Online Tools: Suggestions from TeachersFirst

This editor's choice collection offers timesavers and organizational tools for teachers. They include "utility" sites for teaching tasks such as seating charts, rubrics, and certificates. Other tools facilitate parent communication, such as text messaging or online conferencing. Our editors have also hand picked simple, timesaving, creative tools from the TeachersFirst Edge. These tools organize to-do lists (for yourself or for students), convert files, remove ads from web pages, check web site readability, write a one-time blog, generate an online signup sheet, make a simple graphic organizer or chart, create online corkboards or stickies, and much more. Mark your Favorites using your free TeachersFirst membership, so you can find them quickly!

For a full listing of reviewed "creation" tools by category, try the TeachersFirst Edge, today's hottest tools for creating teacher and student projects online. 

 

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GraphFree - Donovan Harshbarger

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
GraphFree is an online graphing tool built by a high school math teacher to meet the needs he didn't find in other online tools. Choose the User's Guide to get ...more
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GraphFree is an online graphing tool built by a high school math teacher to meet the needs he didn't find in other online tools. Choose the User's Guide to get started. The Quick Start feature provides basic information on using the graphing features. Short videos explain other options for drawing and labeling graphs. When finished, follow instructions for saving graphs to your computer or into popular office software programs.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calculators (38), charts and graphs (163)

In the Classroom

Use GraphFree in place of expensive graphing calculators that many students may not have. Be sure to provide the link on your teacher page or blog for easy access. This is a wonderful tool for use in the 1:1 classrooms.

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Random.org - Dr. Mads Haahr

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Do you need to choose items in a truly random way? If so, this site is for you! Random.org offers many different categories for receiving randomized information. Choose from the ...more
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Do you need to choose items in a truly random way? If so, this site is for you! Random.org offers many different categories for receiving randomized information. Choose from the links for random lists, coin flippers, dates, passwords, dice rolls, and much more. Follow directions on each page to set the form and receive results. There is also an app for both Android and iOs devices.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (134), gamification (78), probability (94), resources (85)

In the Classroom

Use Random.org to generate any kind of list you need such as groups for field trips, random dates for history research, and random places on a map. Use the name generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose the classmate who comes next. Use the generator tools as part of your probability unit to chart how often names or coins appear with random selections.

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Free Online Stopwatch - Ummay

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Free Online Stopwatch offers an assortment of popular clock tools - all ad free, simple, and easy to share! Choose from the Stopwatch, Alarm Clock, Current Time, Timer, or Date ...more
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Free Online Stopwatch offers an assortment of popular clock tools - all ad free, simple, and easy to share! Choose from the Stopwatch, Alarm Clock, Current Time, Timer, or Date Countdown. Also, find emoticons for social media and email at the bottom of the page. Click on any of the social media links at the top to easily share your countdown.

tag(s): classroom management (136), organizational skills (90)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. At the beginning of the school year, display on your interactive whiteboard or projector to time or count down any classroom activity. This will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Project the Stopwatch or Timer while students take a test, solve a drag and drop, practice speeches, rotate between learning centers, or join cooperative learning groups. When rotating between centers or taking turns in a cooperative learning group, schedule the time sequence to keep everyone on track. Use the Date Countdown to share days until any important event via social media. Share this tool on your class website for students to use at home (to practice taking timed math practice tests, practice for a speech, and more).

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MediaFire - MediaFire

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer...more
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer for times when there is no Internet access. MediaFire Desktop keeps your online and locally stored files safe and in sync. View and edit all files and folders privately or share them to collaborate. Find a comprehensive Getting Started PDF manual on the left side menu. Signing up is as easy as typing in your email. MediaFire claims to be "the only online storage solution to offer unlimited downloads, download resuming, zero wait times and more, all for free."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (134)

In the Classroom

Use MediaFire to transfer files and images between devices quickly in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Student groups working on projects in class can gather and share data easily from anywhere. Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others. What a great way for students to turn their work into you when completed on their devices! During curriculum development and other professional development activities, members of a department (or even school-wide) can share resources and documents easily with each other.

