TeachersFirst Edge

New web 2.0 tools appear each day. Many of these tools were not originally intended for classroom use, but they can be powerful learning tools for today's techno-savvy students and their more adventurous teachers. These sites appear (and frequently disappear) very quickly, launched by creative techno-geeks out there in the world.

Many of these tools require a higher-than-average set of teacher tech skills or some extra monitoring to assure student "safety." TeachersFirst Edge reviews these "tools on the Edge" carefully, and with specific ideas for using them safely and effectively in teaching and learning. Reviews point out any safety or policy concerns for the tool and offer links to management tips for each concern.

Especially popular is this subset of the Edge: BYOD Dream Tools: Free tools that work on any device. Look for the device agnostic tool tag in any review.

This is the world your students already know. Try teaching in their vernacular. A little adventurousness makes for powerful learning.

See General Tips for using Edge Tools - a must for first-time users

Browse the full listing of detailed safety/school policy tips or save time by reading them as needed from each tool review.

Learn about school web filtering, a critical issue with many "Edge" tools

If you try one of these tools and find it especially useful, be sure to leave a comment on it to share your students' successes with other teachers. If you know of another tool that teachers would find beneficial, please suggest it via our webmaster account, as a "suggested resource."

Here's the Edge:

 

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Literably - Tyler Borek and Habib Moody

Grades
K to 8
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Use Literably to assess students' oral reading. Literably will display a text, administer the reading assessment, score it, generate an audio recording, and keep a running record. It...more
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Use Literably to assess students' oral reading. Literably will display a text, administer the reading assessment, score it, generate an audio recording, and keep a running record. It will also report words correct per minute, percentage accuracy, and a leveling recommendation. Literably also provides readers' Lexile measures, grade levels, and guided reading levels. Register with an email, and set up a class easily. Keep your username short for ease of registration by primary students. The free account allows for testing 15 students per month. Student sign in is extremely easy, even for a first grader. Print results or email to parents for easy sharing. IMPORTANT Note: Results (accuracy and WPM) are not available instantly and take up to 18-24 hours to arrive via email or be posted on the site. Literably is compatible with most browsers. They say an iPad app version will be available in the fall of 2014.
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tag(s): assessment (53), fluency (23)

In the Classroom

After creating a class list, either choose readings as your estimate for each student or let Literably choose them. You will need to demonstrate on a projector or whiteboard where to click to Allow the mike to work. Set up a center or several in your classroom and rotate students through it. Test all students at one time (or at least 15 students) if you are lucky enough to have that many devices in your room, or a lab at your school. You may want to use headsets with microphones. This will limit the student's distraction factor while they are reading aloud. However, the built in microphone on the computer will work just fine. This tool is perfect for reporting to parents and administrators. It's also great for resource teachers to share during IEP meetings. Turn this assessment tool into a teaching tool by having them listen to their recordings and follow the text to pause the incorrect recording and read it correctly. Have them try the same reading again to see if they can improve their score. Test a class of 30 within a month's time by testing 15 students at the end of one calendar month and 15 more at the beginning of the next calendar month. The site looks only at the actual date in limiting your free account to 15 per month!

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Timeline - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 12
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Create a printed or pdf timeline using this handy tool. There is no registration required. This tool allows you to easily add, drag, and rearrange items as work progresses. Timelines...more
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Create a printed or pdf timeline using this handy tool. There is no registration required. This tool allows you to easily add, drag, and rearrange items as work progresses. Timelines can be organized by day, date, or event. Add an image for each event to make a timeline visually appealing. The event label can include an annotation for the image with short or long descriptive text. Save as a draft to make revisions later or finalize and share the timeline via email (as a pdf). You can also download and save the file. Click Get Started and begin your timeline by simply entering your name and the name of the project. Teachers will want to explore lessons that use this timeline tool. Lessons are divided up by grade level. For more explanation about saving work in progress, go to the Videos menu and click "Using RWT" to find a video about Saving Work With the Student Interactives.

tag(s): timelines (50)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this tool with your projector or interactive whiteboard. In lower grades, you could make a timeline of the months and add images of all who have birthdays each month. This tool is so versatile it can be used for a variety of topics and subjects, including autobiographical incidents, plots of a story or book, the cell cycle, stages in volcanic eruptions, any history topic, steps in a math problem, or steps in a plan to create a project. As students learn about informational texts in CCSS, they can also learn about adding (and interpreting) graphical information to accompany their words. Students who cannot complete their work during the class time can save their work in a local computer (in its own rwt file format) to finish later. Just make sure the student names it logically and knows WHERE the file is saved!!
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MultiURL - multiurl.com

