The wallpaper on your computer screen seems like a really frivolous thing, but can be an effective tool in the classroom. There are so many times where I've been in a classroom or presentation and the teacher has closed out of a program just to have everyone staring at a picture of their family (Sweet, yes. Educational? Not really.).
I used to put student names or our spelling words into fun clouds using Wordle or Tagxedo and change the wallpaper image every week with a new list of words. While I loved it, it just got to be one more thing for me to remember to do. However, I do love using both of those webpages for all kinds of classroom fun.
Have you heard of Bing Dynamic? It's not made for classrooms at all, but I keep sharing it with teachers in my building because I have enjoyed it so much. Bing has fabulous photography featured every day. Bing Dynamic takes those pictures and makes them your computer wallpaper (using Windows 7). It automatically refreshes the pictures- you can choose to have them change every 30 minutes (pure craziness in the classroom at first, I don't recommend it) to every day. I think my classroom computer changes every 3-4 hours.
I l-o-v-e it because it sparks so many science and social studies based conversations! "Where is that? What is that? How does that work? That's so cool!" And I guess I should note, I have never had anything even semi-inappropriate show up.
The best part is, I don't know what's coming next either. It's so fun!
Happy Weekend, fellow blog readers!