Tech Tip Tuesday

January 13, 2015

In this Issue: TAGUL, Doulingo, Biblionasium, Pic Collage, and Tech Table Talks!

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TAGUL - Word Cloud Creator

TAGUL is one of my favorite word cloud creators on the web right now. This free site not only lets you customize your cloud, but lets you choose the silhouette background. Customization includes:

  • Word size, color, angle, and font
  • Shape of your background - there are nearly 100 to choose from or upload your own silhouette
  • Background color, rollover text color, or rollover box color

How to Use in Your Classroom

This tool has multiple uses in the classroom. Teachers may use it as a transformed spelling list, a study guide, note handouts, etc. Students may use these for summarizing, book reports, listing verbs or adjectives, creating study guides, etc.

TAGUL is web based but will also work on the web browser of a tablet. To share the finished word clouds, students may save the image or grab the URL link. Check out my word cloud here.

Tyler Leipprandt's Upcoming School Visit Dates

January 13 - Lakers - Full Day

January 14 - Bad Axe - Full Day

January 15 - Ubly - Full Day

January 19 - Owen-Gage - Full Day

January 20 - North Huron - 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Here is the schedule of my school walk throughs. Again, these are designed to provide educators with any instructional technology services. I can suggest apps or programs to use in your classroom, help you set these programs up, demonstrate them, or model them with your students in your classroom. I have been inside Kindergarten - 12th grade classrooms this year already demonstrating technology apps or programs. I can sit down with you during your prep time or sit in your classroom while you teach and give you technology suggestions. I am very flexible, so let me know what you need and I will do my best to help out. Your administration will forward you a sign up sheet for the dates I am in your district; you can always email me at, or click on your school above to access the sign-up sheet. I look forward to working with you.

Duolingo - Learn a Language

Learning a new language never got easier. Turn this tough process for your students into a free/fun interactive game with the app or web-based program called Duolingo. This app was awarded the "Best App of 2013" by Apple. The app can be found on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or the Chrome Web Store. Students and even teachers can learn: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, and Swedish, all for free. Duolingo just opened up to schools on January 8 making this experience much easier for all involved. Check out this article explaining how the school version works.

This program allows students to learn by reading, listening, translating, and speaking. As students complete tasks, the challenges start to get more advanced. If students get stuck on new words or phrases, there is always an on-screen dictionary they can quickly refer to. The further students get, they will be awarded with virtual badges and are able to track the progress they are making. Duolingo is available as an IOS, Android, and Windows Phone app, as well as on the web. Get started with your account or your students account at

How to Use in Your Classroom

Start this experience at any age as it will be beneficial for them as they get older. High school students are now required to take two years of foreign language and it is recommended that students get one year of experience before high school. This app would not give students one year of experience, but it would be a good supplement. Duolingo could be used as a rotating station for little kiddos, time could be spent on it in the computer lab, or students could brush up on it if they have a few extra minutes a day.

Biblionasium - Student Reading Community

Looking for a way to get your students or own children more interested in reading? Biblionasium is a free site designed to be a reading community for kids. Teachers or parents can sign up for their students or children online giving them the ability to connect and share with their friends. They are able to browse* tens of thousands of books to add to their bookshelf, read/leave reviews, and record their reading log. Parents and teachers are able to create/check reading assignments and lists, track reading logs, keep an eye if they are reading at the appropriate reading level, and manage online discussion of student read books.

How to Use in Your Classroom

Biblionasium could be used to its fullest potential as teachers assign books and require students to enter their reading log and a book review or this site could be used just for fun for the students. They could have complete control over browsing for books, reviewing classmates' bookshelves, adding books they own, etc. I suggest this site to all readers! Motivated readers would love to have a place to compile all the books they have read and want to read, and unmotivated readers may need a little spark and change of setting to get them motivated. If you are interested, check out the Biblionasium site or watch the video below.

*Biblionasium is not a site for providing e-books. It is simply a tool used to search for book titles. Students must buy or check out books from their school/local library.

BiblioNasium: For All - Site Tour

Pic Collage App

This app has been recommended by many and is also one of my favorite to use. Pic Collage is an Android or Apple App that is free and very simple to use. Better yet, you do not even have to log in or create ANOTHER username and password to use its basic features. Still with the basic version, users are able to import pictures from their camera roll, manipulate the pictures (rotate, change the size, add a border, layer them, etc.), add stickers, choose a background from many designs, insert YouTube videos, add web images, and add and customize text. You may create your own template layout or there are many to choose from already. For a free app without having to login, this is one that you will want to download. Here is a sample collage (picture is below) that I created in five minutes.

How to Use in Your Classroom

If you have access to an Apple or Android device, students could use this app to:

- Create an "About Me" page

- Create a list of their spelling words with pictures to represent them

- Find pictures on a topic being discussed in class. (This could be a color, number, noun, verb, history event, a location, etc.)

- Display all their art pieces they have created

- Create a book report

There are so many ways this app could be used in your classroom. Take advantage of this app as 75 million people have already downloaded this!

Tech Table Talks - February 5 - Fill out the form below to sign up.