TeachersFirst Edge - Web page makers

 

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Strikingly - David Chen, Dafeng Guo, and Teng Bao

Grades
6 to 12
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Strikingly allows you to make beautiful, one-page websites quickly without any coding experience. View sites on any device. Quickly connect to social media, track analytics, and add...more
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Strikingly allows you to make beautiful, one-page websites quickly without any coding experience. View sites on any device. Quickly connect to social media, track analytics, and add contact forms easily. Create an account using email and a password to begin. Choose a category from business, personal, or portfolio to choose a template and begin editing. Click each section to edit. Upload images from your computer or many other options such as Dropbox, Instagram, and Picasa. When finished, choose the Publish button to personalize your url. Share via Facebook, Twitter, or by emailing the url. Free plans allow for one page per user. However, you can earn points to access additional content by "Liking" Strikingly on Facebook or other options. There is a 5 MB limit to the monthly bandwidth (traffic) for free sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site for students to post simple projects such as stories, poems, and art projects on a mobile friendly page. These could be shared easily on a class set of iTouches! Collect a master list of links to student pages on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for easy access. If students are creating pages, be sure to check with your district's policy on student use of email as well as publishing of student work. Create websites for many projects: back to school introductions, any subject/topic, research projects, book reports... the possibilities go on and on! Create a handy mobile-friendly page to share resources and information during field trips or outside activities. If you do a field study, make a simple page of the activities students are expected to do there so they can access it easily using their smart phones.

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Loose Leaves - looseleaves.me

Grades
2 to 12
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Loose Leaves is a place to put thoughts that don't quite fit anywhere else. As they put it, "For Thoughts That Don't Have a Home." It is similar to ...more
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Loose Leaves is a place to put thoughts that don't quite fit anywhere else. As they put it, "For Thoughts That Don't Have a Home." It is similar to an instant web page maker. No registration required. Click on the leaf and begin composing your thoughts. Insert a title and begin writing. Edit font style, alignment, indent, and paragraph style using tools provided. Insert images using the image link. Images must already be online so you can point to them by url. Adjust image size, description, and placement in your document as desired. You can even drag images directly into your document from another open browser window! Choose Save to receive the url for your page. You will receive 2 url's: one for sharing and one to use for editing your page. Be sure to save that url in your Favorites or a document so you do not lose it! Collect lines for future poems, figures of speech that you like, or simply thoughts in this "idea bin" for writing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (87)

In the Classroom

Use this site for students to post or collect material for simple projects such as stories, poems, and art projects. Collect a master list of urls to student pages on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for easy access. If students are creating pages, be sure to check with your district's policy on publishing student work. The beauty of Loose Leaves is that there aren't any identifiers such as email address, name, or other information about the user. Publications are completely anonymous, if desired. Create pages for quick link sharing or for upcoming events such as field trips, class party information, school events, science fair, etc. Students can create simple pages to share links to include in presentations so classmates can participate on laptops. If you are beginning a major creative project such as a literary magazine or research project, Loose Leaves is a wonderful place for writers to collect questions and ideas to be developed later. Share this one with your gifted students as a place to collect written ideas or to collaborate on any kind of writing, such as a poem or script. Just be sure your disorganized ones save both the sharing urls: the one to view it and the one to edit it. If they do not mark these and save them to favorites, they will be gone forever! (You COULD start the page for them and give them the url to edit it... but you would not be helping them learn organization skills!)

