TeachersFirst's BYOD Dream Tools: Free Tools that Work on ANY device!

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of reviewed tools from TeachersFirst includes apps that are available for FREE on iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android, and web devices. Ideal for BYOD classrooms or 1:1 computer/tablet programs, these reviewed tools allow users to create and access projects using the same app, no matter what kind of device they have.

This collection includes only "DATs" (device agnostic tools) that are FREE on all devices and offer free access with sufficient features to be useful without upgrading to a paid account. Whether you call it an "app" or a "web tool," a DAT allows you to access your projects from almost any device. 

Be sure to read the "Edge Features" list at the end of each review to know whether you need to create individual accounts, how products can be shared,  and other tips on using these DATs safely and within school policies.

Even the best DAT has slight differences in capabilities on different devices. Encourage your students to share what they discover about additional or missing features on each type of device. your class will quickly appoint tool experts for each app! 

TeachersFirst encourages our members (membership is FREE) to add comments and ratings to help other teachers and students trying these tools. Apps change quickly, so we welcome your comments on any changes that may occur to these tools and their free status.

(image credit: Jeremy Keith)

 

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Reader - MindSky

Grades
K to 12
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Reader is an app for desktop and mobile devices that allows you to save articles without a lot of the clutter. Sign up using your email and password, then activate ...more
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Reader is an app for desktop and mobile devices that allows you to save articles without a lot of the clutter. Sign up using your email and password, then activate your account using the link sent to your email. Follow directions to download the app if you think you will be using Reader on a regular basis. However, you don't have to download the app. You can just click the "+" sign at the top right and enter the URL of the article you want to read right in your browser. Reader's features allow you to highlight and share articles. Viewing options include several themes and font options. All features are fully functional in your browser, too! Editors note, the activation link to create an account was not sent immediately. Be sure to create and set up your account well in advance before using it. Check your spam folder if you don't find the activation link.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), media literacy (88), reading comprehension (132)

In the Classroom

Download Reader onto classroom computers and mobile devices for saving and sharing web articles. This app is especially useful for ESL/ELL or Special Education students to help remove distracting information. After reading articles, have students share their thoughts using a voice recording tool like Vocaroo, reviewed here, then share their recordings on your class website. Share several articles with students using Reader, then post an essential question on Recap for younger students, reviewed here, or on FlipGrid for older students, reviewed here. Both Recap and Flipgrid allow students to post video question responses, then add comments to the posted responses creating an excellent tool for collaborative discussions. Share student responses and discussions with a class podcast using Podcast Generator, reviewed here.

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PyeongChang 2018 - PyeongChang2018

Grades
4 to 12
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PyeongChang 2018 is the official 2018 winter Olympics site from the South Korean Olympic organizing committee. This site contains information for attending the games including transportation,...more
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PyeongChang 2018 is the official 2018 winter Olympics site from the South Korean Olympic organizing committee. This site contains information for attending the games including transportation, hotels, and information on purchasing tickets. Choose the Spectator Guide link to download apps containing information for spectators including event updates and daily news for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), korea (18), olympics (50)

In the Classroom

Use this site to follow the latest information from the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. If students use mobile devices, share the link to download the official app. Ask students to share stories from the Olympics using an online bulletin board like Padlet, reviewed here. Padlet allows users to create columns for posts, add columns to sort information by country, sport, or daily events throughout the Olympics. Have students make video recordings sharing daily updates during the Olympic games using a tool such as My Simpleshow, reviewed here. Share videos using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. As a final project, have students create a Symbaloo Learning Path, reviewed here, to share information learned. Symbaloo Learning Path's offer the ability to add videos, websites, and quizzes into an interactive learning experience.

