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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Dice Roll - S Riley Teacherled

Grades
K to 8
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Virtual dice can be addicting when trying to figure out what number will come up next, and they are quiet! You'll never have these dice roll off the table and ...more
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Virtual dice can be addicting when trying to figure out what number will come up next, and they are quiet! You'll never have these dice roll off the table and under furniture. Choose from one, two, or three virtual die at a time. Simply click Roll and start the guessing.

tag(s): game based learning (161), mental math (26), operations (113), probability (131)

In the Classroom

Have fun in your classroom with virtual dice on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this with young students just learning to count. Have students take a guess about what number will "win." Use as an incentive and allow a student to roll the dice to meet a class goal. Set a goal of a large number, and every time a small goal is achieved, roll the dice and keep adding. Keep track until the class achieves the sum given. Practice basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts. Have team competitions and choose winners by even/odd, the greatest/least sum, greatest/least product or quotient. Allow students to work in small groups to play the mathematical practice games. For larger digits, roll two die simultaneously and get the greater number. Do the same to get double or triple digit numbers. Encourage your students to practice at home and play against their parents. Any time you need a dice, go to your bookmarked site. In older grades study probability and chance. Use the data and create line plots or graphs in various forms. Be sure to incorporate mean, median, and mode.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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HomeRoom Mom - School Family Media

Grades
K to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Homeroom Mom is an online community to share tips and tools for working with classroom teachers. Don't let the title fool you, this site contains valuable information for anyone working...more
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Homeroom Mom is an online community to share tips and tools for working with classroom teachers. Don't let the title fool you, this site contains valuable information for anyone working with students! Choose from the many categories to find ideas for decorations, crafts, holidays, and much more. Select Letters, Flyers, and Forms to find a yearly planning calendar, party sign-up sheets, and other handy forms for immediate use.

tag(s): classroom management (144), field trips (11), holidays (143), parents (59), preK (287)

In the Classroom

Share Homeroom Moms on your class website as an excellent resource for use by your homeroom mom (or dad), tutors, and other classroom helpers. Bookmark and save for use when planning class parties, finding holiday activities, and much more. Use this site to help YOU get organized!

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Classmill - Tariq Rauf

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Classmill allows you to create your own online classes by uploading videos, links, files, and images. Create your account to start your own class or explore classes already online....more
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Classmill allows you to create your own online classes by uploading videos, links, files, and images. Create your account to start your own class or explore classes already online. When creating a class choose from privacy options such as invite only for attendees. Add content within modules for each class using tabs to upload or embed information. Once your content is complete, use the "Ready" toggle switch to make it accessible to users. Use the "Invite" button to invite users using their email address.

tag(s): classroom management (144)

In the Classroom

Create your course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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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 (36), charts and graphs (193)

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 (172), gamification (80), probability (131), resources (105)

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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Award Certificate Templates - Award Certificate Templates

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Here is the solution to all your certificate needs. Find free printable certificates (in PDF, JPEG, or MS Word format) for school, sports, family, or fun. Change color schemes or ...more
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Here is the solution to all your certificate needs. Find free printable certificates (in PDF, JPEG, or MS Word format) for school, sports, family, or fun. Change color schemes or formats, select and add your text, and be ready in seconds. Print or download to save.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): worksheets (63)

In the Classroom

Make your students' day by recognizing their hard work and efforts! Use this tool to recognize students in seconds in a fun, free way. Ideas for student use include having students choose characters from a book and create a certificate for them. Next have students elaborate and describe the reasons why this certificate is awarded using a quick and easy blog post. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, replace pen and paper by having students create blogs using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you want to take the blog writing a step further, Telegra.ph allows you to choose the camera icon to upload images from your computer or select the brackets to paste a YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitter link. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and have students write, challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. During Thanksgiving, let students become more aware of all the people that help them and nurture them. Use with younger buddies to give them the idea of thankfulness and appreciation. During a study of communities, have students choose a community worker and send a certificate of thanks. For older students help them set the sites high, and create the certificate they want to receive in the future. What goals do they need to set to achieve this?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (144), organizational skills (106)

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
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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...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 (172)

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 (144), probability (131)

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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Comment Bubble - Vivek Agrawal and Jean-Sebastien Legare

Grades
4 to 12
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" ...more
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" colored buttons (without pausing the video). Type in the information you want to know on the button. Viewers click on that button when they see it in the video. Viewers can also comment via text, audio, or video. Share the video with the URL provided or make it public for anyone to see. Comment Bubble will record and graph where in the video the audience reacted. See viewers' names with each comment. The demo video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it may not be viewable.

tag(s): assessment (127), video (273)

In the Classroom

Introduce Comment Bubble on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a video you have prepared. It could be a video you use in conjunction with your lesson or a video of you actually giving the lesson. Show students how they can click on the Quick Comment buttons and also make text or verbal comments. Use Comment Bubble for flipping your class lectures. Have buttons for students to click when things are unclear or when they strongly disagree. Record student presentations and upload for self-evaluation or peer and teacher comments and questions. Use this tool for formative assessment. ESL/ELL and resource teachers could record students reading or conversing with a group and create a Comment Bubble for the students to self score their activity.

