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Sembly - Sembly

Grades
6 to 12
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Sembly is an online classroom management tool. Sign up as a teacher or student to begin. The teacher version allows you to create and add classes. After adding students, they ...more
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Sembly is an online classroom management tool. Sign up as a teacher or student to begin. The teacher version allows you to create and add classes. After adding students, they receive a class code allowing them to enter the class. Create assignments with deadlines for students from your dashboard. The assignment option also provides the opportunity for collaboration and interaction between students and teachers. Upload files from your computer, Google Drive, DropBox, and Evernote to add to assignments or share with your class. Sembly is available online and for mobile devices with apps available for all operating systems.

tag(s): classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (199), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use Sembly to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar so students can easily find due dates and deadlines for homework and projects. Reminder notices will be automatically generated. Share information with parents to keep them up to date. Use the discussion feature as a resource for keeping students involved over long holidays or on a snow day. Sembly is an interactive and collaborative program. Challenge literature circles to complete write ups, discussions, and final presentations about the book they read using Sembly. Lab partners can present their findings, and math students can demonstrate how they solved a problem.

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Sketch Nation Create - Nitzan Wilnai

Grades
2 to 12
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the ...more
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the app of choice and then click settings and register. Once registered (no email required) select Create, the Genre, and your choice of Simple, Advanced, or Expert Modes. Choose to draw or import pictures to use for the background, characters, objects, and scenery. Make simple games while learning a little about programming and game design. Click the Getting Started tab to register. Look at the many examples and ideas under Education.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), DAT device agnostic tool (199), game based learning (103), gamification (65), logic (235), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

If you only have a few computers, introduce this tool using a projector or interactive whiteboard and bookmark it as a learning station with earbuds/headphones. Allow students to explore and learn on their own at classroom computer centers or individual laptops. Sketch Nation is an engaging interactive to learn basic coding skills even for younger students. 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. Once students get the hang of beginning programming tips, encourage them to make apps, games, or digital stories for other courses such as videos explaining photosynthesis, book readings from authors, famous battles from history, or different genres of music and art. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation, and to keep tabs on students and their progress. For creating digital storyboards see Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Storyboard Generator, reviewed here. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Sketch Nation Create teaches the basics. Those students who show a keen interest in coding could learn more by using a program such as Anybody Can Learn to Code, reviewed here, Kodable, reviewed here, or Codeacademy, reviewed here.

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Unite for Literacy Library - Unite for Literacy

Grades
K to 8
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The Unite for Literacy Library offers many online books for young readers with audio. Browse through the home page to choose books to read from the library shelves. Narrow down ...more
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The Unite for Literacy Library offers many online books for young readers with audio. Browse through the home page to choose books to read from the library shelves. Narrow down your choices using picture icons for different themes such as animals or families. Select and click a book to read. Click the speaker icon to hear each page. The narration is also available in many languages from Arabic to Vietnamese.

tag(s): audio books (32), DAT device agnostic tool (199), independent reading (128), preK (281)

In the Classroom

This site is one you must bookmark if you work with young readers! Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore and listen to books on their own. Unite for Literacy is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students for reading and hearing books in both English and their native language. Share a link to the site on your website or newsletter for use at home. World language teachers can use this site to have students listen to books in the language they are learning.

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tchat - Congo Labs

Grades
6 to 12
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Focus on the Twitter chats you want to follow easily and in real-time with tchat. Sign up for tchat through your Twitter account. Input the hashtag you wish to follow ...more
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Focus on the Twitter chats you want to follow easily and in real-time with tchat. Sign up for tchat through your Twitter account. Input the hashtag you wish to follow and all other tweets will be filtered out. tchat opens in a new tab; that means you can still see other Tweets on your Twitter account tab at the same time you are following a chat. Reply right from tchat without leaving the page; send and continue reading the conversation. The menu bar at the top allows pause and play, it stops refreshing, allowing you to find what you are looking for and to reply or retweet the information without losing it, and then resumes when you click play. You can also block retweets. Either sign in to stop the pop-up when you want to respond, or use tchat without signing in to have the pop-up and see all of the chat on the side. Each reply will automatically include the hashtag.

