Friday, November 28, 2008

Thinkfinity presents a treasure trove of free, online resources for teachers and students. As part of the Verizon Foundation's literacy, education and technology inititiative, Thinkfinity's goal is to improve student achievment not only in the classroom, but also beyond by providing quality content.

There are several ways to interact with the site. Teachers and students can browse through the featured content or search for specific topics using keywords, subjects, resource type and grade level that are provided by Thinkfinity's national content partners. These partners include the International Reading Association, National Geographic Society, as well as many others.

Plan on spending some time browsing through all the different activities and resources, it's well worth it!


GameGoo provides fun, educational games that help Kindergarten through second grade students develop early reading and language skills. As children play the online games they are actually practicing the skills that will help them become better readers. Standards based, and with supportive audio, this site is a great, fun way to help students as they learn to read.

Developed by Earobics, a well known provider of language and learning software, GameGoo is a free online site. Teachers can safely use GameGoo games in the classroom as learning centers to reinforce instruction. Note: since audio is an important component of this program, headphones would be helpful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tux Paint

Working in an elementary school I've learned to appreciate applications that I can suggest for my students to use at home. These programs need to be safe, easy to use and have the ability to be integrated with the curriculum in multiple ways.

One of the programs that I'm using this year is Tux Paint. Tux Paint is a free drawing program that can be used by children preschool through sixth grade. Besides the fact that the program is free, I also like the fact that it is available for Mac, Linux and Windows and by following the easy to use directions I'm able to add custom stamps to help students with their projects.

We're presently using the program for students to create illustrations to go along with their fairy tail retells. It's easy for students to use, has been extremely stable and includes a number of features that high end children's drawing programs include.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Welcome to Technology in the Clouds. A blog created to communicate with parents who have children in the K-4 schools in Mount Laurel, NJ. This blog will carry information about ways in which technology can help their children learn through the use of technology.

I chose the name Technology in the Clouds for a couple of reasons. First of all, because we should be reaching as high as we can when using technology and secondly, due to all the Web 2.0 applications that are now available. One of the terms that I hear bandied about is Cloud Computing. I thought I knew what Cloud Computing meant, but just to be sure, I googled it. The best definition came from O'Reilly Radar and says:
"Any web application is a cloud application in the sense that it resides in the cloud. Google, Amazon, Facebook, twitter, flickr, and virtually every other Web 2.0 application is a cloud application in this sense. However, it seems to me that people use the term "cloud" more specifically in describing web applications that were formerly delivered locally on a PC, like spreadsheets, word processing, databases, and even email. Thus even though they may reside on the same server farm, people tend to think of gmail or Google docs and spreadsheets as "cloud applications" in a way that they don't think of Google search or Google maps."

So let's reach for the clouds and find ways in which we can help our students learn, create, collaborate and share with with others.