MAISD Tech Integration

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Free WiFi for Holiday Travel

Posted by Diane Zoellmer on November 10th, 2009

Do your holiday plans include air travel? If so, you might be able to take advantage of free WiFi!

Google has partnered with 47 airports around the country to offer complimentary wireless internet access between November 10, 2009 and January 15, 2010. This gift from Google is available in the public areas within the airport, no matter which airline or terminal. Google has also partnered with Virgin Airlines to offer access on their flights during this time period.

Here’s a list of participating airports:

  • Austin (AUS)
  • Baltimore (BWI)
  • Billings (BIL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Bozeman (BZN)
  • Buffalo (BUF)
  • Burbank (BUR)
  • Central Wisconsin (CWA)
  • Charlotte (CLT)
  • Des Moines (DSM)
  • El Paso (ELP)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Fort Myers/SW (RSW)
  • Greensboro (GSO)
  • Houston (HOU)
  • Houston Bush (IAH)
  • Indianapolis (IND)
  • Jacksonville (JIA)
  • Kalamazoo (AZO)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Louisville (SDF)
  • Madison (MSN)
  • Memphis (MEM)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Milwaukee (MKE)
  • Monterey (MRY)
  • Nashville (BNA)
  • Newport News (PHF)
  • Norfolk (ORF)
  • Oklahoma City (OKC)
  • Omaha (OMA)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Panama City (PFN)
  • Pittsburgh (PIT)
  • Portland (PWM)
  • Sacramento (SMF)
  • San Antonio (SAT)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Jose (SJC)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • South Bend (SBN)
  • Spokane (GEG)
  • St. Louis (STL)
  • State College (SCE)
  • Toledo (TOL)
  • Traverse City (TVC)
  • West Palm Beach (PBI)

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NASA Images Archive

Posted by Diane Zoellmer on November 5th, 2009


This from eSchool News:

“NASA Images” is a service of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library. It was created under a Space Act agreement to offer unprecedented access to NASA media (including images, video, and audio), functioning as a free online library for all of NASA’s multimedia content. Users can search for material by keyword or theme (such as Earth, Astronauts, Solar System, or Universe), or they can browse through several featured collections. The site is constantly growing with the addition of current media from NASA, as well as newly digitized media from the archives of the NASA Centers.
Go to to see for yourself!

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Free Resources: Two Discovery Education Virtual Professional Development Events

Posted by Diane Zoellmer on September 16th, 2009

Discovery Education is hosting two free, virtual professional development opportunities for educators and administrators this fall—the Fourth Annual streamathon and the Fall 2009 Virtual Conference. Focusing on how to incorporate digital content and the latest educational technologies into classroom instruction, both events showcase best practices and highlight new techniques attendees can apply to their classroom lessons to improve student achievement.

The Fourth Annual streamathon has been scheduled for Sept. 23, 2009, from 9 a.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST. During the 12-hour streamathon, Discovery Education experts will present a series of sessions specifically designed to help educators learn how to integrate Discovery Education digital resources into classroom instruction. Among the topics slated for presentation are an introduction to Discovery Education services, tips and tricks for integrating Discovery Education streaming content into science, social studies, language arts, and math curriculum, and strategies for increasing student engagement through the integration of Discovery Education’s digital media into classroom activities.

The streamathon provides school administrators, instructional technology specialists and professional development personnel new information about Discovery Education services they can incorporate into their own seminars, trainings and workshops.

In addition, educators worldwide are invited to join online and in-person on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, for the Fall 2009 Virtual Conference. This October’s virtual conference theme is Tech or Treat. The professional development seminars scheduled for this event will focus on providing attendees an overview of how Discovery Education content can be used in conjunction with the latest educational technologies including Audacity, Glogster, Google Earth, and other Web 2.0 applications.

The Fall 2009 Virtual Conference is scheduled to feature presentations from Discovery Education’s Online Community Manager, Steve Dembo, and Discovery Educator Network Manager, Justin Karkow. Both speakers will offer unique perspectives on how teachers can leverage the latest innovations in educational technology to heighten student participation in classroom lessons.

Both professional development opportunities are presented by the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a community of more than 100,000 active educators supported by Discovery Education. Through the DEN, members have access to a wide range of technology training, as well as a resource library of teacher-generated projects and tools.

