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Tarr's Toolbox - Russel Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text...more
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text box for a complete description of activities. Some of the descriptions have suggestions for use of the tools found on Classtools, reviewed here. Be sure to subscribe to Tarr's Toolbox blog to receive updates as new ideas are added.

tag(s): classroom management (135), differentiation (47), game based learning (103), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this excellent resource to use when looking for new ideas for your classroom. Choose from ideas such as "Hands up if you DON'T know" or "Sock puppets in the secondary classroom" to inspire and motivate your students. Look to this blog to differentiate for students of all levels. Divide students into cooperative learning groups using different ideas found on Tarr's Toolbox.

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YOUGLISH - Youglish

Grades
7 to 12
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This simple, widget-like site lets you hear the pronunciation of English words by viewing YouTube videos of native speakers. YOUGLISH gives English, spoken by real people and in context....more
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This simple, widget-like site lets you hear the pronunciation of English words by viewing YouTube videos of native speakers. YOUGLISH gives English, spoken by real people and in context. Type in a single word or phrase, choose UK, US, or all pronunciations, then a captioned video appears in the results and starts playing automatically. Additional results are available by clicking an arrow button below the video. YOUGLISH has a Restricted Mode you can use in the classroom. When activated the Restricted Mode will stay activated for any other sessions until deactivated. A logo with (RM) will appear when you are in Restricted Mode. 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. WARNING: Inappropriate words can be entered, and adult-level content results returned. Be sure to discuss expectations and consequences with students before allowing them to use this site on their own. If you are sharing videos with the class, always preview!
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tag(s): dictionaries (56), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

YOUGLISH is a helpful site for ELL/ESL learners or students encountering new words for the first time. Be sure to activate the Restricted Mode on all devices using YOUGLISH. Look for the (RM) logo while students are using this tool. Since inappropriate content can be search and displayed, this is best used with teacher direction as a group activity, perhaps using an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Badge List - Knowledgestreem

Grades
K to 12
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share ...more
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share with those seeking to earn the badge; they upload evidence of accomplishment using one of the five supported formats. Once achieved, awarded badges are displayed on an individual's profile and can easily be shared online. Since the free portion of Badge List is public, it is important for teachers to keep student identities anonymous. Use a code for the student name that is only known by the teacher. Also, be sure to obtain parent permission before using this tool with students. At the time of this review, stated by Badge List: "Badge List is currently developing simpler privacy settings to help K12 teachers protect student data. Until these features are released, teachers will need to take extra precautions to make sure that student data is safe."

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (135), game based learning (103), gamification (65), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Badges are the "stickers' of today and much more. Use Badge List to keep track of student progress with large assignments, rewarding badges for each completed step. Present awards using badges such as Student of the Month, Math Hero, Perfect Attendance, and more. Share this site the first week of school as you set up your classroom expectations. Autistic support and behavior support teachers will find this tool useful and easy to use for reinforcement and tracking. Gamify your class using badges as reward levels. Challenge students to progress through different achievement levels by providing badges along the way. Share student login information with parents so they can track progress and accomplishments at home. (Be sure to keep the login information yourself, just in case students misplace their login). Keep track of mastery of various topics or skills, much like a sticker chart! Students can embed their class badges in other sites, such as personal blogs, using the embed code.

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TinyTap - Yogev Shelly

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows...more
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows creators to include drag and drop activities, videos, quizzes, and more - all in one activity. Create groups to assign activities to different students. Most games are free; however, some games by professional authors are not free. Play games and activities on any device; however, creation of games requires you to download the free iPad app. At the time of this review, TinyTap worked well on most browsers (except Safari). The free version is public and comments are permitted. Be sure to preview anything before you share with students.

tag(s): assessment (100), DAT device agnostic tool (199), game based learning (103), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use the embed code provided with activities to embed activities on your class website for play at home. Create a link to activities on classroom computers. Create your own activities (or have older students create review materials) to include with lessons. Be sure to watch the demo video for information about creating your own games.

