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Science Sparks - Emma Vanstone and Kerry Farrow

Grades
K to 6
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Science Sparks is a blog that shares activities to make science fun for even the youngest of children (and adults). All activities use materials commonly found around the home or ...more
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Science Sparks is a blog that shares activities to make science fun for even the youngest of children (and adults). All activities use materials commonly found around the home or easy to find. Scroll through the latest activities or choose from links at the top for preschool science, chemistry, physics, kitchen science, and more. Each activity lists materials needed and step by step directions. Many also include images and links to videos. In addition to directions, each post describes the science behind the activity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acids and bases (11), chemicals (40), eyes (6), magnetism (35), senses (28), sound (100), water (130)

In the Classroom

Sign up to receive site updates on Pinterest, Facebook, or through your RSS reader. Be sure to bookmark this site to search for science activities throughout the year. Share a link to an activity on your website or parent newsletter as an at-home activity. Ask parents to send pictures or videos of the activity done at home to share with the class. Complete activities in class then share them on a service such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

Comments

Great site for your IWB Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Ekopedia - ekopedia.org

Grades
6 to 12
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This free reference is a practical guide to alternatives to mass consumerism. This resource offers ecological or sustainable alternatives to the present methods of manufacturing, maintenance,...more
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This free reference is a practical guide to alternatives to mass consumerism. This resource offers ecological or sustainable alternatives to the present methods of manufacturing, maintenance, management of materials, and recycling. For those interested in respecting nature, the environment, and man while learning techniques that are artisan-derived, this is a great place to start. Don't miss Grandma's Tips for some practical ideas. View the various portals by clicking on the Contents link. This site can also be viewed in French or Spanish. Note that much of the content is user-submitted, so the quality of the writing is uneven; it appears that some articles may have been translated using an automated translation tool.

tag(s): consumers (21), environment (317), natural resources (59)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to find good ideas and to explain the science behind some of the tips offered on this site. Why do they work? Find interesting articles through the Random Article or Ask A Question links. Students can use these resources to identify material that can be added to the various articles. Become a member of the community and add information of your own (when editing is open). Encourage students to identify a change they can make at home. Make a plan for change, follow through, and report the results. Research alternative methods and how our current way of going things evolved. Students can survey the school and community at large for stories and thoughts about the old way of doing things vs. the new. Have students create "free and easy" online polls using Flisti (reviewed here).

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My Pop Studio - Media Education Lab, Temple University

Grades
6 to 12
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My Pop Studio is a creative play experience that strengthens critical thinking skills about television, music, magazines and online media directed. Some of the activities are geared...more
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My Pop Studio is a creative play experience that strengthens critical thinking skills about television, music, magazines and online media directed. Some of the activities are geared towards girls, but many could be used with any teenager. Choose from four opportunities to learn more about mass media: Music, TV, Magazines, or Digital. Choose a studio to begin. Registration is optional but allows you the opportunity to save progress within activities. Go behind the scenes to think about the meaning of song lyrics: how songs and media sell items and ideas. Think about how magazines alter images by viewing before and after images. Be sure to check out the section for parents and the teachers portion of the site for ideas to use the site as well as lesson plans and supplemental activities for download.

tag(s): advertising (33), media literacy (58)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect for use with an after school program directed at teenagers or as part of a unit on propaganda and media literacy. Use lessons and activities to inspire debate and discussion on the role of media in society and especially its effect on young girls. Talk about the impact of advertising on our ideas of what matters. Include this as part of a character education or consumerism unit. Use as an independent in-class activity for girls in the classroom. Allow students to explore the site then challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) to explore issues related to media literacy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GE Focus Forward - GE & Cinelan.com

Grades
6 to 12
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GE Focus Forward offers a series of 30 three-minute videos featuring stories about innovators. Directed by award-winning documentary film makers, the films range in topics from a "Journey...more
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GE Focus Forward offers a series of 30 three-minute videos featuring stories about innovators. Directed by award-winning documentary film makers, the films range in topics from a "Journey Under the Sea" to a look at the "Secrets of Trees." Hover over any film icon to view a short description of the topic. Click to begin. Share films using social networking buttons within the film. Copy the embed code to embed on any website or blog. Videos are hosted on Vimeo, which is accessible in most schools.

