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Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Quizlet is a nifty (yes I just used the word nifty) quiz generator that has a surprising range of options for testing your students' knowledge. It is largely designed around the flashcard premise so it really works well with vocabulary words or with facts that need to be memorized but if you browse through the different samples in their library of quizzes you will find that people have found ways to use Quizlet for a variety of subjects and purposes.

Each quiz that you create can be used in different modes that include Familiarize, Learn, Test, Play Scatter and Play Space Race. The last two are simple games that help reinforce the content in the quiz. The best way to learn about these different quiz modes is to watch the demo video they have on the site. You can make your quizzes available to the public or private to only those specific people you choose and you can make them accessible through a direct link or by sending e-mail invites directly from Quizlet. You can take quizzes without an account but if you want to keep track of your progress you need to sign-up, which is free. Having an account also allows you to create groups, for instance for your class, so that you can share quizzes directly with those groups. You could even have students create their own quizzes to be used by their peers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Online Educational Technology Endorsement

The University of Michigan-Dearborn, where I am employed as an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology, now offers a completely online Masters in Education with Educational Technology (NP) Endorsement. If you don't want the Masters you can just do the endorsement, again completely online. The Masters with Endorsement consists of 3 core classes and 7 educational technology classes for a total of 30 credits.

Our emphasis in the endorsement program is on helping teachers learn how to teach effectively with technology across the curriculum. We aren't just interested in helping people learn how to use tools but instead we are focused on helping them develop effective strategies for integrating technology in meaningful ways so that they can provide enhanced learning experiences for their students. We also stress the use of technology for assessment and differentiated instruction and, in accordance with the new online learning requirements for high school graduates in the state of Michigan (and in other states in the near future), we have two classes devoted to the design and development of online learning. You can see the kinds of things our students produce by looking at a few of their e-portfolios (Student 1, Student 2, Student 3).

Many of our students have taken up technology leadership positions in their districts as a result of their completion of our program. Our students have taken positions as Technology Coordinators, led technology related professional development at the school and district level, been asked to serve on hiring committees for new technology administrators and have been requested to pilot and review new technologies for their respective schools and districts. This endorsement and Masters isn't just for teachers in Michigan either so don't let that stop you from inquiring further about the program. Please feel free to contact me ( with any questions you may have about the program. We would love to have you join the University of Michigan community.

21st Century Classroom Conference

Are you interested in seeing a 21st century classroom live and in action? If so, I have the perfect conference for you. The 21st Century Classroom Conference is being held at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on Tuesday, February 24th. You can register online for the conference and even enroll for university credit if you are interested. The conference is being offered jointly by UM-Dearborn, Wayne RESA and the One-to-One Institute.

Pamela Livingston will be moderating the conference and demonstrating a 21st century classroom with middle school students. Participants will be able to observe and interact with the students and Ms. Livingston as well as attend breakout sessions to learn more about the tools being demonstrated. You can read more about the plan at Ms. Livingston's blog. This is a great opportunity to move beyond just talking about what education could look like and start seeing it in action! Don't miss out.


Woopid, in addition to having a cool name, has a great collection of screen tutorials on a wide range of applications for both the Mac and PC. You can search through their vast library, which is categorized for easier searching, or even look through the many bundles they have available. Bundles are collections of videos focused on a particular application or system. For instance, you can access the Power Point 2007 bundle to learn more about the features and uses of that software. Or if you recently upgraded to iMovie 2008 you may want to check out the Tips and Tricks for iMovie 08 bundle. I can definitely see myself using these with my undergraduate and graduate classes, especially the courses I teach online. You might find these videos to be a bit over the heads of your younger students but even as a resource for you to bone up on different applications it really is worth checking out. You can watch the videos for free and without an account but if you want to generate a favorites list or share the videos by sending an automated e-mail from Woopid, you need to sign up. Of course, you could always just send the link to the video you want to share to people yourself and skip logging in altogether.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

MyClusta & Tizmos

I know there are a variety of different tools out there that allow you to create your own personalized start pages (I currently am using PageFlakes for this purpose) but there are a few new ones I recently read about on Paul Hamilton's great blog that I wanted to pass along. MyClusta and Tizmos allow you to create your own start page with the sites you visit most often represented visually as thumbnails, screenshots or some other logical image. These are both different from an RSS feed reader in that you don't have to pick just sites that are generating a feed but instead the sites you like to visit often or that you use frequently with your students. Tizmos provides a screenshot, updated every couple of days, for each website you choose to include while MyClusta allows you to pick your own image for each website if you so desire. Essentially, these tools let you take a favorite list of websites and represent them visually on a single page as shown in the screenshots below.

From MyClusta:
And from Tizmos:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


ShareTabs is one of those tools that is very simple to use and implement in the classroom. As the name implies, ShareTabs allows you to share a series of URLs as tabs with your students. You pick the sites you want to share and the tabs are created for you. You then are given a link to these tabs that you can provide to your students and by sharing just this one link you end up sharing all the tabs associated with that link. It really is just that easy. Check out to see an example. I think this tool would be particularly helpful in an elementary setting where it will often times be easier to provide students with a single link rather than walking them through the process of opening several tabs in a browser and navigating to multiple sites. I have a hard enough time explaining that process to my dad...hope he isn't reading this.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Student Accounts on Wikispaces

Hello and Happy New Year! For those of you that have your own Wikispaces you probably already heard the news that creating your own student accounts is now even easier. You can use the User Creator tool (look under Manage Wiki on your space) to create the accounts and as always, e-mails are not required for student accounts. They make it easy to create a batch of usernames by allowing you to add suffixes or prefixes automatically and they give you the option of creating your own passwords or having them generated randomly. You can also make the students members of various spaces all in one step. Check out the Wikispaces blog on this topic to learn more about it.