TeachersFirst Edge - Collaboration

 

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Flock Draw - free online drawing tool - FlockDraw

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Flockdraw, an online based painting and drawing tool, makes it easy to draw with multiple people. Unlimited people can be in a room, and the drawing updates in real time. ...more
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Flockdraw, an online based painting and drawing tool, makes it easy to draw with multiple people. Unlimited people can be in a room, and the drawing updates in real time. Different colors, shapes and text are available. Navigate the right panel to choose color, brush size, line tool, fill tool, text, brush tool, and eraser. Arrows change tools, colors etc. Finished products can be embedded onto your website or blog or saved as a png file on your computer. CAUTION: This tool can be used by 10 users at the same time. Be warned that inappropriate words or drawing could appear while using this site. You may want to avoid the "open rooms." Click Create Your Session" to start your own session (non-public).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (80), drawing (80), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings through this site as responses to literature. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, then another group can use that as a story prompt. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) setting to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is being read aloud.

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IDroo Online Educational Whiteboard - idroo.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Teach, learn and collaborate easily with this multi-user whiteboard. Everything that is drawn or written on the whiteboard is visible to all participants in real-time. IDroo supports...more
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Teach, learn and collaborate easily with this multi-user whiteboard. Everything that is drawn or written on the whiteboard is visible to all participants in real-time. IDroo supports an unlimited number of meeting participants, the only limitations are computer power and internet connection speed. There is a professional math typing tool built-in making it easy to teach or work through math problems collaboratively. IDroo is integrated with Skype to enhance the online collaboration experience. Currently it only works on Windows systems and requires a software download.

tag(s): iwb (31), virtual field trips (50)

In the Classroom

IDroo would be great for any online collaboration session with other classrooms, teachers, or virtual classroom visitors. Use this to tutor students virtually by setting up a time for online work sessions.

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SearchTeam - Zakta LLC

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This search engine is designed for you to search collaboratively with others. Avoid duplicate search results and record comments and "likes." Once you register (requires email), click...more
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This search engine is designed for you to search collaboratively with others. Avoid duplicate search results and record comments and "likes." Once you register (requires email), click Contacts (or Invite Friends To Search Together) to add others with whom you can collaborate on searches. All collaborators must have email and be registered. Be aware: as with most search engines, inappropriate words can be used/searched. Be sure your students know the rules, expectations, and consequences for inappropriate searches.

tag(s): search engines (64), search strategies (29)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for any project or other classroom research where students can benefit from collaborative research. This is a great alternative to meeting at a group member's house or the library. And it saves gas! For students under age 13, use a whole class account and have each group use a different TAB that you set up for them. A how-to video on the site will guide you through set up.

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Wridea - Octeth Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Wridea is an idea management, brainstorming, and collaboration tool. It's a place to organize and categorize your ideas, share them with others for input, and store them. To collaborate...more
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Wridea is an idea management, brainstorming, and collaboration tool. It's a place to organize and categorize your ideas, share them with others for input, and store them. To collaborate using this tool, you must have individual memberships (email required). Note that maps that are shared can be seen by the public, but not altered. You specify the members who may collaborate and make alterations. At this time, this site does not work properly in Internet Explorer. However, it is a great tool to use in Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or other browsers.

tag(s): brainstorming (25), concept mapping (24), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25), organizational skills (129)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to create their own Wridea tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group study guides or review charts before a test. Have students use Wridea as a study guide by brainstorming all the important concepts they remember about the unit being studied in history or science, and then have them share their Wridea with another student who will add concepts that were left out. Build student creative fluency by having them use Wridea to create categories of wonder, question, and answers for research; map out a story or plot line, or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings based on pivotal points.

Comments

This resources looks like it has a wide variety of applications suitable to upper elementary and secondary classrooms. Sign up was quick and easy, but I received a message upon completing those steps that Wridea doesn't support Internet Explorer. It "suggested" using Mozilla Firefox instead. I'm a strong advocate for being comfortable with using several browsers, so, this doesn't throw up any huge roadblocks to me, but if you do not have or use Firefox, you will need to take that extra step as well before actually making use of this tool.