The streamathon and the Fall 2009 Virtual Conference will be delivered via the internet to attendees worldwide. Educators and administrators interested in joining any portion of the Fourth Annual streamathon should register at To register for the Fall 2009 virtual conference, interested attendees should visit

Posted in Free Tools | No Comments »

Flash Cards on Steroids

Posted by Diane Zoellmer on June 8th, 2009

A big thanks to Randy Lindquist, Tech Director at MAISD, for this tip!

Cobocards, short for Collaborative Cards, is a free online tool that allows users to create virtual flash cards for whatever they need. After creating an account you can print them and study offline, edit them again and again, compare with older versions, check the status of your knowledge, upload pictures and graphs, share your flashcards with friends, set a deadline for exams – everything you can do with traditional flash cards – and more.

Create Flashcards
Create your own flashcards with two clicks. You can use different styles (bold, italic, red/green colour, underline). Add pictures to your cards easily.

Study Flashcards
You can study your cards alone or online with your friends. Just use Skype or the integrated chat functionality and see how easy it is.

Print Flashcards
Print individual flashcards or all of them in two steps and learn them offline wherever you are.

Work with a Team
You can comment on each flashcard, track the status of your knowledge, track changes, study online with friends and send messages to them.

Publish Flashcards
You can publish your flashcards. Everyone who receives the link to your cards can import them to their account.

Check out the Cobocards site for a virtual tour and find answers to FAQs on the Cobocards wiki. Developers have plans to introduce a professional version with more functionality for a small fee but say the basic version will always be free.

Posted in Free Tools | No Comments »

Videos, Images, and Fact Files

Posted by Diane Zoellmer on May 29th, 2009

ARKive is a site with thousands of images and videos of endangered species, freely accessible to all online for private research and internal educational purposes. It has won numerous conservation, education and communication awards since its launch by Sir David Attenborough in 2003, and has now profiled over 2,500 of the world’s endangered species, using over 3,000 movie clips and 18,000 photos.


A section of the site ARKive Education provides educators with free downloadable multimedia resources including PowerPoint presentations and video files for the classroom, divided by grade level and curriculum topics, suitable for geography, biology, environmental education and citizenship lessons.

ARKive currently offers seven RSS feeds so that you can read the latest news in their newsletter, browse the latest images and videos uploaded to the site,  enjoy the photos in the Flickr ARKive group, view ARKive YouTube, or become a follower of their Twitter feed.

Finally, there is a Google Earth plug-in available so that you can use the ARKive layer in Google Earth.



Posted in Free Tools | No Comments »


Posted by Diane Zoellmer on May 23rd, 2009

Mac users know how easily you can use PhotoBooth to take fun, creative photos with the camera built into their laptops. If you don’t have a camera built into your computer (or if you don’t have a Mac), the next best thing is Cameroid. This online tool allows users to take photos using a webcam right in a browser.

There are a number of frames, scenes, and effects to use with the photos and Cameroid allows the user to download the images to their computer. Did I mention it’s free?


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Posted by Diane Zoellmer on April 27th, 2009

On the web site, Spelling City describes itself by claiming that it is an online spelling program that makes practicing for spelling tests fun. This is certainly true, and it is because of this that the site is quite valuable to teachers and parents. If the goal is to simple practice spelling, students can select from any number of existing lists on the site and then choose from Test Me, Teach Me, or Play a Game.

This tool becomes even more useful if a child’s spelling list is uploaded. This can be done by a parent, a teacher, or even the students. Once the list is uploaded, (after creating a free account) parents and students can access the list and practice their spelling at home. The practice and testing is worthwhile but the games are motivating :-)



Posted in Free Tools | 1 Comment »

elearning Tips and Tools

Posted by Diane Zoellmer on April 22nd, 2009

Here’s a slideshare presentation from Jane Hart, CIPD Conference April 23, 2009.

How To Make E Learning Work

View more presentations from Jane Hart.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Dummy Text

Posted by Diane Zoellmer on April 22nd, 2009

Frequently when I’m doing a workshop my participants need dummy text. In the past I’ve created a page of text for them to copy and paste. Last week one of the teachers in a workshop told me about the Lorem Ipsum Generator site for “Greeked”, or dummy text. They use it when they need text for his yearbook class.

On the site’s main page, you first input the number of paragraphs, sentences, or words you want. Next you choose the length of the sentences and/or paragraphs. Text can be displayed as a list or in html format. Finally, click the Generate button and your text is ready for you to copy and paste in your document. Quick and easy!!

Posted in Free Tools | No Comments »

A Little Humor for the Day

Posted by Diane Zoellmer on March 25th, 2009

If a Blog Falls

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