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Historical Thinking Matters - Center for History and New Media

Grades
9 to 12
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This site teaches teachers and students to critically view and read historical documents. The site will help students find and view primary sources critically as they decipher the past....more
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This site teaches teachers and students to critically view and read historical documents. The site will help students find and view primary sources critically as they decipher the past. The site is broken down into student investigations and teaching materials and strategies. There are maps, videos, activities, and more.

tag(s): critical thinking (119), primary sources (92)

In the Classroom

This site can be used in several different ways. View the introductory movie from the the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then use some of the teaching strategies to prepare students for an upcoming history lesson. Use the student section with individual or pairs of students in a lab or as a center. Have them use their new skills to review historical documents. Break students into four groups and assign them one of the four student investigations to complete. When done have groups share what they learned with the rest of the class. Challenge students to create a video and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teachable Moment - Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

Grades
K to 12
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Teachable Moments provides lesson ideas and plans for "just in time" events happening around the world. All of the activities foster a positive classroom environment and focus on critical...more
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Teachable Moments provides lesson ideas and plans for "just in time" events happening around the world. All of the activities foster a positive classroom environment and focus on critical thinking. Lessons can be found for elementary, middle, and high school students. Lessons contain some combination of text, links, video, and audio. Some lesson plans available at the time of this review included Islam and Islamaphobia, Just How Broken is the Senate, and many others. All lessons are presented in a "standard" lesson plan format and provides the time needed for each portion of the lesson. The offerings can also help misinformed or alarmed students to better understand events in a context appropriate for their age, unlike the screaming headlines they may hear on the television or elsewhere on the web.

In the Classroom

This site will fit perfectly into any social studies, history, or current events class. Use the lessons to discuss important events that are happening right now. Several of the lessons have links to video so use them with an interactive whiteboard or projector. In addition to lessons on current events, use the essays and ideas on teaching strategies to improve your teaching skills. Teachers of gifted will appreciate this site to help their students who are often well beyond their years in their concern over news events.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Placefy - Placify

Grades
5 to 12
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Placefy is an activity that uses pictures to teach you about world cities. There are two interactive to choose from: Cluesify or Classic. The interactives asks students to identify...more
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Placefy is an activity that uses pictures to teach you about world cities. There are two interactive to choose from: Cluesify or Classic. The interactives asks students to identify cities by displaying one picture at a time. Students are able to choose from among the various city choices. If students answer correctly they are sent to the next city otherwise they will start from the beginning. Correct answers will earn you points and you can jump levels. Students can even tweet and post their scores to Facebook.

Be aware: Google ads are present on the site.

tag(s): cities (26)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This site is a good way to bring in the topic of historical building architecture and culture. Having students use the architectural details of the buildings and the way people are dressed can help them identify the correct city.

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National Underground Railroad Freedom Center - National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Grades
6 to 12
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The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, offers this site with resources about slavery, past and present. Although a portion of the site is designed...more
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The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, offers this site with resources about slavery, past and present. Although a portion of the site is designed specifically for visitors to the Center, there are good resources and lesson plans on the Underground Railroad, the problem of modern day slavery, and human rights. The site also has a good section on the special challenges of doing genealogical research on families who have experienced slavery.

tag(s): genealogy (7), slavery (70), underground railroad (12)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans in your own preparation, and make this site available to students who are doing research on the Underground Railroad. If your class is doing any family tree research as a part of a discussion on immigration, this site may be useful to students who have ancestors who were enslaved. Have students create a family tree using an online tool such as My Heritage, reviewed here.

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The Lincoln Log - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Grades
4 to 10
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by ...more
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by clicking on search this day. Links to supporting documents and additional information is embedded in the entries.

tag(s): lincoln (85), primary sources (92)

In the Classroom

This site will fit perfectly into any social studies or history class. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. Create a class job for a student called Historian. They can check the website to see what was happening that day and report it to the class. Have students choose an event from the site, find an image of Lincoln and upload it to Blabberize reviewed here They can then have Lincoln "talk" about an important day of his life.

