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National Robotics Week - iRobot Corporation

Grades
3 to 12
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The U.S. is a leader in robotics technology development! Join the yearly celebration by participating in some of the events and activities found at this National Robotics Week site....more
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The U.S. is a leader in robotics technology development! Join the yearly celebration by participating in some of the events and activities found at this National Robotics Week site. Use the activities on this site to inspire students to pursue careers in robotics and other STEM-related fields. Download robot trading cards featuring 10 of the most famous robots. Cards include their stats, coaches, and fun facts. Read about the Instuctables contest where you can enter to share your robot projects with the world and even win some cool prizes. Clicking on Bleaker the Rechargeable Dog will take you to comics that include robots. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find a map showing events by state. Once you get the map, scroll down the page and find the Filter Events By State and a list of all events.

tag(s): engineering (128), robotics (24), STEM (156)

In the Classroom

Start a discussion about what students know about robots. Introduce them to the National Robotics Week celebration and get them involved in one of the events or the Instructables contest. Not sure where to start? Check out the resources on this page. Alternatively, try a robotics simulation at Wonderville Robot Factory, reviewed here. Give small teams of students a choice to use Mindmeister, reviewed here, and create a mind map for the steps they have to take to build a robot. Have students create a comic strip about building a robot or something the robot will do using Write Comics, reviewed here.

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Classtools Countdown Timer - Classtools.net

Grades
K to 12
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to...more
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to your timer. Choose the Get Started button to begin and follow prompts to choose included music or select your own from any YouTube video. Click the save icon to receive a personalized URL for sharing.

tag(s): classroom management (153), counting (120), time (141)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. Get out your interactive whiteboard or projection screen (or even the classroom desktop computer) and make sure the speakers are turned up. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit the time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature for timing the rotations from center to center. You can even use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups! A clever classroom management tool would be to start the visible count-down on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Select calming music for quiet times. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Kindergarten students can practice counting along with the watch!

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Newsela - Students Vote 2016 - Matthew Gross

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4 to 12
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Create informed citizens and voters with Newsela's Student's Vote 2016. At their reading level, students learn about the candidates and vote in the "student primary." Newsela publishes...more
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Create informed citizens and voters with Newsela's Student's Vote 2016. At their reading level, students learn about the candidates and vote in the "student primary." Newsela publishes high-interest news articles, from the best news sources, at five reading levels. See the TeachersFirst review here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (78), news (264), newspapers (97), reading comprehension (119)

In the Classroom

If you haven't already, sign up for Newsela and create your class. Add students by using a teacher (or parent) provided code rather than an email address. Go to the Election Text Sets and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading level versions. Be sure to set up a time for your students to vote on election day.

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MarvellousMe - MarvellousMe

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K to 6
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Promote parent interaction and information about classroom activities with MarvellousMe. Sign up to begin sharing daily classroom events and information with parents and promote positive...more
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Promote parent interaction and information about classroom activities with MarvellousMe. Sign up to begin sharing daily classroom events and information with parents and promote positive behaviors through award badges. Quickly upload images, videos, or record a message to share using the dashboard tools. Adjust the settings to send messages to all parents or for private messages. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. MarvellousMe offers apps for all mobile devices and suggests using the Chrome browser for online use.

Please be aware that MarvellousMe falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use MarvellousMe with their child. Be sure to click the Privacy Center or Terms of Use link at the bottom of any page and read more about FERPA and MarvellousMe.

tag(s): behavior (47), classroom management (153), DAT device agnostic tool (173)

In the Classroom

Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use MarvellousMe to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to teachers or parents of special needs students. This tool could be invaluable for a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.

Consider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom.

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Channel One News: One Vote - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company

Grades
3 to 12
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Channel One News: One Vote is sure to appeal to and educate young readers. They will meet candidates, and learn how the election process works through engaging videos, infographics,...more
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Channel One News: One Vote is sure to appeal to and educate young readers. They will meet candidates, and learn how the election process works through engaging videos, infographics, and interactive pages. Find a delegate tracker and a field guide to the candidates (both interactive), a Presidential Trail Calendar and Results, information about One Vote's mock election, and more. Scrolling towards the bottom of the landing page you will find 60-second wrap-ups for each week, two quizzes about the importance of voting and where you stand, and various articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (78), news (264)

