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

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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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Full Steam Ahead - Brunel's ss Great Britain

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn the science and practical knowledge of ship building with this interactive based on one of Britain's most historic ships. Complete the interactive as an apprentice or master builder...more
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Learn the science and practical knowledge of ship building with this interactive based on one of Britain's most historic ships. Complete the interactive as an apprentice or master builder as you choose designs for different components of the ships including the hull, propellers, and engine. Download the apps for Apple and Android devices for use on any platform.

tag(s): 1800s (56), DAT device agnostic tool (172), engineering (129), STEM (218)

In the Classroom

Share Full Steam Ahead with students as part of any STEM lesson on engineering or sink and float. After using the interactive several times, have students create a simple infographic sharing their ship-building observations using Easel.ly, reviewed here. The original ship was launched in 1843, have students compare the structure to other ships of the time or as a contrast to modern ships.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MathPapa - Robert Ikeda and Priscilla Pham

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
MathPapa provides step-by-step Algebra help through practice and lessons. Use the Algebra Calculator to solve equations and view each step in solving the equation. Select the practice...more
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MathPapa provides step-by-step Algebra help through practice and lessons. Use the Algebra Calculator to solve equations and view each step in solving the equation. Select the practice page to choose from several different practice activities; use your email or Facebook to create your account and log in. Click on the Lessons link to learn Algebra with five lessons beginning with the basics. Download the free app for Apple and Android for use on any mobile device. Lesson videos reside on YouTube.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (172), equations (152), problem solving (284)

In the Classroom

MathPapa is an excellent addition to any Algebra classroom. Provide a link on classroom computers for students to use to solve problems and view the step-by-step process. Share on an interactive whiteboard as you discuss steps for solving Algebra problems. Share a link to MathPapa on your class web page for student use at home. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, replace paper and pen by having students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Penzu, reviewed here. Take this a step further enhancing students' learning, and challenge pairs or small groups to create a screencast with audio for how they solved the "problem of the week." Use a tool like Free Screen Recorder, reviewed here. Share MathPapa with younger students who have mastered basic math facts and are ready to learn basic Algebra.

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Class Responder - Teacher Created Resources

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Interact with students in real-time with Class Responder. Assign lessons, create quizzes and activities, then view student responses on any device. Create your account with email, then...more
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Interact with students in real-time with Class Responder. Assign lessons, create quizzes and activities, then view student responses on any device. Create your account with email, then follow prompts to add students, create groups, and choose response options. Class Responder activities are for grades 1-6, however, you can create your own for older students. Activities offered on the site include correlation to state and national standards.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (146), DAT device agnostic tool (172), polls and surveys (45), Teacher Utilities (96)

In the Classroom

Be sure to click the "Help" link at the bottom of a page or the upper right corner of any page for information about using and setting up Class Responder. Use Class Responder in a 1:1 classroom, then have students provide feedback in real-time to demonstrate understanding. Use as an exit slip, to identify material that needs to be retaught, or to locate specific students that need remediation. Class Responder is perfect for use in flipped or blended learning classrooms to share videos and ask questions before students come to class. Create several activities to save just in case you need an extra lesson on short notice, need to have a substitute, or to use as an at-home lesson for snow days.

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Libib - Javod Khalaj

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Do you have a home library of cookbooks or magazines with recipes you want to try? How about a classroom library? Libib is a tool for cataloging books and other ...more
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Do you have a home library of cookbooks or magazines with recipes you want to try? How about a classroom library? Libib is a tool for cataloging books and other media in the cloud. Organize books, movies, music, magazines, and video games using Libib's cloud cataloging features. Catalog your media, then add tags, leave notes, and share with others. Gather opinions about current books and movies. Scan items or search using ISBN numbers to add cover art and other pertinent information automatically.

tag(s): book lists (136), DAT device agnostic tool (172), preK (289)

In the Classroom

Libib is perfect for organizing and cataloging your classroom book collection. Use the tag features to organize your collection by genres, subject, authors, or any way you need. Tag books for specific students or reading levels. Post a link on your web page and share Libib with your students as a way for them to give opinions on current books and movies.

