Saturday, May 31, 2014

Door 24

Door 24 is a fantastic app for grades 4th-8th for learning computational fluency in Math.  Students use different concepts in Math such as Order of Operations to help solve equations equaling up to 24., while fixing a robot's circuits and solving the mystery behind Door 24.  Also, this game helps strengthen Algebra skills as well as being aligned to Common Core Standards.

I highly recommend checking out Door 24 by clicking here!!

For my Pinterest board on Game Based Learning click here.
For my Edshelf collection on Game Based Learning click here.

DragonBox Elements

DragonBox Elements is an amazing mobile (iOS/Android) app that helps teach students about Geometry through Game Based Learning.  The way this works is by having players travel through a magical world by solving logic based puzzles in over 100+ levels.  The Euclidian concepts covered are: shapes, triangles, angles, and more.  This is a very fun game designed for MS/HS aged students and has high replay value.

I highly recommend checking out DragonBox Elements by clicking here!!!

Below is a brief demo video...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Math File Folder Games

Math File Folder Games is an excellent company for finding inexpensive or free educational iOS apps for Math.  These games are fun to play and high replay value being multi-player via bluetooth which allows players to play the same game on separate devices.  Also, MFFG games have interactive "whiteboards" to work out problems, scoring that can be emailed to parents/teachers, and more.

Here is a list of their games...

5 Dice: Order of Operations Game

5 Dice Order of Operations Game Icon5 DIce app store
(Cost: FREE!)
5 Dice: Order of Operations Game is a math app intended for upper elementary and middle school students that helps students enjoy practicing their order of operations. Read More Here

4 Dice: Fraction Games

5 DIce app store
(Cost: $1.99)
4 Dice: Fraction Games is a math app for middle school and upper elementary students. The goal of the game is to present fractions in a way that is both conducive to learning and fun. Read More Here

Ordered Fractions: Comparing & Ordering Fractions

Ordered Fractions app store
(Cost: $1.99)
Ordered Fractionsgame begins by pressing the button that rolls the dice. Students then insert these numbers into the boxes on the board, which creates the fractions. Students then position the fractions in ascending order by comparing fractions. Read more here

Grid Lines: Ordered Pair Game

iPhone Icon Grid Lines
Grid Lines app store
(Cost: $1.99)
Grid Lines is a Battleship-style math app used to teach students the coordinate plane. Students will get practice plotting points on a coordinate plane by playing a game similar to Battleship. Read more here

Tangram Chess: Transformation Games
Tangram Chess IconTangram Chess
(Cost: $1.99)
Tangram Chess For Kids, Translations (slides), Rotations (turns) and Reflections (flips). Every game of Tangram Chess has its own story. Some are long-drawn out strategic affairs; others can be quick, but complicated, tactical battles. The winner is the player who can out-think his or her opponent, and make the best plans for attack and defence. Read more here

Skip Math: Skip Counting Games

skip math iconGrid Lines app store(Cost: $0.99)
Skip Math is a simple math game that helps practices skip counting. Skip Math is a a Doodle Jump style math game in which a girl or boy who jump from platform to platform counting by a certain number. Read more here

Jack and the Beanstalk a Mathematical Adventure

Icon Jacks Math
Hi, my name is Jack. I know you have all heard of me before, I'm the guy who climbs an enormous beanstalk to retrieve the princesses amulet. But today I would like to tell you the real story of HOW I was actually able to accomplish such a feat.  Read more here
*MathFileFolderGames is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits


ParticiPoll is a new tool that allows a user to add an interactive poll to their PowerPoint presentations.  It's a very simple tool to use that allows up to 6 student responses as well as being able to take the poll on any device.  Best of all, the results are done in real-time and an audience can view them as well.

I recommend checking out ParticiPoll by clicking here!!!

Thanks to Richard Byrne's award winning blog for the tip.

Below is a brief demo video...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Level it Books

Level it Books is a mobile app (iOS/Android) that I've blogged about many times because of how useful it is for educators, parents, and librarians.  This is a simple to use app that allows a user to scan a bar code (ISBN #) of a book and then have a Reading/Lexile Level generated.  This is ideal for the teacher who wants to create a class list of students and track their Reading Level too.  Also, a person can use it to create a "book of the day", upload their own book to the database, and create a wish list.