tag(s): chat (51), microblogging (44), PLN (4), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Sometimes it's hard to stay focused on a group Twitter chat. Take advantage of this tool to avoid distractions and communicate only with the members of the chat session. It's a relief to use this tool and be able to take your time commenting back and forth and not have to hunt through countless other Tweets to find your group and that one comment where you want to reply. tchat is the perfect tool to use with Twitter in the classroom so students will stay focused on your topic. If your class is following a scientist, engineer, politician, or any other professional, invite them to a chat to converse with your students and have the students stay focused. If you are taking an online class and one of the requirements is to participate in a Twitter chat, this tool is perfect to help you meet your goal.

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

Use tchat to collaborate with other classrooms or teachers at a distance. Use a whole class Twitter account to contribute to a regular chat. Professionally, teachers can join subject or grade level specific Tweet chats that happen in real time. See the Twitter Chat Schedule, reviewed here or Educational hashtags listings here to find real-time groups you can join using tchat.

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Workflowy - Jesse Patel & Mike Turitzin

Grades
4 to 12
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Organize your brain and your life with Workflowy. This tool allows you to take notes, make lists and outlines, and use hashtags to create groups of items. Import lists from ...more
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Organize your brain and your life with Workflowy. This tool allows you to take notes, make lists and outlines, and use hashtags to create groups of items. Import lists from other documents directly into Workflowy. Share lists with others using the share button, use options to allow them to edit if desired. Quickly create an account using email and a password to begin. Once you create an account, be sure to take advantage of the many tutorial videos demonstrating Workflowy's features. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): calendars (44), DAT device agnostic tool (199), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Any student would appreciate having an online time management account, but learning support students and disorganized gifted students need one. You may want to model using Workflowy to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a mythical student and organize his/her Workflowy together so students can see how it works. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector the first week of school to help students set up their own accounts. Parents may also appreciate learning about this site. Use this site professionally to keep yourself organized!

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Share What You're Reading - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing ...more
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing the review submit to Scholastic by filling in a simple form that asks for first name, last initial, and no email required. To discover the next book to read select from a grade level or genre list and then find an interesting title and click to read the review. The More to Explore menu on the left links to How to Write a Book Report with Rodman Philbrick, which is more extensive in depth with Writing Tips, Challenges, and Revision Guidelines.
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tag(s): book reports (35), independent reading (128), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

Introduce students to this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the list of books already reviewed, and read a few reviews together. Read the guidelines for writing a review, and create a book report for a book read in class. First, model by creating a rough draft. Next, copy and paste the final version of the rough draft to Share What You're Reading. Last, show the students how to publish. Set up a station in class where students can write up other books they read. Another idea would be to use the published reviews for grammar exercises. Not only can you edit and revise a review, but it could also be a "book talk" to introduce students to a title.

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Made by Joel - Paper City - Joel Henriques

Grades
K to 7
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Create an intricate paper city that will stand up on its own with the free printables on this site. Choose from several different options including Paris, vehicles, Sydney, dinosaurs,...more
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Create an intricate paper city that will stand up on its own with the free printables on this site. Choose from several different options including Paris, vehicles, Sydney, dinosaurs, a circus, Aladdin's city, and more. Click on the link to any of the paper creations and follow directions to download, color, and create.
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tag(s): australia (35), cities (25), communities (35), dinosaurs (57), france (40), preK (281), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Have students use these printables to create a city to correspond with a book they read or for use as a story starter. Use the designs on the site as inspiration for creating your own printable city for any activity. Use as part of a transportation or community unit to share and discuss different components found. ESL/ELL teachers could explore the rest of the site and find coloring pages and other useful items to reinforce vocabulary.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ThinkCerca - ThinkCerca