tag(s): environment (317), inventors and inventions (101), medicine (67), mental health (26), nutrition (154), oceans (148), robotics (25), solar energy (38), STEM (134), trees (30), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. There is one film about sanitation that refers to "poop," so you may want to avoid classroom giggles from less mature students by setting the tone for scientific viewing. Use as any part of a career unit, as a look at explorers and innovators, or when discussing character education. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Challenge students to choose a topic to further explore and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Map Your Recipe - Wilfried Houjebek

Grades
5 to 12
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Enter any recipe to find to map the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables....more
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Enter any recipe to find to map the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables. These are the sources where the pants first came from, not necessarily where they can be found today. Also find a list of countries and their products. Click the example recipes included or copy and paste your own recipes right into the ingredient box. Our editors noticed that some fruits also could be mapped. Try entering cocoa to find out where the cocoa beans first came form.

tag(s): christmas (64), cooking (34), holidays (147), maps (288), nutrition (154), plants (144), species (29), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use Map Your Recipe when teaching holiday traditions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas Around the World. Use this engaging way to find out where the vegetables (and some fruits) were originally domesticated. Include with a geography lesson and attempt to find recipes with ingredients native to countries located on the map and to your own region. In science class, talk about the conditions that allow a plant to find a new home on another continent. Are all plant species welcome? What conditions must be present for a plant to thrive in a new location?

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The Edible Schoolyard Project - Alice Waters

Grades
K to 12
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Visit this incredible site to bring students of all ages into a positive relationship with food by connecting it with nature and culture. Discover a sustainable food curriculum that...more
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Visit this incredible site to bring students of all ages into a positive relationship with food by connecting it with nature and culture. Discover a sustainable food curriculum that includes Farm to School ideas and much more. This project shares a food curriculum for schools around the world to put into practice. Search and explore inspiring ideas, programs that work, and voices of the movement. Add your own story or classroom to the project to share with others around the world.

tag(s): nutrition (154), plants (144)

In the Classroom

Use the search feature to find lessons by grade, topic, or even season. View videos available on The Edible Schoolyard to learn how to begin a classroom or school garden. Show the videos to parents to help and participate. If your school doesn't have an area for planting a garden, be creative! Plant a small garden in a wagon to roll in and out each day! Create a class wiki and update your garden's growth through pictures and words each week. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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ChubbyGrub - Trailer Park Media, LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this tool to find the calories and nutrient content of a large variety of foods found in the popular chains. Search a variety of restaurant names or search categories ...more
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Use this tool to find the calories and nutrient content of a large variety of foods found in the popular chains. Search a variety of restaurant names or search categories of foods from the chains. This site features a search bar for finding the nutrient information of the food easily. Nutrition facts include carbohydrates, fiber, fats (saturated, cholesterol, and trans fat), proteins, and sodium.

tag(s): calories (9), myplate (28), nutrition (154), obesity (19)

In the Classroom

Use this tool in Health, Family and Consumer Science, or a Biology classroom. Make it part of a healthy eating/anti-obesity campaign in your school. Bookmark this site or place a link on your class web site. Use to compare various chain restaurant offerings and compare the accumulated total to MyPlate guidelines. Learn more about the MyPlate guidelines (here). Have students create a food infographic comparing two favorite fast food meals using a tool such as VennGage, reviewed here.

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Budgeting Tools - Dave Ramsey

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and explore different budgeting options using this online tool. Enter an income to view proposed options in several categories such as housing, food, and personal expenses. Adjust...more
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Create and explore different budgeting options using this online tool. Enter an income to view proposed options in several categories such as housing, food, and personal expenses. Adjust your budget as desired to view various proposals and outcomes. Choose the link to print your finished budget.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (132), financial literacy (80), percent (82)

In the Classroom

Use in a math class as a way to use percentages in a real world context. Help students gain better number sense of what percentages look like as the class experiments with different incomes on an interactive whiteboard or projector. For financial literacy, explore different budget options for any income using the budgeting tool. Compare and contrast options with different careers, income levels, or asset allocations. Divide your class up into groups with different starting incomes to create a budget. Have students discuss choices made. Use as part of a career unit. Find out starting salaries for different careers then explore budget options available within each career.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Calkoo - Trinity Capital

