TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 23, 2021

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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FANschool - FANschool

Grades
6 to 12
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Engage students in learning and staying involved with current events through a fantasy-sports type of games and challenges. Students draft teams of states, countries, events and earn...more
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Engage students in learning and staying involved with current events through a fantasy-sports type of games and challenges. Students draft teams of states, countries, events and earn points when their choice is mentioned in the news. Select from several games, including FANpolitics, to draft states or legislators and follow current news and legislation. Choose FANgeopolitics to draft countries and compete against classmates. At FANspecies players can earn points by selecting animals and researching species to find those most commonly observed in the wild. Sign up for your free account to begin. Free accounts allow one commissioner with up to 35 players. Follow the prompts to choose your game and options, including start and end dates. Invite players by sharing your league's URL or the token provided after creating your league.

tag(s): branches of government (54), cross cultural understanding (139), elections (75), game based learning (155), media literacy (82), politics (98), social media (44)

In the Classroom

FANschool is an incredibly interesting way to engage students in current events and is relatable to students who already participate in fantasy sports leagues. Create a league for your class that lasts for a set time, such as a semester or 9-week grading period. Continue with the fantasy sports theme by asking students to create weekly podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to provide updates on the latest news and information. Be sure to read some of the suggestions on FANschool for how other educators use this tool to explore media bias methods, raise awareness of global citizenship, and involve students in understanding political issues.

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OK2Ask: Google MANIA - Google Keep in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from July 2020. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Simple, powerful,

...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from July 2020. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Simple, powerful, and free -- take organizing, notetaking, and collaborating to new heights with Google Keep. Learn how to maximize student productivity with great features for capturing ideas, collaborating on projects, curating resources, receiving reminders, and taking notes. See how easy it is to incorporate text, images, audio, and drawings on virtual color-coded sticky notes and checklists. "Keep" your classroom workflow smooth and on task with Google Keep. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn the basics of using Google Keep for organization; 2. Explore strategies to enhance notetaking and resource curation; and 3. Share ideas for using Google Keep in your classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): collaboration (75), curation (4), Google (20), organizational skills (94), professional development (236), remote learning (33)

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.

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Teachers' Guide to Global Collaboration - iEARN-USA

Grades
K to 12
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This guide provides educators with information and resources to find projects and collaborations with educators around the world. Use the different categories to learn, connect, search,...more
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This guide provides educators with information and resources to find projects and collaborations with educators around the world. Use the different categories to learn, connect, search, and submit ideas for collaboration. Educators looking for suggestions will find the search and project areas especially helpful. Use these portions of the site to find free lesson plans, project ideas, and much more.

tag(s): collaboration (75), cross cultural understanding (139)

In the Classroom

Discover the many free resources and recommendations to find a collaborative project for your classroom. Engage students in your project by brainstorming suggestions from students that include their interests, such as homes around the world, the environment, or art. Once you establish a project, extend learning by having students use Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, to share what they learned. Use Spark to create videos, write blogs and create webpages, and create graphics to share with their partners. Use FlipGrid, reviewed here, to add student voice to the learning experience through short video responses.

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Google Jamboard - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Google Jamboard is a collaborative, online whiteboard application. Use the tool options to access the pen, eraser, add sticky notes, and upload images. Jamboard also includes some limited...more
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Google Jamboard is a collaborative, online whiteboard application. Use the tool options to access the pen, eraser, add sticky notes, and upload images. Jamboard also includes some limited options to change the background. Add "frames" to create whiteboard displays similar to a slide show. Email the link to your board to add collaborators using the share icon. Be sure to select the drop-down box to add collaborators as editors, not just viewers. When finished, use the three dots near the top of the page to rename your Jamboard, download your work as a PDF, save as an image. All work automatically saves within your Google Drive account.

tag(s): collaboration (75), images (253), iwb (27)

In the Classroom

Use Jamboard on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector) to share and highlight information for students. When finished, save and share as images for students to access in Google Classroom or on your class website. Enable the collaboration options for students to use when planning projects or as a tool for recording and sharing information. For example, ask groups working together on a science experiment to use this tool to share images and annotations throughout the experiment. Save Jamboard slides as images in digital portfolios. Seesaw, reviewed here, and Pathbrite, reviewed here, provide free online portfolio features for students at all age levels.

