Jan 25 2011

5 Sites to Infuse (FREE) Technology Into Your Lesson Plans and Engage Your Students

So, you are supposed to be teaching using technology, but you just don’t know how? You say you were born before 1985 and you’re freaking out because you think you don’t use technology effectively or as well as your students? I have a few suggestions on sites that I have used to let students create their own learning using new technology that only requires a laptop and a little thought on your part. Breathe and know that any teacher can use the sites I recommend and…they’re all free; all you need is an e-mail account.***P.S. I am just a teacher that happened across this technology a little at a time…I am in no way reimbursed or paid for my recommendations=-)


Let Students Publish Completed Writing on Figment:

~Important pieces to the writing process are peer review and,arguably the most important part–publishing, can be easily accomplished through the writing site Figment. It is a newer site aimed at young adult writers…the format is appealing to them and is very, very easy to use; all that is needed is a valid e-mail address. *Warning-Figment can have very racy material so you may talk a little about appropriate school usage.

Use Voicethread For Book Discussions or a Sort of Podcasting:

~ This amazing tool lets students record their voices for unlimited uses. It is free (30 minutes of air time) for you and your students and can be used for limitless activities, projects, and tutoring. Just write scripts and record–awesome. Play with this technology for a few minutes and you’ll be hooked.

Try Glogster for a Book Report:

~I have blogged on this site before, but I can’t say enough about it. Who wouldn’t want to dump the markers and glitter pens to make all of your book reviews 2.0.? Students get so engaged in trying to fill their Glog with information, pictures, videos, and animation that they forget how much work they are completing…LOVE it!

Create a Wiki for Storing  and Creating Class Information or a Class Page:

~Creating and editing wikis is a skill that I think all students need. I have created class wikis several times and it is an invaluable tool to keep all of my classes up-to-date with assignments and dates, vocabulary terms, and general reading and writing information. This is a very common use of technology in the classroom and very easy to update and use–very little training required.

Make Animated Videos on Go! Animate:

~Have students create videos on any topic under the sun. My students researched everything from literary terms to Spanish verb conjugation. It is quite easy to use (step-by-step instructions pop up with your first use) and like most of the other technology, only requires a valid e-mail. My kids love it and can create the most comical and interesting videos you’ve ever seen…especially when you’re talking about fun stuff like grammar (tongue firmly in cheek).

I hope this helps a teacher in need of a developing a lesson utilizing technology…your students will thank you for it. Happy teaching=)

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “5 Sites to Infuse (FREE) Technology Into Your Lesson Plans and Engage Your Students”

  1.   Lindseyon 26 Jan 2011 at 11:56 AM     1

    Hi there!
    I’m a reading education grad student, and I just stumbled across your blog today. You’ve got such great ideas and information on here! I’m adding you to my Google reader and look forward to reading more! :)

  2.   Jessica Piperon 26 Jan 2011 at 11:58 AM     2

    Thanks, Lindsey. I remember well being a grad student…good luck and thanks for reading;)

  3.   Jeff Cooperon 26 Jan 2011 at 12:32 PM     3

    I read your insightful comments on President Obama’s State of the Union Address. I too taught at a poverty rich school (Richmond High of “Coach Carter” fame) during the mid 90s. Have a look at http://snurl.com/netc1 for an article I wrote “Building 21st Century Collaborative Learning Communities” which highlights one of my success stories there.

    I’d like to invite you to join Tapped In http://www.tappedin.org , a professional educator’s collaborative with over 500 professional development groups, university and K-12 classrooms. I’m on Helpdesk there, specializing in K-12 campus support and collaboration. Membership is free and ad free. Your contributions there would be very welcome.

  4.   debbie siscoon 03 Feb 2011 at 9:52 AM     4


    My, my, my! You ARE my new best friend! :) I am going to copy this information for all my teachers and play with these sites myself! Thanks for the encouragement on the blog. You are an administrator’s dream. Thanks for being such a forward thinker. I know I’m going to learn a great deal from you!

  5.   Jessica Piperon 03 Feb 2011 at 11:45 AM     5

    Dear Deb,
    Thanks so much for your comments…have fun with those sites; they are awesome (and did I mention free???) :)

  6.   Traci Cookon 07 Feb 2011 at 4:25 PM     6

    You have some nice ideas for teachers here. There are so many good web 2.0 tools for teachers that it’s often hard to weed through them. Another one that I like that is similar to Go Animate is Toondo (www.toondo.com). Students can create cartoons and customize them with tools similar to the ones on Go Animate.

    We’ve created a place where teachers can get and share their great ideas. It’s called TeacherGenius by TCI and you can find it at http://teachergenius.teachtci.com. We have web tools, videos, and enrichment resources that are all free.

  7.   Jen Zelinskion 07 Feb 2011 at 6:35 PM     7

    This blog is amazing! I am working on my Master’s in Literacy and Technology and I love these websites you just showed. The book report one really intrigues me. I am definitely tabbing this as my favorites and will have to check out those websites! Thank you so much for all of this information!

  8.   Jessica Piperon 07 Feb 2011 at 6:42 PM     8

    Thanks for your super-sweet comments=) I’m so glad some of my information can help you…good luck on your MA!

  9.   Natalieon 08 Feb 2011 at 12:10 AM     9

    Great resources! Thank you for sharing. One other site your readers might be interested in, especially civics teachers and when discussing the constitution, law, etc., is AsktheJudge.info. It’s a teen law site that answers teens’ and parents’ questions about the laws affecting minors. The site is kept current with news and cases from around the country involving legal issues about teens. The “Talk Back” posts are designed to facilitate discussion on these important issues by concluding every article with questions for the reader.

  10.   Luann Dreifuerston 12 Feb 2011 at 12:50 PM     10

    Thanks for sharing your expertise. I teach grad students at a University in reading and writing literacy. I plan to explore the sites and then infuse those tools into my class for future teachers’ use.

  11.   Normaon 26 Feb 2011 at 11:19 PM     11

    I hope you don’t mind, but I added this to my own blog to share with others. Great job! I look forward to following you!


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