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Spruz - spruz.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Spruz is a tool for creating social networks. Though that may be a scary term to parents and a concept prohibited in your school, this site provides private spaces for ...more
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Spruz is a tool for creating social networks. Though that may be a scary term to parents and a concept prohibited in your school, this site provides private spaces for classroom use in K-12. Because of concerns over COPPA (federal legislation protecting children on the web), it is recommended for ages 13 and up. Users outside the U.S. do not need to worry about this law. There are related blog posts and debate about whether the law applies if you configure your site a certain way, but TeachersFirst cannot recommend circumventing the law.

Spruz provides an online space for forums (threaded discussions), blogs, "friends," groups, personal spaces for members, and more. As the administrator, you can control the actual set-up. Make your space private or set to public. Members still have to join to be part of the site. Assuming you can access the URL at school, this tool can provide a PRIVATE online space for your classes or teaching team as an electronic home for use in and out of school. This site touts that they have beefed up their business model in order to continue to offer free services.

tag(s): blogs (88), bookmarks (60), chat (51), forum (9), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Before you start, make sure filtering on the school network will not block your specific URL. See some of the tips from the Edge team. Set up a network, including name, URL, and description. Be sure to choose Private to limit viewing of your network to those you INVITE to join. Drag your desired features to create your layout. You can always change it later. Make appearance choices. Click on the parts of the site you wish to create such as chat, forum, blog, links, bookmarks, files, etc. Be sure to check the box that requires approval from the account owner for members to join. Change profile questions and options available to members easily.

A class social network has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Create groups for students to work on projects and use the space as a forum to work out tasks, scheduling, and file sharing. Get creative and ask students to play the role of a historical figure on a social network across time: Ben Franklin networks with Harry Truman to argue about the atomic bomb. Use the site as a forum for any simulated or real task. Invite parents to join to give their points of view on upcoming elections or public policy issues. Include the principal or superintendent in your class discussions of students' rights as you study the Constitution. Your students themselves will suggest ways to use this all-too-familiar tool from their world. Imagine the "profiles" they could create as characters from fiction or inventors from history! Create incredible discussions of environmental, political, or economic issues. Inviting members from another school or community provides incredible perspective into a variety of different beliefs and values. Definitely plan to model and use this tool in lessons about Internet safety and the "lasting" nature of one's Internet presence. Social networking is part of life today, and the opportunity to learn about it in a private space is important for today's students.

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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 (266)

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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The Anne Frank House - The Anne Frank Stichting

Grades
5 to 12
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The Anne Frank House has been a museum since 1960. The history of the former hiding place where the Frank family and four other Jews lived in secrecy comes alive ...more
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The Anne Frank House has been a museum since 1960. The history of the former hiding place where the Frank family and four other Jews lived in secrecy comes alive on this website. Starting with 1940 photographs of the building known as Opekta factory, see and learn how the office space was transformed into the Secret Annex where Anne Frank hid for more than two years until the betrayal and arrest by the Nazis. Find out about the four employees who risked their lives to make the hiding possible. The rooms of the Secret Annex have been preserved in their authentic state and salvaged documents and objects belonging to the eight people in hiding are on display. Three short films are included on the website to place the significance of this personal story in a historical context. See Anne Frank's hiding place in 3D and meet the people that helped those hidden inside. After clicking on the secret bookcase, you will be taken behind the scenes of the house to see how Anne and others lived in the communal room, the front office, the attic and more. View the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures.

tag(s): anne frank (10), holocaust (39), remembrance day (6), women (101), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your class on a virtual field trip to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex where they can realize what it was actually like for Anne Frank's family and four others to live inside a hidden space, with the constant fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Help the words in Anne's diary come alive by showing what the outside and inside of the building looked like, by viewing the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures. Students will be more likely to relate to Anne as a real person, instead of a fictional character, and admire her optimism, courage, and resiliency. Use this to initiate journal entries for students to reflect on how they would handle two years of hiding and sharing a small space with others, as well as what they would do to remain positive, or use the online exhibit to shed some light on a dark period in history and to strengthen the personal account of the hiding period and the deportation to the camps. Assign class members to read about one of the house members or helpers to research, then have them write a diary (or blog entry) from that person's point of view. Assign teams to debate who was the most important member of the household or if this situation could take place in today's society. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.Have groups compare two people they learned about using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Create a class wiki for students to share their journal articles and respond to others.
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Colors in Motion - Claudia Cortes