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Travelling Tales - Joel Bevans

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with classrooms around the world through this story-telling project. Sign up to create your collaborative tale based on a book and told through five different activities(...more
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Collaborate with classrooms around the world through this story-telling project. Sign up to create your collaborative tale based on a book and told through five different activities( find these by clicking Resources). Work together with your assigned partner to define topics of study (each class chooses their own based on their own needs). Once started, participate in the five activities by completing each segment within 48 hours. The complete project takes place within a two-week time frame. Both classes use Adobe Spark, reviewed here, to share their final stories. To participate, complete the Google Form application on the Travelling Tales website.

tag(s): collaboration (75), cross cultural understanding (139), digital storytelling (127)

In the Classroom

Integrate reading, writing, and social studies objectives through participation in this global project. After signing up for the project, motivate students by predicting the location of your partner class before your assignment arrives. Instead of asking for student predictions, use an online survey tool like Dotstorming, reviewed here, for students to vote on the country you might be assigned. Include all students in your class project by asking them to use organization tools from ReadWriteThink, reviewed here. For example, have each student use the Plot Diagram interactive to tell a story then collaborate as a class on your final submissions based on student ideas. Extend student learning even further by learning more about your partner classroom's country. Share your learning using Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip to your collaborator's home country.

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Twitter Chat: Infusing Global Learning Experiences - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from July 2018 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is - Infusing Global Learning Experiences. Through this chat, participants will: ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from July 2018 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is - Infusing Global Learning Experiences. Through this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss the tenets of global learning initiatives, 2. Share ways to utilize technology to facilitate global learning experiences, and 3. Explore ways to provide students with an audience beyond the classroom to share their knowledge. Read the many comments and suggestions by both the moderator and other participants.

tag(s): twitterchatarchive (108)

In the Classroom

Learn new ways to infuse global learning experiences. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for sites and information for their classroom. Explore the various tools that are shared.

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Global Problem Solvers - Cisco

Grades
4 to 8
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Global Problem Solvers is a free program designed as a supplemental resource for grades 4-8 to teach global social responsibility. The program features two seasons of materials with...more
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Global Problem Solvers is a free program designed as a supplemental resource for grades 4-8 to teach global social responsibility. The program features two seasons of materials with seven episodes per season. Within each episode, Global Problem Solvers travels the world through videos solving problems while encouraging participants to become problem-solvers and critical thinkers. The series includes teacher's guides for both seasons, storyboards, and scripts.

tag(s): character education (64), critical thinking (102), cross cultural understanding (139), Problem Based Learning (7), problem solving (230), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Include the videos and materials with your current lessons using problem-solving skills. View videos together as a class and have students work in groups to discuss questions found in the teacher's guide. This resource lends itself to problem based learning: Have students find an image of a current global problem and use Thinglink, reviewed here, to add text, videos, and audio to discuss the problem and address possible solutions. Explore global issues further in depth with Google My Maps, reviewed here. Add pins onto Google Maps to share specific problems around the world and have students post their ideas for helping those in need.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Empatico - The KIND Foundation

Grades
3 to 4
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Empatico matches classrooms of students aged 8-10 with other similar classrooms around the world with standards-based lessons incorporated through video conferencing. Follow the six...more
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Empatico matches classrooms of students aged 8-10 with other similar classrooms around the world with standards-based lessons incorporated through video conferencing. Follow the six easy steps to enroll your class and match to another classroom interested in similar activities as your class. Choose from Spark (2-3 hour) or Fire (8-12 hour) activities, each spread over multiple visits.

tag(s): climate (81), collaboration (75), commoncore (83), cross cultural understanding (139), cultures (97), family (54), globe (13), maps (216), weather (167)

In the Classroom

Enroll your classroom and collaborate with others. Expand upon the activities included with Empatico to dig further into the topic of your activity. If you typically have students write in paper journals, try an online blog using a simple blogging tool like Edublog, reviewed here. Edublog offers tools for creating class and individual blogs. Enhance your Empatico project with FlipGrid, reviewed here. Create a video question for students in both classrooms in your FlipGrid, then ask students to share their video response with their peers. Instead of a written report at the end of your sessions, have students create an original video using Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here, to share information and new perspectives gained through your Empatico activities.

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Flipgrid - Charlie Miller & Brad Hosack

Grades
K to 12
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Flipgrid joined with Microsoft and now everything is FREE! Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the Educator Login...more
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Flipgrid joined with Microsoft and now everything is FREE! Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the Educator Login and then create an account from there. Begin by creating a grid and personalizing settings to fit your needs. Easy-to-follow directions guide you through the process of setting up a video response. When finished, use links to share the URL or embed your Flipgrid into a website. Students access your Flipgrid using the access code provided when sharing your topic, with the customized QR code, or through the unique URL created. Be sure to investigate ideas from other educators in the Discovery Library. If you want your class to go global, under the Discovery Library, check out the Beyond the Classroom/Community resource.

tag(s): assessment (119), collaboration (75), DAT device agnostic tool (166), Microsoft (57), video (243)

In the Classroom

Flipgrid is a versatile tool for use in any subject. Create prompts for students to respond to about anything and everything. Challenge students to reflect on their learning at the end of a unit, research project, or literature circle. Here are just a few example questions to ask: What are some things you did well on this assignment? What mistakes did you make on your last assignment that you did not make on today's assignment? What would you do differently? What would you like to learn more about?

For professional use, create a topic for peers to discuss. Ideas might include discussing concerns with implementing new technology or curriculum. Have fellow teachers share articles of interest from professional journals. Use Flipgrid to implement a book talk on a topic of interest.

Use Flipgrid as a follow-up for a flipped or blended learning assignment. Ask students to explain what they understand and/or still don't understand about a concept. You can review the responses before class the next day. Use it as an exit "slip" before students leave class or as a warm up at the beginning of class (what do they remember about the lesson taught yesterday). World language students can practice speaking in their new language and choose the best video to turn in to their teacher. Student or teacher can explain a series of steps in an assignment or concept, one at a time (great for differentiation). Math students can explain the steps they took to solve a problem and why. Art students can explain a creation, either theirs or a famous artists - talking about techniques. Music students can perform and explain their learning, or reflect on their performance.

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LivingTree - livingtree.com

Grades
K to 12
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LivingTree is an online collaborative tool for teachers, parents, and students. Share messages, photos, files, and more in 100+ languages instantly. Create a shared calendar for all...more
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LivingTree is an online collaborative tool for teachers, parents, and students. Share messages, photos, files, and more in 100+ languages instantly. Create a shared calendar for all members to access and contribute information. Calendars offer the ability for parents and volunteers to easily sign up for events such as conferences and field trips. There are introductory videos, and video guides for teachers, parents, administrators, and organizations. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): classroom management (143), DAT device agnostic tool (166), organizational skills (94)

In the Classroom

Use LivingTree to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar, with automatic reminders, so students can easily find due dates and deadlines for homework and projects. Share information with parents to keep them up to date. Use the discussion feature as a resource for keeping students involved over long holidays or on a snow day.

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Global Virtual Classroom - AT&T and Give Something Back International Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time...more
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time and has learned what is needed to create global citizens. They've done everything for you from Lessons, Resources, a Mini Web Design Contest (completed with another class and on a world issue), and a Web Design Contest completed with just your class), to directions for becoming part of the community, providing a list of other educators who would like to participate, and a Clubhouse for your students. Be sure to register by mid September each year!

tag(s): collaboration (75), competitions (10), cross cultural understanding (139), cultures (97), wikis (16)

In the Classroom

Take students to another place; encourage them to understand other cultures and create global citizens by signing up to join GVC. After introducing GVC on an interactive whiteboard or projector, create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here, to vote for which country or region to communicate with and share information. Begin a blog for each student to share reflections using a blog tool like Edublog, reviewed here. Consider asking the partner teacher to have their students blog, too, and encourage students to respond to each others' blogs. Students' writing improves when they have an authentic audience. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

Another idea would be to use a projector and Padlet, reviewed here, and use their columns feature to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom students will be working. Padlet creates virtual bulletin boards. Once the project is underway, go back to Padlet occasionally, and add what students learned and whether it coincides with their original ideas. Before culminating the project, ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Padlet. Consider starting a lunch time or after school club for students to have more time to participate in the Clubhouse.

