TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 18, 2023

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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Castbox Creator Studio - Castbox

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Castbox provides tools for creating and sharing podcasts. First, create a free account, then begin by entering the Creator Studio. Next, select the upload icon to drag and drop your...more
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Castbox provides tools for creating and sharing podcasts. First, create a free account, then begin by entering the Creator Studio. Next, select the upload icon to drag and drop your media file in a supported format of up to 400M. When the file begins uploading, complete the areas provided to include basic information for your files, such as a title, description, and publication date and time. Castbox also offers an option to upload an image for your cover design. When finished, select Publish to complete the creation of your podcast. Finally, click on your podcast to listen and share using the link or social media links provided.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communication (134), DAT device agnostic tool (143), digital storytelling (144), podcasts (79)

In the Classroom

Castbox is an excellent podcast-sharing option for simple podcasts or when sharing audio recordings that have already been edited, for example, using editing tools on your computer. Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Are you looking for even more ideas? Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning and build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage and extend learning and have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. World language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing any additional tools. Learn more about using podcasts in the classroom by watching this archive of the OK2Ask: Engage & Inspire: Podcasting in the Classroom available here.

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Straw.Page - Osman Ahmed

Grades
4 to 12
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Straw.Page is a website creation tool and blogging platform that works on any device, even phones. No registration is required to begin creating using themes or from a blank page. ...more
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Straw.Page is a website creation tool and blogging platform that works on any device, even phones. No registration is required to begin creating using themes or from a blank page. Begin by selecting the Get Started for Free button, then browse through the included templates. After choosing a template, follow the tutorial to learn about features available on Straw.Page. When finished, publish your page by adding your email and a password and creating your unique URL to share with viewers. The free option allows you to post two sites that include up to five pages each.

tag(s): blogs (66), communication (134), digital storytelling (144), portfolios (21), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Add Straw.Page to your list of website creation tools to offer for students to use for many different projects. For example, ask students to share poems, lab reports, or quick journal entries and add an image or links to additional information. If students are creating pages, check with your district's policy on publishing student work. Create pages to share information with parents about upcoming events and important dates or a list of links for resources to use at home.

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Acast - Acast

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Start or convert your podcasting to Acast's free account. There are many benefits to a free account, such as unlimited hours of audio and editing; with Acast, there are no ...more
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Start or convert your podcasting to Acast's free account. There are many benefits to a free account, such as unlimited hours of audio and editing; with Acast, there are no limits for storage, uploads, or downloads. In addition, you will have your own podcast website that updates automatically, and, unlike other podcast programs, there are no limits to which podcast app you use, and a bonus to that is a one-click distribution to all podcast listening apps. Another advantage with Acast is that you get a free web player that can be embedded on your website, blog, and social media. On top of all that, you get free analytics that shows episode performance, geography, and more. As if all of this isn't enough, if you use another podcasting program, easily switch over to Acast. Be sure to look at the Acast Essentials Toolkit which is free and will explain all areas of podcast production and it features insights from well-known podcast creators.

tag(s): communication (134), digital storytelling (144), podcasts (79)

In the Classroom

With older students (and strong readers), you may want to pair them up and have them read Aclass Essentials for the basics of podcasting. Using Fiskkit, reviewed here, with this article will enhance student learning. For younger students or weaker readers, use Read Ahead, reviewed here, on your whiteboard or with a projector for a guided reading session. There are many uses for podcasting in a classroom! Create regular podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning and build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage and extend learning and have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. English language learners or students just beginning to read could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing any additional tools.

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Kumospace - Yang Mou and Brett Martin

Grades
K to 12
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Host virtual meetings with up to thirty participants with Kumospace. The free plan includes all of the site's core features, including unlimited floors and virtual apps. Other features...more
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Host virtual meetings with up to thirty participants with Kumospace. The free plan includes all of the site's core features, including unlimited floors and virtual apps. Other features include the ability to screen share, chat with individuals or the entire group, and customize your workspace. After creating an account, start your meeting by selecting the "Create a Space" button. Next, give your space a name, customize the end of the URL to be shared, and choose an option for your area. Then, share the link to invite others to your virtual meeting. Finally, choose from templates to change the background of your space, add floors, and edit privacy settings for your session and each floor. Privacy options include requiring a password for different floors or setting the floor availability only for use by co-hosts. Learn more about the features of Kumospace and how to implement them by finding videos on their YouTube Channel, located here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (41), communication (134), parent conferences (21), video (261)

In the Classroom

Use Kumospace to set up virtual meetings for many different educational uses. Set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants in any location, conduct monthly parent meetings to share the latest classroom news, discuss your current curriculum, and answer questions. Create a virtual "get-to-know-you" session at the beginning of the school year or semester that includes team-building activities. Build classroom community by creating virtual rooms for students to share common interests, as a virtual study hall, or for use when working on collaborative projects.

