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Jigsaw Planet - Tibo Software

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create quick and simple custom jigsaw puzzles. Upload a jpeg image to the site. Choose how many pieces you want and the shape. Jigsaw Planet does the rest. Instantly create ...more
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Create quick and simple custom jigsaw puzzles. Upload a jpeg image to the site. Choose how many pieces you want and the shape. Jigsaw Planet does the rest. Instantly create a custom interactive puzzle for your students to play! Change the background using tools at the bottom of the puzzle. Puzzles can be saved for your own account, shared with students via a url, or embedded into your classroom website for easy access. This site requires Java.

tag(s): images (266), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Use these puzzles on your projector or interactive whiteboard! Each puzzle is timed as you put it together. Split students into teams to see which team can complete the puzzle the fastest. Instead of the typical PowerPoint type presentation to teach students facts, create a puzzle for them to put together and have them read the fact once the puzzle has been completed. Turn your classroom rules into a series of jigsaw puzzles for students to put together. Honor your star student of the week by creating a puzzle of that student. Just take a picture of the student and upload to Jigsaw Planet. Students can use Jigsaw Planet to create their own puzzles. This is a great place for them to study. They can upload spelling words, math facts, maps, etc. Students will love creating their own jigsaw puzzles. If you have a projector or an interactive whiteboard, have students create a puzzle all about them. They can create a collage of things they like in a presentation program, take a screen shot of it, and upload the puzzle to Jigsaw Planet. Students can put together each other's puzzles and guess who the student is based on the pictures. This would be a great getting to know you activity for the first week of school!

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LearnClick: Create Gap-Filling Exercises - Learnclick

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create interactive online activities quickly and easily with LearnClick's Create a Gap. Submit any text you'd like to learn and mark the text you want deleted for a fill-in-the-blank...more
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Create interactive online activities quickly and easily with LearnClick's Create a Gap. Submit any text you'd like to learn and mark the text you want deleted for a fill-in-the-blank type of activity. Easily create quizzes or tests for individualized students or your entire class. Create a free account with your email. Follow the simple steps to create tests in minutes with varying options for response style choices; blank boxes, generated drop downs, or drag and drop. Search the quiz bank to save time. The free version allows you to make up to five quizzes, which are published on your public page. Your public page allows a direct link to your quizzes.

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

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use as a review tool on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Assign as homework for a study aid. Create study aids for ELL/ESL, or learning support students to review and learn with a "techie twist." Let students take control! Have students create the tests, in order to find the main idea or quiz each other. Use in centers for a fun review of current vocabulary, concepts, or even mathematical practice. Divide the class into cooperative learning groups to cover all aspects of one topic. The subject areas are limitless. Use as a "Jeopardy" style competition. Post on your website as a resource for parents to help their students keep motivated to study in a fun way!

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NetVibes - NetVibes.com

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create a personalized dashboard that pulls together feeds and tools into one place -- for any topic. Optional registration allows access to updated information at anytime. This tool...more
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Create a personalized dashboard that pulls together feeds and tools into one place -- for any topic. Optional registration allows access to updated information at anytime. This tool has power as s simple resource collector "on the fly" or as a customizable way to monitor many tools from one place. Creation of multiple dashboards requires an email address and password or Facebook sign-in. Use it the simple way by typing in any topic into the search bar; wait a few seconds while information is compiled then explore the results. Results are posted in widgets that can be moved around to personalize the dashboard as needed. A wizard will walk you through it if you wish. Tabs are also included that separate news items, videos, conversations, and more. View pages in reader format or with widgets by choosing from options at the top of the page. You can copy the url of a basic topic dashboard to access over and over. Signing in on a free account allows you to customize and save your dashboards and harness the real power to pull everything into one place.

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the power and uses of this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) with students to use as a resource for gathering research information. For example, create a dashboard on an environmental ("oil spill") or political topic. Gather current events from multiple sources into one place. Set up a dashboard on earthquakes or weather during science units so students can connect real world information with curriculum. Use this site for group projects, have team members work together to gather information, then share using a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here. As a professional tool, create a dashboard for monitoring feeds from student activity on multiple web-based tools at a time (wikis, blogs, etc.). You can also create a dashboard on professional topics to keep yourself well informed.