Editor's Note: the review has been updated to reflect this new information.
Rita, WA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Tricider - tricider.com

Grades
3 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tricider is an exciting tool to help people brainstorm and make decisions. You put a question in the appropriate box and then select who is eligible to comment and vote. ...more
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Tricider is an exciting tool to help people brainstorm and make decisions. You put a question in the appropriate box and then select who is eligible to comment and vote. Invite people to join in making decisions via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Options include setting a time limit, or closing down the question or discussion. There is no registration required, and the site is completely free.

tag(s): brainstorming (25), conflict resolution (8), debate (44), persuasive writing (56), polls and surveys (54), questioning (33)

In the Classroom

Introduce Tricider on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site to develop arguments sides for an upcoming debate or persuasive writing assignment. Promote higher level thinking by asking students to brainstorm options and set criteria to choose. Build mental flexibility as they see alternate points of view on an issue. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects, decision making, and organization.

If you have students create book ads in your class, or projects, your students can vote on which book they want to read next or which project they would like to investigate further, etc. Teachers can also use Tricider to survey students about what resources on your website are the best, what further explanation they may need about a unit in math or science, which project students would like to do as a summative assessment, or ways to encourage "green" practices in your community. Be sure to have your students use a code or number instead of an actual name.

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Pinterest - Pinterest.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Browse the site without registration. Type Edu in the search ...more
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Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Browse the site without registration. Type Edu in the search bar, and find an Education area with menu tabs like Science, Elementary, English, Higher, STEM, and more. Images have a short caption; clicking on a picture gives the option to Repin or Like. To create/add to your pinboards, register for free. If you have an account, you can Repin the picture to a pinboard you have titled and created within your account. Click on the image again to visit the original site of the image. Often this is just what you are looking for to learn specific details. You can also search Pinterest for specific items such as Guided Reading, File Folder Activities, or other classroom needs. Pinterest members can "follow" other users and see their new items as they add them to their pinboards. Use Pinterest on any device or computer, and there is a related Facebook app.

tag(s): architecture (84), cooking (35), creativity (119), DAT device agnostic tool (167), fashion (10), guided reading (47), nutrition (155), organizational skills (129), professional development (132), social media (17), social networking (115)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for finding printables and other items for classroom use. Create your own pinboards for organizing classroom resources found on the web. Create pinboards for students to view and/or add to as a whole class activity, such as "things that use energy," food groups, or groups of items for primary level vocabulary/practice (clothing items, farm animals, clock faces for telling time, etc.). Maybe even create "which one does not belong?" pinboards for PreK and early grades to view and change on an interactive whiteboard and repeat at home. In higher grades, make pinboards for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. Share your pinboards with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Challenge your older students to create their own pinboards as a research project. Use Pinterest to show their hobbies/passions, wise quotes, recipes that fit a specific theme, art/lyrics, or a travel Itinerary. Follow other teachers using Pinterest to see items that they are adding and using in their classrooms. Add TeachersFirst to your pinboards! Note: Take a screenshot of something you find to upload to Pinterest!

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Sharon, OH, Grades: 4 - 12

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Solvr - FreshBrain

Grades
3 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Solvr is an online, collaborative problem solving tool that might even make solving problems fun! The site is simple to use - enter a problem, then enter ideas that might ...more
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Solvr is an online, collaborative problem solving tool that might even make solving problems fun! The site is simple to use - enter a problem, then enter ideas that might help to solve the problem. Your entry instantly creates a unique url that can be shared with others. Anyone with the url can add ideas, comments, or additional problems to the original problem or proposed solutions, and their response is anonymous. Their thoughts then lead to other possible ideas, with the collaborative process leading to a solution. Each contribution can earn "votes." The entire thought process can also be printed out. Here is a simple example begun by our review team. No log in or registration is needed!

tag(s): critical thinking (110), problem solving (272), social networking (115)

In the Classroom

Use this site to solve classroom problems or curriculum related issues anonymously. For example, try the problem of increased erosion due to recent development. Or use to develop classroom citizenship skills with examples such as how to distribute roles for a classroom play or how much homework should be assigned. Post the question, provide the link to students on classroom computers, and let them input ideas. Share the site with parent organizations to use as a problem solving tool.

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School Town - SchoolTown, LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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Create, share, and use resources on this social learning and classroom collaboration tool. A free account allows up to two groups. The School Town portal offers a rich area to ...more
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Create, share, and use resources on this social learning and classroom collaboration tool. A free account allows up to two groups. The School Town portal offers a rich area to share and use videos, podcasts, and resources in a growing community. Browse the site for archived courses, assignments, discussions, events, announcements, chat forums, and files. Create groups, assignments, and even grade assignments. Invite parents to join in the site too. Use this site for building community and learning from others while differentiating learning for students. Follow the tutorials in the support center. Use the tabs across the top to access your portal, PD (professional development), or the Exchange for sharing.

tag(s): forum (9), microblogging (45)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a portal for your students to find great learning resources on a variety of subjects. Use the chat and discussion features for collaborative learning and the full site for blended learning with your students. 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. Check your district's policy before launching use of such a tool.

