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Smilebox - Smilebox, Inc.

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This resource allows you to create slide shows, greetings, scrapbooks, invitations, collages, and more. The download is free, but there are paid upgrades available if desired. For educational...more
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This resource allows you to create slide shows, greetings, scrapbooks, invitations, collages, and more. The download is free, but there are paid upgrades available if desired. For educational purposes, the upgrades are not needed. Photos, videos, and music can all be added to your creations. A Smilebox template must be used to make your creations. Products made with this program can be shared to web pages and blogs, social networking sites, emailed, saved, or printed for free. All themes are free. This is a free download, so make sure you have computers that have the capability to download before creating a lesson with this tool. See the reviewer's sample here.

tag(s): blogs (89), images (269), movies (67), photography (160), slides (64)

In the Classroom

You will need to be able to download this program, and you will need 4 MB of space on your computer to do so. The program will automatically pull some photos from Windows Media or iPhoto depending on what your computer uses for photos. You can save web images or use screen shots, as well, to be used in your creations. Watch copyright! Check out the review of Jing reviewed here for details and a down-loadable screen shot taker. (It is what our reviewer used to capture extra images for the sample!) From here, it is easy to simply click and follow the on screen instructions. The program is simple to navigate and very user friendly for those who are accustomed to web tools.

With the variety of formats, this program has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! Use in history class to have students create collages of different periods of time such as the American Civil War. Create topics such as the Lincoln's Election, the Gettysburg Address, Battle of Antietam, Emancipation Proclamation, Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee's Surrender. Have pairs or groups of three select topics at random, and then have them create a collage or "scrapbook" of the event. Try having students choose a role from which to create their assignment such as a Rebel soldier, a Union Soldier, a volunteer nurse, a mother or father of children fighting on different sides of the war, etc. Have students collect copyright free images online for their use or create their own by reenacting and creating visuals to take pictures for their productions. Unleash student creativity by showing them this tool as resource in creating presentations and projects for your class and others. What a fabulous tool to use on the first day of school (as a welcome), beginning of a new unit, or back to school night with the parents! Elementary classes could create whole-class scrapbooks of curriculum projects, such as their science garden or Colonial Days celebration.

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Poem Flow - Apple

Grades
4 to 12
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Since February 1, 2010, poetry.org has been adding one poem a day to display in Poem Flow. The poems appear line by line (on a cell phone background) in a ...more
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Since February 1, 2010, poetry.org has been adding one poem a day to display in Poem Flow. The poems appear line by line (on a cell phone background) in a fairly slow cadence so that each word of the poem can be appreciated. The poems are mainly classics by renowned authors. They begin as early as the 1500's with Shakespeare and continue through lesser known contemporary poets of 2010. The date of the poem's publication is included with the title. Students or teachers can choose to read the poem all at one time in full text as well. Designed to be used as an APP on the iPhone/iTouch, the website allows anyone (without an iPhone) to see the poems appearing slowly and thoughtfully.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Share a poem a day on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students participate in a poetry wiki to share their thoughts on the daily poem or write their own responses in student blogs. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out theTeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Use this site to get your students' eyes on a poem. As they anticipate what is coming, they will all be at attention. Use the daily offering at "poetry break" time every day so the students can anticipate and look forward to each new poem!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dipity - Underlying, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Dipity is an online timeline creator that allows you to create, view, and share timelines in several different ways. When viewing timelines the default mode is the classic timeline...more
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Dipity is an online timeline creator that allows you to create, view, and share timelines in several different ways. When viewing timelines the default mode is the classic timeline display. With just a click the same information can be shown as a flipbook, map, and list. Sharing is simple through widgets that can be embedded on blogs or websites as well as quick links to common networking sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): timelines (63)

In the Classroom

Click on "add an event" and complete as much information as you can about the event. Types of information that are provided include: title, date, description, picture, link, location, and video Url. If you do not have a complete set of information, the event will still look good in the timeline! Also, please note that you cannot create imaginary locations. The site does verify the place entered as location is a real place.