Grades
K to 12
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If you teach any aspect of color and design, this is a great site to introduce not only color theory but also the psychology of color. This interactive presentation explains ...more
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If you teach any aspect of color and design, this is a great site to introduce not only color theory but also the psychology of color. This interactive presentation explains the symbolism behind color and the psychological impact each has on our emotions. Animated characters representing each color, playfully describe their symbolism and lists words that describe the emotional sense of each color evokes. The rich word bank provides valuable adjectives useful for writing instruction. It is an excellent resource for writers learning how to be more elaborate, develop mood, tone, and enhance the use of description in their writing. This is the site's author, Claudia Cortes, master's thesis for a degree in Computer Graphic Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. You can view the site in English or Spanish. Note: The pages actually launch in a pop-up window. Watch the top of your browser window for a pop-up alert and tell it to "allow pop ups from this site."

tag(s): creativity (109), design (84), elaboration (2), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use it to introduce color names and primary and secondary colors with students as young as kindergarten or ESL/ELL students. It would also be a great resource to support a poetry unit or mini-lessons on elaboration. Two of the interactive activities give students an opportunity to create stories with colors. This site will help older students understand the evocative nature of color. This knowledge may help them create more engaging presentations or designs that are cognizant of mood and tone. There are several on-line interactive activities to use on an interactive whiteboard. All creations made on-line are printable. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference.
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Kidz Page! Poetry and Verse for Children of All Ages - Emmi Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Kidz Page! is a compilation of poems by students of various ages from a variety of locations. Poems range from simple to serious. When using with younger students, be sure ...more
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Kidz Page! is a compilation of poems by students of various ages from a variety of locations. Poems range from simple to serious. When using with younger students, be sure to identify pages that may have mature content.

tag(s): poetry (228), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set to a poetry unit. Share this site during Poetry Month in April! Students can peruse the collection to find a poem that intrigues them and then share with the class using an interactive whiteboard or a document camera connected to a computer. Select poems to evaluate with your students and have them develop a criteria for what makes a good poem.

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Literary Glossary - EDSITEment

Grades
2 to 12
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Literary Glossary offers definitions for virtually any literary term from Allegory to Villanelle. Simply click on the term that you are looking for and a definition will follow. Each...more
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Literary Glossary offers definitions for virtually any literary term from Allegory to Villanelle. Simply click on the term that you are looking for and a definition will follow. Each definition includes an option for lesson plans relating to the specific term. The lesson plans also include assessments, extensions, and website links that pertain to the terminology and lesson.

tag(s): literary devices (11), literature (275)

In the Classroom

This site can be used as a teacher tool if you are unsure of a definition or simply looking for a new way to teach a literary concept. It can also be used as a terminology resource for students. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Have young students use this site in cooperative learning groups and create online books providing the definitions to several new vocabulary words, along with examples they collect or create. Use a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Newspaper Blackout - Austin Kleon

Grades
4 to 12
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Newspaper Blackout is a clever way to unlock the secret poetry hidden within any printed page. This Tumblr site shares examples (unmoderated, so preview before sharing in a classroom!)....more
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Newspaper Blackout is a clever way to unlock the secret poetry hidden within any printed page. This Tumblr site shares examples (unmoderated, so preview before sharing in a classroom!). Poetry no longer needs to be a gray area; this activity makes it black and white! There are no gimmicks, no magic pens, and no camouflage paper, but this is certainly a tricky way to write a poem! All you need are newspapers and black markers. Hunt for and select a few words from each of the lines as you read a newspaper or magazine article. Remember to start with the title. Instead of the typical bottom-up approach to writing a poem by starting with a blank page and filling it with words, try this fresh, top down approach by starting with a page already crowded with words. Then use permanent markers to blacken out all the trivial words in each line until the poem appears. (Put something under your page so the ink does not bleed through on furniture!) Click Share your poem to learn how to upload your work to the site.

