Technology Education Know-How

Helping Teachers Teach with Technology

Plagiarism Checker

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

This week I was scouring my Diigo Online Bookmarking for things that I may have missed from my network due to my being so busy this month. I ran across this online “Plagiarism Checker” app. http://www.dustball.com/cs/plagiarism.checker/ You can copy/past or type in the text of your students report or essay. It scours the web while checking the paper. It compares the text and lets you know where there may be plagiarism. It gives you a link to click to check the resource that may be the text’s plagiarism source. You can then confirm or establish that it is or is not plagiarism.
I tested it out and it seems to be very effective. I hope you enjoy and find it helpful. I’ll be posting more tools in the near future. Sorry for the cutback on posts. It has been busy this school year.

Free Web Browser Teleprompter

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

This week I ran across this cool tool that students can use when recording their podcasts or any other script. It helps students flow in their reading. As multimedia and podcasting continues to grow this tool will come in handy. You simply copy the text from the script, past it into the block and click the scroll button. It changes to full screen and the text rolls just like on a real news teleprompter. AND IT IS FREE! http://www.cueprompter.com/ You can adjust the speed of scrolling, stop and start, and reverse during live scrolling. You can even do the mirror display if you are using real teleprompter equipment. It does all of this right in your web browser so no download or other software needed. AND IT IS FREE!
It will only take you about 30 seconds to copy and paste your text and have it scrolling, so swing by http://www.cueprompter.com and give it a try. Leave a comment letting everyone know how you used it.

Online Voice Recording for Student Playback

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Sorry for the delay in posting, I’ve been extremely busy these past few weeks.

What an awesome tool http://vocaroo.com/widgets.php !!  With this tool and a microphone your students can login onto your wiki or blog record their reading and play it back!  What K-2 teacher couldn’t use this?

It doesn’t save the recording in any location so you don’t have to worry about copy right issues.  The student simply clicks the record now button, reads his/her story into the mic and then presses stop.  The student can then listen to his recording as many times as he likes.  (just don’t close it)  Once the page is closed the recording is lost. 

Another option for use is having a student read for other students to listen or for a teacher to read and have students listen.  This is a great way for struggling readers to hear themselves or other quality readers to help them improve their reading skills. 

One librarian is using this as a library center http://monarchcenters.wikispaces.com/readingrecording .  What other ways can this be used?  Leave a comment and share your ideas for this tool.  Play with it over Thanksgiving break and see what you can come up with.

If you want to save the recordings then you’ll want to look at other options, but then you need to be careful with copyright issues. 

Timelines in the Classroom

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Timelines can be used for a lot of subjects in education. They can be used for things like studying US History and Scientific Experiments to tracking the stats of your favorite (Longhorns) football team.

An online collaborative tool that you can use is www.xtimeline.com Your students can collaborate in the classroom or from home. They can post images, maps, links and videos that they find to their timelines.

Check out this US Civil War timeline that a student created. Use the green dot at the bottom to navigate the timeline.

Do you have a student that you have a hard time getting to buckle down and do his research? What if you gave him a topic that he likes and a computer to create a timeline of that topic? He can find articles to link to, videos to post and images to demonstrate. Check out this timeline about the life of Michael Jordan. What kid wouldn’t research their favorite athlete?

For your kindergarten students you can even timeline your daily events together. This can help them get an idea of sequencing, time and scheduling.

This tool can be used in hundreds of ways. Leave a comment about how you plan to use it or how you have used it.

Parent Newsletters in Email

Friday, August 29th, 2008

It’s that time of year where teachers start sending home newsletters.  It’s becoming more popular to send those newsletters home in email than on paper copies.  You know the whole save the trees thing.  I’m going to share with you three bad parts of this and then a resolve. 

Bad #1. Not every parent has the program or fonts that you used to create your nifty little newsletter.  When they get it they can’t open it or the fonts have turned to gibberish, so they can’t read it. 

Bad #2. If you send your news letter in the most popular format .doc then the parents can edit and make changes to your news letter.  (A good reason to keep your original on file!)

Bad #3. Again, if you use a .doc file parents are able to see all the little red and green squiggly lines.  Not that any of you make mistakes, but if you did it’s like BROADCASTING “there is a mistake here . .  . . hey hey look over here. . . I’m a mistake look at me!” 

Resolve. Use a converter and convert that .doc file into a .pdf file.  Anyone can read these.  If they don’t have the program to view the .pdf file they can download it for free.  You say, “What if they don’t have internet access?”  Well, good point!  If that’s the case, they can’t get their email.  So, you’ll want to print it for them and send it home.  😉  I know that was smarty wasn’t it.  Sorry! 

Here is an online converter that I have found to work perfectly with Word and Publisher files.  http://www.doc2pdf.net/converter/  You simply brows for the file on your computer and click the convert button.  It automatically opens your new .pdf file.  All you need to do is save it.  Note:  Be sure to use the save button in the PDF area not the file save of Internet Explorer. 

I hope you find this tip helpful.  If you have other ideas about this please leave a comment so everyone can benefit.  Thanks for reading!