In the Classroom

Make sure your students know what the U.S. primaries are about and why voting is so important. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce One Vote to students. Set up a link on class computers, or at a learning center for students to take the two quizzes. They can learn about why each ballot counts and find a match to the candidate they lean towards. This will help them see where they stand on issues like taxes, immigration, and climate change. Each week show the 60-second wrap up and hold a discussion. Consider using a tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, so the quiet and shy students have a chance to participate in the discussion, too. View the information about mock elections to see if you would like to set one up for your class or school. Put a link to this site on your class webpage for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zoom - Eric Yuan

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with up to 50 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting...more
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Collaborate with up to 50 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting times, and private or group chat. Up to 40 minutes of meeting time is included with the free meeting plans. Sign up using your email or social network account to begin hosting a meeting. The step by step instructions make it easy to quickly begin video conferencing at your convenience.

tag(s): chat (53), DAT device agnostic tool (173), parent conferences (25), video (275)

In the Classroom

Use Zoom to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Collaborate with experts such as authors and scientists with classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Consider using a tool such as Remind, reviewed here, to alert parents and students when your sessions are open. Use Zoom for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects! Buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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Mindset Kit - The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS)

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K to 12
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons...more
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons and activities provide tools for developing positive mindsets, in turn, leading to increased academic performance. Choose the section for teachers to find seven lessons for educator teams, or take advantage of ten lessons for parents to learn about growth mindset and how to instill this in students. Other portions contain ideas for specific content areas and mentors.

tag(s): brain (73), learning styles (21), professional development (158)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons and ideas on this site in your classroom and when working with parents. These tools are especially useful for times when a student (or parent) claims that they were never good in a particular subject. Share ideas with your peers as part of your ongoing professional development, discuss ideas from this site and how they can be incorporated as part of a school-wide action. Take advantage of the many ideas featured in the Popular Practices section to learn how to use ideas in any classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OneNote - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies...more
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies of files or documents from your computer into OneNote. Share and collaborate with others. Access your OneNote account by signing in to any computer or device.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), organizational skills (127)

In the Classroom

Use OneNote for all notes, ideas, and photographs in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of OneNote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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ThemeSpark (Beta) - David Hunter

Grades
K to 12
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Create standards-based lessons and rubrics in minutes with ThemeSpark. Incorporate your ready-made materials or use global resources available on the site. The lesson builder includes...more
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Create standards-based lessons and rubrics in minutes with ThemeSpark. Incorporate your ready-made materials or use global resources available on the site. The lesson builder includes the ability to add a hook, information to learn, practice, and application activity. When finished, download the lesson in an easy to use format. Be sure to watch the QuickStart Lesson Builder video and read through the FAQ section on the site for full information about creating lessons and using ThemeSpark. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (108), professional development (158), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use ThemeSpark for all of your lesson planning. Copy and paste current lesson plans to Theme Spark to match to standards. Collaborate with peers to create and develop standards-based lessons for your entire curriculum. This is perfect for when you need to have a sub, and for those teachers who must have a week of lesson plans on their desk for an administrator.

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PenPal Schools - Joe Troyen

Grades
4 to 12
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PenPal Schools connects learners from around the world with three to six-week courses in cross-cultural learning and understanding. After sign up, PenPal Schools matches classes based...more
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PenPal Schools connects learners from around the world with three to six-week courses in cross-cultural learning and understanding. After sign up, PenPal Schools matches classes based on class size and age range. Choose courses from four categories based on global issues or American issues. Each week, students log in to complete an assignment that typically involves viewing a video and reading a news article before answering a set of questions. Assignments are aligned with the Common Core Standards. PenPal Schools will work on any device with a modern web browser and an Internet connection.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120)

In the Classroom

Create an account and participate in different courses as part of your studies of current events. Enrich course content by having students create an annotated image based on discussion questions including text boxes, related links, and even video. Use Thinglink, reviewed here, for this activity. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a tool such as podOmatic, reviewed here.

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The Wright Brothers - Who Were Wilbur & Orville? - Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

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K to 12
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Learn how two ordinary bicycle mechanics changed the world with this in-depth look at the life of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Follow the timeline beginning in 1630 to learn about ...more
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Learn how two ordinary bicycle mechanics changed the world with this in-depth look at the life of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Follow the timeline beginning in 1630 to learn about the first American Wright, Samuel, as he arrived in Massachusetts with the Puritans. Continue learning about the Wright family's settlement in Ohio and their work with bicycles leading on up to their famous flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Be sure to check out the interactive experiments, classroom activities, and lesson plans linked near the bottom of the page.

tag(s): aviation (39), flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

What a perfect addition to a lesson about the Wright brothers or a science unit about aviation (physics and more)! Have students work in cooperative learning groups and research a specific topic found at this site. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the Wright brothers or as a spectator viewing one of the first flying machines. Be sure to take advantage of the free experiments and activities available on the site.

