TeachersFirst Edge - Multimedia

 

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Lore - Lore.com

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Lore is created for instructors to design their own MOOC type courses without needing adoption by a whole school or district. Most importantly, creating a course is unbelievably SIMPLE....more
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Lore is created for instructors to design their own MOOC type courses without needing adoption by a whole school or district. Most importantly, creating a course is unbelievably SIMPLE. Not sure what a MOOC is? A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is (usually free), open course offered by a teacher or university for anyone willing to learn. It is a student and community centered place for learning developed by university students. In Lore, teachers control who is in the network through use of a class membership code. Course materials, tests, and grades can be added and managed through Lore. Teachers can contact students and decide what to make public or private. Students are able to interact with and learn from each other. Learning becomes more interactive and extends beyond the classroom. Lore also features a discussion area, calendar, library, and gradebook. Each student and teacher have profiles which others can follow. Teachers and students can create academic groups for learning. Teachers can create a group with other teachers to develop a PLN.

Not sure where to begin or not ready to start on your own? Use elements of ready-made courses at Lore to experiment and enrich your curriculum. Search through the popular courses to look at what other teachers and professors are offering.

tag(s): classroom management (155), social networking (112)

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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Meograph - Meograph.com

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create multimedia stories, maps, and timelines! Easily create a timeline of any event that includes images, videos, and map locations. Create points on the timeline by adding what,...more
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Create multimedia stories, maps, and timelines! Easily create a timeline of any event that includes images, videos, and map locations. Create points on the timeline by adding what, when, and where information. Use the record button to narrate events or insert images from your computer or YouTube videos. Share completed timelines on Twitter, Facebook, embed onto a website or blog, or share using social media links on the site. Create pure narratives to tell a story about anything as long as you can place it somewhere and assign it a date. Don't miss the video that demonstrates how to create a story (on the homepage). Best part: you can start without even signing up! However, to "save" your work registration is necessary. Want to learn more? View this Vimeo video.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153), multimedia (62), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Consider creating a class account for easier access. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects or use the site as a whole-class activity using a teacher-created Meograph to spark discussion. Create Meographs that introduce new topics and content for great student discussion. In lower grades, use a teacher or whole-class creation done on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use pieces of the timeline to brainstorm questions, initiate research, and learn more about the topic. Meographs are an interesting way for students to tell stories about a project, research, or as a class activity. Use to showcase fun items such as "what I did on my summer vacation," "the story of my dog," and more. Create Meographs from the point of view of a literary character or historical figure telling his/her story. Encourage students to use Meograph to connect a variety of events together in history by creating a timeline or tracking the various discoveries about DNA that have led to present day understandings. Remember to teach about copyright, since using copyrighted images in a Meograph would not be "fair use" due to unlimited distribution. Look for images in the public domain or with Creative Commons licensing and model giving attribution for them. See TeachersFirst's Copyright and Fair Use collection for safe sources and more information.

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GoCast.It - GoCast.it

Grades
7 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This free app creates an online shared video space so collaborating is so much easier. Use the web or your mobile device to access a GoCast learning or collaboration session. ...more
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This free app creates an online shared video space so collaborating is so much easier. Use the web or your mobile device to access a GoCast learning or collaboration session. Be sure to take the tutorial to be able to manipulate the various parts of GoCast. Each person and whiteboard appear as icons that can be rotated on your screen like a carousel. Use the icons below your video to change from normal color to black and white or sepia. Turn off your video or microphone easily with a simple click. Add more whiteboards to the session by clicking the whiteboard icon. A tool tray is found below each whiteboard. Hover over the icon on each whiteboard to expand it. Take notes using the collaborative notepad and comments using the comment bar. Wikipedia is just an icon away and is useful for sharing and research. Send an invitation to others by making a general Facebook announcement (if permitted) or sending a specific invitation by email. At the time of this review, a download of a required program is needed to use GoCast, but this download is not supposed to be needed in the future.

tag(s): video (276)

In the Classroom

Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Use this app for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects!