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Anchor - Michael Mignano and Nir Zicherman

Grades
1 to 12
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. ...more
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. Choose a name when finished, then upload your content as a finished podcast. For ideas on what to include in your podcast, listen to Anchor podcasts shared on the site by Anchor members.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), podcasts (61)

In the Classroom

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

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QuizPedia - Stephan Stephensen

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create and play your own quizzes with QuizPedia's straightforward and customizable design. Play quizzes without registration or register to create and save your own quizzes. Follow...more
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Create and play your own quizzes with QuizPedia's straightforward and customizable design. Play quizzes without registration or register to create and save your own quizzes. Follow the steps to create your quiz on any device. QuizPedia's format allows the use of images as an option for both questions and responses. Additional options let you set the time quizzes are active or set rules for visibility options.

tag(s): assessment (127), DAT device agnostic tool (173), game based learning (159), gamification (80), quizzes (87)

In the Classroom

Pretest students and allow them to "test out" of material they already know. Learning support teachers will want their students to create their own QuizPedia sets for practice and review of any material. Create your own sets of quizzes, or let students do the work for themselves and each other. Take advantage of quizzes previously developed and available to share with students on your class website. Allow students to create a quiz for other students to take following class presentations and reports.

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Timeline Eons - Maani.us

Grades
6 to 12
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Timeline Eons presents the history of the world from the Big Bang through current time on an interactive timeline. Additional events predict changes to the earth 22,000,000,000 years...more
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Timeline Eons presents the history of the world from the Big Bang through current time on an interactive timeline. Additional events predict changes to the earth 22,000,000,000 years in the future. Scroll left or right to move through developments on the timeline or set the timeline to run automatically. Zoom in to view events or use the search feature to find specific events. Many events feature an illustration or photograph; others include a short video. When viewing on a computer, choose the link with three dots on the upper-left side of the screen to see information on the timeline's features.

tag(s): climate change (71), conservation (117), DAT device agnostic tool (173), geologic time (10), space (233), timelines (54)

In the Classroom

Have students explore the timeline on their own, then research and share information on any given period of time. Encourage students to view future predictions on the timeline as a research project to find the basis of the predictions. Have students create a simple interactive infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here .

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Bitmoji - Bitstrips Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Build an emoji with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an Android and Apple app, also available as a Chrome extension. Use email to create an account then follow prompts to create an ...more
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Build an emoji with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an Android and Apple app, also available as a Chrome extension. Use email to create an account then follow prompts to create an emoji with your likeness; save it as a PNG to your computer, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive. The fun starts after creating your emoji! Choose from countless options to share your Bitmoji in emails, messages, as an avatar, or anywhere you communicate online.

tag(s): creativity (116), DAT device agnostic tool (173), emotions (46), faces (4), images (273)

In the Classroom

Create a Bitmoji to use as your avatar on your class website or blog. Update your avatar to reflect current lessons, holidays, or events. Use emojis to appeal to students and draw their attention to important information. For example, choose the bitmoji with praying hands and "please" as a reminder to read all of the directions before beginning work. Choose a Bitmoji with an interesting background or phrase to use as a writing prompt. Insert a bitmoji into a Google form as feedback for student responses. Have older students (13+) take a picture of a portion of text and add a Bitmoji to share a connection or response to the text (also known as BookSnaps).

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Microsoft Translator for Education - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft Translator provides translation between languages in two ways. First, use this tool to converse with single participants or groups via computer. Begin by choosing "start conversation"...more
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Microsoft Translator provides translation between languages in two ways. First, use this tool to converse with single participants or groups via computer. Begin by choosing "start conversation" and enter your name and language choice. Microsoft Translator provides a code to share with participants to log into the conversation on their device using the Translator website or app. There are two options: click on the conversation option to start a conversation, and then speak or type your words - participants on the other end hear and view text in their desired language. Option 2 is to click on the text option to translate text. Copy and paste text or a webpage URL into the first box and choose "Translate." Translator converts the text into your choice from many different languages. At the time of this review Translator works in 10 languages and 100 people can participate in one conversation.

tag(s): chinese (50), DAT device agnostic tool (173), french (86), german (61), greek (40), hebrew (18), italian (34), japanese (44), Microsoft (79), russian (25), spanish (111)

In the Classroom

Use Translator to greet "other language" speaking students and make them feel welcome in your classroom; encourage conversations between them and your class. Take advantage of Translator to widen your classroom's global viewpoint by sharing conversations with others around the world. Use this site in world language classrooms to have students copy their text to convert into the language being studied (or the reverse). Have students create presentations about other countries in the native language of the nation using a presentation tool like Canva, reviewed here. Take your presentations a step further to include multimedia. Use a tool such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, to incorporate multimedia like maps, surveys, video, audio, and more.

