TeachersFirst's BYOD Dream Tools: Free Tools that Work on ANY device!

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of reviewed tools from TeachersFirst includes apps that are available for FREE on iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android, and web devices. Ideal for BYOD classrooms or 1:1 computer/tablet programs, these reviewed tools allow users to create and access projects using the same app, no matter what kind of device they have.

This collection includes only "DATs" (device agnostic tools) that are FREE on all devices and offer free access with sufficient features to be useful without upgrading to a paid account. Whether you call it an "app" or a "web tool," a DAT allows you to access your projects from almost any device. 

Be sure to read the "Edge Features" list at the end of each review to know whether you need to create individual accounts, how products can be shared,  and other tips on using these DATs safely and within school policies.

Even the best DAT has slight differences in capabilities on different devices. Encourage your students to share what they discover about additional or missing features on each type of device. your class will quickly appoint tool experts for each app! 

TeachersFirst encourages our members (membership is FREE) to add comments and ratings to help other teachers and students trying these tools. Apps change quickly, so we welcome your comments on any changes that may occur to these tools and their free status.

(image credit: Jeremy Keith)

 

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Rocketium - Rocketium.com Technologies Private Limited

Grades
3 to 12
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Create videos in just minutes without any design experience using Rocketium. Create an account using your email to begin adding content to your video. Upload images and videos, and...more
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Create videos in just minutes without any design experience using Rocketium. Create an account using your email to begin adding content to your video. Upload images and videos, and add captions following prompts on the dashboard. After adding content choose from theme, filter, and music options then publish your video. After publication, use links to share your video, upload to YouTube, or download to your computer. Free accounts allow you to create up to 10 videos per month including 20 images and 30 seconds of video.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), video (279)

In the Classroom

Use Rocketium to create videos for any multimedia presentation. Ask groups of students to create a video to explain science concepts like causes of earthquakes, demonstrate problem-solving methods in math, or share events leading up to World War 1 in social studies classes. Have older students create videos for younger students sharing book talks and reviews. Use Rocketium with any grade level to create and share explainer videos.

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Meme Buddy - Mike Bodge

Grades
4 to 12
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Create memes using your computer or mobile device with Meme Buddy. Meme Buddy works with Google Assistant to build a meme using your instructions for adding an image and text. ...more
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Create memes using your computer or mobile device with Meme Buddy. Meme Buddy works with Google Assistant to build a meme using your instructions for adding an image and text. Change options as you like until your meme looks the way you want. Save to your device to share as desired. Be sure to watch the video for an overview of how Meme Buddy works.

tag(s): creativity (118), DAT device agnostic tool (179), digital storytelling (156), images (278)

In the Classroom

Use Meme Buddy to quickly create memes on the fly. Share a meme on your interactive whiteboard as a discussion starter for the beginning of your lesson. Ask students to create a meme as a one sentence summary of the day's activity and use as an exit ticket. Meme Buddy translates information into other languages, create a meme in a different language as an anticipatory set for learning about a foreign language. Foreign language teachers will love creating memes to teach phrases to students!

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Dictionary.com - Dictionary.com, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Dictionary.com provides much more information than a typical dictionary. Browse the page to find the Word of the Day, grammar tips, and word trends. Find the menu or "hamburger" (3...more
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Dictionary.com provides much more information than a typical dictionary. Browse the page to find the Word of the Day, grammar tips, and word trends. Find the menu or "hamburger" (3 small lines located at the top-left hand corner of the home page) to translate text into different languages, play games, or read the very interesting blog. Creating an account isn't necessary; however, it allows you to save words as favorites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), dictionaries (59), game based learning (139), thesaurus (23), word choice (28)

In the Classroom

Use this online dictionary instead of printed dictionaries and thesauruses in the classroom. Be sure to share a link to this site on your class website. Display the word of the day on your interactive whiteboard as a lesson starter during writing or language arts lessons. Ask students to include featured words during writing activities using Google Documents, then highlight each time the word is used. Take it a step further and have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Have students or groups of students create daily video presentations featuring their choice for word of the day (or week) using a tool like Powtoon, reviewed here. Share their videos on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Reader - MindSky