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Teaching the Levees - Teachers College Columbia University

Grades
6 to 12
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This site was created as a companion to Spike Lee's documentary "When the Levees Broke" about Hurricane Katrina. However, with the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf, the Louisiana levees ...more
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This site was created as a companion to Spike Lee's documentary "When the Levees Broke" about Hurricane Katrina. However, with the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf, the Louisiana levees were in the news again. The site contains a downloadable curriculum including lessons on the history of New Orleans, discussion of government's role in managing large-scale disasters, and concepts of environmental justice. There are links to other teachers' shared lesson plans, an accounting of the curriculum's relation to national social studies standards, and more information about the Spike Lee film itself.

tag(s): environment (323), hurricanes (39), louisiana (11), oil (41), oil spill (18)

In the Classroom

Use the site in conjunction with lessons on the US Gulf coast, or as an example of how we negotiate the government's role and responsibility in helping after a large-scale disaster. The menu includes access to pictures and comments from the general public. You will want to preview this area before sharing it in class. Have cooperative learning groups investigate specific areas of this site and create videos to share with the class using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

Comments

Very good resource for more than just one discipline. I used it in my Global Studies class. I loved it. Kevin, MS, Grades: 6 - 12

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Shmoop: Biographies - Shmoop

Grades
6 to 12
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Shmoop, the study site created by Stanford grad students, now has an entire section of biographies of famous people, and they are not just famous authors! Click on the tabs ...more
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Shmoop, the study site created by Stanford grad students, now has an entire section of biographies of famous people, and they are not just famous authors! Click on the tabs at the top to read a summary, biography, or even a resume. You don't need to have an account to see the information on Shmoop. However, signing up (for free) gives you the ability to "clip" files and keep them in a folder. Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): biographies (91), famous people (23)

In the Classroom

Introduce any of the authors biographies before reading a literary work or studying that famous leader or scientist. You could have the students go through the tabs and take notes on interesting facts, trivia, etc. Then have a class game where all students stand and the first student reads a fact from their notes and crosses it out. All other students have to cross that fact out, too. Then the next person states a different fact and every one else has to cross the fact out. Proceed in this manner until there is only one (or however many you want) students left standing. They are the winners. Another idea: Have your students create an interactive online poster about an individual using Lucidpress, reviewed here.

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Digital Karnak - University of California, Los Angelos

Grades
6 to 12
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At Digital Karnak you will find videos, photos, models, and PDF files with every thing known about Karnak in Egypt, one of the largest temple complexes in the world. On ...more
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At Digital Karnak you will find videos, photos, models, and PDF files with every thing known about Karnak in Egypt, one of the largest temple complexes in the world. On this massive site you'll be able to view the ruins as they look today and models of how they must have looked in ancient times. There are four options to choose from at the top of the home page or at the bottom is a link for the "Temple Complex Overview." There is so much to see and learn about the Karnuk Temple and the surrounding area that this is a must see for anyone who teaches ancient Egyptian History. A caution about the videos, the beginning of the videos shows architectural type drawings and animations; the middle to end of the videos will show models of how the buildings must have looked. For younger students, the middle to end of the videos will be of more interest.

tag(s): egypt (70)

In the Classroom

This site is so extensive, you'll want to go through it and pick out the concepts you think are important to your studies or you might want to have your students see how the temple developed over time during different dynasties. Have small groups of students look at the areas you choose for them to study, and then have them make presentations using your interactive whiteboard or projector and "Fine Tuna" reviewed here, highlighting the interesting and important facts about the temple and it's history.
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Remembering 9/11 - CBS News

Grades
7 to 12
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This collection of stories from CBS have information about the effects of 9/11. They also host information about the victims, coverage about the opening of the new Trade Center, and...more
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This collection of stories from CBS have information about the effects of 9/11. They also host information about the victims, coverage about the opening of the new Trade Center, and information about the results of the re-building efforts on ground zero. To see a montage of the events that led up to 9/11, check out While America Slept, at here.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a cooperative learning activity during a lesson or unit on the events of September 11th or as part of a broader discussion on international relations, terrorism, or the role of government in balancing personal liberties and national security. Create a graphic organizer to guide students through the site (or have them create their own in small groups), highlighting what's most important and the important facts and details. For help creating easy graphic organizers, try using Holt Interactive Graphic Organizer, reviewed here, or bubbl.us, reviewed here.

