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Engineer a Crop - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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Concerned about the risks and benefits associated with GMO's (genetically modified organisms)? The use of GMO's is in the news right now: Do we have a right to know what ...more
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Concerned about the risks and benefits associated with GMO's (genetically modified organisms)? The use of GMO's is in the news right now: Do we have a right to know what is in our food? Is it really bad for us? Use this interactive to experiment with developing the best corn plants through selective breeding. Then, use bioengineering manipulation to develop a tomato plant resistant to certain insects. Learn how each method works, compare your success, and end by reading viewpoints about GMOs. Both Flash and html versions of the interactive are available.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): evolution (100), genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this interactive when discussing DNA, Genetics, and Genetic Engineering methods. As students question whether GMO's are a good idea, many questions can be answered using the interactive. Be sure to also include links on effects to the environment and address many of the other points discussed in the viewpoints. Create an in class or online debate within your classes in the use of GMO's. Use many of the points used in the interactive, backing up viewpoints with additional research and material learned in class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Nature Soundmap - Wild Ambience

Grades
K to 12
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Immerse yourself in soundscapes from around the world! Soundscapes feature recordings of bird songs, frogs, insects, hippos in a pool, and more. Hover over the location points to view...more
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Immerse yourself in soundscapes from around the world! Soundscapes feature recordings of bird songs, frogs, insects, hippos in a pool, and more. Hover over the location points to view the title. Choose one of the locations on the World map to view information about the nature of the recording, a picture of the organism featured, a link to the recordist and videos, and a "Listen" button to play the recording. Move around the map as you would in Google Maps, (reviewed here). Zoom in and out to see locations all around the world.

tag(s): animals (276), biomes (116), cultures (105), environment (317), habitats (84), plants (144), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when discussing various animal units or a unit on behavior. When discussing a country or culture in history, consider playing various soundscapes to identify with the culture. Be sure to provide this link for students when reporting on a culture in front of the class. Students can play the soundscapes while presenting information on the culture (turn up your speakers!). Compare different types of animals around the world. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare two different types of animals. Students can brainstorm similarities and differences and follow this activity with research into the various species. In lower grades, play soundscapes during classroom read-alouds about the animals or places in the recording. Make the Soundscapes site a listening/writing center in your elementary science classroom and ask your young scientists to describe what they hear as they learn about making observations as scientists.

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Virtual Roach - Interactive Cockroach - Orkin

Grades
4 to 12
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Get a close-up view of one of life's most despicable creatures with this interactive exploration of the cockroach. Choose any portion of the interior or exterior anatomy to begin. Click...more
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Get a close-up view of one of life's most despicable creatures with this interactive exploration of the cockroach. Choose any portion of the interior or exterior anatomy to begin. Click to enlarge different areas and view the detail of each structure. No registration is necessary, however there is a "Get an Estimate" ad from Orkin that appears over and over (kind of "bugs" you?!). You do NOT need to fill this out. Just scroll down or to the side to find the Roach activity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): insects (69)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or on classroom computers for students to explore and discover different parts of a roach's anatomy. Yes, you will probably hear cries of disgust. Create a link to the site on your class webpage or blog for students to view at home. Challenge students to research more about roaches or other pesky critters, where to find them, the signs that you may have an "insect invasion," or another pertinent information about this and other species. Have student collect media (videos and more) from multiple online sources to show their research findings using a tool such as Dragontape, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kickboard for Teachers - Kickboard

Grades
K to 12
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Kickboard for Teachers is an online grade book that includes features to track student behavior, facilitate parent communication, and to identify trends in student responses. It offers...more
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Kickboard for Teachers is an online grade book that includes features to track student behavior, facilitate parent communication, and to identify trends in student responses. It offers the ability to correlate assessments to specific skills or standards including state and Common Core standards. Use features in Kickboard to personalize reward and consequence systems to meet individual needs. View snapshots of individual students showing overall performance on a group of skills as well as comparisons to group performance. Class setup and data input is quick and easy. Information is automatically backed up and saved. View an introductory video before starting to use this site.

tag(s): assessment (99), classroom management (134), data (148)

In the Classroom

Up to three teachers in an individual school may use Kickboard for free. Use Kickboard to collaborate and share data with other teachers for a particular class or group of students. This would be especially helpful for collaborating between learning support and regular classroom teachers when using a behavior plan. Share Kickboard information with parents as part of your ongoing communication process. Use Kickboard to collect and gather information for IEP and other intervention and data collection meetings. Track student behavior for positive reinforcement or discipline purposes. This versatile tool has many possibilities.