Grades
K to 12
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Reader is an app for desktop and mobile devices that allows you to save articles without a lot of the clutter. Sign up using your email and password, then activate ...more
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Reader is an app for desktop and mobile devices that allows you to save articles without a lot of the clutter. Sign up using your email and password, then activate your account using the link sent to your email. Follow directions to download the app if you think you will be using Reader on a regular basis. However, you don't have to download the app. You can just click the "+" sign at the top right and enter the URL of the article you want to read right in your browser. Reader's features allow you to highlight and share articles. Viewing options include several themes and font options. All features are fully functional in your browser, too! Editors note, the activation link to create an account was not sent immediately. Be sure to create and set up your account well in advance before using it. Check your spam folder if you don't find the activation link.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), media literacy (65), reading comprehension (127)

In the Classroom

Download Reader onto classroom computers and mobile devices for saving and sharing web articles. This app is especially useful for ESL/ELL or Special Education students to help remove distracting information. After reading articles, have students share their thoughts using a voice recording tool like Vocaroo, reviewed here, then share their recordings on your class website. Share several articles with students using Reader, then post an essential question on Recap for younger students, reviewed here, or on FlipGrid for older students, reviewed here. Both Recap and Flipgrid allow students to post video question responses, then add comments to the posted responses creating an excellent tool for collaborative discussions. Share student responses and discussions with a class podcast using Podcast Generator, reviewed here.

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Plotagon Story - Plotagon AB

Grades
6 to 12
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Create animated videos and emojis with Plotagon. Use Plotagon apps for computers or mobile devices to write, record, and share your story. Follow the directions to download the app...more
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Create animated videos and emojis with Plotagon. Use Plotagon apps for computers or mobile devices to write, record, and share your story. Follow the directions to download the app to begin. Follow the prompts to choose backgrounds, sounds, and add text. When complete, publish your video to YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, share using the URL, or save to an mp4 file on your computer or on your Plotagon account.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (63), DAT device agnostic tool (179), digital storytelling (156), video (279)

In the Classroom

Use Plotagon to create animated videos for use as an interesting introduction to new content. Allow students to create their own animated videos bringing characters from a novel they are reading to life with voice recordings of their script. Bring creative writing projects to life or retell historic events through animation. Be sure to have students create a storyboard to help make the video creation go smoothly. Do this either with paper and pencil or try using a digital storyboard like the Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Storyboard Generator, reviewed here. Have students include their Plotagon as part of a larger multimedia project using Sway, reviewed here. Sway provides tools for creating interactive presentations including images, videos, and more.

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PyeongChang 2018 - PyeongChang2018

Grades
4 to 12
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PyeongChang 2018 is the official 2018 winter Olympics site from the South Korean Olympic organizing committee. This site contains information for attending the games including transportation,...more
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PyeongChang 2018 is the official 2018 winter Olympics site from the South Korean Olympic organizing committee. This site contains information for attending the games including transportation, hotels, and information on purchasing tickets. Choose the Spectator Guide link to download apps containing information for spectators including event updates and daily news for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), korea (18), olympics (52)

In the Classroom

Use this site to follow the latest information from the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. If students use mobile devices, share the link to download the official app. Ask students to share stories from the Olympics using an online bulletin board like Padlet, reviewed here. Padlet allows users to create columns for posts, add columns to sort information by country, sport, or daily events throughout the Olympics. Have students make video recordings sharing daily updates during the Olympic games using a tool such as My Simpleshow, reviewed here. Share videos using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. As a final project, have students create a Symbaloo Learning Path, reviewed here, to share information learned. Symbaloo Learning Path's offer the ability to add videos, websites, and quizzes into an interactive learning experience.

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Anchor - Michael Mignano and Nir Zicherman

Grades
1 to 12
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. ...more
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. Choose a name when finished, then upload your content as a finished podcast. For ideas on what to include in your podcast, listen to Anchor podcasts shared on the site by Anchor users.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), podcasts (57)

In the Classroom

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Looking for even more ideas? Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage students to create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. Language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing any additional tools.

