Smore

Rather than try to tell you about the amazing features of Smore, I figure I should just show you! Check out my Smore about Smore here!

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Microsoft Slidefest Do and Don’t

I absolutely love the videos on this site. Microsoft, while promoting a contest, created a series of videos on the do’s and don’ts of PowerPoint presentations. These videos are really funny, and they point out the five most common errors people make when creating PowerPoints. They’d be great to show before assigning a PowerPoint presentation.

Fakebook and Twister

This is a really fun and innovative way to gain interest from students by putting information into the format of well-known social networks.

With Fakebook, you can create a fake Facebook-like page for literary characters, historical figures, or anyone else you can think of. You can also explore pages already created by other users. It’s a fun way to interact with the format without having to deal with advertisements or issues of privacy.

Twister, a fake version of Twitter, allows students to create fictional status updates. The creative uses of these tools, which were originally made by teachers, are endless!

Tagxedo

There are lots of tag cloud generators out there, but Tagxedo may be my favorite. A tag cloud is a visual representation of words taken from a website, text excerpt, speech, or any other source of words. The most important words are depicted, with size determined by the number of times a word appears in the original source. You will sometimes find tag clouds on blogs, indicating common themes of posts. As a matter of fact, the Applewild Technology blog has a tag cloud.

What makes Tagxedo so great is the ease with which you can apply all kinds of fun formatting; color schemes, shapes, and fonts are all easily changed. You can create some really stunning visuals, like the one I’ve created using Applewild’s mission statement. You can learn a lot about a text by turning it into a tag cloud; notice how the biggest word in the whole cloud is “students.” I think it is safe to say that our mission statement has been well-worded to emphasize that our key focus is on our students, and the tag cloud represents this really nicely.

Time Toast

A few weeks ago, I told you about OurStory, a site where you can create an online timeline. Well, since it’s nice to have choices sometimes, Time Toast is another such program. This one is a bit more streamlined (no social networking going on here, just timelines!). The timelines you create are attractive and simple, and you can click on an event to expand it.

 

Museum Box

Museum Box is so cool! The site’s homepage describes it thusly: “This site provides the tools for you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. What items, for example, would you put in a box to describe your life; the life of a Victorian Servant or Roman soldier; or to show that slavery was wrong and unnecessary? You can display anything from a text file to a movie. You can also view and comment on the museum boxes submitted by others.”

The design of each box is just like those special artifact drawers you can find in a museum. The interface for creating a new box is easy to use, and the resulting collection is such a fun way to present research.