Grades
4 to 12
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics,...more
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics, loans, health, saving, investing, real estate, and more! Calkoo can handle many tasks, including some rather complex calculations. Complete the various fields based on the type of calculation. Some utilize radio buttons and drop down boxes, while others ask for numbers only. Create almost any kind of calculation you need with this easy accessible calculating tool. Language options include English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), area (66), calculators (41), division (172), fractions (239), measurement (159), multiplication (227), percent (82), quadratics (32), subtraction (208), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Calkoo is a great free tool to replace expensive graphing calculators that many students may not have. Calkoo works well on computers, mobile devices, and interactive whiteboards. Use this site during a unit on careers, economics, or financial literacy. Include it as part of a measurement unit. Share during Family and Consumer Science units to explore the cost of living and have students put together a mythical "budget" for living in their chosen career. Have students send you on a vacation and include calculations for the currency converter, fuel cost calculator, sales tax for souvenirs, and more! This is a great site to support many experiments in science. Calculate acceleration, velocity, and time, or use the mathematics category to complete problems. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. Visit Calkoo and select a calculator to meet your needs! Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. The various languages make this tool very useful for ESL/ELL students.

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What's Up In Finance? - Educational Broadcasting Corporation

Grades
7 to 12
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the...more
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the show. Explore articles about financial careers. Try interactives to learn about smart financial decisions. Choose from several lesson plans offered (including materials list and national math standards). Please note that although the site does offer links to former shows and segments, those videos are no longer available. The materials on the site are still worth your while!

tag(s): careers (132), financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

View and modify lesson plans to meet your classroom needs. This site is highly appealing to the older student! Allow students to play the interactive games as part of your financial literacy unit. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Include information from the career portion of your site as part of any career exploration activities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pulitzer Center Lesson Plans - Pulitzer Center

Grades
3 to 12
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Find lesson plans at the Pulitzer Center for grades 3-12 that identify global issues and ways to address them. Topics include subjects such as International Adoptions: Ethics and Effects...more
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Find lesson plans at the Pulitzer Center for grades 3-12 that identify global issues and ways to address them. Topics include subjects such as International Adoptions: Ethics and Effects and America's Responsibility for the Welfare and Safety of Chinese Workers and many other intriguing topics. Each lesson plan includes big ideas, essential questions, Common Core standards, vocabulary, assessments, and additional resources. Bring lessons to life through journalist visits (in larger cities) or Skype visits (using the request a class visit option on the site).

tag(s): africa (180), careers (132), china (66), debate (41), earthquakes (48), ethics (16), food chains (22), hiv/aids (18), india (36), journalism (46), media literacy (58), water (130), women (101)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans on the site as a resource for discussing and debating global issues. If there is no time to complete a full unit, explore resources from each topic for ideas to use in your classroom. For example, try the ideas on interviewing individuals who migrated to the United States offered in the "How Did I Become the Person That I Am" unit. Share this site with students interested in journalism careers as a resource for learning more about the profession and some of its members.

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The Bean Game - Jana Darrington Utah State University Extension

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to manage money while having fun living on a 20 "bean" salary using this printable game. Use the directions and discussion questions to play two rounds of the game. ...more
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Learn to manage money while having fun living on a 20 "bean" salary using this printable game. Use the directions and discussion questions to play two rounds of the game. Although it is possible to play with individual players, the site recommends groups of between 2 and 5 players for optimal results. Even though this game is "low tech," it is a great teaching tool!

tag(s): financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

Use the Bean Game as part of your financial literacy unit as a center activity. When finished, have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Documentary Tube - DocumentaryTube.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Watch full length documentaries online for free. Find your favorites through daily suggestions, browsing the top 100, or searching categories: 9/11, activism, art, aviation, business,...more
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Watch full length documentaries online for free. Find your favorites through daily suggestions, browsing the top 100, or searching categories: 9/11, activism, art, aviation, business, comedy, crime, disaster, drugs, economics, environmental, food/drink, health, media, medicine, music, nature, performing arts, philosophy, political, religion, science, social, sport, strange, technology, travel, and many more. Look at film festivals and films featured in each. If you do not find what you are looking for, submit your request. A link to Amazon brings you to DVD's. Some are free, and others are for sale.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

