TeachersFirst Edge

New web 2.0 tools appear each day. Many of these tools were not originally intended for classroom use, but they can be powerful learning tools for today's techno-savvy students and their more adventurous teachers. These sites appear (and frequently disappear) very quickly, launched by creative techno-geeks out there in the world.

Many of these tools require a higher-than-average set of teacher tech skills or some extra monitoring to assure student "safety." TeachersFirst Edge reviews these "tools on the Edge" carefully, and with specific ideas for using them safely and effectively in teaching and learning. Reviews point out any safety or policy concerns for the tool and offer links to management tips for each concern.

Especially popular is this subset of the Edge: BYOD Dream Tools: Free tools that work on any device. Look for the device agnostic tool tag in any review.

This is the world your students already know. Try teaching in their vernacular. A little adventurousness makes for powerful learning.

See General Tips for using Edge Tools - a must for first-time users

Browse the full listing of detailed safety/school policy tips or save time by reading them as needed from each tool review.

Learn about school web filtering, a critical issue with many "Edge" tools

If you try one of these tools and find it especially useful, be sure to leave a comment on it to share your students' successes with other teachers. If you know of another tool that teachers would find beneficial, please suggest it via our webmaster account, as a "suggested resource."

Here's the Edge:

 

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Cometdocs - cometdocs.com

Grades
K to 12
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Quickly convert, share, and manage documents with Cometdocs. Upload any file from your computer then choose from options to convert, transfer, share, or host the file. Options or file...more
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Quickly convert, share, and manage documents with Cometdocs. Upload any file from your computer then choose from options to convert, transfer, share, or host the file. Options or file conversions include to and from PDF, Word, Excel, image, and text formats. Create a free account to receive up to 2 GB in storage, upload files up to 150 MB, perform up to 5 conversions per week. Other options include downloading web and iOS apps for use. Login isn't necessary to do simple file conversions but is required for storage and hosting of files.
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tag(s): worksheets (49)

In the Classroom

Did you ever find really neat activity sheets, but they need to be tweaked a little to make them work for your classes? This tool helps you save time by allowing you to edit PDF files in Word to avoid reinventing the wheel. (Beware of copyrighted materials, however). Science teachers can take lab activities and refine questions or add instructions as needed for their classrooms. English teachers can add standardized test prompts to preexisting general worksheets to tailor the activity to suit their state's test needs. This is a helpful utility for students entering contests or completing applications offered only in specific formats. Use sharing and storage options to create quick access to all documents for any unit or lesson.

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The Peanut Gallery - Google Creative Lab

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this Chrome extension and your computer's microphone to add words to silent movies with The Peanut Gallery. Scroll through film choices and then choose one to begin. Be sure ...more
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Use this Chrome extension and your computer's microphone to add words to silent movies with The Peanut Gallery. Scroll through film choices and then choose one to begin. Be sure to allow the site to get access to your computer's microphone. Once you say something and the site recognizes your speech, begin speaking to add text to the film. When finished, re-watch your movie with your text or share using the URL or social networking links. See the About page to learn how the idiom Peanut Gallery originated.

tag(s): creative writing (149), digital storytelling (101), interactive stories (28), movies (53)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups to create their silent movie project practicing summarizing, use of adjectives, or short story writing. Have groups of students provide text with the same movie then share to compare different storytelling techniques.

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Qlovi - Harlyn Pacheco

Grades
K to 12
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Qlovi has scads of interactive digital books and stories to read for free. Search for the books by genre, theme, grade level, difficulty level, language of the book, and standards....more
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Qlovi has scads of interactive digital books and stories to read for free. Search for the books by genre, theme, grade level, difficulty level, language of the book, and standards. In addition, as you read, highlighted passages will have questions aligned to Common Core Standards. Qlovi then generates a report for comprehension levels of the text and the understanding of each standard present in the selection. Once you have seen the results of the assessment, you can add certain types of questions to future assignments for readers to work on areas where they need to improve. There is also a writing instruction section, free lesson plans, rubrics, and an option to message your readers/students. There are ebooks that are not free, but all public domain texts and ReadWorks texts are free, as well as the lessons. A quick email registration is required. Once you have your account look for the Need Help? button in the lower left for a tutorial.
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tag(s): classroom management (99), folktales (63), literature (220), myths and legends (24), reading comprehension (100)

