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Delivr - delivr.com

Grades
K to 12
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Delivr combines a URL shortening/tracking service with a QR-Code generator to easily share web-based information such as links to videos or web sites. Copy/paste any url into the bar....more
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Delivr combines a URL shortening/tracking service with a QR-Code generator to easily share web-based information such as links to videos or web sites. Copy/paste any url into the bar. Use the drop-down menu for sources such as YouTube or Flickr; then press enter to shorten the url and share. Share options include Facebook, Twitter, or as a QR code to save in several different formats. Free sign-up offers additional options such as an account dashboard that allows you to manage campaigns, produce reports, and download QR codes. The FREE plan requires email registration and allows 25 "active campaigns" or services for one user.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Use Delivr to shorten and share any long url. If you have a BYOD or 1:1 classroom with mobile devices, be sure they include free QR reader apps to open the codes you create. Create a QR code that directs to your class site or blog and include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest or research project more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to access a key or information to check their answers to questions. Expand knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that goes beyond the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students can easily access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. (Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student.) Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, student's reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Even non-readers can use QR codes that lead to images or videos. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of a series of words that need to be typed.

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OK2Ask''®: Be The Best: Professional Resources from TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Discover the vast professional resources available at TeachersFirst. Explore the timesaving (and easy to use) tools for differentiating, reading resources, rubrics, timesavers, and...more
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Discover the vast professional resources available at TeachersFirst. Explore the timesaving (and easy to use) tools for differentiating, reading resources, rubrics, timesavers, and more. Browse through "must-know" professional topics such as cyber bullying and copyright. Navigate the treasure-filled professional section of TeachersFirst. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Explore the various online professional tools and articles available at TeachersFirst. Find ways to save time using TeachersFirst for planning lessons. Explore to find materials relevant to your own classroom needs. (Follow-up) Plan and implement a student-centered, curriculum-related use of the resource(s) of choice as part of an upcoming teaching unit. Or plan how to use a professional tool (or article) to improve learning in your own classroom. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1b, 2a and b, 3d * The text of these standards is copyrighted. Please read the full text at ISTE's NETS-T page.

tag(s): copyright (47), cyberbullying (43), differentiation (47), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Not overly familiar with the FREE professional resources available at TeachersFirst? This is a great introduction. Learn about our tools for differentiating, reading resources, rubrics, timesavers. Find the important professional topics: cyber bullying, copyright, and more. Share the resources page with a friend. Or better yet, view this archived webinar together! Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT ideas! >. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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HapYak Interactive Video - HapYak

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Take any video to the next level by adding interactive content such as links, quizzes, drawings and more. Add chapters to videos over two minutes in length for viewers to ...more
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Take any video to the next level by adding interactive content such as links, quizzes, drawings and more. Add chapters to videos over two minutes in length for viewers to jump directly to important content. Sign up using your email and a password to begin creating content on any video. Follow the step by step directions for adding your video link and title. Videos can be located on any public site such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once the video is available, use links at the bottom of the screen to draw, add images from a url or your computer, create a quiz and more. When finished, share using the url provided or the embed code. The FREE plan includes 20 public videos and 1 author. All other features are the same (or very similar) to the paid plans.
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tag(s): quizzes (97), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create videos for your students or have older students create videos to share with others (using a teacher-controlled email registration). Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Tag key points at which students might have questions. At those points insert tags that reveal clarifying information from another video, a web page, an image, or an audio recording. If using student-created videos or having students create the HapYak video, check your school policy about sharing student work on the Internet. If using with students, be sure to discuss appropriate/inappropriate annotations to make on videos. Also discuss the fact that you are using someone else's video and should give proper credit for it. Embed annotated videos in your class wiki for the class to find them easily. Projects students could make include a cultural tour of a country, a detailed biography, or an author study to play in the library/media center.

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Calendly - calendly.com

Grades
K to 12
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Calendly is an appointment scheduling tool that syncs with your Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google login and set up scheduling pages with your availability preferences. Choose...more
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Calendly is an appointment scheduling tool that syncs with your Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google login and set up scheduling pages with your availability preferences. Choose from several options for length of appointments. Next, describe your event and even add additional questions for invitees if desired. Advanced options allow for making events public, limiting the number of participants, and minimizing schedule notice time. You can add buffer time before and after appointments. Share the link with anyone needing to schedule an appointment with you. They simply visit your calendar to schedule an appointment, and it appears automatically on your calendar. Invitees receive a confirmation screen upon completion of scheduling that includes a link to add the event to their own calendar.

tag(s): calendars (44), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use Calendly to schedule parent or student conferences that meet mutual scheduling needs. Create events for professional development sessions. Have participants choose a time for attending or presenting at sessions. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as an excellent scheduling tool for any event. Link this up with your Google Calendar and save time, emails, phone calls, and more!

