Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Random Name Picker for Your Classroom

Name Picker Ninja is free tool for quickly randomly selecting a name from a list. Using Name Picker Ninja is a simple matter of pasting or typing a list of names into the "add names" field in Name Picker Ninja and then clicking "go!" The names in your list will scroll and stop on a randomly selected name. Once a name has been selected you can remove it from the list or keep it in the rotation. In the video embedded below I provide a short demonstration of Name Picker Ninja.


Applications for Education
Name Picker Ninja is useful for choosing students for all kinds of classroom activities. In elementary school you might use it to pick your line leaders for the day. In middle school or high school you might use it to choose the order in which students make presentations to their classmates.

If you want to put a random name selector in your blog or website, watch the video here to learn how to do that.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Newspapers, Timers, and Name Pickers

Every month I take a look at how people find Free Technology for Teachers and what they search for when they land on the blog. "Google Newspaper Archive," "classroom timer," and "random name picker" were the most frequently searched terms on Free Technology for Teachers during the month of June.

The Google News Newspaper archive offers a large selection of newspapers both in terms of years and geography. In the Google News Newspaper archive you can search for a specific newspaper, search for article titles, or as demonstrated below you can search for a topic.



The Random Name Picker from Russel Tarr's Classtools.net  is one of those tools that can be used in almost every classroom setting. You can use it as a stand-alone tool or you can embed it directly into a page on your classroom blog. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to embed a random name picker into your classroom blog.


Zero Noise Classroom is a free Chrome App that lets you simultaneously display a countdown timer and a noise meter to your students. The directions about how to use Zero Noise Classroom are kind of hidden in the app so I made the following short video to demonstrate how to adjust the settings in the app.



An Interactive Display of the Declaration of Independence

The Digital Declaration of Independence is a fantastic website on which students can learn about the Declaration of Independence and the men who signed it. The Digital Declaration of Independence is an interactive display of John Trumbull's painting Declaration of Independence, a scan of the text of the Declaration of Independence, and a map of the hometowns of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

When viewing the Digital Declaration of Independence you will see that each person's head has been highlighted. Click on a highlighted head to be taken to that person's name, to see that person's hometown on the map, and to view a short biography of the person.

Applications for Education
The Digital Declaration of Independence could be a good reference for students to learn about some of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Aside from that, the Digital Declaration of Independence is a great model of what can be done with the Neatline mapping and timeline tool.

Short Lessons About Fireworks

Over the weekend fireworks starting popping around my house. To my dog the sounds of fireworks are the sounds of the sky falling. To many people the sounds of fireworks is the sound of summer and celebration.

If you or your children are wondering how the fireworks actually work, take a look at the following videos from National Geographic and Discovery News.




Both of these videos could be the basis of a flipped science lesson. In this post I provided an overview of how to use five services to create flipped video lessons.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Good Tool for Quickly Creating Comics

ToonyTool is a free website for quickly creating single frame comics. To get started with ToonyTool simply go to site and either upload a background picture or choose one of their background picture options. Then you can choose comic characters to appear in your comic. Once your characters are chosen, select speech bubbles and add some text. When you're satisfied with your comic you can download it, print it, and or share it on social networks.


Applications for Education
ToonyTool does not require an email address or any kind of site registration in order to create comics. In that regard it is a good option for students who don't have or don't want to share their email addresses with yet another service.

In a free webinar this Thursday afternoon I will share more tools and ideas for using comics in your classroom. I hope you will join me.