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Here There Everywhere- News for Kids - Claudia David Heitler - News for Kids, Inc.

Grades
4 to 10
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Find news features on current events, politics, space, weather, sports, and more. This would be useful in any classroom where a "knowledge of the now" is a focus. At the ...more
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Find news features on current events, politics, space, weather, sports, and more. This would be useful in any classroom where a "knowledge of the now" is a focus. At the time of this review some of the specific topics included granting a wish to a terminally ill young child, remembering JFK 50 years after his assassination, a football game honoring a special needs student, the discovery of new planets, and much more. Subscribe to their newsletter to receive updates on new articles. For an interesting discussion about who writes these news stories, take a look at "About." The site creator used to be a producer for the Today Show!

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events. The reading level of the stories is generally upper elementary, but the topics are of interest through high school. These short articles would be great for practice with informational texts. Keep this site as part of a list for students to access, including weaker readers and ESL/ELL students who can use the videos to aid understanding. Have students research whats going on via this news site, and present a small presentation at the beginning of class. Students can either present orally or, for the technologically inclined, create a short video summarizing the same information. Consider using a bookmark site such as Diigo, reviewed here, to share newsworthy items that correlate with your class curriculum.

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Flippity - Flippity.net

Grades
6 to 12
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Easily create flashcards from Google spreadsheet data using Flippity. Simple directions offer clear instruction about downloading the template and entering data terms. Publish data...more
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Easily create flashcards from Google spreadsheet data using Flippity. Simple directions offer clear instruction about downloading the template and entering data terms. Publish data and receive the url for viewing and sharing your flashcard set. Completed sets offer options for viewing either side of cards, moving through the set, and reloading/reshuffling the set. While registration is not required for this tool, you do need a Google account. Flippity also offers several other activities you may find useful such as Quiz Show, Spelling Words, Mad Lib, Badge Tracker, and others.

tag(s): flash cards (46), game based learning (103), quiz (85), quizzes (97), test prep (96), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

This is a fantastic tool for vocabulary development in any subject area! Create flashcards for your classes or have them make their own using individual or a whole class Google account. Use them as an introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and again as a final review. It is a nice three-for-one deal! Use with science terms or for standardized test preparation. Have students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Encourage students in upper grades to create their own spreadsheet and flash card sets. Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review before tests. Have students create flash card sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports. Create and collect sets of vocabulary cards for your world language or ESL/ELL classes.

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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.
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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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Comic Creator - Boys' Life

Grades
K to 4
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Create simple cartoons using the Comic Creator. The limited number of characters makes this easy to use for a beginner. Choose from the two main characters, Pee Wee or Pedro. ...more
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Create simple cartoons using the Comic Creator. The limited number of characters makes this easy to use for a beginner. Choose from the two main characters, Pee Wee or Pedro. Add one of the few other characters (all characters are boys). Change the background, add text, or include objects. Choose from a single slide format or a three picture cartoon. Print completed comics using the print button. If you want more character options, you may want to try this simple comic creator, as well.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (142), emotions (35)

In the Classroom

Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. To have options for female characters, you also may want to offer the choice of using this other comic creator. Use the dialog box (bubbles) to explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or school news! Why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and/or feelings. Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or create pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.

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Crunchzilla - Crunchzilla

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn basic computer coding skills using this tool. There are three difficulty levels: Code Monster for preteens (or even younger), Code Maven for teens and young adults, or Game Maven...more
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Learn basic computer coding skills using this tool. There are three difficulty levels: Code Monster for preteens (or even younger), Code Maven for teens and young adults, or Game Maven for ages 16+. Code Monster prompts younger students to change various parameters of an already given code. As they enter different parts to the code, the changes in the object can be seen immediately. Simply click on the dialogue bubble and a new lesson will appear. Unfortunately, creations cannot be saved. (Students can screenshot their creations.) Use Code Maven with older teens, though it appears to have the same lessons as Code Monster. Game Maven is the third and most advanced programming tutorial in this series. Use this to teach a little about programming by creating easy games. In all three tools, skip to further lessons by clicking on the dialogue balloons. Use the back button to return to previous lessons. It is also easy to undo a lesson and start a code over with the reset button. In all tools, if you return to the same browser on the same machine, it will return to the last lesson you were on. Note: Be sure to have played with Code Maven prior to using Game Maven as those lessons are needed to understand how to program (unless there is prior coding experience).

tag(s): coding (47), computers (94)

In the Classroom

When discussing computer science and how technology touches all of our lives, be sure to discuss coding and that it is a language that everyone can learn. Show the HTML markup of a page to show what the computer "reads" to form what websites look like. Use these tools to show basics in coding. When students are working, be sure to not rescue them with answers. Encourage learning by telling them to ask three other students first before asking the teacher AND that it is okay if we learn it together. Use other coding programs such as Scratch, reviewed here. Have students create a tutorial or a quick reference guide for using coding. Create a class wiki to share your reference guide. If you want to learn more about wikis, check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Share this site with your young gamers to lure them into the logical world of coding -- and actually build STEM skills in the process.

