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750 Words - Buster Benson

Grades
4 to 12
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750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a ...more
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750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a "keep private" button, and if you forget to click it who knows who will be reading your most private thoughts. This program is based on the idea that getting your thoughts on (digital) paper every morning can clear your head, focus your ideas, and organize and energize you for the rest of the day. Inspired by the book The Artist's Way, and its hand-written "Morning Pages" exercise, the creator of this program converted that exercise to our 21st century tools. If you care about such things, there is also a point system where one can compare constancy of writing and words written with others.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), gamification (65), journals (21), process writing (42), writers workshop (31)

In the Classroom

To write daily is a good idea for students. It helps them clarify their thoughts and questions, and get in touch with their feelings. 750 Words would be perfect for any writing program or with gifted students who often feel very strongly about fairness and/or world issues well beyond their years. Students can get their thoughts and ideas written down without having to worry about a grade or someone chancing upon their writings in a school notebook. Here's an idea for any grade level. Have your students do free writes (stream of conscientiousness writing) starting with 5 minutes or more a day. Ask students to count their words daily when time is up, always trying to increase the word count. After a couple of weeks have them use 750 Words and complete the stream of writing on a computer or mobile device. (This shouldn't slow many of them down since most are quick at texting!). After the first day, and again after the second week, using 750 Words have a class discussion about which format they like better and why. Use a backchannel program like Meetings.io reviewed here, or Today's Meet, reviewed here, for the class discussion. Using one of these programs ensures that even your shy students have a chance to say what they think about 750 Words. Challenge your students to complete the 750 words at home. They can earn points, and you know how competition can inspire some of them! Resource students and ESL/ELL students could increase their writing skills and fluency by keeping an online, private journal daily with 750 Words. Emotional support, autistic support, or alternative ed students may find this private space to work out feelings very therapeutic.

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wireWax - interactive video tool - wireWax.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Use wireWax to add interactive elements to online or uploaded videos. Each "tag" links to another video or image url you supply. However, the unique feature of wireWax is that ...more
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Use wireWax to add interactive elements to online or uploaded videos. Each "tag" links to another video or image url you supply. However, the unique feature of wireWax is that you view links from within the original video, not to a location outside of the original. View the samples of consumer videos from clothing companies to get the idea. Create a log in using email or Facebook to begin. Drag a video from your computer or insert a YouTube or other online video url. After your video processes (may take 15-30 minutes to upload and process), start adding tags as desired. Advance video to the desired spot. Create a box around the area to tag, and choose a name, image, or video url to use for your tag. Choose colors for boxes around tags to identify like items. When done, choose from sharing options of public or private video. Share completed videos using the embed code provided or with the unique url provided. Since this site uses YouTube videos, if your school blocks YouTube, you may not be able to create projects using YouTube videos at school, depending on how your web filter works. You can use videos hosted at Vimeo and other video sharing sites, as long as they offer urls for video sharing. This tool does require some experimentation to figure out. There is limited "help."

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

wireWax is a great tool for adding new layers of information to educational videos such as those found at YouTube EDU, reviewed here. Create videos for your students or have older students create videos to share with others. "Tag" key points at which students might have questions. At those points insert tags that reveal clarifying information from another video, a web page, an image, or an audio recording. If using student-created videos or having students create the wireWax video, check your school policy about sharing student work on the Internet. If using with students, be sure to discuss appropriate/inappropriate annotations to make on videos. Also discuss the fact that you are using someone else's video and should give proper credit for it. Use this tool to highlight the "important" stuff from several videos accessed from only one tagged wireWax video.

Your middle and high school gifted students will love this tool. Be sure to allow them some time to "play" and learn how it works (but not TOO long!). Challenge them to debunk (or support) information in a YouTube video by tagging it with sites offering conflicting or supporting evidence. Have them create a multimedia critique of a political ad by tagging it with counterpoints. If they are really ambitious, have them create their own video on a curriculum topic, such as a famous person, a constitutional concept, or local history site, then tag it with related resources carefully curated to add another layer of information. Add images of artworks to illustrate what an artist says in a video interview, for example. Add images ad links to toxic waste dumps to a video about plastics. These videos could end up being future teaching materials for your course!