Grades
4 to 12
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 ...more
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 lessons teaching students the art of argumentation. Each lesson is 30 minutes long. These lessons contain standards-aligned literacy concepts and vocabulary. Start with Cerca's baseline assessment for writing, and then proceed with the lessons in order since the lessons build on each other. Sign up with your email, first and last name, and school zip code. Create your class or classes, and have students enroll via a class code. Find prompts for ELA, Science, and Social Studies. Math is coming soon (as of this review). The support section has several categories which include specific help directions, and also includes Instructional Strategies, Personalized Learning Models, and Tips and Resources.
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tag(s): expository writing (44), persuasive writing (55), reading comprehension (116), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Students will need to click Sign Up and "I'm a Student." Students will enter their first name and last name so be sure you have parent permission. They will also need an email address. There is a work-a-round for the names and email address. For the first and last name you could have them enter a code, for example, the first two letters of their last name and first three letters of their first name. If students cannot have their own email accounts, ThinkCerca has a suggestion or consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Once your students have worked through the eight lessons here, you may want to look at 301 Prompts for Argumentative/Persuasive Writing, reviewed here, to help you differentiate future writing lessons.

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Ourboox - Mel Rosenberg & Ran Shternin

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, ...more
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, add a title, choose the style of your book (Square Book - a picture book with up to 15 lines of text, or a text-oriented book, more like a long story or novel). Choosing a Square Book enables the ability to have an image (jpeg, png). You can also upload animated GIFs or embed a YouTube Video. Ourboox will step you through the process of getting your book online and publishing it. The pages of the book will flip, and the tool has an accommodation for languages that read from right to left. It can take up to 24 hours for new books to process. Before starting on your own book, you may want to look at others' books to get ideas about the format.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), ebooks (42), writing (359)

In the Classroom

There is no end to the ideas for stories! Now you can easily publish and share them with Ourboox. At the beginning of the year have students develop stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. In science, create a photo story of famous inventors or have students explain their understanding of cell division. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales from their home countries. Encourage your older students to use this tool for digital storytelling projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Add Text - FlamingText.com Pty Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change ...more
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change the color of the text or elect to add more text. Share using FaceBook, Twitter, or Google+ or the URL given. At the time of this review, all images in the Gallery were appropriate for the classroom. However, we recommend to preview the images before you share with younger students.
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tag(s): creativity (109), digital storytelling (144), editing (61), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use this easy tool to add captions to images, create memes, or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyric?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class webpage, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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Comments4Kids - William Chamberlain

Grades
6 to 12
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We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. Comments4Kids provides that audience. There are four rules for commenting on others' blogs: be relevant,...more
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We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. Comments4Kids provides that audience. There are four rules for commenting on others' blogs: be relevant, be positive, comment only when you have something to say, and always use good conventions (grammar, spelling, punctuation). Explore 5 Smart Ways to get Comments4Kids on your blog, read the Rule of Return, and learn how one teacher manages his students' comments on others' blogs. Back on the main page, click the link to see how another teacher manages blogs and also testimonials from several different professionals about why creating an audience for writing is necessary. Then, start by adding your class blog or your blog to the registration area. Consider Tweeting the blog address under the comments4kids hashtag when you want your students to have a commenting audience. On Twitter, type in #comments4kids, to see the current activity.

tag(s): blogs (88), writing (359)

In the Classroom

If your students blog, you may want to consider using Comments4Kids to encourage them to do their best writing, proofread, and learn how to tactfully and meaningfully comment on others' writing. You might want to consider using the hashtag #comments4kids in your Tweets. Read the 5 Smart Ways To Get Comments4Kids page to learn more. If you are interested in blogging but never have, you might want to check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics For the Classroom. You also may want to use prompts from Thought Questions, reviewed here, as an easy way to get kids writing blogs. There are many other ideas for your students to blog about such as having science students display photos and information about lab work or research findings of a famous scientist. Language arts students can write about the main character in a book. Have literature circle groups create one blog to present the book and its different characters. Create blogs for current events, biographies, or explanations about curriculum topics such as plants.