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Infinite.ly Web Page Maker - Luis Buenaventura

Grades
3 to 12
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Create a bright, colorful web page quickly and easily with Infinite.ly. You also get a mobile-friendly website, Facebook page, and blog (should you wish.) Choose your unique subdomain...more
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Create a bright, colorful web page quickly and easily with Infinite.ly. You also get a mobile-friendly website, Facebook page, and blog (should you wish.) Choose your unique subdomain name to begin. Choose from a page-type template. Choices include business, personal, school, event, product, or teaser. Click on different parts of the page to add text, images, change the background, and add pages, and much more. When finished, click Publish to make your page live on the web. Registration with email is not required to publish pages; however, without registration, published pages will only be available for 48 hours. Research before you join. Basic features are free, but add-ons and extra storage space are for a fee.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (87), microblogging (44), portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site for students to post simple projects such as stories, poems, and art projects. Students can also create online "me-portfolios" where they collect and curate all the links to their various online projects. Collect a master list of links to student pages on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for easy access. If students are creating pages, be sure to check with your district's policy on student use of email as well as publishing of student work.

Try using Infinite.ly for: "visual essays," digital biodiversity logs (with digital pictures students take), online literary magazines, personal reflections in images and text, research project presentations, or comparisons of online content (such as political candidates' sites or content sites used in research -compared for bias). Use this tool for science sites documenting experiments or illustrating concepts (such as the water cycle), "visual" lab reports, digital scrapbooks using images from the public domain and video and audio clips from a time in history -- such as the Roaring Twenties. More ideas include local history interactive stories, visual interpretations of major concepts (such as a "visual" U.S. Constitution). Imagine building your own online library of raw materials for your students to create their own "web pages" as a new way of assessing understanding. You provide the digital pictures, and they sequence, caption, and write about them (younger students), or you provide the steps in a project as a template, and they insert the actual content of their own.

After a first project where you provide "building blocks," the sky is the limit on what they can do, but watch the file size and space limits. Even the very young can make suggestions as you "create" a whole-class product together using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider making a new project for each unit you teach, so students can "recap" long after the unit ends. Separate pages mean smaller sites, so they can remain free.

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Tackk - Creatively Share Your Message - Erick Bockmuller and Dan Klammer

Grades
3 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tackk is a new way for sharing and creating web content. It is almost like designing a one page web site. Start with an image or idea, NO membership required ...more
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Tackk is a new way for sharing and creating web content. It is almost like designing a one page web site. Start with an image or idea, NO membership required (for short term pages). Personalize the look of your content using the editor to change colors, fonts, and background. You can also add tags. Choose from themes on the left to begin customization or just click on different portions of the page to upload a picture, edit your title, and write a description. Add additional information using links provided. Paste a link to your Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu, Instagram, or Soundcloud to embed songs, photos, and more. Sign up isn't required. However, your Tackk will only be available for a week if not registered on the site. Free registration allows multiple Tackks, available indefinitely. Savvy users can make a Tackk private (i.e. hidden from search engines), password protect your Tackks, add tags, and even collect them into Tackkboards by tag -- very handy for seeing a full class's work simply by having students use the same tag. Click the word Tackk then on the FAQ in the footer of the page to learn how to do all of these and more! Share completed Tackks using social media links at the bottom of the page or via the unique url created and available at the top of the page. People who wish to comment must do so using an account on Facebook or other social media, so the commenting feature is somewhat limited.

tag(s): creative writing (167), journals (20), multimedia (52), posters (35)

In the Classroom

Share any short term announcement visually without joining or set up a class account for all to use. One of the options when you click "Create" is Class Assignment! If students have email, they can set up individual accounts. Have students create a Tackk instead of a book report. Have students copy a story into Tackk and expand using multimedia and photos. Have students make Tackks as online posters advertising healthy eating or reminding others about grammar rules. Create a Tackk to introduce any unit or a webquest. Use it to compile review materials; then share the link on your classroom website. Have students create a Tackk for upcoming book fairs, math or science night, or any school activity then print the finished items for display around the classroom or school. As a back to school introduction, make a cooperative Tackk of class rules or allow students to make a Tackk introducing themselves without a photo. Have others try to match the Tackks to their classmates.