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Taskade - John Xie & Stan ChangKhin Boon

Grades
K to 12
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Taskade is an easy to use to-do list creator and manager. Just start typing to create a list, no registration required. As soon as you start the list, a link ...more
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Taskade is an easy to use to-do list creator and manager. Just start typing to create a list, no registration required. As soon as you start the list, a link appears for sharing and collaborating. To save, create a free account with a username, email, and password to find and manage previous items. Taskade is not just an easy list creator; it is a very powerful tool with video conferencing, an activity feed, and recent projects. Taskade is the answer for remote teams to work together. Change the theme when you click to share a list on Facebook or Twitter (but you don't have to share; just open one of them and go back to your list to change the theme). You can even add Taskade to your Chrome browser for easy access or when you open a new tab your current list will appear as the opening page!

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), note taking (40), organizational skills (106), video (271)

In the Classroom

Create checklists of steps in a project. Place all notes in one place, so you do not forget. 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. They could use Taskade for assignment information, reminders, and more. Consider setting up a class account that can be used by all students. Spell out the use of the site and what is allowed and not allowed -- and the penalties. Set up separate accounts for student groups who can then share their notebook with other groups.

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Wakelet - Jamil Khalil

Grades
K to 12
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Create, curate, and share web content with Wakelet. Save online links, including articles, videos, tweets, and more then organize them into collections called wakes. Share collections...more
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Create, curate, and share web content with Wakelet. Save online links, including articles, videos, tweets, and more then organize them into collections called wakes. Share collections with a personalized link or use the embed code to embed anywhere online. Use the keyword search to explore and view wakes created by other Wakelet members. Save information from other wakes to your account for use in your own wakes. To make your wakes more distinctive, add a cover image, background, and choose the layout you prefer. Wakelet works smoothly with many apps such as Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, and FlipGrid, just to name a few.

tag(s): bookmarks (54), collaboration (78), DAT device agnostic tool (173), multimedia (51), news (260), social media (43), social networking (91)

In the Classroom

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

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MathGames - TeachMe, Inc.

Grades
K to 8
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MathGames offers a large variety of math games and interactive questions for grades preK-8 all fully aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to start, or choose by skills....more
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MathGames offers a large variety of math games and interactive questions for grades preK-8 all fully aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to start, or choose by skills. Other options allow users to choose by grade level standards. Registration isn't necessary to play individual games; however, enrollment as a teacher provides additional features. Input your class to receive detailed progress reports as well as leaderboards and student competitions.

tag(s): addition (220), charts and graphs (193), DAT device agnostic tool (173), differentiation (57), division (155), equations (152), estimation (42), fractions (232), game based learning (159), geometric shapes (174), measurement (168), mental math (26), multiples (31), multiplication (206), patterns (84), preK (287), ratios (67), statistics (128), subtraction (182), time (137)

In the Classroom

MathGames is perfect for practice with many different math concepts. Include a link to games on your class website or classroom computers. Be sure to share games with parents for play at home. Take advantage of the free registration to register your class to follow student progress and challenge students to increase scores. Ask students to write blog entries replacing pen and paper and sharing their learning and understanding for each game using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. Take this a step further enhance students' learning by to picking the game they learned the most from and make a feature video about it using Biteable, reviewed here. Biteable claims to be "the world's simplest video maker," and they may be right. If you teach using Common Core Standards, this site is excellent for finding practice activities aligned to the standards. Measure student growth for Common Core Standards using Edulastic, reviewed here.
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HP Reveal - Aurasma

