Archive for December 2011

Tools For The 21st Century Teachers - My First Guest Post

Barbra asked me to write a post about my three favorite web tools, and it was truly a great start to blogging and a huge opportunity for me! Im deeply thankful for giving me this chance to have my own post on her award winning site.

I wrote about Twitter, Wordle, and Popplet and how can we use them to promote the 21st century skills.

Heres my "Guest Post" :

Tools for the 21st century Teachers

Thank you Barbra, you`ve inspired me to write and share! :-)

20 Free software for teaching and learning

No Internet problem at all !

I taught my students several ICT skills without having an Internet connection in my school,  and that was for almost five years, all this time I had to search for possible alternatives  tech tools, it was kinda hard thing, but I found a lot of good stuff! like websites, free software, flash files of science simulations and some youtube videos , and saved them on CDs as an e-library and a reference for me and many teachers and even for students who don`t have Internet at their homes, most often Ive been using screen capture apps to show my students how to do things online like to create  an email account or a blog, or how to search effectively on the web, and sometimes I used my cell-phone to connect to the Internet.   

For the most part, Microsoft powerpoint was and still my favorite tech tool, all my lessons were posted on slides with some links to videos or flash files saved in my laptop, I made micro-lessons and virtual tours with it, as well as frontpage, I`ve created a scavenger hunt , an online research module and webquests lessons using it.

Besides powerpoint and frontpage, I also suggest these free applications, which I believe are useful and effective even if you are connected to the internet. can be used for math, science , geography, screencasting, mindmaps,.. the listed below are my favorite ones :

1- Teleport:You can download all or a part of a website to your computer, enabling you to browse the site directly from your hard disk, as if you were really online.

2-Youtube downloader:Allows you to download videos from youtube, facebook, google videos... and convert them to other video formats.

3- Yenka :Provides 3Ds experiemnts and models for mathmatics, science and technology.

4-Periodic Table:An alternative to Ptable with detailed information , images (126) for each element, graphs of important element properties, biographies and much more.

5- E-draw max :A diagramming program, with features that make it perfect not only for professional looking flow diagrams, organizational charts, business diagrams and charts, but also network diagrams, building plans, midmaps, workflows..check it out!

6- 1st screen recorder :The easiest tool for recording a computer screen with voice , and you can choose the format of the recording file.

7- World Wide Telescope:Explore the universe with impressive content from Hubble Space Telescope, NASA`s Spitzer Space Telescope , and other space -based telescopes.its one of my favorites, amazing!

8- Earth Explorer:Provides a total 3D  view of our beautiful planet earth. It also includes location information of 270 countries and regions, boundaries, lakes, rivers, earthquakes.

9- Geo-Gebra : Interactive graphics, algebra and spreadsheet, from elementary school to university level.

10- Xmind: An easy -use mind map, brainstorming tool, I made a youtube video on how to master it in only one minute.

11- StickySorter: Organizing ideas by adding sticky notes, with the ability of sorting it in groups,it can be used in brainstroming session, and affinity diagram method.I made a video about it, but its in Arabic.

12- Microsoft Photo Story: Automatically arranging your pictures and picking animations randomly, with the ability to add sounds.

13-Windows Movie Maker: Create a movie an easy creative way, just simply drag the pictures, sound files and arrange the time line with some text on the pictures on empty slides, and you`re done!.

14- MicrosoftMath 4.0: Graphing calculator with formulas and equations library, a triangle solver, a unit conversion tool, 

15- Anki : Making remembering things much easier, because it is a lot of more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease you time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learnm more features here

16- WonderShare Quiz Creator : A powerful quiz maker that lets trainers and educators create professional flash-based quizzes and surveys with multimedia.

17- HotPotatot: Include six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the world wide.

18- Simple Diagram: Express your thoughts with this small creative application.

19- Rational or Reasonable : A great tool to promote critical thinking.

20- Crocodile simulators: A range of simulators : Crocodile Physics, Crocodile Chemistry, Crocodile Technology and Crocodile ICT, I love this package! 

You can also download some flash files and add them to powerpoint, or present them on a datashow, like this amazing site " Absorb " which has more than 1400 science free resources!.

Some creative ideas for using Popplet in the classroom


is one of my favorite web2.0 tool, its dedicated to having a creative work space for hundreds of ideas, combining stickynotes , a breeze mind map, a presenter and a multimedia tool, all in just one platform that can present visual ideas in a multiple work spaces. It is an easy tool that even a kid can use it.

Popplet is similar to various tools like stickynote and mindmaps ones, for example, you can use Sticky Sorter or WallWisher for adding sticky note, Xmind and prezi as a presentation tool!

How to use it?

 First of all create your popplet by signing up, that won`t take much time , just add a name to it, then double click to add a box ( bubble) , you will have then to choose a background color for each box on your work space , and many other options for every bubble like the text font size, a pend drawing with many colors available , and the sharing button where you can upload an image from your PC, or bring a picture from flicker, a flicker and you can add a youtube video, or even a google map! with the ability to move the box and drag it in the workspace.

Please check the video below for more explanation


-Easy + Free (PCs)
- Zooming work space.
-Integrate text, upload image from your PC.
- Add youtube links, flicker pictures, google maps, and amazon pictures.
- Share it using social media like twitter, facebook or embed it to a blog.
- PC +iPad
-Allow access to multiple users by email.
- Bookmarklet that let you clip images and text from other websites and post them to your popplet boards.
- Multi language support.
- Export it as a JPG or PDF file.
-Print it.
- Comments on boxes or bubbles.
- Draw.