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AnswerBag - Joel Downs

Grades
8 to 12
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Answerbag is a collaborative online database where questions are asked and answered by you. Search through questions using categories such as arts, education, science, and more. Responses...more
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Answerbag is a collaborative online database where questions are asked and answered by you. Search through questions using categories such as arts, education, science, and more. Responses are posted in order of ratings. Email registration is required to post and answer questions. An optional poll can be added to each question. Share questions using links to email share, Facebook, Twitter, and many other share tools. Warning: if you are using questions from their database, be aware, questions may update frequently so it is a good idea to take a look immediately before sharing in front of young people.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Post a question as a homework assignment for student response using a specific url directly to that question. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own questions. Search for interesting questions already posted to use as a discussion/debate starter. You may want to preview the questions before using in the classroom as posts can sometimes contain language or content not appropriate for the classroom. Monitor use by using a whole class account to submit questions.

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ShowMe - The Online Learning Community - San Kim and Karen Bdoyan

Grades
K to 12
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ShowMe is an open learning community where you can learn or teach any subject. Explore topics such as math, science, world languages, social studies, art, and more. Explore the links...more
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ShowMe is an open learning community where you can learn or teach any subject. Explore topics such as math, science, world languages, social studies, art, and more. Explore the links on the home page or search for a topic with the search bar at the top of the page. Results are divided into subtopics and can be sorted by featured, popular, or recent videos. High school teachers may be especially interested in the ShowMe SAT offerings available through a link at the bottom of each page. Creating a ShowMe of your own requires a download of the app from the iTunes store (and an iPad). The download is free. If you are worried about students seeing questionable material, you may want to provide the link directly to the video you wish students to view. At the time of this review, all material appeared appropriate. Although it is not available yet, Showme hopes to offer an Android version of the app, as well.

tag(s): test prep (96), tutorials (47), video (254)

In the Classroom

Share the site (or individual videos) with your students to access at home for homework help using the Facebook, Twitter, email, or embed link on each video. List the ShowMe link on your class website. View tutorials on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a whole class. Encourage students to share links to specific videos they find helpful on a "Video Reviews" page of your class wiki. For a very real challenge, have students create their own simple review videos using the ShowMe app on iPads (if available) then embed them on your class wiki for a year-to-year student-made study guide! For examples of sophisticated topics simplified in whiteboard stick figure videos, see Common Craft, reviewed here.

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Vokle - Robert Kiraz

Grades
6 to 12
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required...more
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required to host an "event" but isn't necessary for viewing recorded events available on the site. After registering, create an event (or series) by providing a title, description, and category. Schedule an event for a future time or go live immediately. Invite others to the event by embedding the code on your website, Facebook page, Twitter link, or by sharing the url. Encourage participation through viewer comments and questions that can be screened and chosen by the host. Sessions are recorded and can be viewed at a later time making this very useful for the classroom. Search for sessions by browsing events and viewing available categories. The learning category may be a useful starting point.

tag(s): chat (51), video (254)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect to use when collaborating with other classrooms, for holding an author visit, or for professional collaboration. After hosting an event, share the link with students (or parents) who could not attend or who want to watch it over again. Encourage students to host their own event with topics such as book talks, interactive discussions on solving difficult math problems, or discussions of current events. Create a Vokle for parents to view, sharing your educational philosophy, classroom procedures and expectations, and other school-related information. Create a Vokle for students who were absent from class or who may want to watch the lesson again. Even elementary classes can make a Vokle under teacher supervision for special events such as Earth Day or the 100th day of school.