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Checkthis - Checkthis

Grades
K to 12
23 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create beautiful online posters at Checkthis, a free, instant web publishing program. Add text, website links, pictures, videos, maps, sounds, tweets, web links, polls, and more....more
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Create beautiful online posters at Checkthis, a free, instant web publishing program. Add text, website links, pictures, videos, maps, sounds, tweets, web links, polls, and more. An optional account lets you save your poster creations, customize URLs for the products, and return to edit later. If you wish to simply share a non-editable version, click Share and choose "no edit." Choose to share by email to see and copy the URL. Here is a sample. Every poster you create has its own URL, customizable if you create an account. You can also share via Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Develop your own "poster" in a few clicks. Check This offers a wide variety of uses for no cost. Be aware: There could be questionable posters and/or comments on the homepage or by clicking "explore." Please preview before sharing this site with students.

tag(s): blogs (85), posters (39)

In the Classroom

Checkthis can be used for school, personal, or family use. No class blog? Use Checkthis to create a free instant blog without memberships. Use for students to create their own personal posters. In lower grades, create posters together featuring class rules, sight words, and more. Share the finished products ad links from your class web page for parents and students to access together from home to reinforce concepts. Projects, written work, posters, blog posts, etc... become "published" with the unique URL given when you simply push the Publish button. Keep student portfolios under a whole class account so you can easily review and update from any computer (even from home). Students can read your comments and reflect. Create a class poster/page about famous inventors, habitats, natural resources, authors, scientists, parts of speech, science experiments, role-plays, character sketches, or math riddles. Have students illustrate idioms or vocabulary and terms using posters (in English or a world language). Have students (or groups) make health, nutrition, of fitness posters. Add each student's URL on your class website to share all student work without space limitations. Enhance writing portfolios with sound, video, and website links. Keep guided notes in your own space so you won't lose them. Share your lesson plans, ideas, and suggestions in an easy to find place, your own account! Create pages for after school clubs to keep current information. Add a parent blog to encourage communication between your class families. Your room parent will appreciate his/her own web page. Have each student create study pages for any content area. The sky is the limit for what each page includes. Your gifted students will love being able to publish a quick blog or poster and receive comments from gifted students in other classes or schools. Set up a blog hop using Checkthis in collaboration with other teachers you find via #gtchat in Twitter.

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Slide.ly - EasyHi

Grades
7 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Easily create a slideshow of your photos! Simply upload your photos or pull your Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook photos into your slideshow. Create beautiful slideshows by adding music...more
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Easily create a slideshow of your photos! Simply upload your photos or pull your Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook photos into your slideshow. Create beautiful slideshows by adding music and then sharing them with others. Connect all the accounts that you use for your photos. Click on the photos from any of your sources to be included in your slideshow. Drag your photos around to put them in the order you want. Add music to the show by using YouTube videos or SoundCloud music. Finish by adding a few effects to your show to liven it up a bit. Embed the slideshow on your site or share it on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or Facebook easily. There are public slideshows created by others on this site. Some may not be appropriate for the classroom setting so please preview..

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), images (275), slides (65)

In the Classroom

Use to create educational videos and projects to introduce and interest students in a topic. Use to generate questions prior to the discussion of topics. Create a multi-image slideshow where students brainstorm how the images are all connected. Students can use Slide.ly to create projects for class. Be sure to add the link to your blog, wiki, or site for easy access when needing a tool for projects.

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Projeqt - Dynamic Presentations for a Real-Time World - Pilot.is.

Grades
8 to 12
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Looking for a quick and easy way to share dynamic presentations? Try Projeqt! Which is a simple tool with onscreen, embedded instruction (i.e. drag here). Update previously created...more
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Looking for a quick and easy way to share dynamic presentations? Try Projeqt! Which is a simple tool with onscreen, embedded instruction (i.e. drag here). Update previously created presentations by uploading images, documents, and PDF files, video, or create slides from scratch. See your Projeqt as a film strip or in grid view, and there's a full-screen option, too. Add a Google map, Flickr page, and more! Projeqt aims to establish itself above other presentation tools through the direct integration of social media dynamics, and that it certainly does! Here is a simple sample Projeqt made by a TeachersFirst reviewer.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), multimedia (62), slides (65), social media (21)

In the Classroom

Use this presentation tool to have students express themselves creatively in your classroom. Have them share their projects with Projeqt as an alternative to a writing assignment or other traditional method. Set requirements for how much and what types of information they must have, and watch what they develop. They may just surprise you! Have students create an end of year portfolio to share during spring fairs or open houses. Save Projeqts for fall open house to share the work students will be doing! Students can present in person or link their presentations to a media site that has a recording of them giving a summary. Projeqts could also be used to showcase a long-term community service project or show off a season's accomplishments for a sports team.

