TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 20, 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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OK2Ask: Engage & Inspire: Podcasting in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from May 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from May 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

If you're looking for an easy way to increase engagement in the classroom, look no further. Teachers can use podcasting --creating audio recordings delivered via the internet-- in all content areas to deliver instructional information or as an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned. Join us to learn how to connect your classroom to the world beyond your walls while encouraging students to improve their digital and communication skills. Understand how you can plan, produce, and publish podcasts to support your classroom goals for free. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn ways to use podcasting in the classroom; 2. Explore podcasting tools; and 3. Plan for the use of podcasting to support your classroom goals. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): podcasts (60), professional development (257)

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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Telescope - Telescope

Grades
4 to 12
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Are you looking for a simple to use blog creation tool? Try Telescope to make no-fuss yet visually appealing blog presentations. Begin by selecting to create a new blog and ...more
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Are you looking for a simple to use blog creation tool? Try Telescope to make no-fuss yet visually appealing blog presentations. Begin by selecting to create a new blog and add a title. Add or paste text onto your blog. Telescope uses "code blocks' to add information to your blog. Use the plus sign to insert text, or click the icon to find the additional options to add images, copy and paste code, or add quotes. Click enter on your keyboard to move to a new code block. Telescope offers a limited number of themes; find those options in the dropdown box within each code block. Your work is autosaved; when finished, select publish to create the shareable link. Although signup isn't necessary, it provides access to your blogs and stories allowing you to edit and delete blogs.

tag(s): blogs (73), communication (138), writing (281)

In the Classroom

Share Telescope with students to use when creating presentations or to share journals and other responsive writing. Use blogs to engage students in the writing process and to teach lessons on proper attribution of images. Telescope is perfect for individuals, students, or groups to use when sharing details of lab experiments. Ask students to include images of their work along with summaries of their findings. Use this site to quickly create and share weekly updates of class activities with parents, ask older students to create the weekly update from their point of view.

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Adobe Spark Video Maker - Adobe Spark

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share professional-looking videos with Adobe Spark's video creator. Follow the prompts to begin your creation using a story template or start from scratch. Add videos, slides,...more
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Create and share professional-looking videos with Adobe Spark's video creator. Follow the prompts to begin your creation using a story template or start from scratch. Add videos, slides, text, music, and more to your video. Easily rearrange, change themes, and add components until satisfied. When finished, publish your video to share or download it to your computer.

tag(s): communication (138), digital storytelling (129), multimedia (46), video (241)

In the Classroom

Consider using videos in your classroom in a variety of ways. Upload your slide presentations and add audio to create flipped and blended learning experiences for your students. Ask students to create videos as an alternative to book reports or written presentations. Share videos on your class website for students to access when away from the classroom. As you ask students to create videos, use a bookmarking site such as Padlet, reviewed here, to share and organize information for students to use when researching. Include Adobe Spark Videos as part of a larger presentation using Book Creator, reviewed here. Embed your video along with images, text, drawings, and other media into your digital book creation. Book Creator is a Chrome app.

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Synth - Swivl

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Synth has been rereleased with a longer 30 minute recording time. Coach new teachers or students, and build relationships with this longer time. You can now have threads and comments,...more
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Synth has been rereleased with a longer 30 minute recording time. Coach new teachers or students, and build relationships with this longer time. You can now have threads and comments, moderate channels, and soon you will be able to set the frequency of your podcasts. To create a recording, select the Get Started on the Web or the Apple App Store link, then select create a channel or podcast. Podcasts start in private mode by default; change sharing options after publishing your work. Synth also provides the opportunity for recording video from your webcam and the ability to add a transcription of recordings into the podcast. Invite participants to contribute by sharing the URL, the session code, or use the embed code to embed it into your website or blog.

tag(s): communication (138), podcasts (60), video (241)

In the Classroom

Before using Synth with your classroom, be sure to practice setting up and sharing podcasts created with this tool. One way to practice is to set up a podcast with teachers in your building or district as a professional development opportunity. Create a "slow chat" discussing ideas for literature, thematic lessons, or professional book talks. Once you are comfortable using Synth with students, create exit tickets for students to reflect, enhance their learning, and discuss the day's lesson. Synth allows students to engage critical thinking by adding web links to recordings. Ask students to share their opinion on any subject and include a web address to support their conclusion. Have students extend their learning by embedding a Synth podcast into a multimedia presentation created with a tool like Sway, reviewed here, and create an interactive discussion on the topic. Instead of using your standard pre-assessment materials, replace these with Synth and engage students by sharing their knowledge (or what they would like to learn) as a quick way to gauge what students already know.