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Portfoliogen - Create a Free Teacher Portfolio Webpage - CG Solutions LLC

Grades
K to 12
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PortfolioGen is a platform where teachers and pre-service teachers can build simple webpages to highlight their professional portfolios. Write "about me" pages, highlight certifications,...more
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PortfolioGen is a platform where teachers and pre-service teachers can build simple webpages to highlight their professional portfolios. Write "about me" pages, highlight certifications, upload documents, and provide links. Use the included forms for potential employers to contact you. Create an account by choosing a username and inputting basic email and contact information. Choose from available templates or create your own using your own background image and colors. Upload documents such as resumes, lesson plans, transcripts, and more. Use of the site is free; however, the free version does have limited document uploads and file sizes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): portfolios (25), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create an online portfolio even if you are not looking for a new job. Share it with your principal or administrator as part of your evaluation process. Share it with parents from a link on your class web page. Model a positive, professional online image so your students can see how important this is in the 21st century. Use this tool to create a URL for substitutes to use with pertinent information including: lesson plans, student background, websites to use for enrichment, recordings of songs sung daily, etc.

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Wix - Giora Kaplan, Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami

Grades
7 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Wix makes creating your own website EASY! Wix has over 100 visually rich templates for you to choose. Or you may choose a blank template and upload your own material. ...more
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Wix makes creating your own website EASY! Wix has over 100 visually rich templates for you to choose. Or you may choose a blank template and upload your own material. The easy, "drag and drop" elements allow even the novice technology user to create their own website. Choose to have your website in Flash or HTML. Wix does all the work for either of these. Choose from 100s of images, fonts, menus, music files, buttons, and widgets, or upload your own. There are video tutorials that will take you from beginner to website designer in 8 steps!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (87), game based learning (101), gamification (63), portfolios (25), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Your students, 13 and over, may register by email if you want them to create a page to present a project, or for club web pages. Use a whole class account for students under 13. This program would be nice for developing student portfolios, small group presentations, even journals about career research. Create a Wix website page to publish biographical information about any historical figure in any subject area. Use Wix to create pages about characters in a novel. Create pages about scientists and their contributions including reactions of others to their discovery or invention. Research why these inventions were particularly important and the scientific knowledge that changed as a result. Create a page about artists, musicians, politicians, etc. using the same guidelines as above with scientists. Challenge students to step into the person's character to create an informative understanding about the person and their contribution. In upper elementary grades, have all students generate a starter page offline about a famous person (or people) you are studying. Then vote on one to publish as a class using this online tool. Have teens begin a "Me" portfolio in middle grades, one that they can continue to develop as they approach college and/or career. Encourage them to showcase links to online projects, favorite images they have taken or created, artwork, music, writing samples, and personal interests. This is the ideal way to build a positive digital footprint that students can actually use well into the future. If you teach gifted students, encourage them to add suitable projects from your class to their portfolio site, especially projects that involve connections with the "real world."

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Zoho Sites - ZOHO Corp

Grades
K to 12
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Zoho Sites provides simple, easy, free solutions to all your website needs! Using an email address, join Zoho use the simple, drag and drop website designer. Add images, audio, social...more
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Zoho Sites provides simple, easy, free solutions to all your website needs! Using an email address, join Zoho use the simple, drag and drop website designer. Add images, audio, social media widgets, and google apps. Built in blogs allow an instant interactive website. The free version includes permission to create and host two websites, a mobile website, 2 forms per site, blogs, uploads of up to a 5 MB file, and more. Zoho also gives an email address. Zoho also offers other services, such as Zoho Show, reviewed here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Create separate websites in addition to your regular class website for student writing, after school clubs, webquests, or literature groups. Coaches can update practices, schedules, and up to date information. Parent groups can collaborate easily and effectively. Create a website for all the science, art, language arts, or math teachers in your district. Students can also create websites as ongoing "presentations" or me-portfolios showcasing their work. Start me-portfolios in middle school or earlier for students to manage their own "digital footprint" as 21st century learners.

