Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Design Like an Architect

You can now have the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright guide you as you experiment with design ideas on Architect Studio 3D.  (Thanks Rosamar) Use this 3D modeling site to create a house and even walk through a 3D version. Your design can be posted to a shared gallery so others can view it as well. There are also pages that give additional info about Wright himself, and about architecture in general. You will need the latest version of Flash to take advantage of the site, so it's not for iPad users. (There is a link at the bottom of the page for teachers and librarians with curriculum connections, challenges and program ideas.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Storynory - audio downloads of traditional stories

Teachers are often looking for ways to integrate technology into the classroom in appropriate ways. Storynory is a British site that offers audio versions of many traditional children's stories and is a bonus for ESL or reading challenged youngsters. Because the site is based in the UK, the stories are all delivered with a charming accent! Material is divided into a number of categories: Latest, Original, Fairytales, Classic, Educational, and Junior. There are also some "traditional" Judeo-Christian stories: Noah, Samson and Delilah, Joseph and his coat, and two Christian ones:  the First Christmas, and the Wedding at Cana. The "Latest" section offers a serialized story that updates every week.

Stories can be listened to online or downloaded and put on an mp3 player. (The text for most of the files is provided on the site.) A nice selection of material to round out your reading program.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Readability - now with footnotes!

The great "decluttering" tool READABILITY that many of you are using when you want to look at an article with a whole class has added a new feature. When you create the bookmarklet for your menu bar, you can now choose to have any links in the article appear as footnotes. (This is especially handy if you decide to print the article.) The "readability" bookmarklet is also a great way to prep an article for use on a Smartboard.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Creating a Google Custom Search - InfoQuête

I was frustrated in my search for a good periodical database for French language magazine references to use with the immersion students in our district. While we currently subscribe to EBSCO and CPIQ, there really is no good source for French material. Repères and Erudit have a great number of references, but very little full-text access to articles that students could use. Taking a page from the "Infotopia" site, I decided to create a Google Custom search that would pull together hits from a select number of magazine sites. Setting up the search was easy - all you need is a gmail account and you're in business. (Visit this link to find out more.) I found a dozen sites or so that are about at the right level. You can try out my initial attempt below. I hope to refine it as time goes on!

Infotopia search engine logo