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YoungZine - Deepa Gopal

Grades
3 to 10
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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 ...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 (89), communities (36), news (262), service projects (27), summarizing (14)

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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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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Join.me - LogMeIn, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Join.me is a web browser-based tool that allows you to share your PC (or Mac) screen with anyone who has access to the web. To share your screen, simply download ...more
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Join.me is a web browser-based tool that allows you to share your PC (or Mac) screen with anyone who has access to the web. To share your screen, simply download a small application to your Windows or Mac OS X PC. (Windows and Mac users can across platforms; it doesn't have to be Windows to Windows or Mac to Mac.) Send the 9-digit code generated to your collaborator (an email is automatically created). They either click a link in the email, or go to the join.me website and input the code, and they can see your screen. There is a share control feature that can be turned on allowing both users access to either computer. You may need to request download and install by school tech staff if computers are locked down for installing software. Test it out at home first.

tag(s): editing (66), homework (46)

In the Classroom

Screen share with students in computer labs to demonstrate items such as website addresses, how to locate information on websites, or when learning text editing features such as changing font size or color. Use this tool to collaborate with other teachers when creating lesson plans or student documents. Students with laptops can share the screen with the teacher during presentations to make information easier to view. Share this site with students to use at home when collaborating on projects. Help a homebound student by sharing your class computer screen and opening an audio connection on the phone. Offer "extra help" sessions via screen share at predetermined "office hours" or during a snow day. Have students teach tech skills to their peers using this free sharing app.

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PrimaryPad - Primary Technology

Grades
2 to 12
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Primary Pad is a web-based collaborative word processor perfect for students (both elementary and secondary.) The tool is straightforward and easy to navigate. Up to five people can...more
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Primary Pad is a web-based collaborative word processor perfect for students (both elementary and secondary.) The tool is straightforward and easy to navigate. Up to five people can simultaneously collaborate in real time on a single web document using a free, public account. Each contributor's text is highlighted in a different color. There is a side chat window that allows for dialogue. A free Primary Pad Public account allows you to save up to ten revisions of a document for 30 days. The "timeslider" feature replays the sequence of edits and the development of the text. This makes it easy to assess the contributions of each team member. Share and edit text files by importing them directly into a Primary Pad document. With a Public account, documents are read only files. Send private invites to people you want to have "read and write" privileges. It is possible to access Primary Pad in eighteen different languages. Once a document is complete, export it as a PDF, Word doc., and HTML file directly onto a desktop.

There is a free three-month trial account that allows files to be either public or private. After three months, you will be notified and asked if you'd like to continue your account as a paying customer. Paid accounts offer additional features. Such as the paintbrush tool, and the file switches into "Primary Paint" mode. The paint mode lets users draw, insert shapes, use background colors, capture a website screenshot and search for images on Flicker. Upload PowerPoint, PDFs, JPGs, GIFs or PNGs from your desktop and use them in a "Paint" document. Use the embed code provided to share the results of a Primary Pad document on a class or personal website. Share a document via url so designated individuals can immediately begin "real-time" collaboration. Send invitations out to participants through email or simply write down the URL.

tag(s): chat (53), writing (364)

In the Classroom

This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to be sure that all portions you plan to use are available when using your school's network. No login or account sign up is necessary for a "Public" account. You or students can simply click the "Create a Public Pad" button and start typing. Discuss acceptable uses and consequences before introducing the site. The downside of this is that anyone who has the link can access a document, and the work is not password protected. Make sure students understand not to share the link with anyone they do not trust or want contributing. Have students use initials or assign logical pseudonyms (Ex. MsGper2-12, MsGper2-13, etc.) for their user names. Keep your own record of their user names for accountability in case there are any problems. The free public pad option saves a single file for 30 days, so plan accordingly!

All academic subjects can benefit from "real-time" document creation. Student teams can communicate and create presentations after-school, when sick at home, traveling, or even in-class. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. In science class, have students draft their observations and results from an experiment together. Let students assume the persona and dialogue of a designated character from a literature study book and add an additional scene. Have students re-write a fable with another student(s). Develop a peer-tutor writing program with older students at a different school site. Provide immediate feedback to students as they write drafts. Use the "timeslider" to assess contributions each team member is making to group projects. Embed the finished product onto the school website for others to read. Writing teachers will love viewing and debriefing time-lapses of the writing/revision process using the slider.