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Create a Map - BatchGeo - BatchGeo, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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BatchGeo creates maps with multiple location points easily and quickly from information imported from your own spreadsheets or using their spreadsheet template. Choose "validate and...more
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BatchGeo creates maps with multiple location points easily and quickly from information imported from your own spreadsheets or using their spreadsheet template. Choose "validate and set options" to begin. Copy and paste location data into the box provided. When finished, save and choose a name for your map. Choose public or private sharing options to receive the unique url of your completed map.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (287)

In the Classroom

Map any location data collected by your class using zip codes. Use data sets of various things online for mapping such as museums or libraries nearby. Research similar communities by demographics or census data and "map" them using this tool. Make an online Google forms survey (shared via twitter!) that includes zip codes and map those who respond: biology classes collecting water quality data, schools participating in a collaborative project, etc. Map anything that can be put into a spreadsheet with zip codes such as historic sites, toxic waste dumps, etc. You could even map locations where your Flat Stanley has traveled!

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Quest - Alex Warren

Grades
5 to 12
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Create text-based adventure games and interactive fiction using Quest! No programming language required. You can also play games already designed by others. Choose the "play" option...more
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Create text-based adventure games and interactive fiction using Quest! No programming language required. You can also play games already designed by others. Choose the "play" option from the top of the web page to view and play games such as The Mansion or Shipwrecked. Play games online or download to your Windows computer. Design your own games online using your web browser or download software to your Windows PC to work offline. Create an account in Quest to begin creating activities. View the video tutorial for an overview of the activities and creation processes. Create rooms and objects or tasks for each room. Create more complex games by following complete instructions found in the web browser version of the game system creator. Add sound files and even videos to games in addition to tasks. An option allows players to choose their own endings to games. There is a documentation wiki and a forum to get help. This site may require some tinkering around to figure it out! But it is well worth the time. Note: since games available for Play are created by the general public, you will want to preview for appropriateness.

tag(s): interactive stories (32), process writing (42)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to create games when studying process writing of essays. Instead of writing a dry essay, create an object of entertainment with an interactive story. Use steps of the game to provide supporting evidence for the essay. Create simple text games to show the typical patterns of stories. Have a contest to see which group of students in your class can imagine the best game scenario. In science class, have student groups create games that follow the life of a plant or animal where players collect all the needed nutrients or conditions the plant/animal needs to survive. In civics/government class, have students create a game around getting elected, passing a bill, or ending Washington gridlock! Don't have time to have your students actually CREATE a game? Create your own "review" game for your students to use to prepare for the big test. This would be ideal if it is a unit that you teach yearly; you can reuse your game! Share some of the ready-made games on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link with parents on your class website. Students may enjoy the challenge of creating a game during summer break.

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FatURL - FatURL.com

Grades
K to 12
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Collect and share several links at once with this handy sharing tool! Make a list of your links to share, and FatURL creates one URL to share all of them ...more
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Collect and share several links at once with this handy sharing tool! Make a list of your links to share, and FatURL creates one URL to share all of them together. Copy links onto each line along with a short description or site name. Share up to 3 dozen sites at one time. Click the scissors icon to create your sharing page with a list of short codes to share. Use any of the links provided to view your page. View an example created here) with links to some TeachersFirst resources. No registration is needed to use this site! However, more options are available with a free registration.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use FatUrl to create one url (a page) with links for all the sites for a particular unit instead of creating a long list on your website or blog. Have students create and share their own page of links with resources for research. Use FatUrl to share professional links with colleagues quickly and easily. In primary grades, use this tool to share classroom favorites or topic-specific practice sites for students to access at home via one click. If your students create online presentations, use this site to share up to 36 at once with families. (Of course anytime you are posting student work online, be certain to have parental permission!)

