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Hebrew Alef-Bet - Jacob Richman

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn the Hebrew alphabet from this site. The list of letters includes the pronunciation, the Hebrew symbol, the script form, the Rashi alphabet, and the numeric equivalent. There is...more
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Learn the Hebrew alphabet from this site. The list of letters includes the pronunciation, the Hebrew symbol, the script form, the Rashi alphabet, and the numeric equivalent. There is also a short video to view to learn more about this fascinating language. Another interesting feature is the composite photograph of Israeli stamps from 2001, each stamp featuring one letter of the alphabet.

tag(s): alphabet (91), hebrew (13), holidays (147), israel (17)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as a reference for students who are studying Israel, learning Hebrew, or using the Hebrew alphabet. Share the video clip on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Google's translation tool to learn more about the meaning of Hebrew words as while studying Israel,the Holocaust, or Jewish subculture within the U.S. and other countries. Have students create Glogs, using Glogster EDU, reviewed here with images of words or signage in Hebrew and explanations.

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Ed.Voicethread Digital Library - Voicethread LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Unsure of classroom uses for Voicethread? On this site, teachers share successful projects that use Voicethread. Choose from the subjects along the left side. Read articles sharing...more
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Unsure of classroom uses for Voicethread? On this site, teachers share successful projects that use Voicethread. Choose from the subjects along the left side. Read articles sharing ideas, challenges in the use of Voicethread, and a sample Voicethread to view. New to Voicethread? Check our review of Voicethread here.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152)

In the Classroom

Find great project ideas from educators who have used Voicethread in the classroom. For example, in Math find great projects about measurement, probability, and problem solving. In Science, view stories about Astronomy. View projects about Ellis Island and the Reconstruction along with other Social Studies examples. Find great projects on these subjects as well as Language Arts, Foreign Language, Information Technology, Professional Development, and Performing Arts. Have a great project using Voicethread? Join the community and submit your as well.

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Idiom Videos - BBC

Grades
8 to 12
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This BBC site for ELL/ESL learners offers common idioms, organized by themes, illustrated with entertaining videos. Themes range from animals to body idioms, to colors, to sports, and...more
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This BBC site for ELL/ESL learners offers common idioms, organized by themes, illustrated with entertaining videos. Themes range from animals to body idioms, to colors, to sports, and food. The videos feature a speaker with a British accent, drawing and explaining the idiom orally while drawing and while using it.

tag(s): idioms (44), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your classroom computers and send-home newsletters to help clear up the meanings of often confusing idioms with a humorous touch. Although the focus is on ESL/ELL students, the cleverly done draw it and say it approach of the videos might serve as a model for student creations of vocabulary word explanations. World language students, similarly, could create similar videos or in class presentations using the draw it, tell it technique to explain new vocabulary words. Challenge students to create a video and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Clothes Around the World - ELCivics

Grades
2 to 10
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This site offers colorful pictures of different kinds of traditional dress from around the world: Scotland, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Nigeria, Egypt, China, Vietnam, Sweden, Brazil,...more
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This site offers colorful pictures of different kinds of traditional dress from around the world: Scotland, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Nigeria, Egypt, China, Vietnam, Sweden, Brazil, and others. An accompanying PowerPoint lesson plan allows instructors to display the clothing graphics on a screen; the PowerPoint contains extra information about the clothing and cultures they represent. The target group for this lesson is beginning language learners. You must have PowerPoint software to open the downloadable PowerPoint shows. Be aware: this site does include many advertisements which may be rather distracting.

tag(s): clothing (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site with beginning world language lessons; select appropriate slides from the cultures speaking the target language. Have students consult with relatives about other forms of traditional dress and draw their own color illustrations. Have students find photos and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Try Compfight reviewed here to locate Creative Commons images students may use. Challenge students to narrate a picture using Slidestory, reviewed here. Use the lesson plan as a jumping off point for student research projects on other countries and cultures. Younger students may enjoy printing the clothing slides and creating puzzles with similar shaped pieces. Mix the pieces and have students assemble the clothing correctly and name the countries involved.