tag(s): creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

This poetry activity opens the doors to so many learning objectives. In a social studies or history classroom, you could direct your students to search for newspaper or magazine articles on topics that you have been studying, or current events. Suddenly you have social studies poetry! In an English language arts lesson, you might instruct students to blacken out all the words that are not nouns or verbs, or select other parts of speech. You could change the task to eliminate any word that is not part of the simple subject or predicate, and simultaneously teach or reinforce main idea. For classrooms with individual computers, students could access articles online. Copy the text into a document. Then, Instead of blackening out words with markers, they could get the same effect by highlighting over them with black, or changing the font color of the text to white, and printing them or saving a screenshot image. Another option is for students to email their Newspaper Blackout poems to the teacher. Each poem could then be put into a Power Point slide show for the class to see on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to offer your students a new twist on Poetry Month (April). Take your new poetry collection to the world by uploading the PowerPoint to ThingLink, reviewed here, and having each student record a reading in his/her own voice. Make poetry a participatory experience, no matter what the subject. If your school permits, have students take photos of their paper poems -- or screenshots of ones done on the computer --and share them on this site.

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Pinwheels for Peace - Ayers & McMillan

Grades
K to 12
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Promote world peace by joining this global art installation project. Pinwheels for peace gives students and teachers, artists and non-artists and the young and old alike an opportunity...more
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Promote world peace by joining this global art installation project. Pinwheels for peace gives students and teachers, artists and non-artists and the young and old alike an opportunity to voice their common desire to live in a world free of violence. Bring your family, classmates, school district, or local organizations together to assemble and decorate pinwheels containing messages of peace. On September 21, the International Day of Peace, insert them in the ground of a visible location in your community and let your wish for peace resonate with others around the world. The pinwheel template and directions are available for download or feel free to build your own design.

In the Classroom

Begin the school year by discussing what peace means to your students and how to promote it in your own school community. Have your class write prose or essays on the subject on the interior section of the pinwheel and then decorate the exterior with patterns or symbols of peace. Use this same concept as a part your world history study and have students write persuasive letters about peace on the pinwheel to world leaders or historic figures from the past. Most importantly, enjoy this team building with your students.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bombay TV - grapheine.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Grab your student's attention by creating subtitles over old video clips from Bombay. Using humor, teachers can demonstrate how to punctuate dialog and how body language and intonation...more
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Grab your student's attention by creating subtitles over old video clips from Bombay. Using humor, teachers can demonstrate how to punctuate dialog and how body language and intonation enhance communication. There are several movie clips from which to choose. The subtitles can appear as text, or be turned into speech. It is also possible to record your own voiceover. Their second site, Bombay TV 2, lets the viewer drag and drop scenes to create their own unique video sequence. All videos are published on-line and come with an embed code and web address. Teachers and students can share videos by embedding them on websites, by email, or social bookmarks.

tag(s): creative writing (166), india (36), writing (359)

In the Classroom

This site is useful for drama, creative writing, psychology, or even character education and school counseling. Behavior support teachers may also want to use it to help students "read" body language. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Explore how people communicate emotion in verbal and non-verbal ways. It is also possible to write subtitles in different languages. Foreign language instructors may want to ask students to write subtitles in the language students are studying. Teachers may find this a humorous way to make class announcements, explain concepts, or even announce homework assignments. Have students work collaboratively to create commercials and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Preview the site before hand and be sure to get permission from your school administrator to share commercials online. When presenting the site do so with cultural sensitivity. Take into consideration that the language used in the movie clips may be the first language of some students or their families.
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Repper - studio:ludens

Grades
2 to 12
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Is Open House or Back to School Night looming around the corner? This site is a pattern creator that "turns your images into eye-catching designs." Repper will help your students ...more
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Is Open House or Back to School Night looming around the corner? This site is a pattern creator that "turns your images into eye-catching designs." Repper will help your students create stunning covers for reports, student writing, or portfolios. Simply create patterns from your own digital photographs by downloading your image into Repper and then pick a section of the photo to duplicate. Students can re-size and drag the viewfinder to pick the most interesting section of your photo. There are endless possibilities for pattern designs from just one photo. Your creation can be downloaded to your computer or shared as a background on your favorite social networking site or class website. Students will love this tool and will most likely find a use for it after school as well.