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Random Name Generator Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. ...more
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. Next, enter a password, display name, and your email address. Either copy and paste the information that comes next or save the email you are sent to retrieve the group and list of names quickly. The Random Name Generator will work with iPads or on any Internet browser.

tag(s): classroom management (136), probability (94)

In the Classroom

Use the Random Name Generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose the classmate who comes next. Create your list at the beginning of the year and SAVE it to use throughout the year. Use the Random Name Generator as part of your probability unit to chart how often names appear with random spins.

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Group Maker Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Create random groups quickly with the Group Maker Tool. Click "Create a Group Now" to begin and follow prompts to set up your groups. You will need to provide an ...more
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Create random groups quickly with the Group Maker Tool. Click "Create a Group Now" to begin and follow prompts to set up your groups. You will need to provide an email and create a password for your group. Add up to 100 names to your class list. Choose the number of groups to make. You can even choose to make pairs!

tag(s): Teacher Utilities (123)

In the Classroom

Although a bit awkward and slow to get started, this tool is helpful for creating random groups for many purposes. It is best to create your class list ahead of time then you can easily create groups anytime on the fly! Use this tool to create groups for cooperative learning, class plays, presentations, computer centers, field trips, and much more.

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TrackStar - 4Teachers.org

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Build scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, webquests, or extend learning using Trackstar. To make a track, think of a descriptive title, and write a description. Select from creating a...more
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Build scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, webquests, or extend learning using Trackstar. To make a track, think of a descriptive title, and write a description. Select from creating a Resource list, Worksheet, Extended learning, or Demo. Collect up to 15 websites (know the page title and URL) and create annotations or directions. Viewing the track in frames will have the titles of pages in the left menu bar. Click on the title and the text of the page appears in the center. Any links that are on the page in the center will open in a new tab. Search ready-made Tracks to get an idea of how they work. Viewing tracks in Chrome is possible, but this tool does not seem to work with Chrome to create tracks.

tag(s): bookmarks (47), curation (28), gamification (78), webquests (22)

In the Classroom

Create an Internet activity that is useful for students and allows them to work independently or with a partner in class or at home. Demonstrate on an interactive whiteboard or projector how to use the track. Be sure to put the URL for the track on your class website. This tool would be great for flipping your classroom. Students could read and view the sites at home and come to class with their work and their questions ready for a discussion. Create a bank of resources for each content unit within your subject or classroom. Use for web treasure hunts to learn or introduce any topic within your content area. Use for directed research. Search the ready-made tracks by subject, grade level, theme, track number, etc. to find one to use with your class. Collect links to informational texts for students to read "closely" a la CCSS. Students or student groups can create Trackstars of the resources they use for a project. Use with faculty and staff to showcase a variety of tools for professional development. Create Tracks you can share with other teachers in your building or district. If you would like to know more about webquests see TeachersFirst Webquest 101

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Copy Paste Character - Konst & Teknik & Martin

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Copy Paste Character offers a large assortment of characters to use with any text. Choose from characters within a favorite set such as music notes, smiley faces, or mathematical symbols....more
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Copy Paste Character offers a large assortment of characters to use with any text. Choose from characters within a favorite set such as music notes, smiley faces, or mathematical symbols. Click on any symbol then paste into your document. View other sets such as graphic shapes, punctuation, and emojis using the drop-down box. Registration is not required, but it is an option if you want to create and save sets for future use.

tag(s): images (247), symbols (13)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to easily find symbols for use on your class webpage, newsletters, and lessons. Share with students as a resource for finding characters and symbols for use on any project. Add this link to your class website for students (and families) to access at home.

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Trading Card Creator - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 9
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts....more
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Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts. Follow the prompts to complete the information and choose whether to save as a draft or final. You can share via email or print.

tag(s): back to school (54), biographies (88), book reports (30), characterization (14)

In the Classroom

Use the main character in a story your class recently read and demonstrate this tool using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Social studies classes can portray a famous person or event in history. Science classes can develop trading cards for plants, planets, cells, or just about anything else you study. In a geography class, use cards to describe a place. Students can use trading cards to help them remember facts and vocabulary from any class. Teacher-librarians can encourage students to make trading cards about books or authors. Use cards at the beginning of the year for students to create a trading card about themselves. After sharing with classmates, post them on a bulletin board for back-to-school night.

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Sal, , Grades: 0 - 12

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ChartGizmo - ChartGizmo.com

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Quickly create charts for use on websites, blogs, and social media with ChartGizmo. Register using your email address. Click on New Chart and customize using information on the page....more
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Quickly create charts for use on websites, blogs, and social media with ChartGizmo. Register using your email address. Click on New Chart and customize using information on the page. Choose from several different chart types, add a title, change color, and more. Import data from Excel or add your own values. When finished, Save & Publish to choose from several options for sharing or placing on web pages. A manual and examples are available on the home page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (163), data (132), percent (57)

In the Classroom

Collect data in your classroom and quickly create a graph to represent it. Share through links or adding images to blogs, wikis, or websites. Share graphs on an interactive whiteboard or projector for better analysis of data by the class. Graph results of a test, answers from students, favorite foods, fictitious budgets, class schedules, and whatever else is applicable in your classroom. Use an informational text, and have students create a pie chart to understand how to read charts that accompany the informational texts. Have cooperative learning groups create graphs to share with the class on the class wiki. Create quick pie charts on your interactive whiteboard whenever you count class votes or encounter other data so students "see" data visualized on a regular basis; visual students will have another way to absorb the information. Keep the link handy on your web page to access it quickly in or out of class.

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Easyclass - easyclass.com

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Easyclass is an online tool for creating and managing classes. Register for a free account, and click on Courses from the top menu and Create a Course from the next ...more
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Easyclass is an online tool for creating and managing classes. Register for a free account, and click on Courses from the top menu and Create a Course from the next page. Student lists can be added at this time, or students can use the access code to enter your class with an email. Once you create the course, you can manage tasks such as class walls, discussions, quizzes, a calendar, and create a class library. Create assignments and quizzes and get immediate feedback when tasks are complete. Be sure to watch the video and browse through the help section to find all of the features available with Easyclass. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. Use this tool in several world languages. At the time of this review, the home page states that mobile access is coming soon!

tag(s): assessment (122), classroom management (136), Learning Management Systems (25), Teacher Utilities (123)

In the Classroom

Use Easyclass to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar 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. EasyClass is an interactive and collaborative program; have literature circles complete write ups, discussions, and final presentations about the book they read using EasyClass. Lab partners can present their findings, and math students can demonstrate how they solved a problem.

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Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers - Holt

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Interactive Graphic Organizers help to gather thoughts, visualize, understand, or organize. Find interactive graphic organizers from categories such as identifying/organizing details,...more
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Interactive Graphic Organizers help to gather thoughts, visualize, understand, or organize. Find interactive graphic organizers from categories such as identifying/organizing details, order and sequence, cause and effect, process diagrams, persuasive position support, vocabulary, and many others. The selected organizer will download in PDF format. The features of the form are: interactive form fields, highlighting, adding mark-up, commenting, and saving it all. Find accompanying teaching notes for each organizer by clicking on the link in the paragraph at the top of the page. The teacher guide has detailed lessons and suggested uses.

tag(s): concept mapping (16), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Mark this site on your class web page, put it on your task bar, and add to all student computers. Demonstrate by using and creating your customized graphic organizer. Turn it into PDF format and save or print. Get students in the habit of using graphic organizers to improve achievement, organization, and details.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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MergeFil.es - mergefil.es

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Merge multiple file formats into one format easily and quickly with Mergefil.es; merge from your computer or Google Drive. Formats supported include PDF, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS...more
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Merge multiple file formats into one format easily and quickly with Mergefil.es; merge from your computer or Google Drive. Formats supported include PDF, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, images, html, and/or .txt files. After uploading files, choose the target format for your merged file: PDF, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, or audio file. Within just a few moments, your finished document will be available for download and use. Merged files created using the free version will contain the site's watermark, obscuring some of the information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (32), worksheets (65)

In the Classroom

Use MergeFil.es to easily combine documents for viewing in one format. Combine lesson plans for a complete unit including handouts, worksheets, and more. Create a quick PowerPoint presentation by combining several different file formats. Ever find terrific activity sheets, but they need tweaking to make them work for your classes? This tool helps save time by allowing you to edit PDF files in Word to avoid reinventing the wheel; be aware of copyrighted materials. Science teachers can take lab activities and refine questions or add instructions as needed for their classrooms. English teachers can add standardized test prompts to preexisting general worksheets to tailor the activity to suit their state's testing needs. Mergefil.es is a helpful tool for students entering contests or completing applications offered only in PDF form.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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I Love PDF - ilovepdf.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Merge several PDF files into one document or split a PDF document into different documents using I Love PDF. Choose your option and follow the links to upload and convert ...more
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Merge several PDF files into one document or split a PDF document into different documents using I Love PDF. Choose your option and follow the links to upload and convert your files. When complete, click the download link to open and save files to your computer. There is a premium option of this tool, but most features are free. The FREE option allows a total of 80 MB for all uploaded PDFs. Read the chart on the homepage to learn all that is included in the FREE option.

In the Classroom

Use this site to work with your PDF files in many ways. If you need just a page or two from a large PDF file (perhaps a worksheet to send home to an absentee student), easily extract it to send. Combine class projects received as individual PDF's to create a complete class book by merging all files. Combine several lessons into one complete unit by merging files. Make combined PDFs available as downloads from your class web page so students "get it all together." Teachers at all grades can use this tool, and older students may find it handy for their own use.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Just Flip A Coin - My Tech Tailor

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Do you sometimes wish you had a coin in your pocket to make a quick decision? Just Flip A Coin does it for you! Open the site and watch the ...more
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Do you sometimes wish you had a coin in your pocket to make a quick decision? Just Flip A Coin does it for you! Open the site and watch the coin flip a few times before landing on heads or tails. Choose "Flip Again" for a do-over!

tag(s): classroom management (136), probability (94)

In the Classroom

Although this site is extremely simple, you will find many classroom uses. Be sure to bookmark it for later use. Use Just Flip A Coin on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to choose leaders of teams, decide between options for classroom games or activities, or decide between two book choices. Have students use an actual coin to flip and compare results with Just Flip A Coin for a math probability lesson.

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Random Name/Word Picker - Russel Tarr

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
When it seems the same students always volunteer with answers and help, try the Random Name Picker. Get your entire class involved using this colorful "game-like" tool. This colorful...more
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When it seems the same students always volunteer with answers and help, try the Random Name Picker. Get your entire class involved using this colorful "game-like" tool. This colorful wheel clicks when you spin. It cheers when you land on a name. The site uses HTML5 so it will work on iPads as well as laptops and PCs. There is no registration required. Input the names, (enter each name or word on a different line, copy and paste from a spreadsheet or word document if available), save your lists with a password, and embed the Picker into your blog or website. You can even get a QR code. Choose the typewriter to view a scrambled word letter-by-letter. The fruit machine reveals a choice with a slot machine, choose the button Remove to delete used names/words from the list as you play. For safety, use first names only!

tag(s): classroom management (136), Teacher Utilities (123)

In the Classroom

The obvious use for this tool is for selecting students to answer a question or do an activity. Other uses could include forming groups/pairs or creating seating charts. Allow students to use it when it's time to choose the next student. Instead of names, enter activities for P.E., rainy day recess activities, the next book your class will read together, or anything where you need to make a choice. Use for vocabulary practice, too. You may want to save one wheel as a template when you know you'll be selecting several students. That way you can remove names from the list on the wheel you are using, but will have the original for the next time.

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QR Droid Zapper - Droidla LTD

Grades
5 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Instantly create a QR code for many purposes using the QR Code Generator at QR Droid Zapper. Choose the tab for the type of code to generate such as a ...more
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Instantly create a QR code for many purposes using the QR Code Generator at QR Droid Zapper. Choose the tab for the type of code to generate such as a URL, your contact information, a calendar event, or a location. Add information to the required boxes and personalize size and color, if desired. Click to generate your code. Right-click to save the generated QR code to your computer or use the link provided to share through email or social networking. Embed the QR code in a webpage using the embed code provided.

tag(s): gamification (78), qr codes (18)

In the Classroom

Create a QR code that directs to your class website or blog. Include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students or make a webquest more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers. Further develop knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that expands upon what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students can access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, students' reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Instead of copying/pasting links in a newsletter, put them into QR codes for easier access by readers. Post QR codes to resource sites and new articles on your BYOD classroom bulletin boards for students to access information on their tablets or smartphones. As a time saver, post a QR code to the class wiki or web page.