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Spongelab - Andrea Bielecki, Reg Bronskill and Jeremy Friedberg

Grades
8 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This tool is an amazing, free, online community focused on science with a large number of magnificent animations, case studies, lesson plans, graphics, and multimedia to help explain...more
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This tool is an amazing, free, online community focused on science with a large number of magnificent animations, case studies, lesson plans, graphics, and multimedia to help explain science principles. Use this place to meet others interested in science. Build a profile and add science content from the site. Teachers can transform these pieces to develop lessons and assign to classes. Content is aligned with science texts and other learning materials. Use the community area to find Spongelab related content posted on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus without leaving the site. Be sure to check out under the What's New, Explore, and Featured Content tabs. Play with the online teaching system to cluster free content together into open and shareable online presentations with notes. The system includes a detailed analytics system to track student experience with the content. One notewothy feature is that images available on the site include licensing information in the caption, so you can easily learn which images are in the public domain or Creative Commons licensed for use in your own multimedia projects! Open them, save them. and cite them to create in any multimedia tool.

tag(s): animation (65), images (275), social networking (112), video (276)

In the Classroom

The power of this site is the ability to organize and share whatever your students need to help them learn. Create lessons using ready-made content found on this site, and keep it all together in one place. This is especially helpful if you teach more than one type of science class. Use the unique science games and content for learning topics in your class. If you teach many student ability levels, you can tailor collections to meet those needs. You can also create collections of Creative Commons or public domain images that students can use to make their own science projects using multimedia tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge (with citations based on the image caption info, of course). Have a student demonstrate how to do this on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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ThingLink - Thinglink.com

Grades
2 to 12
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ThingLink is an interactive image tool offering a unique way to link "things" within images. Teachers and students should register using the EDU area. Although the example on the home...more
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ThingLink is an interactive image tool offering a unique way to link "things" within images. Teachers and students should register using the EDU area. Although the example on the home page uses Facebook to share a ThingLink, you do not have to use Facebook at all. Start with an image from upload, online url, or Flickr. Select specific items within your image (called "things") and link them to resources or other websites. By clicking an area within the image, viewers can access the "thing" (website) that you have linked. Add multiple links to separate items from areas within a single image. Choose or upload an image and click on the ThingLink icon on your image to begin editing. Click on specific spots to add information to the link. If you plan to create many Thinglinks from your own images, it may be easier to use a class or personal Flickr account to pull images from instead of using the maximum number of images to upload. Preload your images to that Flickr account before starting your ThingLinks. Free Android and iOS apps are available. Teacher tools include making student groups and more.

tag(s): bookmarks (65), DAT device agnostic tool (174), game based learning (116), gamification (77), images (275)

In the Classroom

Use digital images of lab experiments or class activities for sharing on a class wiki or blog with clickable enhancements offering additional information. Have students add links or even a blog reaction or explanation to their project or experiment image. Use the site for making a photography or art portfolio blog. Have students annotate images to explain their work or various techniques they used. World language or ESL/ELL teachers can enhance images with links to sound files or other explanations for better understanding. Use in world language to label items in an image with the correct words in that language. Young students could write simple sentences to practice language skills while explaining about a favorite picture or activity. Use in Science to explain the experiment or in a Consumer Science class to explain cooking or other techniques. Consider creating a class account for student groups to use together. Teachers can create a ThingLink of an image with questions and links that students must investigate to respond as a self-directed learning activity. An image of a tree could have questions and links about types of leaves, photosynthesis, and the seasons, for example. Gifted students could create a collection of annotated images that link to sound files to add "personalities" to science objects (think of the talking trees in the Wizard of Oz) or create an annotated image of a almost anything they research to go beyond regular curriculum they have already mastered: Annotate an image of a food product to link to information about its sources and potential harms. Annotate an image of a campaign poster and "debunk" its claims with links to video clips that show the politician in action, etc. Annotate an advertisement with links its propaganda techniques. Teens with a sophisticated sense of humor will especially enjoy linking to ironic examples that debunk or offer a satire of the original!

