Educator+Geek: Updates Every Week

Tool #117: VocabSushi

Type:  Online Vocabulary Builder

Teacher:  Upper Level (Communication Arts, SAT/ACT Prep)

Classroom Use:  Independent vocab practice

VocabSushi tailors its procession through vocabulary words to student progress.  VocabSushi uses real world contextual examples to words encountered on the SAT and ACT.  VocabSushi allows your students to take the learning with them by downloading vocabulary to MP3 Players.  WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE:

July 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #103: CurriculumBits

Type:  Online Interactives

Teacher:  Middle/Upper Level (All Curriculum Areas)

Student Use:  Practice concepts, reinforce concepts

CurriculumBits has a comprehensive collection of interactives for a variety of subjects.  … Practice saying the days of the week in German, learn how to use a semi-colon to beef or your writing, review your understanding of the respiratory system … CurriculumBits uses games, quizzes, animations and videos to enhance the lessons.


June 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #98: Virtual Forest

Type:  Interactive on Environmental Science

Teacher:  Lower/Middle Level (Science)

Student Use:  Learn about impact of choices on environment

In the Virtual Forest, students learn how their choices in school, at home, in a park and in a store can change the environment.  Choices are given for everyday activities (e.g. charging your MP3 player, taking notes in class, cleaning up after an art activity) and the score accumulates for the health of the environment. 


May 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Tool #96: Planet Science

Type:  Interactive Science Activities

Teacher:  Lower/Middle Level (Science, Health)

Student Use:  Review science concepts, Explore science concepts

Planet Science is an extensive resource for students, teachers and parents to enhance scientific understanding.  Games, quizzes, experiments, library … students will not be bored with this site.  Thanks to Richard Bryne and his site, Free Technology for Teachers, for sharing this resource. 


May 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #95: Reading Ring

Type:  Reading Game

Teacher:  Lower Level (Language Arts)

Student Use:  Practice reading concepts

Reading Ring is a game that features a buffed up Garfield (the cat) in a wrestling match with Dr. Stripp.  To win the match, students must correctly answer questions about short Garfield comic strips (e.g. sequence, comprehension).


May 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #93: Numeracy Excel

Type:  Downloadable Excel spreadsheets to teach math concepts

Teacher:  Lower/Middle (Mathematics)

Student Use:  Learn math concepts, Practice math concepts

These Numeracy Excel Spreadsheets cover a variety of math concepts (e.g. sequence, place value, estimation, rounding, probability).  Some of the spreadsheets are for student practice, others are for whole-class instruction. 


May 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #92: Vaughan Plagiarism

Type:  Tutorial about Plagiarism

Teacher:  Middle/Upper Level (Any research writing)

Student Use:  Learn about plagiarism, Check plagiarism understanding

The Vaughan Plagiarism Tutorial allows students to pick a character (based on the type of research writing they will be doing … arts, sciences) … and answer questions of different citing situations that arise during the writing process. 


May 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #85: VocabGrabber

Type:  Vocabulary Analysis

Teacher:  Upper/Middle Levels (All content areas)

Student Use:  Vocabulary building, Definitions, Synonyms

VocabGrabber is a tool that analyzes your digital text.  You can sort text by occurrence (like Wordle) or familiarity.   Each word can be further analyzed visually, by definition and by use.  A great way to enhance your vocabulary instruction. 


May 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #84: Lightning Bug

Type:  Online Writing Instruction

Teacher:  Middle/Upper Level (Language Arts, Creative Writing)

Student Use:  Practice writing skills, Story development

Lightning Bug takes all the best components of teaching writing and puts it into digital format for you and your students to explore.  Has an area of the site dedicated to teachers, but the site also has links to plot development, voice, character … all the things that must be considered for story writing. 


May 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Tool #82: ScribbleMap

Type:  Interactive Mapping/Drawing

Teacher:  All Levels (Geography, Social Studies)

Student Use:  Map study, Geography skills

ScribbleMaps adds an interactive drawing tool to Google Maps.  Great for tablet pcs, but any mouse will do.  You can both draw and type on the maps and share the maps with others. 