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Google Play Music - Listen Now - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Listen to your favorite music on Google's Play Music. From the landing page choose Today's Biggest Hits, Brand New Music, Working Out, Waking Up Happy, Getting Ready, or Get Personalized...more
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Listen to your favorite music on Google's Play Music. From the landing page choose Today's Biggest Hits, Brand New Music, Working Out, Waking Up Happy, Getting Ready, or Get Personalized Recommendations. Once you use this tool, the landing page will include: Get More Stations, Recent Activity, and Recommended For You. After making a selection, choices will be narrowed down to three, choose one and click the orange arrow to start listening. From this streaming music player, give the song a thumbs up or down. Thumbs down will skip that selection, but you only get to do that seven times in an hour. Using the thumbs up or down helps Google put together a recommended list. The free option offers playlist, artist's channels, on-demand streams, and integration with YouTube. Access Google Play Music via the web and Android or iOS mobile apps.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (172), lyrics (18), music theory (43), poetry (223)

In the Classroom

Play music selections quietly during student work time. Filter distractions by finding instrumentals to play during silent reading time, test taking, lab activities, or any other quiet time during class. This tool would also be perfect for performance groups such as drama clubs or musicals that need background music. Use background music for poetry readings during poetry month. As an introduction to a poetry unit, have the class vote on a song and its lyrics to analyze. Whether studying poetry or not, older students may have an "intriguing" song where they want to figure out its meaning. Try using a tool like Genius, reviewed here, to annotate the lyrics to any song. Also, view crowdsourced knowledge for that song and thousands of others with Genius.

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Epic! For Educators - Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue

Grades
K to 5
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-7. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account...more
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-7. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account to receive personalized recommendations based on reading ability and interests. Students can access books on any device and educators receive feedback including time spent reading, page flips, and books read. Students earn badges and rewards as they reach milestones. Resources include classroom posters, lesson plans, teacher tips, presentations, and letters to parents in PDF format. Find educational videos by Smithsonian, Blue Wonders, Animal Wonders, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Epic! also offers titles in Spanish. Tutorial videos reside on YouTube as do some of the educational videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (146), DAT device agnostic tool (172), ebooks (35), independent reading (116), movies (63), reading lists (74), video (272)

In the Classroom

Create your free educator account and share with students as part of your independent reading activities. Adjust reading preferences and profiles as students increase skills or change interest in reading materials. Be sure to share with parents to use at home. What a wonderful, engaging way to keep students accountable for reading at home and for remote learning.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

Wendy, OK, Grades: 2 - 4

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Owl Eyes - Alex Bloomingdale

Grades
8 to 12
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Read, annotate, bookmark, and share literature, poetry, and nonfiction with Owl Eyes. Read any available selection without registration; however, free registration (with email) opens...more
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Read, annotate, bookmark, and share literature, poetry, and nonfiction with Owl Eyes. Read any available selection without registration; however, free registration (with email) opens up a world of options. Add any book to your library to add your own highlights or annotations. View analysis available on the site broken down by chapters and literary context. Options for annotating include adding highlights, questions, tags, and correlation to Common Core Standards. Create a classroom to assign books. Video tutorials reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): authors (118), book lists (136), DAT device agnostic tool (172), literature (260), poetry (223), reading comprehension (132), reading strategies (64)

In the Classroom

Use this site to assign reading of classic texts, nonfiction, poetry, and stories. Take advantage of the included annotations found with literature selections to build Common Core skills analyzing informational texts. Use this site to post and share discussion assignments on texts and selections from the text. Share Owl Eyes with students for use with literature circles (or small groups reading) as a tool to collaborate, improve reading strategies skills, and to present their book to the class.

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The Stock Market Game - Securities Industry and Financial Markets Assoc Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Using hands-on lessons, students work in teams to learn the basics of investing, create $100,000 portfolios, manage an investment portfolio in a real-world scenario of a dynamic marketplace,...more
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Using hands-on lessons, students work in teams to learn the basics of investing, create $100,000 portfolios, manage an investment portfolio in a real-world scenario of a dynamic marketplace, learn other economic concepts, and compete against teams across the globe while fostering teamwork and decision-making skills. Created in 1977 by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation, The Stock Market Game (SMG) is an online simulation game for teaching students about the global capital markets and the stock market. Teachers must register for their school and students and then will receive essential information on program requirements and important dates. Adults are welcome to play after completing the online registration.

tag(s): business (54), DAT device agnostic tool (172), game based learning (161), investing (7), money (179), stock market (11)

In the Classroom

Participants who register as "Teachers with Classes" receive extensive teacher support, including a searchable library of standards, curriculum materials, and assessments. While providing real-world practice, SMG engages students in the core academic subjects, such as math, English, and economics. Lesson plans include Teacher Background and materials to implement the lesson with students. Find more information by perusing additional publications, links, and other resources. Contact a local SMG Coordinator for additional assistance. Use the game in individual classes, school-wide, in after school clubs, or with home-schoolers. Encourage families to play at home together or collaborate with others. Additional benefits include higher math and financial literacy scores on tests by students who play SMG. Also, teachers report that the program even taught them about financial planning, research, and investing wisely. Because this is ongoing activity, enhance learning with the use of technology throughout. Have students share financial resource sites using a bookmarking tool like SearchTeam, reviewed here. In addition to curating and sharing bookmarks, SearchTeam allows you the opportunity to add notes and comments to sites shared. Have students use a video creation tool like Powtoon, reviewed here, to make explainer videos of financial concepts. Ask groups of students to produce and share podcasts (perhaps weekly or bi-weekly) to discuss their learning and progress within the Stock Market Game. Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is a free tool for creating and sharing podcasts.

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Airtable - Emmett Nicholas, Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad

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

tag(s): bookmarks (54), collaboration (78), DAT device agnostic tool (172)

In the Classroom

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

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Gojimo - George Burgess

Grades
8 to 12
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Gojimo is a quiz-taking app (and online site) for high school English, math, science, geography, and more. Although created for British students, quizzes are suitable for students in...more
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Gojimo is a quiz-taking app (and online site) for high school English, math, science, geography, and more. Although created for British students, quizzes are suitable for students in any country. Choose "Study Online" to begin using Gojimo on your computer or device, then choose a topic. Immediate feedback is provided to let you know if answers are correct. Each question also includes a short explanation of the topic. There is no registration to take quizzes; however, to save them and have your Gojimo results on any device, registration is necessary.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (172), quiz (73), quizzes (87), test prep (86)

In the Classroom

Share Gojimo with students for review and study of all subjects. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use to find a question of the day to begin lessons.

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Symbaloo - Learning Paths - Symbaloo

Grades
K to 12
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Symbaloo, reviewed here, has taken its popular bookmarking tool and enhanced features to provide a platform for creating virtual interactive lesson...more
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Symbaloo, reviewed here, has taken its popular bookmarking tool and enhanced features to provide a platform for creating virtual interactive lesson plans and learning paths. Log in to your Symbaloo account and browse the Marketplace for already created lessons, or begin creating your own. Add websites, PDF's, videos, and more onto tiles and create a game board and learning path. Follow prompts to add items to the lesson and publish when complete. Symbaloo Lesson Plans & Learning Paths also provides analytics after assigning lessons to view student progress and a calendar option to make lessons available during a chosen time frame.

tag(s): bookmarks (54), DAT device agnostic tool (172), game based learning (161), gamification (80), Teacher Utilities (96)

In the Classroom

You will want to use Symbaloo Learning Paths for many different types of classroom instruction! Create lesson plans to differentiate learning and assign based on student needs and interests. Embed a lesson on your class website for students to complete at home. Using this site allows you to create a clear and concise learning path for any lesson. Share it on an interactive whiteboard with students as you follow through any learning path. Be sure also to include a link to the lesson on your class website for students to use throughout the unit and as a review. Use Symbaloo Lesson Plans as enrichment for independent learning for advanced students, or for remediation with students needing additional help. This site is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students - include links and activities to resources in their native language or add tools for practicing English. There are too many uses for Symbaloo Lesson Plans to include here, be sure to take the time to learn how to create and use this wonderful tool with your students!

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Wattpad - Allen Lau & Ivan Yuen

Grades
10 to 12
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Wattpad is storytelling redefined through an online story sharing community. Become part of the story experience by sharing your thoughts and comments as you read. Create your account...more
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Wattpad is storytelling redefined through an online story sharing community. Become part of the story experience by sharing your thoughts and comments as you read. Create your account to find recommended stories and view most shared by other Wattpad users. Choose a story and add it to your library to easily begin reading where you left off on any device. Add comments at the bottom of each page, or view comments left by other users. If you feel creative, add your own stories and enter writing contests offered in several different categories. Note: some material is labeled mature and should be monitored before sharing with students.

tag(s): creative writing (151), DAT device agnostic tool (172), ebooks (35), independent reading (116)

In the Classroom

Share Wattpad with students as a resource for free, online reading material. Caution is necessary with this site because it is completely open to the public. Be aware of what your district's restrictions are regarding this kind of activity. Depending on your circumstances and school district policies, this site might best be used under a teacher login. You can put models up on your interactive whiteboard for students to respond to either individually or as a class. You might have reactions to some of the stories or have students write their own critiques of the spotlighted work before sharing what others on the site have posted. Using Wattpad in class might also encourage students to seek out writing on their own and may encourage them to bring in their writing for their classmate's comments. This site might also be a good venue for students who work together on a high school literary magazine or for high school gifted students seeking writing mentors outside of the school community (with parent permission, of course).

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Quizlet Live - Quizlet

Grades
3 to 12
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Quizlet Live is a classroom quiz game for groups created by the makers of Quizlet, reviewed here. Follow directions to create and share a quiz set...more
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Quizlet Live is a classroom quiz game for groups created by the makers of Quizlet, reviewed here. Follow directions to create and share a quiz set and assign to student teams. At least six students are needed to create and play a Quizlet Live game. When students receive the code and log in, they find other team members and begin competing. Accuracy is encouraged over speed, providing a wrong answer will send teams back to start from the beginning of the quiz.

tag(s): collaboration (78), DAT device agnostic tool (172), game based learning (161), quizzes (87), spelling (161), vocabulary (290), word study (71)

In the Classroom

Use Quizlet Live to introduce new topics or content, or as a review before testing. Quizlet Live would be an excellent tool for the start of the year to help students get to know each other, or use throughout the year to have students work with different students in cooperative learning activities.