Grades
K to 12
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Shorten any link for easy sharing or combine several links into one short shareable link using MultiURL. Choose from the multiple or single link options, and paste in urls for ...more
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Shorten any link for easy sharing or combine several links into one short shareable link using MultiURL. Choose from the multiple or single link options, and paste in urls for sharing along with a name for the link. Use the Submit button to create your link and view sharing options through social networks and email. Registration isn't necessary; however, it does provide the option for editing links and viewing statistics on the number of times links are clicked.
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tag(s): bookmarks (55)

In the Classroom

Although we recommend this site for all ages, in the primary grades this would be strictly a professional tool for teachers to share site lists with parents, students, or even colleagues. Use this site to combine the url's of online class projects into one group (one url). Create a group of recommended resources for students or parents on a specific subject or topic. Share that url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a single url to all reading resources or math resources for students to explore at home. Create a url for each unit. Create a group with videos on a specific area of classroom content. Create a classroom account where students add resources they have found to share with others. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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Hemingway - Ben and Adam Long

Grades
5 to 12
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Make revising your writing easy and enjoyable using Hemingway. Simply copy/paste your text into this website, and receive instant feedback. The visual aspect of this program helps one...more
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Make revising your writing easy and enjoyable using Hemingway. Simply copy/paste your text into this website, and receive instant feedback. The visual aspect of this program helps one to see exactly where the errors are and where to make improvements. There are color coded suggestions for wordiness, weak adverb use, passive voice, and complicated words and phrases. Did you know that the most effective writing is at or under grade level ten? The goal of the program is to help writers make their missives concise and clear.

tag(s): editing (34), proofreading (13), writing (312)

In the Classroom

Use this highly visual revision program with your students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. This is a wonderful program to use for revision after editing of grammar and mechanics is complete. Discover what is making your writing too wordy (excessive prepositional phrases or adverbs?) Partner an advanced writer with one not so advanced and have them use Hemingway to improve their styles. Put the URL on your website for students and parents to use from home. Remind seniors to use it for their college essays. Use this tool to polish your own professional writing, parent newsletters, blog posts, and papers for grad classes!

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Springpad - Spring Partners

Grades
5 to 12
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Springpad can organize documents and other items and share them with others, and you can use it to keep you organized on any device. The visual interface on this free ...more
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Springpad can organize documents and other items and share them with others, and you can use it to keep you organized on any device. The visual interface on this free tool is user friendly. Much like Evernote, reviewed here, Springpad goes further in allowing others to collaborate on notebooks instead of just ready-only "sharing." Springpad is more than a tool for saving and recalling items. The goal is to create smart notebooks so the items you save are more useful. Use it to organize and store all types of media from e-books to music to videos. Ideas, information, notes, tasks, recipes, bookmarks, idea boards, items to purchase, and more can easily be added and placed in categories. Springpad adds additional information such as buying information and reviews of items. This tool is much like a personal assistant. Set up email or SMS alerts to keep track of tasks or events. There are no size limits on free accounts. Use the FREE apps for iOS and Android devices and clipper bookmarklet to use with your computer browser to easily add items into your Springpad.

tag(s): creative fluency (9), creativity (89), DAT device agnostic tool (49), ebooks (32), images (202), organizational skills (78)

In the Classroom

This is a great professional tool for teachers at any level and learning tool for students grades 5 and up. Organize thoughts, ideas, and notes for class with this tool. Use a checklist to add items to complete your list and check them off as you complete them (no need to delete items from the list as in other tools). Share and collaborate with other teachers (or among students). Use to keep track of resources while at professional development events. 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. Consider creating a class account that can be used by all students, especially those you want to monitor closely. Spell out the use of the tool and what is allowed, not allowed, and the penalties. Even though all students have the same login, create different notebooks for different tasks that students can use to upload information that can be shared by all. Create separate accounts for student groups who can then share their notebook with other groups. Use to snapshot and share links, documents, files, and pictures for any group project or class work. Whole class accounts can be used by a class scribe during class and accessed from home for review, etc. Promote student creativity by encouraging them to create notebooks as "idea bins" to collect favorite quotes, images, and thoughts. Encourage them to keep an ongoing brainstorming notebook. If you teach writing or research and your students are old enough to have their own Springpad accounts, take the time to have them learn the tool for collecting notes and SOURCES, organizing their ideas, and collaborating with fellow writers. Art teachers can have students create design notebooks of images they like.