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While America Slept - The True Story of 9/11 - CBS News

Grades
7 to 12
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Often times students only hear about the catastrophe of 9/11, and not the events that lead up to it. Although it's a little "plain vanilla," this site from ABC offers ...more
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Often times students only hear about the catastrophe of 9/11, and not the events that lead up to it. Although it's a little "plain vanilla," this site from ABC offers a contextual timeline about the events leading up to 9/11. Starting from August 11, 2001, the timeline details what America was doing and what the hijackers were doing, day-by-day, and shows how CIA analysts and FBI agents try to sound the alarm about the rising threat, and were ignored.

tag(s): sept11 (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the context of the day. During a class discussion, display the timeline on a projector or interactive whiteboard for students to see and navigate together. Read the details aloud, or have student volunteers take turns reading the events aloud. Make sure that between each event you provide some sort of explanation, i.e. who the people mentioned are and what the significance was of each action. Include this discussion as you study the role of government in the protection of its citizens and balancing individual liberties with national security. Assign students to create multimedia posters using Lucidpress, reviewed here, or an infographic using Visme, reviewed here, showing the conflicting roles of government.

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September 11 Teacher Awards - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York ...more
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York City presents awards to honor teachers who have created exemplary educational projects for students to express and sustain the memory of September 11th. This site shares their projects from the globe and involving all aspects of the arts and humanities, including history, language arts, visual, media and performing arts. Although this site is mainly designed for grades 5-12, there are some activities for younger elementary students found in the "Resources for Your Classroom" section of the site.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Use these award winning ideas to commemorate September 11 in a lesson to demonstrate unity or build worldwide understanding. Use the concepts as a springboard to a collaborative project. Ideas vary from sending chains of origami cranes as a wish for peace, composing and singing a song for unity with an online tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, writing letters to local politicians, creating poems and transforming them into digital videos or multimedia presentations using ThingLink, reviewed here, or taking responsibility for the environment while creating a sense of community by planting gardens. Choose from many ways to inspire students to recognize the importance of September 11 and to involve them in working together to become a more tolerant society. You might be so amazed with the results that you will want to submit your students' projects to be considered for next year's Tribute Center September 11th Teacher Awards. The annual award ceremony takes place on February 26, to commemorate the 1993 first attack on the World Trade Center.
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September 11 Timeline of Events - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

Grades
4 to 12
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This tribute to 9/11 is a series of interactive photographs that highlights the episodes that transpired from shortly after 8:00 a.m. when the American Airlines flight was hijacked...more
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This tribute to 9/11 is a series of interactive photographs that highlights the episodes that transpired from shortly after 8:00 a.m. when the American Airlines flight was hijacked and struck the first tower of the World Trade Center, to the aftermath when the pile of debris that was once the Twin Towers became flooded with volunteer rescue workers doing the indescribable heroic work of helping the surviving victims and recovering the remains of the human lives that were destroyed. Move your curser over the photographs to read actual descriptions from flight attendants, survivors, firefighters, family members and others who were part of tragic history in the making. This is an opportunity to "relive" that day, almost minute by minute, as if you were actually there.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Display this pictorial interactive September 11th timeline of the attack on the World Trade Center on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard. After reading real accounts of what happened, have students work with a partner to create podcasts (news broadcasts, mock interviews with survivors and others involved, or even a student perspective of how that day changed the United States forever). Have students create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Alternatively, have them narrate an image using ThingLink, reviewed here.
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September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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NEN Gallery - National Education Network