I highly recommend checking out Level it Books by clicking here!!!

*Level it Books is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Voice Dream

Voice Dream is the best iOS app for text to speech that I have ever seen.  Not only is it simple to use w/ very familiar hand gestures (i.e. pinch, swipe, tap, etc), it allows users an abundance of options to interact w/ their text, such as: highlighting, definitions, adding words to a dictionary, bookmarking, and more.  Also, there are over 36 VoiceOvers in all languages as well as listening to all kinds of documents (i.e. PDFs, Word, PPT, RTF, Pages, etc.).

Some of my favorite features is the ability to listen to words while they are highlighted in sync, take notes in split screen mode, and multiple hand gestures.  Also, Voice Dream is ideal for Special Ed or those w/ reading struggles as a user can use the Focused Reading Mode or adjust the font size to help facilitate learning and make reading easier.  Best of all, is the ability to listen and read texts by the push of a button.  It kind of reminds me of the way a person listens to a song or watches a movie w/ the ability to pause, rewind, etc. etc.

I highly recommend checking out Voice Dream by clicking here!!!

To Find Voice Dream on Edshelf click here.

Here is what some of the experts are saying...

Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets is absolutely my favorite site for finding worksheets and printables in a wide variety of subjects.  Also, this is a great site for finding other educational resources such as: custom puzzle/worksheet generators, Smart Board files, and more.  Almost every resource as STW is aligned to Common Core Standards and very easy to use.

I highly recommend checking out Super Teacher Worksheets by clicking here!!!

For my Pinterest board on Educational Resources click here.

*Super Teacher Worksheets is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.


iPracticeMath is a great all-in-one stop for Math.  This is the perfect site for educators looking for online worksheets, problem walkthroughs, printables, exercises, and more in almost every topic (i.e. fractions, decimals, algebra, etc) for Math.  This is great for K-12 and also offers an educational portal which allows educators to track student's progress and assess them in real-time w/ detailed progress reports.

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

*iPracticeMath is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Otus is a innovative new mobile learning system for the iPad.  This is an excellent free easy to use tool that educators around the world are using to seamlessly integrate technology into their classroom.  W/ the free iPad app educators can track assignments, assess students, poll, browse the web, take attendance, and more.  It is a complete all-in-one solution for the mobile learning environment.  Educators can even "flip" a lesson for at home instructions.  Also, the simple to use split-screen allows students to take notes while working on assignments.

Below is a brief demo video...

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

*Otus is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Math with Amigos

Math w/ Amigos is the brand new game from Yogome that is a blast to play and great for Game Based Learning.  This free iOS multiplayer game lets players take on villains w/ other players from around the world in this turn-based RPG/Fighting style game.  Students must answer basic Math questions (i.e. addition, subtraction, etc.) correct in order to attack and defeat their enemy.  The faster a player answers the question the more points they receive.  Also, they can earn currency to buy in game items and unlock other worlds/boards to increase replay value.

I highly recommend checking out Math w/ Amigos by clicking here!!!

To check out other great games by Yogome click here.

For my Pinterest board on Educational iOS Apps click here.

Been for Education

Been for Education is one of my favorite new Web 2.0 sites/companies that is perfect for Social Learning.  This is all done through a safe educational portal that allows educators to manage/create student accounts.  Been is a great way to collaborative browse the web, curate, and collaborate in a safe environment.  It kind of reminds of a cross between Symbaloo and Diigo w/ a more visual and interactive style.

Been is a great tool for Project Based or Guide Learning, and even for Flipping a classroom.  The protective "bubble" that Been wraps each web page in is a great way to make browsing the web safe (as well as a district's filter) and interactive for students.

I highly recommend checking out Been for Education by clicking here!!!

For Technology & Learning's review of Been click here.

*Been is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Booktrack Classroom

Booktrack Classroom is an excellent new portal for education that is free that transforms Reading & Writing by taking a story and adding a soundtrack.  This is a great way to not only motivate students, but it generates creativity, increases Reading Comprehension, and helps spark that love of learning.  Educators are using this in schools throughout all the world in many different ways such as adding sound effects and tracks to book reports, poems, stories, and more.  Booktrack is simple to use and allows users to seamlessly sync audio w/ their writing.