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Flipboard - Flipboard

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Use Flipboard to collect, explore, and share information from many sources, all in a magazine-style format. Flipboard can hold specific articles and images you choose or a dynamic "feed"...more
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Use Flipboard to collect, explore, and share information from many sources, all in a magazine-style format. Flipboard can hold specific articles and images you choose or a dynamic "feed" from a web source such as CNN, a Twitter hashtag, or a favorite blog. Most Flipboard consumers read their magazines on mobile devices, but you can manage and access your magazines from the "web tools" page (the link from this review) on a computer. Create your personal magazine(s) with things you care about: news, staying connected, social networks, and more. Create an account with Flipboard and then connect with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. Click the More panel to browse other categories and add them to your magazines. Drag the Flipboard button to your bookmarks bar or use the Flipboard app on your smartphone or tablet. Find an article you want to add to your collection? Click the + button next to the article to save it or simply click "Flip It" on your computer's browser toolbar to add that web page to your magazine. Edit your magazines online and share with friends and colleagues. View your RSS feeds or follow your news stream in social media with this magazine-style interface. Most of the tutorial videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home. If you want to share the videos with students, bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Flipboard is a device agnostic tool. Load the free app on mobile devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), news (261), social networking (112), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create a class Flipboard account and create magazines for each unit studied through the year. Add information that is useful for student understanding, application of concepts, or materials to be used for projects. Create a magazine of great articles and information to read or search through. Consider creating a Flipboard magazine for student current events or happenings. Use this for reports on various topics such as food issues, diseases, political information, cultures around the world, and more. Make a customized "feed" for more advanced information on a topic for your gifted and advanced students. Students can curate a Flipboard of pictures or videos from the web on a certain topic to share with their classmates. Create a Professional Development Flipboard with other teachers. Teacher-librarians may want to work together with classroom teachers to create magazines of certain content for students to use during research units. Challenge your middle and high school gifted students to curate a magazine for themselves on a topic of individual interest, creating a "PLN" they can use for years. For example, a student interested in rocketry can locate and add blogs from rocket scientists, NASA feeds, and more. Talented writers may want to collect feeds from literary publications and author blogs. They will probably also discover related Flipboards created by others. As gifted students' interests change, they can curate other topical "magazines" to keep learning, even if the topics do not fall within the traditional curriculum. You may find that the personalization of learning is something ALL your students want to do.

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There are amazing collections on this site. Cindi, NC, Grades: 0 - 6

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PollCode - Boardhost.com

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for a way to quickly collect answers or opinions? Use PollCode to quickly create and embed a poll on your website. You can also share it using a simple ...more
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Looking for a way to quickly collect answers or opinions? Use PollCode to quickly create and embed a poll on your website. You can also share it using a simple link. Receive a breakdown of responses. Fill in the question along with up to 30 answer options. Use the code provided to embed the poll on any website. Share the poll also using social media share buttons. Sharing the poll by link allows users to also leave comments. Polls stay online until they have received no responses for 30 days.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Share polls on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit, asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why students would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to check student understanding as a means of formative assessment. Use a class account to have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase reader involvement. Have students create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with the interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues and current events that matter to them.

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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - Gilder Lehrman

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover American History through images, exhibits, primary sources, and more with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. As a teacher or student, you can have free access...more
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Discover American History through images, exhibits, primary sources, and more with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. As a teacher or student, you can have free access to the website. Find history by era beginning in the 1620's. Look at Native Americans, Colonization, The American Revolution, National Expansionism, Civil War and Reconstruction, Industrial America, The Great Depression and World War II, all the way to current times. There are special programs and exhibits for teachers and students. A large collection of primary sources complements many studies in social studies-- and literacy. As a member, save all of your favorites and make lists for each area of study. The multimedia tab reveals documentaries, videos and virtual field trips. History Now publishes monthly newsletters.