Use a created, identifiable to the outside world team name to preserve student internet security. This way, students do not need to create their own accounts. Be careful when having students enter locations, if it is historical project, real dates and times are safe to use. However, if students are creating personal type timelines, use general locations like city and country or even just country. You can control who can see the timelines, and who can edit the timeline. Use caution here!

Create a timeline of classroom events throughout the school year. During a unit on inventions, having different students add each invention to the timeline along with pertinent information to create a very visual display of the chronology of the introduction of each item (great for review!). Use for an author study to compare and contrast lives of authors and add historical events to put each author's works into perspective. In science class, have students create a timeline of scientific discoveries or the life of a plant, animal, or scientist. Challenge students to create cross-disciplinary timelines showing historic, scientific, and artistic events during the same time period, such as the Renaissance or a decade during the 20th century, so they can see trends. Make timelines of environmental concerns, such as the Gulf Oil Spill--or a history of environmental disasters. Create timelines for historic events -- local or global. Make family histories in world language classes using vocabulary and grammar skills to describe family members in the new language. Create a class timeline to add to your classroom wiki and have students add information as the year advances so that they can look back on all that they have accomplished.

Need a challenge for your gifted students? as the study history or a scientific discovery, have them make a timeline that shows other events happening in the world at the same time. Have them create a "family tree" for endangered species using this timeline tool. Add pictures, locations, and names of related species and causes for the threat to that animal. Have them map out the steps leading to a war or civil rights event, adding the more subtle causes and people not included in the regular curriculum.

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Mix Book - Andrew Laffoon

Grades
K to 12
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously...more
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously insert photos, text, and edit from separate computers. Authors can select from a wide variety of thematic designs, layout options, stickers, and backgrounds or design their own. Upload personal photos, scanned illustrations, or free public domain images directly into the image library. Inserting photos is a simple, intuitive process that requires a click and drag. The text comes in a variety of font options, and sizes. A complete transcript of the writing appears below the book. Viewers can enjoy the reading the book without needless advertising or redirection to another site. It is also possible to copy a book and easily create a customized edition for individual students. There is always the option to purchase books directly from the Mixbook. Go directly to this site and immediately create your masterpiece.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (150), ebooks (42)

In the Classroom

Use Mixbook to create collaborative projects, yearbooks, or to give writers workshop publishing a professional flare. History teachers may enjoy letting students photograph a re-enactment of a scene from the past and then write accompanying text. Combine yearly research reports with this multimedia option. Have students create collaborative projects that access fantastic photography collections from sites such as the Library of Congress . Primary school teachers can photograph student illustrations of familiar songs, poems, or rhymes and create "class" books. Project these books onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and revolutionize shared reading. Create parent education books that communicate how to help with their student's reading at home, or explain the stages of project-based learning. Students can also author books in a foreign language. Mixbook is useful for all areas of the school curriculum. Remember to embed student books into the school website for family and friends at home to enjoy.

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Common Core State Standards - Common Core State Standards Initiative Team

Grades
K to 12
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set...more
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set of educational standards which aligns benchmarks and expectations across state lines. This system builds on what states are already doing by providing an opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and lessons, while maintaining high expectations that insure the quality of education across America to enable our students to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy.

Visit this website to find out exactly what the national K-12 standards are for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technology, as well as mathematics, and to find out if your state is one many states (at the time of this review) that have already committed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. Watch videos and the recorded webinar, and read about the key points and rigorous curriculum standards, including the content and skills related to the use of media and technology for critical analysis and production.

tag(s): commoncore (94)

In the Classroom

Take a look at exemplars and sample performance tasks and students' writing to consider how you can integrate these ideas into your own planning to prepare students for the growing challenges of today's world. You can also sign up to receive updates via email. For more information about the Common Core and implementing it in your classes, see TeachersFirst's Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction, a Q/A article for elementary teachers, and TeachersFirst's resources tagged Common Core for many helpful sites.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Data Liberation Front - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Do you use various Web 2.0 items and are unsure how to move information from one to the other (or from the cloud to your computer?) Use this site to ...more
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Do you use various Web 2.0 items and are unsure how to move information from one to the other (or from the cloud to your computer?) Use this site to learn how to move information from one area to another. For example, learn how to import and export bookmarks. Also learn how to import, export, or zip google documents to your computer.

tag(s): directions (19), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Provide this link as a resource to your students. Allow them the opportunity to learn techniques to move and manage their online information. Consider putting this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.
 

