TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 26, 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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Twitter Chat: Using Technology to Support Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from March 2020 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Using Technology to Support Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles. During...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from March 2020 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Using Technology to Support Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles. During this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss UDL principles and strategies; 2. Share resources and tech tools that support UDL principles; and 3. Explore ways to promote the use of UDL principles when planning instruction.

tag(s): Accessibility (10), twitterchatarchive (93)

In the Classroom

Find resources and information about how to use tech tools to support universal design for learning (UDL) principles. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for resources related to school to home communication.

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OK2Ask: Microsoft in Edu Day: 2 Free Apps for Inclusive Learning - Office Lens & Translate - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from July 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. Making a learning environment accessible for everyone is critical to a successful...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from July 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. Making a learning environment accessible for everyone is critical to a successful inclusive classroom. Today's classrooms are diverse and include English Language Learners and students with learning challenges, whether they have been identified or not. Every teacher needs to be able to create and deliver content in a way that is accessible to each student. Fortunately, teachers already have free technologies at their disposal to assist with this. Join us as we explore strategies and tools that facilitate an inclusive learning environment. Participants will: 1. Understand the importance of accessibility; 2. Learn about a free Microsoft tool that can be used to digitize content into accessible materials; and 3. Discover a tool that helps bridge communication gaps and supports accessible classroom learning. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Accessibility (10), Microsoft (80), professional development (261)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. 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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Twitter Chat: Tech Tools for Accessibility - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from April 2019 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is Tech Tools for Accessibility. During this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from April 2019 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is Tech Tools for Accessibility. During this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss the need for technology to provide accessibility to learning for all students; 2. Share resources to meet the individual needs of students; and 3. Explore ways to collaborate with school teams to ensure appropriate tools are being used in the classroom.

tag(s): climate (95), professional development (261), Special Needs (45), twitterchatarchive (93)

In the Classroom

Find resources and explore ways to provide accessibility to learning for all learners. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for sites and information related to assistive technology and inclusion.

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InsertLearning - Ben Pedersen and Karin Hogen

Grades
6 to 12
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InsertLearning is an extension for Chrome Browsers that allows you to turn any website into an interactive lesson. Install the extension on Chrome, then click on the icon to use ...more
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InsertLearning is an extension for Chrome Browsers that allows you to turn any website into an interactive lesson. Install the extension on Chrome, then click on the icon to use on any webpage. InsertLearning's pop-up offers features to add questions, highlights, comments, and even add a sticky note with an embedded video into selected portions of the webpage. Add a discussion for students to share their perspectives and respond to conversation prompts. When finished, share with students using Google Classroom. The free pricing option offers five lessons with an unlimited number of students.

tag(s): brainstorming (18), flips (8), note taking (40), reading comprehension (132), reading strategies (64), Teacher Utilities (97), vocabulary (290)

In the Classroom

Install InsertLearning for use with online newspapers, magazines, and primary sources. Create quizzes to share with students through Google Classroom. Differentiate learning by using this browser extension to create different prompts for groups of students. Use InsertLearning to help ESL/ELL and special education students understand difficult material by highlighting and defining vocabulary found in websites. Take advantage of the instant feedback received from student responses to provide interventions on the spot. Use InsertLearning in a blended classroom as a flipped learning experience or as an introduction to any new unit.

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OK2Ask: My Students Need That! Chrome Features & Extensions for Accessibility - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from January 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Do you have struggling learners in your classroom? Harness the power of Google...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from January 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Do you have struggling learners in your classroom? Harness the power of Google Chrome to support diverse learners and build an inclusive classroom. Join us as we explore Chrome's built-in accessibility features and free apps and extensions that allow you to accommodate and differentiate the needs of your students. Efficient and user-friendly, these tools can be a game-changer for your students. Participants will: 1. Learn about Chrome's built-in features that support accessibility; 2. Explore extensions to support the Google Chrome experience in your classroom; and 3. Plan for the instructional use of Chrome features and extensions to support all learners. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Accessibility (10), differentiation (57), Google (55)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. 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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Sticky Notes: Just Popped Up! - Ukiv

Grades
4 to 12
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Do you always place sticky notes on your computer screen? This Chrome extension is for you. This simple design allows you to add a note to your screen with one ...more
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Do you always place sticky notes on your computer screen? This Chrome extension is for you. This simple design allows you to add a note to your screen with one click. Change font size, color, and themes to personalize your stickies. View your notes across devices when logged in to Chrome. Be sure to watch for updates to include multiple sticky notes and features for sharing.

tag(s): brainstorming (18), note taking (40), organizational skills (106)

In the Classroom

Make notes for conferences, lab materials, books needed, or even parent conferences on any web page. Add sticky notes to any webpage or PDF shared with students on your interactive whiteboard to remind them of the necessary information or as a list of important items to watch for when viewing a page. Create a list of vocabulary words from any website as you view it together. Share this extension for students to use on their device for note-taking.