tag(s): 1600s (11), american revolution (86), civil war (145), colonization (16), great depression (24), industrial revolution (25), literacy (103), native americans (78), westward expansion (29), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Find many lesson plans, resources, and primary documents to enrich your history lessons. Make a splash with visual learners by starting class with artifacts from an era displayed on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Explore primary sources and historic texts as part of a Common Core literacy program cooperating among English, reading, and history teachers. Have your students sign up to enjoy access to all the resources. Challenge cooperative learning groups to choose a specific historical time period and become "experts." Have the groups create presentations to share with the class about what they learn. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Brainy Box - Russell Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even ...more
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even iPads and other tablets. Click through the tutorial by clicking the numbers under the cube and learn the details! When you are ready to create your own, click the New button to begin. Edit using standard web tools and click on a different cube face number to continue editing. Save your creation with a password to retrieve later. Be sure to save the url somewhere you can find it! Some of the introductory videos are hosted on YouTube. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (109), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Create a cube with various aspects of information about curriculum content to be shared with students. Even the non-readers could navigate a teacher-created cube if videos (or graphics) are included instead of words. Use a Brainy Box cube to give directions and examples to a specific project assigned to students. Create a cube about a particular person or event from history. Decide on the parameters for each of the sides of the cube before assigning. Create a cube to include specific information from characters in novels. Create a Brainy box to include related images or words. Students can brainstorm how these images or words are related. Assign a Brainy Box with student's favorite artwork and reasons chosen from their work through the year. Use a Brainy Box as a visual aid for student presentations. Challenge students to create their own Brainy Box on nearly any subject. Some additional ideas shared from Brainy Box: Produce a "Who" cube with an image and five key aspects of a character; Summarize a key topic with two facts, two images, and two videos; and Summarize a key event looking at different times in history. The possibilities here are endless! See more ideas in this review of a similar tool (3D Photo Cube) that creates a cube of still images.

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Cacheopedia - Cacheopedia

Grades
4 to 12
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Interested in geocaching (or want to know what it is?) This wiki offers an encyclopedia of geocaching. Cacheopedia indexes everything about geocaching. Learn the basics of geocaching....more
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Interested in geocaching (or want to know what it is?) This wiki offers an encyclopedia of geocaching. Cacheopedia indexes everything about geocaching. Learn the basics of geocaching. Find vocabulary, guides, and even communities. Use GPS units or GPS-enabled smart phones to get started geocaching.

tag(s): latitude (13), longitude (13), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Incorporate geocaching into geography, math, science, history, English, and physical education curricula. Develop understanding of latitude, longitude, and basic geography. Create lessons (or even better, have students do the creating) to learn about the area in which your students live. Encourage students to focus on places they have not been and include local history. Design a scavenger hunt around the school to move students through various caches and information they should gather or items they should see. Have a resource others would like to see? Read the Contribute section of Cacheopedia to write and submit information that others may find useful. Your students could, for example, create a geocache with a token about local history or biological species and help others learn from them! You might even make the "cached" item a QR code that directs to a wiki page your students create telling all about the local historic site or species found at the cache location. Learn more about QR Codes in this archived OK2Ask recording.

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CurriConnects Booklist: Weather, Climate, and Earth's Atmosphere - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 9
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Brace yourself for the weather in these books about storm phenomena, weather disasters, climate change, and weather's causes and effects. These non-fiction selections offer possible...more
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Brace yourself for the weather in these books about storm phenomena, weather disasters, climate change, and weather's causes and effects. These non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills and experience with "close reading." The interest levels for this list are predominantly elementary and middle school but include selections for more able readers. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): atmosphere (26), book lists (128), climate (92), earth (228), independent reading (128), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to select from this list for independent reading to support your unit on disasters, weather, or the Earth's atmosphere. Share it with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your science units. Extend the experience by having students create visual presentations of the concepts they learn. Share projects using one of these reviewed presentation tools from the TeachersFirst Edge.

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BookRX - Knight Lab Northwestern University

Grades
K to 12
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, ...more
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, a suggested book list appears based on information found in your Twitter feed! The site finds books based on hashtags used and other users you follow. Book recommendations appear in several categories such as food, business, or science and technology.

tag(s): book lists (128), independent reading (128), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use BookRX as a fun way to find book recommendations you may not otherwise know about. In lower grades, this is likely to be a teacher-only tool. Share with older students who actively use Twitter to help them find new reading material. Use with your classroom Twitter account to find books related to curriculum topics your class has been tweeting about or experts you have been following. Teachers at ANY level who have established a Twitter presence can use it to find professional reading materials. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
 

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MakeUseOf Cheat Sheets - makeuseof.com