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ParrMr - Mr. Parr

Grades
4 to 9
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Explore this rich collection of clever YouTube videos of songs with on-screen lyrics to learn important science concepts! Be sure to check out some pretty clever songs including The...more
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Explore this rich collection of clever YouTube videos of songs with on-screen lyrics to learn important science concepts! Be sure to check out some pretty clever songs including The Rock Cycle, Chemical Compounds in Cells, and the DNA song. The lyrics to the song are shown below the video on each YouTube page to easily copy and paste for students to follow along. If your district blocks YouTube, 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. Even if your students roll their eyes at the videos/songs, the concepts (and tunes) will definitely stick in their minds!

tag(s): animals (276), atoms (55), cells (102), climate (92), dna (69), energy (197), human body (120), matter (56), molecules (43), moon (72), motion (58), rock cycle (9), water cycle (33), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Play songs on an Interactive Whiteboard or Projector for the entire class. Embed videos on your teacher page for review by students. Use these songs as an introduction to units. After viewing a video, brainstorm to identify words students know or are not familiar with. Copy the lyrics into a document and, as you discuss the material in class, encourage students to annotate the lyrics with notes about the content. Be sure to play the video often throughout the unit to reconnect with material. Challenge your more musical students to team up with a class poet to write your own songs-- for extra credit and extra fun!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sci-Spy - National Centre for Technology in Education

Grades
K to 5
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Explore this free tool for great activities and lessons to show young scientists how science surrounds their everyday lives! These units feature a short video with interactive games...more
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Explore this free tool for great activities and lessons to show young scientists how science surrounds their everyday lives! These units feature a short video with interactive games and quizzes along with information sheets, experiments, and web links to cover a variety of science topics. There are many additional topics under the larger units of Energy and Forces, Living things, and Environmental Awareness. Some of the web links provided were not working at the time of this review. If you plan to have students research using these links, you may want to find alternatives. The videos require Windows Media Player and appear to play only on Windows computers. Even after installing a Mac plugin for WMV files, they did not work.

tag(s): bacteria (30), ceramics (5), electricity (89), energy (197), environment (317), genetics (90), heat (15), magnetism (35), plants (144), plastics (9), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the Teachers' notes for great ideas and extension activities for exploring the various topics. There are many topics of interest: Stone Age Science, Plastics, Fire, Absorbency, and more. Browse the Ceramics topic under Materials for ideas that are sure to please every young child. As an initial activity, ask students what they know about the topic and discuss as a class. Watch the video together and use the fact sheet for class discussion. Create a study guide to move students through the material and find the important information. Follow the Investigation for great hands-on experiences exploring with materials. Use the Quiz Time question on an Interactive Whiteboard or Projector to discuss the answers to the question as a class. Connect the units with your class show and tell. Encourage students to bring examples of various materials, types of plastics, metals, and more to enhance the lessons on this site. Connect characters or happenings in literature, art, and history with the various topics of science to learn more about our world!
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HapYak Interactive Video - HapYak

Grades
3 to 12
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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 ...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.
This site includes advertising.

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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Your Brain Map: 84 Strategies for Accelerated Learning - Open Colleges

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore the different portions of the brain and find strategies for improving brain function with this enlightening interactive. Click on any portion of the brain to view its description...more
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Explore the different portions of the brain and find strategies for improving brain function with this enlightening interactive. Click on any portion of the brain to view its description and function. Choose links on the right side of the page to view the limbic system and neuron information. The neuron section includes information about studies and strategies to improve function.

tag(s): body systems (57), brain (72), human body (120)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector. View together to explore and learn about different portions of the brain. Discuss various strategies that are shared at this site. 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 a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.