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Sign Generator - Ryland Sanders

Grades
K to 12
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Create a personalized sign using the many templates offered on the Sign Generator. Options include personalized cakes, cartoon characters, movie marquees, and much more. Click the thumbnail...more
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Create a personalized sign using the many templates offered on the Sign Generator. Options include personalized cakes, cartoon characters, movie marquees, and much more. Click the thumbnail of the design you want, add your text into the provided lines, and click the link to finish. Your personalized sign appears on a popup image ready to save onto your computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic design (35), images (275), photography (161), posters (40)

In the Classroom

Create signs to include with multimedia projects. Customize a sign for use on your interactive whiteboard with directions for seat work or to introduce students presenting projects to the class. Have students use the images to give short story summaries using only four to six words. Create a set of class rules using one of the templates, and then print and post them on a bulletin board.
 

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Big Ideas Video Series - Class Dojo

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K to 8
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The Big Ideas Series, offer by ClassDojo, provides a five part video series encouraging students to explore different ways to discover a growth mindset. Each topic takes a look at ...more
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The Big Ideas Series, offer by ClassDojo, provides a five part video series encouraging students to explore different ways to discover a growth mindset. Each topic takes a look at a secret of the brain and how to use this science to improve learning. Ideas within videos discuss concepts such as the magic of mistakes and taking tasks a little at a time. Each short video includes a discussion guide to download for classroom use and a page with take-home questions for parent use. 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.

tag(s): brain (73), emotions (35), learning styles (21)

In the Classroom

Share videos with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard with students. Introduce a video each week and explore the discussion questions together. These videos could be very useful when preparing and motivating students for upcoming standardized testing or at the beginning of a school year to set a tone that everyone can learn. Include a link to videos on your class web page for parents to discuss at home with their student, and be sure to send home the take-home questions with topics to talk about.
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Zeetings - Zeetings

Grades
K to 12
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Zeetings is a presentation tool that allows your participants to participate! Have up to 100 participants per Zeeting. The basic account includes some terrific features including unlimited...more
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Zeetings is a presentation tool that allows your participants to participate! Have up to 100 participants per Zeeting. The basic account includes some terrific features including unlimited polls, videos, embeds, web links, and unlimited uploads of PowerPoint and PDFs. Sign up is quick with no waiting for an email invite. Give your account a URL name (keep it simple) and begin constructing your presentation right away. Once you broadcast the presentation (by URL or code), all participants will be on the same page as you. When you turn the page, theirs will turn, too. Zeetings will work on any device with a modern web browser and an Internet connection.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): multimedia (63), polls and surveys (54), video (275)

In the Classroom

What a cool way to have all students at the same place in your lesson! Additionally, they can ask questions, answer a poll, or watch a video, all in real time. Any subject teacher can take advantage of this powerful tool! Introduce Zeetings to your class(es) with your projector to show them all the features, then have them learn and participate by logging into your presentation. Have students use Zeetings when presenting orally to the class. Have them incorporate web links and videos, with a quiz (survey) at the end. The survey will tell them who was paying attention or better yet if their presentation was clear and interesting.

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PBS World Explorers - PBS Learning Media

Grades
4 to 8
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Learn about the journeys of 16 explorers with this series of videos from PBS Learning. This series covers early explorers of the globe as well as modern explorers of space ...more
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Learn about the journeys of 16 explorers with this series of videos from PBS Learning. This series covers early explorers of the globe as well as modern explorers of space such as Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong. Choose any video to watch, download, and view national educational standards covered.

tag(s): columbus day (10), explorers (65), marco polo (5), space (217), video (275)

In the Classroom

Videos are perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard, with a projector, or create a link on classroom computers for students to view on their own. Since the videos are only four to six minutes long, students could research the era of the explorer to see what else was happening in the world and create an infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, to share their findings. Have students create online movie posters to advertise the video they watched (individually, as partners, in small groups, or together as a class) using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, sharing each explorer's route. Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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eLearning Infographics - e-Learning Industry LLC