Grades
K to 12
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for ...more
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, Shortcuts For Special Characters on Windows, Evernote Search Tips & Tricks, Skype Shortcuts for Mac OSX, YouTube Tips, and several others. View by clicking the thumbnail or use the download link to print in PDF format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): computers (95), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Useful both with students or personally, this is a site that you will definitely want to bookmark or save in your favorites. Print the guides for use with classroom computers, in computer labs, and to tape in student notebooks. Create a permanent link to these guides on your class website or blog for students (and parents) to use at home. Encourage students to use these sheets to become "techsperts" at a certain program and to share their expertise during byod activities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Howcast - The best how-to videos on the web - Howcast Media

Grades
6 to 12
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Howcast is an aggregator of the "best" how-to videos across the Internet. These short, easy to follow videos cover a wide range of topics, including pop-culture. They are created by...more
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Howcast is an aggregator of the "best" how-to videos across the Internet. These short, easy to follow videos cover a wide range of topics, including pop-culture. They are created by HowCast "experts." One very handy feature is the text transcript included with each video (scroll down to see it). Browse through the categories or type a search term into the search box to view available videos. Categories include Fitness, Home, Food, Health, Arts, Tech, and more. Click "Share" on each video page to share via social networking sites or copy the embed code to share the video on a website or blog. The HowCast videos are not simply YouTube searches, so they have different offerings from what you might find there. Not all content at this site is appropriate for the classroom. Please be sure to preview before you share with your students. This is not one that you want students to explore on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), careers (132), computers (95), financial literacy (80), money (193), politics (99), sports (97), video (253)

In the Classroom

The brief video clips on this site make it ideal for use when introducing or researching information. View together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Cue up and pause your video at a point AFTER the opening ad to save class time! Embed onto your class website or blog for students to view at home. Use the transcripts as examples of how-to speeches and have students both read and watch to analyze the details of how to organize such a speech before making their own videos or giving live informational speeches. Bookmark and save for use as How To questions arise throughout the year. For example, if you have a question about using Microsoft Excel, search Howcast to find about 30 videos explaining different tools and tricks within the program. Preview any search results before sharing with the class. Use Howcast videos as examples in any subject area and challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Haiku Deck - haikudeck.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit...more
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit layouts, and add notes to personalize each slide. Upload your own images or type a phrase to find images included in Haiku Deck's extensive library. Save and share using social networking links or embed code when finished. Finished decks may also be saved as a PDF or exported to SlideShare reviewed here. Set your privacy options as public, restricted to only those with the url, or private. At the time of this review, Haiku was available on the web and iPad platforms only.

tag(s): images (266), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Create slide presentations for any lesson or teach students to create slides for class projects. In lower grades, create a project together on your interactive whiteboard or create them for your students to use. Create a presentation for use during Open Houses, class trips, or school events. Embed the slides on your class blog. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. The possibilities are unlimited. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. If you are lucky enough to have iPads for use in your classroom, download the app for students to create slide shows on their own.

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Vidtionary - vidtionary.com

Grades
K to 12
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in...more
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in the background. Browse entries using the search bar or view featured collections. Browse alphabetically or explore collections. Because of the wide range of topics and difficulty levels, these vocabulary words could be used with any age. Video lengths run less than one minute per definition, many as short as 10-15 seconds. Originally designed to teach English to speakers of Korean and Japanese, the visual nature of the site appeals to all language learners.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

While this site is ideal for any student learning new vocabulary, it is especially useful for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students with vocabulary deficits. Share selected videos in primary grades to help students see how new words are defined and spelled. Challenge your gifted students to find new vocabulary words to share with the class. Use in any classroom as a model (sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Then assign cooperative learning groups to create Vidtionary inspired videos of their own to explain curriculum terms, world language vocabulary, or SAT words. Use a tool like Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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GIFMaker - GIFmaker.me

Grades
K to 12
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and...more
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and upload the images that you want to use (in PNG, GIF, or JPG format). Choose your animation speed and image size. You can even choose an image from your smartphone. Animations can be run backwards to create another different animation. Download the finished creation to your desktop.

tag(s): animation (63), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Create animations of any image! Animate inanimate objects such as a leaf or other object by taking two different pictures of it so it can "change." Use your animations as a focus for story creation or free writing. Animate images used by students for their individual web pages to set the scene for their "About Me" introductions. Design and shoot images to animate as an introduction to a project or report. Challenge older students to create their own animated GIF images. (No registration is required.) Photograph and create GIFs to show two stages of insect development, the growth of a plant, or other scientific concepts.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ImageCodr - Xteq Systems

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this tool to correctly use and give proper credit for images from Flickr Creative Commons on any web age or wiki. Search for images using Flickr Creative Commons reviewed ...more
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Use this tool to correctly use and give proper credit for images from Flickr Creative Commons on any web age or wiki. Search for images using Flickr Creative Commons reviewed here or from the handy link provided on ImageCodr. Enter the URL for the picture page from Flickr, and ImageCodr will generate a block of HTML code for you to include on your web page or other online project. This code will make both the image AND the appropriate credit display. A brief licensing summary shows as a caption when you use the embed code. Note that this tool does not work for including images and credits in offline projects such as PowerPoint slides. It will work in any online tool that allows embed codes!

