TeachersFirst Edge - Utilities

 

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ScratchED - MIT

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Looking for project ideas to use with Scratch? Take a look at this generous community where teachers are sharing great...more
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Looking for project ideas to use with Scratch? Take a look at this generous community where teachers are sharing great ideas, handouts, videos, and more about using Scratch. Only the introductory video requires Flash.

tag(s): creativity (119), interactive stories (34), video (273)

In the Classroom

View the resources without creating an account. Consider joining the community to learn more about using Scratch in the classroom. You'll want to bookmark, comment, and participate, but you need to join to do that. View and use activities to increase programming knowledge and the use of the Scratch program. Mark this one in your Favorites as a reference. Don't be afraid to allow Scratch-hooked students to explore some of the suggestions, as well.

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Photo Pin - Photo Pin

Grades
5 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Photo Pin is a search engine for Creative Commons photos that you can use (with credit), even if you are placing products on the web. Photo Pin has a beautiful ...more
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Photo Pin is a search engine for Creative Commons photos that you can use (with credit), even if you are placing products on the web. Photo Pin has a beautiful and simple interface; filter your search by keyword and category. Clicking Get Photo also provides the attribution link for the photo and a choice of different sizes to download. Warning: Remind students about school and class rules about searching on the Internet. Give students explicit directions about what to search for. Some images are sexually graphic.

tag(s): copyright (49), creative commons (22), images (276), photography (162), search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Photo Pin is invaluable for students and teachers needing high quality photos for use on class blogs, wikis, or presentation sites. Be sure to remind students to use the attribution link along with the photo, especially when publishing on the web. Art students can use these images to create collages, design studies, and more, all with attribution of their sources. Use images as blog prompts or illustrations in student projects. Make sure students see you giving attribution, too! Find images of locations you are studying in world cultures or geography class. Find images to use in student online projects such as Bookemon, reviewed here, or Superlame, reviewed here. Keep this site as a reference link on your class web page for any time students are creating wikis, blogs, or electronic projects where they need images. They can find just the right picture with CC licensing, and you should require them to include the citation provided! Be sure that students understand rules for sharing appropriate and inappropriate images and copyright concerns.
 

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PieColor - Create a Pie Chart - Piecolor.com

Grades
3 to 7
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Easily create and download a colorful pie chart with PieColor. Enter the number of slices you want, the percent for each slice, and a label (example - 48% girls, 52% ...more
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Easily create and download a colorful pie chart with PieColor. Enter the number of slices you want, the percent for each slice, and a label (example - 48% girls, 52% boys). Adjust colors as you like by clicking on the color wheel for each slice. Options include a title, background color, and size of text. Download or embed in your blog using links at the bottom of your pie chart.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148), percent (81)

In the Classroom

Collect data in your classroom and quickly create a graph to represent it. Share through links or adding images to blogs, wikis, or websites. Graphs can also be shared on an interactive whiteboard or projector for better analysis of data by the class. Graph results of a test, answers from students, favorite foods, fictitious budgets, class schedules, and whatever else is applicable in your classroom. Use the pie charts students create to teach their peers how to read charts that accompany informational texts. Have cooperative learning groups create their own graphs to share with the class on the class wiki. Use this tool to create quick pie charts on your interactive whiteboard whenever you count class votes or encounter other data so students "see" data on a regular basis and visual students have another way to absorb the information. Keep the link handy on your web page to access it quickly in or out of class.
 

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Pass Creator - Passcreator

Grades
1 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool generates passwords with a random assortment of letters and numbers. Do you need a specific number of letters, numbers, or characters? No problem! Click on the Options tab...more
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This tool generates passwords with a random assortment of letters and numbers. Do you need a specific number of letters, numbers, or characters? No problem! Click on the Options tab to check off the options needed from the drop down menu.

tag(s): internet safety (106)

In the Classroom

Use this simple and effective tool for creating random passwords. It's great for use in generating passwords for students or sites that you use. Unfortunately, Passcreator is unable to help us remember the generated passwords! For help with that, we recommend creating a document or spreadsheet to keep track of passwords for your students. Computer teachers can also use this tool when teaching about online safety/security.
 

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Knoema - Knoema

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This easy to use site is a large collection of maps and data sets for access by the public. Find maps, data, and charts for almost all countries. Choose from ...more
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This easy to use site is a large collection of maps and data sets for access by the public. Find maps, data, and charts for almost all countries. Choose from data categories that include Per Capita Income, Government Debt, Housing, Energy Consumption, Agricultural Production, and more. Select a data set to view. Choose the available countries from the drop-down. Export, download, or embed the data into your blog or site. Peruse community boards for information on statistics and apps for sharing (Facebook and Twitter) on Knoema. Upload data and create presentations and pages with the data simply and easily. Find tutorials about all you can do with Knoema here.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), countries (77), data (148), maps (292), statistics (124)

In the Classroom

Use in Social Studies or World Cultures to compare economic indicators of countries. Create data sets and visualizations of environmental data around the world. Use data in the writing of papers or creation of presentations on the country statistics such as GDP or exported goods. Trying to find meaningful data to include in an infographic? Knoema has it! Math teachers can use data sets for practice activities with statistics.

