TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 16, 2016

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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Docs.com - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Docs.com is Microsoft's file sharing service and part of their Office Suite of tools. Consider it your online showroom for Word Documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDF's, and PowerPoint...more
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Docs.com is Microsoft's file sharing service and part of their Office Suite of tools. Consider it your online showroom for Word Documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDF's, and PowerPoint and Sway presentations. When you first sign in (with email), you will be prompted to create an "About" page that can serve as your online resume or portfolio. However, you can do this later. Jump right in and upload files from your computer, One Drive, or Sway. Before saving, use options to customize visibility and allow comments and downloads from viewers. Create collections using your uploaded documents or documents found through sharing. The journal feature uses Sway to set up and share online journals. Share content using social networking links or copy and paste the link to your document or collection. Docs.com is no longer allowing signups and will be discontinued on December 15th.

tag(s): classroom management (150), editing (69), organizational skills (128), portfolios (33), spreadsheets (18)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many features of Docs.com to organize and manage documents by teaching units. Build and share collections with students for use at home. Have students develop and curate collections for class projects. Collaborate with peers by creating collections for different teaching units or professional development activities.

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Connected Science Learning - National Science Teachers Association

Grades
K to 12
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Connected Science Learning is an online journal featuring STEM education experiences. Featured articles focus on classroom STEM learning projects and innovations. Other portions of...more
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Connected Science Learning is an online journal featuring STEM education experiences. Featured articles focus on classroom STEM learning projects and innovations. Other portions of the journal include links to STEM in real-world practice and a focus on bringing STEM learning to underserved groups.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (136), engineering (127), STEM (153)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the classroom connections found in the Connected Science Learning journal to find ideas for use in your STEM classroom. Share articles with colleagues as part of professional development activities.

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Airtable - Emmett Nicholas, Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad

Grades
K to 12
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Airtable is an online database for collaboration incorporating many different online platforms. Attach files from services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote to share. Collaborators...more
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Airtable is an online database for collaboration incorporating many different online platforms. Attach files from services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote to share. Collaborators can view the change history, link data, and engage in chat. Free templates offer options for creating study guides, book lists, and more. Free accounts offer unlimited databases with storage of up to 1200 records each and a 2GB attachment limit.

tag(s): bookmarks (64), collaboration (11), DAT device agnostic tool (170)

In the Classroom

Use Airtable to collaborate on lessons with other teachers, both local and across the world. Share with students to use when collaborating on projects or to create study guides. Use the provided templates to catalog your books or share study guides with students.

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Splash - Ben Hindman and Brett Boskoff

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share custom online event invitations using Splash. Choose from the many templates to design and add information, RSVP questions, confirmations, and event settings. Splash...more
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Create and share custom online event invitations using Splash. Choose from the many templates to design and add information, RSVP questions, confirmations, and event settings. Splash even automatically creates a custom hashtag for use with your event. Be sure to follow the tutorials to get a good overview of Splash's capabilities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (150), organizational skills (128), parent conferences (24)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using Splash seem endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with signups! Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical (or actual) event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit. Use this tool for any middle or high school club, career day, or sports team to organize their own events. Share with your school's parent organization to help them plan the next school event.

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Voxer - Tom Katis

Grades
K to 12
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Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images and your location. Voxer will work with your headset and Bluetooth so you can be ...more
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Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images and your location. Voxer will work with your headset and Bluetooth so you can be hands-free. It is available on the web and all mobile devices. Hear messages live, or listen later. Broadcast messages to an individual or group, or listen and respond to chats in Walkie-Talkie mode and not even be in the app. Voxer allows talk and text across countries, wireless carriers, or data networks at no additional charge. Registration with email is required.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (53), DAT device agnostic tool (170), listening (91), microblogging (40), social media (21), speaking (25), speech (94)

In the Classroom

Use Voxer with early readers in your Daily 5 literacy structure for oral reading and listening to others read. Archive students' reading fluency at the beginning of the year, making comparisons throughout the year. Send the Voxer sample readings to parents via email so they can hear the progress and your comments, too. Use Voxer with any language learning students, both ELL/ESL and world languages. Students can practice speaking and listening in their new language. Connect with another class in a country speaking the language your students are learning for rich, real-world discussions. Create small groups to discuss anything from current events, to how to complete a math problem, to contributions for group research projects. Middle and high school teachers can use Voxer for communication between classes posting a question about the reading they are doing, an equation in math, or a lab in science. Collaborate with another classroom across the state or in another country allowing students to discuss with other students not in their school. Reluctant writers could use this tool to brainstorm their thoughts for a writing piece. With students under 13 consider setting up a class account using a global login. Students would need to give their first name when contributing so you will know who is speaking.

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Hash - Today's Talking Points - Joseph Mark & Stephen Phillips

Grades
6 to 12
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Hash is a Twitter feed aggregator showing Twitter's trending news in a beautiful display. Click on any picture's title, or hashtag under it to open up information about any image. ...more
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Hash is a Twitter feed aggregator showing Twitter's trending news in a beautiful display. Click on any picture's title, or hashtag under it to open up information about any image. View a short Wikipedia description of the item, then scroll through Tweets containing the hashtag. Choose the "Share Story" link to share via social media, email, or URL.

tag(s): news (265), PLN (6), social networking (112), twitter (44)

In the Classroom

Display Hash on your interactive whiteboard to find the latest information on current events. Have students explore a story then create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Add items throughout the month or any length of time to follow major events around the world. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Stampsy - Roman Mazurenko

Grades
5 to 12
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Stampsy is a web-based community platform for sharing stories and experiences. Construct units of content with a variety of images, text, video, and audio. Tell your own story. Use...more
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Stampsy is a web-based community platform for sharing stories and experiences. Construct units of content with a variety of images, text, video, and audio. Tell your own story. Use the Collect feature to save, repost, or merge images from any other user alongside your own content to spin new stories. Quickly sign up to create an account using email. You can also link through popular social networking sites.

tag(s): blogs (90), organizational skills (128), portfolios (33), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Use Stampsy to create collections of images, videos, and more for any teaching unit. Share examples of different types of geography, collections of plants or animals, examples of literature - the possibilities are endless! Have students create a Stampsy collection as an alternative to traditional types of presentations. Create a class account and have students add materials to a Stampsy for use with any unit. Share with students for use as an online portfolio for use with college applications.

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Papaly - Papaly

Grades
6 to 12
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Create boards of links to your popular tools and bookmarks curated into one beautiful and simple interface! Use Papaly to collect links from Twitter, Facebook, news sites, Pinterest,...more
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Create boards of links to your popular tools and bookmarks curated into one beautiful and simple interface! Use Papaly to collect links from Twitter, Facebook, news sites, Pinterest, existing computer bookmarks, and new bookmarks. Follow the pop-up messages to learn the controls from the Tutorial. Hover over Boards to click on the + sign, and then name the new board. Select from popular categories to instantly populate your board with common tools. Import computer bookmarks by installing the Chrome extension or creating an HTML file of them following the tutorial. Click on Board Properties in the upper right corner to change your board to Secret (private), make your board Invisible for Google, alter your settings, and change the layout of the board. Share boards by email, Twitter, or Facebook. Note: If using the boards with students, be sure not to import information from personal sites such as email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. as the login information would be visible to students.

tag(s): bookmarks (64), news (265), social media (21), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create an account to keep track of bookmarks to share with students in your class. Bookmarks can be viewed on any browser, anywhere. Create separate boards for the various projects and units in your class. Add information that is useful for student understanding and application of concepts. Keep the boards and bookmarks throughout the year. Consider creating a board for student current events or happenings. Use this for access to information on various topics such as food issues, diseases, political information, cultures around the world, and more. Create a board with more challenging topics for your gifted and advanced students. Students can create a board of links from the web on a certain topic to share with other classmates. Create a Professional Development board to share with other teachers. Challenge your middle and high school gifted students to curate a board for themselves on a topic of individual interest. For example, a student interested in rocketry can locate and add blogs from rocket scientists, NASA feeds, and more. Talented writers may want to collect links to literary publications and author blogs. Consider creating a login that all students can use in order to add bookmarks that they find useful.

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Twubs - Twubs, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy way to follow hashtags or conversations on Twitter? Use this tool for more useful hashtags that pull tweets, videos, images, and more in a convenient place ...more
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Looking for an easy way to follow hashtags or conversations on Twitter? Use this tool for more useful hashtags that pull tweets, videos, images, and more in a convenient place in real time. Hashtags are not just for fun, but also for finding and curating content from professional learning networks (PLN's). Use this tool to follow and participate in a chat easily and efficiently with no other tweets clogging up the stream. Enter the hashtag to view the active (or already completed) chat. Choose the speed of the chat flow. Use the Pause feature to stop the chat temporarily while checking a specific tweet or replying. View the hashtags with or without signing into Twitter. Note: New to Twitter and hashtags and unsure how to use it in the classroom? Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at the TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Be sure to check with your district's policies before using Twitter and Twubs with students.

tag(s): chat (53), twitter (44)

In the Classroom

Create a hashtag for use by students when quoting and reacting to comments from presenters. Follow the hashtag for various events occurring elsewhere in the world to obtain perspectives from people of different nationalities. Use a segment of a prior chat (screenshot an image of the Twubs) to share with students. Use to identify different perspectives from those around the world. Find shared commonalities among people and differences that allow students to understand world happenings using a different lens. Follow Tweets from scientists (such as #MarsRover) or for content (#STEM). Use results from a Twitter chat to create essays, stories, or artwork depicting content from the chat. Find chats for all kinds of teacher interests to build not only your PLN, but your knowledge base in the document Twitter Chat Schedule, reviewed here.

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Flipboard - Flipboard

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Use Flipboard to collect, explore, and share information from many sources, all in a magazine-style format. Flipboard can hold specific articles and images you choose or a dynamic "feed"...more
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Use Flipboard to collect, explore, and share information from many sources, all in a magazine-style format. Flipboard can hold specific articles and images you choose or a dynamic "feed" from a web source such as CNN, a Twitter hashtag, or a favorite blog. Most Flipboard consumers read their magazines on mobile devices, but you can manage and access your magazines from the "web tools" page (the link from this review) on a computer. Create your personal magazine(s) with things you care about: news, staying connected, social networks, and more. Create an account with Flipboard and then connect with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. Click the More panel to browse other categories and add them to your magazines. Drag the Flipboard button to your bookmarks bar or use the Flipboard app on your smartphone or tablet. Find an article you want to add to your collection? Click the + button next to the article to save it or simply click "Flip It" on your computer's browser toolbar to add that web page to your magazine. Edit your magazines online and share with friends and colleagues. View your RSS feeds or follow your news stream in social media with this magazine-style interface. Most of the tutorial videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home. If you want to share the videos with students, bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Flipboard is a device agnostic tool. Load the free app on mobile devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), news (265), social networking (112), video (276)

In the Classroom

Create a class Flipboard account and create magazines for each unit studied through the year. Add information that is useful for student understanding, application of concepts, or materials to be used for projects. Create a magazine of great articles and information to read or search through. Consider creating a Flipboard magazine for student current events or happenings. Use this for reports on various topics such as food issues, diseases, political information, cultures around the world, and more. Make a customized "feed" for more advanced information on a topic for your gifted and advanced students. Students can curate a Flipboard of pictures or videos from the web on a certain topic to share with their classmates. Create a Professional Development Flipboard with other teachers. Teacher-librarians may want to work together with classroom teachers to create magazines of certain content for students to use during research units. Challenge your middle and high school gifted students to curate a magazine for themselves on a topic of individual interest, creating a "PLN" they can use for years. For example, a student interested in rocketry can locate and add blogs from rocket scientists, NASA feeds, and more. Talented writers may want to collect feeds from literary publications and author blogs. They will probably also discover related Flipboards created by others. As gifted students' interests change, they can curate other topical "magazines" to keep learning, even if the topics do not fall within the traditional curriculum. You may find that the personalization of learning is something ALL your students want to do.

