TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 23, 2020

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Audacity - Audacity

Grades
6 to 12
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Audacity is a free, open-source audio editor and recording tool that works across most computer platforms. Follow the links to download the software onto your computer to use with a...more
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Audacity is a free, open-source audio editor and recording tool that works across most computer platforms. Follow the links to download the software onto your computer to use with a variety of recording needs. Create audio using your files or create new files using your microphone or uploaded files.

tag(s): editing (80), sound (104)

In the Classroom

Use Audacity in a variety of ways in your classroom. Let students become familiar with creating audio files by practicing voice recordings and experimenting with Audacity's editing tools. As students become familiar with this tool, use its many features to create background audio for podcasts, to create podcasts, or to record audio instructions for lessons. Ask students to use Audacity to record interviews of parents or other family members. For example, when studying immigration, ask students to record the story of a family member who immigrated to the U.S.

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Tools to Create Media - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Media comes in all shapes and sizes: videos, podcasts, posters, digital stories, and much more. This curated list includes some of our best tools for creating media in the K-12 ...more
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Media comes in all shapes and sizes: videos, podcasts, posters, digital stories, and much more. This curated list includes some of our best tools for creating media in the K-12 classroom. Remember our, "In the Classroom," suggestions give you ideas about how to use these tools in your classroom -- interested in more? See our complete list of tools related to many types of media: videos, digital design, presentations, and digital storytelling.

tag(s): Creating Media (2), digital storytelling (146), podcasts (62), posters (45), video (275)

In the Classroom

Find new tools to try in your classroom to create some cool media! Each review includes classroom use ideas. Read the details of each tool and find the ones that will make your tasks easier to manage and engage your students.

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MixLab - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Experiment and play with music using Google MixLab. Allow your computer's microphone access to the site then try some simple commands. Tell MixLab to add different types of beats, play...more
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Experiment and play with music using Google MixLab. Allow your computer's microphone access to the site then try some simple commands. Tell MixLab to add different types of beats, play instruments you choose, or speed up or slow down your creation. Tell the site to surprise you with something or use voice commands to create a unique presentation. MixLab also works through Google Home devices. When finished, share on social media or with the URL created with the "Share this Mix" link.

tag(s): musical instruments (48), rhythm (24), sounds (67)

In the Classroom

Use this site in the music classroom to assist students when learning about different music beats, types of instruments, and to experiment with creating music. Google MixLab is also an excellent addition to all classrooms for use with multimedia presentations. Have students create music blends to use as a background when creating a slide show or explainer video. Use this site to set the mood during reading class to coincide with the tone of different portions of novels or stories. For example, create uplifting music to share as story characters achieve success or use music to set a mysterious tone during unexpected events. Use MixLab as an exit ticket and ask students to create a music mix sharing their feelings on how their day went. Have students write digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here, and include their mixes to develop and enhance their stories.

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Zapier - Wade Foster

Grades
K to 12
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Zapier helps you organize and manage your workflow between apps through automated tasks. Create an account and use the guide to find and choose apps you use. Zapier integrates with...more
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Zapier helps you organize and manage your workflow between apps through automated tasks. Create an account and use the guide to find and choose apps you use. Zapier integrates with a multitude of apps, including Dropbox, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, as well as many other online tools. Connect two or more apps to create an automated action. Choose to create a Zap to select an app and an event. For example, select your Gmail account and create a path to save all Gmail attachments to your Google Drive automatically. Be sure to check out the "Recommended for You" options for an overview of the many ways to organize the workflow between apps.

tag(s): calendars (40), organizational skills (105)

In the Classroom

Use Zapier to manage everyday online work. Have Zapier send you an email each time student blogs are updated, add documents automatically to your Google Drive as they arrive in your email, or get email reminders before upcoming calendar events. The variety of actions makes this a convenient tool for automating any number of activities to save you time and maintain the organization of your information.

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boomy - Boomy Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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boomy uses artificial intelligence to help you personalize and create original music, even if you never created songs before. The more songs you create, the more boomy personalizes...more
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boomy uses artificial intelligence to help you personalize and create original music, even if you never created songs before. The more songs you create, the more boomy personalizes offerings based on your preferences. Begin by selecting the option to create a song then choose a style. Style options include Beats By You, Relaxing Meditation, and Advanced. When ready, create your song. It may take a minute or more, so be patient as boomy works it magic. Once your song is ready, listen to the preview and make additional adjustments. Use the Try Again option to make a different mix or use the edit option to adjust the settings. When finished, save your song to your library. Next time you use boomy, the site uses your preferences and saved music to create new music. Download songs to your computer, choosing from a variety of audio file choices or share using the URL or links to social media sites.

tag(s): music theory (43), rhythm (24), sounds (67)

In the Classroom

Offer students the option to explore their creative side with boomy. Ask students to make soothing music to play during study and quiet times, have them create audio to accompany their class presentations, or challenge students to make music that sets the mood for dramatic moments in literature. This site is an excellent way to appeal to your musically inclined students. Enhance student learning by asking them to share ideas on how to create different types of music by recording their screen using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here. Have students share tips and advice on how to create different moods by adjusting settings within music created with boomy.