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Tar Heel Reader - University of North Caroline

Grades
K to 12
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide...more
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide free resources to give everyone an opportunity to learn to read and write. All books are free and available for download as slideshows using PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash. Book topics include biographies, fairy tales, history, science, math, nursery rhymes, poetry, food, and more! All stories have speech enabling, can come in as many as fourteen different languages, and are compatible with touch screens. Since a wide range of age groups use this site, they have a rating system to suggest what is suitable for younger readers. Tar Heel Reader is also a great way to write books. Upload images from your computer or Flicker, add text, create, and share student stories with an authentic audience of readers. Tar Heel Reader is a great way to engage students with reading material, increase class participation, and create inclusive instruction for those with illiteracy or learning disabilities.

** This site does contain some materials NOT suitable for all classrooms. Be sure to read the "rating" system, and contribute your own opinions (as the ratings are only as reliable as the pool of contributing voters). Books rated 'E' are meant for everyone but a 'C' means to use caution as it may not be proper material for some. Determine what titles are suitable and save them to the favorites file for students to access.

tag(s): literacy (106)

In the Classroom

Increase your big book collection ten fold by projecting Tar Heel Readers onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use interactive shared reading lessons to strengthen student recognition of common sight words, concepts of print, decoding skills, and use syntax cues and unlock the meaning of text. Ask students to circle known sight words, count the number of words in a sentence, trace capital letters, or point to the first letter of a word during a choral read. Help ESL/ELL students by creating books out of photos from class field trips, events, or experiments. Integrate text that uses key vocabulary words and creates reading materials that are both relevant to grade level curricular standards and match your student's readability level. All books you publish on the web site are public domain and available to all other users. Be sure to get parent permission before publishing student books on-line. In order to create a book, users will need to register. Unfortunately, this requires users to email gb@cs.unc.edu to request of an invitation code. With this code, simply create a username, submit your name, and email address. Set up a single teacher account and have all the students use that login to avoid safety concerns. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Voices in the Dark - Sean Puckett and Dawn Keenan

Grades
K to 12
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The website "Voices in the Dark" is a source for audio recordings of classic novels, legends, poems, and essays. There are approximately 150 ageless titles such as Charles Dickens's...more
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The website "Voices in the Dark" is a source for audio recordings of classic novels, legends, poems, and essays. There are approximately 150 ageless titles such as Charles Dickens's "Christmas Carol" and Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Each audiobook comes with an accompanying text transcript and are typically short. Receive regular updates by subscribing to their syndication feeds through RSS or podcasts. The audio files come in both low and high bitrates MP3 files that will match your computer's storage space and Internet bandwidth capabilities.

tag(s): fluency (23), literacy (106)

In the Classroom

Engage your class in real world learning while building fluency and reading skills. "Voices in the Dark" is always looking for people to contribute to their on-line library of audio books. Consider having your class submit an audio recording of their own to the collection. First choose a genre to focus on such as Fairy Tales or Aesop Fables. Review the page that contains directions on how to select stories, create a recording, and submit work. There is a list of links full of public domain books from which to choose. They provide tips on how to record your reading and directions on how to submit your work. Sites such as Audio Pal reviewed here may be helpful in creating your recordings. Of course, check with your administrator before attempting this project and obtain parent permission before sharing or posting student work.

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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 (Glogster, 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 (51), comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (150)

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. Create an online poster "glog" on using Glogster to demonstrate a new math concept. Once you see a tool that sounds interesting, read its full review on TeachersFirst to find even more ways to use it.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (269), photography (160), slides (64)

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
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (269), photography (160)

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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fastr - a flickr game - random chaos

Grades
3 to 12
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Guess what a group of photos have in common with this simple game that draws from flickr images. The game shows a group of images, and you must guess what ...more
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Guess what a group of photos have in common with this simple game that draws from flickr images. The game shows a group of images, and you must guess what "tag" the images have in common.

tag(s): flexibility (5), images (269), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share a fastr game on your projector or interactive whiteboard to get the mental juices flowing at the start of class. Build word choice vocabulary for speech/language students or ESL/ELL students as they guess what word the photos have in common. Extend the experience by having students create their own groups of images (perhaps even taking their own with a digital camera) to support a curriculum concept, such as "omnivore" or "well." Use this tool in combination with a Flickr search tool such as FlickrCC reviewed here to help students understand tagging and see how an unusual combination of images can share the same tag.