In the Classroom

Once you have set up your account and classes, you will need to set up the lesson. There are different elements you can include in a lesson for Qlovi reading selections: warm up, reading, quiz, essay, and exit ticket. Include a learning objective with the title of the lesson. Use this site to differentiate reading levels for your students. Set up a learning center for use during your L.A. block. In a learning support or remedial reading class, especially at upper levels where "reading" is no longer a regular subject, this tool will allow students some autonomy in improving their skills. It will also let them see progress. Discuss with individual students the questions they answered, where the answer was in the reading, etc. Be certain to save this site in your class favorites and list it on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Encourage your weak readers to read stories on their own for "practice" and to become better readers more quickly. You may want to send a newsletter home to tell parents about Qlovi and encourage them to have their students read from this program during vacations, summer break, and snow days so as not to lose any skills. Encourage your world language classes to select reading from this program for the language they are learning.

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Click2Map - AxioCode SAS

Grades
4 to 12
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Create, publish, and download personalized maps with Click2Map. With just a few clicks add points of interest with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. Add lines or polygons...more
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Create, publish, and download personalized maps with Click2Map. With just a few clicks add points of interest with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. Add lines or polygons to outline or highlight geographic areas. Browse through sample maps to find popular uses for Click2Map. When ready to create a map use the toolbar to add items and save for sharing. No registration required, but registering is free and allows you to save maps you create. Click2Map works on all devices.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (119), digital storytelling (101), maps (264)

In the Classroom

Have students create place marker files of the significant places in the life of a famous person or the route traveled by a particular unit during the Civil War. Have student groups create place marker files to show environmental sites, habitats, landforms, or anything you can put on a map. In math class have students compare routes between different locations.

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BotLogic - Dolphin Micro team

Grades
K to 12
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BotLogic is an online activity that teaches programming and code. Enter by choosing educator, parent, or player. Educators and parents enter an email address and receive a code for...more
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BotLogic is an online activity that teaches programming and code. Enter by choosing educator, parent, or player. Educators and parents enter an email address and receive a code for players. Choose the player link to begin playing without a code. Select your age to begin at the proper level. Each level offers a tutorial with directions for play. BotLogic shows the window of code as you create your line of icon instructions. As an extra challenge, try to use as few instructions as possible to earn rewards.

tag(s): animation (53), computers (53), logic (213), problem solving (218), STEM (82)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to play BotLogic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Let students explore and play on their own using classroom computer or other web-enabled devices. Use BotLogic to teach logic, problem-solving, systems thinking, and, in some cases, collaboration. BotLogic is perfect for differentiation, allow students to move through levels at their pace. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered math or science curriculum.
 

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Sway - Microsoft

Grades
3 to 12
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Use Sway to create interactive presentations across all devices. Drag and drop content from your device, social networks, and the web directly onto your Sway canvas. Log in using your...more
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Use Sway to create interactive presentations across all devices. Drag and drop content from your device, social networks, and the web directly onto your Sway canvas. Log in using your Microsoft account to begin or create a new account using your email and a password. Add content to your storyline using links to add text, images, and media. Change the look of your Sway using the Mood and Remix tools to change the color palette, layout, and fonts. When finished, click the Share button for options to share to Facebook, Twitter, URL, or copy the embed code. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then it may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (119), slides (54), visualizations (15)

In the Classroom

Use Sway as an alternative to Prezi or PowerPoint presentations. Sway is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Use during your presentations to increase student interest and interaction. Check understanding of your ESL/ELL students by having them respond or pose questions throughout the presentation. Share with students for them to use during their own presentations, inviting other students to comment and answer questions. During Open House night with parents, demonstrate how Sway provides interaction. Use Sway during professional development presentations to invite discussions from colleagues.