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Free Anime Avatar Maker - Avachara

Grades
K to 12
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Design a personalized avatar using the accessible tools at this avatar maker site. Begin by choosing the gender then start customizing features, including facial features. Add wardrobe...more
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Design a personalized avatar using the accessible tools at this avatar maker site. Begin by choosing the gender then start customizing features, including facial features. Add wardrobe items and accessories as desired to complete the look. When finished, save your completed avatar to your computer as a JPG or PNG image file.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (115), emotions (42), faces (5)

In the Classroom

Create and use avatars similar to how you use Bitmoji, reviewed here characters. Create an avatar for use on your class website or blog. Update your avatar to reflect current lessons, holidays, or events. Use avatars to appeal to students and draw their attention to important information. Design an avatar with an unusual look to use as a creative writing prompt. Have older students (13+) take a picture of a portion of text and add an avatar to share a connection or response to the text (also known as BookSnaps).
 

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Tour Creator - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Create and share virtual tours with Tour Creator. Tour Creator's features offer you the ability to include 360-degree photos, highlighted points of interest, and image overlays. Use...more
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Create and share virtual tours with Tour Creator. Tour Creator's features offer you the ability to include 360-degree photos, highlighted points of interest, and image overlays. Use your 360-degree images or use those found on Google Street View. Begin creating a tour from a blank page or one of the site's templates. Follow the directions to add images and descriptions. Choose the "See Other Tours" link to view examples created by others. View finished tours on any device or with virtual viewing devices.

tag(s): design (89), images (274), virtual field trips (77)

In the Classroom

Create interactive games around your school, campus, or community for your students to complete. Send students on scavenger hunts to explore geometric shapes, nature, and history. Extend learning by having students create games for a field trip or visitors to explore your community. Have students create virtual tours of geographic locations. For example, have students create a tour of Gettysburg battlefields when studying the Civil War or use a 360-degree image taken by students to identify landforms or types of architecture found nearby. Include your virtual tours within presentations designed using Story Maps, reviewed here, to create an interactive look at any topic using maps, multimedia, and images.

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Virtual Field Trip Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection of reviewed resources includes our best virtual field trips. Peruse the list of websites and many suggestions for ways to use them in teaching almost any subject or...more
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This collection of reviewed resources includes our best virtual field trips. Peruse the list of websites and many suggestions for ways to use them in teaching almost any subject or grade. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for examples of ways to use virtual field trips as part of a lesson or unit.

tag(s): virtual field trips (77)

In the Classroom

This collection includes virtual field trips for all grades. Each review includes several classroom use ideas. Get out your projector (or interactive whiteboard) and take your students on an adventure. Have students go on a "field trip" with a partner or independently on laptops or other devices. Explore the activities suggested.

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Microsoft MakeCode - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Learn computer science through hands-on learning projects for all ages at Microsoft MakeCode. Take advantage of project ideas to inspire computing projects for your classroom. Introductory...more
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Learn computer science through hands-on learning projects for all ages at Microsoft MakeCode. Take advantage of project ideas to inspire computing projects for your classroom. Introductory courses for middle school students teach the basics of coding and beyond. Learn more through live sessions offered weekly by Microsoft team editors as they share tips for using different editing programs. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (80), makerspace (32), Microsoft (70), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Make use of the resources offered by Microsoft to share with your students as they learn how to code. Share project ideas with students and include materials for them to create their projects as part of makerspace activities. Have students take pictures of their creation and enhance their learning by using ThingLink, reviewed here, to add audio to describe their creative process. Add images to your class website as part of your student work gallery. Challenge students to use Sway, reviewed here, to create an online multimedia page including images, video, and text to describe, evaluate, and share their work with coding projects. Include project ideas from the site and set up a makerspace during open house events at your school.