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Storyberries - Jade Maitre

Grades
K to 5
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Storyberries offers free bedtime stories and poems for kids in an easy to use format for adults. Stories include classics such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff and original compositions...more
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Storyberries offers free bedtime stories and poems for kids in an easy to use format for adults. Stories include classics such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff and original compositions submitted through the site. Browse through the home page to find popular stories or use the links at the top of the page to search by age, topic, or moral taught. One great feature is the ability to find stories by length from five minutes through chapter books. Each story also includes additional questions to use for further discussion.

tag(s): book lists (128), short stories (25), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Storyberries as an excellent resource for short read alouds or as a source for stories relating to many different emotions and themes. Share a link on your class website or newsletter for parents to use at home. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you read aloud for students to follow along; occasionally stop and allow students to read portions of the book. Use this site as a resource for additional reading materials in the classroom by creating a link on classroom computers.

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Connect Fours - Russell Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Connect Fours is an interactive that is a takeoff of the popular British Gameshow Only Connect. Create a game show using a minimum of 16 cards with word sets or ...more
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Connect Fours is an interactive that is a takeoff of the popular British Gameshow Only Connect. Create a game show using a minimum of 16 cards with word sets or phrases that will fit into four or more categories. After clicking "Create a New Quiz" you can upload a CVS spreadsheet or simply type in the words. Clicking Help, Example, or Submit will bring up directions for the exact formatting needed to have for the successful creation of a quiz. Don't forget to title your quiz! Save the URL or bookmark it to share it with others. Tip: when clicking the cards they ding. You may want to turn the sound down on the computer.

tag(s): game based learning (103), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Create a Connect Fours game with various aspects of information about curriculum content to share with students. Develop activities to review any topic and save for use as a classroom center. Have students create review Connect Fours as a study tool. Be sure to demonstrate how to make and share Create Fours before having students set up their own. Ideas for categorization activities are unlimited, but can include categorizing types of animals, literary elements in novels, habitats, characteristics of geographic areas, and much more.

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newhive - Zach Verdin, Cara Bucciferro, Abram Clark

Grades
2 to 12
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Use newhive as a clean slate to express your ideas, artwork, videos, and more. Begin by using an email address to sign up for a free account. You will then ...more
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Use newhive as a clean slate to express your ideas, artwork, videos, and more. Begin by using an email address to sign up for a free account. You will then see a blank white slate to start. Easily add text, images, video, audio, files, and shapes. Once you are finished adding content, save to your account by giving your multimedia project a title and tags. Then decide if you want it public or searchable. This tool is simple, quick, and easy to use. The tool requires that a member be age 13 or older.

tag(s): multimedia (57), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Students can use newhive to demonstrate learning of any kind across grade levels and content areas. They can practice good digital citizenship by citing images, videos, and online content properly or use student-created images, videos, and other content. Use this tool as a portfolio for any subject. Art, music, and language arts are naturals for collecting original student work, but what about science? Students can photograph experiments and write up labs and post to newhive for their portfolio. Teachers can use the site as a jump page to guide a lesson or create WebQuests. Make a work prototype page and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. The uses for this tool are wide open!

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Typewrite - Josh C.

Grades
5 to 12
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Typewrite.io is a collaborative writing tool that is in real-time so multiple editors can be working on the same document at the same time. It is distraction free, and you ...more
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Typewrite.io is a collaborative writing tool that is in real-time so multiple editors can be working on the same document at the same time. It is distraction free, and you can save versions and revert to previous versions. When viewing versions, changes will be highlighted. Sign up using email and get started right away. There is no waiting for approval. Share documents via email to have them edited.

tag(s): editing (61), proofreading (19), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Have your students set up collaborative groups for projects, lab data, and more. Anything students can do on a single computer; they can do collaboratively with this tool, accessing their work from any online computer. Be sure to test out this tool before using with your class. It may be a good idea to set up the groups with the teacher as a "member." Make sure you are protecting the safety of student work and identity and are within your school's Acceptable Use Policy.

