TeachersFirst Edge - Utilities

 

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Box - Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith

Grades
4 to 12
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in ...more
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in Box and it is accessible everywhere you use it. Copy, save, or move the document simply and easily. Syncing and sharing is simple. No access to Internet at one of your locations? No problem! Your Box file stays in your Box account, and the next time you are online it will upload it for you. Share Box files with others for easy collaboration. Apps for Box are available (at the time of this review) for Windows, iOS, iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
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tag(s): writing (363)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others through the tabs in the Account Settings. Though not a complete back up of all your documents, Box can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any item you can work with using Word can be used with Box. Teams of teachers can also use this download to save tests, share activities, and more.

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Cite U Like - citeulike.org

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use CiteULike to organize and share scholarly information for and from research. The first step is to register (email required). Simply click on Post URL to save it. Add the ...more
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Use CiteULike to organize and share scholarly information for and from research. The first step is to register (email required). Simply click on Post URL to save it. Add the app to your web browser for easy use. How easy? Click on the button, and the paper/reference will be added to your personal library. The tool extracts the citation details automatically. No more forgetting to cite materials! Access your library from any computer.
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tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to record and organize research found on the Internet. Consider creating a class account to collect materials found throughout the school year. Be sure to talk to students about organizing information and sources. Students can maintain their own archive and show their collection at the end of the year. This tool will also be very handy for graduate projects teachers may be doing.

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ClassDojo - Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don

Grades
K to 8
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Manage behavior and boost involvement in class quickly and easily. ClassDojo allows you to recognize desirable behaviors and accomplishments in real time. Use it on any Internet connected...more
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Manage behavior and boost involvement in class quickly and easily. ClassDojo allows you to recognize desirable behaviors and accomplishments in real time. Use it on any Internet connected device in your classroom: computer, smartphone, iPod Touch, iPad, or tablet. You can choose an avatar for each student. Student behavior records are automatically created, updated, and reports generated with just one click by you. You can even write comments to parents about why a student lost a point. Weekly summaries are automatically emailed to parents. The wording on their site indicates that ClassDojo "will always stay free for teachers." Please be aware that ClassDojo falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use ClassDojo with their child. Be sure to click the Privacy Center or Terms of Service link at the bottom of any page and read more about FERPA and ClassDojo.

tag(s): behavior (47), classroom management (145), DAT device agnostic tool (166), game based learning (109), gamification (71)

In the Classroom

Consider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Using ClassDojo for group behaviors will give immediate feedback to students if projected on your whiteboard or your projector. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Use ClassDojo to offer both negative and positive feedback to parents and students.

Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use Class Dojo to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to special education teachers or parents. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.

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Many Books.net - Manybooks.net

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Many Book.net is a free web site offering eBooks from Project Gutenburg, The Human Genome Project and audio books, and creative commons works. Using author, title, genre, language,...more
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Many Book.net is a free web site offering eBooks from Project Gutenburg, The Human Genome Project and audio books, and creative commons works. Using author, title, genre, language, and recommended eBooks find your favorite reads. Join an RSS feed or Twitter to receive updates of the latest eBooks. Submit your work for consideration and possibly to be added to the selections. Register to create your own bookshelf with eBooks you have read. Keep it private, share as an embedded URL, or share on the actual site. Find conversion tools to help with any formats required. Explore the devices available to read the eBooks.

tag(s): audio books (31), ebooks (43), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Fill your classroom library with all the ebooks from the classics. Encourage your students to keep bookshelves of the books they read, while you make your bookshelf available to use for assignment choices or options. Encourage the continual exploration of author, time period, subject matter, and genre. Enchant your voracious and gifted readers alike!

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Password Bird - Kevin Sheurs and Andres Galante

Grades
K to 12
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At a loss for a new password? Use this simple online tool to make easy-to-remember passwords that offer decent security and are safe. Answer a few quick questions such as ...more
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At a loss for a new password? Use this simple online tool to make easy-to-remember passwords that offer decent security and are safe. Answer a few quick questions such as your name, a special word, and date that has significance to you. Click "Create Password" and PasswordBird creates a one of a kind password for you. Note: These passwords may not be unbreakable but do offer a level of security better than using the same passwords over and over or using exact words and numbers.
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tag(s): organizational skills (127)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to generate passwords for tools being used in class by you or your students. Be sure to keep a record of the passwords generated for students for access when they forget (we do too!) Create passwords for class logins used by a number of students. Share this link on your class web page for students (and parents) to use, too!
 