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QuizPedia - Stephan Stephensen

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and play your own quizzes with QuizPedia's straightforward and customizable design. Play quizzes without registration or register to create and save your own quizzes. Follow...more
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Create and play your own quizzes with QuizPedia's straightforward and customizable design. Play quizzes without registration or register to create and save your own quizzes. Follow the steps to create your quiz on any device. QuizPedia's format allows the use of images as an option for both questions and responses. Additional options let you set the time quizzes are active or set rules for visibility options.

tag(s): assessment (117), DAT device agnostic tool (179), game based learning (139), gamification (88), quizzes (104)

In the Classroom

Pretest students and allow them to "test out" of material they already know. Learning support teachers will want their students to create their own QuizPedia sets for practice and review of any material. Create your own sets of quizzes, or let students do the work for themselves and each other. Take advantage of quizzes previously developed and available to share with students on your class website. Allow students to create a quiz for other students to take following class presentations and reports.

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Timeline Eons - Maani.us

Grades
6 to 12
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Timeline Eons presents the history of the world from the Big Bang through current time on an interactive timeline. Additional events predict changes to the earth 22,000,000,000 years...more
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Timeline Eons presents the history of the world from the Big Bang through current time on an interactive timeline. Additional events predict changes to the earth 22,000,000,000 years in the future. Scroll left or right to move through developments on the timeline or set the timeline to run automatically. Zoom in to view events or use the search feature to find specific events. Many events feature an illustration or photograph; others include a short video. When viewing on a computer, choose the link with three dots on the upper-left side of the screen to see information on the timeline's features.

tag(s): climate change (69), conservation (127), DAT device agnostic tool (179), geologic time (10), space (226), timelines (58)

In the Classroom

Have students explore the timeline on their own, then research and share information on any given period of time. Encourage students to view future predictions on the timeline as a research project to find the basis of the predictions. Have students create a simple interactive infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here .

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RooClick - David Bard

Grades
6 to 12
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Create interactive video lessons with RooClick. Embed quizzes and documents at any point in a video and receive detailed reports on student responses. See Rooclick in action by going...more
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Create interactive video lessons with RooClick. Embed quizzes and documents at any point in a video and receive detailed reports on student responses. See Rooclick in action by going to the "Try It!" link on the site. RooClick works on any device; however, RooClick recommends that you download and use their apps when using a mobile device. 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): DAT device agnostic tool (179), digital storytelling (156), questioning (37), video (279)

In the Classroom

Create short review videos for flipped lessons. Annotate by highlighting the significant features of videos through the addition of documents with supporting information. Consider the power of students using this site to annotate videos to explain the material in their own words. Students can also create questions to play with each video. Also, as a final project for any unit, students can share research findings in a video with discussion questions to go with the research and with links to outside resources. Be sure students create a script to read from before beginning to produce their own video.

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Bitmoji - Bitstrips Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Build an emoji with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an Android and Apple app, also available as a Chrome extension. Use email to create an account then follow prompts to create an ...more
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Build an emoji with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an Android and Apple app, also available as a Chrome extension. Use email to create an account then follow prompts to create an emoji with your likeness; save it as a png to your computer, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive. The fun starts after creating your emoji! Choose from countless options to share your Bitmoji in emails, messages, as an avatar, or anywhere you communicate online.

tag(s): creativity (118), DAT device agnostic tool (179), emotions (36), faces (4), images (278)

In the Classroom

Create a Bitmoji to use as your avatar on your class website or blog. Update your avatar to reflect current lessons, holidays, or events. Use emojis to appeal to students and draw their attention to important information. For example, choose the bitmoji with praying hands and "please" as a reminder to read all of the directions before beginning work. Choose a Bitmoji with an interesting background or phrase to use as a writing prompt. Insert a bitmoji into a Google form as feedback for student responses. Have older students (13+) take a picture of a portion of text and add a Bitmoji to share a connection or response to the text (also known as BookSnaps).

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Microsoft Translator - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft Translator provides translation between languages in two ways. First, use this tool to converse with single participants or groups via computer. Begin by choosing "start conversation"...more
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Microsoft Translator provides translation between languages in two ways. First, use this tool to converse with single participants or groups via computer. Begin by choosing "start conversation" and enter your name and language choice. Microsoft Translator provides a code to share with participants to log in to the conversation on their device using the Translator website or app. Speak or type your words, participants on the other end view text in their desired language. The other option is a text translator. Copy and paste text or a webpage URL into the first box and choose "Translate." Translator converts the text into your choice from many different languages.

tag(s): chinese (50), DAT device agnostic tool (179), french (91), german (66), greek (41), hebrew (20), italian (36), japanese (45), Microsoft (42), russian (28), spanish (111)

In the Classroom

Use Translator to greet "other language" speaking students and make them feel welcome in your classroom; encourage conversations between them and your class. Take advantage of Translator to widen your classroom's global viewpoint by sharing conversations with others around the world. Use this site in world language classrooms to have students copy their text to convert into the language being studied (or the reverse). Have students create presentations about other countries in the native language of the nation using a presentation tool like Canva, reviewed here. Take your presentations a step further to include multimedia. Use a tool such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, to incorporate multimedia like maps, surveys, video, audio, and more.