tag(s): design (84), graphic design (35), patterns (85)

In the Classroom

This pattern-making tool is useful if teaching digital design or looking for a way to spruce up student presentations. All patterns can be downloaded as a JPG and therefore can be used, manipulated or incorporated with other image making media such as Animoto, iPhoto, iMovie, ThingLink, Photoshop, Flip movies and many more applications. It may also be useful for teaching geometry and making patterns in math class. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. All imagery created on Repper is available for public access through their website's online gallery. Viewers can also search for patterns in their database by any combination of tags, color, and size.

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Kwout - kwout

Grades
1 to 12
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Use kwout to grab a screenshot or quote of any web site to post anywhere else you need. Show snippets of information from anywhere on the web and insert on ...more
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Use kwout to grab a screenshot or quote of any web site to post anywhere else you need. Show snippets of information from anywhere on the web and insert on any site, blog, or wiki where items can be embedded. Add a "my kwout" badge to your blog or website that will display your quoted items in one place. Here is a sample "kwout" of the Kwout site:

kwout | A brilliant way to quote via kwout

tag(s): bookmarks (60), quotations (23)

In the Classroom

Use kwout by adding a bookmarklet to your browser. Users will need to know how to add bookmarklets in the specific browser being used. You can test out kwout by using the demo on their home page, but this will slow down your ability to kwout pages as you browse the web. Network administrators may block download and installation of bookmarklets on district machines. Be sure to check with your IT department on the possibility of adding bookmarklets. Users of kwout need knowledge of using embed codes to display quoted image maps in the site of their choice.

After adding the bookmarklet to your toolbar, find a website you wish to quote. Click the kwout bookmarklet and view the popup screenshot of the webpage being viewed. Drag your mouse to choose the portion of the screenshot wishing to be quoted. Click "Cut out" to cut that portion of the screenshot that will now become an image map and hyperlink. Copy the embed code that is displayed to paste into the site being used to show the image map.

Add the bookmarklet to your browser window of computers authorized to do so. Be certain to only quote items that are appropriate for viewing and use in the classroom. Require students to show work prior to embedding in a blog, wiki, or other site to be certain of appropriateness.

Use as a way to aggregate content in one place. This tool is best suited for teacher use below grade 6 because unless your students are familiar with embed codes! As students find quoted material, use for discussions of different viewpoints or content needed to understand a specific subject area or topic. For example, have students create a wiki collection of kwouts to show different perspectives on an environmental issue such as global warming. Use teacher-made kwouts as prompts for blog posts or free writing activities in the classroom. Find a specific kwout (quote) that students must respond to and embed in a blog, wiki, or site of your choice. After students read the quote, provide time to respond to the quote and post their thoughts in a blog post or other type of writing. If students require more information or wish to read more, advise them to click on the quote to view the entire resource. View snippets or quotes from a variety of sites for students to analyze. Use this idea for many subject areas including history (multiple viewpoints of conflicts), environmental or economic problems, or other issues. You can also use kwouts to provide a collection of links to review and enrichment sites on your class web page. Non-readers will be able to "see" the sites and now where to click.
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Livebinders - Livebinders, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Compile and share information from all over the web -- and text and images you add -- with others by creating a Livebinder on a topic or theme. Add tabs ...more
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Compile and share information from all over the web -- and text and images you add -- with others by creating a Livebinder on a topic or theme. Add tabs with specific information, easily accessed across the top of the binder. Interested in sharing information in a new way? Check out this extremely easy and exceptional site that can easily manage digital clutter. Gather and organize links, videos, information, charts, news, etc. in one neat and organized binder. As you update your binder in the future, all your changes automatically show to everyone who accesses the binder by URL or embedded version. Binders can be public or password-protected ("private"), so use of copyrighted images is possible under Fair Use, as long as you limit access to your own students via password (they call it a "key").
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Once an account is created, add the bookmarklet to your browser bar for quick access. Check with your IT department to have the ability to download bookmarklets on your computer. Knowledge of embed codes are required to manage Livebinders in other sites. To get a better idea of Livebinder basics, watch the 90 second video tour before you "play."

