e-book converter. I have bookmarked this one and put a shortcut on my desktop!

DPS offers kids NetTrekker, a subscription  moderated search engine that translates results into different languages and includes a read-aloud option. Another search option for free is Sweet Search. I’ve used it for the last couple of weeks and found the results to be satisfactory. Students get results that are teacher and librarian-approved, but the next test will be to see if any are blocked by the filtering system.

Hopefully these will be enough to play with until school begins. See you in August!

More Great Sites for May

Language Arts:

Got a unit on Mythology coming up? Try Myths and Legends. This site offers flash videos of popular myths including Bab Yaga and Vasilisa the fair  and Finn McCool and the Giant’s Causeway. It also offers students the opportunity to create their own video based on a world myth or legend. Simple, easy, and informative.

Another favorite of mine is The Big Myth, a website that includes world creation myths. Visitors can choose the myth by clicking on the map. I liked this one so much I ordered the CD.

As a fan of storytelling, Odds Bodkin has always been a favorite of mine. He’s spectacular in person, having performed here in Denver at the Renaissance Fair and moving on to traveling the country to perform at schools of all grade levels.  His site includes downloadable tellings of some of his more popular stories. I  like to listen to these during my lunch hour sometimes.

Speaking of storytellers, I believe I have mentioned Drum Song Story in a previous post, but they warrant a second mention. You can listen to them on their web site as well.


This is an interesting site: Shape Collage requires a download, but you can take any  group of photos and turn it into  acollage in any shape from apples to hearts to kitty cats. I’m sure you can do dinosaurs and trucks too.

This is a visual version of Wordle and Tagxedo with photos rather than words.

Primary Sources:

From the National Archive Experience, The Digital Vault claims to contain more than 10 billion files. Visitors can click on photo tags or search by keyword. The site will also allow you to create your own collection of images or create your own movie poster using  images from the vault.

Online Contests:

Strutta is an online contest creator which allows you to connect with social networks to promote a contest. I had a hard time figuring this out until I went to the website and checked out the intro video. You can upload video, photos, and other media into the website and allow others to vote.  This one’s professional looking and offers a free trial, but does not appear to have free options for educators. It may be a limited, one-time deal.

Data, data, data…want to make your data look great on a web page?  Widgenie is an easy great tool to create your own graph widgets for embedding in your wiki or other web page. 


The World Digital Library offers some fascinating visual timelines with primary sources. Visitors can browse by place, time, or topic to find primary documents related to events in world history.