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Overstream - Overstream, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
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Add subtitles wherever you want them in your videos. Use with videos on You Tube, Google Video, Blip.tv, and Vimeo. More sites may be added in the future, but those ...more
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Add subtitles wherever you want them in your videos. Use with videos on You Tube, Google Video, Blip.tv, and Vimeo. More sites may be added in the future, but those four video sites were the only ones able to be used at the time of this review. Click the "FAQ" tab to view the most frequently asked questions and view tutorials. Register for free using an email. Email verification is required. Use the bookmarklet browser add on to instantly add subtitles to videos as you view them.

tag(s): movies (69)

In the Classroom

Users must find or upload an appropriate video to You Tube or Vimeo (be sure to check services that may have been added to the About page.) Check to be sure the videos will be accessible at school. Grab the video URL and enter to bring into the Overstream player. Choose start and end times and enter the subtitle text into the correct place. Share your subtitled Overstream by using the link they provide.

Discuss the appropriate and inappropriate use of this resource, including the consequences. Proofread the subtitles before entering into this application and publishing to the Internet.

Use this application to add funny or explanatory subtitles to movies where students explain the experiment, historical events, viewpoints, stories, etc. Create narration in Spanish and add English subtitles or try it the other way around! Annotate political videos with subtitle labels, such as which portions may include incomplete or erroneous information. Have students add subtitles to demonstration videos to underscore important steps, such as ingredients in a recipe. Have ESL/ELL students practice written language by putting English subtitles onto a video in their native language. Let students' imagination soar!

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World Wide School Library - World Wide School

Grades
1 to 12
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The world Wide Library is a collection of online books in the public domain. They are currently adding to the collection of classic titles from the Gutenberg Collection with the ...more
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The world Wide Library is a collection of online books in the public domain. They are currently adding to the collection of classic titles from the Gutenberg Collection with the offerings of the Hart Library. It is well-organized and easy to use. You can search by subject, title, author, or in a general box at the bottom of the page. Available texts are in English and also in other languages such as French, German, other Germanic & Scandinavian Languages, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Use these online texts as a source for easy copy/paste excerpts to use on an interactive whiteboard when studying literature. Suggest that students browse the offerings to see sample a book or author when searching for independent reading or research materials. Share the texts in world language classes. Since the texts are no longer under copyright, they are a great source for literary projects such as visual interpretations of poetry, or online posters about literary devices. Use a tool such as GlogsterEDU, reviewed here for students to create online visuals with text and more. Share the link on your class website for students to find copyright-free texts any time.

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Online-Calculator - Online-calculator.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific ...more
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific or BMI calculator. There is also a stopwatch tool available. If you speak a language other than English, simply click to change to the language of your choice - it's that easy.

Be aware: this site does include advertisements.

tag(s): latin (22)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool, beyond the obvious ones for math class. Bookmark this site on your own computer for projection on an interactive whiteboard and make the link available on your class web page for students to access from individual computers. You can shrink the calculator window in the corner of your interactive whiteboard to use as needed. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. The stopwatch tool can be useful for any in-class, timed assignment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ClassZone Book Finder - McDougall Littell

Grades
6 to 12
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This is your gateway to the authors, literature, grammar, math, world languages, science, and accompanying skills featured in your grade appropriate curriculums. Follow a few simple...more
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This is your gateway to the authors, literature, grammar, math, world languages, science, and accompanying skills featured in your grade appropriate curriculums. Follow a few simple steps to find online resources full of information, guides, projects, assessments, and other interactive activities. You start by identifying the subject area you are searching for, then add in your state. A list of possible curricula are provided. Click on the textbook that your school uses and the site takes you to a wealth of information and activities.

Although this site is originally intended for McDougall Littell, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt book users, many of the various publishers include the same state recommended core works in their anthologies. Many of the teacher and student tools are only accessible to McDougall Littell/ Houghton/Mifflin Harcourt users; however there is an abundance of materials that do not require a log in. It is worth exploring!

tag(s): authors (121), grammar (215), literature (275), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an extension to your repertoire of literary works, including background information on authors, discussion starters, a variety of graphic organizers custom-tailored for different literary genres, or for motivational ideas. The available resources are flexible enough to use as a teacher-driven tool projected on the classroom whiteboard, or made available on your teacher web page for students to click on the questions they want to ask and get answers from the experts. This is especially valuable for remediation and review. Use the Language Network for grammar, usage and mechanics, writing workshops, practice SAT, ACT English, ACT Reading tests and more. Share this link on your class website for students to access at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Anne Frank in the World - Utah Education Network

