Thursday, April 30, 2009

GPS in the Classrom

Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology has been used in the United States since 1993. When it was first developed it was primarily used by the military. However, almost all cellphones are now equipped with a GPS device (for emergencies only of course.)

GPS technology is now being used in the classroom for the first time ever. Some ideas that have been used in classrooms so far include help with local geography. It's must easier for students to actually be able to see pictures that were taken hours ago of their schools and neighborhoods than to look at an old map and try to sink it all in.

Another use of GPS technology is the site At this commonly used site, people can find directions (possibly to a field trip location) to almost anywhere on the planet. All you need is an address. The possibilities for this technology are unlimited.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


A week ago we were shown how to use the website Delicious is a social bookmarking site that keeps track of a user's bookmarks. This is different than traditional bookmarks for web browsers, where a single computer hard drive was responsible for storing bookmarks. When using Delicious, a user's bookmarks are not limited to use on a single computer.

Delicious has many uses in a classroom as well. As a teacher, I can make a "user" for my entire class, and give all my students the password. When they find a website useful for our class, they can add it to the classroom Delicious account. I will use this website in the future. Here's a link to my Delicious.

Google Sketchup

Today in class we used Google Sketchup, a tool that's used for creating 3-D models. The possibilities for Google Sketchup are as endless as the possibilities of what one could draw with their own hands are. I enclosed a picture of a man, a couple chairs and laptops, and color too. It didn't take long at all to accomplish either! It can be downloaded HERE. Enjoy!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I found a sweet blog called Eduwonk. It's written by Andrew Rotherham, Co-founder and Publisher of Education Sector. It is an education opinion blog where Rotherham discusses his opinions about stories in the news that involve education, teachers, or students. Check it out here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another useful blog

I found another useful blog this weekend. The posts can be funny, or informative and are done by Charles P. Fox, a Chicago, Illinois attorney and instructor at DePaul Law School's Special Education Clinic. He's a pretty legit source. You can check it out here ---> CLICK

Thursday, February 12, 2009

American Indians in Children's Lit

One of the most overlooked demographics in today's elementary curriculum is the many types of Native Americans that still live in the US today. It's easy for some of us to completely forget about this group of people because today, we simply don't see a lot of them around Iowa.

The author of this blog is Debbie Reese, and Reese currently teaches in the American Indian Studies program at UIUC. Reese is enrolled in the Nambe Pueblo in northern New Mexico, and she is a former school teacher. I was recommended to visit this blog by my Children's Lit Professor, Jacquelin Smith here at Northern Iowa, and it has given me a new perspective on Native American culture, and its influence on education. Take some time to check it out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blogs in the Elementary Classroom

The theme of this blog is simple: I will try and provide multiple resources, mainly blogs, that could either be used by students in an k-6 classroom to help improve their learning experience, or blogs/resources that could be a resource for teachers of elementary classrooms. I've been using the Internet for a while, and I'm looking forward to pointing my reading in the right direction to find useful tools for their classrooms, help and assistance with technological problems that teachers in the new age classroom may face, and providing safe and fun links for kids (including some blogs.)

Lets get started with this blog that I've been following now for about a year or so. Pick the Brain is a fantastic way to increase motivation, productivity, and general health for anyone who reads it. Most posts are no longer than a few hundred words, and they deal with a range of topics concerning personal wellness. These topics usually come in lists, such as "How to Stop Your Thoughts From Making You Depressed." This list type format makes the lists easy to read quickly, and even easier to remember. I would recommend Pick the Brain for ages 11 and up, because sometimes the posts deal with adult topics, like sex and marriage. Just make sure you read the posts before you recommend them to an 11 year old kid.