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Present.me - Present Me Ltd.

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Present.me is a place to upload presentations, add voice and video, and record your presentations to share with anyone. The free version of the website allows you to store up ...more
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Present.me is a place to upload presentations, add voice and video, and record your presentations to share with anyone. The free version of the website allows you to store up to 15 minute presentations, record 10 times a month, and use 50 MB of storage space. This would be a great way to deliver distance presentations or enhance your online teaching. If you are shy about presenting in person, record without the crowd!
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tag(s): slides (65), sound (105), video (276)

In the Classroom

Try using present.me to create lectures using your existing PowerPoint presentations. Share the link on your webpage or wikispace. This way, students can spend homework time completing notes and acquiring basic information. You can use classroom time to have students do hands on activities or laboratories. It is a great way to maximize the time you have to teach your content and intensify the impact by having students use the information to better understand it. Prepare a presentation to share with parents at back to school night. Challenge students to create their own presentations, rather than completing a traditional research project. Shy students may be more comfortable recording a presentation in advance.

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Tildee - tildee.com

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create tutorials for anyone about anything using this tool! Start from an easy to use template and share your tutorial via a unique URL. Your tutorial can have text, screen ...more
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Create tutorials for anyone about anything using this tool! Start from an easy to use template and share your tutorial via a unique URL. Your tutorial can have text, screen shots, and videos. You don't need to register to start a tutorial, but if you want to save, edit or delete it, you'll need to sign up with your email address. Tildee is free. You can also view public tutorials by searching. At the time of this review, there were many well done Tildees on topics such as: How to Use Google Translate, Lotus, MLA and How to Tame It, and much more.

tag(s): assessment (110), tutorials (48)

In the Classroom

Tildee could become a very powerful tool in your classroom. Have students use it to demonstrate what they understand about any concept you teach. Tildee would be the ultimate in "show your work" to explain how students came to a conclusion. Students could use Tildee for persuasive speeches, or speech and debate by uploading facts, videos, and images to prove their point during their speeches. They can also use it to write sequenced directions. Students in history, math, science, art or music classes could showcase their knowledge by creating a tutorial about any topic: how an animal became endangered and the steps to reverse this, the major events that led up to the Civil Rights Movement, or the Holocaust, how to reduce a fraction, the cycle of a cell, or anything else you feel would be worthy of assessment. Physical Education teachers could create tutorials for any move for any sport or exercise, i.e. how to do a proper sit-up or push-up. Teachers can use this site to create tutorials for absentees and/or review and post the URL on your webpage.

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JellyCam Stop-Motion Maker - Chris Dennett Tickly Pictures

Grades
4 to 12
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Interested in stop motion animation, but think it is too complicated? JellyCam is a free program for creating stop motion movies. JellyCam is a software download for Windows computers...more
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Interested in stop motion animation, but think it is too complicated? JellyCam is a free program for creating stop motion movies. JellyCam is a software download for Windows computers and Macs for creating stop motion movies using the computer web cam or an assortment of pictures. Adobe Air is required and is a free and simple install. Be sure to check out the specs required for installation. Easily use images from your computer or ones captured from your webcam. Upload a soundtrack if desired. View the video tutorial before beginning to get an overview of how to use the site. Select images, and then quickly arrange them into a sequence. Then determine how many images you want per frame. View the demo video to learn more about this neat program!

tag(s): animation (65), movies (72), video (276)

In the Classroom

Use JellyCam to show time consuming or difficult processes broken down frame by frame. For example, long games of Chess could be turned into a video that just highlights player moves. For Science, show processes such as diffusion and osmosis (drop food coloring in water and watch it spread over time) or create DNA models that you actually show moving performing a process one step at a time. In math, build geometric structures or find math in everyday actions. Create a stop motion of actors throughout a scene. Show the creative process in creating a work of art. Have students use your webcam or digital camera to capture images showing a sequence of events within a story or book. Use this site to retell science concepts (life of a cell, human stages of development, and others). Groups of students can create the dialogue or narration for the video by using a program such Blabberize (reviewed here). Share student videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Muvee Cloud - Muvee