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Knowlounge - Klounge

Grades
K to 12
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Knowlounge is a real-time video and shared whiteboard tool for use with all devices. Create your class and share the code with students. Keep that class open as long as ...more
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Knowlounge is a real-time video and shared whiteboard tool for use with all devices. Create your class and share the code with students. Keep that class open as long as you like so that students don't need to enter a new code each time they enter the class. Knowlounge features include whiteboard tools, the ability to upload media such as PDF's and videos, and live quiz features.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), collaboration (27), DAT device agnostic tool (179), drawing (76), iwb (32)

In the Classroom

Knowlounge is perfect for flipped learning and collaborative learning experiences. Upload a YouTube video (or use the site's recorder to make your own), then add notes and comments for your students. Students can record their answers or comments as they watch videos. Use Knowlounge to collaborate with classes in different parts of the world, to introduce a guest speaker in another location, or to allow an absent student to participate in lessons.

Comments

Have been using together with Know Recorder for flipped learning, and even some remote classes with kids that haven't been able to make it in due to snow or other issues. Very impressed that this software is mostly free. Steve, , Grades: 1 - 12

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MathGames - TeachMe, Inc.

Grades
K to 8
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MathGames offers a large variety of math games and interactive questions for grades preK-8 all fully aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to start, or choose by skills....more
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MathGames offers a large variety of math games and interactive questions for grades preK-8 all fully aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to start, or choose by skills. Other options allow users to choose by grade level standards. Registration isn't necessary to play individual games; however, enrollment as a teacher provides additional features. Input your class to receive detailed progress reports as well as leaderboards and student competitions.

tag(s): addition (227), charts and graphs (198), DAT device agnostic tool (179), differentiation (53), division (161), equations (152), estimation (48), fractions (229), game based learning (139), geometric shapes (173), measurement (178), mental math (30), multiples (32), multiplication (212), patterns (87), preK (289), ratios (63), statistics (128), subtraction (187), time (141)

In the Classroom

MathGames is perfect for practice with many different math concepts. Include a link to games on your class website or classroom computers. Be sure to share games with parents for play at home. Take advantage of the free registration to register your class to follow student progress and challenge students to increase scores. Ask students to write blog entries sharing their learning and understanding for each game using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here. Take this a step further and challenge students to pick the game they learned the most from and make a featuer video about it using Biteable, reviewed here. Biteable claims to be "the world's simplest video maker," and they may be right. If you teach using Common Core Standards, this site is excellent for finding practice activities aligned to the standards. Measure student growth for Common Core Standards using Edulastic, reviewed here.
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HP Reveal - Aurasma

Grades
6 to 12
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Intrigued about Augmented Reality? Use this augmented reality application to overlay any image or video over top of an image uploaded from your computer. The next step is to upload...more
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Intrigued about Augmented Reality? Use this augmented reality application to overlay any image or video over top of an image uploaded from your computer. The next step is to upload the video you want to include as the overlay. Save and share your using the links provided. Demo tutorials on this provide additional information for creating and sharing.

tag(s): augmented reality (5), DAT device agnostic tool (179), images (278)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for Word Walls, overlaying images of the words or videos showing the words in action when they are scanned. Create overlays of diagrammed pictures, revealing more information for each of the elements labeled. For example, add more information about parts of the human body, elements in the periodic table, works of various artists/musicians, or battles in a war. Create an interactive journal or newspaper with simple headlines. For example, create a headline of "School play a definite smash!" and overlay a video of the play using the app. Create a poster of school rules or laboratory safety. Consider assigning groups of students the task of acting out the rules to overlay on the interactive poster. As students work towards completing material for a class, create video words of encouragement or advice to play at key points of the assignment. Or, add additional information at various points, inspired by past or present student questions about how the information relates to life. Bring the outside world in by taking videos of professionals to play when reading stories in class.

