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Making a Change: The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement - NewseumED

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8 to 12
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical...more
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical Connections, Media Literacy, and Civics & Citizenship. In addition, an interactive timeline beginning in 1791 demonstrates the Civil Rights journey. A Google Civil Rights map includes links to important American newspapers and their coverage of civil rights events and leaders. Be sure to sign up for your free NewseumED account for complete access to all materials.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), constitution (78), journalism (46), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Use any or all of the units and interactives with any Civil Rights lessons; this site isn't just for Black History Month! Share with journalism students as they explore the role of the press in shaping and telling the story of a nation. Have small groups or pairs of students make a multimedia presentation exploring the First Amendment and the role of the press using a tool such as Ignite, reviewed here. With the web-based Ignite, you can include text, images, and video. The iPad app allows you to add audio, too. To illustrate different press coverage around the nation, have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here; students can add text, images, and location stops!
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'Watergate' Video Lesson - NewseumED

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8 to 12
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This NewseumED video lesson explores the role of the press in the 1970's Watergate scandal. Activities include watching a video and completing a comprehension worksheet. In addition...more
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This NewseumED video lesson explores the role of the press in the 1970's Watergate scandal. Activities include watching a video and completing a comprehension worksheet. In addition to the 30-minute lesson, several ideas for extension activities are included. To find related activities on Newseum, scroll to the bottom of the page for additional ideas. Sign up for NewseumED (FREE) to access all materials.

tag(s): 1970s (12), journalism (46), presidents (126)

In the Classroom

Include this site with any lessons on the power of the press, the 70's, or presidents. This site is perfect for a flipped classroom activity, have students view the video and complete the worksheet questions at home before going in-depth with the material at school. Have students create a timeline of events related to Watergate (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Allow students to be journalists and create their own newspaper using a site such as Zinepal, reviewed here. Click "Start with a blank e-Book."
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'What's News?' Video Lesson - NewseumED

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6 to 12
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From love to war, life to death, and romance to hate, this video presents significant events of our time to demonstrate how the news touches every facet of our day. ...more
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From love to war, life to death, and romance to hate, this video presents significant events of our time to demonstrate how the news touches every facet of our day. In addition to the video, find an Acitivity (lesson plans) with before and after viewing questions, a list of historical figures and their relation to the issue from the period, a viewing guide worksheet for students to fill in, and extension activities. All of these are downloads in PDF or Word formats. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find additional activities.

tag(s): journalism (46), news (262), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Using the Activity lesson plan/viewing guide, share the before viewing discussion with the class. Consider giving all students a chance to voice their opinions (even the shyest ones) by using a tool like Backchannel Chat, reviewed here. Then, show the video to the whole class, or "flip" the class and have students watch it at home. Either way, the viewing guide questions could be inserted into the video using a tool such as EDpuzzle, reviewed here. After the video, use the discussion questions and Backchannel Chat again. Next, have students (or small groups) choose one of the extension activities to complete and share with classmates. Lastly, have students (or small groups) choose one of the extension activities to complete and share with classmates.

The reviewers at TeachersFirst have some suggestions for online tools to use for those final (extension) projects: Items 1 and 2 suggest creating a video newscast or newspaper. Consider starting with Sports Network 2, reviewed here, where students take on the role of a news show producer. Also, Be An Editor Game, reviewed here, gives students practice in the basics of newspaper editing. Possibly follow these up with Pulitzer Center Lesson Plans, reviewed here, that shows students how to identify global issues.

If you don't feel comfortable showing student faces on the Internet via video, you may want to have them create a radio show instead; for that use either Youth Radio, reviewed here, or Radionomy, reviewed here.

Item 3 includes a timeline. Have students create a multimedia timeline (it can include video, audio, images, a quiz, interactive questions, and comments) using Hstry, reviewed here. Items 4, 6, and 7 suggest making a collage. An easy online tool such as Fotojet, reviewed here, will make beautiful collages for your student projects. Item 5 suggests you use Facebook. If your district blocks Facebook, use Fakebook, reviewed here. For managing projects like #8-10 use a tool like Google Keep, reviewed here, and a presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here.
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'The Press and the Civil Rights Movement' Video Lesson - NewseumED

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8 to 12
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'The Press and the Civil Rights Movement' video portrays the importance to democracy of having a free press. Using original clips from different television news shows, newspapers, and...more
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'The Press and the Civil Rights Movement' video portrays the importance to democracy of having a free press. Using original clips from different television news shows, newspapers, and photographs (all primary sources) of the 1950s and 1960s the video delves into the idea that the civil rights movement may not have gotten very far without a free press. Find a step by step lesson plan including before and after viewing discussion questions, a viewing guide with short answer questions, and a handout with the names of the major figures in the video and what they had to do with the civil rights movement. View the video before showing to students to deem whether the strong language, gestures, and violence may be inappropriate for your class.

