Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Safe Student Blogging at Kidblog.org

Check this out! I ran across this site through my Twitter account yesterday. Kidblog is a site that looks to be a solution to classroom teachers who want their students to have their own individual blog, but don't want to have to deal with the student email addresses tied to the accounts, especially in elementary and middle schools. It's FREE and it allows teachers to create an account (with an email address), add classes and students. When a student is added, the child has access to their own private blog that is accessible though a username and password assigned by the teacher. No email addresses or private information is needed! The student blogs can be completely locked down so that class members can login and view the posts and comments on them, but the posts will remain hidden to the public. Teachers have the option to approve comments AND posts before they are added to the student blogs. Also, teachers can comment on student blog posts and make it private so that only the author of the post can read it. This is perfect for teachers who want to leave feedback on the writing process directly on the blog! There are more things that this site can do, but these are my favorite features!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Create Jeopardy Games Fast and Easy!

Jeopardy Labs is a website that has an amazing Jeopardy game builder. It was built by Matt Johnson, an undergraduate students at Washington State University. His website allows you to build interactive Jeopardy games without PowerPoint and it is MUCH easier than PowerPoint. You do not even need to create an account in order to build your game. As Matt explains on his website: "When you save your template, you are given a URL to play the template. Something like jeopardylabs.com/play/your-title. You are also given a URL to edit the template, something like jeopardylabs.com/edit/your-title. Just type that into your browser when you want to edit."

Creating a game is super easy. Simply click on a category and type in the word to describe your category. Then click on a question with a point value. You will be given a screen where you can enter the question and the answer. Jeopardy labs puts it together to make it pretty. When you are ready to play the game, you can enter in the points of each team manually into the site before proceeding to the next question. Easy! I don't usually recommend Jeopardy because of the time it takes to create within PowerPoint, but this site takes care of that!