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pageOrama - pageOrama.com

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create your own web page almost instantly with this page editor and publisher. Select a page address and title then start adding content using the site's tools. The format is ...more
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Create your own web page almost instantly with this page editor and publisher. Select a page address and title then start adding content using the site's tools. The format is similar to Word documents. Highlight text to change font, size, and colors. Include images with a URL link or upload to the site. Image descriptions, height, and borders can all be modified. Include your email before publishing your page if you want to be able to edit your pages later; however, it is not necessary.

tag(s): multimedia (52)

In the Classroom

Use this site for students to post simple projects such as stories, poems, and art projects. Collect a master list of links to student pages on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for easy access. If students are creating pages, be sure to check with your district's policy on student use of email as well as publishing of student work.

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Pagefin - Pagefin 2010

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Pagefin as a quick and easy way to create web pages. Spend only seconds to add text, images, or links to create your own web pages. After creating, share ...more
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Use Pagefin as a quick and easy way to create web pages. Spend only seconds to add text, images, or links to create your own web pages. After creating, share via a URL link where you can edit the page later, a direct link for email and instant messaging, a shortened URL which is convenient for sharing on Twitter, or HTML embed code for your other websites. No need to login, just start immediately.

tag(s): multimedia (52), portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Use Pagefin at school for individual or group projects. Create webpages to use for anticipatory guides, polls, or even study guides. Allow students to build a content review page to demonstrate mastery. The ease of use allows even novice technology users, as well as younger students, to create their own webpage (parent permission strongly advised!). You or your students can create beautiful presentations with images, text, and links. Each website created has a private URL. Students can use this tool at home for presentations and email you the URL for their completed work. Compile the presentation URLs on your class blog or wiki so all students have access. Integrate all subjects into Pagefin. The simplicity of this site would make it an easy tool for younger students to create eportfolios with links to and explanations of their various projects located elsewhere on the web.

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About.Me - Tony Conrad, Ryan Freitas, Tim Young

Grades
6 to 12
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Promote yourself for college or future jobs by creating your own "me portfolio" website. No matter your age or stage in life, in today's world you are what Google shows ...more
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Promote yourself for college or future jobs by creating your own "me portfolio" website. No matter your age or stage in life, in today's world you are what Google shows about you. Take control of your online presence to show your chosen audience what YOU want them to know. You are more than your FaceBook persona or Linked In profile. About.Me allows you to create a "hub" with links to your online projects you want visitors to see. Upload a photo, write a short piece about your interests, then link to your online content and social networks. There is also an Assets page where you can download the About.Me logo and colors to add to other pages and projects you have on the web so visitors will link back to the hub and discover your other projects. Before creating your About.Me website, you might want to read about "branding" yourself on the Student Branding Blog reviewed here. The information on the Branding Blog applies to any adult, too. The Terms of Use for About.Me prohibits creating fictitious personas.

tag(s): college (43), internet safety (109), portfolios (25), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Counselors and teachers could work together to have high school students make About.Me the place they use as a "branding" home for themselves online. Start by making your own About.me page to mange your own professional presence and use as an example. Suggest to students that they use a "me portfolio" on About.Me for college apps, employment apps, etc. You might want to have students look at the "branding" suggestions from the Student Branding Blog before creating their page. Using About.Me is also the perfect opportunity to talk with students about their online presence and how outsiders might interpret what they decide to post on About.Me or any social network. Along with that discussion you'll want to review Internet safety and privacy. Consider using Internet Safety: Rules of the Road for Kids reviewed here. If you teach gifted students (13+) who are working beyond your regular curriculum, start by having them create a real world presence using About.Me, with parent permission of course. Use this space for them to publish links to their best work, especially projects that take on a life of their own long after the assignment ends. Have a student interested in international politics? Maybe STEM cell research? Have the share the class project that got the started along with essays about where they see themselves in ten years or portfolios of their related accomplishments, including those outside of school. This portfolio site is not something to "pile up" with everything. It is for them to present their best face to the public. Encourage them to take ownership of it.