Click on "start a blank binder," enter a description, tags, category, and mark it private or public. Click yes to "use Google search to fill a binder" to find plenty of information fast. Your new binder will instantly be filled with a new tab for each site matching your search term. After entering "climate change," a new Livebinder was created with tabs that matched research I had previously spent a lot of time to find. Now it can be instantly shared. Click on "edit menu" in the upper right of your binder to change description, title, etc. as well as fonts, tabs, and other details. To share, click on share this binder along the bottom right to share by email, Facebook, Twitter, or embedding via link or embed code. Embed your Livebinder in a blog, wiki, or other site or provide the link for access by others.

Safety/Security: Users must be 13 years of age to create an account. Teachers can create an account and share Livebinders for student use at any age. Create a class account with a global login and password. Students use the same login to access the Livebinder and create tabs on various topics. As each collaborator would not be known, ask students to add initials to tabs they create so you know the source. Check your school policies on whether student work may be displayed online and what information is permitted, then enforce that policy with your students.

Create a Livebinder to assemble information and requirements for a student project. Make the Livebinder the actual ASSIGNMENT sheet. Use a new tab in the binder for each type of resource or topic of information. In English classes, use to offer spelling, writing, or grammar hints for students. Create a binder for specific sports teams that showcase team accolades, resources for increasing skills, or to create snack lists and travel information. Create a Livebinder for groups of students to plan or report on vacation plans, learn about cultures or countries, or maintain information for student projects. Students can use Livebinders to assemble information for group projects that can be discussed with the teacher to track progress. Consider creating a binder for assignments for students that focus on the use of information versus just the searching for the information. Any content or subject area can be easily managed by creating a Livebinder for student learning. Create an art or music gallery easily with a Livebinder. Use each tab of a Livebinder for each cell part necessary for the functioning of a cell. Create tabs in a binder for each battle or campaign in a specific war. Create a tab for each candidate in a specific election. Have students or student groups (13 and over) create Livebinder "tours" or annotated collections on a topic such as the pros and cons of organic foods, a cultural tour of a country, or applications of geometry in architecture. Of course their student-written annotations and commentary will be key to make these collections into meaningful products. They might even create tasks and questions for other students to try to learn about the topic.

If you are simply looking for a way to share technology-infused project assignments with students from grade 2 and up, a teacher-made Livebinder is an easy way to do it, and you can share the assignment with parents and learning support teachers by simply providing the URL.

Comments

I've used LIveBinder successfully at the 3rd/4th grade level to share web pages with students on specific subjects and topics. My students went back to the binders to read more, even when that unit was finished. I also create and fill binders as I am planning and gathering webpages as I plan my units. Linda, IL, Grades: 3 - 4
Takes some getting used to, instructions not as clear as they could be, but very helpful for sharing lots of resources that share a common theme. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Prezi - Prezi

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Prezi is a visual, "zoomable" presentation tool. It is similar to PowerPoint and Keynote, but there is so much more to Prezi! You can graphically arrange a large amount of ...more
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Prezi is a visual, "zoomable" presentation tool. It is similar to PowerPoint and Keynote, but there is so much more to Prezi! You can graphically arrange a large amount of content, such as a big idea with its supporting information. It creates very dynamic presentations. See samples by clicking "log in" then "Explore" (instead of logging in). Choose a background, follow the instructions and prompts of the program, and before you know it, you will have your very own Prezi to share. If you like to see directions, watch the quick intro video. You can also view Prezis created by others and use them as templates for your own work. Check out the sample created by the TF Edge team here. This tool works in ANY device's web browser, from iPod to Android to laptop. Collaborate on a Prezi with other Prezi members in real time using the Share function. Have a "meeting" to work on the same Prezi in real time. There is a free "edu enjoy" level of membership (requires a school issued email and verification) that allows you to keep your Prezis private, out of public sharing. The regular "enjoy" membership is free for only one month, and its Prezis are public. File storage limits apply to free accounts. It is worth noting that some people find Prezi causes motion-sickness if it zooms too much!