Grades
3 to 12
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Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945 is an online critical thinking unit designed to use the story of a young girl as a catalyst to understand the themes of discrimination, ...more
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Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945 is an online critical thinking unit designed to use the story of a young girl as a catalyst to understand the themes of discrimination, diversity, peace, and justice. It includes several worksheets, readings, images, lessons and objectives delineated for various grade levels, and exposes students to vocabulary and concepts related to the cruel realities that Anne and other victims of the Holocaust endured. What distinguishes this site from many of the others is the sensitivity to Anne's story from her viewpoint, which is invaluable because she was a teenager during the Nazi period and had many similar interests and concerns as today's teenagers.

tag(s): anne frank (10), holocaust (39), jews (20), nazis (10), remembrance day (6), women (91), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use the activities and resources on this site to help students connect global and individual events, and realize that a positive attitude is possible despite terrible misfortune. Use the online resources to help you select the topics, activities, and articles that center around the themes you want to emphasize as a preview or follow up to reading The Diary of Anne Frank. Let the students collect and save their information on a class set of computers, (groups of three students work well.) Work toward one or several of the suggested final products, such as creating a wall poster, collage, or mosaic by using one of the online tools reviewed by TeachersFirst. Have students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Challenge students to use Mosaic Maker reviewed here. You might want to start by having students brainstorm a list of past or present acts of discrimination of which they are aware. Develop their brainstorming list on an interactive whiteboard or projector using bubbl.us, reviewed here, and ask students to think about and associate feelings of the victims of these acts. How might those feelings look in graphic form? Have each student or groups of students choose one example from the list, along with a few words about the feelings that accompany the acts of discrimination, and select online images that reflect those emotions. When students express their feelings onto visual media, it helps them relate to what Anne did by writing in her diary. For more adventurous technology users, all individual or group work can be merged to create an online scrapbook that can be shared with the entire class and families, using Smilebox (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Community Walk - Jared Cosulich

Grades
K to 12
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Community Walk maps out communities with place markers, photos, written and audio comments, and interactive media. Community Walk uses Google maps technology but is not an affiliate....more
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Community Walk maps out communities with place markers, photos, written and audio comments, and interactive media. Community Walk uses Google maps technology but is not an affiliate. Users can view maps as a satellite, terrain, or hybrid image. This site allows users to zoom in and out (using the arrows) and scroll across the map in any cardinal direction. Save time with "bulk edit" and download multiple locations at one time. Create multiple tabs and sort locations in a variety of ways. Place marker graphics include clip art icons of beds, cakes, airplanes, houses etc. Community Walk creates a custom URL for each map. It is possible to download the map as a .kml file and view it through Google Earth. More astute technology users may want to embed the map into a class website, blog, or wiki. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to check to be sure all portions you plan to use in class will be available using your school's network.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): landforms (45), map skills (80), maps (289)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to use if teaching about communities, local government, map skills, or local history. Demonstrate how to use Community Walk on an interactive whiteboard. Together with your class map out community sites in the neighborhood. Bookmark the site on the classroom computers and have students practice marking locations. Ask the class to identify important government buildings or historical points of interest. Have the class research and mark the location of animal habitats such as forests, grasslands, deserts, tundra's, and oceans. Embed these maps into multimedia presentations on a class wiki about Biomes. For more information on wikis check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Compose history lessons that ask students to synthesize military strategy with geography. Track the historic marches of opposing forces and mark battle locations, encampments, natural resources, transportation systems, and significant ports. Color code each category and create a map legend. Link the journey's sequence of points and measure the distance in both kilometers and miles. Share these maps on your class web page for students to access as a reference and assist review before tests. Foreign language students, speaking in the language they are learning, can record narratives about points of interest in foreign countries. For example, students learning to speak French can upload narrative reports about various locations in Paris.

Create a map with or without an account. More features are available to those who register. Manipulate the map as you would on Google Maps (zoom, drag, etc). Add a place marker by either entering the name of the location, or address, or latitude and longitude. Community Walk automatically saves markers from previous made maps. Title each location and create a main category and subcategory to help with sorting later. You need to know how to upload files and images or insert an HTML directly into the description box. Adjustable settings will permit users to set privacy permissions and to disable comments from the public.