tag(s): civil rights (117), constitution (78), freedom of speech (10), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

Using the Activity lesson plan/viewing guide, have the before viewing discussion with your class. Consider giving all students a chance to voice their opinions (even the shyest and quiet ones) by using a backchannel tool like 81 Dash, reviewed here. Then, show the video to the whole class, or "flip" the class and have them watch it at home. Either way, the viewing guide questions could be inserted into the video using a tool such as playposit (formerly known as eduCanon), reviewed here. After the video, use the discussion questions and 81 Dash again. Next, have students (or small groups) choose one of the extension activities to complete and share with classmates.

The reviewers at TeachersFirst have some suggestions for tools to use for those final projects: For items 1-4 make a chart using a tool such as Creately, reviewed here, or Draw.io, reviewed here. For managing a project like item 5 use Google Keep, reviewed here, Workflowy, reviewed here, or Todoist, reviewed here. For items 6 & 7, biography type projects, use Fakebook, reviewed here, and for item 8, make a collage, use Fotojet, reviewed here.
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Civil Rights Timeline - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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This interactive timeline from NewseumED uses primary source news articles and photographs, with explanations, about the events covering American's civil rights from the ratification...more
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This interactive timeline from NewseumED uses primary source news articles and photographs, with explanations, about the events covering American's civil rights from the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791 through Alexander vs. Holmes in 1969. Use the slider at the top to see all of the articles. Of course there are the usual articles about the assassinations of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, the March on Washington, The Formation of the Black Panther Party, and Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963. However, there are many other interesting articles that are pertinent to today's news, too many to list here. Some of these are: Poor People's Campaign 1968, Riots Spur National Study 1967, Orangeburg Massacre 1968, Watts Riot and the Bloody Sunday March 1965, Freedom Summer Campaign for Voter Registration (and education for black children) 1964, Baptist Church Bombing 1963, and The Children's Crusade 1963. To access this timeline you must register for a FREE NeweumED account.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), constitution (78), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

Civil Rights is about more than a movement that took place forty plus years ago. Americans have fought for their civil rights going back to the late 1700s. We are still fighting for them today. Review the timeline with a projector and the whole class. Then suggest to students that some of the articles have parallel situations going on today. Have them choose an article and research the situation from back in the 1960s and then compare it to a similar situation that is ongoing in the 21st century. Challenge students to present their findings to classmates by creating a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or an online poster creator using Checkthis, reviewed here.

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Freedom in the Balance - NewseumED

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8 to 12
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Freedom in the Balance is a free resource from NewseumED that uses real-life scenarios and historical and contemporary case studies to examine individual rights vs. national security....more
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Freedom in the Balance is a free resource from NewseumED that uses real-life scenarios and historical and contemporary case studies to examine individual rights vs. national security. Click on More Details and use the drop-down menu for Explore the Questions. That is where you will find the essential questions, and the What Happened Then? and What's Happening Now? case studies. Click the button for the interactive Take Our Quiz to find out where you stand on freedom and whom you would "click with" in history. For the quiz, you will read ten scenarios, based on real-life examples, and select one of four responses about how you feel about the issue presented. Then get your profile results and see how you rank among all quiz takers. There is also an option to explore a case study based on the man who landed a gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform.

tag(s): civil rights (117), constitution (78), freedom of speech (10)

In the Classroom

Review the First Amendment and the rights it provides to the citizens of the United States. Consider showing '45 Words' Video Lesson, reviewed here, for this. Then have students take the interactive quiz to find out their freedom profile. Pair together or make small groups of students who received different results from taking the quiz. Have the small groups or pairs each take a different essential question and read about the What Happened Then and What's Happening Now? case studies. Have students create a simple infographic using Piktochart, reviewed here, to present what they learned to their classmates. Next, have them analyze the scenarios from the quiz and the possible responses to see which responses issued their profile/results. Ask students to apply the knowledge gained from this investigation to create a scenario and responses for the Explore the Case Study about the man who landed a gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform.
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'45 Words' Video Lesson - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Brought to you by NewseumED, this video is a perfect fit to introduce any unit on the First Amendment and its freedoms. Find a comprehensive lesson plan, watch the video ...more
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Brought to you by NewseumED, this video is a perfect fit to introduce any unit on the First Amendment and its freedoms. Find a comprehensive lesson plan, watch the video through the NewseumEd site, and download documents in either PDF or Word formats. The documents include a list of historical figures and their involvement with the issues from the period, and a viewing guide worksheet for students to fill in. All of the actors' words, in the video, are direct quotations taken from primary sources. Since the video focuses on the origins of the freedom of the press, it would make a fascinating intro to a media literacy unit, too.