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Minus - Minus

Grades
7 to 12
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Share documents, music, photos, and even videos with this free and easy to use sharing service. Use the easy drag and drop interface to choose the files for upload. Share ...more
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Share documents, music, photos, and even videos with this free and easy to use sharing service. Use the easy drag and drop interface to choose the files for upload. Share easily with links or codes. Apps are available for most mobile operating systems with more to come. No sign up is necessary, though it is recommended if you want to save your galleries. The free portion of this site offers up to 50 GB of space (2 GB per file).
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tag(s): images (271), slides (65), video (268)

In the Classroom

Minus can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Access any file using Minus. This is a great alternative for traditional group work, rather than having to travel to other group members' homes. Share the files quickly and easily.

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Public Domain Pictures - Bobeck Ltd.

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Public Domain Pictures is a database of pictures allowed to be used in any way that you see fit. You can also upload pictures to share. The only time to ...more
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Public Domain Pictures is a database of pictures allowed to be used in any way that you see fit. You can also upload pictures to share. The only time to worry about a model or property release is if you choose to use an image for commercial use. Most images are free. Enjoy some time browsing pictures. Please note that a log-in (with an email address) is required to upload your own pictures. You do not need an account to download a picture for free. Be sure not to click on the "Premium Download" button, as this download is for a fee (even with the "free" photos). Scroll down a bit and click on "download picture" to download for free.
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tag(s): graphic design (35), images (271), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Share this website on your class web page so that students have easy and legal access to pictures for their projects and presentations. Of course, you will still require proper image credits! Be sure to offer clear instructions about how to download FOR FREE. In an art or photography class, have students post their work to get exposure and recognition for their great images. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Lose It! - FitNow, Inc.

Grades
5 to 12
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"Lose It!" is a comprehensive calorie counting and activity tracking tool; this website provides a free way to monitor calorie intake and output to lose, maintain, or manage health...more
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"Lose It!" is a comprehensive calorie counting and activity tracking tool; this website provides a free way to monitor calorie intake and output to lose, maintain, or manage health and weight. With great graphics and an available phone application, this tool is so versatile and easy that even younger students could learn to use it. The database of food includes restaurant, grocery, and generic food brands and types.
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tag(s): calories (9), DAT device agnostic tool (166), fitness (50), nutrition (154), obesity (18), social networking (113)

In the Classroom

Try using "Lose It!" in health classes as early as fifth grade to help students become aware of how they spend their calories in a day and just how much they are consuming. Sometimes just this awareness is enough to help some kids stay healthier. Have students do a baseline record what they eat and do with no set rules for three days to a week. Have students analyze with their free weekly reports: what they consumed, how much, and what vitamins and other nutrients that they may need to increase. If students are comfortable sharing information with each other, have them compare reports to get a better and more realistic view of their intake. Have students create a plan to make small changes to diet and activity for a week at a time and then have them check their reports again. This could be a year long, month long, or two week long process. Depending on the incidence of childhood obesity or malnutrition in your area, you can adjust this to fit your needs. If you are concerned about student privacy, create an account for a fictitious person that the entire class can use to analyze hypothetical food intake and more.

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Small QR - smallqr.com

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Interested in making a QR code, but think it is too difficult? Use this site for a quick and easy way to make a QR code of web links. Simply ...more
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Interested in making a QR code, but think it is too difficult? Use this site for a quick and easy way to make a QR code of web links. Simply enter the url. (Be sure that SmallQR is selected under Advanced options.) Save your QR code as a png image file and be sure to read the tips: a.make sure that the image is not printed too small and b. test the QRcode out before using it elsewhere.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Create a QR code for your class site or blog and include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers to questions. Expand knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that expands upon what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, student's reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of a series of words that need to be typed.
 

Edge Features:

Products can be embedded

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Ge.tt - Mathis and Tobias, Ge.tt Founders

Grades
6 to 12
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Ge.tt is an easy to use tool for file sharing via the web. One user can still be uploading while his friends are downloading from his files. This eliminates the ...more
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Ge.tt is an easy to use tool for file sharing via the web. One user can still be uploading while his friends are downloading from his files. This eliminates the need for flash drives if you have access to the Internet. You can work from remote locations to create collaborative projects for home, work, or school. This is a free service with free sign up and 2GB of free storage space.

In the Classroom

When assigning group projects to be worked on outside of class, have students share work via Ge.tt. This eliminates the need to actually be in the same place at the same time, which can be difficult for students to arrange due to their schedules and their parents' schedules. Use this to have students share files with you. Students can send you any file up to 2GB with a few simple clicks. Use this as an extra file back-up when transporting files for a grad presentation or other important event.

