Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes is now blogging at Learn it in 5

Posted in applications, classroom web site, Impact on Education by Mark Barnes on July 16, 2010

Mark is now blogging at

Please join Mark and other innovative educators for amazing how-to videos and thought-provoking blog posts at

Learn it in 5


Podcasting in the Classroom

Posted in applications, Classroom strategies, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 28, 2010

Podcasting in the classroom can be both educational and fun. 

Learn more in this “One Minute on Technology in Education” podcast. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Podcasting in the Classroom“, posted with vodpod


Tagged with: ,

Jing Video Demonstrates Wiki Site’s Slide Show Feature

Posted in applications, classroom web site, multimedia, Teaching Tools, wiki by Mark Barnes on February 26, 2010

The versatility of a wiki-hosted classroom web site allows teachers to empower students to create many wonderful learning experiences. An embedded slide show is just one example of a myriad of modules that some wikis provide.  

Although it’s not part of the wiki, a Jing video screencast can be linked or embedded on the wiki-hosted classroom web site, demonstrating how other tools, like the slide show are used. The example below is a Jing video I created in minutes and linked on my classroom web site, in order to teach my students how to create and embed a slide show on their student web sites, as part of a research project.  

The students enjoy these instructional videos, which they can view as often as they need. They love creating slide shows even more.  

Vodpod videos no longer available.


more about “Slideshow on a wiki classroom websit“, posted with vodpod


Are Your Students Blogging?

Posted in applications, Classroom strategies, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 25, 2010

I’ve been thinking about blogging in the classroom lately. My students do most of what would be considered blogging on web pages on their individual web sites on my classroom web site. It’s not blogging in the way we think of blogging, because their posts can only be seen by me, unless I share them in class with a projector and white board.

I have used a standard blog platform in the past, and my students love it. The difficulty is having them complete school assignments that I don’t want other students to see. Ultimately, this is what brought me to the wiki-based private student web site.

So, are you blogging? If so, what kinds of activities are your students doing in the blogosphere?

Feel free to comment.

Tagged with: ,

Smart Board’s export to PDF enhances classroom web site

Posted in applications, Classroom strategies, classroom web site, Recent Events, Teaching Tools, wiki by Mark Barnes on February 17, 2010

If you have a Smart Board and a wiki-hosted classroom web site, you have a perfect opportunity to provide wonderful enrichment for your students, as well as a powerful communication tool for parents.

All you have to do is complete a lesson like this one on your Smart Board and export it to a PDF. Once you’ve done this, save the PDF and upload it to your wiki. Now, your students can access this lesson anytime as a review. This is also great for absent students. When they ask what they missed, tell them it’s all just a mouse click away and guide them to your linked Smart Board activity.

It’s also nice to guide your parents to any Smart Board lessons you upload to your classroom web site. It keeps them updated, and best of all they’ll love you for it.

Do school administrators keep us from becoming digital learners?

Posted in applications, classroom web site, Impact on Education, Recent Events, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 15, 2010

My school district recently formed what is called the Digital Academy. This is a sexy name for a group of teachers selected to participate in technology training, provided by Smart Solutions.

In theory, this sounds progressive — especially when you consider that my district has languished in a digital wasteland for the last decade. However, I can’t help but remain skeptical about this so-called digital revolution.

Perhaps it’s the cynic in me, but when technology trainers attempt to teach us an exciting part of Web 2.0, like those who recently visited our district to teach us the wiki PBworks, only to have the site either blocked by our firewalls or crash repeatedly during the professional development, one must wonder about the district’s resolve.

This is not some random rant either; this sort of thing has been happening for years and not just in my school district. I teach three online courses about web-based instruction and Web 2.0. Dozens of teachers taking my courses have told me that they run into these same issues, district administrators who are too afraid of potential harm from the Internet to truly allow their students and teachers to become digital learners. Many, in fact, wonder if they’ll be able to use what they learn from me at their schools.

This constant fear by school administrators that the Internet and Web 2.0 is something they must treat like an enemy must stop.

If we are to become the true digital learners that this time in history requires us to be, school administrators must tear down those walls — the firewalls, that is.

Let ePals connect your students to others around the world

Posted in applications, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 12, 2010

While many teachers are getting their students blogging with edublogs, blogger and others, ePals is still the leading web host for connecting students worldwide.

Plus, ePals has a very user-friendly blog program that allows a teacher to manage over 100 student blogs in one secure environment.

Best of all, ePals is free for teachers.

Check out this video on how to get started with an ePals blog.

Tagged with: , ,

Scantron is nice web-based assessment tool

Posted in applications, Assessment, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on February 12, 2010

Scantron’s Achievement Series program is, in many cases, a teacher’s best friend. Not only is Achievement Series a powerful web-based diagnostic tool, it is a testing/quizzing program that actually does the grading for the teacher.

Used properly, Achievement Series can save a teacher hundreds of hours of grading, which can be used for creating better lessons and classroom web site tools.

Learn how to easily create a pre-test on the Achievement Series at this video link.

Widgets add spice to classroom web site

Posted in applications, Classroom strategies, classroom web site, Gadgets, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 10, 2010
A widget is an Internet feature that allows users to interact with a web-based application. Sounds technical, I know, but widgets are actually very easy to use and can add nice spice to a classroom web site.

With a wiki like, the widget is modular and added with a simple “include” code. So, in this classroom web site example, the html from the eSchool News widget was copied and placed in the module. Then, the code, [[include:eschoolnews]], places the widget on the page.

A site like widgetbox contains the widget codes for  hundreds of educational widgets.

Try a widget on your classroom web site today; your students and parents will love it.

Embed your podcast on your classroom web site

Posted in applications, classroom web site, multimedia, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on January 24, 2010

Students love interactivity. It’s where they live. The flat world of the pencil and paper is not on their radar.

In order to get your students’ attention, you have to get into the new millennium and ramp up your classroom web site or blog. You can do this with a podcast.

Podcasting at a place like Voki or Gcast is easy and your finished product can be embedded directly into your classroom web site. Once it’s embedded into a single page, you can move it any place you wish with a single piece of code. Here’s an example on my classroom web site.

Don’t worry about how you might sound on the podcast. You can even have fun with it and try silly voices, or even have your students record podcasts. Either way, they’ll love it.