Remember Webquests? I do!

Webquests were internet adventures for students which consisted of having a webpage set up for students with resources needed to complete an activity. I have a grad course I’m teaching currently online where we explore creating a webquest using one of two web tools: Symbaloo or ThingLink. Here are two examples I have created with a brief description below.

ThingLink Webquest Description: This webquest focused on a study of presidents. There are four selected, but a student may choose another president. The task is to determine which president would be declared by a magazine ‘The Greatest President of All Time’. Resources are provided for research to back their assertion. First they fill out a Google Form for the teacher, so they know who they have selected. Then they will use BigHugeLabs to create the magazine cover. Finally they will use Google Docs to write up the article awarding this title to a president.

Symbaloo Webquest Description: This webquest focused on a study of fables. There are resources to read/listen to fables. A short screencast on what is a fable. There is a rubric provided in the form of a Google Sheet so the students can see what is going to be expected in their final part, the creation of their own fable.

Both of these examples are not perfect. Precisely they were designed with flaws, or rather areas which could be improved. I wanted my grad students to reflect on how each could be improved so they may take those thoughts into consideration when designing their own webquest. I’m looking forward to what they design.

ThingLink Video

ThingLink Video is a new web tool (sorry, no app yet) that allows a person to add ‘tags’ to a video. ThingLink has now made videos interactive. I can place tags anywhere within a video which I either upload or find from YouTube or Brightcove. A tag can last for either 5, 10 or 15 seconds. Just like with images, it can be any URL or Embed code. Below is an example I made as a resource for teachers in my district. It is an older video (iOS 6-ish) which I now have amped up with resources, etc.

Third Grade Logo Project

Today I am starting a project with a couple of 3rd grade classes. Their task is to create a logo which represents themselves. I’ll be introducing this project with this Google presentation:

We will be using a variety of apps to accomplish this project here are just a few:

Background Eraser Pro

Logo Maker and Graphics



QR Code Maker

The classroom teachers and I are breaking up this project over a couple of days. First introducing and giving some background knowledge on some logos they may already be familiar with; as well as finding a background image to use. The next day, finding one or two more images to use in the logo; as well as how to remove any background on those pictures. Finally, we will be focusing on how to put the whole logo together and publishing it to a class dropbox account. If there is time remaining, we would like to have the students create a screencast of their logo describing how it represents them. This video would be turned into a QR Code for their parents to view at Back2School night.

Here is my example logo video:
Mr. G’s Logo
I hope to add some student examples once they are completed.

Free Webinars on ThingLink

Update Here is an image for Tomorrow’s ThingLink Interactive Image Share:

This past summer, I participated in a Teacher Challenge… but that’s for another post.

Now ThingLink wants to promote all the wondrous work created through the challenge that will be used in classrooms this academic year.

“ThingLink EDU is a powerful digital learning platform that provides users with the ability to turn any image or video into a multimedia-rich interactive learning tool. Members of our rapidly growing ThingLink Community of Educators have discovered ways to use the tools for a variety of innovative uses across all content areas and grade levels. To share inspiring examples, we are pleased to introduce a unique type of webinar, known as the ThingLink Interactive Image Slam.
ThingLink Interactive Images Slams provide real educators in our community with an opportunity to share, highlight and discuss great ThingLink interactive images or video they have created and used with students of all ages. Discover the endless creative possibilities for enriching students’ enthusiasm for learning like never before through a unique webinar highlighting the work of our users and learn about how you can have a chance to grab the spotlight by signing up for a ThingLink Interactive Image Slam today.”

Sign up:
September 16th at 8:00 PM EDT
Dan Gallagher, guest panelist (That’s ME!)
Ana Siqueira, guest panelist

September 18th at 7:00 PM EDT
Sue Fitzgerald, guest panelist
Jodie Johnson, guest panelist
Leslie McClenndon, guest panelist
Cheryl Hughes, guest panelist

ThingLink Webinars from:

My Experiences with Symbaloo

Symbaloo is a wonderful tool! It allows a user to share links to other resources easily and visually. It is quite easy to setup and there are a ton of tutorial resources available.

I have been using Symbaloo in three different ways which I will discuss briefly below.

First, my school district is adopting a 1:1 Chromebook program in our Fifth and Sixth grades. This summer myself and 5 other Technology Integration Specialists have been offering training modules to prepare the teachers. My Module, Workflow, showed how a typical day/lesson could be delivered on Chromebooks. I centered my entire lesson around Symbaloo. The teacher (in this case: Me) had the students (5th & 6th grade teachers) go to a Symbaloo webmix as their launching pad. They went at their own pace to a variety of tiles which took them to different components of my lesson, i.e. a quick check-up, flipped lesson video, google docs, and many more. This provided each ‘student’ a simple and easy way to get to all of my links/resources. Here is my example webmix for that module:

Secondly, my current role in the district is to assist elementary teachers integrating iPads into their classrooms. Apps are constantly coming out and it can be overwhelming to keep up. I had some teachers ask “What resources do I use to find apps?” Great question! I shared with them a webmix which as I find more resources I add them as tiles and push out to them. Their one link can be bookmarked. Over time the webmix will grow and give them a plethora of places to hunt, search, discover, (ins:action verd)…

Finally, I also teach a couple of Grad Courses and one involves Web 2.0 resources. Anyone in education knows that the internet is loaded with Web 2.0 tools. I have one webmix of my favorites shared with the class and encourage each of the students to create their own and add to it over time.

Hopefully this post gave you a little insight into how I use Symbaloo. I encourage you to sign up and then go ahead and get certified, I did & I was spotlighted!

Nearpod Author’s Program Accepts ME!

It’s been a little while in the making, but I have now become a published Nearpod Author! It took a little time because I typically used Nearpod as an assessment/activity tool. I didn’t use it in a classroom for explaining a concept. Usually, I used a Nearpod lesson after instruction was given. Nearpod’s Author Program wants lessons that are fully developed to teach a concept and assess the students’ understanding. Lessons need to include video and websites which introduce or reinforce the concept presented. They have a great checklist and resources to create visually appealing lessons. I’m excited to have an opportunity to assist other educators with lessons that they can use in their classrooms. If you use Nearpod and are interested in becoming a Nearpod Author take a look here.

So far I have lessons developed for 1st-2nd Grade Math on topics of Time, Geometry, Skip Counting, Money, & soon to be Graphs. Each lesson has been Common Core aligned and take approximately 40 minutes to deliver. Embedded below is an example lesson on Money.