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Hstry - Thomas Ketchell, Jonathan Ketchell, Yoran Brondsema, Steven Chi

Grades
2 to 12
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Create an interactive timeline, view the Timeline of the Month, or browse through Hstry's library of ready-made timelines. The Hstry timelines in the library are the creation of Hstry's...more
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Create an interactive timeline, view the Timeline of the Month, or browse through Hstry's library of ready-made timelines. The Hstry timelines in the library are the creation of Hstry's team of historians and teachers and are Common Core Standards aligned. When creating a timeline, it can include video, audio, a quiz, and comments and questions from viewers. Sign up with your email and get a link to start with a walk-through tutorial to help set up classes, students, and timelines. Students will need the class code. There is a part of the site that has timelines and lessons bundled for a fee. This review is for the free part of this tool. Hstry will work on any device.
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tag(s): american revolution (74), civil war (138), DAT device agnostic tool (119), immigration (54), photosynthesis (26), social networking (105), timelines (58), womens suffrage (17), world war 1 (46)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events and more. Have students create timelines for research projects. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master using vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and more while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history of a current event or cultural developments.

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Twittalert - Atomic Productions

Grades
8 to 12
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Enjoy checking your Twitter feed without wasting time by flipping browser tabs. Twittalert is like an SMS or IM window that will pop up on your PC screen and stay ...more
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Enjoy checking your Twitter feed without wasting time by flipping browser tabs. Twittalert is like an SMS or IM window that will pop up on your PC screen and stay there about 11 seconds. Quickly scan the Tweet and get on with your work. The app can be easily deleted by exiting the program and deleting the unzipped download folder. When you want to use it again, just download it once more. At the time of this review, the app is only available for Windows.

tag(s): chat (39), microblogging (36), twitter (45)

In the Classroom

On Twitter follow hashtags for current events. View the information in real-time by projecting Twittalert on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Construct a question about events occurring elsewhere in the world to read student perspectives. Use a class Twitter account to set up chats with classes in other schools using this tool. Create a focused chat session based upon a particular question, such as the constitutionality of a law or the environmental impact of fracking project answers as they come in using Twittalert. Use Titttalert to interact and follow other classrooms and projects anywhere in the world in real-time. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Slidebean - Slidebean, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Do student presentations seem to focus on the flash instead of the content? Slidebean focuses on entering the content first before the designs are chosen. To use this tool, enter ...more
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Do student presentations seem to focus on the flash instead of the content? Slidebean focuses on entering the content first before the designs are chosen. To use this tool, enter your title, then enter the content. The option to choose the template, background and other creative aspects are not available until the content has been entered. Choose between different layout styles, typography, and other visual elements and color schemes. Easily change to other schemes with a simple click of the mouse. Why use this tool? With other presentation tools, more time is taken in the creative aspects of the presentation, with less time being devoted to the content. The result is greater efficiency in creating the presentation. Presentations remain on the web and can be presented with any web browser. Note: The free version of this tool has a limited number of templates and other items and all presentations are public.
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tag(s): graphic organizers (46), visualizations (15)

In the Classroom

You could map your entire lesson, chapter, or unit in one presentation using Slidebean. It would provide a great way to connect prior knowledge with the next step if you share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector throughout the unit. Post a link to your web page or give kids the URL so they can review as often as they need it. Have students create presentations using this tool for different projects, and then have them post the link to their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other presentations. The possibilities are endless! Share a link to this tool on your class website as one possible tool to use when creating projects or reporting content learned. Consider using this tool for students to present what they learned throughout the unit.