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Loom - Vinay Hiremath

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Loom is a Chrome browser extension for creating quick and easy video screen recordings up to five minutes long. Download and install the extension following directions on the site....more
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Loom is a Chrome browser extension for creating quick and easy video screen recordings up to five minutes long. Download and install the extension following directions on the site. Loom allows you to record the entire desktop, just an application, or use the computer camera for recording. When finished, Loom automatically saves the recording and provides the URL for sharing through Gmail or social accounts. As of March 12, 2020 Loom is offering their PRO program free to verified teachers. This is a permanent change; moving forward Loom will continue to provide Loom Pro to verified teachers and students for free.

tag(s): video (272)

In the Classroom

Download and install Loom on classroom computers using Chrome. Have students make screen recordings to share how to use websites or software with their peers. Enhance learning by asking students to create a recording to demonstrate where to find information on a website, or point out specific areas of difficulty when working on a computer. Share a link to videos you create on your website to demonstrate specific instructions on finding information on the computer or how to get started on a computer game. Although only available in Chrome at the time of this review, Loom states that it is working on making the download available for other browsers in the future.

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Text Mode - omarr.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Text Mode is an easy-to-install extension for Chrome browsers that removes all information from web pages except text. Convert distracting, hard to follow web pages into clean black...more
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Text Mode is an easy-to-install extension for Chrome browsers that removes all information from web pages except text. Convert distracting, hard to follow web pages into clean black and white text with a click of a button. Once installed, click the "T" on your browser toolbar to turn Text Mode on or off when viewing any page.

tag(s): media literacy (87), reading comprehension (132)

In the Classroom

Install Text Mode on all classroom computers for use throughout the year. Turn distracting images off when sharing web pages with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard to help students focus on content. Use this tool in technology training with students to share how images, videos, and ads change the look of web content. Share how adding images helps viewers understand the content. Text Mode is excellent for use with ESL/ELL and special education students as a method for focusing. Share web pages with images to help students get the big picture, then remove images to deliver and understand the content offered.

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Skimcast - Bill Hollingsworth

Grades
5 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Read less to find out more! Pressed for time? Use Skimcast to pare down articles you need to read. Just get the facts - choose a summary anywhere from 1 ...more
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Read less to find out more! Pressed for time? Use Skimcast to pare down articles you need to read. Just get the facts - choose a summary anywhere from 1 - 99% of the material. Paste in a URL or upload a PDF. Not only will you get the entire document back with the summary highlighted, but also see a list of clickable theme words and phrases to the right of the text. Click one and see it highlighted where ever it appears in the article. Use Skimcast on the web or find a button at the bottom to add it as a Chrome browser extension on your toolbar. To more fully understand this tool, read the Top Tips.

tag(s): note taking (40), reading strategies (64), summarizing (17)

In the Classroom

Skimcast would be the perfect tool to show students how to take notes for a report or speech or create a study guide during, or at the end of a unit of study. Work together as a class and read the sentences that are just the relevant facts. Then show students how to pull out just the important words - deleting all prepositions, articles, and connector words. Resource teachers can use Skimcast to make reading from core classes shorter and easier for their students. ESL/ELL teachers can use this tool to make the text more understandable to limited English speakers.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ZenPen - Tim Holman

Grades
2 to 12
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Block out all distractions and just start writing with ZenPen. Remove the instructions found on the page (just highlight and click delete). Begin writing without any visual elements...more
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Block out all distractions and just start writing with ZenPen. Remove the instructions found on the page (just highlight and click delete). Begin writing without any visual elements in the way. No registration is required! Highlight text and select options to add italics, bold text, or URLs. Use links on the left side of the page to change text and background colors to black and white, toggle to full screen, add a word count, or save work.

tag(s): editing (80), process writing (41), proofreading (24), writing (356)

In the Classroom

Use this simple tool with an interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate different writing techniques without any distractions. Create and save student writing projects such as short stories, poems, and reports. Create study guides before tests or directions for assignments. Have students write a progressive story where they each add a portion.

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The Mighty - Mike Porath

Grades
6 to 12
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Read about power and strength in those with disabilities and disease through the short stories at The Mighty. Formed on the premise that our greatest challenges become our greatest...more
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Read about power and strength in those with disabilities and disease through the short stories at The Mighty. Formed on the premise that our greatest challenges become our greatest opportunities, each short story tells a tale of positive inspiration in facing a challenge. Browse the home page to find the latest articles or use the keyword search to find information on a specific topic.

tag(s): disabilities (25), diseases (78)

In the Classroom

Share The Mighty with parents and even older students as a resource for finding positive news about those with disabilities. Read these stories together on your projector or interactive whiteboard to teach about tolerance and acceptance of differences. Encourage parents and students to submit their own story of inspiration to the site. Search for articles dealing with challenges your students face to read and discuss together.