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TodaysMeet - James Socol

Grades
5 to 12
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows...more
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows anyone with the URL for a specific chat stream to join in, using short (140 characters) messages. Participants can be in the same room or across the globe. The only "skill" needed is being able to type! Save a transcript via the link at the bottom of the chat and switch to "projector-friendly" view with one click so a group can follow the chat on screen. TodaysMeet does not require a membership to access these features, but creating a free account with an email address unlocks more features to meet your needs. The free account allows you to archive your rooms for up to one year, and custom organization of your rooms is available for easy access. You can only archive rooms for up to one month without creating an account. Filter participants, moderate their content, and use speaker colors to take control of your rooms. A TodaysMeet account also offers three different QR code sizes to share access to your room as well as the ability to allow participants to download the transcript. TodaysMeet may be blocked through some web filters as a social media site.

tag(s): microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

No special skills needed except the ability to create a name for your chat and to share the URL with others. Create "room" by giving it a name; decide how long you want it to last; and add a Twitter hashtag (optional). The room name becomes part of the URL. For example, The room called tfedge has URL http://todaysmeet.com/tfedge. Give participants the room URL. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join.

Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel, or ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a backchannel chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.

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Web Resizer - webresizer.com

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site is quick, easy, requires no registration, and FREE. Upload your image to this site in order to create a smaller file size for use on other sites and ...more
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This site is quick, easy, requires no registration, and FREE. Upload your image to this site in order to create a smaller file size for use on other sites and applications as well as adding effects such as corner rounding, rotating, tinting, changing contrast/brightness, or adding borders/edges. Upload an image up to 5 MB to alter easily with this site. Web resizer automatically reduces the file size to create an optimized image. Be sure to click "apply changes" once you have finished making selections. Click "start over" to remove previous changes. Download the image easily in a JPEG format.

tag(s): images (269)

In the Classroom

Provide the link to this site for students to use in altering and resizing images for use in presentations and online applications. Be sure students understand the file size needed for the various sites that are used in class (for example, wikispaces has a 20 MB file size limit.)
 
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Comments

Use this all the time. Easy to use and SO helpful. You can use online, don't have to download. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Titanpad - Titanpad authors

Grades
5 to 12
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Looking for an easy way to collaborate with students? Use TitanPad. Easily create a new public document, share the unique url, enter your name, and begin writing. Each collaborator...more
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Looking for an easy way to collaborate with students? Use TitanPad. Easily create a new public document, share the unique url, enter your name, and begin writing. Each collaborator receives their own color, making it easy to track each person's changes. Note that in order to keep a working document private, the url should not be shared with those not involved in the collaboration. Changes to the document are made in real time. Save the final document as html, bookmarked file, plain text, word, PDF, or as an open document. See past revisions and view the history slider to see the changes in order they occurred. This is a great way to "witness" the writing process and have simple and easy collaboration! If you were an EtherPad user, TitanPad is the reincarnation of your old favorite! Note: Be sure to READ the policy about how long TitanPAds remain before being deleted. It is linked at the start of every new pad! If you do not make many revisions, your work may only remain for 2 weeks since you last accessed it.

tag(s): editing (66), process writing (45), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to manage and share URLs and track changes in a document. (Titanpad makes this unbelievable easy.) Create an account in order to create a private space.

Use a private space for all of your classroom work. Simply create a new pad for new work. With an account, change the settings of your pad to public or keep it private. Be sure to share the URL on a wiki, blog, or site for access to the pad. Be sure final drafts (or rough drafts for that matter) are saved.

Use this site securely. If concerned about others stumbling into a collaboration, create an account to receive your own private space. As Titanpad does not require users to register for public space to begin editing, no email, logins, or passwords are required. Students are up and editing without taking precious classroom time logging in or creating accounts.

