Financial Literacy is Important

I love finding interesting infographic’s that I can use in the classroom such as the infographic about the importance of financial literacy  from Richard Bryne’s Free Technology 4 Teachers Blog. The infographic shows the importance of educating teenagers about the importance of financial literacy.

As a teacher it is important to educate our students about economics and issues related to financial literacy. Starting at a very early age it is important to teach children about even basic economic concepts such as savings and markets. In middle school, basic concepts can be expanded to teach students about economic theories and ideas. In high school, economics can be expanded to teach students about more complex issues such personal or national economic issues such as the recession. Unfortunately, the majority of high school graduates leave high school without any knowledge of financial literacy and are faced with the reality of debt.

As educators we need to incorporate economics in our curriculum.  On Tuesday April 17th- I plan on taking Richard Bryne’s example by teaching about taxes and where our money goes. The IRS website about Understanding Our Taxes is a wonderful resource to teach students about our government. The website offers interactive modules, such as how and why of taxes that can be tailored for Middle School, High School, and Post-Secondary education.

Another interesting website is Where did my tax dollars go? I think my students will really enjoy this website because it personalizes where our taxes go such as medicare or national defense. I highly recommend checking out these two websites if you teach about taxes and financial literacy.

30 Web 2.0 Tools for Educators

I am sharing this post from Richard Byrne’s blog Free Technology 4 Teachers. Richard presented about his favorite Web 2.0 tools. I’ve used many of the tools he presented. I particularly love EasyBib, Google Reader, Twitter, Evernote, Poll Everywhere, Socrative, Dropbox, DropIttoMe, and Evernote. Check out this great list of tools to implement in your classroom.

View more presentations from Richard Byrne here.

Android Apps for Teachers and Students

Richard Byrne author of Free Technology for Teacher’s blog, wrote an interesting post about Android applications for teachers and students.  Richard Byrne is the author of another a blog about Android apps for schools. He put together a list of his favorite 29 apps he believes every educator and student should use in the classroom.



Citation: Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers 

Highlight and Share Websites with

When I bring my students to the library, they print countless articles that waster not only paper but also their time. In a truly digital world students should be able to save the articles in the cloud and then highlight/annotate directly on the file.

Thanks to Richard Bryne’s blog Free Technology for Teachers I learned about will allow any user to highlight and then share the highlighted article. First you need to install a browser extension, then simply click on the icon to highlight any text on a website. 

Annotating articles or webpages can highlight any important information and help students to better comprehend new materials. Another benefit to using is that once you highlight an article you can share the page, which can beneficial on group assignments. Check out today!

Back-Channel in the Classroom

I am looking for interesting ways to bring technology into my classroom. One of my goals this year is to incorporate back-channeling into my classroom. This year I am going to  try back-channeling using Edmodo while my class is watching a video. I think students will be excited to share their information. I plan on posing a series of questions on Edmodo and having students reply to the questions and other students comments.  I just read a Great post from Richard Bryne at Free Technology for Teachers about Back-Channeling. He created the following slideshare post about back-channeling in the classroom.

Here is another Post called five platforms for classroom back-channels  from Richard Bryne at Free Technology for Teachers. Richard Posts mentioned 5 platforms. He posts:

Chatzy is a neat little website that I learned about from Wes FryerChatzy provides a free platform for hosting your private chat area. To use it, simply name your chat area, select your privacy settings (you can password protect it), then send out invitations. Instead of sending out invitations you could just post the link to your chat area.”

TodaysMeet is completely free to use. Setting up a chat area in TodaysMeet is very simple. To set up your chat area just select a name for your room (that name becomes the url for your chat area), how long you want your room to exist, and select an optional Twitter hashtag for your chat area.  

Edmodo is a microblogging service designed specifically for educational use. Using Edmodo teachers can create a microblogging network for their classes. The latest version of Edmodo updates in real-time so that members of group can quickly respond to each other. Edmodo also provides teachers with a place to post assignment reminders, build an event calendar, and post messages to the group. provides a platform for creating your own private micro-blogging community. The free version of lets you create a community based on your email domain. For example, if I had other people using as their email domain, I could establish a community just for people with that email domain.

Although it could be difficult to get enough invites for all of your students to use it now, in the futureGoogle Wave could be a great platform for back-channel discussions. Google Wave allows users to thread conversations, invite people into a conversation at any point, and see the text that others are typing as they’re typing it. Wave also allows you to post links, embed maps, and a myriad of gadgets. Watch the video below for a concise introduction toGoogle Wave.








Dipity Timeline Increases Enagement

I heard about Dipity Timelines from Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers and thought you might like to hear about it. I had my students create online timelines today on the Civil Rights Movement. They turned out so much nicer than paper timelines from last semester. My students even embed videos and images into them.

Why use Dipity? My students were so engaged that I could have left the room while I was “teaching” and they would have been on task (I didn’t leave the room). It’s true like the induction presenter said last night- student choice and technology improves the classroom climate and student engagement.

How do students “turn in” their timelines? I read Lisa Nielsen‘s blog the Innovative Educator and she said that teacher’s of the 21st century Don’t Say, ‘Hand It In.’ They say, “Publish It!” That is exactly what my students did. They published, copied their link,  and pasted into an assignment on Edmodo. I not only saved paper but grading was a lot easier with my Google Docs Form rubric (see below).

Here are some sample student projects:

How did I grade them? Here is the rubric