Friday, April 29, 2011

Top 10 Sites for Creating Word Clouds

"A text cloud or word cloud is a visualization of word frequency in a given text as a weighted list (wikipedia)." This is a concept that is utilized a lot in education for: visualization, brain storming, and mind mapping." While this can be done using paid applications such as Inspiration, there are a number of free sites that accomplish the same.

Top 10 Sites for Creating Word Clouds
  1. Wordle - Probably the oldest and most popular of the word cloud creators. Word clouds can then be edited w/ different fonts, colors, and layouts, and even shared w/ others online.
  2. Tagxedo - A great way to make word clouds from sites, different social networks, and then change shape to meet your needs (ie, star).
  3. Tagul - Similar to Tagxedo, a very easy to use site to create different shaped word clouds.
  4. Worditout - A nice site for making word clouds by just copying/pasting text.
  5. Word Sift - A excellent site for making word clouds and then editing them by altering the criteria in how it's created. Pictures are also generated to best represent your word cloud.
  6. VocabGrabber - A wonderful site similar to Word Sift in making word clouds. However, the clouds generated are color coded for best displaying clouds.
  7. Tag Galaxy - An innovative site that visually represents words in a galaxy style format. A must see!!!
  8. Tag Crowd - A simple to use site for creating word clouds by pasting in text or a web page URL.
  9. Quintura - Is a visual search engine where results are returned in a word cloud style format.
  10. TwitterSheep - A fun site that generates it results by keywords found in bios from a user's followers.


Tiki-Toki is a wonderful new web app for creating timelines. While this is a paid service (premium @ gold accounts) there is also a free account which is ideal for testing out or for having students create one timeline.

There are plenty of great features that make Tiki-Toki such an attractive option for users such as: very user frienly (think Capzules), the ability to add videos (via Vimeo/YouTube) and photos (via Flickr), editing background picture, etc etc.

I highly recommend checking out Tiki-Toki by clicking here!!!

For my Top 10 list of Timeline Creators click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Webspiration Classroom

Webspiration Classroom is designed by the team who brought you Inspiration and is designed for grades 5-12. Users of Inspiration will feel right at home as this is an ideal site for collaborating, brainstorming, and creating visual mind maps. Plus, w/ being on the web and the added web 2.0 elements there is a lot here to like!

I highly recommend checking out Webspiration Classroom by clicking here!!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Swayable is a visual way to create a survey/poll to vote on your favorite thing. This can be compared to Demo Slam in a way, and has some nice features such as the ability to comment, embed, and link.

I recommend giving Swayable a try by clicking here!!

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo's blog for the tip!!

Video Search in 3D

A fun little gem I found out about from iLearn Technology, Video Search in 3D. This is just a fun way to search for videos and build play lists, click here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Listmoz is a simple to use site for creating lists. This is nice site to use as it generates a unique URL to share w/ others and allows a user to check off what they've accomplished.

I recommend giving Listmov a try by clicking here.

It reminds a bit of the app Hit List.


BooNote is a free easy to use service for bookmarking. As w/ other bookmarking sites this site lets you organize your sites and even add notes. While not as robust as some other sites such as Diigo and iCyte I do think this is a nice site for beginners.

I recommend checking out BooNote by clicking here!

Thanks to Free Technology 4 Teachers for the tip!!

For other great sites on bookmarking check out my Top 10 list.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Top 10 Self Help Sites for Technology

When using technology it is inevitable that one is going to need help. A lot of valuable time can be wasted trying to search online or find someone that can help meet your technological needs. That being said, I decided to create a Top 10 list that will help teachers and students become "their" own tech. These sites focus on all aspects of technology (OS, hardware, software, etc) and should help that person find what they are looking for and save them that valuable time.

Top 10 Self Help Sites for Technology
  1. Atomic Learning - Probably the most popular educational solution for self help tutorials on a variety of technology areas.
  2. Woopid - A excellent site for 1000's of free video tutorials on technology. Also, a person can request a tutorial that is not found on the site.
  3. Learn That - A great site for free tutorials on a variety of subjects included technology.
  4. Lynda - A paid site similar to Atomic Learning that focuses on software training.
  5. Tech University - A wonderful site for the Mac user/enthusiast.
  6. Internet 4 Classrooms - A very nice site w/ tutorials for Mac and Windows users and lots of links for the K-12 classroom.
  7. Explania - A fun site w/ animated tutorials similar to Brainpop. Also, a user can create their own channel for videos and embed videos into their blog/site as well.
  8. Total Training - A great site w/ lots of tutorials for a monthly fee similar to Lynda.
  9. VTC - 1000's of video tutorials that can be viewed online or purchased as a CD, does require a monthly fee.
  10. Say it Visually - An interesting site where they create/design videos to meet your needs. They specialize in taking complex topics and making them easy to understand.=
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Caffein is one of my favorite new sites for creating a chat room. This is really easy to use and also allows for video chatting. A user can then invite others via a URL or link it directly to FB or Twitter.