This tool facilitates teacher comments on student essays by not having to wait until students turn in their papers. Have them share links with you to their works in progress. Check essays online, monitor progress, and even make suggestions for revisions to provide feedback along the way and drive successful evidence support, proofreading, and editing skills. Challenge gifted students on their drafts and push their thinking further, adding questions or responses. Since most of us do not have time to provide such individual challenge throughout the writing process, why not connect them with other gifted students to collaborate and debate beyond just your classroom? Obviously, this tool is also fabulous for collaboration among students or teachers creating a shared writing piece at any level. You could even use it for parent input into draft IEPs.

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pechaflickr - Alan Levine, cogdog productions

Grades
1 to 12
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Use this delightful tool to flip through 20 Flickr pictures. Every image is on the screen for only 20 seconds. Advanced options allow for changing the time and the number ...more
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Use this delightful tool to flip through 20 Flickr pictures. Every image is on the screen for only 20 seconds. Advanced options allow for changing the time and the number of images. See if you can build a story from the pictures with this entertaining tool.

tag(s): acting (27), images (266), speaking (24), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

What a delightful tool to use for impromptu speeches in any class or improvisation in a drama class. Consider uploading images for your curriculum topic to Flickr, reviewed here, and creating a specific tag or tags for the images, and then use pechaflickr as a review tool. Pechaflickr can be a great lesson starter, particularly on those dreary days when kids don't want to work. For lower level kids, it is a brain exercise for such things as an alphabet game (which is more difficult than it first seems!). In an ELA or ESL/ELL class have students create a complete sentence for as many pictures as they can, trying to improve the number of sentences written each time, or they can choose one of the sentences to create a story.

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Voxopop - Voxopop/Chinswing Pty Ltd.

Grades
K to 12
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Create a voice recorded message board with Voxopop. Set up a public, restricted, or private talk group. Anyone can listen to public discussions, but you must have an account to ...more
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Create a voice recorded message board with Voxopop. Set up a public, restricted, or private talk group. Anyone can listen to public discussions, but you must have an account to contribute to a talk group, create a talk group or set up email notifications to know when someone has contributed to your talk groups.

tag(s): chat (51), listening (91), social media (16), speaking (24), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use Voxopop with any language learning students, both ELL/ESL and world languages. Students can practice speaking and listening in their new language. Create small groups to discuss anything from current events, how to complete a math problem, to contributions for group research projects. Use the site with early readers in your Daily 5 literacy for oral reading and listening to others read. Reluctant writers could use this tool to brainstorm their thoughts for a writing piece.

Think about how you want to use this program. Having a restricted talk group means you would invite students via email. When signing up one is asked to give their country, email, and whether you are a student, teacher, or other. There is also an option to give your town/city. With students under 13 consider setting up a class account using a global login. Students would need to give their first name when contributing so you will know who is speaking. With students who are a little older, it might be easier to set up small groups. Consider using Gmail subaccounts, explained here, this tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Dotstorming - Gareth Marland

Grades
2 to 12
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Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet, reviewed here, or Lino, reviewed here) for brainstorming and...more
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Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet, reviewed here, or Lino, reviewed here) for brainstorming and VOTING on any topic. The voting is what makes this tool different. Create an account. There is no waiting for email approval. Add a board, title, select how many votes the participants will have (up to 10), and start adding posts with text, images, and video. Add images and video via URL or upload from your computer. When participants join, they give their name. Participants can add posts. Names of participants using the board appear below the chat box. Participants name's appear when they make a comment in the chat. However, comments on posts don't have the participant name. Once the board is complete, the creator can finalize the board so no new ideas can be posted, but the voting feature is still open.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), gamification (65), images (266)