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Memonic - Nektoon AG

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking to take bits of notes from a variety of web pages? Use Memonic to take notes or clip any web content. Easily take it with you wherever you go ...more
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Looking to take bits of notes from a variety of web pages? Use Memonic to take notes or clip any web content. Easily take it with you wherever you go and share it with others (or the entire world.) Using Memonic allows much more efficient printing. The free plan allows up to 100 notes and 3 groups.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): note taking (38)

In the Classroom

Use this site to collect your thoughts and information for class projects, research, and idea/data gathering. Create a group for others to share information with for a subject area, class, or a common interest. Use with classes to allow students to comment to any page you assign for discussion. Students can find pages of interest about a specific content topic and comment their likes and dislikes. Look at various political, environmental, or ethical viewpoints by adding URL's for both sides of the argument and allow time for commenting and voicing of opinion. Learning support teachers may want to create notes together with students, annotating assigned text to show understanding and learn target vocabulary.

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Protagonize - Taunt Media

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories...more
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories are available for others to comment on or add to. You can easily specify two endings like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series or leave the story's ending unfinished. Alternatively, choose to create different "chapters" of a story. Before writing, choose from many different story genres. If you prefer not to have outside input on the story, you can select "solo" writing. It is easy to change solo to collaborative writing, however. There is also an option to digitally link the chapters. The site is very flexible, and you can write poetry, drama, song lyrics, and writing exercises including role plays. Before writing, students set up "story guidelines" so that future contributors can see the parameters of the piece. Students can also view the work of others. Mature content is marked with a "Mature" marker. Students and other writers have an obligation to report inappropriate content. PDF format or RSS feeds allow the created work to be saved to another format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (169), digital storytelling (156), expository writing (45), narrative (23), persuasive writing (56), poetry (225), six traits of writing (7), songs (53), stories and storytelling (32), word choice (27), writers workshop (32), writing (364)

In the Classroom

You may wish to set up a group or class account, so that you can keep a careful eye on what outside additions are made (use an RSS feed!) . Students would then need to sign their writing or their comments on other class members writing, with a code known by you. Or you can invite students through email, and then create a group on the program that would include your students; however this group would also be open to the public.

Create groups of students who would like to work together on a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story connected to a science or social studies topic. Have the students create the story guidelines and parameters. Once the students have started the story, have them use your projector and interactive whiteboard and get feedback from class members about the different directions the story could take. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

Have your students create "solo" stories, and then have them switch to "collaborative" to receive comments and input from other members in their writing group or class. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

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SlateBox - SlateBox

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial...more
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial after sign up for the basics. The FREE account is only for ONE user. So if you plan to have students use the site, you will have to have each student register individually, or each group create an individual account. Note that free accounts make all your "slates" public for others to collaborate/change.

View the video for a quick introduction on copying, moving, and linking boxes. Use the template panel to drop nodes needed for your new slate into the drop panel. Hovering over the box shows tools for editing text, creating links to other boxes (click and hold on the icon while dragging to another box.) Control the colors, borders, template, etc. in the right navigation pane. Export your slate to a pdf document or create an embed code to place into a wiki or blog.

tag(s): concept mapping (24), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Create a template mindmap and add collaborator leaders (perhaps one in each group) who can --in turn-- add the rest of the group to collaborate. Assign portions of a template to a group of students. Groups can collaborate on paper or your whiteboard and then choose the best ideas for the slate being created. You can also use Slatebox with a whole-class account. Show SlateBox creations using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit or change elements easily with class input. Use for mapping content being studied in the current unit, problem solving, vocabulary, and more. Use this site to help students interact with and organize ideas. Construct points of a short story, identify main points of passages, or generate a map of the basic points of paragraph development. Wrap up a lesson by having the students create a "diagram of the day" (the main points of the lesson). Students can use this site to map ideas in passages of a textbook. If each student or group maps a specific passage, ideas from chapters can be seen visually. Be sure to include the links to student-created "diagrams" on a class wiki or web page so students can use them for review. If your students have Internet access outside of class, assign them to create a simple diagram of an assigned reading as homework and embed it into a wiki or blog.

