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Tarr's Toolbox - Russel Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text...more
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text box for a complete description of activities. Some of the descriptions have suggestions for use of the tools found on Classtools, reviewed here. Be sure to subscribe to Tarr's Toolbox blog to receive updates as new ideas are added.

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

In the Classroom

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

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Limnu - David Debry and David Hart

Grades
K to 12
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Sketch, collaborate, and brainstorm without having to register or sign up using Limnu's online whiteboard. Follow links to open your whiteboard. You may want to complete the tour to...more
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Sketch, collaborate, and brainstorm without having to register or sign up using Limnu's online whiteboard. Follow links to open your whiteboard. You may want to complete the tour to learn about features before use. Options allow you to add images, change text colors, and add notes. Limnu also offers a chat feature with a video room (available with Chrome, Fox, and Opera browsers). Free accounts get three boards with a seven-day expiration; however, educators receive free premium time after signing up and contacting Limnu through the educator form. Under Limnu's Privacy Policy it is stated that this site is designed for ages 13+. If using this in younger classrooms, it should remain a teacher-led activity only.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), drawing (78), iwb (31), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, so another group can use it as a writing prompt. Use a Limnu board as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups (or the class) share ideas for a major project or for solving a real world problem. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is read aloud. As an assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, use Limnu to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Alternatively, have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board.

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Badge List - Knowledgestreem

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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TinyTap - Yogev Shelly

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve - INFOhio, http://www.infohio.org

Grades
4 to 10
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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is a free online interactive and engaging tool for students to learn the formal research process. There is no registration required. The information is divided...more
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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is a free online interactive and engaging tool for students to learn the formal research process. There is no registration required. The information is divided into three modules, introduced by teenage Voki avatars, reviewed here. Each module links to resources and materials from various reliable sources. Modules may include text, video, and/or audio. Through these activities, students work through each section learning how to select a topic, evaluate, use and cite information, and create a final product. Don't miss the helpful LiveBinder Teachers Guide linked on the right of the menu bar at the very top.

tag(s): citations (34), digital citizenship (59), evaluating sources (13), inquiry (37), media literacy (58), organizational skills (122), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is an easy-to-use introduction which demystifies and simplifies teaching the research process. Use this to meet the Common Core standards for research in a content area. Have students work through the site in sequence or pull out areas to teach skills, as needed. Don't forget to refer to the LiveBinder Teachers Guide for more fabulous ideas for the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Classtools Countdown Timer - Classtools.net

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to...more
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to your timer. Choose the Get Started button to begin and follow prompts to choose included music or select your own from any YouTube video. Click the save icon to receive a personalized URL for sharing.

tag(s): classroom management (135), counting (120), time (144)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. Get out your interactive whiteboard or projection screen (or even the classroom desktop computer) and make sure the speakers are turned up. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit the time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature for timing the rotations from center to center. You can even use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups! A clever classroom management tool would be to start the visible count-down on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Select calming music for quiet times. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Kindergarten students can practice counting along with the watch!

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MarvellousMe - MarvellousMe

Grades
K to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Promote parent interaction and information about classroom activities with MarvellousMe. Sign up to begin sharing daily classroom events and information with parents and promote positive...more
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Promote parent interaction and information about classroom activities with MarvellousMe. Sign up to begin sharing daily classroom events and information with parents and promote positive behaviors through award badges. Quickly upload images, videos, or record a message to share using the dashboard tools. Adjust the settings to send messages to all parents or for private messages. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. MarvellousMe offers apps for all mobile devices and suggests using the Chrome browser for online use.

Please be aware that MarvellousMe falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use MarvellousMe with their child. Be sure to click the Privacy Center or Terms of Use link at the bottom of any page and read more about FERPA and MarvellousMe.

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (199)

In the Classroom

Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use MarvellousMe to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to teachers or parents of special needs students. This tool could be invaluable for a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.

Consider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom.

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Zoom - Eric Yuan

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with up to 50 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting...more
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Collaborate with up to 50 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting times, and private or group chat. Up to 40 minutes of meeting time is included with the free meeting plans. Sign up using your email or social network account to begin hosting a meeting. The step by step instructions make it easy to quickly begin video conferencing at your convenience.

tag(s): chat (51), DAT device agnostic tool (199), parent conferences (22), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use Zoom to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Collaborate with experts such as authors and scientists with classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Consider using a tool such as Remind, reviewed here, to alert parents and students when your sessions are open. Use Zoom for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects! Buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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Mindset Kit - The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS)

Grades
K to 12
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons...more
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons and activities provide tools for developing positive mindsets, in turn, leading to increased academic performance. Choose the section for teachers to find seven lessons for educator teams, or take advantage of ten lessons for parents to learn about growth mindset and how to instill this in students. Other portions contain ideas for specific content areas and mentors.

tag(s): brain (72), learning styles (19), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons and ideas on this site in your classroom and when working with parents. These tools are especially useful for times when a student (or parent) claims that they were never good in a particular subject. Share ideas with your peers as part of your ongoing professional development, discuss ideas from this site and how they can be incorporated as part of a school-wide action. Take advantage of the many ideas featured in the Popular Practices section to learn how to use ideas in any classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OneNote - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies...more
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies of files or documents from your computer into OneNote. Share and collaborate with others. Access your OneNote account by signing in to any computer or device.

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

In the Classroom

Use OneNote for all notes, ideas, and photographs in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of OneNote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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ThemeSpark (Beta) - David Hunter

Grades
K to 12
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Create standards-based lessons and rubrics in minutes with ThemeSpark. Incorporate your ready-made materials or use global resources available on the site. The lesson builder includes...more
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Create standards-based lessons and rubrics in minutes with ThemeSpark. Incorporate your ready-made materials or use global resources available on the site. The lesson builder includes the ability to add a hook, information to learn, practice, and application activity. When finished, download the lesson in an easy to use format. Be sure to watch the QuickStart Lesson Builder video and read through the FAQ section on the site for full information about creating lessons and using ThemeSpark. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (100), professional development (123), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use ThemeSpark for all of your lesson planning. Copy and paste current lesson plans to Theme Spark to match to standards. Collaborate with peers to create and develop standards-based lessons for your entire curriculum. This is perfect for when you need to have a sub, and for those teachers who must have a week of lesson plans on their desk for an administrator.

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PenPal Schools - Joe Troyen

Grades
4 to 12
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PenPal Schools connects learners from around the world with three to six-week courses in cross-cultural learning and understanding. After sign up, PenPal Schools matches classes based...more
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PenPal Schools connects learners from around the world with three to six-week courses in cross-cultural learning and understanding. After sign up, PenPal Schools matches classes based on class size and age range. Choose courses from four categories based on global issues or American issues. Each week, students log in to complete an assignment that typically involves viewing a video and reading a news article before answering a set of questions. Assignments are aligned with the Common Core Standards.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), DAT device agnostic tool (199)

In the Classroom

Create an account and participate in different courses as part of your studies of current events. Enrich course content by having students create an annotated image based on discussion questions including text boxes, related links, and even video. Use Thinglink, reviewed here, for this activity. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a tool such as podOmatic, reviewed here.

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Sign Generator - Ryland Sanders

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a personalized sign using the many templates offered on the Sign Generator. Options include personalized cakes, cartoon characters, movie marquees, and much more. Click the thumbnail...more
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Create a personalized sign using the many templates offered on the Sign Generator. Options include personalized cakes, cartoon characters, movie marquees, and much more. Click the thumbnail of the design you want, add your text into the provided lines, and click the link to finish. Your personalized sign appears on a popup image ready to save onto your computer.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Create signs to include with multimedia projects. Customize a sign for use on your interactive whiteboard with directions for seat work or to introduce students presenting projects to the class. Have students use the images to give short story summaries using only four to six words. Create a set of class rules using one of the templates, and then print and post them on a bulletin board.
 

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Big Ideas Video Series - Class Dojo

Grades
K to 8
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The Big Ideas Series, offer by ClassDojo, provides a five part video series encouraging students to explore different ways to discover a growth mindset. Each topic takes a look at ...more
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The Big Ideas Series, offer by ClassDojo, provides a five part video series encouraging students to explore different ways to discover a growth mindset. Each topic takes a look at a secret of the brain and how to use this science to improve learning. Ideas within videos discuss concepts such as the magic of mistakes and taking tasks a little at a time. Each short video includes a discussion guide to download for classroom use and a page with take-home questions for parent use. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): brain (72), emotions (35), learning styles (19)

In the Classroom

Share videos with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard with students. Introduce a video each week and explore the discussion questions together. These videos could be very useful when preparing and motivating students for upcoming standardized testing or at the beginning of a school year to set a tone that everyone can learn. Include a link to videos on your class web page for parents to discuss at home with their student, and be sure to send home the take-home questions with topics to talk about.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zeetings - Zeetings