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Bounce - ZURB

Grades
6 to 12
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Bounce allows you to upload from your computer or grab an image from the web to share with others. Make "bouncing around" on the web easier and more directed by ...more
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Bounce allows you to upload from your computer or grab an image from the web to share with others. Make "bouncing around" on the web easier and more directed by guiding people to what you want them to see. Once you grab or upload an image (screenshot), you can add notes and comments. Share via email or using the url on the page. Free registration is required to be able to share links, view projects, and collaborate.

tag(s): images (271)

In the Classroom

Create a detailed and guided "web quest" for students. This way they cannot be confused about what they should be looking for on a page; they can simply look for your comments and find their information. Help special education students and others keep track of and organize what they have found on the web for research projects. This would be an excellent tool for showing and teaching reading comprehension. Assign students a web article or story and have them notate it with their pre reading questions, main idea sentences or summaries of what they have read. They can share their links with you as an assignment submission or for others to view. Use Bounce for students to critique or analyze bias or misinformation on websites as part of an information literacy unit. Students could also use a picture of an animal or plant and add the taxonomical information to it in science class and create a "web trail" of insects using Bounce as an alternative to an old fashioned insect project. Collect and annotate from all over the web!

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Natural Reader - Natural Soft Limited

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Bring additional help to your classroom with Natural Reader, a downloadable program. You can test it on this web page by pasting text into the text box. Natural Reader takes ...more
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Bring additional help to your classroom with Natural Reader, a downloadable program. You can test it on this web page by pasting text into the text box. Natural Reader takes written text from MS Word, emails, Internet Explorer, scanned books, or even images from a camera phone and turns it into spoken text. Just highlight the section you want read aloud, and your choice of voice will read it aloud. The voice choice and speed are adjustable. Turning written text into MP3 or WAV files is another option. Typing/pasting in the text box allows any text to be read aloud. A floating tool bar allows the downloadable software to be available all the time at on easy click. A free trial version is available for both Mac and Windows, with more deluxe versions available. Educational discounts and volume discounts do apply. This is the teacher's aid that needs to be in all classrooms. You must be able to install software to put this Reader on your computer.
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tag(s): learning disability (15), learning styles (19), text to speech (17), writers workshop (32)

In the Classroom

Bring Natural Reader into your language arts classroom to help all students edit written work. Bring an extra helper into your class to pronounce difficult words. This program allows students with decoding difficulties to focus on comprehension on all texts. Natural Reader offers repeated readings to improve fluency, comprehension, and confidence. Add an extra learning dimension to any textbook or written notes. Honor the auditory learners with their natural style. Learning support, ESL/ELL, dyslexic, or ADHD learners have shown marked improvement. Writing classes can benefit by having individuals, copy and paste into the text box to help edit and proofread. Add extra reinforcement with directions by recording and being available for playing multiple times. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.

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Morguefile - Kevin and Michael Connors, Johannes Seemann

Grades
4 to 12
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Use MorgueFile for free images for inspiration, reference, and use in creative works. These images are legal for use without concern about copyright. Photographs were 'freely contributed...more
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Use MorgueFile for free images for inspiration, reference, and use in creative works. These images are legal for use without concern about copyright. Photographs were 'freely contributed by many artists to be used in creative projects by visitors to the site," though they do request that proper credit be given (see "about"). Enter your search term and refine your search to find images in various categories, size, color, and other options. Click on the image to go to its own page. Save on your computer by clicking Download. Inappropriate images can be reported on this page as well. Create a login to use an organizer to manage photos you have found. Be sure to check out the portfolio tab to view other photos as well as the Classroom tab. Use the Classroom tab to learn about cameras, lenses, and taking better photographs.
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tag(s): copyright (50), images (271), photography (160), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Use this site in every subject area where images can convey concepts or students make projects. Find free images easily for use within the classroom. Use images for drag and drop activities on IWB, such as sorting vegetables from fruits, etc. In Art class, have students find images to demonstrate different design concepts such as rhythm, line, etc. Project an intriguing photo on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a writing prompt for a short story (or poem). Use images for practice writing in world languages, by having students describe the scene or tell a story about it. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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Let's Crate - Sahil Lavingia and Dan Loewenherz

Grades
K to 12
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Package your files (or groups of files) for sharing in "crates" simply by dragging and dropping them in place. After dropping them into the crate, the files are uploaded. Use ...more
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Package your files (or groups of files) for sharing in "crates" simply by dragging and dropping them in place. After dropping them into the crate, the files are uploaded. Use the links then provided to share your files with others. The free account has a limited number of 6 crates and 1,000 files that may be uploaded. Easily share documents with others in the class. Though not a complete back-up of all your documents, Let's Crate can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any Word files, slides, or videos can be shared via Let's Crate.
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tag(s): images (271), slides (65), video (268)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. Use this resource to upload files for access at school later. (Be sure to make sure that this site is not blocked by the district first.) The possibilities here are endless - any subject area, any level, any topic!