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

You could map your entire lesson, chapter or unit in one Prezi. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great way to connect prior knowledge with the next step if you share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector throughout the unit. Or you could post it to your web page or give kids the URL so they can review as often as they need it. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create timelines of relevant events, or in science or math class have them map steps in a process. Have students create Prezis for different events, and then have them post the link to their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Prezis. The possibilities are endless!

If you have gifted students n your class, offer Prezi as one alternative for sharing extensions to the regular curriculum. If they already know the material, have them investigate a related process or example and share it in the form of a Prezi.

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Twiducate - Twiducate

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Looking for a microblogging (think twitter) alternative for collaboration or networking in your classes? Use Twiducate to create a microblogging platform for the students in your classes...more
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Looking for a microblogging (think twitter) alternative for collaboration or networking in your classes? Use Twiducate to create a microblogging platform for the students in your classes without venturing into the more complex public interactions of Twitter. Maintain privacy and a safe structure for collaborative learning. Post questions to elicit responses or use the safe environment for students to receive feedback on works in progress. Not sure about this resource? Twiducate was created by a group of teachers in Southwest Ontario to provide this type of service to students and teachers.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Create an account easily with information about your school and title. Though an email is required, create your account without email verification. Make a class name and code that students can use for Twiducate. Manage many options through your home page including adding students, entering bookmarks to share with students, viewing the public timeline (you may find a teacher to collaborate and share with,) and create more classes. Students do not need to register themselves and are added in through the teacher. As students are added, a password is generated for them.

Use this safe, private, closed system to blog and network in your classes. Students are able to access this site outside of school and collaborate there as well. Invite parents into this network and let them see what is going on. Teachers are able to moderate all posts and remove any unwanted posts. Consider printing the screen of student names and passwords for a hard copy in order to access the information. Be sure to discuss rules of etiquette for posting and commenting in order to teach students effective use of these types of services. Be sure to include actions for broken rules. Check your school policies about using such a resource and whether special permission slips may be required.

The possibilities are endless. Use for posting homework assignments. Share and publish bookmarks for students to use. Respond to students trying to get test dates and other assignments changed! Collaborate among small or large groups. Create study groups for review and learning of information. Use small time information gathering more effectively: Assign every two students a concept to research and share learning with the rest of the class for discussion. How can you be sure that each student has completed work? Have them blog their information through Twiducate. Each group would have a specific key word that they use at the start of their posts. Search for a keyword at the top of the screen to bring up all those related posts! Watching a movie that requires students to answer questions? Post prepared questions throughout the movie to elicit responses from students. Allow students the ability to blog their reactions to documentaries and work together for understanding. During poetry month, have student do oral poetry reading while others microblog their reactions to the poem as they listen. Share weekly links and comments about current events via microblog. If you are willing to risk it invite students to microblog questions and reactions to teacher and student presentations in progress. Suddenly listening is an active endeavor! Provide this resource for groups to collaborate in and out of class and offer options for learning at any time.

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Lexipedia (Beta) - Vantage Linguistics

Grades
2 to 12
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Lexipedia is "Where Words Have Meaning." Type in a word and see what happens! This site creates a web of related words. Each color represents a different part of speech ...more
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Lexipedia is "Where Words Have Meaning." Type in a word and see what happens! This site creates a web of related words. Each color represents a different part of speech or relationship to the original word - nouns, verbs, synonyms, antonyms and even fuzzynyms! Words become more than isolated strings of letters and part of a greater web of language.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (56), mean (25), synonyms (38), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Explore this site on interactive whiteboard or projector to show students how to improve writing with descriptive words. Consider allowing students to share a favorite word of the day for 30 seconds on your interactive whiteboard at the start of class. Use this in a word study unit by covering up the original word.Students will then try to discover the word based on the word relationships found around the word. Build understanding of parts of speech through this tool every time you look up a word. Reinforce these concepts for visual learners continuously by using the same colors every time you highlight on your interactive whiteboard. World language teachers can also type in words to demonstrate and expand vocabulary in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, and Italian. Special ed teachers, especially those in speech/language will love this tool to help students SEE relationships between words. Encourage your language-delayed students to look up words and build "word sense" even when they are familiar with the word's meaning. Make this site available as a reference on classroom computers and on your class web page.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Literacy Education Online - Sharon Cogdill & Judith Kilborn:St. Cloud State University

