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Natural Reader is a great tool. I work with many students who have difficulty reading and writing. I've found NR to be helpful for reading assignments (when digital forms of the readings are available) as well as for proofreading writing assignments. For some of my students, trying to read through their writing while also looking for grammar and style issues is just too much going on in their brains. We also get a kick out of some of the weird pronunciations the computer voices come up with.
It's been a while since I used it, but picnik.com has added a ton of functionality and features. I just recently used it with my 6th grade technology students to help them create digital inspirational posters. It was a breeze! Well, for most of them anyway. Only a few needed help. Picnik isn't Photoshop by any means, but it is a great web app for manipulating images and you don't even need to log in or register.
Picnik is a "freemium" service - meaning it's free, but you can pay for added functionality. However, I've been more than pleased with the basics. If you need a little more oomph in your online image editing, you can also try pixlr.com.
Hello everyone. One Web 2.0 tool I utilize in my computer class is www.readwritethink.org. I have utilized several of their interactive activities. Students love using the interactive activities, and I love that they provide lesson plans and ideas for ways to integrate them into your curriculum. Students have loved using the comic creator to create their own comic strips. Students have also crated Bio Cubes about themselves as a get to know you activity at the start of the school year. I have also had students complete the character trading card on one character from their free reading book. These are just 3 examples of the wonderful resources available on ReadWriteThink.org.
CEP 811 FS 2011
I also love this site. My kids really enjoy creating newspapers. It's a wonderful tool to use in the classroom.
Using iPads in the Classroom – Converting PDFs to eReader Formats
One of the great features of tablets is the ability to replace physical books with the eReader tools such as iBook (iPad) and Kindle (all tablets). E-Readers have some neat features – you can highlight a word, and the eReader program will give you an option to display a definition, or playback the pronunciation of the word. Bookmarking and highlighting replaces traditional annotations that can be done in regular books. And, a 3 pound iPad can hold hundreds of books – all of which would weigh much more than those 3 pounds!
If you are a teacher, many of your existing PDFs can be used natively in the tablets. You just email a copy of them to the student, and they can pick them up from their email and store them in the eReader app on their tablet. Alternatively, they can go to a web link to pick them up.
Some PDFs aren’t formatted well for eReaders, however, and should be converted. This link gives some instructions on how to do that.