In the Classroom

Share your board with a projector or interactive whiteboard. Put the URL link on your website for students to access. If you don't want to share the link that way, then use a tool such as Google URL Shortener, reviewed here, for students to type in (and reduce input mistakes). You may want to think about students using only their first name or their code to participate. Dotstorming does not show which posts belong to which student, so you may want to require that students identify their post and comment by putting their initials, their first name, or their code on their contributions to get credit. If you plan to allow all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss Internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences.

Use Dotstorming to collect WebQuest links and information to share with students. Assign a student project. For example, have students create a board about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a board around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. The voting is perfect for that idea! Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a board. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use Dotstorming to create a board with class news and updates.

Use Dotstorming as an "idea bin" where students can collect ideas, images, quotes, and more for a project. Require them to share a brainstorming Dotstorming board to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and rank by votes) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or a "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Dotstorming as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

Use Dotstorming as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Have students submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on.

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Brain Doodles - Thomas Michaud

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn more about taking visual notes at Brain Doodles. Find lesson plans, examples, and videos to help improve your memory; do this with doodles and using the senses of sight, ...more
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Learn more about taking visual notes at Brain Doodles. Find lesson plans, examples, and videos to help improve your memory; do this with doodles and using the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. This site is actually more than a learn to doodle site. It's more like drawing lessons to help you think. Find lessons about using letters and numbers for images, drawing stick figures, faces and emotions, memory techniques, problem-solving, and how to listen effectively (so important!). There are several videos per lesson. Roll your cursor over the lesson boxes to see titles of videos in a pop-up box. Download the complete lessons in PDF format. If you're not a doodler, maybe you should be! In an article published in "Applied Cognitive Psychology" Jackie Andrade, a professor at the University of Plymouth, stated doodlers find it easier to recall dull information (29 percent more) than non-doodlers.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), drawing (78), listening (91), note taking (32), organizational skills (122), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Introduce this tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector, explaining some of the research behind doodling, memory techniques, and listening. Students love to draw so focus their attention on drawing to learn by setting up a station/center for students to rotate through during any other stations/centers you might have for math, science, history, writing, and more. If you don't use stations, you may want to include a short lesson as an opener or closer each day. Students could finish the day's lesson at home by putting a link to Brain Doodles on your class website for students and parents to access. Now that's homework your students will be motivated to learn!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Outwhiz - Andrew Kwan and Michael Luk

Grades
K to 8
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Let Outwhiz replace your tired worksheets! Practice math and English with over 200 topics and hundreds of questions per topic. Earn points, move up levels, and earn badges. Sign up...more
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Let Outwhiz replace your tired worksheets! Practice math and English with over 200 topics and hundreds of questions per topic. Earn points, move up levels, and earn badges. Sign up with email. At the time of this review, the math levels are for grades K-8, and the English levels are 1-6, with the promise of grades 7-12 coming soon. Outwhiz, in a nutshell, is adaptive learning, analytics for parents and teachers, gamification, and includes a real-life rewards store all for FREE!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (135), critical thinking (108), DAT device agnostic tool (199), differentiation (47), game based learning (103), gamification (65), grammar (216), problem solving (272), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

The gamification of the material on Outwhiz is sure to catch your student's interest! Sign up using your email and create a class. Give students the URL and class code to join. At the end of an introduction of a concept, use this site for specific language arts or math practice. Use Outwhiz for homework, review, and reinforcement of any math or language arts concept. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Create a link to Outwhiz on classroom computers to use as math and language arts centers/stations. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or newsletter as a resource for math and language practice at home. Share this site as a way to review before tests. ESL/ELL and resource teachers will find Outwhiz to be extremely helpful for reinforcing language and math concepts.

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