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Doozy - Doozy Live Ltd

Grades
9 to 12
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Doozy is a social platform for teams to chat, create quizzes, participate in group games, and much more. Register and create an account with Doozy to create your social space. ...more
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Doozy is a social platform for teams to chat, create quizzes, participate in group games, and much more. Register and create an account with Doozy to create your social space. Grab the link to invite others to your game room to begin group activities. Once in the room, use chat features to interact, create a quiz or choose from the library of pre-made quizzes, or add a playlist from Spotify as part of your activity room. With the free account you get 1 meeting room, 10 participants,15 min sessions, games, quizzes, and icebreakers.

tag(s): chat (41), communication (134), remote learning (59), social and emotional learning (83), social networking (66)

In the Classroom

Use Doozy as a virtual get-to-know-you activity when starting remote learning activities or when collaborating with other classrooms. It is also an excellent icebreaker for professional development sessions or back-to-school team meetings. Create a quiz, or choose from the library to start a friendly competition with others. Since Doozy doesn't track scores, it is an excellent way to work with teams to review practice material in a non-competitive environment. Include Doozy as part of any team-building and social skill support activities.

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Mural for Education - Tactivos, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Mural for Education offers flexible tools for virtual collaboration and communication. Think of it as a virtual whiteboard workspace that includes sticky notes, shapes, and connectors...more
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Mural for Education offers flexible tools for virtual collaboration and communication. Think of it as a virtual whiteboard workspace that includes sticky notes, shapes, and connectors to create diagrams and mind maps, drawing tools, images, and more. Use Mural to create breakout rooms for group work or prepare and share study guides and classroom calendars. Apply for a free account as a student or for a classroom account. Start collaborating by following the prompts provided by Mural to begin designing your workspace using templates or from a blank board. Use the dashboard to add text, icons, images, and more. Facilitators also have options for adding contributors, setting a work timer, and setting parameters for the session chat.

tag(s): collaboration (89), graphic organizers (50), iwb (33), Online Learning (42), remote learning (59)

In the Classroom

Ask older students to create a Mural for Education account when collaborating on projects to share ideas and organize information. Have students use Mural for Education to develop storylines that include links and images to tell the story of events in history or retell novels. Ask students to use Mural to create mood boards to share the different works of artists or demonstrate different architecture types. Mural would be an excellent choice as a collaborative tool for large projects to brainstorm ideas, assign tasks, and document progress. Use Mural with students as part of your science experiments to share the steps of the experiment, document hypothesis, and add images and reflections upon the outcomes of the experiment. Mural for Education is an excellent resource for remote learning situations to engage students through the use of interactive content and chat. Use the breakout room option to allow for differentiation and group discussions.

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Soundcite - Knight Lab

Grades
6 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Soundcite is a free tool that embeds audio directly into portions of text for use on your blog or website. Use Soundcite to bring emotion or context to a story ...more
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Soundcite is a free tool that embeds audio directly into portions of text for use on your blog or website. Use Soundcite to bring emotion or context to a story through the use of a real audio file, be sure to check out the examples for ideas. Follow the advice on the site to add short audio clips after uploading to your server. Before starting your Soundcite project, take the time to read and understand different options for uploading audio to blog providers such as Word Press and cautions against the use of Google or DropBox.

tag(s): blogs (66), communication (134), sound (73)

In the Classroom

Combine audio with text to bring life to student work. Share some examples with students before asking them to create Soundcite files. If you have some tech-savvy students, share this site with them before sharing with your whole class. Allow the tech-savvy students to create some examples and tutorials for all to use. Have these students transform classroom technology use and their learning by sharing step-by-step directions using a video explainer tool like Adobe Express Video Maker, reviewed here. Include with student work on their blogs or digital portfolios, or include with any multimedia presentation created using Sway, reviewed here, or Adobe Creative Cloud Express, reviewed here.
 

Edge Features:

Products can be embedded

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Headliner - SpareMin

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create and share videos for social media platforms with Headliner. Add images, text animation, clip audio, add video, and more to personalize content. Choose from several video editor...more
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Create and share videos for social media platforms with Headliner. Add images, text animation, clip audio, add video, and more to personalize content. Choose from several video editor templates or go straight to the video editor to begin creating. Upload videos to add transcript, use the audiogram wizard to make a video from audio, or create a video from a URL linking to an online article. When finished, publish your video and download to your computer.

tag(s): communication (134), editing (90), multimedia (43), social media (54), video (261)

In the Classroom

Use Headliners to create and share videos in multiple ways. Set the stage for upcoming lessons by creating a video from an upcoming text, post the video on your class website for students to view before reading. Include the transcription feature when sharing videos of student discussions or classroom activities (with appropriate parental permission, of course). Promote your classroom podcast using the Audio Wizard to share a short preview of an upcoming podcast. As an alternative to a research report, use the Find My Content feature and have students redefine their technology use by creating a multimedia video filled with images and video based on their research.