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Draft - Nate Kontny

Grades
6 to 12
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Draft is a collaborative writing tool similar to Google Docs with one notable exception: the ability to view and accept changes before they are actually made to the document. The ...more
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Draft is a collaborative writing tool similar to Google Docs with one notable exception: the ability to view and accept changes before they are actually made to the document. The site also features the ability to mark/label major versions of your work as it is produced, allowing the ability to go back and easily view previous versions. Be sure to check out "Hemingway Mode" (explained in Features) which prevents any editing as you write, forcing you to get ideas down to rethink, revise, and edit LATER. This is a great way to prevent the perfectionist in you from paralyzing your writing process! But the BEST part of this site: it is easy to use! Sign up using your email and password and immediately begin creating your document. When ready to share, choose the home icon and copy your document's link to send via email or text (or copy and paste as desired). When changes are made, you will receive an email. You may then view the document to see color coded changes and accept or deny changes as desired.

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

In the Classroom

If individual students are allowed to have accounts (using email address sign up), that's great, but they must share their work with you. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class. Create an innovative, exciting revision experience for students to suggest revisions to each other's writing and instantly engage in the peer review process by using Draft. 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 if 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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dotEPUB - Xavier Badosa

Grades
3 to 12
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Convert the content of any webpage into an e-book format to read on your tablet, phone, or other e-reader device using dotEPUB-- even offline! Install the browser bookmarklet in Firefox,...more
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Convert the content of any webpage into an e-book format to read on your tablet, phone, or other e-reader device using dotEPUB-- even offline! Install the browser bookmarklet in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Mozilla, or Chrome to begin. In Chrome and Mozilla use the dotEPUB browser extension to create documents. Once installed, click on the bookmarklet or browser extension while on any page to convert the page and send to your e-reader. Choose from either epub or mobi (Kindle) format for use in e-readers. View the instructional videos for complete directions on how to use the bookmarklet or extension. This site is also available in Spanish. The instructional videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube and you wish to share the videos in class, they may not be viewable. You could always download 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 how-to videos from YouTube.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198)

In the Classroom

What a great find for BYOD programs! Use dotEPUB for students to take content from your course blog or website and put it on their e-readers for easy access wherever they go. Have students download informational texts from web sites to annotate in their e-reader software as you build comprehension and "close reading" skills a la CCSS. Elementary teachers will need to help students learn to use this tool. Use dotEPUB to create an ePub portfolio of your students' blogging efforts. In Spanish class, convert your website into an e-book for students to practice language learning. Make ePubs of any web content for portability and annotation tools available on e-readers.

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Themeefy - themeefy.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create and publish your own e-magazine of web content using Themeefy! Curate information from around the web or create your own content. Click Browse to see examples. Choose "start...more
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Create and publish your own e-magazine of web content using Themeefy! Curate information from around the web or create your own content. Click Browse to see examples. Choose "start creating" to begin. Add a title and a brief introduction to your magazine. Choose to import information from Google searches, Flickr images, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. Add your own content as desired. Explore results using the Read More icon or use the arrow to include in your magazine. Use the Change Content Order option to drag and drop information into the desired order. Edit articles imported to weed out any extra text or images not wanted for your magazine. Add your own text or questions. Publish your magazine when finished, but you must be logged in to publish. You can password protect magazines to limit access. Share using the url provided or links to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Not ready for publishing? Browse ready-made magazines around your interests. There is a LONG demo video at the Tools menu. A classroom version with additional teacher controls (currently free) is in beta testing. Click at the Classroom Beta to sign up and learn more. A bookmarklet to add to your browser makes it easy to "collect" things from around the web to use in a Themeefy magazine.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Use Themeefy to create student-navigated lessons or review materials for any topic. Have students work together in groups to create their own e-magazine instead of a traditional book report or research project. Challenge students to use an e-magazine to explain the life cycle of various plants and animals. Create stories about famous events or people from the past. Demonstrate a new math concept. Write a magazine about all of the main characters from a book recently read or for an author study. Create a class study guide for students to access to (via the Internet) before the big science test! Make a "Meet the Class" book to share with families on your class website. You can password protect it to avoid safety issues. Publish students' photos (drawings) and stories about themselves. (Of course you would want parental permission and possibly a password before posting student work on the Internet.) Even the youngest of students can draw a picture to be shared in a whole-class e-magazine! To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. As the classroom beta features evolve, this may be a tool you want to use more. Students who have created many projects across the web could collect them into an annotated "me-portfolio" using this tool. They could even share them as part of job or college applications.