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Thematic Mapping Engine - Bjorn Sandvik

Grades
6 to 12
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, ...more
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, map overlays, and other information. There are several ways to create a .kmz file to share with others for specific content to be learned. Thematic Mapping Engine provides you with a very simple way to create Google Earth .kmz files. This tool uses data from the United Nations to create maps of all types of development and environmental data. Follow the instructions in the yellow box along the right side of this tool. Select a statistical indicator category from the dropdown (for example, Life expectancy or population). Then, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. Preview and download the .kmz file. Share this file on your blog, wiki, or web page. Click on and then download the file. Once the file is opened, Google Earth then opens and the data is seen within Google Earth. Note: Google Earth must be installed on student computers. Check with your technology department about the availability of Google Earth in your schools. See more information about Google Earth, reviewed here.

tag(s): climate change (57), diseases (59), earth (220), landmarks (26), news (173), population (55)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
 

Edge Features:

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Flavors - MOO Print Limited

Grades
9 to 12
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Create a simple and beautiful web page that acts like an RSS reader for all of your social networking sites! Your web page will open to a large beautiful background. ...more
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Create a simple and beautiful web page that acts like an RSS reader for all of your social networking sites! Your web page will open to a large beautiful background. This FREE (and ad free) account includes seven layouts and brings in your content from five other services (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, Posterous, Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Etsy, Foursquare, and others). Click "Start Your Website" to begin. Use the Edit panel along the right to begin adding information About you and adding Content from social media sources. Change aspects of the Design including layouts, backgrounds, colors, and more. Under Mobile, set the aspects of design that will be used for your page to show on mobile devices. To save your design choices, create an account and password!
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tag(s): images (230), microblogging (36), social networking (105), video (204)

In the Classroom

Use social media in the classroom? Create a class page and connect the class or school social media accounts to display everything in one place! Create a group of advanced learners to set the design choices for the site. Then, connect the social media sites and create the account. Students can view all the information created for and by the class.

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Eyes on the Earth - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Grades
5 to 12
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After ...more
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After installing, launch from the web page (the install button turns into a start button). Be sure to view in full-screen mode for the best effect. Change your perspective of the Earth by changing the tilt (hold down the mouse and rotate). Zoom in and out with the tool along the right (much like the tool in Google Earth or Maps). Choose from among the tools along the top. As you click on a tool, read information in the window to the left. Be sure to click Turn Audio On to hear the narrative. Use the additional links there for more information. Visible Earth shows the movement of two satellites and the images from both. Choose the speed of the motion of the satellites with the slider along the bottom. Other tools include Temperature, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Sea Level, Antarctic Zone, and Water and Ice. Click on the last two tools to view the actual datasets and missions. Some of the tools have relief maps, showing a 3D representation of the data. Click Show relief to really capture student attention. The tools in the lower right corner control the brightness of the image and full or partial screen.

tag(s): antarctica (27), arctic (41), carbon dioxide (15), climate (95), climate change (57), earth (220), glaciers (13), temperature (28), water (122)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector in the classroom. Provide a link to this tool on your website or bookmark on a class computer. Use this tool to introduce students to questioning and the scientific method. Why collect data on the Earth? Show a tool to the whole class or provide time for groups of students to view the visuals and develop questions and make observations. Challenge students to find answers to some of their questions. Help students figure out what they need to know to answer the questions. For a unit on the environment, begin the unit showing a few of the tools, namely the carbon dioxide and temperature tool. Compare two different tools side by side to note differences in patterns. For example, are the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide patterns similar? Why or why not? Research the various gases, how they originate, and problems they cause in the atmosphere. Why is the carbon dioxide higher in some areas and not others? Research the carbon footprint of various regions and compare. Are those same areas showing the greatest or least effects of climate change? When discussing technology, view the different missions featured in this tool and the various engineering feats needed to accomplish these missions. Provide time for students to propose a "fantasy" mission for NASA. What should be measured, what would you call the mission? What kind of data would need to be collected? How do you think the Earth image data would look? Draft the proposal and create the possible image for review. Note: Students can focus on biological, chemical, or physical data for their proposal.

