Tech Toolkit:     Clicking ~ Commenting ~ Conversing ~ Creating ~ Connecting

How do you get students interested?

globeStrategy #1: Bookmark and Share: Start simple by identifying relevant websites and sharing them with students. I’ve made basic link pages using google sites, such as this page on Map Study Tools.

Tools to Look Like a Pro:

  • TinyURL – Make long website URLs short and sweet so that they are easy to write on the board!
  • Symbaloo – Create a homepage that allows students to access favorite sites with an easy to use graphic layout
  • Diigo – Get students involved in social bookmarking, as well as highlighting key parts of text while researching
  • Newsela – Students can read the same current events articles at a variety of reading levels.
  • Docs Teach – Thanks to the National Archives, you have access to thousands of free primary sources and ready to use lesson plans.

IMG_1625 Temple

Strategy #2: Blog: A blog is a great way to share news, reflections, or global connections. Many of my students followed my travels in ChinaUkraine, and Turkey. I’ve also blogged about current events, sometimes even finding ways to make local news have a global connection (DOMA DecisionNewtownPresidential Election).  The possibilities are endless, and I have written a lot about tips for global education blogging!

Tools to Look Like a Pro:

  • Blogger and WordPress – Both are easy to use for creating a blog.
  • Edublogs is another blogging site made especially for teachers and students, so there are no ads.

Strategy #3: Go Multimedia and Get into Video (Vlog!): Everything is more powerful when you use video! It helps students connect with the content and feel like they are there in another part of the world. As you can see in the video below, I’ve used many different techniques, from interviewing an expert (such as a Turkish bath salesman) to filming students asking questions (a favorite post from Ukraine). Students love video!

Tools to look Like a Pro:

  • iMovie – Without sounding like an Apple advertisement, I can’t say enough about how easy this program makes it to edit your own video content into polished, profressional looking films
  • Animoto – a fun, free site that allows you to easily edit images and video into attractive films
  • TeacherTube and SchoolTube – great supplements to YouTube, especially if your school blocks certain content
  • Khan Academy – Don’t have time to make your own video? Check out the instructional videos of Khan Academy


Strategy #4: Make the Students the Stars: One of the best ways to get students interested is to make them the stars! I enjoy showing off what my students accomplish, whether it’s documenting what’s happening in class (like in the video below) or interviewing students about special events at school.

Tools to Look Like a Pro:

  • Your Camera — Your best tool is whatever camera you feel comfortable with!
  • Padlet – Make your own “wall” and show off whatever you want to show!
  • Jux – Pictures and words fill the screen in this unusual blogging format.

This is just the beginning! Move on to the next step: Commenting.

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