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Notejoy - Sachin Rekhi and Ada Chen Rekhi

Grades
K to 12
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Notejoy is a collaborative note-taking and sharing resource for teams. Create a note for a group and receive real-time updates. Features include checklists, upload of images and documents,...more
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Notejoy is a collaborative note-taking and sharing resource for teams. Create a note for a group and receive real-time updates. Features include checklists, upload of images and documents, and discussions. Quickly see who's viewed your notes and use emojis to respond or participate in threaded chats. Notejoy integrates with several major platforms including Google Drive and Microsoft Office. After signing up for Notejoy, follow the prompts to add your team name and emails of team members. Use your dashboard to create, share, and view notes. Free plans offer up to 10 members per library, up to 3 team libraries, and individual uploads up to 10 MB with a total storage of up to 100 MB.

tag(s): collaboration (80), communication (138), note taking (33), organizational skills (91)

In the Classroom

Use Notejoy to work collaboratively with your peers. Share discussions on lesson planning, field trip preparation, and professional development sessions. Take advantage of the checklists to assign and track completion of projects. Extend classroom technology use by sharing Notejoy with older students to use when working on group projects to help plan and complete tasks on time. ENL/ESL and resource teachers can use this with teachers of students who are mainstreamed.

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Fake Text Message - iFakeTextMessage.com

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Fake Text Message is a tool to create images that appear to be screenshots of text messages. Use the editing tools to include a name, a series of messages, show ...more
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Fake Text Message is a tool to create images that appear to be screenshots of text messages. Use the editing tools to include a name, a series of messages, show time, battery life, and more. When finished editing, choose the link to create your image then share it using social media links or download to your computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (116), digital storytelling (129), writing prompts (62)

In the Classroom

Use Fake Text Message to bring lessons to students through their digital world. Ask students to create made-up text messages between book characters or world leaders during a crisis. In math, have students create a conversation discussing methods for solving a difficult problem. Take advantage of the editing tools such as battery life and signal strength indicator to demonstrate urgency in different situations. Have students include images of text messages created into a Google document as part of a written report. Use a text sequence as a prompt for creative writing. Take your text messages to a different level and have students create podcasts incorporating text messages using a tool like Podcast Generator, reviewed here.
 

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Class123 - Choong Hee Lee

Grades
K to 6
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Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance...more
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Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance manager, random name picker, and more. Sign up for free to add your rosters and avatars. Parents and students sign up with a code provided. Once enrolled, members receive or send communications privately or within groups. Please be aware that Class123 falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use Class123 with their child.

tag(s): behavior (43), classroom management (141), communication (138), DAT device agnostic tool (166), parents (61), Teacher Utilities (113)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to communicate specific behaviors with parents - both positive and negative feedback. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Take advantage of the other tools to take attendance or rearrange your seating chart quickly and easily.

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ClassTag - Vlada Lotkina and Jason Olim

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
ClassTag is a cloud-based management system for teachers to engage parents in their classroom community. Instead of parents signing up, teachers add emails to send out invitations to...more
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ClassTag is a cloud-based management system for teachers to engage parents in their classroom community. Instead of parents signing up, teachers add emails to send out invitations to participate. All included emails receive notice of updates and information even without signing up. ClassTag allows teachers to view who has read announcements and other pertinent information. Another option allows teachers to send out a weekly newsletter including personal notes and updates.

tag(s): chat (41), classroom management (141), communication (138), DAT device agnostic tool (166), parent conferences (22), parents (61), Teacher Utilities (113)

In the Classroom

Create a free account to use for all your classes, and even your extracurricular activities. Use this tool to send homework, project, and supply reminders. Remind parents of upcoming events, practices, or items students need to bring to class or practice. Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures and more.

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Bloomz - Chaks Appalabattula

Grades
K to 12
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Bloomz is a tool that has more than six free features that teachers need to communicate with their classroom community: share photos, schedule conferences, send reminders, and more....more
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Bloomz is a tool that has more than six free features that teachers need to communicate with their classroom community: share photos, schedule conferences, send reminders, and more. These features are all in one place. So don't use one program to share photos, one to send reminders, one to share calendar updates, and another to schedule volunteers and conferences. Just use Bloomz and do all of the work from the same site. Once you have signed up with your email, watch the introduction video and view the demo class to see how easy Bloomz is to use. This tool works with all mobile devices and computers. Be sure to check out Bloomz' Privacy Polixy to read about their FERPA and COPPA compliance.

tag(s): calendars (38), communication (138), DAT device agnostic tool (166), images (255), parent conferences (22), parents (61), Teacher Utilities (113)

In the Classroom

Use Bloomz for all your communications with your classroom community. Not only that, but share important documents (field trip permission slips, a syllabus, etc.) for others to access; post photos of special projects in class or from field trips. P.E. teachers and coaches can use this tool to post what skills students are learning and action pictures of student involvement in games and activities. Parents can download the free app or receive updates via email. Currently, there are three ways to invite parents and other class members. Email, enter the information manually, or upload an Excel spreadsheet and send a bulk invitation. Create groups within your Bloomz class and invite members. These groups might be volunteers in the classroom, volunteers for driving on a field trip, and more. Then you can communicate just to that group when necessary. Introduce Bloomz to parents at Back to School Night in the fall, Open House in the spring, or during parent conferences. Encourage resource teachers and others to join your class community to see what your class is doing. Update Bloomz on the go with your mobile device!