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Google Maps Treks - Google

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
Never leave your easy chair as you journey beyond the road to faraway places using Google Maps Treks! Choose Gombe National Park, Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat, Colorado River, or ...more
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Never leave your easy chair as you journey beyond the road to faraway places using Google Maps Treks! Choose Gombe National Park, Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat, Colorado River, or the polar bears at Churchill. Tour Taj Mahal, Venice, Galapagos Islands, Eiffel Tower, Mt. Fuji, Everest, Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon Basin, and more. Click on the option and then click the open in Maps or Views button. On maps with multiple placemarks, click the placemark to view information about the location, and then click the title to go to the map. Choose from a variety of images taken at various locations found along the bottom. Some images are photospheres and can be manipulated using the sphere icon along the bottom right. Use the arrows in the sphere to rotate the image, giving a panoramic view of the location as you click. Use the familiar Google map tools to zoom in and out. Some Treks offer short videos that are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): cultures (116), environment (305), images (274), maps (295), photography (144), virtual field trips (77)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one is a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. View these different places whether your content includes history, geography, literature, science, languages, and more. View places discussed in class, or in stories. Look at different cultural areas or environments in the world. Choose a trek as an inspiration for further research about the area, the inspiration for a student created poem or short story, artistic work, and many other projects. Encourage student groups to choose one of the places on this site to present to the class, highlighting various economic, recreational, historical, and cultural factors at each place. You may want students to use a tool such as Knoema, reviewed here, or Data - The World Bank, reviewed here, to make sure students get accurate information. Use this as a class "Where I visited in Google Maps" project! As students ask questions about the various places, encourage discovery in finding the answers together.

Comments

Can't wait to use this after the Lit Trip session. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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e-learning for kids: Computer Skills - Dr. Nick van Dam

Grades
1 to 6
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Discover thirteen free keyboarding and computer skills e-lessons for elementary students. Five modules progress through keyboard mastery including speed and accuracy. Other lessons...more
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Discover thirteen free keyboarding and computer skills e-lessons for elementary students. Five modules progress through keyboard mastery including speed and accuracy. Other lessons offer instruction about specific computer programs. View introductions, tutorials, and participate with hands-on practice. Repeat modules and lessons as needed at any time to review and progress through all skills. If you receive a message that your computer doesn't meet minimum requirements, click the image above it to try to load the lessons. Lessons loaded just fine for our editors, even when receiving this message.

tag(s): computers (109), keyboarding (39)

In the Classroom

These lessons are perfect for computer lab or classroom computer use. Create a link to lessons and modules and allow students to progress and learn at their own pace. Be sure to share a link on your class webpage for students to access lessons at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free Training Tutorials - Barak Sofer

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Here is your one stop for FREE training on Microsoft Word and Excel, Typing challenges, and activities in several subjects. There are activities for typing, math, spelling, and life...more
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Here is your one stop for FREE training on Microsoft Word and Excel, Typing challenges, and activities in several subjects. There are activities for typing, math, spelling, and life skills geared toward elementary and middle school students. The menu at the left provides links to all activities except Excel. Find those at the top of the page. If you find an activity you like, easily share using links on each activity via email or social networks. Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (202), keyboarding (39), Microsoft (70), operations (117), parts of speech (67), spelling (161), spreadsheets (24), vocabulary (292)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to any activity on this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Train yourself on Microsoft Word or Excel using these video clips. Share the typing activities with your students to increase their speed and accuracy. Set up learning centers for the interactives available (such as nouns and verbs).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Learning Day - Alliance for Excellent Education

Grades
K to 12
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Digital Learning Day is an annual February event spotlighting successful instructional practice and effective use of technology around the country. Choose the "About DLDay" option to...more
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Digital Learning Day is an annual February event spotlighting successful instructional practice and effective use of technology around the country. Choose the "About DLDay" option to find out more about the goals of Digital Learning Day, begin with a detailed description listing the characteristics of digital learning. View exemplary models, showcases, lesson portals, and more using links provided. Sign up as a participant for Digital Learning Day then plan your own classroom activity, provide a presentation to parents, or choose from other ideas offered on the site. Explore the Participate portion of the site to find digital tools, online resources, graphics, lesson plans and more. Sign up isn't required; however, it does allow you to receive emails with updates and learning ideas throughout the year. The digital learning content demonstrations are conducted in four areas: math, science, language arts, and civics/social studies; critical areas, such as working with ELL or special education students, will be woven into the lessons.

tag(s): digital citizenship (76), digital storytelling (146), modeling (8), preK (286)

In the Classroom

Celebrate Digital Learning Day in your school by sharing this site and ideas for digital learning both in and out of school. Suggest to your PTO/PTA that they host a family digital learning evening on or about the same date. Bookmark and save this site to find digital learning ideas throughout the year and to plan special events for a midwinter Digital Learning Day celebration. Share with colleagues as a resource.

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