Grades
K to 12
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eLearning Infographics offers an extensive selection of infographics for educational use. Choose from a variety of topics such as Playing to Learn and The Evolution of Technology in...more
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eLearning Infographics offers an extensive selection of infographics for educational use. Choose from a variety of topics such as Playing to Learn and The Evolution of Technology in Schools. Each infographic displays a category. Click that link to view others with similar topics. Click on the infographic link to see the full image along with links for sharing on social networks and email, or copy and paste the embed code to embed directly onto your website.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152), infographics (48), professional development (158)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the infographics on this site for both classroom use and professional development. Introduce a topic by sharing the Infographic and allowing time for students (or peers) to identify various items that they notice about the chart. Allow time to think-pair-share and list questions for further understanding. Choose a new infographic each week and use links for each image to embed on your website or share via social media. Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to. Consider creating Infographics of material students are learning in class for better understanding and connection with other topics and the world around them. You and students can create a simple infographic sharing information and/or findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.

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PBS Election Central - PBS Learning Media

Grades
3 to 12
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Stay up to date with current elections and learn about the electoral process with this all-inclusive site from PBS Learning. Take virtual field trips to the floor of Congress and ...more
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Stay up to date with current elections and learn about the electoral process with this all-inclusive site from PBS Learning. Take virtual field trips to the floor of Congress and Presidential Libraries to explore historical themes. Follow the election process with the interactive map to track candidates as they campaign across the country. Other content examines the election process and takes an inside look at the debates. Be sure to check out the Election Collection containing several activities such as Inside the Voting Booth and You're the Campaign Manager.

tag(s): debate (44), elections (78), electoral college (17), presidents (132), speech (94)

In the Classroom

Include Election Central as part of any election unit. Have students research candidate information and compare and contrast points of view. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, or the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Pose a controversial question about an election issue and have students answer as one of the candidates. Use a tool such as WeJIT, reviewed here, for that exercise. Or, challenge students to use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a candidate's journey through the election process. Or, using Fakebook, have two candidates debate an issue. Be sure to take advantage of the free lesson plans offered on this site correlated to National History Standards.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Spiral - The Social Learning Network

Grades
K to 12
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Discover Spiral's three free apps for classroom collaboration that will work on any device with a web browser. Sign up with your email and use Quickfire to ask unlimited questions ...more
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Discover Spiral's three free apps for classroom collaboration that will work on any device with a web browser. Sign up with your email and use Quickfire to ask unlimited questions and see answers in real-time. Engage your audience and knock down participation barriers with this free response system. Display answers anonymously. Use Discuss to present lessons and build resources and a knowledge base during your lessons. Have a discussion within Discuss, too. Team Up is for groups. Groups can do all research work within Team Up and create a presentation (a slideshow or a poster) as a final product. See their Support and FAQ page for setting up classes, the Teacher Dashboard & Admin, and more.

tag(s): chat (53), gamification (76), microblogging (40), posters (40)

In the Classroom

Spiral is a terrific set of tools to use whether you are just starting to incorporate tech with students or if you are a long time user of tech with students. After creating an account, start out simply with Quickfire and gradually build to using Team Up. Reduce the learning curve for students by using all three tools for different purposes. Any subject teacher can use these apps for a multitude of lessons, class activities, and projects. Students must create an account (no email required) and select their school. Teachers must approve students to join a class. You can also download Spiral's spreadsheet, fill it out, and upload it. Use Quickfire and Discuss for back-channel discussions which encourages timid students to participate. Team Up is a perfect tool for research groups and literature circles.

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OK2Ask: Game-Based Learning: The Quest for Classroom Success - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. The quest for classroom success begins with game-based learning. Learn tips,...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. The quest for classroom success begins with game-based learning. Learn tips, techniques, and tools to challenge and engage students. Game-based learning is a dynamic strategy that offers tremendous potential for meaningful and enriching experiences in the classroom. Enjoy sandbox time in the session to explore the vast collection of resources to suit a multitude of learners. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will... (1) Learn about the difference between gamification and game-based learning; (2) Learn game-based learning techniques and tips; (3) Evaluate tools and resources for game-based learning; (4) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (5) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): game based learning (116)

In the Classroom

Explore the many resources and ideas from this session and engage your students with game-based learning activities. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools to Power Up Your Images - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants will learn about the features of these three tools and then participate in a breakout session to learn more about the tool of their choosing. A question/answer period will be available to help with individual questions. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will: (1) Learn about and compare 3 different tools for working with images; (2) Evaluate the uses for working with these tools in the classroom; (3) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (4) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): images (275)

In the Classroom

Inspire your lessons with new ways to use images in your classroom. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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