May 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #79: What Should I Read Next?

Type:  Book interest analysis

Teacher:  Upper Level (Literature, Language Arts, Library)

Student Use:  Assist in book selection

What Should I Read Next takes the title of a book you enjoyed and compares it to a database of nearly 70,000 other readers and their choices to give you a list of other book titles you might enjoy.  My test revealed a list of 10 books … I had read (and enjoyed) 3 of the books on the list … the remaining titles did sound interesting.  Links to Amazon so you can futher investigate the book. 


May 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Tool #73: Tutpup

Type:  Math Interactive

Teacher:  Lower/Middle Level (Math)

Student Use:  Math skill practice

Tutpup is unlike other math interactive sites because if your students register, they can compete in math games with other students across the world.  Covers math basics through introductory algebra. 


April 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #71: Fuel the Brain

Type:  Online Math Games

Teacher:  All Levels (Math)

Student Use:  Practice math skills

Fuel the Brain has a collection of games to bring practice and fun to Numbers & Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Probability, Algebra and Problem Solving.  As of now, there seems to be more games for lower levels. 


April 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Tool #70: Awesome Highlighter

Type:  Digital Highlighter

Teacher:  All Levels (All Content Areas)

Student Use:  Highlight important details, Practice identifying main idea, Practice summarizing skills

With Awesome Highlighter you simply enter the URL of the webpage you want to highlight.  You can select up to 2000 characters to highlight (just like using a highlighting pen) and you can highlight images.  If you want to save and/or share your highlights, Awesome Highlighter creates a short and unique URL with your highlights. 


April 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #65: Grammar Bytes

Type:  Complete online grammar guide

Teacher:  All Levels (Language/Communication Arts)

Student Use:  Grammar practice, grammar study

Grammar Bytes is an old standby in my classroom.  I use it to give mini-lessons on particular grammar issues.  I also send my students to the interactive game portion for individual grammar practice.  Terms, handouts, exercises, presentations … Grammar Bytes does it all.


April 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #64: Times Tables Grid

Type:  Interactive multiplication tool

Teacher:  Lower Level (Math)

Student Use:  Multiplication fact practice

Times Tables Grid gives your students practice with multiplcation tables 1 through 10.  Students can play against the clock for added competition and fun. 


Thanks, Keith Schoch, for sharing!  For more math tools for the classroom, check out his math compilation site.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #61: Scientific Method

Type:  Step-by-step guide to scientific method

Teacher:  All Levels (Science)

Student Use:  Understand scientific method, follow for own research

The Scientific Method Website is an easy to understand webquest of sorts.  Thorough info is provided for each step of the process.  Videos for each step enhance explanations and student comprehension. 


April 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #60: ProCon

Type:  Information on controversial topics

Teacher:  Upper Level (Speech, Forensics)

Student Use:  Research on debate topics

ProCon contains information about controversial subjects.  Each subject has a short overview, core questions and facts and figures of support. 


April 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Tool #56: Be Funky

Type:  Image (Photo) to Artwork Generator

Teacher:  All Levels (Most content areas – pictures, posters, bulletin boards)

Student Use:  Image creation, Artwork creation, Visual displays

Be Funky is one of the coolest tools I have found so far … upload an image from your computer and then make it into artwork by adding effects like The Warholizer or The Stenciler or The Cartoonizer.  ADD THIS TO BLOCKPOSTERS (described below) and you have a great source for classroom posters or bulletin boards.

In the image below, I uploaded a photograph that I took of my senior students as we toured The University of Kansas.  Look at the results!   I am in awe! 


April 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #53: Essay Map

Type:  Essay Writing Tool

Teacher:  Lower/Middle Level (any class that requires essay writing)

Student Use:  Essay writing, Topic and detail practice, Prewriting planning

Essay Map walks students through the necessary steps to create an informative essay.  When all fields are complete, students can print their essay map (completed graphic organizer). 


April 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #51: Confusing Words

Type:  Explains Confusing English Words

Teacher:  All Levels (Language Arts)

Student Use:  Usage practice, Editing help

The Confusing Words site does just what you expect … you search the confusing word, the results explains usage and gives examples of correct use. 