Grades
6 to 12
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Intrigued about Augmented Reality? Use this augmented reality application to overlay any image or video over top of an image uploaded from your computer. The next step is to upload...more
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Intrigued about Augmented Reality? Use this augmented reality application to overlay any image or video over top of an image uploaded from your computer. The next step is to upload the video you want to include as the overlay. Save and share your using the links provided. Demo tutorials on this provide additional information for creating and sharing.

tag(s): augmented reality (8), DAT device agnostic tool (173), images (273)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for Word Walls, overlaying images of the words or videos showing the words in action when they are scanned. Create overlays of diagrammed pictures, revealing more information for each of the elements labeled. For example, add more information about parts of the human body, elements in the periodic table, works of various artists/musicians, or battles in a war. Create an interactive journal or newspaper with simple headlines. For example, create a headline of "School play a definite smash!" and overlay a video of the play using the app. Create a poster of school rules or laboratory safety. Consider assigning groups of students the task of acting out the rules to overlay on the interactive poster. As students work towards completing material for a class, create video words of encouragement or advice to play at key points of the assignment. Or, add additional information at various points, inspired by past or present student questions about how the information relates to life. Bring the outside world in by taking videos of professionals to play when reading stories in class.

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Asana - Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein

Grades
K to 12
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Asana is an easy to use tool for organizing projects and tasks as a team or group. Register with your work email address to be connected as a team. If ...more
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Asana is an easy to use tool for organizing projects and tasks as a team or group. Register with your work email address to be connected as a team. If you don't have a work email, no problem, use your regular email address. Once registered, create a project and divide into tasks. Assign tasks to team members and set due dates. Follow updates and progress in real time. Free accounts offer unlimited tasks and projects for up to 15 team members.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), organizational skills (106)

In the Classroom

Create an account to use with students as a tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. Asana makes it easy for all users to view overall progress on each task. Use Asana to help students remain on track with project deadlines; encourage older students to create their own account and set up groups for projects. Use this tool to collaborate with colleagues for use with professional projects such as unit planning and long-term scheduling.

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Class123 - Choong Hee Lee

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

tag(s): behavior (45), classroom management (146), communication (27), DAT device agnostic tool (173), parents (59), Teacher Utilities (96)

In the Classroom

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

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Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center - Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center

Grades
K to 9
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Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center is a set of five mobile apps for use in elementary and middle school collaborative learning situations. The apps include a spreadsheet, word processor,...more
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Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center is a set of five mobile apps for use in elementary and middle school collaborative learning situations. The apps include a spreadsheet, word processor, KWL tool, whiteboard, and a mind mapping tool. Two or more students work together using their own devices to collaborate on any project either face to face or from a distance. In addition to the apps, the site also offers a few starter activities, called Roadmaps for download. Apps use Google logins and work best in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers. The demonstration videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): collaboration (78), DAT device agnostic tool (173), mind map (25), spreadsheets (24), Teacher Utilities (96)

In the Classroom

Be sure to watch the videos on the homepage for an overview of the apps in action. Download Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center for use in your class for any collaborative project. Ask students to work in small groups to draw landforms or the water cycle in science class, gather data and create a spreadsheet for math, work together to write a story summary or share information on a KWL before the start of a new unit.

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CoSpaces - Delightex GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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Build your own 3D spaces using CoSpaces, then view in virtual reality. Choose from the large library of items to include in your creation including characters and objects. To get ...more
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Build your own 3D spaces using CoSpaces, then view in virtual reality. Choose from the large library of items to include in your creation including characters and objects. To get a sense of how this works, visit the gallery to view creations built by CoSpace users. Register to create your account to start building your own 3D space. Be sure to visit the section for educators with many ideas on how to use CoSpaces in the classroom. Tutorials for CoSpaces reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): creativity (116), DAT device agnostic tool (173), digital storytelling (145)

In the Classroom

Recreate scenes from books or use CoSpaces to retell any story with 3D images. Encourage creativity and ask students to develop virtual exhibitions of artwork, animal habitats, or landforms. Have older students create infographics featuring data collections, for example comparing availability of Internet in different American towns.