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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

Grades
K to 12
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), professional development (123), social media (16)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your PLN (Professional Learning Network) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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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 (135), counting (120), time (144)

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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Twitter Fictional Account Template - Ryan O'Donnell

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a...more
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a background for the wall and upload photos of known associates. As with any Google Doc, choose to share your creation in the upper right corner. See an example here. It is unfinished, so you can see how the directions are directly on the page, and you can get an idea of how it will look.

tag(s): book reports (35), creative writing (166), creativity (109), digital storytelling (144)

In the Classroom

Engage students in classroom learning with the Twitter Fictional Account Template. This site is terrific for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Twitter account page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Create "followers" using other people associated with the main person who were famous at that time. You could use the "followers" boxes to create a mini-timeline. For the backgrounds of each user/follower, you could create a montage about what the person was famous for, or images from that period to establish a setting. Think about using the persons "nickname," if they have one, as their username. Use the Twitter template to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, and then share with students while studying the material. To use the Twitter template to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. Challenge students to use the template as an alternative for a book report. Have them present it orally, embellishing on each character's role in the book. For a unique twist in science class, make a Twitter template page for a periodic element or another science topic. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Twitter template page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make the Twitter template one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. If your students aren't familiar with Twitter, or if you're looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom, read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Newsela - Students Vote 2016 - Matthew Gross

Grades
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.
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tag(s): elections (75), news (261), newspapers (94), reading comprehension (116)

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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On Blast Blog - Matt Banner

Grades
6 to 12
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Are you running out of ideas for keeping your blog and student blogs fresh? This article from On Blast Blog says it has 151 suggestions to keep your blog interesting ...more
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Are you running out of ideas for keeping your blog and student blogs fresh? This article from On Blast Blog says it has 151 suggestions to keep your blog interesting and encourage readers to return over and over. Scroll down the page a little bit past the links to get to the list of ideas beginning with #1 - Start a Contest. Continue down the page to view the many varied suggestions for improving blogs. The author didn't stop with 151 suggestions - there were 161 at the time of this review! Don't forget to click around to read Everything You Need to Know Before Starting a Blog, How to Write a Perfect Blog Post, and more.
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tag(s): blogs (88), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), persuasive writing (55), writers workshop (31), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many ideas on this site for your class blog and student bloggers. These ideas are not just for bloggers; there are many solid suggestions for different types of writing that would be useful. Create a link to the list on classroom computers for student use when looking for blog suggestions. Want to learn more about blogs? Read more about blogs at TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the 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.
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tag(s): elections (75), news (261)

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 (51), DAT device agnostic tool (199), parent conferences (22), video (254)

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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OneNote - Microsoft

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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 (199), organizational skills (122)

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 (100), professional development (123), 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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Blog About - Impact

Grades
5 to 12
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Blog About is a blog title generator and a nifty tool to generate writing ideas with specific content. Click the refresh button to view different writing topics or add your ...more
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Blog About is a blog title generator and a nifty tool to generate writing ideas with specific content. Click the refresh button to view different writing topics or add your own to the provided blank. Then choose the "Next" button to narrow your topic to specific points. Use the refresh button (heart) to view different ideas for focusing on the subject. Be sure to check out the "writer's block?" link on the right side of the page to access a page to doodle your thoughts and download when finished. Don't be thrown off by the "business" prompts; keep clicking and you'll get to prompts about challenges, opinions, improvement, and plenty more.

tag(s): blogs (88), creative writing (166), persuasive writing (55), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use Blog About to come up with a list of topics for your class blog or student blogs. Try the generator to come up with ideas for creative writing assignments, student research projects, or student reading responses. This is an excellent tool for students who say they don't know what to write about. Math and science students can use Blog About to help them narrow their focus on curriculum concepts by doing some research for the prompts that come up. Have students create blogs using Throwww, reviewed here. This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided, and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!

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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.
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tag(s): graphic design (35), images (266), photography (160), posters (36)

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

Grades
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 (72), emotions (35), learning styles (19)

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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), multimedia (57), polls and surveys (48), video (254)

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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eLearning Infographics - e-Learning Industry LLC

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (144), infographics (42), professional development (123)

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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The Vocabulary Trainer - LanguageCourse S.L.

Grades
3 to 12
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Create a world language learning plan with the Vocabulary Trainer. Use dropdown boxes to select your native language and a language to learn or practice. Other options include different...more
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Create a world language learning plan with the Vocabulary Trainer. Use dropdown boxes to select your native language and a language to learn or practice. Other options include different course levels and options such as business vocabulary. Tools in the program allow you to set up a personalized learning plan, including time set aside for learning and days of the week to practice.

tag(s): arabic (20), chinese (48), french (88), german (64), greek (41), hebrew (14), italian (33), japanese (42), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

This site would be very handy in world language classes and when working with ESL/ELL students. Use this site as a learning station or center. Include this site as a resource when students are preparing a project about another culture. If you have students in world language, world cultures, or even language arts classes who need enrichment - send them to this site to learn the basics of a new language or to look for roots that show in English. Self-motivated advanced students or those planning a semester abroad can learn language basics on their own here. Be sure to include this site for "Children of the World Day" or family heritage day activities.

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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 (51), gamification (65), microblogging (44), posters (36)

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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