“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” —Bill Gates

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Copyright-Friendly Images

Hi! When your working with elementary students you realize that most of the projects that kids create, whether digital or on paper, include images. We've all seen projects about the solar system, animal life, life cycles, changing earth, a book character, and more. As an educator (or as a parent) you want to teach your children about which pictures are all right to use, starting at an early age. Children need to be aware of what copyright, fair use, and attribution mean.

These links provide information made just for kids regarding copyright and fair use.

For older kids or adults, a very complete website I found that explains everything you need to know about copyrights and fair use is this article from the Social Media Examiner.

Below are a few websites that will provide free-to-use images:

Pics4Learning: An excellent library of free copyright images for education. Images are arranged in different categories with subcategories in them. Use them with no problem in the educational setting, for both teachers and students.

Public Domain Images: You'll find many, many images that are high quality. Search through the search box or browse the categories.

Pixabay: A repository of high-quality images that are free to use. You can freely use any image from this website in digital and printed format, for personal and commercial use, without attribution requirement to the original author.

The Connected ClassroomCreative Commons Image Search: This is custom search engine, powered by Google, that will find images licensed under creative commons.

Lastly, I'll share a link to one of my favorite sites: Common Craft and its video on "Copyright and Creative Commons".

If you have another favorite tool for finding images, I'd love to learn about it.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

PE and iPads

Hello everyone!

This week I met with our Elem PE (Physical Education) department. These teachers were equipped with shiny new iPad mini devices at the start of the school year. Additionally, in school we have several iPad carts with full class sets of devices. This time, the teachers were looking for ways in which they could better use the equipment with their students.

In this post I'll share what I found and recommended to our PE teachers. This is based on the needs of our PE program and on what resources are available in our school. I divided the list into two parts: 1- What is specific for the teacher, to increase their productivity, efficiency, and enhance their teaching, and 2 - What is geared towards students to improve their learning.



  • Music - Play music or play a recording that delivers your lesson.
  • Camera - Record yourself giving instructions or following a routine.
  • Calendar - Synchronize your school calendar with your iPad calendar. (Instructions here)
  • Clock - Use the timer or countdown feature to easily keep track of time.
  • Notes - Write quick notes.


Keynote - Create presentations to deliver your lessons. 
YouTube - Show videos that feature dance or sports routines. 
StopWatch +CameraCapture the time and moment in which a student performs a skill.
Coach’s Eye - Record students' movements and progress. 
Garageband - Create podcasts or voice recordings of routines.
Pick Me! - Be able to randomly choose students.
ShowMe - Make annotations on any picture. Use also as a whiteboard.
ClassDojo - Manage behavior and other class dispositions.
Edmodo - Manage your class assignments and establish communication with students.
Splashtop Whiteboard - Control your computer through your iPad.
Reflector - This application is actually installed on the computer. Used to project the iPad through your computer via Airplay.
eClicker - Assign quick quizzes, check for understanding, and collect immediate feedback
QR Codes - Create quick links with more information. Use QR code generator sites such as QR Stuff.



  • Safari browser - Have students perform research on a specific topic.
  • Camera - Take pictures or video. Use it so students can compare, reflect, and track progress.


Explain Everything - Ask kids to explain a routine, label a picture, etc.
iMovie - Students can record and edit an activity they perform.
eClicker - Kids can answer the quiz created by the teacher or they could create their own. (See previous post)
Edmodo - To maintain communication between student and teacher.
QR Reader - Be able to scan a QRcode and link to more information.
BrainPop - Watch educational videos, answer quizzes, and do more activities.

Other recommended websites:

If you have any success stories regarding PE class, please leave your comments below.