Grades
6 to 12
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Muvee Cloud is a photo sharing site that allows you to save, share, and make videos of your photos. The tool also allows you to merge your photos and movies ...more
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Muvee Cloud is a photo sharing site that allows you to save, share, and make videos of your photos. The tool also allows you to merge your photos and movies with your friends' and family's photos and videos to create amazing videos. The power of this site -- in contrast to most slide based shows -- is the collaboration and addition of others' pictures, the ability to pull in images from any webpage, and the ease of adding video clips to the shows. If it can be uploaded to your computer, it can be added to the show!

tag(s): photography (161), video (276)

In the Classroom

Have students create their own advertisements for upcoming school events such as fundraisers or plays and musicals. Have students in the yearbook club use the site to submit pictures for publication in the school yearbook. Have students use this tool to make digital portfolios in science class by having them take pictures of their labs and activities and use as a final project grade. Rather than a tradition report on a country, person, or invention...have students use this colorful tool to create a multimedia presentation!

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BigMarker - BigMarker.com

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Big Marker is a new, free service for creating and participating in online conferences, chats, webinars, or other get-togethers. Big Marker is a good service for online tutoring sessions,...more
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Big Marker is a new, free service for creating and participating in online conferences, chats, webinars, or other get-togethers. Big Marker is a good service for online tutoring sessions, sessions for brainstorming, and any other online activity where people from multiple computer locations can congregate to share ideas. Create a public or private meeting room. Making the room public allows anyone to join. (There are many upcoming sessions that are public and listed on the main page.) Provide a password to other participants when making the room private. Share screens through the presentation board or write on the provided whiteboard. Chat through many methods including text, audio, and video. The creator of the Big Marker conference controls audio and video options and who is heard throughout the chats. Try the demo room first to become acquainted with the tools available and the interface.

In the Classroom

Use Big Marker for online tutoring or peer tutoring sessions and providing additional lessons to students for enrichment. Use Big Marker for brainstorming, planning, and completing projects. Create professional development opportunities for others in your school or elsewhere. Use for extracurricular activities, home schooling, or other online events. Set up a Big Marker get together during snow days so students can stay up to date with projects and assignments.

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Magnoto - Magnoto

Grades
6 to 12
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Magnoto can be your personal spot on the web. Though called a blog site, it offers a place to stick your "virtual post-its." You can add all types of components ...more
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Magnoto can be your personal spot on the web. Though called a blog site, it offers a place to stick your "virtual post-its." You can add all types of components into a visual space: links, images, text, videos, music, and more. Its more like a community scrap-blog for those who venture to try it out! It is free, easy to use, and makes for exciting communication between students and teachers. Since this tool offers a great deal of room for personal expression, it is a great way to differentiate instruction for all. Tools like this are especially ideal for the "quiet types" who truly do have things they want to say or express. This tool is in its "beta" run which means it may have an occasional glitch. Check out the sample here.
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tag(s): blogs (85), bulletin boards (18)

In the Classroom

Ideas for using Magnoto can be found on the opening page of the site. Remember to reinforce proper use of materials and copyright. The best way to avoid trouble here is to capture your own images, use royalty free music, and create the videos to be used. Anything that is added that has an "M" can be adjusted with Magnoto's special effects. To move objects around on the page, make sure you are clicking on object near the top and have blue highlighting. Images, backgrounds, magnets, and many other bits of flare can be uploaded.

Try this site as an alternative to traditional "about me" activities for the beginning of the year. In guidance classes or health classes, have students create vision boards for goals they want to accomplish. Assign student groups to create online bulletin boards for assigned project topics. Have students "turn in" web addresses on a class wiki or directly to you to avoid classtime presentations if time is short, or have students share their site through the interactive whiteboard or projector. There is no need to transport files because it is all stored at their Magnoto url. Have students create a page that is subject specific, such as a leaf collection for biology class. Have students add pictures of leaves that they have taken and instead of traditional tags, use the comment space to provide the needed information about the leaf. As the teacher, you could even create a template to share with the students for how the information should look so you can easily assess the project. Please note: to log back into "your space" once you have logged off, use the address that was created for you upon sign up. If you attempt to log-in from the original Magnoto page, it will be unsuccessful. There is gray tab on the upper right hand corner of your opening Magnoto page. Enter log-in information here to access your editable blog. Users need to be able to locate files and follow on screen instructions.