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Crocodoc - Crocodoc

Grades
6 to 12
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Crocodoc Personal will be shutting down on November 1, 2015. Upload documents, mark them up online, and share with others. Upload a document and use the easy tools to ...more
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Crocodoc Personal will be shutting down on November 1, 2015. Upload documents, mark them up online, and share with others. Upload a document and use the easy tools to mark up the document. Comment by creating a point, marking an area, or highlighting text and then adding your comment. Draw using the pen tool with your choice of colors. Add text boxes, highlight passages, or strike-out words. View annotations along the right side that show document changes. Invite collaborators, share, or download easily. Click on my documents to find your document list quickly and easily.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

Be sure to monitor student use. Require students to invite you as a collaborator in order to monitor use in the group. Check district policy about sharing student information including email addresses.

Anything students can do on a single computer, they can do collaboratively using Crocodoc, accessing their work from any online computer. Have students collaborate on revisions and editing exercises using their own writing or drafts you share with them. Share a poem for literature students to analyze and annotate together or a text passage for students to mark key terms and generate a main idea statement as part of reading comprehension exercises in small groups. Have student groups collaborate on sample open-ended test responses for high stakes tests, then compare the group responses on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Even better, re-share results with other groups jigsaw-style for multi-layer collaboration.

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ForAllRubrics - ForAllSchools

Grades
K to 12
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Data drives instruction. Managing data drives you crazy. This free tool will assess students, manage data, and analyze results to make your instruction better. Easily create rubrics....more
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Data drives instruction. Managing data drives you crazy. This free tool will assess students, manage data, and analyze results to make your instruction better. Easily create rubrics. Describe your indicators and include standards. Find rubrics in the library to copy and make your own. Print rubrics, save as a PDF, or download as a spreadsheet. Share your rubrics in the library for others to access. Does breaking down data make you break down? Analyze assessment results by individual students, class, item analysis, or standards. Email students and their families the results or download rubrics to print. Add comments to rubrics for qualitative analysis. Award badges (stickers) to reward students and provide positive feedback. An accompanying, free iPad app allows you to collect data on the fly and add it to your account. The demonstration video requires Flash, the remainder of the site does not.

tag(s): assessment (100), gamification (65), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use the data provided to analyze students to differentiate instruction. Provide students and families the opportunity to view data online. Motivate students to learn by awarding badges. Students can analyze their own data to monitor progress. Use the data for progress reports and parent/teacher conferences. Use the data provided to analyze your instruction to make sure standards are being met and instruction is tailored for students' individual needs.

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Sound Bible - SoundBible.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find or upload sound clips in wav or MP3 format -- with clear information about digital rights -- at Sound Bible. Thousands of files are available for easy download. Use ...more
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Find or upload sound clips in wav or MP3 format -- with clear information about digital rights -- at Sound Bible. Thousands of files are available for easy download. Use the search bar to locate a specific sound or browse through sound effects or royalty free sounds available on the site. Click the arrow to hear the sound clip, then click on the name to go to the download section. Choose from wav, mp3, or zip file, and click to download. Share your own sounds using the link provided along with a short description of your sound file. The sound file information includes licensing information for the sound. If you search solely in Royalty Free sounds, you are safe to use them, but follow the attribution requirements as explained on the lower portion of the "Royalty Free sounds" page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use Sound Bible to find short sound clips for use in presentations, videos, or interactive whiteboard lessons. In primary grades, play sounds as cues for classroom management, such as bird sounds to gather "at the nest" for circle time. Use sound clips as story or journal starter ideas. Play a clip and have students create a story that incorporates that sound. Take your students on an audio tour of the rainforest as you learn about the various animals and sounds. Use this site during units about weather to share sounds from storms, wind, thunder, and more. Explore ocean sounds, animals sounds, etc. Use in world language classes to spark conversations and build vocabulary. Play background sounds during creative writing class. Challenge students to write about how the sounds make them feel. Challenge gifted or digitally-clever students to use these sounds to create an all-audio story to accompany a drawing or image. Use a tool such as Brainshark, -reviewed here.