tag(s): civil rights (117), constitution (78), media literacy (55), video (252)

In the Classroom

Whether studying the First Amendment or media literacy, upload this video to a tool such as EDPuzzle, reviewed here, to edit the video to show only portions you select, or to pause the video automatically and add questions for students to answer, and/or add your verbal comments. Some of the Discuss questions would be appropriate to insert after viewing parts of the video. Break students into small groups after the video and assign them different Discuss questions for reflection and investigation. Challenge small groups to create a presentation to share what they learned using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. After watching and discussing the video, extend either a media literacy unit or a civics/government unit. Do this by asking students to view news articles in our present political situation i.e. election time, civil rights discussed, etc.. Then have them compare how the news media during the late 1700s would have handled issues of today, and how politicians of the Federalist party would have reacted to our issues today. Alternatively, have students create a simple infographic comparing the problems in the news of then and now. Use a tool such as Piktochart, reviewed here.
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Believe It or Not? - NewseumED

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8 to 12
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provide by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad...more
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provide by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad information. Though the lessons seem to center around a visit to Newseum and their galleries, there is a lot to be learned just by examining and discussing the materials presented here. There are discussion questions, media issues to think about, suggested in-class activities, and worksheets. Find a Unit plan with lessons that are standards aligned and Common Core compatible. The Unit plan and worksheets are available in both PDF and Word document formats.

tag(s): media literacy (55), news (262)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lessons, discussion questions, sample articles, and worksheets offered for use in your classroom. Divide students into small groups and assign different discussion questions and activities to each group. Challenge the small groups to create a slide presentation using Swipe, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned. With Swipe students can add videos, images and documents making them all interactive.
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OK2Ask: Make Magic with Mix: Intro to Microsoft's Office Mix - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Create powerful, engaging, and interactive presentations using the latest...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Create powerful, engaging, and interactive presentations using the latest Microsoft Office add-in for PowerPoint -- Office Mix. Learn to use Office Mix for recording video, screen capturing, adding annotations, making interactive questions and assessments, sharing online and data analytics. You can easily Flip your classroom with Mix while tracking students' understanding. You must attend this session on a laptop or desktop computer that has a full version of Microsoft PowerPoint installed. Additionally, participants MUST download and install the free Office Mix add-in. You will not be able to CREATE Office Mix learning objects on an Android or Apple tablet or via Office 365. You can access and use them on those devices but not create them. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Learn the basic functions of Microsoft Mix; (2) Explore three different ways to use Microsoft Mix in the classroom; and (3) Plan for the use of Microsoft Mix in the classroom. Remember, it is OK2Ask'® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at an INTERMEDIATE technology level.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Free, Feature-Filled, and For Your Classroom: An Intro to Office Online - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Microsoft's Office Online is a completely free, web-based version of Microsoft...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Microsoft's Office Online is a completely free, web-based version of Microsoft Office. This online office suite is clearly competing with Google Docs, but it's also a potential replacement for the desktop version of Office. In this workshop, we'll discuss the similarities and differences between Office Online, the desktop version of Microsoft Office and Google Docs. Participants will understand how to use OneDrive for file sharing; OneNote for curating resources and creating portfolios; Excel Survey for data collection, registrations, surveys, and assessment; and Outlook.com for email and calendar. We will also share time-saving ways to make Outlook and Calendar work for you; as well as strategies for staying organized, easily sharing files, and using these tools with your students. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Understand the differences between features available in the desktop version of Microsoft Office, Office Online, and Google Docs; (2) Explore classroom applications for Excel Survey and OneNote; and (3) Plan for the use of Office Online in the classroom. Remember, it is OK2Ask'® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: So Simple. So Slick. So Sway! - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. You and your students can create and share engaging interactive reports,...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. You and your students can create and share engaging interactive reports, presentations, assignments, projects and more with Sway, a free app from Microsoft Office. This session will introduce Sway as attendees transform an outline to an engaging, modern presentation using Sway, Microsoft's new digital storytelling and presentation app. Create presentations that focus on content rather than bells and whistles. Get up and running within a class period. Sway is accessible on any device, making it a perfect addition to your 1:1 initiative toolbox. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Learn basic use of the Microsoft Sway tool; (2) Explore three different ways to use Microsoft Sway in the classroom; and (3) Plan for the use of Microsoft Sway in the classroom. Remember, it is OK2Ask'® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Google Form Basics - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Google forms can support classroom instruction AND improve teacher productivity....more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Google forms can support classroom instruction AND improve teacher productivity. You can use Google Forms to create surveys and quizzes; collect research data, and plan events. Unlike other "freemium" web-based form tools, Google Forms is completely free and allows for unlimited questions and responses, as well as logic branching. Once completed and shared, recipients can easily fill out and submit their responses. A Google form is automatically connected to a spreadsheet with the same title. When you send or share a form, recipients' responses will automatically be collected in that spreadsheet. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Explore the features of Google Forms; (2) Discover a variety of uses for Google Forms; and (3) Create a basic Google Form. Remember, it is OK2Ask'® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Google (12)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Google Productivity Tools for the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore some of the many tools that Google has to offer. Learn more about...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore some of the many tools that Google has to offer. Learn more about using Gmail in the classroom, Google Calendar, Google Drive (including templates and docs/forms), and Google Keep! Other tools including Photos, Google Plus, and Flubaroo will also be explored. A question/answer period will also be available. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Explore Google Templates, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Keep, and Google Plus and learn a few teaching features; (2) Evaluate selected tools available for use in your curriculum; (3) Explore topics and lesson ideas that could be enhanced using Google Tools; (4) Learn how to leverage available tools in Gmail for increased productivity; and (5) Find solutions to individual questions or practical problems. Remember, it is OK2Ask'® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at an INTERMEDIATE technology level.