April 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #50: Interactives

Type:  Interactive US Maps

Teacher:  All Levels (Social Studies)

Student Use:  Learn geographical features, Learn settlement patterns

Interactives has background information and teaching games about maps, the states, Native Americans and Colonists.  After reviewing introductory information, students can test themselves with interactive quizzes. 


April 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #47: Yodio

Type:  Voice to Photos

Teacher:  All Levels (Language Arts, Social Studies, Photography, Science … maybe more)

Student Use:  Tell a story, Reflect on a topic

Yodio allows you to upload your photos and add your voice.  They even add a free service to record by phone.  Easily share the voiced photos or embed them to your site.  Add images to your podcasts … voice post cards …

Here is a tutorial from the creators of Yodio …

April 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #46: TimeToast

Type:  Timeline Creator

Teacher:  All Levels (Social Studies, Language Arts)

Student Use:  Create historical timelines, plot analysis

TimeToast is quick and easy timeline creation … bullets along the timeline can expand to add important details.  TimeToast is the simplest timeline maker I’ve seen so far.



April 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #45: Thinkature

Type:  Online collaboration

Teacher:  All Levels, All Content Areas

Student Use:  Collaborate with members in group projects

Thinkature is a digital collaboration area that allows users to IM, voice chat, draw, type, insert graphic, insert images … they thought of it all!


April 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #44: ShareTabs

Type:   Website sharing tool

Teacher:  All Levels, All Content Areas

Student Use:  Organize Internet research, Webquest-type activities

ShareTabs is a super simple tool that allows you to create one link for all the sites you want to share with others in one short URL.   It displays the sites in tab form and thumbnail form.  Easy way to get topical sites to your students. 

Here is an example of a ShareTab I created of the sites that I author or coauthor.


April 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #43: Learn.Genetics

Type:  Science Simulations and Learning Modules

Teacher:  Upper Level (Science and Health Careers and Health)

Student Use:  Study and review of genetics, bioscience and health topics

Learn.Genetics is an overly-packed website that houses a multitude of tools to introduce and explore some of the more complex (and ever-emerging) technologies in science.  Includes virtual labs and a section dedicated to teacher lesson plans. 



April 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #42: Planet Quest

Type:  Multimedia Science Tools

Teacher:  All Levels (Science)

Student Use:  Exploring planetary science

Planet Quest has games, movies, quizzes, simulations and virtual tours for a variety of astronomy activities.  Powered by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory you can bring the universe to your classroom.



April 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #41: NGA Kids

Type:  Variety of online art tools

Teacher:  All Levels (Art, Communication Arts)

Student Use:  Study and creation of art genres, reflection activities

NGA Kids is an online project of the National Art Gallery.  Nearly a dozen digital tools for student creation of art.  Tools include a collage builder, still life creator, mobile creator and a brush on canvas tool. 


March 31, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #40: Miller Center

Type:  US President Archive

Teacher:  All Levels (History, Social Studies)

Student Use:  Research and investigation of American Presidents

The Miller Center is a collection of Presidential history, from basic biographies to transcripts of speeches, this site is an extensive resource for teachers and students.  Includes a media gallery and over 4,000 hours of audio and video (with more being added). 


March 31, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #39: EDUPursuit

Type:  College search service

Teacher:  Upper level

Student Use:  Learn about colleges and universities

EDUPursuit lets students enter a zipcode and find all schools up to 100 miles away.  This site provides location, size, type and setting for all results and includes a link to the website.  A great starting place for students considering college.


March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #35: Sqworl

Type:  Website sharing, Modified webquests

Teacher:  All levels, All subjects

Student Use:  Internet site exploring, Modified webquests, Collaboration

Sqworl (love the name) lets you create one URL that houses several related sites.  This would be handy when you want your students to explore multiple sites … your students type in 1 website address, not multiple addresses (quite a time saver).  I also think the components of a Webquest could be easily applied to Sqworl, but I need to investigate that a bit more. 