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Dipity - Underlying, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Dipity is an online timeline creator that allows you to create, view, and share timelines in several different ways. When viewing timelines the default mode is the classic timeline...more
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Dipity is an online timeline creator that allows you to create, view, and share timelines in several different ways. When viewing timelines the default mode is the classic timeline display. With just a click the same information can be shown as a flipbook, map, and list. Sharing is simple through widgets that can be embedded on blogs or websites as well as quick links to common networking sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Click on "add an event" and complete as much information as you can about the event. Types of information that are provided include: title, date, description, picture, link, location, and video Url. If you do not have a complete set of information, the event will still look good in the timeline! Also, please note that you cannot create imaginary locations. The site does verify the place entered as location is a real place.

Use a created, identifiable to the outside world team name to preserve student internet security. This way, students do not need to create their own accounts. Be careful when having students enter locations, if it is historical project, real dates and times are safe to use. However, if students are creating personal type timelines, use general locations like city and country or even just country. You can control who can see the timelines, and who can edit the timeline. Use caution here!

Create a timeline of classroom events throughout the school year. During a unit on inventions, having different students add each invention to the timeline along with pertinent information to create a very visual display of the chronology of the introduction of each item (great for review!). Use for an author study to compare and contrast lives of authors and add historical events to put each author's works into perspective. In science class, have students create a timeline of scientific discoveries or the life of a plant, animal, or scientist. Challenge students to create cross-disciplinary timelines showing historic, scientific, and artistic events during the same time period, such as the Renaissance or a decade during the 20th century, so they can see trends. Make timelines of environmental concerns, such as the Gulf Oil Spill--or a history of environmental disasters. Create timelines for historic events -- local or global. Make family histories in world language classes using vocabulary and grammar skills to describe family members in the new language. Create a class timeline to add to your classroom wiki and have students add information as the year advances so that they can look back on all that they have accomplished.

Need a challenge for your gifted students? as the study history or a scientific discovery, have them make a timeline that shows other events happening in the world at the same time. Have them create a "family tree" for endangered species using this timeline tool. Add pictures, locations, and names of related species and causes for the threat to that animal. Have them map out the steps leading to a war or civil rights event, adding the more subtle causes and people not included in the regular curriculum.

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conjugation.com - Best Practice

Grades
5 to 12
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See the conjugation of any English verb for free. This site conjugates over 15,000 verbs in all 3 forms: affirmative, interrogative, and negative, and in all tenses, genders, persons,...more
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See the conjugation of any English verb for free. This site conjugates over 15,000 verbs in all 3 forms: affirmative, interrogative, and negative, and in all tenses, genders, persons, voices, and moods. An added advantage at this site is you can see the definition of the verb. Other nice features are an example of the verb used in a sentence and a synonym of the verb used in a sentence. If you are a world language teacher, you may want to check back at this brand new site. They say they will next be developing pages to conjugate verbs in languages other than English.

tag(s): grammar (215), parts of speech (68), speech (92), verbs (41), writing (363)

In the Classroom

This site has a source code you can embed on your own wiki or website. In class you can use your interactive whiteboard or projector to show students conjugation.com and have them suggest verbs to be entered and conjugated. They will also learn the names of the verb forms and tenses. Have the ESL and ELL students in your class use this site to check their writing. Underline the verbs in their writing that are not conjugated correctly and let them make the corrections using conjugation.com.

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Mix Book - Andrew Laffoon

Grades
K to 12
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously...more
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously insert photos, text, and edit from separate computers. Authors can select from a wide variety of thematic designs, layout options, stickers, and backgrounds or design their own. Upload personal photos, scanned illustrations, or free public domain images directly into the image library. Inserting photos is a simple, intuitive process that requires a click and drag. The text comes in a variety of font options, and sizes. A complete transcript of the writing appears below the book. Viewers can enjoy the reading the book without needless advertising or redirection to another site. It is also possible to copy a book and easily create a customized edition for individual students. There is always the option to purchase books directly from the Mixbook. Go directly to this site and immediately create your masterpiece.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152), ebooks (43)

In the Classroom

Use Mixbook to create collaborative projects, yearbooks, or to give writers workshop publishing a professional flare. History teachers may enjoy letting students photograph a re-enactment of a scene from the past and then write accompanying text. Combine yearly research reports with this multimedia option. Have students create collaborative projects that access fantastic photography collections from sites such as the Library of Congress . Primary school teachers can photograph student illustrations of familiar songs, poems, or rhymes and create "class" books. Project these books onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and revolutionize shared reading. Create parent education books that communicate how to help with their student's reading at home, or explain the stages of project-based learning. Students can also author books in a foreign language. Mixbook is useful for all areas of the school curriculum. Remember to embed student books into the school website for family and friends at home to enjoy.

