Professional Development in a snap!

12 Tools of the New Year!

Every Other Day a New Tool Will Be Introduced!

For 12 days in January you will be introduced to a new tool. The buzz words for technology this year: curate and infographics--got those? Check out those tools and more!

  • Start off thinking--"now that is a cool tool!"
  • Then, "how could I use this tool in or with my class?"
  • Lastly, ask yourself, "is this a tool I want to put in my tool box?"

Web tools allow students to Create, Connect and Collaborate so that they can be seen and heard globally.

Just choose one new tool to try and use in the classroom for 2014! Thanks!


Want to get credit for PDU's? Choose a tool and then follow the directions and submit link back to me for credit. WMS PDU Form

Never fear--you do not need to make an immediate decision--all tools are posted on the WMS Learning Center Announcements for future reference.


Tool #1 Spell with Flickr

This is a really easy tool to use! Go to Spell with Flickr. Use the letters in a banner for your Bb Pages, heading of a newsletter, title of a poster--unlimited ways to use this tool. Here are the easy steps to using this tool:

  • Just type in the words in the Spell Box.
  • You can change a tile by clicking on the individual tile until you find one you like.
  • When you are finished--you can drag each letter to a desktop folder OR get the embed code to put on your blog or Blackboard page OR use snipping tool to snip out each word!!!

Tool #2 Recite

Do you want to make a statement using a quote?

Why not try this cool tool called Recite! You can use any quote you like (or choose from ones already loaded in!)

You can share it, save it (download it and then print it) or link it!

  • No need to register just go to the website Recite
  • Type in your quote
  • Choose your background
  • Then save, share or link it!

Tool #3 Smore

Do you remember the TASTY Treat called Smores?

It was named so that it left you wanting some more!

Well you are going to want to keep going back to this great tool named Smore!

  • This great tool is a great way to send club announcements over the web or create a newsletter of what your class has been doing over the quarter!
  • A million uses! It is a great multimedia tool. In fact this flyer is an example of the tool.
  • Very professional if I do say so myself! :)
  • Try to Try Cost 59.99 per year. Check out Smore !


I have an account if you would like to try mine out!

Tool #4 Storybird

Storybird is a great literacy tool for creative writing! All the artwork is provided by illustrators and animators all over the world!

You will need to setup a teacher account on Storybird

All your students need to do is select the artwork and create their story!

Use it as a 'center' for writing. Great for Kindergarten and up!

Teacher account with 35 students is FREE!


Here is a book that I created when this tool first came out: What I Did on my Summer Vacation

Tool #5 FlipGrid

FlipGrid--A great way to gather student or staff video responses to questions that you ask!

I love this tool and think it has unlimited uses! FlipGrid forces students to organize their thoughts about the question before answering and then present orally in a meaningful way. This can even the playing field for students who have difficulty with written answers.

  • Teachers create an account--no student accounts necessary go to Flipgrid
  • Teachers can create unlimited questions and students can have unlimited responses
  • Can keep it private with a password
  • Great for face2face classes, flipped or online classes
  • I have a trial right now but I may be tempted to buy an educator's account

Check out this test grid that I created: http://flipgrid.com/#1d06808f

Tool #6 BiblioNasium

A new favorite of mine is BiblioNasium this is a fun reading based social networking site for grades 4-12. It is like Goodreads or Shelfari, but for students, parents and teachers.

  • As a teacher you can favorite books, recommend books or require books
  • Students can search for books for their shelves by title, author or lexile
  • Students can log reading time then email the Reading Log
  • It's FREE and Safe for students
  • Teachers just need to set up an account @ BiblioNasium

Tool #7 Build Your Wild Self

Go Wild!! Build Your Wild Self is a tool created by New York Zoos and Aquarium in conjunction with Wildlife Conservation Society.

  • No registration! Just go to: Build Your Wild Self
  • Build a writing lesson around what your 'Wild Self' can do
  • Require students to create a 'self' that can fly or that is a carnivore, or that would live in a certain biome
  • Snip out the finish project and use a "collector tool" like flip snack or smore (this tool) to put them all into one eBook

Tool #8 Padlet (Formerly known as Wall Wisher)

Padlet is a tool you are going to love! It is so EASY to use and has hundreds of uses.

Teachers create an account at Padlet

  • Students do not need accounts to create a Padlet
  • Information can be added or edited with computers, tablets and phones
  • Add text, pictures, videos, links, documents (PDF's)--a great multimedia tool
  • Padlet walls are infinite in size
  • Each sticky note is limited to 150 characters.


Here is one that I quickly made: http://padlet.com/wall/2qvn5jqose

Check out this blog post for 105 uses of Padlet

Tool # 9 Little Bird Tales

Create audio eBooks! This is more than just a storytelling tool!

  • Teachers just set up an account on Little Bird Tales--free account
  • Upgrade to Premium Account for Teachers is $24.99/year
  • Create a class and give students a code to access
  • Upload images or pictures OR create your own artwork
  • Record your voice
  • Share, copy, print or embed

Check out how this 8th Grade Teacher used Little Bird Tales

Tool #10 Block Poster

Would you like to have that picture or artwork poster size? Here is a tool that I frequently use that is free!

Go to the website called Block Poster

  • Your image must be in a picture format (jpeg or png)
  • Use a high resolution image to avoid pixellated poster (blurred and dotted)
  • Maximum size of image is 1 Megabyte
  • Print your image
  • Piece your picture together and secure with tape.

**Tip--you can Snip (using snipping tool) any image or text that you want and save as a jpeg


Tool #11 Skype for Education

This is an old tool with a new twist. It is comparable to Google Hangouts. Link several conversations together on one Skype!

Most of you have proabably used Skype but if you want to incorporate Skype into the classroom and connect with others globally update your account to: Skype for Education.


Perhaps you don't know who to Skype with? Why not try a mystery Skype? You can put in your information and get matched up with another school--this is a game of sorts--your class will Skype and ask questions of the other class and try to figure out their location! Fun and Easy!


You can connect with STEM schools, look for a guest speaker, check out lessons and Skypes that are all ready set up!


So this all sounds scary? Step out of your comfort zone, connect and have fun! This is free for educators (can have 9 classrooms or connections at once!)

Tool #12 Piktochart

This tool screams Math and Science! If a picture is worth a thousand words then an infographic, from Piktochart, allows your student to tell a powerful story. Use charts, graphs, images and text to create and share your infographic.

  • Register at Piktochart
  • Free Account--with 7 themes
  • Upgrade for 39.99 for Pro Account (ask to try out my account)
  • Great for all content areas!
  • Share, download, print

It took me about 15 minutes to get the hang of this great tool!! A great tool for a design challenge!



Bonus: Lucky Tool #13 Symbaloo

Do you love Pinterst? Then you will love curating with Symbaloo! I love this tool and feel it is one I cannot live without!


Go to: Symbaloo and create a free account. Use with a class--check out our own WMS branded Symbaloo account.

Create webmixes with tiles of websites that you go to frequently, collect websites for class or research, collect the RSS feeds of some of your favorite blogs or newsfeeds, link videos.

Have access to all your favorites wherever you go!

Best part--the sharing! Share your webmix with your class or the world

Go the gallery and add other peoples webmixes to your own!