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Wiggio - Dana Lampert and Lance Polivy

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Wiggio makes communicating in groups extremely easy (and free.) Use Wiggio for messaging, creating a calendar, polling, sharing and editing, and conferencing. Use a shared folder for...more
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Wiggio makes communicating in groups extremely easy (and free.) Use Wiggio for messaging, creating a calendar, polling, sharing and editing, and conferencing. Use a shared folder for files and links. Wiggio boasts of the ease of use of its application which allows novice and more skilled users an easy to understand and use interface. How can it be so easy? It is actually very simplified collaboration.

tag(s): calendars (46), forum (9), microblogging (45), organizational skills (129)

In the Classroom

Create a password for others to join groups you create. Students enter the group name and password to join. All groups appear on your dashboard page. Click on your group to use the tools. Messages to the group can also be posted by email or text message. Click on the green arrow below the post field to choose who the message can be sent to. Click on various tools along the top to open. Tools such as calendar, folder, meeting, poll, message, and to-do lists are very easy to follow. Videos on using Wiggio can also be found on the site. Change all information within your group in the Group Settings. Group information can also be viewed directly on the Wiggio site.

Use this simple tool for academic and extra-curricular groups who need to plan meetings, create schedules, or collaborate through messaging. Try this site with teachers and parents for solving transportation issues or with younger students by using the polling or messaging tool. Use this resource with high school students working on group projects for better group communication, managing work flow, and more. Take the time to model how to plan and manage group process using such a tool. What a study and life skill!

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
20 Favorites 0  Comments
  
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 (167), digital storytelling (156), speech (92)

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
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 (167), forum (9), polls and surveys (54)

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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Edmodo - Edmodo

Grades
7 to 12
11 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Edmodo is a complete, online environment for classroom management, learning, and more. Use Edmodo for sharing content, accessing homework, grades, and announcements. Create a library...more
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Edmodo is a complete, online environment for classroom management, learning, and more. Use Edmodo for sharing content, accessing homework, grades, and announcements. Create a library to store your assignments, quizzes, and units. Post assignment reminders, quizzes (automatically graded), build an event calendar, and post messages to groups as well. Create multiple classes and have students join via the class code. Then, you can create small groups from your class rosters on Edmodo. Designed specifically for education, teachers can create a network for their classes where members can quickly respond to each other. Use the Snapshot feature to align quizzes with Common Core Standards. Gamify your class, if you'd like, using their badges or importing your own. Use the parent sign up to keep them in the loop. Find other educators and groups to connect with and follow your interests. Use Edmodo from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. YouTube hosts all support and training videos for how to implement Edmodo. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (106), blogs (89), classroom management (148), DAT device agnostic tool (167), game based learning (112), gamification (74), microblogging (45)

In the Classroom

View a screencast demo of using Edmodo here. Before using with a class, create a master administrator and also create two to three "fake students" to practice using Edmodo for a few weeks. Use this suggestion not only to understand how to use Edmodo but to also determine how it will be used in the classroom. Allow students to register by using your group code. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

Use this service for class scribes to detail what has been learned that day. In Math, instruct scribes to discuss how to solve a problem. Better yet, allow students the opportunity to discuss how they solve specific problems to identify more than one manner of solving. During class presentations, use Edmodo to provide feedback to the presenter. During videos, students can maintain backchannel discussions in order to recap events, ask for clarification, or carry on meaningful discussion of the content. Use to create stories one line at a time with collaboration from the whole class. Ask questions from the days work to identify which concepts are causing problems with students and need to be reinforced. Post assignments in Edmodo. Students can access assignments and ask questions for clarification. Discuss environmental, health, or other social issues to identify other viewpoints and concerns. Still need more ideas? Check the Edmodo blog.

Comments

Edmodo is a terrific resource for communicating with teachers and students. It's Facebook-like interface is familiar and inviting for users. Tim, , Grades: 0 - 6

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ThumbScribes

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to ...more
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Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to choose, and you can be public or private. When using ThumbScribes privately, you will invite your students via email to join in the writing. Scribes are collaborative works, created and passed between ThumbScribes' authors, where each adds a new section to the story, poem, novella, etc.

tag(s): poetry (225), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to collaboratively write a story, poem, or novella using Thumbscribes. Use ThumbScribes in conjunction with Story Writing Tips for Kids (reviewed here), to have students write create a story together. Write a story or poem about a topic being taught in science, a current event, math concept, biography of a hero, or nearly any other subject area. Create a class book at the beginning of the school year to collaboratively share what your students did during the summer months.

Through the "Sneak Peak" you can read any public poem, story, etc. In order to write or "co+create" you will need a screen name and e-mail. Once you've signed up, you can start by creating a new scribe. All you need to do is click on the "Start Writing" button at the top of the page.

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