Here is a short tutorial … as you listen, think of a topic you would want your students to explore. 

Here is an example created by a library media specialist for 5th graders working on their first research-style assignment (Thanks, DB, for sharing). 

March 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #34: Kids’ Vid

Type:  Tools and Guidelines for Video Creation

Teacher:  All levels, (Communication Arts)

Student Use:  Video production, Storytelling

Kids’ Vid is a website for teachers and students to create the best video possible.  From scripting to editing, it provides guidelines for teachers and tools and tips for students.  

Here is an example of their Advance Storyboard Tool:


March 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Tool #32: Evernote

Type:  Digital storage and notation

Teacher:  All (for personal use), All subjects, middle & upper

Student Use:  Research skills, Digital technology skills

Evernote lets you take notes on all of the digital content you encounter and organize and share it.  From to-do lists to screenshots of websites, Evernote is a one-spot-stop for getting your digital “stuff” organized. 

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #31: ECalc

Type:  Online Scientific Calculator

Teacher:  Middle & Upper Level, Math and Science

Student Use:  Calculations, Conversions

ECalc is an online scientific calendar AND unit converter.  Use it for free on the site or you can download it to your desktop for a fee.  Great for teachers with digital projectors to share calculations with the entire class. 


March 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #29: Photovisi

Type:  Collage builder

Teacher:  All levels, Any image creation activity

Student Use:  Image creation, Presentation visuals

Photovisi is a super simple-to-use collage builder.  About a dozen templates are available (some rows and columns, some clusters, some use one of your images as the background) … choose your template, upload your images, and whiz-bang-pop you have yourself a collage. 

This is one I created from photos of my recent trip to Seattle: 


March 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tool #27: Wordle

Type:  Word Cloud Generator

Teacher:  All

Student Use:  Capturing key points, Spelling lists, Vocabulary, Reflection

You provide the text, Wordle does the rest.  Words with higher frequency are printed in larger font (like tag clouds).  You can change the font, the color, the appearance of the cloud. 

I entered the URL to this site (EduTechieGal) in the Wordle URL creation box and came up with this word cloud …


March 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

Tool #26: VuVox

Type:  Presentation, Video

Teacher:  All (for instruction), Middle and upper (for student presentations)

Student Use:  Presentations (students and teacher), Anticipatory sets, Culminating project

VuVox makes your presentations dynamic.  Several tools are included (collage, studio) and I have not explored all of them.  The neatest part is instead of hyperlinking, you can install hotspots that automatically “pop up” when you cursor over them. 

The image below is a snapshot of a VuVox collage I made (with a colleague) when we presented in Seattle.  Instead of slides, you can scroll the images to the side as you progress through the presentation.  And see that green circle on the movie screen, when the cursor goes over that our movie automatically began playing … I found an image of a movie theater and then hotspotted our video. 

Okay, I’m not doing VuVox justice … my only suggestion is to explore.  Go, go now! 


March 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tool #24: CuePrompter

Type:  Teleprompter (like used on news, talkshows)

Teacher:  All levels that require student presentations or video creation

Student Use:  Reading activities, Podcast reading, Drama, Speech, Video creation

CuePrompter makes your computer screen a teleprompter.  It is super easy to use (copy and paste your text, choose the font size, choose the speed … start reading).  I can’t get my brain around how I would use this in my classroom exactly, but it is still an impressive tool.  Ooo, maybe if my students make instructional videos.  Ah, go brain, go! 


March 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tool #19: Yack Pack

Type:  Collaboration, Voice Sharing

Teacher:  All Levels (but amazing tool for foreign langauge teachers, any teacher that requires student collaboration)

Student Use:  Teacher gives feedback, students share opinions, topic discussion, collaboration

I haven’t used Yack Pack (and I don’t know why).  Create a Yack Pack for your class and everyone has a voice.  Voices can be recorded and saved for later, or you can talk in real time.   What a neat way for students to respond to a prompt or continue classroom discussion (or discuss with a classroom across the country).

Here is a foreign language teacher talking about using Yack Pack with her students:

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment