June 27, 2013

Tuning into Technology... Reading and Rosie's Giveaway

I Teach 1:1 and Learning to the Core are hosting a brand new weekly technology linky every Thursday for the remainder of the summer.

This week's topic is "Integrating Technology into Reading." This is an ABSOLUTE passion of mine. I love technology! I love reading! Combine the two and I am in heaven!

ANIMOTO: I've blogged about this wonderful website before so I won't expound its virtues here. Suffice to say, students love it, it's engaging, and it's a terrific tool to teach everything from following directions to comprehension. Please read this blog post for more information about this outstanding video editing tool.

KINDLE: I can not say enough about this particular e-reader! I've had my original for a little more than three years and a Kindle Fire for about 16 months. I began using my Kindle during Reading class as part of my daily read aloud, but I soon discovered something really cool about it. There is an app that can be installed on your computer that will sync your Kindle with  your PC. I quickly downloaded the app onto every computer with which I work, including my school computer. With this app I was able to project what I was reading aloud onto a white board or wide screen TV, allowing my students to follow along. Additionally, I could now highlight passages, point out clever text, indicate how punctuation aided comprehension, etc. LOVE IT! Kindle has upgraded this sync-ability to users no longer needing to download software. It is now available as the Kindle Cloud Reader and can be installed as a Google Chrome App. Simply visit Amazon for more information about Kindle and its products.

PADLET: Again, I won't expound the virtues of this awesome website since I have blogged about it before. I will say that if you haven't tried this one, please do. It's simple, easy peasy, quick, engaging, and interactive. You can post a comprehension question, students can respond, and you can assess their understanding in a matter of minutes. The plus... if you love post-it notes you will go WILD for Padlet! Check out this blog post for more details about Padlet.

STORYBIRD: This is a great website for not only reading stories but also writing stories. The premise behind Storybird is that students are able to select artwork for which they then can create an original story. Teachers have the ability to create individual SAFE student accounts and develop specific writing assignments, integrating writing with reading. Students can access their account from school or home making assignments convenient. There is even an app for iPad/iPod available.

HOT POTATOES:  I had used HotPotatoes for YEARS with my Mac machines, but when I moved to a Windows PC I completely forgot about it. Shame on me, but lucky me when I stumbled upon HotPotatoes the first day of summer break this year. I AM PSYCHED!!! This is a piece of freeware that you must download to your own PC. Once you do, you will be able to create crossword puzzles, cloze exercises, jumbled sentence passages, multiple choice quizzes, short answer questions, and matching assignments. Can you say USEFUL???? Once you create your activity you can upload it to Dropbox, share the link, and your students can complete it. HotPotatoes takes a bit of getting used to, but once you master it, you will be glad that you did!

And before you leave today... please hop on over to my friend Rosie's blog. She is celebrating 100 Followers with a terrific giveaway! There are some wonderful items being offered.

Happy Teaching,
Happy Technology,
The Teacher's Desk 6


  1. Thanks, Angela, for the recommendations.
    Technology is a new world to me and I am anxious to start investigating!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. I'm a big fan of Padlet- my kids used it for their personal vocabulary word walls. I just checked out your linked post and got even more ideas for using it! Storybird is another one of my faves! I've never used Animoto, but it's at the top of my list of things to try this year. I'm interested to learn more about Hot Potatoes- never heard of it, but it sounds pretty cool! Thanks for linking up your fantastic ideas! So happy I found your blog!:)

    iTeach 1:1

  3. Thanks for those terrific ideas! My list of ideas to research this summer is getting longer and longer!

    Lizzy from *The Teacher Chick*

  4. Thank you for these ideas. I am going to come back and look into them further. I haven't used Edmodo yet and have never heard of Padlet or Hot Potatoes so I am excited!

    Literacy Spark

  5. Hot Potatoes sounds awesome! I am going to have to check it out this summer!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  6. Thanks so much for sharing! I've not used Animoto, but I've seen it on two different posts today- I must be missing out on something great!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  7. Great tips! I just wrote down a few for download. Thanks! :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  8. Hi Angela,
    I'm so glad you wrote this post- I had no idea Storybird has an iPad app too-- that is very exciting news because now I'll be able to have my little friends create stories on the macs and iPads! I'm also going to be looking into Padlet and Hot Potatoes-- haven't used those yet, but looking forward to exploring them both!
    Thanks so much for linking up!
    Learning to the Core

  9. That's a great list! I absolutely love my Kindle, and I don't know why I never thought about projecting the cloud reader when I read to the kids. I'm definitely going to do that more this year. Great suggestion!

    Eberopolis: Teaching Reading & Writing with Technology


Leave a little message and let me know you've visited!