Grades
8 to 12
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Are you tired of searching page after page in volume after volume to try to compile all the ABC's of what students need to write outstanding papers? Literacy Education Online, ...more
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Are you tired of searching page after page in volume after volume to try to compile all the ABC's of what students need to write outstanding papers? Literacy Education Online, (referred to as LEO), is a one-stop shopping convenience that provides a multitude of electronic "handouts" for a variety of writing topics, including grammar, mechanics, content, and how-to guidelines. The files are listed alphabetically, but the best way to use LEO is to scroll down to the phrase that describes what you want to teach or what's bothering you about your students' writing. You'll be amazed at what you will find! Topics run the gamut from "My writing doesn't flow. It sounds choppy" to "I'm not sure how to revise or catch errors." Of course, you will also find the entire familiar standard "stuff" as well, like help with citations, documentation, and how to avoid plagiarism

tag(s): editing (61), grammar (216), punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

The electronic handouts are a huge time saver both as a teaching tool to display on the interactive whiteboard during instruction and as a place to review, reinforce, and revisit as a whole class or individually. You quickly get exactly what you are looking for: the rules, plenty of examples, and suggestions for how to improve. Save this site in your favorites and share it on your class web page for students to access as needed. The online handouts are in html format.

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Bestsellers - Shmoop Editors

Grades
4 to 12
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Bestsellers is a credible, academic resource that utilizes innovative internet based features that appeal to today's youth culture, discussing best selling literature. Do you...more
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Bestsellers is a credible, academic resource that utilizes innovative internet based features that appeal to today's youth culture, discussing best selling literature. Do you want to assign a book whose title will grab your students' attention just by the mere mention of it, like the books found on Oprah's Picks and other most read lists? Have you steered away from those books because of the lack of teaching resources, such as study guides and questions? Bestsellers, part of the larger Shmoop site written by Ph.D. and Masters students at Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley (and other top universities), does all of that and more. Students and teachers can access lively learning guides organized by summaries, themes, quotes, study questions, character analysis, and links to best of the web options. The pages are written in a clever, witty voice designed to appeal to students and teachers, not at all like the familiar style found in most book synopsis and reviews, and all the information is properly cited. The only complaint you might have is the limited number of books to choose from, but don't worry; books are continually being added, so check back often. Since books for both younger and older audiences share this site, you may want to preview what your students can find for other age groups.

"Bestsellers" is free to use. Additionally, there is an option to create a free account which allows the advantage of using the tools like the online dictionary, "Stickies," and sharing on social networks. Creating an account requires an email address. You may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): book reports (35), literature (275), novels (24)

In the Classroom

Are you looking for a way to motivate your reluctant readers to pick up a book, or do you have some book hungry students who sneak to read their own book while you are teaching a lesson? The "Bestsellers" site provides a wealth of internet-based material for navigating the twists and turns of the plots and characters in books like Harry Potter and the Twilight series. The online learning guides have a table of contents that gives a quick view of what is included in each tab, which enables you to quickly find what you want without opening each section. This site provides more information than the standard textbook teacher's edition, and provides brilliant connections between some of the literary classics. There are photos, videos, and links galore. You might want to include a link to this site on your class web page, or if you prefer to control the amount of information that you want students to have before actually reading the book, then bookmark it in your favorites and dole out the information at your discretion.

If looking for a different instructional method, share one of the slide shows on a projector or interactive whiteboard as you introduce a unit or allow students to use portions of the slide shows as part of their own presentations on a specific author or book on the bestsellers list.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Literature Project - Literature Project

Grades
5 to 12
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Literature Project is a compilation of books, speeches, plays, poems and more, including links to chapter by chapter text. The site also provides research links and information as well...more
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Literature Project is a compilation of books, speeches, plays, poems and more, including links to chapter by chapter text. The site also provides research links and information as well as links to eBooks to purchase. There are many classic books available to read as well as information and links, called "topic sites," with more coming soon. One example of a useful topic site on Literature Project is African American Authors in History. Note that though study guides are listed, they are not accessible and the reader may be taken to a link where she can make a purchase! The site lacks images and animation, but it is useful for access to electronic texts of many classic works frequently studied in schools.