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Asana - Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein

Grades
K to 12
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Asana is an easy to use tool for organizing projects and tasks as a team or group. Register with your work email address to be connected as a team. If ...more
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Asana is an easy to use tool for organizing projects and tasks as a team or group. Register with your work email address to be connected as a team. If you don't have a work email, no problem, use your regular email address. Once registered, create a project and divide into tasks. Assign tasks to team members and set due dates. Follow updates and progress in real time. Free accounts offer unlimited tasks and projects for up to 15 team members.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Create an account to use with students as a tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. Asana makes it easy for all users to view overall progress on each task. Use Asana to help students remain on track with project deadlines; encourage older students to create their own account and set up groups for projects. Use this tool to collaborate with colleagues for use with professional projects such as unit planning and long-term scheduling.

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Class123 - Choong Hee Lee

Grades
K to 6
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Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance...more
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Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance manager, random name picker, and more. Sign up for free to add your rosters and avatars. Parents and students sign up with a code provided. Once enrolled, members receive or send communications privately or within groups. Please be aware that Class123 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 Class123 with their child. The intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): behavior (45), classroom management (160), communication (10), DAT device agnostic tool (179), parents (57)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to communicate specific behaviors with parents - both positive and negative feedback. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Take advantage of the other tools to take attendance or rearrange your seating chart quickly and easily.

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Collabrify Suite - Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center

Grades
K to 9
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Collabrify Suite is a set of five mobile apps for use in elementary and middle school collaborative learning situations. The apps include a spreadsheet, word processor, KWL tool, whiteboard,...more
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Collabrify Suite is a set of five mobile apps for use in elementary and middle school collaborative learning situations. The apps include a spreadsheet, word processor, KWL tool, whiteboard, and a mind mapping tool. Two or more students work together using their own devices to collaborate on any project either face to face or from a distance. In addition to the apps, Collabrify Suite also offers a few starter activities, called Roadmaps for download. Apps use Google logins and work best in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers. The demonstration videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): collaboration (27), DAT device agnostic tool (179)

In the Classroom

Be sure to watch the videos on the homepage for an overview of the apps in action. Download Collabrify Suite for use in your class for any collaborative project. Ask students to work in small groups to draw landforms or the water cycle in science class, gather data and create a spreadsheet for math, work together to write a story summary or share information on a KWL before the start of a new unit.

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CoSpaces - Delightex GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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Build your own 3D spaces using CoSpaces, then view in virtual reality. Choose from the large library of items to include in your creation including characters and objects. To get ...more
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Build your own 3D spaces using CoSpaces, then view in virtual reality. Choose from the large library of items to include in your creation including characters and objects. To get a sense of how this works, visit the gallery to view creations built by CoSpace users. Register to create your account to start building your own 3D space. Be sure to visit the section for educators with many ideas on how to use CoSpaces in the classroom. Tutorials for CoSpaces reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): creativity (118), DAT device agnostic tool (179), digital storytelling (156)

In the Classroom

Recreate scenes from books or use CoSpaces to retell any story with 3D images. Encourage creativity and ask students to develop virtual exhibitions of artwork, animal habitats, or landforms. Have older students create infographics featuring data collections, for example comparing availability of Internet in different American towns.

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PingPong - gogopp.com

Grades
6 to 12
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PingPong is a free app creating an interactive network between a host and responders. Log in and create an account to begin, then share the room code with participants. Ask ...more
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PingPong is a free app creating an interactive network between a host and responders. Log in and create an account to begin, then share the room code with participants. Ask participants to share a response choosing from five different options: multiple choice questions with four or five choices, true/false, send text, or send an image. View responses in real-time as participants submit answers. PingPong is different from many other response systems because the host doesn't enter the questions and responses into the app.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), polls and surveys (55)

In the Classroom

Invite students to participate by giving them the class code - no sign-in or account required. Use in a 1:1 classroom, then have students provide feedback in real time to demonstrate understanding. Use as an exit slip, to identify material that needs to be retaught, or to locate specific students that need remediation. PingPong is perfect for use in Flipped classrooms as a quick assessment at the beginning of a flipped lesson.

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