tag(s): Google (12)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ScreenShot - Free Online Image Editor - ScreenShot

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K to 12
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ScreenShot is free online image editing service. Upload an image from your computer, then use the tools and filters to adjust the photograph as desired. ScreenShot contains basic photo...more
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ScreenShot is free online image editing service. Upload an image from your computer, then use the tools and filters to adjust the photograph as desired. ScreenShot contains basic photo imaging tools for at-home users, as well as more advanced tools for more seasoned photo editors. Choose from many different effects to make your images unique. When finished editing, view the image at the URL provided, download, or share using social networking links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): editing (55), images (259), photography (159)

In the Classroom

Use this tool anytime you need to edit photos for use on class blogs, wikis, or in presentation tools. In primary grades, this tool can be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with younger students using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Encourage older students to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use this tool in photography or art classes. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood. Use text options for the photos themselves to tell the stories. Have students annotate or label Creative Commons online images of cells, structures of an animal, and much more.

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Ribbet - Ribbet Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Ribbet is an online photo editing and sharing site that doesn't require sign-up, download, or installation. Follow prompts to upload images, then use Ribbet's editing tools to crop,...more
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Ribbet is an online photo editing and sharing site that doesn't require sign-up, download, or installation. Follow prompts to upload images, then use Ribbet's editing tools to crop, resize, and fine tune the photo. Liven-up images with stickers, filters, or create collages and more with Ribbet's additional photo tools. When finished, download the picture to your computer or share to Facebook and photo storage sites using the links provided. Free registration allows users to save images and editing history to Ribbet.
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tag(s): editing (55), images (259), photography (159)

In the Classroom

Use Ribbet anytime photos need to be edited on class blogs, wikis, or sites. In primary grades, use this tool to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with younger students using an interactive whiteboard or projector, and edit the project together! Encourage older students to use this tool themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use Ribbet to edit pictures to look "old" when doing historical reports or to set a mood.

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Microsoft Photo Story 3 - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Share stories using digital images and Microsoft Photo Story 3 software. Download the software onto your Windows operating system to begin. With Photo Story 3 you can edit images, add...more
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Share stories using digital images and Microsoft Photo Story 3 software. Download the software onto your Windows operating system to begin. With Photo Story 3 you can edit images, add effects, soundtracks, and narrate your story. When finished, the small file size allows for easy sharing and viewing. This is not available for Macs.

tag(s): digital storytelling (133), images (259), multimedia (51), slides (60)

In the Classroom

Photo Story 3 is an excellent way for students to create and share things that they photograph. Challenge students to give oral reports using Photo Story 3 as the visual part of their presentation. Have students take pictures during field trips to use in a Photo Story 3 to display what they saw and learned. Photograph steps of a science experiment. Alternatively, have students search for Creative Commons and Public Domain images to use as part of a slideshow biography about a prominent person in history. Use to tell the story of the water cycle or another process. Create a Photo Story 3 to use for review of classroom topics. Have students create a Photo Story 3 presentation demonstrating learning in any subject area such as Civil War events, different characteristics of animals, etc. Create a slide show for your elementary classroom as part of an informal, sharing presentation. Upload a picture that each student has drawn and have students tell the class about the picture in their own words. What a great way to get young students acclimated to talking in front of a group.