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

Below is a brief video...

*Booktrack Classroom is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.


FluencyFinder is a wonderful app (Android/iOS) for assessing a student's Reading and Comprehension Level.  This is all done through a very easy interface that has educators/parents assessing students by the tap of a button on their mobile device.  All a user has to do is print out the Reading passage (grades 1st-8th), and then have student's read, while tapping a button as they make or correct errors.  Once finished, they get instant real-time results that can then be emailed via a tap of a button.  Also, a user can assess comprehension by selecting the comprehension questions that follow the Reading passage.  FlunecyFinder is even being used for ESL and Special Ed to help assess students.

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

Below is a brief demo...

*FluencyFinder is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Answerables is the innovative new platform that combines Game Based Learning w/ a Learning Management System to create a fun and safe platform into the virtual/digital world.  Answerables reminds me of a Second Life but geared more towards kids and more user friendly.  This is a great place for educators to assign digital lessons, and for students to learn through collaborating w/ others in a safe environment.  Also, this is a great place for educators to connect w/ others and even offer tutoring to students through this digital environment.

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

For Technology & Learning's review click here.

Below is a brief demo video...

*Answerables is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.


Flipgrid is a new site/community/app that reminds me of a more "adult" version of Voicethread.  This is a nice site/community and iPad app that allows educators to record a video (asking a question) called a grid and then have students respond via their own video.  Educators can then view through their admin page which videos have been viewed, questions answered, etc.

Best of all Flipgrid has an educational portal where students don't need an email address or account to access teacher's grids, as well as many privacy options for educators to control.  Finally, a Flipgrid can be embedded into a site and easily integrated into any LMS (Learning Management System).

I highly recommend checking out Flipgrid by clicking here.

For the free iPad app click here.

30hands V. 1.6

30hands the wonderful free iOS app for digital storytelling has just released a big update version 1.6. 30hands is well known in education for creating a easy to use mobile app for creating digital stories w/ the ability to import text and photos, as well as recording your own voice to add narration.

Here is more info regarding their latest update...

We also added 3 In-App purchases (99 cents each), which are very cool:
  • Dropbox integration: adding slides from Dropbox, exporting projects to Dropbox and publishing final videos to Dropbo
  • Video Clips: creating and importing video clips as slides
  •  High Resolution Publishing: standard is at 640x480, and you can purchase 1024x768 for better quality output videos

Dropbox integration is a great time-saver, sharing tool and backup area.
Adding slides from Dropbox allows users to easily access images that were saved from PowerPoint and other sources.
Publishing the presentation videos to Dropbox is a great way to get the videos to other places to share. 
Exporting projects to Dropbox is an easy way to back them up and share them between users and devices.

Video Clips that are added as slides can spice up a presentation. They are limited to 21 seconds. 

High Resolution Publishing is great for slides that have smaller words or details, especially when they are going to be zoomed larger for projection.

We are currently working on Google Drive Integration, which we will release as an In-App purchase. 
We have a list of Free and Premium features that we plan on releasing to continue creating an even better product.

For schools and districts who want the premium functionality but do not want to buy using In-App purchases, we are planning to release a Paid Version that will include all In-App features. Schools and districts that are interested should contact us at or 781-982-9555, so we can work out a plan for this.

I highly recommend checking out 30hands by clicking here!!!

For my Pinterest board on Digital Storytelling click here.

*30hands Learning is a advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Friday, May 23, 2014


BoomWriter is a excellent educational tool for educators looking for a innovative and easy end of the year project for students to do.  Best of all, it's free, and has an educational portal that allows teachers to create and monitor student's projects/writing.

BoomWriter is collaborative writing site that has students grades 3rd on up creating a digital book/story by writing a chapter and then voting on which chapter gets included in the finished product.  This process goes on until the story is completed and then it gets published and students can purchase their own book.  However, a teacher receives their first class copy for free.

Also, this is a great way for teachers to integrate Project Based Learning and technology into the classroom.  Educators have been using this around the world in many different ways such as for poetry, persuasive writing, and more.  Finally, BoomWriter has a fantastic collection of free lesson plans that shows how educators are using BoomWriter in their classroom.

