Tech Help Guides

Power Searching

  • Google Advanced Search lets you fine tune your search using all sorts of limiters and refinements.
  • Google Image Swirl provides nested, webbed images with relationships and keywords – awesome!
  • Google Directory leads you to reviewed results in categories
  • Google Squared compares values across categories automatically
  • Google News Timeline see news articles on a topic within a certain time period (primarily Time and Popular Science for most time frames)
  • Google Sets - provide a few items from a list and Google will try to predict the rest
  • Google FastFlip - get news in categories that you can flip through quickly. Great for getting the flavor of the day's headlines
  • Google Custom Search - have a few sites you’d always like your students to use? Create a custom search engine and send them there every time!
  • After your Google search click on Show search tools - WonderWheel, Timeline, and more are all available after your search from the left-hand side.

Feature-rich search tools

  • Quintura brings you clustered results, including clustered images.
  • Wayback Machine Want to see what a page looked like 1 year ago, 2 years ago, 5 years ago? Check out the Wayback Machine.
  • Boolify Want to show students how to create a Boolean search? Drag and drop puzzle pieces and add your key words. See the results list change as you add more pieces. Great on a smartboard!
  • Wolfram Alpha Computational engine (enter a math problem to see a solution) that can also provide good basic information (search for a country name for basic information from reputable sources)
  • Kngine Top of each results list includes basic information about the search topic. Information source is not clear, so be careful when using for high-powered research.
  • SortFix Enter a search, then get a results set and suggested power words to add or remove from your search. Great for helping students find other search terms to try.

Library Help Guides

Web 2.0 Tools for Productivity and Learning

  • Piknic is a photo editing tool, with no account required.  Fun and useful for creating fun photo effects.
  • Glogster is an electronic scrapbooking site.  Requires an account, but super simple, with drag and drop editing.  Try for collages!  Check out a finished glog here or here.
  • Google Docs is amazing for collaboration, and everyone at MRU already has access through their MRU mail.  Click on Documents at the top left from your inbox.
  • Weebly is an online, drag and drop website builder.  See a sample Weebly site here.
  • Webspiration is a collaborative, online graphic organizer, like a mind map or idea web.  Requires you to sign up for a free 30-day trial.
  • Blabberize makes your pictures talk.  See a sample here.  Check out an easy to understand comic tutorial here.
  • Museum Box allows you to build a virtual box to represent a historical period, person or event.  Add pictures, items, sound, video, almost anything!  See a sample box here.
  • The Newspaper Clipping Generator allows you to create your own newspaper clipping - name the paper, write the headline and story, then save as an image file.  See a sample image here.
  • Jeopardy Labs allows you create your own jeopardy game, with scoring and teams.  So much easier than using a PowerPoint template!  Play our library themed game here.
  • Visuwords creates visual representations of the relationships between words.
  • Jing allows you to capture screenshots and create annotated videos.  Must be installed on your computer.
  • Prezi is an online presentation tool that's less linear than PowerPoint.  Create a path through your presentation, or let your audience find their own way.  Watch a quick clip about Prezi here.
  • Wordle creates word clouds from text that you copy and paste into the site.  Control the font, color, number of words, size and orientation.  Words that appear more frequently are larger in the cloud.  See an example on the Library Information page.
  • Tagxedo (rhymes with tuxedo) also creates word clouds, but offers more options for flexibility than Wordle, including custom fonts, images, priority lists, stop words and color schemes.  Basic options are very easy to use.
  • Animoto is an online video editor.  Just organize the clips and photos you want to use, add text and music, and you're done.  Big selections of royalty-free music, photos and video clips are available right on the site.  See an example on the DCF page (Bystander Book Trailer).  Educators can apply for educational accounts that include extra features and free student accounts.
  • Stupeflix - cool tool, dumb name!  Similar to Animoto, but with additional features that allow you to customize the focus on your photos, trim video clips, add transitions and control the timing of each shot.  Add captions and titles, too.  Free accounts allow 30 second videos that can be shared or embedded.  Pay accounts include the ability to download and upgrade resolutions.  No educational discounts (yet)...
  • Letter James lets you put your own words into famous scenes, alphabet soup and tons more.  This is addictive!  No registration required - easily save images as JPEGs.  See an example at the bottom of the Contact Us page.
  • Poll Everywhere allows you to create polls that update live in a Powerpoint or on the web.  Want a set of clickers for your classroom but can't afford them?  Have your students use their phones instead!  Free accounts for educators allow unlimited polling.
  • TimeToast makes timelines simple and fast.  Sign up for free and start creating instantly.  Add images for events if you want, then embed or share your timelines.  See a sample here.
  • VoiceThread is an online mixing tool that lets you combine PowerPoint-like slides with audio and video to create a complete viewing experience for your audience.  The in-tool recording works great - just make sure you have a microphone in your computer.  See a neat example of VoiceThread in action here.
  • Looking for music you can use legally when creating web2.0 content?  Try FreePlayMusic (lots of different styles and artists, and easy to search) or MusOpen (for tons of public domain classical pieces).  Just don't forget to give credit to the artist / composer / performer!
  • allows you (and your students) to post virtual sticky notes to an online corkboard.  Post images by pasting in the image URL.  The free version doesn't allow moderation, so use with care.
  • allows you to create flash based, arcade style games quickly and easily.  Enter the questions and answers and Classtools does the rest.  Warning - the site is UGLY.  Look for options on the right of the home page to get started.
  • Toondoo lets you easily make cartoons, comic strips and flip books.  Create a character, pick backgrounds, make speech bubbles or captions and you're off!  See a sample here.
  • WeVideo allows you create videos online using your own footage.  Collaborate with others to edit, add titles and narration, effects, credits and more.  Single sign-on with your Google account.
  • Photos for Class is a great tool for finding images online.  Each photo you find is Creative Commons licensed and when you download any images, they are automatically cited for you.  A huge time saver!

Booklists and Reading Resources