Host or record thoughts from brainstorming sessions. Use with groups for any type of project based learning. Students can enter not only during school hours but outside of school as well. Use to interview others including experts, people for school news, sports teams, and anything else you can think of. Use in curriculum planning, creating of review sheets (let your students help you on this,) drafting plans, and taking notes from meetings. Allow class scribes to use to enter material discussed during class. Use in workshops, trainings, etc. Common Core writing encourages collaboration as part of authentic writing process. Use the varied colors and revision history for students to demonstrate their collaboration.

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Class Chatter - Daniel DeLuca

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has a useful choice of blogging tools that are simple to learn for students and teachers. The class mail feature is especially valuable because many schools do not ...more
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This site has a useful choice of blogging tools that are simple to learn for students and teachers. The class mail feature is especially valuable because many schools do not allow students access to an email program. Class mail permits students and teachers to exchange information in a controlled professional environment similar to email or instant messaging without the hassle of having IM or e-mail accounts. There are several types of blogs available including; personal, assignment, and topical. Personal blogs provide students with a space to write and communicate freely. Assignment blogs allow the teacher to post and grade writing assignments. Topical blogs offers a forum for students and teachers to communicate about a common idea or topic. A co-teacher can be added to a class to share administration of blogs and other features.

tag(s): blogs (89), writing (365), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

A user's guide and introductory video are provided for registered users once they are logged in. The video explains in detail how to use all of the features available. After becoming familiar with the program, start with one class to pilot the program. Setup a test student account and become familiar with way in which students will use the program. It is important to understand the unique features that each type of communication offers. Familiarity with blogging and blog etiquette is important for safe ethical implementation. The help page includes a link to Information about educational blogging to help teachers and administrators understand the educational benefits to electronic communication.

Using the customize class feature, teachers can control student access to information and Class Chatter features such as class mail. Teachers have detailed control of students' post including safe guarding students' identity from others and editing posts including posts they created. It is important to follow any school procedures before using Class Chatter.

A class blogging program has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions using a topic blog on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. The class assignment feature creates a formal way for teachers to assess students' writing. Students can create an online journal by creating a personal blog. Class mail offers the chance for quick informal exchanges such as a response to a post, question or idea. The robust features of Class Chatter capitalize on students' eagerness to communicate electronically while allowing the teacher to control the format and flow of information. Convert current assignments to an appropriate electronic exchange. As an extension assignment have students create a personal message using the design of their blog page as the medium. This gives students ownership of their communications. Find many more ideas for class blogs in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom .

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This Day in History - Timelines, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, containing tons of timelines is great for a number of different content areas. There are many video clips included. Search for the timeline of your choice, browse topics...more
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This site, containing tons of timelines is great for a number of different content areas. There are many video clips included. Search for the timeline of your choice, browse topics or people, or play timeline trivia. Topics range from Mark Twain to Women's Suffrage to The Beatles to Lord of the Rings (and countless others). There is a lot of information written in a clear, understandable manner. Plus, the pictures help tell the story of the timeline. You can also contribute by creating events, voting, commenting, and adding descriptions, photos, and videos to this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): famous people (19), heroes (24), religions (62), timelines (63)

In the Classroom

To add events to the site, locate the "add event" found at the bottom of the Timelines.com homepage. Follow the very clear (with samples) directions to insert your own event. Viewing the timelines is simple. Click to watch videos, view the maps, click "Like" or "Dislike" or make comments by clicking on the words.

Monitor what students are viewing in the premade timelines. Also, teach students appropriate events to include and check their work before having them submit work so that they are more accurate.