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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 (97)

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 (54), gamification (80), webquests (27)

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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Nearpod - Nearpod

Grades
5 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Use this free slide-based multimedia app to put lessons and other material on any web browser OR iOs and Android devices. Build your own presentations using pre-made templates. The...more
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Use this free slide-based multimedia app to put lessons and other material on any web browser OR iOs and Android devices. Build your own presentations using pre-made templates. The site does offer some ready-made presentations (some free). Many of the video and text presentations are from Khan Academy and include questions to answer as you work through the presentations. What is the best part of Nearpod? Teachers control the pace of the lesson, and students do not move to the next screen until advanced by the teacher. Use the teacher version of the app to push out the presentation to your students. Every student uses their own student app to follow the screens and answer the questions. This provides immediate feedback about every student. The feedback can be emailed to the teacher for later review. This formative assessment tool is invaluable and a unique part of the app. The tool also includes drawing for students to work out problems. Teachers are able to identify students who are not "on task" and not working within the app when a little red light pops up. Absent students are able to complete the assignment at home.

tag(s): assessment (127), classroom management (144), DAT device agnostic tool (172), Learning Management Systems (24), multimedia (51), slides (53), Teacher Utilities (97), teaching strategies (38)

In the Classroom

This is an exciting way to begin an iPad (or BYOD) integration into the classroom. Though it may be difficult to determine the best pacing of the lesson, the ability to slow down the advancement of the next screen allows more time to digest the information. Be aware that students needing more time may be very frustrated as the screen may advance before they are able to finish. Start small by uploading presentations and using JPEG and other images. Add interactive elements such as polls and videos. Grab students attention by using the first slide to deliver a piece of humorous information. Create guided learning stations and push out several presentations to different devices as students move through the various lessons to be learned. This technique can be helpful for struggling learners. Use this tool to help reinforce the most difficult parts of the lesson. Use the app to create schedules for training, clubs, and more. For English, learn about grammar rules, sentence structure, and other elements necessary for good writing. For ESL/ELL classes and world languages, practice various vocabulary words and learn tenses of verbs. Learn vocabulary and basic scientific concepts in any science class or facts about historical periods in history classes. This app is a valuable tool in any classroom.

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Copy Paste Character - Konst & Teknik & Martin

Grades
K to 12
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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....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 (273), symbols (18)

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 (62), biographies (92), book reports (34), characterization (16)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sal, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Live - pics.io

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Share and discuss photos or other images in real-time using Live. No registration is required. Live works only on Chrome and Firefox browsers. Drag and drop or upload images from ...more
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Share and discuss photos or other images in real-time using Live. No registration is required. Live works only on Chrome and Firefox browsers. Drag and drop or upload images from your computer to Live to begin a session. Be sure to allow access to your computer's microphone for online conversations, or use the chat box if you prefer. The real power of LIVE is being able to "narrate" and discuss images orally, though. Copy or tweet the link to share the URL for your session. Once participants enter the session, the site's tools allow options for drawing using the brush tool, watermarks on images, and zooming in and out to share features of images.

tag(s): images (273)

In the Classroom

Use Live as an alternative to other screen sharing tools to maintain quality when discussing images. Use it with your 1:1 art class to discuss design principles and techniques in images or works of art. Suggest students use Live when collaborating on group art or media projects. Students can create or alter group products such as logos for their mock companies or political party. World language classes can use an image to spark conversation and vocabulary practice using this online tool, even if they are not in the same location! Set up a LIVE session with a partner class at another school for sharing images and the stories behind them. Share an image of a student's work using a Live session during a parent phone conference.

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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 (193), data (153), percent (77)

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 (127), classroom management (144), Learning Management Systems (24), Teacher Utilities (97)

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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PDFaid - Prasad Gurla

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find all of the tools you need for working with and manipulating PDF's at PDFaid. Choose from the many different options such as placing a watermark, extracting images, or converting...more
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Find all of the tools you need for working with and manipulating PDF's at PDFaid. Choose from the many different options such as placing a watermark, extracting images, or converting different file types to and from PDF's. Click on your desired tool to begin. Follow the step by step directions for working with and saving your PDF file.

In the Classroom

Be sure to add PDFaid to your professional technology toolkit for use throughout the year. Use the watermark option to label and identify your work when sharing with others. Convert PDF's to other file types such as Word or JPG to modify and use as needed. There are as many options for using PDFaid as your imagination allows! Your tech savvy high school students will love this one for working on scholarship forms, etc.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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GoClass - GoClass/Learning Mate

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create interactive lessons accessible from mobile devices or computers using GoClass. GoClass uses a "Show" (media elements and videos), "Explain" (notes and examples), and "Ask" (real-time...more
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Create interactive lessons accessible from mobile devices or computers using GoClass. GoClass uses a "Show" (media elements and videos), "Explain" (notes and examples), and "Ask" (real-time assessments) format making it easy to set up your instruction and presentation. The lessons can have images, videos, links to other web pages, and text. There is a broadcast feature where you can project the lesson or send it to student devices. The broadcast feature allows for both projecting and personal devices at the same time so students can follow on their device or a large screen. Start tracking learning in real-time by creating an account with your email or Google ID. Visit the About and How it Works links to learn more about this engaging tool. Some of the introduction videos require YouTube. If YouTube isn't allowed in your school, you may want to view the videos at home.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (127), classroom management (144), DAT device agnostic tool (172), Learning Management Systems (24), Teacher Utilities (97), video (273)

In the Classroom

Set up your account and your classes. Students can be added to a number of "courses," making GoClass a great tool for differentiation! Differentiate the instruction for your gifted students using this tool. Set up mini "courses" for your students so they access the material they need at their level. Use GoClass with your students to introduce whole class instruction for a concept and then assign them the activity through their mini-course to differentiate the instruction. Make your meetings with teachers (grade levels, departments, and professional development) interactive using GoClass. You can create 12 lesson plans for free.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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