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Engrade - Engrade

Grades
3 to 12
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Engrade will no longer be free starting in September 2016. Alternative tools to use would be Edusight, reviewed here, ClassFlow, reviewed...more
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Engrade will no longer be free starting in September 2016. Alternative tools to use would be Edusight, reviewed here, ClassFlow, reviewed here, Otus, reviewed here, or Easyclass, reviewed here. Engrade is a comprehensive grade book program complete with tools to create quizzes, wiki pages, calendars, flash cards, create discussions and send messages to and from students, parents and administrators. The best part is all of this is free and both FERPA and EU Safe Harbor compliant. Student information security is a top priority for this company. This is a great way to slim down the number of log-ins and passwords students must have. Instead of using three different log-ins and passwords in three different programs for grade book, online tests and quizzes, and wikis, it is one stop shop. This site could help you save time and confusion for both teachers and students.

tag(s): quiz (85), wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Sign up for an account (email required) and keep track of student scores, create quizzes for students, and make discussion boards for online conversations about things that happen in your classroom. Quizzes can be graded from the grade book program, directly entering the scores into your records. Be sure to provide this information (link) on your class website for parents to access.

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DOGOnews - Meera Dolasia

Grades
2 to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Need kid-friendly online news? This safe site, written for kids, by kids, offers news from a younger point-of-view. You can create a class page where you can load a variety ...more
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Need kid-friendly online news? This safe site, written for kids, by kids, offers news from a younger point-of-view. You can create a class page where you can load a variety of articles, add a book list, a calendar, favorite sites list, add lesson plan instructions, monitor student comments, and more. DOGOnews is kid friendly, colorful, and flexible. After all, DOGO means young or small in Swahili. You can select articles from a number of categories (Social Studies, Science, World, Current Events, etc.). There is an integrated dictionary for challenging words and maps for geographical context. Some of the articles include short video clips. Students may leave brief comments about each article (no login required). Also, typing the word "video" in the search box will bring up the Video of the Week for the past several weeks. The videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. In addition, find a Book and Movie section with a brief summary for the book or movie, and comments. You don't have to join to read the articles, but you do need to join to create a class page. There are many benefits to creating a class page, and it's all free! Don't want to create a class page? You can also embed articles on your current web page.

tag(s): news (261), reading comprehension (114), sports (95)

In the Classroom

Non-fiction reading and background knowledge have found a new emphasis with The Common Core State Standards. It is more important now than ever to help connect students with quality, non-fiction reading and viewing material. Find great news resources and videos of the week to create assignments for your class at DOGOnews. You may want to create a class page and load several news articles. Have students choose from the articles, and email it to themselves. Have students print out the article and complete a "close reading" of the article by annotating it. Then have students who chose the same article get together in groups to discuss their reactions about the article, create a summary together, and create four or five open-ended questions about the article. Lastly, create groups of four, with each student having a different article, and have them present their article to the others in the group and ask them their open-ended questions to trigger a discussion. Create a class magazine from the articles. Or better yet, have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Strengthen reading comprehension by having an 'article du jour' on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students arrive. Link this site on your homepage.

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YoungZine - Deepa Gopal

Grades
3 to 10
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Youngzine is news and more for the young. Enjoy the different articles, comics, videos, etc. without signing up, or you can sign up to have full access to everything ...more
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Youngzine is news and more for the young. Enjoy the different articles, comics, videos, etc. without signing up, or you can sign up to have full access to everything on this safe site, including teacher tools. General subjects include World News, Science & Technology, Our Earth, Society & Arts. For each class, teachers get a blog where they can post assignments and have students respond. Teachers can register their class for free. You can include specific articles and quizzes for each assignment. Comments are moderated to prevent inappropriate classroom content.