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Beenpod for Education - Dave Yoon and Sang Shin

Grades
K to 12
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Beenpod is a tool to gather, share, and organize your favorite webpages. Create your own "beens" to create collections of websites, people, and ideas. Explore pages together with a...more
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Beenpod is a tool to gather, share, and organize your favorite webpages. Create your own "beens" to create collections of websites, people, and ideas. Explore pages together with a single colleague or entire class as you pause, resume, and chat together. Educator accounts for teachers, parents, and administrators offer the ability to create student accounts. Organize groups of students into groups as small or large as desired. Be sure to read through the FAQ and view videos for an overview of Beenpod's offerings.

tag(s): bookmarks (57), organizational skills (101), social networking (105)

In the Classroom

Use the "surf together" feature to explore and discuss online information as a class, small group, or with a partner classroom. Use Been to create a bank of resources to use for each content unit within your subject or classroom. Share Beens with students and let them add to the ever growing lists. Use for web treasure hunts to learn or introduce any topic within your content area. Use comments to ask questions or give directions about each site. Collect links to informational texts for students to read "closely" a la CCSS. Have students create Beens as a place to store links for a project. Share Been as a tool older students may want to use while collaborating on a project from a distance. They can browse online TOGETHER at the same time to decide which sources they want to use for a project, for example.

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Amazon Storybuilder - Amazon Studios

Grades
7 to 12
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Storybuilder is an online application to plan storyboards for plays, movies, and videos. Create cards to lay out on a virtual corkboard to arrange the order of your story. Add ...more
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Storybuilder is an online application to plan storyboards for plays, movies, and videos. Create cards to lay out on a virtual corkboard to arrange the order of your story. Add notes, images, and tags to organize and improve your story. Save and access your Storybuilder from any computer, tablet, or smart phone through your Amazon Studios account. Add contributors to any project who can view your work and add stickies with notes. Per the site's terms of use, it is not for use by children. You must be 18 to use the site.

tag(s): creative writing (149), digital storytelling (101), movies (53), plays (26), stories and storytelling (26)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to create a storyboard using Storybuilder on your interactive whiteboard or projector. As you and your students create a class story, show how to add and edit cards on your corkboard. Brainstorm together to create a storyboard for a video story as a final plan of a story, report, or poem. This is a highly engaging way to teach your students about story elements, dialogue, character development, etc. Create a storyboard of a book or short story recently finished in class as a review of the characters and story plot. Create storyboards as part of a World Languages class, and label images, or tell a story in the language they are learning. Work together to complete biographies of famous people. Tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using this easy program that produces entertaining results. Autistic or emotional support teachers can create storyboards demonstrating interpersonal behavior skills. Change your storyboard to Print view to view your cards in an easy to print and read format.

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WikiWand - Lior Grossman & Ilan Lewin

Grades
5 to 12
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WikiWand is a browser add-on to enhance the look and use of Wikipedia. Follow links to add the extension to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Once installed, WikiWand adds an easy ...more
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WikiWand is a browser add-on to enhance the look and use of Wikipedia. Follow links to add the extension to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Once installed, WikiWand adds an easy to use table of contents to the side of the screen, easier to read typography and a handy preview-on-hover feature. Personalize your screen by changing fonts and size of fonts.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (119), writing (330)

In the Classroom

Install WikiWand on classroom computers to improve student viewing of Wikipedia. Share on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate and view features for student use. If you do recommend Wikipedia as a source for research, be sure to have the discussion about its unknown authorship and usefulness as a general information tool but not as a "scholarly" resource. As a challenge to your better writers, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics in simpler English. They will have to analyze their own language and writing style with far greater scrutiny than ever before. Or have the class create a two version wiki glossary of your own on curriculum topics in any discipline, using this as a model for the "easy reading" side.

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Exposure - Luke Beard and Kyle Bragger

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful photo stories with Exposure. Create an account to begin, and then drag and drop photos to begin a narrative. Add headers and body text above and between photos ...more
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Create beautiful photo stories with Exposure. Create an account to begin, and then drag and drop photos to begin a narrative. Add headers and body text above and between photos to tell your story. Follow prompts to add photo groups, full-width pictures, or embed Vimeo or YouTube videos into your narrative. Publish and share your story using the URL or with social networking links; embed into any website or blog using the provided embed code. Free accounts allow users to create up to three Exposure narratives.

tag(s): digital storytelling (101), photography (143)

In the Classroom

Have students create an Exposure account to share poetry, writing projects, or as a student portfolio. Challenge groups of students to create photo stories featuring information about landforms, states, or demonstrating steps of a science experiment. Please remember, it is always best to use caution with image searching. Provide students with clear guidelines and expectations. Use Exposure to share field trips and class activities with parents.