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Science of NHL Hockey - NBC Learn

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore the science and math behind the sport of Ice Hockey with these 10 videos offered by NBC Learn. Topics include Hockey Geometry, Science of NHL Hockey: Kinematics, Science of...more
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Explore the science and math behind the sport of Ice Hockey with these 10 videos offered by NBC Learn. Topics include Hockey Geometry, Science of NHL Hockey: Kinematics, Science of NHL Hockey: Newton's Three Laws of Motion, Science of NHL Hockey: Force, Impulse & Collisions and more. Videos are approximately 5-10 minutes in length and include lessons related to the video topic along with a transcript. Lessons are for grades 5-8 or 9-12. Although part of a larger site that charges for access, these videos and lessons are all free.
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tag(s): angles (88), density (20), energy (197), geometric shapes (163), mass (23), motion (58), sports (96), statistics (122), vectors (25), volume (45)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as an introduction to any of the science or math topics included. Challenge students to find examples in other sports of concepts introduced. Use portions of included lesson plans as extension activities. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), 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.

Comments

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

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Hootsuite - Hootsuite Media, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Manage all of your social networks (Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ Pages, Facebook, and more) from one place: HootSuite. This is especially helpful for professional development or for organizing...more
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Manage all of your social networks (Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ Pages, Facebook, and more) from one place: HootSuite. This is especially helpful for professional development or for organizing class learning experiences via Twitter. Learn more about Twitter in this review and TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Use Hootsuite to easily and quickly receive updates from followers, direct messages, Facebook updates, and follow hashtag conversations all in one convenient interface. Use this application to follow the multitude of educational chats on Twitter using hashtags. Need help using Hootsuite? Click "Resources" on the site to find help with various issues, as well as video tutorials. Hootsuite is available as an add-in for many browsers as well as an app for mobile devices.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Set up Hootsuite by providing information such as your Twitter and Facebook name. Create columns for the various conversations such as "All Friends," "Facebook status updates," "Direct Messages," and more. Create a new Column to follow all the tweets of a particular person or a specific hashtag. Simply enter the username or the hashtag to instantly follow all conversations. Have more than one Twitter account? No problem. Follow all conversations by adding up to five accounts. Click on the picture of each follower for simple commands such as "Reply," "Retweet," "Direct Message," or "Other actions" to manage the user or the Tweet given. Easily follow or unfollow others. Create a column for each hashtag for the best way to keep track of chats on education topics.

Check that Twitter is accessible at school. Twitter is safest used as a whole class activity. If using Twitter with students, be sure you are following the students in order to monitor their use. Set up searches for curriculum-related topics, such as climate change or earthquakes. Use this tool to manage some of the best professional development around. Learn from other like educators, and challenge thinking and learning to greatly impact the lives of your students. Create connections that help you grow as an individual and an educator. Find more ideas in TeachersFirst's Twitter review.

If you teach gifted students, use Hootsuite on classroom computers for them to set up specific searches related to the topics your class is studying. Challenge them to act as your class Twitter curators, checking out related articles and links that will bring more real-world examples to the rest of the class or raise related debates that the gifted student can investigate. Find professionals in the field for your gifted students to ask questions about their science experiments and interests. Be sure to discuss safety and responsible online behavior if you permit students to send tweets on their own. Of course you will be able to "see" what they have sent if they use a class account.

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PollCode - Boardhost.com

Grades
3 to 12
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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 ...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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100Reporters - 100 Reporters

Grades
8 to 12
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One hundred of the World's top reporters have joined forces to take aim at corruption around the World. View news stories include various topics such as Agriculture, Business, Government,...more
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One hundred of the World's top reporters have joined forces to take aim at corruption around the World. View news stories include various topics such as Agriculture, Business, Government, and more. Be sure to click on the World tab to view articles by region. Build your own critical thinking as you read these articles and compare them with typical media sources. Although all articles appear perfectly appropriate for older students, we still suggest previewing this site before you share with students. Some of the topics are sensitive and/or graphic.
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tag(s): media literacy (58), persuasive writing (55)

In the Classroom

In discussions of current events, find great news articles that get to the heart of the story. Compare them with other news outlets to discuss how money and the viewpoints of business owners can cloud the actual reporting. Be sure to discuss how to find parent websites by investigating the shortened address (url) of sites as well as the advertisements found on pages. Compare and contrast news stories found on a variety of news pages. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare two news stories. In world language or world cultures classes, discover what the "hot topics" are by looking at news stories from the region being studied. In writing classes, use these articles compared with those on the same topic from other sources for students to collect supporting evidence to use in essay writing.

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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.
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tag(s): creativity (109), images (265), 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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