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Classtools Twister: Create Fake Tweets - Classtools

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a Twitter wall and fake tweet quickly and easily by entering minimal information. Enter a (fake) user name, full name of the person you are impersonating, your tweet, and ...more
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Create a Twitter wall and fake tweet quickly and easily by entering minimal information. Enter a (fake) user name, full name of the person you are impersonating, your tweet, and a date to show on the tweet. Your tweet will appear on a wall with an image of that person ready to share through links provided at the bottom of the page. Twister also includes several ideas for consideration when creating an update such as possible hashtags and most important moments to include. Share via social networks or simply COPY the URL of your finished Twister page to share it. There is also an option to save as a PDF for easy printing.

tag(s): creative writing (117), digital storytelling (127), social networking (83)

In the Classroom

Share examples found at this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate possible uses. This site is wonderful for creating interest in many subjects. It is perfect for the social studies classroom as a quick end of class review or homework assignment to summarize each day's lesson. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artists, a Civil War soldier, and much more. Use Twister to study literature, create an update for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. For a unique twist in science class, create a Twister update for a periodic element or another science topic. Use the update to describe "the life" of that atom or element. The possibilities within the classroom are endless (as is the creativity and engagement)! In World language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the new language they are learning. Create a Twister update for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. In the media center, have students create twister pages for authors or about favorite books. Challenge students to create and share an update about themselves during the first week of school.

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Arcademic Skill Builders - Arcademics

Grades
1 to 9
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Looking for engaging interactives for math, language arts, geography, and even more? Look no further than this colorful site. These activities are great ways to build skills and work...more
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Looking for engaging interactives for math, language arts, geography, and even more? Look no further than this colorful site. These activities are great ways to build skills and work on math and language arts concepts for all students. The activities are divided into multi-player and single-player games in such categories as "Addition and Subtraction," "Multiplication and Division," and "Fraction and Ratios." There are also language arts interactives! At the bottom of the page, click on How it Works to see how to enroll your students, assign games, and keep track of student progress. Be sure to view the comments under the Case Studies on the top menu to find innovative ways that teachers have used the games in classrooms. Arcademics uses HTML5, so you can use any device with a web browser. Find apps for Android and iOS, too. HTML5 allows students to play together from any device, anywhere; this means students can play some of the games with classes around the world. Talk about collaboration! Need help? See the step by step instructions for troubleshooting available at the FAQ link. Access information for Standards, Research, and a game manual across the top of the website. To choose a game, roll your mouse over it to see its title, then click. Read the quick introduction to understand the activity. Provide direction in whether students should enter a player name or use the randomly generated name from the site. Choose to create a new game or join an existing game. Create a private game if you wish, which requires password creation. No email address or personal information is required for these excellent practice activities. There is a subscription (at a cost) offer for this site. This review is for the free portion of this resource.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (139), collaboration (75), DAT device agnostic tool (166), division (107), fractions (187), game based learning (155), multiplication (135), ratios (55), subtraction (124), verbs (29), vision (50), vowels (7)

In the Classroom

Use these games for individual practice for students who need extra help. The instant feedback provides great learning opportunities for students and builds confidence. Group students in multi-player games that is engaging and interactive. Focus on students' honing skills, building confidence and working together as a group of learners. Use these activities with an interactive whiteboard or projector to elicit large group participation or when computers are limited. Provide this link on your class website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. The instant feedback for students and keeping track of student progress makes Arcademic Skill Builders perfect for remote learning or the blended classroom! Extend student learning by having students use Flipgrid, reviewed here, to ask clarification questions and to reflect on their learning. Require students to comment on their peers questions and reflections.

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Padlet - Padlet

Grades
2 to 12
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Padlet is an application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. There are seven different layouts to choose from that allow ...more
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Padlet is an application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. There are seven different layouts to choose from that allow users the ability to present information in various ways, create maps, and make timelines. Easily create an account and build a new board. Add images, links, videos, columns for sorting or refining organization, and more. Return to your Padlet to add additional information at any time and collaborate with others. Settings offer options to make Padlets open for public contributions, private, or moderated by you (you approve all contributions before they show). Free accounts allow you to make 3 Padlets that include search, themes, stats, premium wallpapers, and cross-device support for uploaded videos. You can always delete an old Padlet to make a new one. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): bulletin boards (15), DAT device agnostic tool (166), images (253), timelines (47)

In the Classroom

Use a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."

Use a Padlet to collect webquest links and information to share with students. By leaving the wall open to comments, solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.

Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.

Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

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