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ClassTag - Vlada Lotkina and Jason Olim

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

tag(s): chat (44), classroom management (146), communication (27), DAT device agnostic tool (173), parent conferences (22), parents (59), Teacher Utilities (96)

In the Classroom

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

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Flipgrid - Charlie Miller & Brad Hosack

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Flipgrid joined with Microsoft and now everything is FREE! Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the Educator Login...more
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Flipgrid joined with Microsoft and now everything is FREE! Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the Educator Login and then create an account from there. Begin by creating a grid and personalizing settings to fit your needs. Easy-to-follow directions guide you through the process of setting up a video response. When finished, use links to share the URL or embed your Flipgrid into a website. Students access your Flipgrid using the access code provided when sharing your topic, with the customized QR code, or through the unique URL created. Be sure to investigate ideas from other educators in the Disco Library. If you want your class to go global, check out the #GridPals resource and the GridPals guide.

tag(s): assessment (127), DAT device agnostic tool (173), Microsoft (79), video (271)

In the Classroom

Flipgrid is a versatile tool for use in any subject. Create prompts for students to respond to about anything and everything. Challenge students to reflect on their learning at the end of a unit, research project, or literature circle. Here are just a few example questions to ask: What are some things you did well on this assignment? What mistakes did you make on your last assignment that you did not make on today's assignment? What would you do differently? What would you like to learn more about?

For professional use, create a topic for peers to discuss. Ideas might include discussing concerns with implementing new technology or curriculum. Have fellow teachers share articles of interest from professional journals. Use Flipgrid to implement a book talk on a topic of interest.

Use Flipgrid as a follow-up for a flipped or blended learning assignment. Ask students to explain what they understand and/or still don't understand about a concept. You can review the responses before class the next day. Use it as an exit "slip" before students leave class or as a warm up at the beginning of class (what do they remember about the lesson taught yesterday). World language students can practice speaking in their new language and choose the best video to turn in to their teacher. Student or teacher can explain a series of steps in an assignment or concept, one at a time (great for differentiation). Math students can explain the steps they took to solve a problem and why. Art students can explain a creation, either theirs or a famous artists - talking about techniques. Music students can perform and explain their learning, or reflect on their performance.

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Playbuzz - Shaul Olmert and Tom Pachys

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create and share interactive content with Playbuzz. Browse through to find and participate in polls, quizzes, trivia, and much more. Additional free features include a Video Snaps tool...more
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Create and share interactive content with Playbuzz. Browse through to find and participate in polls, quizzes, trivia, and much more. Additional free features include a Video Snaps tool for sharing portions of a video and Flip Cards. Create an account, then make content to embed and engage with other participants. Warning: this site contains content that is not moderated, be sure to view information before sharing with students.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), flash cards (39), polls and surveys (45), quiz (73), trivia (19), video (271)

In the Classroom

Share Playbuzz with students to create interactive classroom content. Have students create polls for favorite characters in books, use the Video Snaps tool to share significant portions of a video, or use Flip Cards in place of traditional flash cards. Create interactive content for your classroom lessons including trivia to introduce new lessons or create a Gallery Quiz to match images to clues. The possibilities are as unlimited as your imagination and those of your students!

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Simplenote - automattic.com

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Simplenote is a note-taking tool that updates information across all of your devices. Download the app for mobile devices and onto PCs. Notes update immediately, no need to save. Use...more
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Simplenote is a note-taking tool that updates information across all of your devices. Download the app for mobile devices and onto PCs. Notes update immediately, no need to save. Use the scroll bar to go back in time and find notes from a previous time. Use tags or search to find notes created. Simplenote also allows for collaboration with other users.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), organizational skills (106)

In the Classroom

Use Simplenote for all notes and ideas in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of Simplenote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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