Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

The History Lab

10/25/2009 Leave a comment

In my last post, I shared that one of my goals this year is to help my students become more active participants and contributors in my classroom.  And while I have several ideas of my own about how to make this happen (Class Notebook, Delicious), I have also spent a great deal of time searching for what others are doing.  So I started bookmarking websites only to decide that there has to be a better way.

What I really want is a database that includes all of these great ideas in one place.  One that I can search for inspiration or use to share and collaborate with other social studies teachers.  And since I couldn’t find such a site (at least not one organized in quite the way I envision it), I decided to create one, the History Lab.

My hope is that social studies teachers can use the site as a resource for project ideas.  At the very least, it will grow into the database I was hoping to find as I add more of my finds in the coming weeks.


What’s in the Widgetbox?

10/11/2009 Leave a comment

I’ve spent most of the last week setting up my class website in order to get it ready for students on Friday (more on that later).  In doing so, I’ve spent a great deal of time playing around with Widgetbox looking for fun gadgets to drop into the sidebars of the site.  And I’m impressed.  While I can’t guarantee that it is truly the “World’s best place to find and make widgets,” I can say that is my favorite.

First, I was able to make a couple of customized widgets in less than ten minutes, complete with tabs for  Twitter accounts,  Delicious bookmarks, and news updates from NPR and CNN.  And while my final products required a Pro account ($29.99/year), I could have accomplished similar results using a couple of different free widgets.

In addition to allowing you to create a customized widget, Widgetbox also offers a number of free pre-made widgets perfect for educators.  Among my favorites are:

General Education




Social Studies

It is important to note, however, that free widgets often run ads (I never ran across anything inappropriate for students) and that Widgetbox does not play well with

And, as always, I’ll add widgets to the list as I find them so feel free to leave a comment with your favorites.


For more educational widgets for your website, try the following resources:

Categories: technology Tags: ,

Build an ePortfolio

09/20/2009 Leave a comment

While Kentucky has required students to produce a writing portfolio since the mid 1990s, I have long felt that the assignment needs to be overhauled in order to incorporate more digital skills.  That’s why is was thrilled to learn that Classroom 2.0 Live was taking on ePortfolios with Dr. Helen Barrett.  The slides for the session are embedded below, along with link to some additional resources on the subject.  I also plan to share my experiences in future posts.


For more resources on using ePortfolios, try the following resources:

Tour the World…for Free!

08/30/2009 Leave a comment
Virtual Tours

Google Map of Virtual Tours & Webcams around the World

Click on the image above to explore more than 60 sites around the world.

The Networked Student

08/22/2009 Leave a comment

Another video that reminds me of what I hope to do more of this school year:


08/04/2009 Leave a comment

With less than a week until the first day of school, it’s time to review the basics…to remind myself of my classroom goals.  The excellent video below is just a first step in that process:

Examples of K-12 Class Nings

07/14/2009 16 comments


Languages Other Than English



Social Studies


And, while it’s not K-12, Jackie Gerstein‘s Diversity and Education network is certainly worth checking out, as is author James Patterson‘s ReadKiddoRead.

For more information on using Ning Networks in the classroom try the following resources:

Categories: instruction, technology Tags: ,