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Did I Miss Anything Yesterday? - Michael Taylor

Grades
5 to 9
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Though this blog has current articles, this particular 2015 article offers suggestions for the first of five activities for creating community in the middle school classroom at the...more
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Though this blog has current articles, this particular 2015 article offers suggestions for the first of five activities for creating community in the middle school classroom at the start of ANY school year. Each activity offers students the opportunity to participate in a risk-free situation while getting to know each other and the teacher. Find the remaining four activities in the site archive on the left menu, In Case You Missed It, under July 2015.
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tag(s): back to school (58), classroom management (129)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the entire Did I Miss Anything Yesterday? blog for additional activities and ideas for teaching middle school students. Take advantage of the exercises in this article to use at the beginning of the school year or new semesters. After finishing an activity, have students or groups share information learned from fellow students using Padlet, reviewed here. The Padlet application creates free online bulletin boards.

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Resource Guides - Learning Commons - The University of British Columbia - Vancouver Campus

Grades
5 to 12
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UBC (University of British Columbia) Commons offers several guides for learning and sharing with digital tools. Begin by choosing any guide of interest with topics including how to...more
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UBC (University of British Columbia) Commons offers several guides for learning and sharing with digital tools. Begin by choosing any guide of interest with topics including how to avoid plagiarism and a guide to properly citating online resources. Each guide provides an excellent description of the topic along with related resources and links. Some include videos and a FAQ section. 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): citations (32), copyright (47), creative commons (21), digital citizenship (57), plagiarism (33)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard as you share individual topics with students, then create a link on your class website for students to access information at any time. Divide topics among groups of students and have each group create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage reviewed here. Create a class wiki with resources for using and crediting online tools. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Plotbot - Plotbot

Grades
9 to 12
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Plotbot is a social screenwriting tool. While single writers can use the site, Plotbot is aimed at encouraging collaborative writing and feedback. It includes many social media features...more
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Plotbot is a social screenwriting tool. While single writers can use the site, Plotbot is aimed at encouraging collaborative writing and feedback. It includes many social media features designed to offer opportunities to share, comment on, create, and edit elements in the screenplay process. Registration requires an email address, password and a username of one's choosing. Get started in your Sandbox, which is a private mini-screenplay where you can learn how Plotbot works and walk through creating the major elements of the screenplay: the slugline, action, and dialogue. As the project creator, you control what up to fifty collaborators can do on your screenplay in the settings page. If you do have collaborators, the forum is a good place to work out ideas or ask for help. Plotbot projects are publicly viewable by default and searchable unless you select privacy in the settings. A handy feature lets scenes be re-ordered by dropping and dragging. Each account can have two private projects and unlimited public ones. Screenplays can be saved, imported, and downloaded for backup. Be aware that because of the public nature of the site, students may find mature content. It is always best to preview!
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tag(s): creative writing (167), literary devices (11), readers theater (17), writing (356)

In the Classroom

Because of its ease of use, this is a helpful tool for classroom collaboration and learning the basics of screenwriting. The text editor is very basic so discuss with students what elements go into a screenplay. Be aware that because of the public nature of the site, students may find mature content. Students also may collaborate with anyone with a Plotbot account. Have students work together to create a scene or play that can be acted out or reviewed or edited by other students. Navigation can be confusing, especially returning to saved work. A menu on the right-hand side provides actions to choose. A chronological record of activity in each account helps in finding different projects and scenes. Be sure to show students the account and screenplay settings to set preferred privacy and social aspects.

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Thought Plan - Max Schmitt

Grades
K to 1
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Write down your thoughts in an organized, structured way with Thought Plan. The simplicity of the features allows for easy use with flexible editing for personalized use. Register for...more
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Write down your thoughts in an organized, structured way with Thought Plan. The simplicity of the features allows for easy use with flexible editing for personalized use. Register for an account to begin creating your first Thought Plan. Add a title, then begin creating a list of your main ideas. Share or download to your computer with the provided links. The introductory 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): gifted (96), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

Use Thought Plan to plan and organize your yearly schedule. All students will appreciate having an online time management account, but learning support students and disorganized gifted students need one. You may want to model using this online tool to help middle and high school students learn personal organization. Share this site the first week of school to get students started on the right foot! Make a demo account for a mythical student and organize his/her daily schedule together so students can see how it works. Share the steps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Alternately, this idea will work with group projects where students need to learn to manage their project time.

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