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Konstella - Elena Krasnoperova

Grades
K to 12
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Konstella was Simply Circle and now has a new focus - on parent and teacher communication. Konnstella makes communicating with groups easy and productive. Open up the lines of parent/teacher...more
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Konstella was Simply Circle and now has a new focus - on parent and teacher communication. Konnstella makes communicating with groups easy and productive. Open up the lines of parent/teacher communication with your email address to create an account and set up classroom Konstella. Use Konstella to share messages, pictures, and files. Add tasks, organize events, and assign roles. Members of your Konstella groups receive a weekly digest of upcoming events. There is an option to send urgent messages immediately. Create by adding email addresses; members of your Konstella do not need to be registered members of Konstella to view the emails. Be sure to click features to read about all Konstella can do for you, your school, and your parents community.

tag(s): classroom management (141), communication (138), homework (33), microblogging (27), Teacher Utilities (113)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a snow day or other emergency. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to school. Don't forget to include any extracurricular activities. Use this tool to communicate with parents. Provide parents with the necessary information on your class web page. Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, school spirit days, conferences, and more. Learning support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add messages with tips for parents to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Konstella. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities. Make a PTO/PTA School account to share resources for school-wide projects, events, or fundraisers.

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Slack - Slack Technologies, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Slack is a real-time messaging tool for teams that includes archiving and search features. Create channels for different groups or teams to include messages, files, images, and more...more
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Slack is a real-time messaging tool for teams that includes archiving and search features. Create channels for different groups or teams to include messages, files, images, and more for sharing. Drag and drop files work with Google Docs, Dropbox, Twitter, and others making it easy to share across several different platforms. Easily search Slack archives to find discussions, documents, and more.
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tag(s): chat (41), communication (138), DAT device agnostic tool (166), microblogging (27), organizational skills (91), social networking (84)

In the Classroom

Share this resource with high school students working on group projects for better group communication, managing workflow, and more. Take the time during the first week of school or as group projects approach to model how to plan and manage group processes using such a tool. Use this tool with school clubs, as well. Manage professional discussions by creating channels for different departmental or grade level teams.

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SpeakPipe - Speakpipe.com

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
SpeakPipe offers a widget to install on your blog or website so readers can send you an audio message of up to 90 seconds in length. The message goes to ...more
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SpeakPipe offers a widget to install on your blog or website so readers can send you an audio message of up to 90 seconds in length. The message goes to your Speakpipe inbox, and you receive an email notification. You also receive a URL for the message that you could post on the blog so others can hear the comments. Visitors click the "leave voicemail" button to access. Next, the visitor records a message for you. Visitors have the option of including their names and email addresses.

tag(s): blogs (73), communication (138), Teacher Utilities (113)

In the Classroom

When installed on a school website, SpeakPipe provides a good way for parents to leave voicemail messages. Unless one of you shares the URL, the communication remains confidential. Download messages to your computer as a simple way for students to record their voice responses for use in a multimedia project on your classroom blog. After posting student work on your classroom website or blog, allow students to record information responding or explaining each project. Encourage emerging readers to record their own voices reading a blog post they write. Auditory learners will truly benefit from this tool. Install this on your class blog or wiki so parents who visit can leave audio comments for the class. World language teachers could post an image on a class web site and ask students to record a response in their new language. School library/media centers can invite students so comment about new books listed on the web page.

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Remind - Remind 101

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 1  Comments
Remind is a safe and easy way to send reminders to students and parents via text message or email. When sending a text, the site is set up so that ...more
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Remind is a safe and easy way to send reminders to students and parents via text message or email. When sending a text, the site is set up so that students & parents do not see the teachers' phone numbers nor do the teachers see the students' phone numbers. Create an account. Any phone that can receive text messages will receive these. Communication through this site is safe and secure. You only see the names of your students, not their phone number, and they only see your name -- not your cell phone number. With Remind you can schedule reminders for the future, translate your message into 70 languages, send photos, PDFs, voice clips, and see who has read your messages. Be sure to obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply. Be sure to click the Security Overview to read about Remind's FERPA and COPPA compliance.

tag(s): chat (41), communication (138), DAT device agnostic tool (166), microblogging (27), Teacher Utilities (113)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all your classes, and even your extracurricular activities, to send homework, project, and supply reminders. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. You could also use this to communicate with parents (allow them to sign up for text message updates at back to school night). Share this site the first week of school to save time throughout the entire year. Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures and more.

Comments

Love this site! I'm using it to send reminders to students about overdue library books and/or fines! Terri, VA, Grades: 9 - 12

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