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VocabAhead Vocabulary Videos - VocabAhead Team

Grades
9 to 12
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Use VocabAhead in your classroom for teaching SAT and ACT vocabulary words (or simply to build vocabulary). This free vocabulary building system offers vocabulary videos, searchable...more
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Use VocabAhead in your classroom for teaching SAT and ACT vocabulary words (or simply to build vocabulary). This free vocabulary building system offers vocabulary videos, searchable by beginning letter of the word. You can also create your own word lists, share your lists with students, use flash cards for quick review, and test yourself by taking the online quizzes. You will welcome the fresh perspectives and interactive learning activities for teaching and practicing ACT and SAT words.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Project this vocabulary website on your classroom whiteboard or projector and share a few quick ready-made vocabulary videos. They are quick, fun, and memorable. They also provide a way to associate words and make the definitions stick. This will especially have value for visual learners and ESL/ELL students. Use the easy to navigate, alphabetized word lists as they appear on the website, or create your own sets from the lists for assignments. Sign up to receive the Word of the Day. Share the link to this site on your web page for students to access at home. Let your students create their own vocabulary videos to share with your class. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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101 Questions - Dan Myer

Grades
2 to 12
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to ...more
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to skip a picture. Submit your own picture or video, and get points for the perplexity it inspires, or even join the top 10 lists. Save images to your favorites and classify by tags using your membership. Note that the public can participate so some responses may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Preview and monitor or have an adult operate the site together.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), images (266), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Creative fluency begins here! Set up a whole class account. Use this site in language arts: discover main idea, details, cause and effect, or even an inspirational writing prompt. Find ways to group images together based on characteristics or attributes. Use in gifted or enrichment situations, for inspiration for problem-based learning. Sequence the images to find ways to form a logical plot. Find ways to make Perplexors out of the given image. In math, write short word problems to accompany images or videos. Find ways to illustrate vocabulary definitions with examples and non-examples. As a morning work challenge, find questions, details, or even other questions. As a writing challenge, look for the image that conveys the mood or feeling you are trying to convey. In science, submit examples to illustrate scientific concepts. Use to generate scientific method style questions based on the given image. In social studies, find images to convey feelings represented by the time being studied. Challenge students to make a historical statement or political statement by finding and adding to an appropriate image. ESL/ELL students can use this site to help acquire conversation/questioning skills. In world language class, have students generate questions in their new language, even if they do not post them. In art, find mood, theme, style, or self expression images. Be sure to monitor the blog content. Put similar content on your own classroom blog. Challenge students to create their own 101 question images or videos to share on your class blog, inviting viewers to respond with questions in the comments.

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Rich Chart Live - Blue Pacific Software

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rich Chart Live is an online chart creator that instantly creates Flash charts (and other formats) that can be easily shared. Choose a template from the many options. Begin adding ...more
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Rich Chart Live is an online chart creator that instantly creates Flash charts (and other formats) that can be easily shared. Choose a template from the many options. Begin adding data, style choices, color options, and layout. An animation option is available to apply to the chart's axes and elements and can be customized with speed options. When finished, click Publish. Charts can be opened in a new page, saved to a PowerPoint, or embedded into a blog via copy and paste. You can also "drag and drop" the link to the char onto your desktop (and thus get its url). Opening the link in "free mode" asks for an email address first, but even abc@123.com works.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148)

In the Classroom

Create colorful and interactive charts on the fly at anytime by using this website. Display the website on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Watch charts change by using different inputs and customization options. Challenge students to predict and draw what charts will look like before changes are applied. Use the site to compare and contrast different ways to present information and discuss styles that work best in different situations. Create a class wiki and embed different examples of charts with explanations of how the chart was created. Have student use the discussion on the wiki to explain what the chart tells them. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Photoshop Express Online - 2012 Adobe Systems

Grades
6 to 12
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Photoshop Express Online is a free online storage site for all of your digital photos. Upload, edit, and organize your own library with 2GB of free storage. Create your own ...more
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Photoshop Express Online is a free online storage site for all of your digital photos. Upload, edit, and organize your own library with 2GB of free storage. Create your own personalized homepage that can be private or shared with friends. Find online tutorials such as; Light, Color, and Composition, Envisioning Improbable Realities, Keeping Ideas Fresh, and Combining Artistic Mediums. Submit questions or join the blog, After photo editing, add a description, or share with friends and family. Fill out a profile to get notifications of the latest products (NOT free).
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Find plenty of room for all of your classes photos! Edit the photos to create quality prints. Organize into libraries to share with students and parents. Have a library for every class, assignment, every year, or yearbooks. In lower grades, set up a teacher account for the whole class. Communicate with parents, pen pals, or with collaborations between schools. In art classes, look at the possibilities of quality photography. In upper grade technology classes, create free galleries for each student (over 13), and highlight some of the latest photo editing software and apps. Use in science classes as a way to store data in digital images. In language arts, create stories through photos or make wordless picture books. Store student portfolios in digital format in your gallery. Journal throughout your school year in pictures.