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WinkBall - WinkBall

Grades
K to 12
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to ...more
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to email or post on video blogs and walls. Choose to communicate with the general public, set groups, or speak to only one person. Winkball supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files and imports videos directly from YouTube. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. There are no ads except for a very short Winkball ad that appears at the end of each video clip. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to check to be sure that all portions you plan to use in class will be available using your school's network.

tag(s): journalism (51)

In the Classroom

Winkball requires the use of a webcam or video camera. Simply adjust the camera for a good shot and click record. The preview feature allows users to clear away initial takes and start again. Download video camera footage onto the computer and then directly upload it to Winkball. The site supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files. Enter a title and description for each video clip. Students can also embed videos from Youtube onto video blogs or walls. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. The site is intuitive and involves little more than point and click abilities. Create a single class account using your "extra" email address, so you can monitor and submit student work.

Winkball has the potential to extend learning beyond the confines of your school. It can provide learning opportunities for students physically unable to attend class or who need to receive coursework from another school. Students can film various features of a field trip and share them on a video wall. Video chat will allow students to record interviews with people outside of the local community. Coordinate collaborative learning projects by having students share resources on video blog. The video blog could also serve as an on-line journal for phases of a long-term unit of study, experiment, or class project. Record the stages of a student's thinking process when engaging in creative problem solving activities. Share the value of this learning process with parents and family by posting a video wall on the class website. Create a broadcasting club and post regular news reports about school events on the school website. Upload a film clip about a historic event onto a class video blog and include a probing question that asks students take a stand on an issue, express their opinion, or debate one another on-line. Provide homework help by recording step-by step procedures to solve a particular type of math problem at home. Model ways parents can help their student with their reading. Post live coverage of class plays, concerts, and school performances so that parents at work can still be in the audience. Make language learning more authentic by using video messaging to communicate with students across the globe.

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Wikimedia Commons - Wkimedia Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using ...more
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using the same technology as Wikipedia, you can edit, upload, and embed media file projects into any Wikimedia project. Every media file comes with a description, name of the author and complete licensing details. Search for videos, images, or sound media by keyword, content categories, nature, science, or society. This is an amazing resource to use when searching for any multimedia content.

tag(s): creative commons (22)

In the Classroom

Address the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Glogster (reviewed here). These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.

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Quiznator - Quiznator

Grades
2 to 12
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access ...more
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access your creations online from anywhere! Email is required to join, however, verification is not required. Add your documents, test questions, and worksheets and let Quiznator organize and update them for you. This makes creating multiple version of the same exam quick and painless. This is a great way to back up files on the web for school!

tag(s): worksheets (61)

In the Classroom

Upload your test questions during the summer and feel free to add more as your school year progresses, but use this tool to save a bundle of time on test and quiz creation. Put your worksheet or activity sheet questions into the program and use the questions on quizzes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TodaysMeet - James Socol

Grades
5 to 12
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows...more
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows anyone with the URL for a specific chat stream to join in, using short (140 characters) messages. Participants can be in the same room or across the globe. The only "skill" needed is being able to type! Save a transcript via the link at the bottom of the chat and switch to "projector-friendly" view with one click so a group can follow the chat on screen. TodaysMeet does not require a membership to access these features, but creating a free account with an email address unlocks more features to meet your needs. The free account allows you to archive your rooms for up to one year, and custom organization of your rooms is available for easy access. You can only archive rooms for up to one month without creating an account. Filter participants, moderate their content, and use speaker colors to take control of your rooms. A TodaysMeet account also offers three different QR code sizes to share access to your room as well as the ability to allow participants to download the transcript. TodaysMeet may be blocked through some web filters as a social media site.

tag(s): microblogging (45), twitter (51)

In the Classroom

No special skills needed except the ability to create a name for your chat and to share the URL with others. Create "room" by giving it a name; decide how long you want it to last; and add a Twitter hashtag (optional). The room name becomes part of the URL. For example, The room called tfedge has URL http://todaysmeet.com/tfedge. Give participants the room URL. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join.