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JogLab - JogLab

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create and learn about mnemonics and acrostic poems easily with this tool. Use JogLab to create a catchy slogan to help you remember terms and ideas. You can browse the ...more
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Create and learn about mnemonics and acrostic poems easily with this tool. Use JogLab to create a catchy slogan to help you remember terms and ideas. You can browse the ready-made mnemonics, but there do not seem to be many. To explore the keywords of a topic and build you own mnemonic, click the topic History, (for example), then the actual concept, such as Bill of Rights. The keywords will be listed. Click "Create your own mnemonic for Bill of Rights" to generate a mnemonic from this list of keywords. Despite the many windows and scroll bars, the word finder is an easy tool to use. For each letter of the mnemonic, follow the site suggestions of words that can string together into a phrase. Use the part-of-speech sorter to narrow the suggested words to your specification of noun, verb, adjective, etc. These will reinforce parts of speech in the context of sentence making. There are links to advertising and off-site (NOT school friendly) content, so familiarize yourself with the tool before showing it to students to avoid these areas.

tag(s): parts of speech (68), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Introduce acrostic poems with this tool by building one together on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Demonstrate and use the mnemonic tool on a projector or interactive whiteboard to create an easy way for students to remember a sequence of terms or concepts. After the class has used it together, provide a link to this tool on your class website. Have students create their own mnemonics in small groups and vote on the best as a class. Learning support teachers will want to make this a routine tool for their students to use when reviewing for tests.
 

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Phrase.it - phrase.it

Grades
3 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection....more
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Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection. Pick one of the 5 different types of speech bubbles, drag to any part of the image, and type in text. Change fonts by clicking the text box until satisfied Change your image by applying one of the optional filters or leave it as is. When finished, click on the Save button and add your email if you want to receive a download link. You are also able to mark your photo PRIVATE. Once the image is saved and rendered, you can simply copy its url, share via email, Facebook, or Twitter, or download to your computer.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), comics and cartoons (74), images (266)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Teach parts of speech and grammar by having students write captions using colorful adjectives, adverbs, or specific sentence structures on a random photo. Make classroom signs and reminders. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use this site for back to school fun. Post a photo of yourself with a caption on your class website introducing yourself to the class during the summer. Challenge each student to find/share a photo of themselves either the first week of school (or even prior to school). You will want parental permission before posting any student photos on your class website. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps for math problem solving. Even elementary grades can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role, though you may have to do it together as a class to upload the image. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki. Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parent attention to important announcements. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night. World language classes can create images explaining and using new vocabulary. Use the site's random photo offerings for clever caption contests in your new language. Have gifted students create PhaseIt pictures to explain new knowledge they gain in going beyond the basics. For example, as the class studies plate tectonics, they could make a collection of volcano images "explaining" their own history or describing the Ring of Fire. Gifted students of all ages can make simple Phrase It images to share their own thought provoking questions about curriculum content, such as "Which figure of speech would Shakespeare be willing to give up?" Be sure to include these thought provokers on a class wiki or blog for others to respond! (No need to single out the "thinker" by mentioning who created it if it would cause ridicule.)

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Fake Convos - Fake Facebook Conversation Generator - Stueynet Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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Create fake Facebook conversations and share with others using the Fake Convos web app. Log in using any Facebook account to begin. Click Create and choose any character to post ...more
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Create fake Facebook conversations and share with others using the Fake Convos web app. Log in using any Facebook account to begin. Click Create and choose any character to post a comment. Write the name and make a comment. Add a picture from images provided or using the url of any image. When finished, click "Add to the Stream." Now complete the same process with another character who answers your main character on the Facebook stream. Save finished conversations by providing a name and choose save. Share using the share button provided to email addresses, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media options. You can also simply take a screenshot (Command+shift +4 on a Mac or Prtscrn on Windows).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

IF your students can access Facebook at school, have them create different characters talking to each other. The characters can be historical people, politicians, or characters from literature. Ask students to write dialogues for the characters. Challenge students to discuss a topic or try to solve a problem using this tool. You can also use this tool to teach netiquette or anti-bullying by having students model appropriate interactions. Use this tool to allow students to debate both sides of an argument or position. Create a Fake Convos dialogue and have students respond within the dialogue.