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sphero: OrbBasic Lesson 2

Here is my last post regarding the educational lesson plans one can get for free after receiving/purchasing their Sphero.  Essentially, what the Sphero is, is a robotic ball, that a person can program to move in any direction and light up in any color.  Also, there are a bunch of educational apps, games, and augmented reality activities one can do.   Did I mention that it's waterproof too?

*All data will be recorded by the student in the downloadable worksheet.

Objective (aligned to Common Core Math Standards)

  • Create an OrbBasic program to roll Sphero in a circle once, using a variable to store the heading
  • Modify the program w/ an if/then statement to fix an error and make it go in a circle indefinitely
  • Modify the program w/ an if/then/else statement to light up one color half the circle, and another color the other half
  • Modify the program to increase the size of the circle at the end of each cycle
Programming w/ OrbBasic
Students will need to make the Sphero roll in a circle by programming it using the OrbBasic (free) app.  It will need to move a short distance and increase the heading by 5 degrees.  It uses the variable called h which starts at 0 and keeps getting larger.  When it hits 360 an error message occurs because the values must between 0-360.  This causes the Sphero to roll in a circle once then keep going in a straight line.  To fix the error, students will add a new line w/ an if/then statement which checks to see if the h variable has a value of 360, and if it does it will set it back to 0, causing the Sphero to roll in a circle indefinitely.

Adding Color
In this lesson students will learn about if/then/else statements, which will do one command if something is true, and another one if it is not.  For this example, it checks to see if h is < 180, and if it does then it lights up one color, if it's not, it lights up a different one.  Students will use the LEDC command in OrbBasic to light up a color by selecting a number.  The student guide has which number relates to which color, as well as breaks down all programming codes.

I highly recommend checking out Sphero for education by clicking here!!!

For my Pinterest board on the Sphero click here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DimensionU Great Summer Chill

DimensionU the innovative site for Game Based Learning in Math & Literacy is launching their "Great Summer Chill (online camp)" virtual competition.  This is a 5 week fun competition for students of all ages in the subjects of Math and Literacy and helps prevent summer learning loss.  Registration opens up May 28th and the first 100 players to sign up receive a free limited edition 2014 Summer Chill t-shirt.  Also, players can win lots of prizes such as: iPad Mini, gift cards, Wii U, and more.

I highly recommend checking out the DimensionU Great Summer Chill competition by clicking here!!!

For my Pinterest board on Game Based Learning click here.
For my Edshelf collection on Game Based Learning click here.

*DimensionU is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SpellingCity Summer Program

SpellingCity the popular site for all things Spelling & Vocabulary related is launching an inexpensive online Summer Program to help students grades 1st-12th prevent summer learning loss.  This is a very fun and engaging program that not only works on the web but any one of their free mobile devices.  Also, it is self-paced, has over 40 customizable assignments, and allows users to review or advance on to the next level.  This is ideal for strengthen Literacy and Spelling/Vocab skills this summer.

I highly recommend checking out SpellingCity's Summer Program by clicking here!!!

Click here to view SpellingCity.

Below is a brief demo video...

*SpellingCity is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Shadow Puppet 2.0

Shadow Puppet the excellent free mobile iOS app for creating digital stories/videos has just released their biggest update.  Version 2.0 allows users to upload video, search the web for animated gifs/images, add music from your iTunes library, and even draw on the screen for annotating.  This is a very easy tool to use and allows educators/students to "flip" a lesson, cover a topic, or introduce digital storytelling.  Also, Shadow Puppet has updated their site which has lots of different lesson plans, samples, and examples of how teachers are integrating SP into their classroom.

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

To download Shadow Puppet click here.


Fishtree is an innovative new digital adaptive learning platform that allows educators to curate and create lessons for their students.  These lessons contain all sorts of dynamic media as well as being aligned to Common Core Standards.  Also, Fishtree combines the best features of a LMS (learning management system) that allows teachers to assess students in real-time, grade, message, and more, which makes it a perfect solution for differentiating instruction.

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

Below is a brief demo...

For my Pinterest board on Differentiating Instruction click here.