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

In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.

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TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading strategies, review ideas, and notetaking methods that students and teachers can try as lessons in themselves or --even better-- as they go about the regular curriculum. Whether you want to use a graphic organizer, create your own electronic flash cards, or simply learn how to approach a test, there is a resource to help. Learning Support teachers and teachers of gifted will also want to share these alternate ways for students to organize and retain concepts, vocabulary, and more.

In the Classroom

Make learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject. Feature one or more new study strategy each month and share this entire list as a link from your class web page for students and parents to access both in and out of school.

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Animoto - Animoto Productions

Grades
8 to 12
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This animation tool will help create a slide show with pizzazz. Add personal sounds, videos, and other media to create the next level of slide show for your classes. This ...more
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This animation tool will help create a slide show with pizzazz. Add personal sounds, videos, and other media to create the next level of slide show for your classes. This tool is great for PC-based schools without access to other free video or multimedia creation software. Create 30 second videos including music choices from over 300 soundtracks. A typical thirty second video requires twelve images making this a reasonable choice for projects with middle and high school level students. However, if you scroll to the bottom of the landing or pricing page and find the column titled "Animoto For" and slide to "Education" you will see that teachers can apply for the full Animoto for free for use in their 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.

tag(s): animation (66), DAT device agnostic tool (166), images (271), movies (69), photography (160), slides (65), video (268)

In the Classroom

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. Users need the basic understanding of how to upload pictures, videos, and other media, especially a user adding personalized content. Use stock images and media available through the site if you prefer. To create a show, simply click on the create button and follow the onscreen instructions. If adding personal images and video, the program allows searching through files. Add music from the site bank or from personal music sources (copyright-free, of course). Finalize the video with the last click and view your video. Share easily from the codes or export tools provided. Use Animoto to make commercials, science fair previews, and animated shorts in any content area. Have students make "advertisements" for an organism or a literary character. Make a travel commercial for a country being studied or for cultural sites in a world language class. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Chogger - Chogger, LLC

Grades
2 to 12
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Create comics easily and simply by drawing, uploading pictures or graphics, and choosing as many frames as possible to complete your project. Registration is not required to use Chogger....more
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Create comics easily and simply by drawing, uploading pictures or graphics, and choosing as many frames as possible to complete your project. Registration is not required to use Chogger. Click "Create A Comic" to get started. The creator will launch in a new window. Note: to FINISH and share a comic by URL, you must establish a free account.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (271)

In the Classroom

Use a whole-class account created using a teacher (memberships) email for students to create comics that can be easily monitored/managed by the teacher. Click on buttons to learn the basics that can be used to create the comic. To use, click "Create" and then on "New drawing." Use the tools to create shapes, draw lines, change points, and drag segments easily. Click on the camera icon to take or upload a picture. Click Text tab to add caption bubbles and text. When finished, easily save your comic by adding a title and description. Comics can also be marked private, if you wish. Share completed online comics by copy/pasting the URL of the "finished" comic. Be sure to KEEP a record of these URLs or manage them using "My Comics."

Provide only the link to the "Create" portion of the site to remove possible viewing of public comics. If desired, require students to take a screenshot of their comic instead of saving to the site. Take a snapshot using the print screen (PrtScrn) button on a PC or using the screenshot shortcut in a Mac (apple/shift/4.) Images can then be uploaded to a blog, wiki, or other site for display.

Use Chogger to explain vocabulary words or other concepts from any class or subject area. Use comics to write summaries of current events, responses to reading assignments, expressions of teen problems, and creative works of humor. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share or create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the life cycle of the frog or ways to conserve energy. Use this site to integrate an art and writing lesson. Why not have students create comics to demonstrate a concept in science or social studies, rather than a traditional paper/pencil quiz? World language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance for students to demonstrate written language skills in the "context" of their comic situations. Emotional support /autistic support teachers and students can create comics to help explain social interactions.

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