Discover the power of documentaries while studying point of view, primary and secondary resources, and debate skills. Examine the aspects shown in documentaries and help students find structure to provide an unbiased research project. Challenge existing knowledge in many areas. Help students become active thinkers and become involved in current events. Sharpen your own understandings.
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Documentary Storm - 2013 DocumentaryStorm

Grades
4 to 12
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Dive into Documentary Storm to discover 100% free documentary films. The goal of the website is to share knowledge spread ideas, and have fun. Search the different channels to find...more
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Dive into Documentary Storm to discover 100% free documentary films. The goal of the website is to share knowledge spread ideas, and have fun. Search the different channels to find exactly what you are seeking. Topics included are art, biography, conspiracy, culture, drugs, environment, health, indie films, lifestyle, mockumentaries, money, nature, politics, psychology, religion, science, society, sports, technology, war, and many more. Search in the top 100 documentaries, or click use"surprise me." Connect with Facebook, RSS, Twitter, or email.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

With documentaries challenge your students' understanding of food, history, politics, or people. Use to provide another point of view which might not be available in traditional text books. Use to explain primary and secondary sources, as well as an example of a way to extend thinking. Provide a documentary as an example for your students to do an in depth research project. Use documentaries to challenge knowledge, create new knowledge, and learn.
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Hands On Banking - Wells Fargo

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about basic money tools, entrepreneurship, and other financial matters with Hands On Banking. Courses are provided for kids through adults with topics such as using credit, budgeting,...more
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Learn about basic money tools, entrepreneurship, and other financial matters with Hands On Banking. Courses are provided for kids through adults with topics such as using credit, budgeting, and smart investing. The interactives (especially for the younger ages) are highly engaging. In addition to the online activities, instructor guides are available for PDF download for all age ranges. Courses are also available for use on mobile devices.

tag(s): financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Create a link to the course for your students on classroom computers or view together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). This is a great tool to share with families (for both student or parent use). Share this site on your class wiki, blog, or website.
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Green Vegetation - NOAA

Grades
8 to 12
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See an amazingly detailed map of the vegetation found on the Earth. Data for the interactive is collected by a satellite every week so the image is up to date. ...more
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See an amazingly detailed map of the vegetation found on the Earth. Data for the interactive is collected by a satellite every week so the image is up to date. Use tools to rotate or zoom in/out. Allow a few second for the zoomed in view to fully load and for the image to get "sharp."

tag(s): forests (29), plants (144), producers (8)

In the Classroom

Look at the map on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) to look at the different colors and determine what they represent. Zoom in to the Nile region to view the stark contrast between the Nile River delta and the desert that surrounds it. Brainstorm how vegetation changes can indicate potential forest fires or drought and how weather is predicted based upon vegetation, humidity, runoff, and surface temperature. Compare the locations of high vegetation to those with low or no vegetation. What factors change the locations of these areas? Watch this interactive over a period of time (possibly the whole school year) to identify changes in areas around the world. Create a presentation about the changes in vegetation including research as to why it is very important. Find great tools on TeachersFirst for creating presentations or Infographics. Tie discussion of this map into economics, political policy, our food system, health statistics, and more.

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Documentary Wire - DocumentaryWire

Grades
4 to 12
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and...more
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and follow Documentary Wire on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. No membership is required to watch the videos or receive their newsletter with the latest documentaries. Videos are actually hosted on YouTube and other video sharing services. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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. Enjoy blogging with others by being a member, individually or within a group to discuss your latest ideas on a documentary. Be aware: some of the content on this site may not be appropriate for all ages. Always remember to preview!

tag(s): primary sources (86), video (253)

In the Classroom

Documentary Wire provides documentaries for all your classes. Not sure what topics are available? Search the documentary list. Use a documentary to help students understand primary (such as interviews) and secondary sources. Consider examining point of view through many different choices of films. Study industry and government regulations. Research to discover if any documentary caused a change in the law. Look at the persuasive techniques used to convey a strong message. Study the formatting of the documentary to use as a framework for your own student research projects. Look at documentaries in your study of ethics. Challenge gifted learners in the search for new information.
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Presentain - Neek Kurat