With all these features, can you imagine the endless opportunnities for using this tool in the classroom, and how many creative ideas you can come up with ?

Ideas for using popplet in the classroom:

- Presenting historical events: use the timeline option with the lines and multi-media to create a historical model for an event.

- Learning a new language: Mind map is a great way to learn a language because it utilizes both sides of the brain effectively with the " pictures+ words + lines" features.

- A brainstorming "Creative thinking" tool : you can use it to trigger creative thinking in a workspace that can be expanded , recording class notes , or the generated ideas in a brainstorming session.

- Project Based Learning  : popplet can be used for group work, with the add user option, multiple space for many users, and the ability to add elements like pictures, text and videos will be an effective platform for project based learning.

- Beyond the classroom walls / Parents / Global: Students can share their work with parents or other students from another country in real-time.

- Storytelling: Timelines will mutlimedia can be used to tell a story.

- Summarizing : Students can summarize ideas from a book or an essay they read in the classroom, teachers can also present the main ideas of a lesson.

- Organizing: Mind map is also a great way to organize thoughts from a brain stroming session.

- A student e-portfolio.

- ScrapBook/ School or class photo albums /Posters : popplet final projects can be exported as JPG or PDF files and you can also print it.

- Introducing/ presenting new topics.

- Producing documentaries like this example.

- Differentiation / Visual learners.

Planning for a unit / essay.

-  Feedback : using the comment option for commenting on generated ideas/ boxes.

- Homework and assignment : Print it, or use it online and fill in the blank.

Please check out my popplet for this post! 

Your e-library for " Social Media In Education "

I would love to share some of the great resources my PLN has shared on Twitter!

- Social Media in Education

6 Ways Social Media is Changing Education

Future Of Education Is Mobile, Social, and in the Cloud: Lessons from EduCause

How Social Media is Changing the Education Industry

Why Social Media Can and Is Changing Education

Social media in higher education

- Tips and Ideas on using Social Media in the classroom

100+ examples of use of social media for learning

100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media In the Classroom

100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teaching Students About Social Media

Integrating social media into the classroom a valuable lesson

Mentoring Your Students in Social Media or Vice Versa

7 Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom

Can Social Media in the Classroom Encourage Critical Thinking?

How to teach with a social networking site

Best Practices in Social Networking for Educators

3 Tips for teachers using social media in the classroom

Social Media: Eliminating Communication Barriers for People with Disabilities

How professors, students use them as tools

Enrich Your Teaching Through Social Media

How to Help Students Use Social Media Effectively

Open Book : k-12 teach play book for teachers

- Social Media for schools
Why Schools Need to Get Social, Local and Mobile

Ten ways schools are using social media effectively

5 Reasons Not to Ban Social Networking in Schools

Social Networking Goes to School

The Case For Social Media in Schools

How Schools Slowly Embraced Social Media

Start the New School Year Using Social Media

Why social media in school

How Today’s Higher EducationFaculty Use Social Media

Resources to Help Schools Understand Social Media

- Social Media for kids

5 Fun and Safe Social Networks for Children

8 Social Media Sites Just for Kids

How to practice safe social networking

Social Media: Is it for Kids?

- Social media for professional development

Social Media and the Professional Learning Community

A Social Network Can Be a Learning Network

An Intro Social Media Resources to Develop a PLN

How to Use Social-Networking Technology for Learning

- Social Media Tools

5 Social Media Tools for College Students

Tools Designed Just For Education

Tools for the Social Classroom (ages 5-18)

7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers

5 New Social Networks You Should Know About

10 Social Media Tools For Learning

Top 20 Social Networks for Education

Social Network Technologies for Learning

7 Tools to Build a Social Network for Your School

And some great articles here.

Social Media In Education …Not convinced yet?

As the years pass social media tools like ( Twitter, Facebook, youtube...) are being used everyday as a means of communication and information sharing and its becoming an integral part of the lives of today`s " Digitally Savvy" Students, shaping their attitudes and personality. Its simply that kind of medium that students are already familiar to and obsessed with...they just love it!

With all these facts & others that we can`t deny, and as teachers ..Can`t we see some benefits in embracing it? can we exploited these tools fully and harness our student`s passion towards it? in order to deliver curriculum through it, and improve our students` skills? can we just twist it to a sociable learning and teaching tool? 
The answer is yes , we actually can..In fact social networking goes to schools and has already found its place in the classroom.

But why`s that?...For many reasons:

-  Social media can be a valuable and effective teaching tool as more teachers, school leaders and principals are embracing it and becoming more aware of it.
-  There are a hundreds of inspiring ideas and more on how to use social media in the classroom everywhere on the web.
- Having a lot of free social media tools for students and even for kids, in addition to some tools that are only designed for education, will surely encourage schools to use it.
- A lot of educators believe in the power of embracing it.
- Social media is the future of education.
- Social media, like the Internet, will be a part of our world for a long time.Its better to teach it than to fight it.
- It can help building the 21st century skills for students.
- Social media is changing education.
- Education is based upon relationships.
- Social Media is not going away!

For all these reasons and more! , if you`re not embracing it, you`re missing out on a lot!.
So lets end the social media debate..Get connected and make a difference!

Check out what has my PLN shared about Social Media on Twitter!

Are you still not convinced yet? :-)