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Zeetings is a presentation tool that allows your participants to participate! Have up to 100 participants per Zeeting. The basic account includes some terrific features including unlimited...more
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Zeetings is a presentation tool that allows your participants to participate! Have up to 100 participants per Zeeting. The basic account includes some terrific features including unlimited polls, videos, embeds, web links, and unlimited uploads of PowerPoint and PDFs. Sign up is quick with no waiting for an email invite. Give your account a URL name (keep it simple) and begin constructing your presentation right away. Once you broadcast the presentation (by URL or code), all participants will be on the same page as you. When you turn the page; theirs will turn, too.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

What a cool way to have all students at the same place in your lesson! Additionally, they can ask questions, answer a poll, or watch a video, all in real time. Any subject teacher can take advantage of this powerful tool! Introduce Zeetings to your class(es) with your projector to show them all the features, then have them learn and participate by logging into your presentation. Have students use Zeetings when presenting orally to the class. Have them incorporate web links and videos, with a quiz (survey) at the end. The survey will tell them who was paying attention or better yet if their presentation was clear and interesting.

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eLearning Infographics - e-Learning Industry LLC

Grades
K to 12
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eLearning Infographics offers an extensive selection of infographics for educational use. Choose from a variety of topics such as Playing to Learn and The Evolution of Technology in...more
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eLearning Infographics offers an extensive selection of infographics for educational use. Choose from a variety of topics such as Playing to Learn and The Evolution of Technology in Schools. Each infographic displays a category. Click that link to view others with similar topics. Click on the infographic link to see the full image along with links for sharing on social networks and email, or copy and paste the embed code to embed directly onto your website.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), infographics (42), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the infographics on this site for both classroom use and professional development. Introduce a topic by sharing the Infographic and allowing time for students (or peers) to identify various items that they notice about the chart. Allow time to think-pair-share and list questions for further understanding. Choose a new infographic each week and use links for each image to embed on your website or share via social media. Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to. Consider creating Infographics of material students are learning in class for better understanding and connection with other topics and the world around them. You and students can create a simple infographic sharing information and/or findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.

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Spiral - The Social Learning Network

Grades
K to 12
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Discover Spiral's three free apps for classroom collaboration that will work on any device with a web browser. Sign up with your email and use Quickfire to ask unlimited questions ...more
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Discover Spiral's three free apps for classroom collaboration that will work on any device with a web browser. Sign up with your email and use Quickfire to ask unlimited questions and see answers in real-time. Engage your audience and knock down participation barriers with this free response system. Display answers anonymously. Use Discuss to present lessons and build resources and a knowledge base during your lessons. Have a discussion within Discuss, too. Team Up is for groups. Groups can do all research work within Team Up and create a presentation (a slideshow or a poster) as a final product. See their Support and FAQ page for setting up classes, the Teacher Dashboard & Admin, and more.

tag(s): chat (51), gamification (65), microblogging (44), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Spiral is a terrific set of tools to use whether you are just starting to incorporate tech with students or if you are a long time user of tech with students. After creating an account, start out simply with Quickfire and gradually build to using Team Up. Reduce the learning curve for students by using all three tools for different purposes. Any subject teacher can use these apps for a multitude of lessons, class activities, and projects. Students must create an account (no email required) and select their school. Teachers must approve students to join a class. You can also download Spiral's spreadsheet, fill it out, and upload it. Use Quickfire and Discuss for back-channel discussions which encourages timid students to participate. Team Up is a perfect tool for research groups and literature circles.

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OK2Ask: Game-Based Learning: The Quest for Classroom Success - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. The quest for classroom success begins with game-based learning. Learn tips,...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. The quest for classroom success begins with game-based learning. Learn tips, techniques, and tools to challenge and engage students. Game-based learning is a dynamic strategy that offers tremendous potential for meaningful and enriching experiences in the classroom. Enjoy sandbox time in the session to explore the vast collection of resources to suit a multitude of learners. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will... (1) Learn about the difference between gamification and game-based learning; (2) Learn game-based learning techniques and tips; (3) Evaluate tools and resources for game-based learning; (4) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (5) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): game based learning (103)

In the Classroom

Explore the many resources and ideas from this session and engage your students with game-based learning activities. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools to Power Up Your Images - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants will learn about the features of these three tools and then participate in a breakout session to learn more about the tool of their choosing. A question/answer period will be available to help with individual questions. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will: (1) Learn about and compare 3 different tools for working with images; (2) Evaluate the uses for working with these tools in the classroom; (3) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (4) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): images (266)

In the Classroom

Inspire your lessons with new ways to use images in your classroom. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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