ESU 11 Tech Tips

February 2014

Word Tamer

Word Tamer is a cool site for learning the process of developing characters, settings, and plots in creative writing. Word Tamer is set up as an interactive journey through a carnival of literary devices. As students move through the carnival they develop characters, develop a setting, and develop a plot for their stories. At each stop in the Word Tamer carnival students can print out the words they have written. Along the way there are videos to help students understand the roles of characters, settings, and plot development in crafting a good story. Try Word Tamer with your students!

Thinking Blocks

Thinking Blocks provides interactive templates in which students use brightly colored blocks to model and solve problems. As students work through the problems they are provided with feedback as to whether or not they are using the correct sequence to solve each problem. The video below demonstrates how to use Thinking Blocks. There are templates and problems for addition, multiplication, fractions, and ratios. You can also develop your own problems using the modeling tool. The app is FREE for your iPad. This site could be used with elementary and middle school students.

Thinking Blocks Fractions Model: Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators


Classmint is an online flashcard service. It lets anyone create interactive, audible, annotatable study notes. It also maintains automated study list to aid in timely repetition. Students and teachers can keep their notes private or publish them. Classmint works in web browsers on Windows, MacBooks, Chromebooks and iPads. The video below will give you a better overview of Classmint.

Classmint - Awesome Study Notes (It's free)

Three Free Tools For Mobile Video Editing

Using the YouTube Capture app for iOS you can quickly record videos and upload them to YouTube with just a couple of taps on your screen. The first time that you open the app you will need to sign into your Google account and choose your sharing settings. Within YouTube Capture you can trim the length of your video, stabilize the images in your video, add a soundtrack to your video, and touch-up the colors in your video.

Magisto is a free video editing app available for Android and iOS. The app allows you to add music tracks and some simple effects to your raw video footage. If you have a series of clips you can string them together in one video. To create your video you can use footage that you have captured with your device’s native app or you can use Magisto to capture new footage.

WeVideo for Android puts many of the same features of WeVideo's web-based video editing platform on your Android tablet or phone. Through the app you can capture pictures, sounds, and videos. You can use the app to trim raw video clips. The app also allows you to put together short audio slideshows. Click here to watch a tutorial.

Just a Quick Reminder............

Find Us, Like Us, and Follow Us

You can find ESU 11 on social media. Follow us on facebook and twitter to find out about upcoming events and workshops. Login to Pinterest to view the numerous boards that are organized by topics. New pins are added weekly. Content can also be found on ESU 11's YouTube site. Video tutorials will be included so be sure to check it out. You can easily connect with us by clicking on the link below.

Upcoming Workshops

Dinner and a Math Problem

February 13, 2014

The Greater Nebraska Math Teachers Circle will bring together teachers of mathematics (especially of grades 6-12) and mathematicians with the goal of discovering and sharing with students the excitement and richness of problem solving in deep yet accessible mathematical topics. Master teacher of mathematics, Dan Schaben, will be conducting the workshop. This workshop will begin with dinner at 5:00p.m. The presentation will be held from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. To register for this workshop, email Diane Ronnenkamp at

Fine Arts Workshop

February 19, 2014

The state of Nebraska now has Fine Arts Standards (Media Arts, Visual Arts, Dance, Music, and Theatre). Join us for a day of learning about these standards and as well as acquiring ideas for implementation in a professional development opportunity for all PK-12 Fine Arts educators, PE teachers, and World Language teachers. The theme for the day will be “Beautiful Nebraska.” This workshop will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. Please register online at

Physical Education Workshop

March 11, 2014

During the course of this workshop, participants will learn strategies and activities that get students actively engaged the minute they enter the gym. The notion of “flipping teaching” to keep students engaged in more activity time will also be explored. In addition, participants will discover ways to integrate technology into the PE curriculum which include using QR Codes and GeoCaching.

This workshop starts at 9:00 a.m. and concludes at 3:00 p.m. To register for this workshop, please register online at