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Word Writer - BoomWriter

Grades
2 to 8
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Develop vocabulary through interactive activities with a 21st Century twist! This interactive offered by BoomWriter reviewed here offers an exciting...more
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Develop vocabulary through interactive activities with a 21st Century twist! This interactive offered by BoomWriter reviewed here offers an exciting vocabulary development application useful in all content areas. Choose specific words to incorporate into a writing project. Specify a word limit and list any other guidelines desired. You can create a story or sentences to submit. WordWriter then tracks the use of selected words and checks off each vocabulary word typed. After submission and approval of all writing projects, WordWriter offers the option for an anonymous peer review portion of the process and members vote for the piece they feel best uses the vocabulary. Another great feature of the program is vocabulary word crowdsourcing. You can see the most popular words for a particular grade added by other teachers from around the world!

tag(s): creative writing (149), digital storytelling (101), interactive stories (28), vocabulary (316), vocabulary development (116)

In the Classroom

Use this site to excite students as writers while still incorporating classroom goals of increasing vocabulary. Encourage students to read other students' writing for ideas about what makes a story interesting. Create a friendly competition within your grade level by starting a book and choosing a winner. Create new books in any content area and use for review throughout the year.

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Classmill - Tariq Rauf

Grades
6 to 12
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Classmill allows you to create your own online classes by uploading videos, links, files, and images. Create your account to start your own class or explore classes already online....more
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Classmill allows you to create your own online classes by uploading videos, links, files, and images. Create your account to start your own class or explore classes already online. When creating a class choose from privacy options such as invite only for attendees. Add content within modules for each class using tabs to upload or embed information. Once your content is complete, use the "Ready" toggle switch to make it accessible to users. Use the "Invite" button to invite users using their email address.

tag(s): classroom management (99), social networking (105)

In the Classroom

Create your course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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tozzl - Lars Natus

Grades
6 to 12
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Tozzl is a free collaboration tool and digital pinboard. Create your tozzl to add items such as YouTube videos, a Twitter wall, files, pictures, and more. Click on "Create a ...more
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Tozzl is a free collaboration tool and digital pinboard. Create your tozzl to add items such as YouTube videos, a Twitter wall, files, pictures, and more. Click on "Create a new tozzl" to begin and follow the prompts. Once your tozzl is created, use links to edit and add information, add new members, and share. Best of all, tozzl doesn't require registration!

tag(s): brainstorming (22), chat (39), organizational skills (101)

In the Classroom

Use tozzl to create public or private, password-protected message boards. Use as a backchannel tool for discussions during lessons. Share with students to create their own message boards when working on group projects. Use tozzl as a message board for each of your classes. Include class notes, handouts, links to videos, and more.

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mySkillBoard - Rob Steller and Josiah Hills

Grades
K to 12
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MySkillBoard is an online tool for managing and tracking student data aligned to Common Core or individual standards. Create student groups and add your activities to match standards....more
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MySkillBoard is an online tool for managing and tracking student data aligned to Common Core or individual standards. Create student groups and add your activities to match standards. Quickly input each score and view data through several different visualization options. This site is optimized for use on any device allowing you to input and track student performance at any time.

tag(s): assessment (76), classroom management (99), DAT device agnostic tool (119), differentiation (34)

In the Classroom

MySkillBoard requires a bit of a learning curve due to a lack of tutorials on using the program. However, it may be useful for differentiating student instruction in any classroom. Add each class or group of students to document. Follow learning goals and mastery of standards. Use mySkillBoard together with other teachers to monitor and document student progress in all learning areas.

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