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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, pdfs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to log with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
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tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. ) Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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KikuText - kikutext.com

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers ...more
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Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers nor do the teachers see the students' or parents' phone numbers. Create an account easily with basic contact information, then share the class code with parents. Parents text the code to be added and begin receiving updates and to respond to text messages. Communication through this site is safe and secure. This service is free; however, standard text messaging fees apply.

tag(s): classroom management (135), parents (56)

In the Classroom

Send out whole-class reminders to parents of upcoming tests, project due dates, school events, and more. Set up this site (and parents and students numbers) during the first week of school or at Back to School night. Use this site as an alternative to conference reminder slips (and save paper). Keep parents "in the loop" about students' behavior, achievement, and more with this tool. Imagine sending a text as you discover missing homework. Suddenly, accountability steps up a notch!

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Word Play- Spanish Vocabulary Game - 2009-2011, Wordplay Learning LLC

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Master the Spanish language with Wordplay! Join this free adaptive activity challenging a student, class, or even school. The software analyzes each response to every question and adjusts...more
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Master the Spanish language with Wordplay! Join this free adaptive activity challenging a student, class, or even school. The software analyzes each response to every question and adjusts to create the perfect practice for each individual. A Mastery Meter shows progress during sessions. Reviews develop long-term retention for each word. Earn points for immediate mastery and long-term retention. Teacher privileges allow monitoring of points, content, and long-term retention information for each student.

tag(s): spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Introduce on your projector or interactive whiteboard, and explain as a class. Use the ready-to-go content lessons or create your own customized lessons. The complete teacher's manual offers detailed information on student progress, lesson content, and motivation. Challenge every student at his/her level. Use as an easy customized homework assignment for what each student needs the most. Use points earned as a personal learning goal, required points for assignment grade, team, class, or even grade level challenges. Say good bye to hated paper flash cards! Join the 21 century in learning.

Comments

Sarah, ME, Grades: 7 - 12

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Zotero - Center for History and New Media at George Mason University

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool...more
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool saves information several ways: through a click at the bottom of the web browser, by a click on favorite/bookmark bar, or manually. Files already on computers can be included with files saved from the internet. Items can be grouped and sorted according to individual needs. Information saved through Zotero can be accessed on any computer that has the extension installed. The site includes a helpful quick start video guide explaining features included with the program.

tag(s): citations (34), evaluating sources (13), note taking (32), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Depending on school computer settings, you may need to have tech support install the program for you. Use Zotero to collect and organize classroom resources. Share with older students as a resource for gathering and citing information. Demonstrate how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard including showing the quick-start video. One of the advanced features of the site is the creation of groups. Share this with students who may be capable of using the feature to collaborate with others.

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Skloog - Skloog, LLC

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places...more
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Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places you visit repeatedly. The tiles make it visual and so easy to use! Can't find the logo? Submit a site by clicking on a button at the bottom of the home page. Access and add to your Skloog bookmarks from anywhere using any computer, your mobile phone, or email. Make Skloog one of the tools on your browser's tool bar in order to add to your favorites quickly and easily. Add or change the preset category tabs that show at the top. Search your favorites by tags, URL, or website name. An added feature is the Skloog tab in the upper right corner of the menu on your short cut page. Click to find some of Skloog's favorite sites.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

This resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use on specific projects or as general course links. Use this site to share with other professionals, team members, or parents. Use the categories to save bookmarks for different units you have in your classroom. Make your Skloog page the homepage for your computer, too.

Consider having a category for student use for webquests, tools you want them to use, and creative commons images, music, etc. Also, create a category where students update with suggestions from class members. Use different colored alphabet tiles on a Skloog for younger, non-reader students. For example, give each subject its own distinctive color. They will also recognize logos well before they read!