Grades
K to 12
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having...more
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having to register or create an account. Registration is necessary for the uploading of files. Moderators review all content on the site before posting. Registered users can store content in separate online albums. Search the site's resources by keyword, subject, instructional age, or phrase. The site originates from the United Kingdom so you may notice some spelling differences from American English. The gallery files reflect this particular geographic location, history, culture and language. The rights and permissions say they "may be downloaded and used for Educational Purposes only. This includes the editing and repurposing of these resources for use in education" (NOT commercial use). (See Teachers >> Further info to learn more.)

tag(s): animals (297), architecture (83), england (54), fashion (10), medieval (26), plants (159), transportation (41)

In the Classroom

Bring history lessons about the 20th century alive by reviewing World War II photographs, videos, and interviews with survivors from the United Kingdom. Then ask your class to upload photographs of artifacts, people, film clips or conduct interviewers with survivors in their own community. Record the interview with a site such as Vocaroo reviewed here. Compare and contrast the experiences of both groups during the War. Have students in family and consumer science research fashion, clothing, food, and/or drink from various locations and time periods. Enrich an anticipatory set about William Shakespeare with photographs of his birthplace, Macduff's castle, the Globe Theatre, and his cottage in Stratford. Younger children will enjoy the numerous digital images of animals and antique toys. Prepare a series of topic albums for students to access and use for research by using the sites "My Album" feature.

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School by Fire - Museum of Glass

Grades
4 to 12
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Let your class transform hot molten glass into art without having to call the fire department. School by Fire is a virtual interactive glassblowing activity that demonstrates the process...more
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Let your class transform hot molten glass into art without having to call the fire department. School by Fire is a virtual interactive glassblowing activity that demonstrates the process of creating "macchia" glass. Students experience the complete sequence of steps while keeping a close eye on the temperature of the fire. When students finish their glass project, they can print it out. The Museum of Glass has other interactive features such as "Spontaneous Design," videos, and live Hot Shop viewing of glassmaking. There is also a "Museum of Glass" YouTube channel full of interviews and glassblowing demonstrations.

tag(s): artists (78), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and then let students explore the site alone. Art and science teachers could use this interactive technology to demonstrate the interconnected nature of the two disciplines. Art teachers can use this interactive to give students a chance to understand an art form not available at school. Science teachers could use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on heat and molecules. Science and Chemistry students may enjoy the "Science and Glass" page found under the "Learn" tab. World history courses studying ancient Rome, Middle Ages and Renaissance could use this fun interactive and their video "Fire Gods" to launch a comparative study development of how glassblowing (art) effect the social and economic influence of a region. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Schools in the Tacoma Washington area can take advantage of the Science and Art curriculum, schedule field trips, or look into having the Mobile Hot Spot come to your school.
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Quiznator - Quiznator

Grades
2 to 12
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access ...more
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access your creations online from anywhere! Email is required to join, however, verification is not required. Add your documents, test questions, and worksheets and let Quiznator organize and update them for you. This makes creating multiple version of the same exam quick and painless. This is a great way to back up files on the web for school!

tag(s): worksheets (62)

In the Classroom

Upload your test questions during the summer and feel free to add more as your school year progresses, but use this tool to save a bundle of time on test and quiz creation. Put your worksheet or activity sheet questions into the program and use the questions on quizzes.
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Jamendo - Sylvain Zimmer

Grades
K to 12
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Published under Creative Commons license, Jamendo offers a great variety of copyright-free music. This makes a great addition to your technology resource list as both you and your students...more
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Published under Creative Commons license, Jamendo offers a great variety of copyright-free music. This makes a great addition to your technology resource list as both you and your students can use this site to create soundtracks for videos, use music in podcasts, and just download music to play for students during activities. Once you click on a song that you want to play or download, there is a screen that asks if you would like to make a donation to the musician. This is completely optional and not required to download. However, it may help you to discuss ethical music practices and copyrights with your students. One thing to keep in mind when using this website is that to keep the music, computers must have downloaded permission from your district. If this is a problem and this is a tool you want to use, try talking to your technology department and/or your administration for special, educational permission.

tag(s): copyright (51), sound (103)