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Rewordify - Neil M. Goldman

Grades
4 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown...more
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown with highlighting. Click on the highlighting to view the original, more difficult word(s). View excellent student and teacher demonstrations showing how to use the website. You have the option to choose how Rewordify displays the results using the options in the settings. Several options allow for easy personalization of results.

tag(s): reading comprehension (132), vocabulary (290), vocabulary development (110)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for saving and bookmarking for classroom use! Start the school year out by posting the link to Rewordify on your class website and parent newsletter for student and parent access from home. Be sure to share with learning support and ESL/ELL teachers and students. Save a link to Rewordify on classroom computers for students to easily paste text from any website to read in a simpler format. Copy and paste any difficult text into Rewordify and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to enhance student understanding or show meaning in complex texts. Have students guess meanings from context clues in the more complex version, then share the "rewordified" view to test their guesses. Have students create a word cloud of difficult words identified using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here. Have students take a screen shot of passages that have been "rewordified" to share and discuss.
 

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Quietube - STML

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Remove all the clutter and "stuff" from YouTube, Vimeo, and Viddler videos. Check out the "Quick Tutorial" link to learn more! Drag the button on this page to your bookmark ...more
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Remove all the clutter and "stuff" from YouTube, Vimeo, and Viddler videos. Check out the "Quick Tutorial" link to learn more! Drag the button on this page to your bookmark bar. When you choose a video, click the bookmark button. A new page opens that shows the video without all the comments and advertisements. Send the URL of this page to friends, families, or for access for your students.

tag(s): classroom management (145), safety (87), video (272)

In the Classroom

Share "distraction-free" videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the URL for the clearer video on your class website or in assignments. Removing the comments and advertisements can make for a much better viewing experience. This is especially true of your ADD, autistic, unfocused gifted, or other special needs students. Less distraction = better learning experience for all.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Symbaloo EDU - Symbaloo BV

Grades
K to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create, find, and share visually appealing Webmixes (web based screens of link "tiles") to share web resources. Find the "Tour" (a green tile with a red circle) to learn more ...more
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Create, find, and share visually appealing Webmixes (web based screens of link "tiles") to share web resources. Find the "Tour" (a green tile with a red circle) to learn more about Symbaloo EDU or begin exploring color-coded links on your own. Choose the EDU Tools WebMix to find links to classroom resources for social networking, video and image tools, remote teaching, and much more. Other WebMixes designed specifically for educators include widgets for classroom use, educational headlines, and much more. Tailor web resources to your individual need by creating your own WebMixes. Add tiles to instantly connect students with the resources you choose. Accounts are free but require a password (and email verification). Click "Edit WebMix" to change the background, rename the webmix, and edit the tiles. Link tiles to website URL's or RSS feed links. Hover over a tile to bring up a simple menu. Click "edit" to paste the URL of the resource, enter a title, and change icons and colors. Select any name to be displayed on the tile. Be sure to click "Done editing" when finished, and then "Share" to choose publicly or privately with friends. Use the embed code to embed directly into your class website or blog. Download the free iPhone or Android apps for use on mobile phones or use Symbaloo in your tablet browser as it has been maximized for use on these devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (54), DAT device agnostic tool (172), gamification (80)

In the Classroom

Be sure to know the URL's of the resources you are planning to share or have them open in other tabs to copy/paste. To share you must be able to copy/paste URLs (web addresses). Have older students create their own webmixes, but this resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use in specific projects or as general course links. If shared with the world, the webmix can be viewed by others and is public.

Create a webmix of the most used sites for your class and first demonstrate how the webmix works on a projector or interactive whiteboard if you have special instructions or color coding for its use. Some examples include links to copyright free images, online textbooks, or online tools such as Google Docs, ThingLink, Prezi, and more. Link to teacher web pages, webquests, resource sites for your subject, and any other resource that is helpful for students. Consider creating a login for the whole class to update with suggestions from class members. Use this AS your class website. Color code the tiles on a webmix for younger, non-reader, or ESL/ELL students. For example, color each subject differently from the others. Differentiate by color coding varying levels of skills practice at a classroom computer center or to distinguish homework practice sites from in-class sites. Differentiate difficulty levels using the various colors enabling you to list resources for both your learning support students and gifted students and all in between. Use color to organize tools for different projects or individual students. You may want to share Symbaloo EDU with parents at Back to School Night and the color-coding system for differentiation. This will help parents (and students) find what sites are ideal for their levels. Be sure to link or embed your webmix on a computer center in your room for easy access. Share a review site webmix for parents and students to access at home before tests, as well. Team up with other teachers in your subject/grade to create chapter by chapter webmixes for all your students. If you are just starting with Symbaloo, this is a simple way to differentiate, however, Symbaloo now has a Lesson Plans tool (also called Learning Paths), reviewed here, to help you differentiate for individual or groups of students.

Challenge your gifted students to curate and collaborate on their own webmixes as a curriculum extension activity on topics such as climate change or pros and cons of genetically engineered food. They can use color coding to sort sites by bias (or neutrality) as well as to group subtopics under the overall theme. Use the student-made webmixes with other students to raise the overall level of discussion in your class or as an extra credit challenge. If you embed the webmix in a class wiki, all students can respond with questions and comments for the gifted students to moderate and reply, creating a student-led community of learners.

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