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DIY Podcast - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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Create a podcast using audio and videos clips featuring NASA scientists! Follow the steps to create the podcast, including writing a production script, downloading clips, recording...more
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Create a podcast using audio and videos clips featuring NASA scientists! Follow the steps to create the podcast, including writing a production script, downloading clips, recording your narrations, and editing. Use a digital recorder, camcorder, or your computer to record the audio. Download a brochure or bookmark to remember the links for creating the DIY Podcast. Click on the links along the right side of the page for great resources such as the DIY Podcast Blog for some great ideas. Several examples along the side include creating a fitness podcast, lab safety, Newton's Laws, Rocket Science, and Solar Arrays.

tag(s): podcasts (55), scientists (70), space (216)

In the Classroom

Provide example topics to your class once they have tried this site, and let them go! Podcasts can be used in any subject area. In math, have students "teach" the class a new skill via podcast. Rather than a traditional book report, have students create a podcast highlighting the main character, plot, conflict, or storyline or a book. In current events, have cooperative learning groups create a podcast debating a current area of dispute. You could record your assignments or directions; you can record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have better readers record selected passages for your non-readers (perhaps older buddies). Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy! Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. Create great podcasts that can be shared on your wiki site, or blog!

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), digital storytelling (153), speech (94)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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Collaborize Classroom - Democrasoft

Grades
3 to 12
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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...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 (174), forum (8), polls and surveys (55)

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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Yudu - Yudu.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Yudu is more than an online library to read and explore. You can get your own writing published. It's as simple as uploading your PDF, Word, or PowerPoint document. These ...more
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Yudu is more than an online library to read and explore. You can get your own writing published. It's as simple as uploading your PDF, Word, or PowerPoint document. These are automatically turned into the Yudu page-turning format. You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book, magazine, podcast, or brochure. It's free. Aspiring authors can register and publish your writing here, for free. You can also publish digital content beyond digital magazines and brochures. You can publish podcasts, music, audio clips, and photos. You can use Yudu as a visual bookmarking program, too. Once registered, you can create a library to store, share, & promote your digital content. Share your digital, page-turning publications for free or you can keep them private for you, friends, and family. There is an introductory video to get you started. The Yudu "plus" version (for a fee) has additional features.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153), ebooks (43), multimedia (62), news (264), podcasts (55)

In the Classroom

If you have a classroom newsletter, this would be the perfect place for you to publish it. You can then embed it on your website or wiki for parents and students to read.

If your class is studying a certain time period and/or area in the world, have your students produce brochures or newspapers (called a magazine on Yudu) using Yudu. Have your students create their brochure using Word, and then upload it to Yudu for a very polished look. You can then publish these by embedding them, or sharing the url on your wiki or webpage for your class and their parents to view.

In science or math students could make a small magazine with pictures to describe a concept or equation to their peers, to younger students, , or as a final assessment. Instead of a book report, create a Yudu! In English (or L.A.) have students write creative stories or step by step instructions and publish them via Yudu. At the beginning of the school-year, create a class Yudu introducing everyone in the class (name, favorite subject, favorite sport, highlight of their summer, etc..). Share the books with parents online or at Back to School Night.

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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 (10), problem solving (277)

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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Little Bird Tales - Little Wings

Grades
K to 8
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so ...more
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so you don't have to scan and upload drawings; you can create the drawings in the program. Little Bird Tales has a short video explaining each step on the home page. Once the stories are complete, you can place a link to the story on a web page or wiki, or email it to parents, students, etc. This is a great way to publish student writing. This program is free and was created specifically for ages 3 to 14 as a safe, advertisement free web environment.

tag(s): creative writing (170), descriptive writing (44), digital storytelling (153), expository writing (44), narrative (22), persuasive writing (56), preK (292), stories and storytelling (32), writing (367)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using this program are limitless. Choose a story from the public section of the program, or create your own. Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to show students the story and how easy it is to put their story on this program. Little Bird can be used in science and math for students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit learned, by explaining it in three ways: verbally, drawing, and using text. Create myths and stories in language arts classes, or students can review a book they've read. In social studies, students can create reports on a country, time period, or famous person. Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups. You might want to have this program open on a computer in your classroom for students to use when they are finished with other work. Share the urls of student reports and stories on your web page or wiki.

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