Book Writer

Book Writer is one of my favorite mobile apps for digital storytelling.  This is a beautifully designed app that allows students to easily create digital stories by uploading, photos, videos, links, and more.  Best of all, a user can record their audio right onto the page of a book.  A finished product can then be printed out as a PDF or exported into iBooks.

I highly recommend checking out Book Writer by clicking here!!!

Below is a brief demo video...

For my Pinterest board on Digital Storytelling click here.
For my Edshelf collection on Digital Storytelling click here.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Quill is an excellent new site for working on proof reading skills such as punctuation and grammar that I just learned about from Richard Byrne's blog.  This site allows students to login and correct Reading passages that teachers have selected.  Best of all, Quill analyzes the results and shows students what they have gotten wrong w/ a walkthrough explaining the correct answer.

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

For my Pinterest board on Web 2.0 click here.

Friday, May 16, 2014


Ginkgotree is an ambitious new educational tool that is revolutionizing the way textbooks/ebooks are being used in the classroom.  It's kind of like a cross between a textbook/book w/ iBooks author mixed in, where an educator can take any content from a textbook, web page, or online media and then digitize it to be read on any device (i.e. laptop/mobile platform).  This is perfect for educators who like the adaptability to teach what "THEY" want to teach and not having to stick by the textbook.  They can spend more time teaching and less time lecturing.

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

Below is a brief demo...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Math Claw Machine

Math Claw Machine is a fun free mobile app (iOS/Android) for helping students practice their basic Math skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc.).  This is a great game that has students trying to answer equations in either a limited amount of time or moves to grab the candy w/ their claw.  Players will complete levels in such worlds as: Chocoland, Jellyland, Cookieland, and more.  Also, a user can select their difficult level making this
a fun game for the younger kids as well.

I highly recommend checking out Math Claw Machine by clicking here!!!

For more games from Peaksel click here.

For my Pinterest board on Educational iOS Apps click here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

EDpuzzle Grading

EDpuzzle the fantastically simple tool to flip a lesson or classroom has just released an update that now allows educators to grade a students "video" grade them and then export them into a CSV file.  This makes a super easy to use tool for education even better as users can not only take a video and "make it their own" by editing/cropping a video, adding narration, and adding poll/quiz, a teacher can export grades w/ the click of the button.

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

For my Pinterest board on a Flipped Classroom click here.

*EDpuzzle is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sphero: OrbBasic Lesson 1

Sphero is a wonderful and innovative programming ball/orb that can be used for countless activities in education.  In earlier posts I covered how the Sphero can be programmed to change color, travel distances, figure out linear equations and more.  This post will cover a new and free app (OrbBasic) that uses the Sphero to explore Computer Science concepts such as program flow and variables.

*All data will be recorded by the student in the downloadable worksheet.

Objective (aligned to Common Core Math Standards)
  • Create a short OrbBasic program that rolls Sphero out a distance and back, and then stops
  • Modify the OrbBasic program to add a goto statement that goes back to the beginning
  • Modify the OrbBasic program to add a variable that holds the delay time
  • Add a line to increase the delay variable after each time out and back
  • Modify the program to decrease the delay variable each time out and back
Creating a OrbBasic Program
Students will need to download the free app OrbBasic by clicking here.  The OrbBasic goroll command does not have a delay so a student will have to have follow that w/ a delay command.  OrbBasic roll speeds range from 0 to 255.  Students must keep in mind that the code must be exact or the Sphero will not read it.  Once the student has successfully completed having the Sphero move out and return, they can change the code to make the Sphero follow that pattern indefinitely.  All codes can be found in the free downloadable Student Guide.

A variable is a space in the Sphero's memory that holds a number.  Student's will use these variables to hold the amount of delay time.  Have students add a new variable called d and set it to 2000.  Then if they change the delay times to d, that variable if changed on the first line will replace it in the rest of the code.  For example, if they change the variable to 3000 it will now run for 3 seconds instead of 2 or 2000.

Also, a student can modify the code by adding a delay time or add (500) to d.  Now when the students run the program it will have the Sphero roll away and back half a second more.

I highly recommend checking out Sphero for Education by clicking here!!!