Grades
4 to 12
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Connect and engage your presentation audience with Presentain. Create a free account and link to your Google Drive account. Connect your social media accounts through your profile so...more
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Connect and engage your presentation audience with Presentain. Create a free account and link to your Google Drive account. Connect your social media accounts through your profile so presentation participants can view your connections. Access your Google Drive presentations in Presentain or upload a PDF version of a presentation created in PowerPoint or Keynote. Store your presentations in the Presentain cloud. Download the iOS or Android app on your phone or tablet to connect your mobile device. Use your mobile device as a clicker and connect your audience on their mobile devices. The audience can ask questions, take part in polls, send you follow-up requests, share your slides, and more. Record your voice while you present and publish the slidecast to your online audience. Presenting on a laptop that's not yours? Enter a presentation code that doesn't require a login. This is a great tool to involve your audience. Presentain users must be at least 18 years old.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use your existing presentations and upload them as a PDF to Presentain. Use the many tools available at the site to engage your students. Use the question feature as a backchannel to address questions and concerns. Collect data using polls to differentiate your instruction. A BYOD school? Connect your students on their mobile devices. Share your slidecasts for student access both in and outside of class for further practice. An excellent site to share your presentations on professional development with your teaching colleagues. A great tool to flip your classroom instruction. Record students' presentations (using your account) to share on a website or blog so families unable to attend can view. Create visual presentations for key concepts or vocabulary. Record descriptions and share the slidecast for student access both in and outside of class for further practice.

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knowthenet - knowthenet.org

Grades
K to 12
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Knowthenet is an excellent resource for information on how to make the most of the Internet and especially for Internet safety. The Knowledge Center offers information on the latest...more
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Knowthenet is an excellent resource for information on how to make the most of the Internet and especially for Internet safety. The Knowledge Center offers information on the latest trends from child safety to social networking. Search the news for articles on any Internet-related issues. Test yourself to see how well you know your way around the Internet. The Jargon Buster offers a glossary of the latest Internet terms. Explore to see if you know the definition for terms such as botnet, dongle, or phishing! Although most of this site may not be appropriate for younger students to navigate on their own, it is useful for adults and teachers who work with all levels. The site has content helpful for teens and adults, such as protecting your identity, online business, and Twitter etiquette. This site was created in the United Kingdom, so American English speakers may notice some slight spelling differences.

tag(s): computers (94), cyberbullying (43), internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Knowthenet is an excellent addition to any Internet safety or computer lesson, especially for teens who think they "know it all." Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year. Sections of the site about online baking and other consumer activity will fit well into family and consumer science or business curriculum. Use the quizzes to begin the school year to assess students' online safety knowledge. Display the Jargon Buster on your interactive whiteboard as needed to learn new terms. Use the Knowledge Center as a resource for learning safety tips. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to demonstrate information learned on the site. Be sure to share with parents for use at home. Use this site during a Meet The Teacher night, Back to School night, or at information sessions for parents for help with online safety. Whenever you launch into new web-based projects, remind students about the things they have learned here.

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Google Docs/Drive Templates - Google Docs/Drive

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Find hundreds of templates and documents -- for all sorts of needs, not just education -- ready to use at Google Docs (now known as Drive). The best part, the ...more
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Find hundreds of templates and documents -- for all sorts of needs, not just education -- ready to use at Google Docs (now known as Drive). The best part, the documents are available from any computer with Internet access. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Important note: To OPEN this link and see the templates, you must have a Google Drive account and be logged in! Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. No need to create a new document. Simply search for the template you need and modify it to your specifications. Choose from many categories including resumes, presentations, calendars, budgets, and more. Once you find a document to use, preview to view the full document. Viewed documents will then be available under a link called "Templates I've Used." You can also "save a copy" to change it at will. This makes them easy to find in the future. Upload your own documents for use anywhere and anytime.

tag(s): classroom management (134), DAT device agnostic tool (196), organizational skills (122), rubrics (32), spreadsheets (17)

In the Classroom

Find specialized templates for teachers and students by clicking that category in the left sidebar. You can find templates for all sorts of "real world" tasks in the broader collection, including authentic writing tasks such as press releases, project proposals, and resumes. Upload commonly used classroom documents and share with students to retrieve at home. Search for templates for outlines, rubrics for reports, or guidelines for classroom projects. Share this site with students to use for their own projects. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

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