This would be a great tool to actually teach organizational skills associated with doing major projects, especially if your students bring their own devices to school. (Teachers of gifted, this is a MUST HAVE for your disorganized whiz kids!) Show the basics of the tool, and have students share their notebooks with you as evidence that they have completed intermediate benchmarks, such as collecting notes, sources, etc. Then have students show each other all the many other features they discover via a 60 second "feature a day" demo (for bonus points of course)!

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Kahoot! - Mobitroll

Grades
K to 12
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Ask meaningful questions and see responses in real-time while creating an exciting, game-like environment. Build instant polls, quizzes, or responses through a simple drag and drop...more
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Ask meaningful questions and see responses in real-time while creating an exciting, game-like environment. Build instant polls, quizzes, or responses through a simple drag and drop interface. Once you create your account, be sure to take the Intro Quiz to learn how to use this tool. When you start the quiz, you will be prompted to open a new tab, create a nickname, and enter the game pin. Now you will be able to take the quiz to learn how Kahoot! works AND be able to see what a teacher sees in your original tab. You will have to go to the Main tab to launch the next question in the Quiz. Find ready-made quizzes on the public Kahoot menu by entering search terms. Create questions, quizzes, and polls with optional uploaded images. The teacher gets the data back instantly, and it is stored on the site or can be downloaded. This is superb for checking the knowledge of your students or to see if they are still paying attention and understand concepts.

tag(s): polls and surveys (31), quizzes (74)

In the Classroom

This is a powerful formative assessment tool that is also fun! Project your quiz to the entire classroom using a whiteboard or projector. Students can easily see the choices and choose answers using a browser on a laptop or any device. Students can see who is at the top of the leaderboard during the play and can even ask questions while going through the quiz. Use this tool often to obtain a snapshot of each student's understanding of content.

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Dropmark - Oak Studios, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Dropmark is a tool for collaborating, curating, and presenting files, links, and text. Create your account and choose the basic (free) plan offering 250 MB of storage. Begin by dropping...more
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Dropmark is a tool for collaborating, curating, and presenting files, links, and text. Create your account and choose the basic (free) plan offering 250 MB of storage. Begin by dropping and dragging images or files from your computer onto your Dropmark collection. Add links to URLs and online media by choosing the + button and adding link information. Once complete, adjust privacy settings as desired and share using your unique URL. If you prefer, save your collection to your computer in ZIP format using the download link. You can also collaborate with others "in the cloud" by sharing files and links.
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tag(s): bookmarks (55), organizational skills (78), social networking (96)

In the Classroom

Use Dropmark to create a bank of resources to use for each content unit within your subject or classroom. Student can then download and use the raw materials you provide to make their own projects or to learn independently. Create a separate class account for students to curate their own lists or bookmarks and resources. Use this tool to compile web treasure hunts to learn or introduce any topic within your content area. Collect links to informational texts for students to read "closely" a la CCSS. With younger students, create links of audio books for children to view and listen to or simple interactives teaching colors, numbers and more. Have students create their own Dropmark as a place to store links for a project. Share a link to your Dropmarks on your class webpage. Save pictures of class activities with a Dropmark collections then share with parents.

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Penflip - Collaborative Writing and Version Control - Loren Burton

Grades
6 to 12
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Penflip is a collaborative writing tool that allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control. Write together without distractions or ads right in your...more
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Penflip is a collaborative writing tool that allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control. Write together without distractions or ads right in your web browser! Click on "Share" at the bottom of the right menu to copy/paste the address into an email to your collaborators. Clicking on "Contributors" gives options to add users as editors or delete them as contributors. Once revisions are made and submitted, the contributor is notified via email of any future changes to that piece. When reviewing suggested changes, you can delete the changes you don't want and accept others. Accepting changes will merge these into the master (your original project). Penflip calls any writing a "project" whether it's a book, a short story, a poem, or a research paper. The free version makes all projects "public," but you have the choice to refuse pending revisions by clicking on "Contributors" in the right menu and clicking the minus symbol, deleting that contributor.
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tag(s): creative writing (123), process writing (28), writing (312)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in the peer review process by allowing them to collaborate using Penflip! Teachers and students can use Penflip to make comments in a side box or directly in the writing. All suggested revisions are in a different color with the original wording left complete. Penflip is the perfect place for students to put their writing and get feedback. Student peers can suggest different wording and ideas, and all are color-coded so the author knows what has been contributed and what is original. This tool will fulfill the Common Core Standard requirements for using technology for collaborating and writing across the curriculum. Students will save time and learn from each other when working in small groups on projects or research papers in world language classes, science, math, or social studies. The best part of this site: it is EASY to use!