For each of your classes, you see a full report of each student's activities by going to your classroom tab. Youngzine also provides a safe "blog" environment for classrooms - a constructive, creative, and controlled way for teachers to create classroom assignments and foster discussions about current events! The blog can be completely private so outsiders cannot see student comments. Teachers control these settings.

tag(s): blogs (87), communities (35), news (261), service projects (25), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Have your students make comments on articles (public comments), take quizzes, rate articles, and participate in contests. You can create custom assignments and have students respond and discuss, right on Youngzine! This is a great way to assess student's understanding and create an arena for a discussion/debate between class students. Or, ask your students to summarize an article, as a way to encourage them to think and write.

There is also a tab for "U Write." This section appears to allow students to write about issues in their community, or programs they've heard about to help a suffering communities. You might consider having your students look at the different articles and decide on a community to help. Have them vote on the community they would like to help by using Thinkmeter reviewed here.

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Just Paste It - JustPaste.it

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
JustPaste.it is a quick, online way to share text and images with others. It features an easy-to-use text editor with text formatting function. Just paste text from another webpage...more
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JustPaste.it is a quick, online way to share text and images with others. It features an easy-to-use text editor with text formatting function. Just paste text from another webpage or word processor and text formatting and images will be preserved. By using the "Upload images" module you can easily add new graphics to your notes. If you have written your note originally using a word processor: Microsoft Word, MS Works or Open Office, simply upload it to the server using "Import from file" function. Text formatting and graphics will be preserved. When finished creating your text, click Publish to receive the html code, forum code, and url link. Or create your own custom url through the Custom page name option at the top right. Notes can also be edited through the link provided after publication. The finished product can also be easily saved as a PDF file, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the save to PDF link. This tool is simpler than setting up a Google Docs account, since it does not require email registration.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (261), note taking (31)

In the Classroom

Copy and paste important information found on websites while viewing as a class into Just Paste It, then save as a pdf for students to have a hard copy or share a link to the information through your classroom website or blog. Challenge students to create their own "Paste It" to use to take research notes, write study notes for vocabulary, or many other uses. Have students create individual pages as part of classroom projects then share them using a tool such as Padlet (reviewed here) to create an online bulletin board to use to display information learned. Why would a teacher share text or images this way? Teachers can offer an assignment, a writing prompt, a vocab list, a story starter, handout, or even a permission slip for parents to download, print, and sign.

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Disposable Web Page - disposableWebPage.com

Grades
K to 12
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Disposable web page offers the convenience and freedom of sharing information on the Internet with little hassle. Each disposable webpage has a count down clock. Set the clock to count...more
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Disposable web page offers the convenience and freedom of sharing information on the Internet with little hassle. Each disposable webpage has a count down clock. Set the clock to count down anywhere from 90 days to 0 days from the time the page is created. When the remaining time reaches 00:00:00:00, the page is automatically set for disposal and will exist for 2 more weeks before being "incinerated." Features that can be included on the page are bookmarking, rich text editor, uploading up to 5 images, and sticky notes with sticky notes player. The page creator receives an editing "key," and can generate a new key for editing by others.

Unlike other web page and online project creators, this tool erases your digital footprint when it is no longer needed!

tag(s): homework (43)

In the Classroom

Create pages for quick link sharing or for upcoming events such as field trips, class party information, school events, science fair, etc. Pages will automatically disappear after the event without any effort on your part. Create a page to countdown to standardized testing and allow students to add tips and advice on the page as the countdown goes on. This site could be used during long term projects to help students "stay on track." Students can create simple pages to share links to include in presentations so classmates can participate on laptops.