For my Pinterest board on the Sphero click here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Edventure Builder

Edventure Builder is an innovative new site that is perfect for sparking student's creativity by providing a online platform for creating: scavenger hunts, interactive stories, or choose your own adventures.  Also, this is a fantastic tool that educators can use to build mobile lessons, interactive tours (think Back to School night or outside activities), and more.

The way this works is quite simple, from a browser a user can create an adventure (i.e., lesson, hunt, tour, etc) by adding text, images, video, and links.  Then by clicking a button it gets published to any browser based mobile device.  Best of all, are the different features that allows a user to fully customize their adventures and edit, save, and publish them easily.

I highly recommend checking out Edventure Builder by clicking here!!!

Below is a brief demo...

Friday, May 9, 2014


ExitTicket is a fantastic new student response system that allows educators assess student performance and then differentiate instruction in real-time.  Also, being browser based, ExitTicket runs on any mobile device and has a educational student app.  Students can view their assessment scores that are aligned to Common Core Standards.  Best of all are the abundance of educational resources/videos that help educators integrate ExitTicket into the classroom.

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

For my Pinterest board on Differentiating Instruction click here.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Buncee for Mother's Day

Buncee is an excellent safe educational tool to use w/ students especially for wanting to create something for Mom on Mother's Day.  By clicking here, one can see all the different ideas/ways people are using Buncee to create beautiful looking eCards/presentations.  Kids/students are creating eCards, poems, scrapbooks, and more easily and safely through Buncee's educational portal that allows educators to create/manage student accounts.

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

*Buncee is an advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Classkick is an interesting new (private beta) iPad app that allows educators to gather, assess, and provide instant real-time feedback w/ students.  The way this works is through an innovative whiteboard where the teacher can see what each student is working on all their very own iPad.  This is perfect for differentiating instruction and actually viewing how students are doing their work as it happens.  Also, this is a great teaching tool that is easy to integrate into any curriculum and can be used by students of all ages.

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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

10 Online Summer Programs

Being a parent of four young kids I often find myself wondering what I'm going to do w/ them for the summer when they get out of school.  When thinking about this and looking over many options, I noticed lots of Ed Tech companies have started to offer online summer programs/camps.  This is a fantastic way (and lots of times inexpensive/affordable) for students to spend some time in the summer and help prevent summer learning loss.  With that being said I've decided to create a list of 10 excellent educational programs that students can take online.

*This list is in alphabetical order.
** Not offered online

10 Online Summer Programs

  1. BoomWriter Storytellers Camp - BoomWriter uses their innovative collaborative writing process to help students create their very own Mystery or Realistic fiction book/story.  This is a one week course where students then receive their very own published book.
  2. Connections Learning - A nice collection of technology related online courses for Math and reading grades K-8th.
  3. Electric Company - The Electric Company from PBS is offering a 6 wk multimedia summer learning program that will focus on Vocabulary and core Math concepts.
  4. EverFi - Called Vernao, EverFi will be launching this summer digital learning camps to help students in all areas of Math, Literacy, STEM, and more.
  5. K12 - Offers a wide variety of online courses for HS aged students as well as Foreign Languages.
  6. SpellingCity - A great program for grades 1st-12th that focuses Vocabulary, Writing, and Spelling using Game Based Learning.
  7. TenMarks - A excellent online program for all areas of Common Core Math through engaging videos/instructions w/ real-time interventions.
  8. Time4Learning - A fantastic online curriculum for PreSchool through 12th grade that can be used for summer learning in a wide variety of subjects.
  9. **Tynker - Based on the popular iPad app, Tynker offers one week long summer camps help students (grades 3rd-8th) learn how to program/code.
  10. **Voyager Learning - Great resources/programs for K-12 students looking for summer learning help.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Brainly is a interesting new social network for helping students w/ homework.  This is a great place for students of all ages to find and answer questions that students from around the world are posting.  What makes Brainly so nice is how easy it is to track how many questions/answers a student has asked and to search by subject.  Also, there is a nice point system that adds an element of "Gamification" and motivates students to return and participate on the network.  My only concern especially for the younger kids is that an email address or FB account is needed to sign up, so this might not make it ideal for Elementary aged kids.  Also, I'm going to inquire on their filtering policy to make sure that all their content remains educational.