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Paste to Grid (Beta) - pastetogrid.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create custom photo collages with Paste to Grid. Choose one of the templates that include up to 9 images. Select your border color and size, or select "no border." Click ...more
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Create custom photo collages with Paste to Grid. Choose one of the templates that include up to 9 images. Select your border color and size, or select "no border." Click in each box to add an image from your computer. Lesson learned from our editor: Be sure to select border options before adding images; choosing them after causes the images to disappear. The site's authors state this feature will be improved in the next version. When complete, choose to save as PNG or JPG file to your computer.

tag(s): collages (14), images (202), vocabulary development (98)

In the Classroom

Create and share collages of classroom activities, field trips, and much more. In lower grades, create the collage together with your students. Embed collages into your class website or blog for viewing at home. Have students create collages using their own pictures of land formations, types of plants, colors, words beginning with the same letter of the alphabet, and whatever else you can think of! This is a great tool for your visual learners. Special ed, speech and language, or ESL/ELL teachers can create collages of images together with their students to promote vocabulary development. World language classes could create them on their own or use them as prompts for oral language practice. A collage could feature articles of clothing or types of weather, for example. Create cards as gifts for moms or dads or for thank you's to members of the school community. Print the cards, fold over, and handwrite messages inside. Practice simple thank you notes on your own creative cards. Older students can use this tool to to create collages they can then annotate using a tools such as ThingLink, reviewed here.

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30 Boxes - Julie Davidson and Nick Wilder

Grades
K to 12
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Create a simple, easy-share, online calendar using 30 Boxes. Use the wizard to fill in birthdays, email connections, your zip code (for weather information), and more. Click on any...more
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Create a simple, easy-share, online calendar using 30 Boxes. Use the wizard to fill in birthdays, email connections, your zip code (for weather information), and more. Click on any date to add events, add start and finish times, notes, tags, or make private. Use the dropdown box to choose times for reminders by text or email. Send an invite to your contacts or add any email address. Choose from many personalization options to change color, add online calendars to your feed, or change privacy settings. Share your calendar using the link, embed code, or other share options.

tag(s): calendars (33), social networking (96)

In the Classroom

Create a 30 Boxes calendar and share on your class website. Include homework, upcoming events such as conferences and holidays, and test dates. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as an excellent way to share school events with the community. Create an online calendar including professional development opportunities to share with others in your school and district. If you advise a club, this is a handy tool for sharing the events calendar.

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Tweetchup - Alex Kaul

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tweetchup is an easy to use Twitter analytic tool. Registration is not required. Login with your Twitter account to view an analysis of your Twitter account stats. View mentions, average...more
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Tweetchup is an easy to use Twitter analytic tool. Registration is not required. Login with your Twitter account to view an analysis of your Twitter account stats. View mentions, average mentions per day, the potential number of followers you reach, and more. What makes Tweetchup different from other Twitter analysis sites is the ability to analyze other Twitter users' hashtags and keyword histories. Use the "Profiles" link to analyze the profile of any other Twitter user. The "Keywords" option allows you to enter any keyword to analyze the last 1600 tweets using that keyword. Your analysis includes recent tweets, most retweeted tweets, and most favorited tweets.

tag(s): internet safety (90), social networking (96), twitter (40)

In the Classroom

Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Use Tweetchup to find and analyze popular and viral hashtags. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Use Tweetchup to analyze your class Twitter account to find and improve content and connections. This is also a great way for students to realize the extent of their digital footprint!
 

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Tynker - Krishna Vedati

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn computer coding using simple and easy activities, lesson plans, and an interface sure to please all ages! Click Schools to access the free school activities, or click on Hour...more
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Learn computer coding using simple and easy activities, lesson plans, and an interface sure to please all ages! Click Schools to access the free school activities, or click on Hour of Code to find ones you can use at home or school. Build an animated character (everyone loves the zombie) and then animate it. Learn to code by dropping blocks of commands into sequence on the left side of the screen and seeing the results along the right. The lessons provide step by step instructions, missions, and other materials to learn to code. Teachers can create a class and add students to the class. Once lessons are assigned, the progress of students can be tracked. Click on student view of each lesson to see the tools and student tasks. Follow the instructions along the right pane. Note the tools that are in the various panes and along the top including undo and redo! This tool also features a question bar along the top. Note: This free portion of the resource offers three units of lessons, a visual programming environment, an art studio to draw and paint you own scenes, and a media gallery. The free units of lessons have unlimited student space.
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tag(s): animation (49), computers (36), STEM (50)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to "tinker" and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation in order to keep tabs on students and their creations. When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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Readability - Arc90