Comments

I absolutely love Knoema! They also have World Data Atlas (Chrome Web Store app for free) - chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/world-data-atlas/knlgfedckdhkgjinnhogmhkbcjpmmhko that I strongly advise to use. Olga, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Just Beam It - Akshay Kannan, Hristo Oskov, and Pranava Adduri

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Share files hassle-free using Just Beam It! Drag your file into the designated space, share the URL link, and leave the WINDOW OPEN. You will get a message telling ...more
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Share files hassle-free using Just Beam It! Drag your file into the designated space, share the URL link, and leave the WINDOW OPEN. You will get a message telling you the transfer completed. At this point, it is safe to close the window. If you prefer the traditional file search to find sharable documents, there is a spot to click for that method of file identification. Just Beam It! works by streaming the file directly from your computer to your recipient, and is not stored on the website. Just remember, files cannot exceed 2 GB and keep the window open until the transfer is complete. Beam happily!

tag(s): computers (92)

In the Classroom

Have trouble sharing files with students because they do not have email? Do they need to share files with each other for collaborative projects ? Try using Just Beam It! No email or flash drive needed. File transfer is quick. Drag, drop and share! So easy, a savvy fourth grader could do it.
 

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Infogr.am - Infogr.am

Grades
5 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create interactive charts or infographics to embed onto your site and share with others. Choose from one of the themes (a limited choice for free members) and enter your information...more
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Create interactive charts or infographics to embed onto your site and share with others. Choose from one of the themes (a limited choice for free members) and enter your information into the existing words and charts. You can even load data from Excel. Change settings, themes, elements, and more as you work. Your work saves automatically and can be found in your Library. When finished, click Share to publish and send to Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. Copy the embed code to place the graphic on your web site, or click "view on web" to copy/paste the URL to share. Note that any infographic you make with a free account is publicly viewable.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148), infographics (44)

In the Classroom

Consider using quantitative data (or collecting your own) to create class graphics explaining and sharing the data. This tool does not create infographics that show flow charts or non-numeric relationships. Use the site to teach data and the graphic display of data. Common Core expects students to interpret data from visual representations and to create their own visual representations of information. Allow groups of students to choose a graphic and report to the class on how the data was made more meaningful using the graphics that were chosen. You may also want to share this link as a research tool for debates or presentations on science or social studies topics. Discuss the science, history, or math behind the data collected. Discuss other information and ways of presenting the information in order to create a more interesting graphic.

To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the data to support stances on issues related to your curriculum topics: Numbers of people affected by climate change, economic effects of pollution, etc. Have them research the data and present it visually on a class wiki, then write an accompanying explanation or opinion piece.

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NetVibes - NetVibes.com

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create a personalized dashboard that pulls together feeds and tools into one place -- for any topic. Optional registration allows access to updated information at anytime. This tool...more
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Create a personalized dashboard that pulls together feeds and tools into one place -- for any topic. Optional registration allows access to updated information at anytime. This tool has power as s simple resource collector "on the fly" or as a customizable way to monitor many tools from one place. Creation of multiple dashboards requires an email address and password or Facebook sign-in. Use it the simple way by typing in any topic into the search bar; wait a few seconds while information is compiled then explore the results. Results are posted in widgets that can be moved around to personalize the dashboard as needed. A wizard will walk you through it if you wish. Tabs are also included that separate news items, videos, conversations, and more. View pages in reader format or with widgets by choosing from options at the top of the page. You can copy the url of a basic topic dashboard to access over and over. Signing in on a free account allows you to customize and save your dashboards and harness the real power to pull everything into one place.

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the power and uses of this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) with students to use as a resource for gathering research information. For example, create a dashboard on an environmental ("oil spill") or political topic. Gather current events from multiple sources into one place. Set up a dashboard on earthquakes or weather during science units so students can connect real world information with curriculum. Use this site for group projects, have team members work together to gather information, then share using a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here. As a professional tool, create a dashboard for monitoring feeds from student activity on multiple web-based tools at a time (wikis, blogs, etc.). You can also create a dashboard on professional topics to keep yourself well informed.

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Rich Chart Live - Blue Pacific Software

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rich Chart Live is an online chart creator that instantly creates Flash charts (and other formats) that can be easily shared. Choose a template from the many options. Begin adding ...more
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Rich Chart Live is an online chart creator that instantly creates Flash charts (and other formats) that can be easily shared. Choose a template from the many options. Begin adding data, style choices, color options, and layout. An animation option is available to apply to the chart's axes and elements and can be customized with speed options. When finished, click Publish. Charts can be opened in a new page, saved to a PowerPoint, or embedded into a blog via copy and paste. You can also "drag and drop" the link to the char onto your desktop (and thus get its url). Opening the link in "free mode" asks for an email address first, but even abc@123.com works.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148)

In the Classroom

Create colorful and interactive charts on the fly at anytime by using this website. Display the website on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Watch charts change by using different inputs and customization options. Challenge students to predict and draw what charts will look like before changes are applied. Use the site to compare and contrast different ways to present information and discuss styles that work best in different situations. Create a class wiki and embed different examples of charts with explanations of how the chart was created. Have student use the discussion on the wiki to explain what the chart tells them. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): writing (362)

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 (149), DAT device agnostic tool (170), game based learning (112), gamification (74)

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 (42), independent reading (130)

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
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (129)

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
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
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 (276), slides (65), video (273)

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 (34), images (276), photography (162)

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
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
"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 (170), fitness (50), nutrition (156), obesity (18), social networking (110)

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 (22)

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.
 

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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
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (276)

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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