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FotoFlexer - Arbor Labs, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Flex your photo creativity with this free tool. Transform images with scrapbook-like effects and embellishments. Begin with basic effects like cropping and contrasting. Add text, draw...more
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Flex your photo creativity with this free tool. Transform images with scrapbook-like effects and embellishments. Begin with basic effects like cropping and contrasting. Add text, draw on the photo, and add animated effects to flex your photo editing muscles. The tool is integrated with Facebook and most photosharing sites. You can also upload photos from your computer. Resave photos back to your computer, share online, or store in FotoFlexer. Flex your photos without an account or create an account to store them in FotoFlexer. Only the demonstrations require FLASH.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creativity with these fun photo effects. Type sentences or definitions on photos that represent vocabulary words. Highlight geometric shapes in photos with the drawing tool to show math in everyday life or around the world. Integrate images in multimedia products. Narrate images with UtellStory (reviewed here) or other digital storytelling tools. Use the text tool to draw information on maps. Upload images from science labs for students to annotate their experiment. Upload images of student artwork and have students annotate to explain their techniques. In world languages, add the vocabulary word for actions or objects to create a picture dictionary. Enhance pictures for blogs, wikis, or classroom sites. Be sure to check district policy before using student pictures. Annotate photos for visual directions for assignments. If using pictures from the Internet, be sure to discuss copyright issues and approve pictures for student use. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here, Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here, or PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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Piazza - Pooja Sankar

Grades
9 to 12
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Piazza is a free service to create collaborative message boards for use in classrooms. Track student use, add multiple instructors and or teaching assistants in each course, and collaborate...more
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Piazza is a free service to create collaborative message boards for use in classrooms. Track student use, add multiple instructors and or teaching assistants in each course, and collaborate on editing messages using Piazza's features. Piazza allows you to collaborate on responses to create one cohesive response instead of several similar individual responses. Create tags to label information such as quiz 1, semester review, or grading rubrics. Choose the statistics icon to view class participation, activity peaks, and question response times. Choose Try a Demo to explore features included with Piazza in their virtual sandbox. This tool seems to be aimed at college/university level classes but can be used with students over age 13 if you are adhering to your school's policies.

tag(s): questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Consider using Piazza as a resource in your classroom to increase student interaction with materials and each other. Library/media specialists could use this tool for online book clubs. Teach on a team? Collaborate with other teachers for assignments and more using this site. Create quick questions or even a short quiz using Piazza. You can also use this tool in your graduate courses!

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Strikingly - David Chen, Dafeng Guo, and Teng Bao

Grades
6 to 12
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Strikingly allows you to make beautiful, one-page websites quickly without any coding experience. View sites on any device. Quickly connect to social media, track analytics, and add...more
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Strikingly allows you to make beautiful, one-page websites quickly without any coding experience. View sites on any device. Quickly connect to social media, track analytics, and add contact forms easily. Create an account using email and a password to begin. Choose a category from business, personal, or portfolio to choose a template and begin editing. Click each section to edit. Upload images from your computer or many other options such as Dropbox, Instagram, and Picasa. When finished, choose the Publish button to personalize your url. Share via Facebook, Twitter, or by emailing the url. Free plans allow for one page per user. However, you can earn points to access additional content by "Liking" Strikingly on Facebook or other options. There is a 5 MB limit to the monthly bandwidth (traffic) for free sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Use this site for students to post simple projects such as stories, poems, and art projects on a mobile friendly page. These could be shared easily on a class set of iTouches! Collect a master list of links to student pages on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for easy access. If students are creating pages, be sure to check with your district's policy on student use of email as well as publishing of student work. Create websites for many projects: back to school introductions, any subject/topic, research projects, book reports... the possibilities go on and on! Create a handy mobile-friendly page to share resources and information during field trips or outside activities. If you do a field study, make a simple page of the activities students are expected to do there so they can access it easily using their smart phones.