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Netboard - netboard.me

Grades
4 to 12
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Curate and share texts, documents, links, photos, and more with Netboard. Register and activate your account to begin. Choose "create" to begin a new page and begin adding content....more
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Curate and share texts, documents, links, photos, and more with Netboard. Register and activate your account to begin. Choose "create" to begin a new page and begin adding content. Enter the URL for any website, upload information from your computer, or add text boxes. Personalize the look of your page using layout, font and background skin options. Save your Netboard and share the custom URL with others, privacy options allow others with the link to only view or contribute to your board and for boards to remain private.

tag(s): bookmarks (47), bulletin boards (14), collaboration (89), communication (134), curation (35), images (256)

In the Classroom

Use Netboard to curate and collect resources for any subject. Create a new board to share with students for each unit, for example, when teaching a unit on fantasy in literature share resources to examples of fantasy writing, student examples of writing, images to inspire fantasy writing, and more. Have students create a Netboard to accompany any research project and ask them to include a link to all resources they used as part of their research.

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Text2VoiceOver - ResponsiveVoice

Grades
K to 12
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Add a voiceover to any YouTube video or video on your computer choosing from 15 different voices and 13 languages with Text2VoiceOver. Select the "Create VoiceOver" button to begin,...more
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Add a voiceover to any YouTube video or video on your computer choosing from 15 different voices and 13 languages with Text2VoiceOver. Select the "Create VoiceOver" button to begin, then choose from options to select your video. Once the video loads, select the location for your voiceover and follow directions for adding text and choosing from voice options. Be sure to watch the tutorial video with complete instructions for using the site and generating your voiceover. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communication (134), text to speech (19), video (261)

In the Classroom

Use Text2VoiceOver to add comments and instructions to any YouTube video (or your own video) your students view. Share specific tips, ask questions, or add additional details to content. Have students create a voiceover to share their thoughts on a video, or ask questions to clarify content.

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Flip - Charlie Miller & Brad Hosack

Grades
K to 12
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Flip (formerly Flipgrid) is a free video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. You can use Google, Microsoft, or your email address to create...more
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Flip (formerly Flipgrid) is a free video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. You can use Google, Microsoft, or your email address to create an account. Begin by clicking Getting Started from the bottom menu, then find the link to the Educator Toolkit and just follow the Toolkit simple steps to create a group. Be sure to copy the link for your group. Easy-to-follow directions guide you through the process of setting up a video response. Members will create a goup by clicking +Create from the left menu on your dashboard. When finished, use links to share the URL or embed your Flip into a website. Students access your Flip using the access code when sharing your topic, with the custom QR code, or through the unique URL created. In addition, share topics directly to Google Classroom, Remind, Microsoft Teams, or use the embed code to insert into a website. Be sure to investigate ideas from other educators in the at the Community Moments, found on the bottom menu. On the bottom menu you will also find the Help Center for Remote Learning. Flip is available in Spanish, too!

tag(s): assessment (146), blended learning (37), collaboration (89), communication (134), DAT device agnostic tool (143), Microsoft (83), remote learning (59), video (261)

In the Classroom

Flip 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? Ask students to use the many camera features to make conversations more meaningful. For example, use the whiteboard tool to demonstrate math problems, add emojis to convey emotions, or upload images to use for explanations.

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 Flip to implement a book talk on a topic of interest.

Use Flip 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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Wakelet - Jamil Khalil

Grades
K to 12
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Create, curate, and share web content with Wakelet. Save online links, including articles, videos, tweets, and more then organize them into collections called wakes. Share collections...more
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Create, curate, and share web content with Wakelet. Save online links, including articles, videos, tweets, and more then organize them into collections called wakes. Share collections with a personalized link or use the embed code to embed anywhere online. Use the keyword search to explore and view wakes created by other Wakelet members. Save information from other wakes to your account for use in your own wakes. To make your wakes more distinctive, add a cover image, background, and choose the layout you prefer. Wakelet works smoothly with many apps such as Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, and Flip, just to name a few. Note: Wakelet now has a Pro version. This review is for the free version which includes everything mentioned above and Unlimited items & collections, Unlimited share to view, 3 collaborative collections, Publish 4 collections, and Explore other collections

tag(s): bookmarks (47), collaboration (89), communication (134), curation (35), DAT device agnostic tool (143), multimedia (43), news (229), personalized learning (9), playlists (10), social media (54), social networking (66)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using Wakelet in the classroom are endless! Create collections with tips for writing in different genres, current events, information about specific countries or cities, math games, and much more. Have students set up their own wakes as part of a research project. Put together a wake scavenger hunt to introduce a new unit or as a review at the end of a unit. Share wakes on your class web page for student use at home to review and practice class content. Having the ability to have a cover image and background for your wakes makes them much more interesting and easily identifiable, especially for young or visual students!

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Flock - Cookies Riva FZC

Grades
8 to 12
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Flock is a free chat and collaboration service. Start by signing up for a free account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or ...more
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Flock is a free chat and collaboration service. Start by signing up for a free account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video conference. Add attachments, polls, a code snippet, or an emoticon. Create a to-do list for the group or project. With the free account, chat records are kept for 30 days. Be mindful of the laws and regulations. Use the web version or download the software.

tag(s): chat (41), communication (134), microblogging (18), polls and surveys (46), video (261)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use the chat feature to communicate with parents or students. Collaborate with other educators on lesson plans and activities. Create groups of students during group projects for collaboration. Attach the directions to the chat and monitor the conversation by including yourself in the group and promoting good digital citizenship. Use the poll feature to check for understanding or use the chat as an exit ticket.

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