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Night Zookeeper - Joshua Davidson

Grades
K to 5
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Enter a fantastical online world in which you create your own magical animals. Read and create stories, play games, create fascinating (and funny) facts about your new animal, and more...more
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Enter a fantastical online world in which you create your own magical animals. Read and create stories, play games, create fascinating (and funny) facts about your new animal, and more while learning about animals. Explore creative writing and art activities. Read the story of the night zookeeper or listen by choosing the audio play button. Your completed animals can be uploaded to include with the story and suggestions are offered for describing the animals such as where does the animal live, and tell about what makes it special. You can also download a sample unit that includes literacy and art lesson plans. Simple registration of a username and password is required to access activities.

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

In the Classroom

Share this site on classroom computers for students to read and listen to the Night Zookeeper story then encourage students to create their own animal to be added to the zoo. Use the included graphic organizer to help students design their animal. Create a link to the site on classroom computers and allow students to explore and discover site activities. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of animals included in the zoo or imaginary animals vs. real animals.

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How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs Spreadsheets - MakeUseOf

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making...more
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making the process much easier. You need a Google Doc account and some familiarity with using spreadsheets. This site does include comments. At the time of this review, all comments were appropriate for classroom use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards to share with your students. Students can run them from a computer or download an app that can read the two column format of a spreadsheet to view on the go. All information for using the flashcards is explained in this resource. Use for any subject matter for any age. Challenge students to create their own flashcards to use to study for the big test! This tool can be used in ALL subject areas.

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Mugeda - mugeda.com

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and...more
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and publish HTML5 animation. Basic tutorials guide you to create content with easy to follow instructions. Animation applications include; games, ads, cartoons, tutorials, or persuasive commercials. Use tablets, PCs, smartphones, or tablets. Note that HTML5 works on iPads and iTouches, where most Flash-based sites do not.

tag(s): animation (63), comics and cartoons (74), DAT device agnostic tool (199)

In the Classroom

Bring along Mugeda in your bag of tricks to capture and intrigue all of your students. Use Mugeda to illustrate class content, support debate, persuade, and entertain. The possibilities are endless! Add the creations to your website to share with your community. Use on school news programs to add student content without cost, and make information available for all levels of student abilities. Create commercials for your content or to convey information. In history classes go back in time to envision popular opinion that made history happen. Use during campaigns to promote your side of the debate. Science fairs will never be the same. Highlight projects to create anticipation. Send messages to students using the embedded tool. This programming tool has applications in all subject areas. Gifted students, ELL/ESL students, and remedial students will be captivated by this high interest way of expressing themselves.

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Box - Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith

Grades
4 to 12
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in ...more
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in Box and it is accessible everywhere you use it. Copy, save, or move the document simply and easily. Syncing and sharing is simple. No access to Internet at one of your locations? No problem! Your Box file stays in your Box account, and the next time you are online it will upload it for you. Share Box files with others for easy collaboration. Apps for Box are available (at the time of this review) for Windows, iOS, iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others through the tabs in the Account Settings. Though not a complete back up of all your documents, Box can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any item you can work with using Word can be used with Box. Teams of teachers can also use this download to save tests, share activities, and more.

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Draw.io - JGraph, Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows...more
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows that graphic organizers promote strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Draw.io is a simple, free online tool for creating mind maps -- or diagrams for any purpose -- using shapes and arrows. Just drop and drag the shapes (or nodes) you want to the panel, connect the nodes by dragging the arrow, and double-click in the shape to add text. Use the simple toolbar at the top to insert images, change, bold, color and enlarge text, etc. Printing and exporting is also an option. If you click on the "Help" tab at the top, you will see "Video Tutorial" which uses flash. Draw.io uses JavaScript, not Flash, so it works on iOS devices.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25), venn diagrams (16), visual thinking (10)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate creating a mind map or other diagram on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use Draw.io to create family trees or flow charts. Learning support students could team up to map out the important concepts from a unit visually as a review activity. Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature, social studies, or science. Have students demonstrate their understanding by creating a graphic organizer about the main points or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle). Be sure they name their organizer BEFORE they start work with their name --or code name-- so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in. Anonymously share and compare different students' "views" of a unit so students can "see it through someone else's eyes."

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