I highly recommend checking out Caffein by clicking here!!

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for the tip!!

For other sites to create a backchannel chat, click here.


Jux is a site I just found out about from Larry Ferlazzo's excellent blog, for creating websites. This is done w/ a nice drag-n-drop interface. Also, Jux has some nice features such as being able to copy a site to use as a template to create your own. Also, you can work in code for the more advanced user. Finally, Jux has a nice community to share comments and resources w/ others.

I recommend giving Jux a try by clicking here!!

For other website creators check out my Top 10 list by clicking here.


Magisto is a fun new site for making online slideshows. It has a nice user interface and once a slideshow is created it can the be shared/embedded online. I like to think of it as a cross between Animoto and Clipgenerator.

Click here to give Magisto a try.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Learn 360

Learn 360 is a site I just learned about on Facebook from Kymberly Mulford (gotta love your PLN). This is a site that is very similar to Discovery (United) Streaming but a lot cheaper. It offers the same kind of abilities such as streaming/downloading videos, creating digital content, quizzes, etc etc.

I highly recommend checking out their 30 day free Trial to see if 360 can work for you. Click here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


iEar (I Education Apps Review) is a great site for reviewing educational apps for schools. This site is designed as a community and reviews are done by students and educators. What makes this such a nice site are all the different features and abundance of content that can be found here such as: reviews, podcasts, and different schools.

I highly recommend checking out iEar by clicking here!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Story Time For Me

Story Time For Me is an excellent site where digital stories are read by professional actors accompanied by illustrations, audio, and even animations. This is ideal for young readers from K-2 who can choose to read along and have options to turn on/off different things.

I highly recommend checking out Story Time For Me by clicking here!!

Thanks to the wonderful blog by Kelley Tenkley, iLearn Technology, for the tip!!

An Insider's Guide to Being an eLearning CEO

An Insider's Guide to Being an eLearning CEO is an interview conducted by Mestro eLearning and should be a very interesting read to educators and "eLearners".

Ryan Busch is the president of eduFire, a learning community with over 80,000 members that has doubled in size every quarter since launch in May, 2008. He is being nominated for Best eLearning Executive in the Maestro eLearning Awards, presented by Maestro eLearning, a customer service company in the business of building custom online training courses. What follows is an interview between Ryan and the award committee.

Q. Ryan, what’s life like as the president of an eLearning company?

Each day is like starting work on a puzzle. I spend my time looking at all of the pieces and I identify the relationship between each piece. The main difference between my day and a puzzle is that the picture on the box was one that I created and many of the pieces that I am looking at belong to a different puzzle. And some of the pieces for the puzzle need to be created from scratch.

My role is to sift through the pieces, create some pieces, and complete the puzzle. To make things more challenging, I also have to coordinate other people who are working on the puzzle too. Some days you love it, some days you hate it, and some days are a little bit of both—but it’s never a dull day.

Q. So tell us about a puzzle that you’re currently working on.

The general puzzle that I am focused on at the moment relates to developing social learning communities—that is, using social media as a new way of delivering education. I am of course proud to be the president of eduFire (a social learning community), but I have also been working on projects related to the use of social learning communities in workforce development.

I recently created an online college preparation program set within a private social network for a 50,000+ employee healthcare organization. This effort connected several puzzle pieces: corporate culture, social media, higher education, and career advancement—all under the auspices of social learning community. I'm very proud of that effort, and it continues to grow and develop. I see great power and potential from this sort of facilitated peer learning through social technologies.

Q. Sounds like you enjoy pushing what’s possible. How did you get to where you are today?

I wandered around early in my career. I started first in advertising and marketing. I moved into higher education later; first as an academic counselor, then into marketing again, and finally into eLearning. What helped me was to actively seek out my core philosophies: that education is important, that everyone should have access to high quality learning opportunities, that innovation and disruption are both necessary and good, and that technology is the great equalizer. I still wander a bit—but my core philosophies serve as a compass.