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Collaborize Classroom - Democrasoft

Grades
3 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about...more
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Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about Collaborize Classroom including 8 Online Icebreakers. Tutorials for learning how to enter students into groups, creating new groups, and choosing discussion types exist. Consensus discussions such as yes/no, multiple choice, and vote/suggest can be chosen. Open discussions can occur using the forum discussion type. Add video, images, documents, and more to your discussions. Students, however, cannot upload material to the discussions. Because it is a closed group, outside comments are not a concern (group members must be added, invited, or approved). The process from setup to a functioning site is very simple. Tutorials and technical support is available and make this tool very easy to use. Use participation and activity tools in Collaborize Classroom to track student participation. Use the available PDF's for assistance in using Collaborize Classroom and ideas to use in class to stimulate discussions and engage learning. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (193), forum (9), polls and surveys (47)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for discussions, project collaboration, voting on issues, and sharing resources in and out of the classroom. Increase student participation and encourage in-class discussions and outside homework, extension of the classroom, and activity. Use for blended learning activities that include discussion questions to extend the discussions from in class to outside the classroom. Provide multiple choice questions that they can answer, agree or disagree with statements, post comments, or vote on other responses. Use the discussions to debate issues in the school community or within the country. Critique and comment on current events as they are happening. Use to discuss environmental problems. Use groupings to create literature circles. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

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ITSI - SU - Concord Consortium

Grades
6 to 12
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing...more
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing uses an assortment of data collection tools from molecular modeling software and web-based simulations to computer sensors (which would need to be purchased if not already in the classroom). Interactives are standards based, thorough, and created with "backward design" in mind. Each activity begins with an inquiry question and a picture with real world relevance. One of the strengths of this program is that it can be used "as is," however all existing activities can be modified by the teacher using them. Any teacher can create new activities of their own as well. Once these activities are created and saved, they can be accessed by other teachers under the "DIY:Other activities area" of the Activities. This added value is something that is rarely found in online lab software. One warning for using this program: it is Java based so modules have to be downloaded. The download takes time and requires tat you "allow" it. Some school computers may block such downloads.

tag(s): modeling (9), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

There are different levels of use of this site with incremental time and effort. The most basic users will need to create an account. Once the account is created, the user can create classes in the "Home" section of the site. This can be found on the left side of the screen. Beside "My Classes" choose "add a class." Here you will create different sections of students. Name your courses what you wish, but remember the sign-up word. You will give this to students when they create their accounts, and it will automatically enroll them into your class. Once they have signed up, their names will show up in the "My Students" section. Once the class is named, choose the activities you would like to have in your ITSI-SU class. Save your choices and the sign-up word will be shown in green print on the screen. Again, save this word. (You can go back into class information to find it if you forget, but you can save yourself time by remembering it.) From this point, basic users need only to show the site to the students and perhaps make some instructions for signing up for their students. Modules are ready to go. As the teacher, you can view the students' work and answers once they have completed the activity they are assigned. More adventurous users can modify activities by following onscreen instruction or even creating their own.

The only thing that could snag the use of this program is that the Java download may be prevented by your district's web filtering software. Please try this first ("preview activities"). One other concern is that downloading the Java app to every computer in a class of twenty students or more can pull a lot of bandwidth in a network. If your school's internet is not exactly top of the line, try running six computers with students working in groups to accommodate the internet capabilities. Have other students sit at their seat and work on preparing materials, so all students are learning and being productive. This program should be tried for the first time by the teacher to avoid any "tech" complications. Teachers who must request software installation by tech staff may want to try this tool at home so they can explain and convince administration of its educational value.

A great way to use this programing, on the smallest scale, is to share the initial lab question and picture to start a classroom discussion. Have students speculate about the possible answers to the question and possible "whys." Have students ask questions about the picture and attempt to explain its relevance to the question, and coincidentally the activity. From this point, you can have students log into the site and create accounts. Either as individuals or have groups of students create a group log in, name, and password. (Student passwords are available to the teacher at any time from the teachers homepage. Please warn students of this when they are choosing passwords so that they choose something school-appropriate.) Another way to use this portal is to pick a modeling lab as an ongoing science enrichment project for students.