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this tool whenever Flickr Creative Commons pictures are used for any classwork or project. Be sure students understand the different types of images available and use ones that are licensed correctly. Use the embed code wherever you need to place the image, and BOTH the image AND the licensing will be displayed. Be sure to model use of this tool whenever using images from Flickr. What a handy way to include images on your own class web page! Post images as writing prompts, you-name-it science questions, or world language conversation starters, all from a simple Flickr CC image search!

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Class Messenger - Learn Anything, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting...more
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting up an account takes you about 30 seconds! Create an account and a class. Students and/or parents create accounts as well. Parents (or students) then search for teacher name, class, or username to join. You can choose messages to be received through the app, by text message, or via email. Requests to join must first be approved by the teacher before receiving any messages. From the teacher dashboard, compose the type of message you wish to send, choose the recipients of the message, and type the body of the message. Messages are sent to each of the recipients using their chosen method. If students choose the SMS option, be sure they obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply.

tag(s): classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (199), homework (44), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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Wordless News - Maria Fabrizio

Grades
5 to 12
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"See" daily news headlines in illustration form on this clever blog created by illustrator/designer Maria Fabrizio. Each day she chooses a headline to illustrate in a sort of visual...more
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"See" daily news headlines in illustration form on this clever blog created by illustrator/designer Maria Fabrizio. Each day she chooses a headline to illustrate in a sort of visual riddle, and she also includes the link to the article that inspired it. The result: an engaging visual prompt that tempts your guess at one of the day's top stories. The news sources vary among various mainstream U.S. news sources, such as the New York Times, NBC, NPR, or USA Today. Challenge yourself to stay up to date and think visually. Cycle back through the daily entries since early 2013 or search by clickable tags to see the breadth of news represented here and find related stories. You can also sign up to receive the daily stories via email.

tag(s): news (261), visual thinking (10)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to connect with current events by sharing the daily post (or one per week) on your projector or interactive whiteboard as students enter homeroom or settle in for the start of class. If you teach reading, this is the perfect way to entice students to READ informational texts with a visual image in mind, adding a purpose to their reading of non-fiction. This is a very creative way to practice close reading, as students look for the reasons behind the illustrator's choices. Extend the activity by challenging students in reading OR social studies classes to create their own Wordless News illustrations to reflect a news story they find on their own. Share the challenges on a class wiki for other students to "guess" and include the links to the stories. Art teachers can use this blog as an example of the many ways artists find inspiration in everyday life. Even the very young can "draw" a news story they read. ESL/ELL teachers can use these illustrations to build speaking vocabulary as students discuss and guess the news stories and practice their language skills reading the actual text. Use this blog in social studies class to inspire historic " wordless news" stories with accompanying articles written by students (or primary source stories from the time). What would the illustration and article be like for the Emancipation Proclamation?

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PledgeCents - pledgecents.com

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need funds for a classroom project or equipment? PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to classroom and school fundraising. Begin with a fundraising idea and a goal. ...more
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Do you need funds for a classroom project or equipment? PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to classroom and school fundraising. Begin with a fundraising idea and a goal. Create your class page with a project description, pictures, videos, and other relevant information. Share your page through social media links to Facebook, Twitter, and more. More simply, share the link on your class web page. Donors click to "invest" in your cause and are guided through a simple process to donate either by name or anonymously. After the project deadline, collect funds easily and safely for use with your project.

tag(s): grants (19), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a potential funding source or make a donation. Join the site (free). Then take the time to write up a clearly-worded project proposal along with pictures and video. You can even make the project a challenge to your school community, if you wish. If you are a student council or Key Club adviser, make one or more of the projects on this site your targeted service project for the year. Or use this venue to collect funds to purchase materials for your own school or club service projects. Encourage philanthropy to support good causes: kids helping kids! Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a fundraising tool for any and all projects. Don't forget to send the project descriptions with local media such as small town newspapers, local TV, or service groups who might make a donation.

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