Comments

There are amazing collections on this site. Cindi, NC, Grades: 0 - 6

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Google+ - Google

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This Google tool integrates seamlessly with GMail, Picasa, Google Hangouts, Drive, Chrome, and other Google products. This is helpful in finding, using, and managing all your materials....more
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This Google tool integrates seamlessly with GMail, Picasa, Google Hangouts, Drive, Chrome, and other Google products. This is helpful in finding, using, and managing all your materials. Use Google Circles to create groups of friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. Users are easily added and removed within Circles. Photos can easily be tagged and identified in Google+. Privacy is easily managed including a variety of privacy levels on your content. Share content easily even within Hangouts. In Google+, individual posts can be muted (which is nice when you are not interested in them and do not wish to see them anymore!). Be sure to download the mobile app for Google+ to stay connected on the go and even upload and tag your photos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (53), collaboration (11), DAT device agnostic tool (170), images (274), organizational skills (128), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Connect all content, pictures, and other materials together. Students who already have a Google account already have access to Google+. Users are normally invited to "join" via an email message. This may be problematic in the many schools that do not permit student email access. Note that notifications sent by Google Docs may also land in "junk mail" folders or be blocked by spam filters. We suggest that you experiment with a small group of students to determine what will work in your particular situation. One option is to set up the groups with the teacher as a "member" but have students work from home, using their personal email addresses, for group projects. Make sure you are protecting the safety of student work and identity and are within your school's Acceptable Use Policy.

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Edmodo - Edmodo

Grades
7 to 12
11 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Edmodo is a complete, online environment for classroom management, learning, and more. Use Edmodo for sharing content, accessing homework, grades, and announcements. Create a library...more
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Edmodo is a complete, online environment for classroom management, learning, and more. Use Edmodo for sharing content, accessing homework, grades, and announcements. Create a library to store your assignments, quizzes, and units. Post assignment reminders, quizzes (automatically graded), build an event calendar, and post messages to groups as well. Create multiple classes and have students join via the class code. Then, you can create small groups from your class rosters on Edmodo. Designed specifically for education, teachers can create a network for their classes where members can quickly respond to each other. Use the Snapshot feature to align quizzes with Common Core Standards. Gamify your class, if you'd like, using their badges or importing your own. Use the parent sign up to keep them in the loop. Find other educators and groups to connect with and follow your interests. Use Edmodo from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. YouTube hosts all support and training videos for how to implement Edmodo. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (107), blogs (90), classroom management (150), DAT device agnostic tool (170), game based learning (114), gamification (75), microblogging (40)

In the Classroom

View a screencast demo of using Edmodo here. Before using with a class, create a master administrator and also create two to three "fake students" to practice using Edmodo for a few weeks. Use this suggestion not only to understand how to use Edmodo but to also determine how it will be used in the classroom. Allow students to register by using your group code. 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.

Use this service for class scribes to detail what has been learned that day. In Math, instruct scribes to discuss how to solve a problem. Better yet, allow students the opportunity to discuss how they solve specific problems to identify more than one manner of solving. During class presentations, use Edmodo to provide feedback to the presenter. During videos, students can maintain backchannel discussions in order to recap events, ask for clarification, or carry on meaningful discussion of the content. Use to create stories one line at a time with collaboration from the whole class. Ask questions from the days work to identify which concepts are causing problems with students and need to be reinforced. Post assignments in Edmodo. Students can access assignments and ask questions for clarification. Discuss environmental, health, or other social issues to identify other viewpoints and concerns. Still need more ideas? Check the Edmodo blog.

Comments

Edmodo is a terrific resource for communicating with teachers and students. It's Facebook-like interface is familiar and inviting for users. Tim, , Grades: 0 - 6

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