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PicResize - Internich, LLC

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
PicResize is the free, easy way to resize and alter photos online without requiring expensive programs! Use this tool for a quick altering of a single picture: resize, crop, or ...more
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PicResize is the free, easy way to resize and alter photos online without requiring expensive programs! Use this tool for a quick altering of a single picture: resize, crop, or shrink. Resize multiple pictures as well. Upload your picture from a computer or from the Internet. Use the Crop and Rotate menu to alter the picture. All changes are viewable in the preview window. Use the default options for resizing: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% or customize as you like. Add image effects from a multitude of choices: Grayscale, Sharpen, Gaussian Blur, Oil Paint, Rotate, Polaroid, Brightness, Contrast, or Raised Frame. Save your finished image to your computer or the web as a GIF, JPG, PNG, or BMP. For privacy, PicResize keeps your pictures for 20 minutes for you to download and save it on your hard drive. After 20 minutes, picture(s) are automatically deleted from the server. PicResize offers an alternative to the usual image editor. For one, it's web based.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): editing (78), images (247), photography (127)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Be sure to discuss with your class the importance of using copyright free materials from the web using tool such as Vecteezy, reviewed here. Use this tool to alter an image to meet website constraints such as when creating an avatar. Make this a link from your class wiki or website so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos. Art teachers will love the ability to alter photos with artistic effects without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events. Check understanding of concepts by taking or finding images that help explain a concept being studied in any content area. Use images to show what the students know. Use images to help ESL/ELL, language, and special students learn in the classroom. In primary grades, this tool can be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Encourage older students to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood. Be sure to keep this tool handy as a link from your teacher web page for quick access anytime!
 

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Printliminator - Chris Coyier and Devon Govett

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Highlight and print (or view) only what you want from a web page using Printliminator. Downloading this tool is made easy with the drag and drop bookmarklet; Drage it to ...more
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Highlight and print (or view) only what you want from a web page using Printliminator. Downloading this tool is made easy with the drag and drop bookmarklet; Drage it to your browser's toolbar (Printliminator works with Chrome ONLY). Then click the bookmarklet from any page to open up tool options. Mouse over your web page and click on red boxes to remove them from the page. When ready, preview and send to your printer. Be sure to watch the Quick Slideshow Demo for a full overview of all features of the Printliminator.

tag(s): classroom management (136)

In the Classroom

Install the Printliminator on your browser tool bar. Show students how to use Prinliminator on your interactive whiteboard or projector for use when they are researching or preparing a study guide for a test. Use when viewing web pages on your interactive whiteboard to eliminate unnecessary information. Delete unnecessary information from webpages. Send to print and save as PDF for use with student handouts or links from your class web page. Of course, you will want to include your SOURCE on the handouts as a model of good digital citizenship. This is also a great tool to differentiate for any student. Use this tool to share handouts or PDFs with students who are easily distracted to help them stay focused on what matters.

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SmallPDF - smallpdf.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
SmallPDF offers many tools for creating and working with PDF files. Choose links to reduce the size of any PDF document, convert JPG to PDF or PDF to JPG, merge ...more
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SmallPDF offers many tools for creating and working with PDF files. Choose links to reduce the size of any PDF document, convert JPG to PDF or PDF to JPG, merge PDF files, and much more! After choosing the option to use, follow the simple directions for uploading files. Be sure to download and save. All conversions use temporary online storage and disappear from servers within an hour.

tag(s): conversions (32), worksheets (65)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save SmallPDF for use throughout the year. Upload Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files to convert into PDF documents. Use SmallPDF to split large PDF documents into smaller, manageable portions. Have students use Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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