I recommend checking out Brainly by clicking here!!!

For my Pinterest boards on Social Networks click here.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sphero: Percentages

Sphero the innovative and fantastic programmable robotic ball is something I've posted about in the past.  This is a great Ed Tech "toy" that can be used w/ kids of all ages for a wide variety of purposes. However, Orbotix has worked w/ educators to create STEM related lesson plans for 4/5th grade students.  This latest lesson has students using the Sphero to explore percentages using speed and color.

*All data will be recorded by the student in the downloadable worksheet.

Objectives (aligned to Common Core Math Standards)

  • Create a one-line program that moves the Sphero at a steady speed for a specified amount of time
  • Perform measurements to determine the distance traveled 
  • Perform division to calculate speeds
  • Perform division to calculate percentages
  • Create a two-line program to display a color for a certain length of time
  • Have Sphero light up in primary colors (red)
  • Have Sphero light up in colors that involve two primary colors (yellow and orange)

To start out students will create a new macro (program) using the free app MacroLab, then add a roll command and set it to move at 100% speed for 3000 milliseconds (3 seconds).  Once the Sphero stops rolling and starts sliding a piece of masking tape will placed there.  They will then measure from the masking tape (to where the Sphero first stopped) to where it finally ended up.  They will then calculate the speed by dividing the distance by time (3 seconds).  Then students will repeat this process by modifying the macro for the speed at 50% and then at 30%.  At the end they will divide the distance from the 50% experiment by the 100%, and also the distance from 30% experiment by the 100%.  Students should have values of close to .5 and .3 and convert those into percentages.


This is a very fun activity that has students mixing colors to light up the Sphero (FYI, mixing colors w/ light is very different then mixing colors w/ paint).  Students will create a macro (program) by adding a color (RGB) and a delay command.  The color will be set to 100% red and a delay to 3000 msec (3 seconds).  Then they can modify the macro to use 50% red and to make the colors yellow (100% red & 100% green) and orange (100% red & 50% green).  

A fun challenge will be to have students create two different colors using all three primary colors.  Through experimenting they will be asked to make the colors: white (100% red, 100% green, 100% blue) gray (50% red, 50% green, 50% blue), and purple (70% red, 0% green, 100% blue).

I highly recommend checking out Sphero for Education by clicking here!!!

For my Pinterest board on Sphero click here.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Alchemy SmartBinder

Alchemy SmarBinder is an excellent tool for educators to create engaging dynamic lessons for students.  SmartBinder Flip is their free "plan" that allows teachers to create these interactive lessons (that contains all embedded/downloadable material) plus generate basic reports for assessing.  Recently, they just released their premium suite which consists of: SmartBinder Collaborate, SmartBinder Teams, and SmartBinder Engage.

More info from them...

SmartBinder Collaborate expands the lesson building, delivery, and data-capture capabilities of our first product, SmartBinder Flip, in two key ways:
  • Full Curricular Structure: Teachers can build an unlimited number of courses that are replete with curricular structure, including units and date tagging.
  • Teacher Collaboration: It allows real-time peer collaboration on the same course, as  facilitated by simple email invitation.
  • Resource Sharing: Now teachers, including SmartBinder Flip users, can share and import lessons right from their course page.
SmartBinder Teams comes with every SmartBinder Collaborate account and allows teachers and schools to set up dynamic and interactive curriculum repositories to that ensure community access to standards-aligned lessons and resources over time.  Its features include:
  • One-click sharing of any lesson in a teacher’s "binder" to one or more Team repositories.
  • One-click importing of lessons or material from Teams to a teacher’s binder.
  • Teacher discussion boards to facilitate dialogue on curricular practices.

SmartBinder Engage adds student portals logins and additional assessment tools onto the SmartBinder Collaborate + Teams Suite:

  • Students log-ins provide access to class pages and discussion boards.
  • Assessment and assignment building functionality allows teachers to build online quizzes embedding any web or file based resource and structure assignments with student-submissions.
  • The My Classroom grading management portal sits in the center of the teachers’ workflow, allowing them to manage and grade student submissions by student or by assignment.

I highly recommend checking out Alchemy SmartBinder by clicking here!!!

Below is a brief demo video...