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WeeBehave - Wee Behave

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
  
WeeBehave is a site that allows you to create behavior, task, or chore charts online. Multiple students can be tracked through one account. Teachers and parents alike would benefit...more
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WeeBehave is a site that allows you to create behavior, task, or chore charts online. Multiple students can be tracked through one account. Teachers and parents alike would benefit from using this online tool.

tag(s): autism (22), behavior (47), classroom management (145), organizational skills (127), parents (58)

In the Classroom

Start your year off right! Set up an account using WeeBehave. Special education teachers can set up weekly progress monitoring using this website. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students on their roster. Have regular education teachers with these students set up accounts, complete weekly data, and then print or take a snap shot of the week's chart and email it to the teacher in charge of tracking the student's data. Or have students who are struggling with following the rules set up charts to evaluate themselves, comparing their ratings with the teacher's charts. This would allow for a quality discussion about differences between what students think of their behavior and how others see it. Please keep in mind if planning to share charts with anyone other than yourself (teacher) and the student's parents, you should use codes or fictitious names to protect student identity. Assign a code that has no relationship to the child or student ID.

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Stich - Stich.it

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive ...more
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Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive text found at the top of each slide and written by the user. Follow the helpful information along the side for using Stich.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Use Stich.it for Internet scavenger hunts. Create a Stich with all the links needed to complete a project or for the entire unit. Students can create a Stich that showcases the websites that they used to complete an assignment or project. Use this with even the youngest students by sharing a Stich on your class website for students and parents to explore. Make a Stich of sites to learn to count, a stich for sites to learn the branches of government, a stich of sites to learn about tough biology concepts, a stich of sites to practice trigonometry, and pretty much anything else you can imagine!

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Tin Eye - Idee Inc.

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Tineye as a reverse image search engine. Tineye's unique image search engine looks for the same actual image -- not the description. This is a great way to ...more
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Use Tineye as a reverse image search engine. Tineye's unique image search engine looks for the same actual image -- not the description. This is a great way to find out where else an image is in use on the Internet. To use this simple and free service: upload or enter the link to an image on the Internet. Tineye will search the Internet to find the same image even if it has been rotated, altered or cropped by using image recognition technology. What a terrific way to discover the origin of an image or find those using it without permission. Note that the maximum upload size is 1 MB. Use this free service without registering. Create an account to use other features such as saving your searches. Registration does require email verification. Download the applet for Firefox or Chrome for ability to instantly use the service. You must have the ability to install browser add-ons to use the add-on version of the tool.
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tag(s): images (271), photography (160), plagiarism (37), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

This tool is best used by a teacher to determine whether class pictures have been used elsewhere or determine the origin of pictures students have used in projects. Check the origin of student-used pictures to determine source. Determine whether pictures (yours or others) have been used without permission. Easily determine whether pictures have also been altered.

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Shelfari - Amazon

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Shelfari is a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends, and learn more about your favorite books. You can...more
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Shelfari is a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends, and learn more about your favorite books. You can read, write and edit plot summaries, popular quotes, character descriptions and more than a dozen other types of book factoids. The site can be searched without registration; however, free registration is required to create a virtual bookshelf. (Although they do not openly "advertise," Amazon obviously hopes this site will inspire you to buy more books. If you feel so moved, we hope you will make your purchase by entering through the Amazon search at the bottom of this page so TeachersFirst can benefit from the donations Amazon makes to our non-profit service as a result of your purchase.)
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book lists (132), book reports (36), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Before or after reading classroom novels, pull up the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector to view what others have written about the book. Create a classroom account and your own virtual bookshelf as a resource for students to find books that they will enjoy. Create different bookshelves by subject, genre, etc. Show this site on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate how to use the site and find books of interest. Use examples on the site, then have students create their own book summaries (using this site's format) using Google Docs reviewed here. Add the Shelfari widget to your classroom website or blog for easy access for students.

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Just Paste It - JustPaste.it

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

tag(s): images (271), note taking (35)

In the Classroom

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

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Mail Catch - Net-Core.org

Grades
5 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Mailcatch quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration. This could be your solution to using free, membership-required sites where...more
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Mailcatch quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration. This could be your solution to using free, membership-required sites where students must sign up individually using an email address. This is the spam, update, and junk email dumping ground! Files are deleted on a regular basis. If there is something you need to check for site log in purposes, be sure to check it the day that the email is sent and save the information to a document on your computer. The genius of this site is that it is temporary but completely functional for protecting individual identities. Protect your own "real" email, too! Note that any "disposable" email address can be used by others at any time, so using a more unique address will decrease the likelihood that others have used the same one. Be clever!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (104)

In the Classroom

Have students choose a "Mailcatch" address in the beginning of the school year as part of your introductory lesson on acceptable use procedures. Once that email is chosen, they can use it every time they need to sign up for a website that requires an email. After they have used it in your class, show them how to check the mail by typing in their "address" into the web page. Here they can see their email, such as membership confirmations.
 

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