Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tech Tips for Teaching About a Greener Tomorrow

This session was presented by Discovery Educator, Lance Rougeux.

He reminded us that kids spend approximately 6 1/2 hours a day consuming different types of media - usually more than one at the same time. This means, of course, that we need to know what they know so we can use it to further our own goals for them. There is even a site called transL8it! where you can translate "normal" language into IM text lingo!

Lance's main focus was on introducing us to several powerful tech tools that could be used by teachers and students to help sustain and promote conservation of our planet.

1) Blackle - the "Dark Google" is the energy conserving way to search Google. It's black and white screen offers no plug ins or flash and saves monitor usage.
2) Text Google - You can actually text Google at 466453 if you need to search without turning on a computer. As an example: If you wanted to sesrch energy conservation you would simply type web energy conservation in the message field and wait on the return text with links to internet sites you can access right from your phone!

3) Digital Storytelling - allow kids to create tips/commercials using a Flip video and green screen technology, movie maker, photostory, etc... Adobe Premier Elements is great for editing with green screen and MOONK is a free website for creating slideshows and videoshows. You upload there and then get link to embed to blog, website, or wiki.

5) Fodey - This site allows a student to create a newspaper like headline clipping for projects. Challenge students to create a headline and lead to story and type it in - you'll have a jpg of it in moments.

6) Glogster - The free education version can be found at On this site students can create online posters or splash pages by simply dragging and dropping. The posters allow for the insertion of photos, video, text and links to blogs or websites. These posters can be printed or embeded in blogs or websites.
7) Google Earth - In the free version you can create content or find layers already created on global awareness with links to information about topics of interest. When creating layers you can customize placemarks with text, photos or video, and save it to your desktop for later. If the end result is really good you can even upload the layer to Google Earth for others to use.

Lance encouraged us to have students take the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge where kids submit plans designed to sustain our planet. You can find out more by visiting This site also has multiple resources, including virtual labs, for teachers to use.

For more great tips and ideas for student projects designed o promote conservation visit Lance's blog.

Tech Tips Green
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Teach to Learn said...

Thank you for sharing all this info. I have been up for half the night checking out some of the sites you blogged about. Fodey and Glogster are two of my most favorites thus far, only because I couldn't stop exploring them long enough to really check out the rest. Give me time though, the sun has not risen yet. I love spending Saturday nights tinkering the net. Thanks for sharing. I hope that you are having fun!

Melissa Ross said...

I have never heard of a lot of these things - even Google is going green! I can't wait to check them out.