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JumpRope Standards Based Grading - Jesse Olsen and Justin Meyer

Grades
K to 12
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JumpRope offers an online, standards-based gradebook and lesson building program. You can also include information such as attendance, character, and standards-based performance with...more
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JumpRope offers an online, standards-based gradebook and lesson building program. You can also include information such as attendance, character, and standards-based performance with just a few easy entries. Manually enter your students' names in JumpRope or upload a spreadsheet of names to begin. Use the tabs on the dashboard to move around to different areas of the site. Write anecdotes on student behavior, assign a category and value, and more. Collaborative features between teachers appear to require a school or district level membership, and there is no information stating it is free. Based on backwards design principles, this planning tool considers learning goals before assessments or learning experiences. Assessments are aligned to one or more chosen standards. Upload as many supporting documents or resources you desire to use throughout the year and beyond.

tag(s): classroom management (135)

In the Classroom

If your school does not have a required gradebook program in place, consider using JumpRope as an option for grading, attendance, and lesson planning.

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Problem-Attic - EducAide Software

Grades
6 to 12
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Problem-Attic is a resource for finding and compiling the best questions from NY Regents, State Assessments, Academic Competitions, and more for classroom or individual use. Select,...more
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Problem-Attic is a resource for finding and compiling the best questions from NY Regents, State Assessments, Academic Competitions, and more for classroom or individual use. Select, arrange, and format questions as desired. Select questions by browsing topics or exams. Add items as desired to your document with the link provided. Drag and drop selections into any order such as easy to hard, all multiple choice items together, etc. Choose a template for how questions should look. Choose other options such as allowing room for students to show work and printing an answer key. Preview your document until it is complete then print in PDF format.

tag(s): assessment (100), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Save this site as an excellent practice for end of year testing, state tests, and national tests. Use Problem-Attic to personalize learning for students. Share this tool on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom to prepare for state testing. Challenge your students to create (and print) practice tests for other students. Coaches for academic competitions can use this site for team practice. Teachers of gifted can use it for students to practice for out-of-level testing used to screen students for special gifted opportunities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Celly - Celly, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Texting, texting... 1, 2, 3. Are you hunting for a good text messaging tool? Celly is a free mobile social network to communicate with students and parents via text message. ...more
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Texting, texting... 1, 2, 3. Are you hunting for a good text messaging tool? Celly is a free mobile social network to communicate with students and parents via text message. A simple setup process allows you to create as many cells (private texting rooms) as you like. Provide your unique code to students and parents to join your cell through their phone or the web. Members can use Celly online or through a mobile device. Require usernames or allow users to be anonymous. Members' numbers are private for safe and secure communication. Customize your cells with how you want to interact with your members. Conversation mode can be configured for one-way messaging, from the teacher to all members, or two-way group chat between all members. Multiple-choice polls allow numerous opportunities for engagement. Schedule messages to be sent at a later time. Link your cell(s) online for students and parents who do not have text messaging. 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. Celly is free; however, standard text message rates apply. Students ages 13-18 must have parental permission to use Celly.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), gamification (65), parents (56), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Celly could work in class as an instant response system if your school allows cell phones. Create a protected online environment for students to communicate with you and with each other. Set up your account and all students (and parents) at the beginning of the school year or at Back to School night. Students can communicate online or on a phone. Students and parents without cell phones won't be left out because they can interact online. Quickly send reminders to students and parents or promote an upcoming event or due date. No need to watch the news! Send alerts to members for weather closures and delays. Even if your students are too young, teachers can communicate with parents via Celly. Schedule messages up to 90 days in the future. Use Celly as a back channel or interactive wall during class. Students can use the @me feature for note-taking in class. Provide polls for exit slips or to activate schema. Send polls during field trips to monitor engagement and text trivia questions on the bus ride home. Send reminders to chaperones on field trips. Students and chaperones can text you throughout the trip as virtual safety checks. Real time information from the polls provides rich data. Polls are efficient and meaningful. They make the classroom feel like a larger place.

You can say so much in only 140 characters. Allow students to use texting language to send responses. However, they should also have to write the message using correct conventions. Teach the difference between formal and non-formal writing. Rewrite passages in abbreviated speech through text messages. Students translate the messages to gain a better understanding of the material. Students can also rewrite work for peers to translate. Students can text thoughts as they read a selection to group members for interactive reading. Teach digital citizenship in a controlled environment. Responsibly using cell phones in the classroom teaches digital literacy skills to be successful.

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