In the Classroom

Music teachers and content area teachers alike have a perfect opportunity to explicitly teach ethical use of internet materials and especially music. This discussion could spark a debate about plagiarism, patents or inventors rights depending upon the course that is being taught. Also, older students who are talented musicians could be encourage or just inspired to use Jamendo to post their own music from home for sale. Depending on district policies, this could be used as a take home lesson for upper level music classes.
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A New Way to Lecture - Michael Zimmer

Grades
4 to 12
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you ...more
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you and your students? Take a look at this online slide show, and choose one of fourteen different programs to convert just one of your PowerPoint lectures. Not only is each program explained, but many have suggestions for integrating your lectures with the program. Take a look. Learn about some great web 2.0 sites (Prezi, TypeWith.me, Animoto, ToonDoo, and many others). Note that many of the tools mentioned are also reviewed on TeachersFirst in greater detail if you want to learn more.

tag(s): chat (54), comics and cartoons (64), digital storytelling (151)

In the Classroom

Surprise your students and yourself with how effective any one of these programs can be with your material or THEIR presentations. Create a comic strip to replace a traditional grammar lesson. Use a class wiki to discuss and debate topics in history class. Once you see a tool that sounds interesting, read its full review on TeachersFirst to find even more ways to use it.
 

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PhotoPeach - Nota, Inc

Grades
3 to 12
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample ...more
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample here. Shows can be shared or embedded into other social networking type sites.

tag(s): images (273), photography (159), slides (65)

In the Classroom

You also must be able to locate files on your computer to upload. Follow onscreen instructions to create a project. The instructions are very easy to understand. In a few short steps, there is a finished product. Share the finished show by URL or embed code (for those who know how to copy/paste this code).

Use this site in science class to make a slideshow of a completed lab as an alternative to a laboratory report. Use this in history class to create short videos about different people and places in history. Use in math to have students explain a word problem or complex algebra problems in a slide by slide (step by step) manner. In lower grades, use a whole class account to create a slideshow about a class project or special event such as pumpkin day and all the calculations you do with pumpkin seeds, the weight of pumpkins, etc. Share the slideshow as an embedded object on your class web page/wiki or share the link with parents so they can ask their child about the activity and reinforce the concepts simply by having him/her talk about it at home.

If students create their own shows using images from the web, be sure they are using Creative Commons licensed photos or images without copyright restrictions, sine the products are shared online. Of course you will want to require a credit for any photo used to be included in the show.

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Pullfolio - pullfolio.com

Grades
8 to 12
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Create an online portfolio created from your flickr set of specific photos. Choose your photos by choosing a set or a specific tag. Pictures are displayed in an elegant and ...more
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Create an online portfolio created from your flickr set of specific photos. Choose your photos by choosing a set or a specific tag. Pictures are displayed in an elegant and beautiful format. Since Pullfolio is not flash based, the ipod/iphone app is another plus. Pullfolio instantly updates as you update your flickr set or continue to use the tag. Use the free version or go pro to use your own domain and access additional features.

tag(s): flickr (7), images (273), photography (159)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to add pictures to a set on flickr or use a specific tag for particular pictures. Be sure to choose your username carefully as it becomes part of the url of your portfolio. Follow the directions to identify your flickr account with Pullfolio.

Have students create their own pullfolio, but why not create a class pullfolio that showcases student work? If using as a class pullfolio, pictures will not be attributed to the individual students. Create some way of identifying pictures to various students. Require students to tag their pictures with their initials as well or create a comment with their initials in the picture's description.

This tool would be a great asset to a photography or art class but can be used in any subject area. Create a pullfolio of pictures that showcase life around us, or in a Math class to show various Math functions in man made structures and nature. Use this site to take your geography class around the world (virtually). Have students create presentations in any subject area and narrate the pictures rather than doing a traditional oral report. Speech and language on lower grades or ESL/ELL teachers could create pullfolios for vocabulary development, tagging them for positions, feelings, etc. Involve students in taking the pictures, then share the resulting pullfolios for them to practice their new words.

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