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Class Jump - Classjump.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for a free web site to communicate with parents and students? Class Jump is a free educational platform. Determine your learning goals as you set up your "classroom." Post ...more
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Looking for a free web site to communicate with parents and students? Class Jump is a free educational platform. Determine your learning goals as you set up your "classroom." Post homework and upload documents for students to access. Add events to the class calendar. Post articles of interest and links to be viewed. Receive homework and other documents from your students. Create a message board (forum) for use by all the students in your class. Upload photos and create as many albums as needed. Create an account. Creating a school identity requires a paid account. Manage multiple classes with this easy to understand interface.

tag(s): classroom management (130), forum (9), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Manage your classroom with this resource. Use as a class hub to manage documents, photos, and files. Be sure to define the use of the message board. You may wish to create a practice student account to see what the tool looks like as a student. Be sure to share this link so students and parents can access both in and out of the classroom. Use Class Jump in teacher ed programs to show up and coming teachers how a website can enhance instruction.

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Schoology - Schoology

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site is for adventurous, organized technology users looking for a complete online environment for class management. Manage your classes completely through this online environment...more
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This site is for adventurous, organized technology users looking for a complete online environment for class management. Manage your classes completely through this online environment whether you do/do not have access to school-required tools such as an online gradebook. Use this platform for administering quizzes and tests as well as other assessments. Use the social networking aspect to post messages to a large group of students or to individuals. Use the calendar tool and use the interface for students to find and use all documents and materials. Create and share using this exceptional tool. Note: This tool could be time-consuming in initial set-up. Be sure you have permission to use this tool with student accounts before even considering its use. Watch the video tour and check out the features list for the free features that are included with this vast tool.

tag(s): assessment (99), blogs (87), classroom management (130), forum (9), game based learning (101), gamification (63), quizzes (95)

In the Classroom

This tool can operate your whole class for the entire year and is a complete learning management system (LMS.) Take advantage of this FREE professional resource. Users must be somewhat familiar with web 2.0 tools in order to decide what to use and how best to use them. Be sure to check out all the support material on this site for help in using and setting up the features. Be sure to check with your district's policy concerning the use of such a tool. Be sure that access to this tool is with your classes only.

Comments

I prefer Moodle - more versatile and automatically private. So check that out, too. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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PBWorks - PBWorks. Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, ...more
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This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, etc. You may be familiar with wikipedia, but wikis can be so much more! A recent poll of "high tech" educators cited wikis as the one web-based tool they could not live without! If you have not tried a wiki yet, visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for a detailed, step-by-step explanation and starter help, including dozens of ideas for ways to use a wiki in your classroom.

If you are not sure which wiki tool is best for you, see our detailed TeachersFirst review of PBWorks (formerly PBWiki) features, pros, and cons(done as part of the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through). Ignore the persistent and pervasive suggestions that you upgrade to a fee-based membership!

tag(s): social networking (112), wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Click through the first two steps to create a free wiki, including the name (which becomes part of the wiki URL). Be sure to select "education" as the answer to "What is this wiki for?" Wait for your confirmation email (may take a while...check junk mail folder). After the email, choose whether your wiki is public or private (visible to members only or to the public). Set a "key" (password), if you wish. Bypass the offer to PAY. Use the Quickstart steps to configure the wiki just the way you want it or simply play to learn the Clickable editing toolbar. Add and edit pages, invite new members, explore the three template options and a few options for "skins." You may want to become familiar with the tool as a teacher-created site at first so you know its capabilities before turning students loose.

See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for practical management and safety tips.

Safety concerns: Students need email accounts to have individual log-ins. Note: with this wiki tool, you do not have the option of "locking" certain pages or setting different "levels" of users. You and your students have equal access to make changes, once you make them "members." There are also "plug-ins' (widgets) available from the toolbar, some of which may connect you to sites with unmonitored content. Decide ahead of time what you policies are concerning use of the "plug-ins."

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