As far as lessons I've learned on my journey; it may sound a bit corny, but, I look at each challenge as an opportunity. My career started on the edge of the first DotCom bust and 9/11—the economy soured and I found myself looking for work. Losing a job is what brought me into education and thus into eLearning. It wasn't a friendly transition; but, I can now see the impact that an early challenge had for me. We are in the midst of another tough economy, but as they say, pressure creates diamonds. There are many things which are beyond our control, but we can control how we respond to situations.

Q. If someone wants to follow in your footsteps and start an eLearning company, what advice would you offer?

If someone wanted to follow in my footsteps I'd urge them to focus on their personal vision. Find that thing which inspires them. For me, greater access to educational opportunities has been my guide. I have followed my vision for the world specifically for the last four years. Increasing access led me to building the last company that I worked for and leads me in my current efforts with eduFire. But previous to these endeavors, I spent time learning what it was I believed in and understanding the mechanics of the world that I wanted to change. Remember, wherever you are now is prologue to where you want to go; use your time wisely.
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Classroom Teacher Resources

Classroom Teacher Resources is a great site for new teachers and those interested in technology. It demonstrates w/ a practical easy approach how to meet all your teacher needs and answer any questions.

I highly recommend checking out Classroom Teacher Resources by clicking here!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Woopid is a nice site for free video tutorials on tech related information. What makes Woopid so nice is that it covers both Mac, PC, Linux and other applications. A person can even request a video that is not on their site.

I highly recommend checking out Woopid by clicking here!!!

Thanks to the wonderful blog, Edgalaxy for the tip!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Top 10 Sites for Note Taking

Taking notes is a skill that is an everyday occurrence that happens in education and is often over looked. While using a paper and pencil is passe, technology and more specifically the internet has allowed educators and students to take note taking to the next level. That being said, most of the following sites use some form of the "post-it" or "sticky" but w/ the integration of "web 2.0" technologies.

Top 10 Sites for Note Taking
  1. Wall Wisher - One of the most popular "post-it" note style sites on the web. These notes can includes all type of media, such as text, photos, and music. Fun and very easy to use!!
  2. Primary Wall - A sticky note site designed for teachers and students to post notes in real time. Filtering of notes can be done for a fee based subscription.
  3. Zendo - A great site for students that takes notes and turns them into flash cards for studying.
  4. Thoughtboxes - Create organized notes in color coordinated boxes and then share w/ others.
  5. Lino - A wonderful site for creating online sticky notes similar to Wall Wisher. These notes can be emailed to others individually. Also, a nice site to use on mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad.
  6. Catch - A nice site for capturing notes in different types of media. Ideal to use on mobile devices.
  7. Corkboard.Me - Create a bulletin board full of sticky notes and share w/ others via a unique URL.
  8. Edistorm - A very user friendly site to use to create collaborative sticky notes for brainstorming.
  9. Pindax - Create public or private boards filled w/ notes that can be commented on by other users. Also, has a nice chat feature in this unique online community.
  10. Scrumblr - A simple easy to use site for creating color coded notes.

Skype in the Classroom

Skype in the Classroom is a wonderful project being developed by Skype. It is a portal designed specifically for education to connect teachers and classrooms around the world. There are over 4000 teachers from around the world. This is an ideal place to share resources, find projects, and meet other teachers w/ similar interests.

I highly recommend checking out Skype in the Classroom by clicking here!!

For a more detailed review check out Tech Crunch.
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Primary Wall

Primary Wall is a site I just found out about from Free Technology 4 Teachers. This is a site similar to Wall Wisher but designed for education. Like Wall Wisher, Primary Wall is very easy to use and all a user has to do is click on a wall or note and start typing. However, the paid version is the only way to get the built in filtering which is ideal for education. That being said, Primary Wall has an abundance of free resources for educators such as lesson plans and ideas.

I highly recommend checking out Primary Wall by clicking here!!


Catch is one of my favorite new sites to come around that is ideal for taking and sharing notes. This is done in a really innovative way w/ a nice user interface. Catch can capture anything such as text, lists, photos, etc and then be shared w/ others. Also, Catch is ideal for mobile devices such as: Android, iPhone, or the iPad.

I highly recommend checking out Catch by clicking here!!

Twitter Sheep

Twitter Sheep is a fun site for Twitter users. The way this works is a user enters their user name in the Twitter Sheep text box and then watch as a word cloud gets generated from the bios of their followers. By looking at a person's "flock" one can get a general idea of what a person is all about.

Below is an example from my user name...

I highly recommend checking out Twitter Sheep by clicking here!!!
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