The project states that they are currently working on literature forums, which may be useful for students in discussing literature once it becomes available.

tag(s): literature (275), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use this site to assign reading of classic texts and stories. Students will benefit since they do not have to access actual books. As the site boasts, it is more "environmentally friendly"! Students may want to use the topic sites to research for class reports, glogs or other projects. Use classic texts from this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Either copy/paste for some quick electronic text or simply open the actual web page. Use the passages to annotate and explore literary devices, examine sentence/paragraph structure, or analyze writing style or context clues for vocabulary, having students use whiteboard tools to explain their analysis or present their own thoughts about the literature. This site is also a great place to "grab" passages of text and paste them into a graphic word cloud-maker such as Wordle, reviewed here. With electronic text, you can easily compare the writing style of two or more authors or poets in a snap. Invite students to create visual interpretations of text passages, illustrating themes or motifs using a tool such as GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.

Electronic text can also be "read aloud" by text-to-speech software on your computer, assisting those who may have weaker reading skills.

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Memorize.com - Memorize.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily ...more
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily accessible to all. Choose pre-made flash cards or create your own. If you choose to create your own, you can create an account or let the system create one for you. Options to switch between flashcard, multiple choice, and matching formats are provided. Diagrams and explanatory text can also be included with your choices.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Join the site or let them create an account for you -- but be sure you remember that username, etc. so you can access it again! (email required). Read through the various options or use their "wizards" to create materials.

Create materials for review and practice with basic information, terms, and more. Students can collect and save rows or information they missed to aid with their learning. Ask your students to create their own flashcards or memory set to review before a test or quiz. Have students make practice materials for each other, as well. Learning support teachers will find their students enjoy reviewing more if they are creating something themselves, and the process of MAKING the cards is actually a review in itself.

Share this link on your website for parents to review with their student. This format is very flexible and can be used to create materials for everything from math to Social Studies.

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Word It Out - Worditout.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Create impressive word clouds from any text! What is a word cloud? Word clouds show not only the words in the text sample, but also display the frequency of the ...more
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Create impressive word clouds from any text! What is a word cloud? Word clouds show not only the words in the text sample, but also display the frequency of the words by showing often used words in a larger font. No login or registration required. Click "Create a word cloud," enter or paste your text and then click "word it out." View your word cloud, drag the arrows on the sides of the screen to make larger or smaller, and change the colors and specifics of the word cloud in the space below. Click "Save" to save as either public or private (an email address is required to save.)

tag(s): visualizations (14), vocabulary (324), word choice (26), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to copy/paste text passages (ctrl or command + C, then ctrl or command + V to paste. Think Velcro to stick it there!). If you wish to Save, you must join the site (email required). Alternately, capture the image using screen capture (apple/shift/4 on a Mac or Print Screen on a PC.)

Use a word cloud in virtually any class. With emergent readers, enter multiple words with the same consonant cluster or vowel sound, so they can SEE a visual grouping of that sound on your interactive whiteboard and guess the sound. Project a teacher-created word cloud at the start of a new lesson or unit and have students determine what the lesson will be about. Have students use word clouds to proof their own essays or stories. Use word clouds for students to identify the subject and frequently used words to check if they are on target with their intended message. Have students find overused words in their own writing as part of lessons on word choice. Teachers could create and save a word cloud then share it as a visual prompt for students to work individually or in groups to identify words they know (and the definitions) as well as the words they are unfamiliar with. Create word clouds of passages or stories and allow students to guess the author, title, subject, or meaning of the story. Underscore motifs in literature by creating clouds of passages, especially poetry. Have students work together to make clouds of alternative ways to say "said" or "went" in story-writing to post in your classroom as a reference. Create word clouds of opinion passages to determine the bias of the author and possible reasons for that specific opinion. Make word cloud posters on health topics such as the potential health risks of smoking. Make word clouds of different food groups. Create higher order thinking activities by approaching text in a unique way.

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