Use the timelines on the site in science class to help students understand the history behind discoveries that they take for granted, such as the the space race. Today's students have never lived in a world where traveling to the moon was not possible, and understanding the history of the event could be very helpful in understanding the magnitude of such an event. This site would also be useful in art or music class. Have students investigate the history of their favorite group or type of music and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. How about a video (including music, of course). Share the videos on a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Bookr - pimpampum.net

Grades
K to 12
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Use this resource to quickly and easily create a book from a series of flickr pictures. Click on the fields on the front of the album to add a title ...more
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Use this resource to quickly and easily create a book from a series of flickr pictures. Click on the fields on the front of the album to add a title and an author (both required to share the finished product.) Enter a flickr user name to view that user's (or your) entire album. Drag a picture into the field of the page. Change to full page for the picture or to create a border around the picture. Add or remove pages by clicking the + or - buttons in the lower right. Change pages by clicking on the lower right hand corner. When finished, click publish. Share your creation by entering an email address. Copy and save the url of your book to find later. Start over by clicking "Recycle" which will overwrite your previous album. Click "view archive" to view the albums of others.

tag(s): flickr (7), images (269), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Bookr is so easy to use. Be sure to check out this review to learn how to get your own collection of photos to use in your album.

Use from Kindergarten to high school, including science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. Use Bookr to create animal books, what I did last summer, places I would like to visit, vocabulary albums with definitions and related pictures, and more. Here is a link to a nice grade 1 example. ANY grade can use this tool, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. Another idea, have students create personalized books for their parents or grandparents for special occasions (Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day).

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Jing - TechSmith

Grades
5 to 12
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Jing is a tool to take a picture or video of your computer screen. Download the free Jing software in either Windows or Mac versions. Screen captures can be easily ...more
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Jing is a tool to take a picture or video of your computer screen. Download the free Jing software in either Windows or Mac versions. Screen captures can be easily shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr through a quick link on the site. Mark up your screenshot with a text box, arrow, highlight, or rectangle to enhance items shared. Find lots of suggestions for using the site in the classroom through the "How it is Used" link. Jing allows you to screen capture whatever is on your computer screen, share it to Screencast.com, and then send the URL link to anyone so they can watch a sequence of things you do on your computer. The application says it is a way to share what you are seeing on your screen during your online conversations. This is useful, but for educators, check out the teacher uses to see some other possibilities.

tag(s): images (269)

In the Classroom

The software needs to be installed, but it is easy because onscreen directions are given. Just a click or two and you are ready to use Jing. Once it is installed and the program is running, there will be a sun in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Scroll over the sun, and you will see three rays come out of it. Capture (to take a picture of your screen), History (a type of screen scrapbook), and More (which has preferences and the quit to turn off the program).

Users unable to install software on school computers should request that the tech department install Jing on at least SOME machines.

Try to record a screen sequence using this web 2.0 tool to make how-to directions for projects and post to your class web page along with the assignment. Students can make a "tour" of online PROJECTS they CREATE or a tour of a web site they critique. Record a demo of safe internet practices and include it on your class web page for parents and kids, and help learning support students (or techno-apprehensive teachers) with VISUAL directions for computer tasks. Have students make projects that show how misleading some Internet advertising can be or to explain effective design principles used in a web site. Take an image of part of a site and annotate it, create a link for students to access from home on your classroom website or blog. Pronounce and define key vocabulary. Provide directions to explain and/or demonstrate how to create classroom projects, how projects will be graded, or where to find information on the internet. Narrate an Internet path, a site, or a series of pictures. Create an online book or comic strip and then narrate it, share your creation on a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Use in math or science to show and describe the steps in an equation or process.

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Bag the Web - BagTheWeb

Grades
5 to 12
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Want a location to place and share all of your vital links and information? Use Bag The Web to find a great place to view and share these links. Create ...more
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Want a location to place and share all of your vital links and information? Use Bag The Web to find a great place to view and share these links. Create an account easily and create your bag. Name it, find links, and paste them along with the titles and brief description. Find suggested resources below based upon information already entered. Add these easily with the click of a button. Use the embed code to place into a site, wiki, or blog to share with students or others. Share also by using Twitter, Facebook, or other services.

Here is an Example TF Edge "bag":

tag(s): resources (112), webquests (29)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to create an account, a new bag, and find relevant material to be placed into the bag. Use of embed codes or sharing of URL's are required to share the "bag" with others.

Create bags for each unit in your classes. Allow students to enter great resources that can then be used by all students. Build a bag for your class instead with resources that will be needed by students. Discuss annotating resources by creating short descriptors for each of the sites being linked. Create a class bag and then separate bags for units of study. Bags can be linked to each other, creating a great system to organize links and resources.

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