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GooseChase edu - Andrew Cross

Grades
3 to 12
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Organize and run a scavenger hunt with GooseChase! Sign up for an account to begin creating games. Add your own missions to games or use missions available on the site. ...more
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Organize and run a scavenger hunt with GooseChase! Sign up for an account to begin creating games. Add your own missions to games or use missions available on the site. Determine point values for completion and optional links or images to provide additional information. Choose to allow participants to submit validation of completion through photos or videos that you can see in real-time. Once your game is set up (using any computer or device with Internet access), invite participants to begin play through a mobile device. Download the free apps for any mobile device through the Google Play Store or iTunes. GooseChase now has free basic plans for teachers where you can have unlimited games and classes and even a team game.

tag(s): creativity (115), DAT device agnostic tool (172), game based learning (161), gamification (80)

In the Classroom

Use GooseChase in your classroom as part of your project based learning activities. Assign a series of activities to groups for completion. Differentiate projects based on student interest and ability. Use one of the many educational games already in the library to see great examples of how to use GooseChase for any subject area. GooseChase would be an excellent addition to staff meetings. Have participants locate information on websites, textbooks, or throughout your school as part of professional development. Create a GooseChase for students as part of a nature walk outside of your school, ask younger students to find different geometric shapes, or have students draw pictures of main characters in books as part of a GooseChase mission.

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LivingTree - livingtree.com

Grades
K to 12
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LivingTree is an online collaborative tool for teachers, parents, and students. Share messages, photos, files, and more in 100+ languages instantly. Create a shared calendar for all...more
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LivingTree is an online collaborative tool for teachers, parents, and students. Share messages, photos, files, and more in 100+ languages instantly. Create a shared calendar for all members to access and contribute information. Calendars offer the ability for parents and volunteers to easily sign up for events such as conferences and field trips. There are introductory videos, and video guides for teachers, parents, administrators, and organizations. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): classroom management (146), DAT device agnostic tool (172), organizational skills (106)

In the Classroom

Use LivingTree to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar, with automatic reminders, 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.

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TinyTap - Yogev Shelly

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows...more
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows creators to include drag and drop activities, videos, quizzes, and more - all in one activity. Create groups to assign activities to different students. Most games are free; however, some games by professional authors are not free. Play games and activities on any device; however, creation of games requires you to download the free iPad app. At the time of this review, TinyTap worked well on most browsers (except Safari). The free version is public and comments are permitted. Be sure to preview anything before you share with students.

tag(s): assessment (129), DAT device agnostic tool (172), game based learning (161), quiz (73), quizzes (87), Teacher Utilities (96)

In the Classroom

Use the embed code provided with activities to embed activities on your class website for play at home. Create a link to activities on classroom computers. Create your own activities (or have older students create review materials) to include with lessons. Be sure to watch the demo video for information about creating your own games.

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Zoom - Eric Yuan

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with up to 100 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting...more
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Collaborate with up to 100 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting times, and private or group chat. Up to 40 minutes of group meeting time, and unlimited 1:1 meeting time is included with the free meeting plans. Sign up using your email or social network account to begin hosting a meeting. The step by step instructions make it easy to quickly begin video conferencing at your convenience.

tag(s): chat (44), DAT device agnostic tool (172), parent conferences (22), video (272)

In the Classroom

Use Zoom to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Collaborate with experts such as authors and scientists with classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Consider using a tool such as Remind, reviewed here, to alert parents and students when your sessions are open. Use Zoom for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects! Buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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OneNote - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies...more
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies of files or documents from your computer into OneNote. Share and collaborate with others. Access your OneNote account by signing in to any computer or device.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (172), Microsoft (80), organizational skills (106), Storage (7)

In the Classroom

Use OneNote for all notes, ideas, and photographs in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of OneNote 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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Voxer - Tom Katis

Grades
K to 12
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Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images and your location. Voxer will work with your headset and Bluetooth so you can be ...more
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Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images and your location. Voxer will work with your headset and Bluetooth so you can be hands-free. It is available on the web and all mobile devices. Hear messages live, or listen later. Broadcast messages to an individual or group, or listen and respond to chats in Walkie-Talkie mode and not even be in the app. Voxer allows talk and text across countries, wireless carriers, or data networks at no additional charge. Registration with email is required.
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tag(s): chat (44), DAT device agnostic tool (172), listening (81), microblogging (27), social media (43), speaking (23), speech (86)

In the Classroom

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

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