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This simple but powerful tool allows you to view ANY web page as simple, clear text. It removes all of the flashing, moving, distracting elements that interrupt concentration and understanding....more
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This simple but powerful tool allows you to view ANY web page as simple, clear text. It removes all of the flashing, moving, distracting elements that interrupt concentration and understanding. Visit the Apps and Add-ons page before making an account. Readability will recognize most browsers to download a Readability add-on or extension for your browser so you can "clean up" the pages you're viewing with a single click. You can also install a "bookmarklet," a simple mini-program that runs inside Internet Explorer, Firefox, or other web browsing software on your computer. "Installing" is then as simple as dragging the Readability button to the Favorites bar of your browser, a one-click button to scrub webpages clean of distractions. No Favorites or links bar to which to drag? Go to the View menu on your browser and click to turn on your Favorites or links bar. Once you have the Readability button, go to ANY web page and click "Readability" to see the page magically change to simple text passages, ready for your interactive whiteboard, easier for your young readers, or enlarged for tired eyes. Share your Readability links through email or Flipboard. There are also Readability Twitter clients as well as many other features offered on the Apps and Add-ons page of the Readability site. Note: Pages with content created in FLASH will not work in Readability, since FLASH text is actually an image to a computer. Test it first before planning to use it in class. Readability delivers a great reading experience on every platform and provides an avenue for connecting readers and publishers on the Web. iOS and Android apps for Readability are available to use on mobile devices.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (49), media literacy (36), reading comprehension (81)

In the Classroom

Install Readability on any computer you use with interactive whiteboards so students can highlight key words from any web page and practice notetaking, main idea, summarizing or other comprehension skills to improve web literacy and overall reading skills. If your school computers are locked down, show it to tech staff and special ed/reading department chairs to convince them it is worth installing! Use Readability as you project any advertising-laden site or to help attention-deficit students stay focused on the words. Special ed and ESL/ELL teachers will appreciate the ability to focus on the words without other distractions, allowing you to determine how much students are actually reading words vs. using images as context clues. Try turning Readability on and off to show students how they can use images to help in comprehension once they find some meaning from the words on a page. All readers would benefit from stopping to compare how they construct meaning from words and text. Advanced art and design or media literacy students will enjoy examining the advertising techniques on a web page by stripping them away, then turning them back on. This tool also provides a clean way to make printable versions of web page text, even adjusting text size to your preferred option. Please consider the trees before getting carried away, though!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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WhenIsGood - Keith Harris

Grades
K to 12
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WhenIsGood is an easy to use tool to find out when all participants are free for an event or meeting. Choose "get started" and click all possible times and dates ...more
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WhenIsGood is an easy to use tool to find out when all participants are free for an event or meeting. Choose "get started" and click all possible times and dates for an event. Narrow times to particular days and time periods of 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Give the event a title. Additional options include specifying a time zone and viewing of only specific hours each day. After creating the event, write down the result code provided to receive the link to send to participants. Click the box to receive email alerts for any new responses. Participants highlight their choices and submit adding comments if desired. No registration is required to use this tool. You can register for an account to receive a few additional perks: edit or delete activities, no need for result codes with each event, and more.
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tag(s): calendars (33)

In the Classroom

Create a calendar for scheduling parent-teacher conferences to send to parents. Scheduling a special presentation and inviting parents? Use this tool to find out what date and time of day will work best. Use WhenIsGood to set up grade level or department meetings. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a tool for scheduling meetings, fundraisers, or book fairs.

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NowComment - Fairness.com

Grades
8 to 12
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Turn any document into an online conversation with the NowComment collaborative tool. Choose any of the public documents available on the site or upload your own (using the free membership)....more
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Turn any document into an online conversation with the NowComment collaborative tool. Choose any of the public documents available on the site or upload your own (using the free membership). NowDocument works best with Microsoft Word and HTML web documents. However, they hope to offer PDF conversions in the future. Invite members to join private conversations or choose to make conversations public (use caution with students!). Link comments to specific portions of any document such as a sentence, image, or even video. Sort documents in several ways to view by commenter's name, date of the comment, or included tags. Be sure to check out NowComment's FAQ and Features Gallery for an-depth presentation of features. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, be sure to view this video at home.

tag(s): media literacy (36), questioning (29), reading comprehension (81)

In the Classroom

Consider using NowComment as a resource in your classroom to increase student interaction with materials and each other. Use a class account for students using this tool for group projects. Library/media specialists could use this tool for online book clubs. Teach on a team? Collaborate with other teachers for assignments and more using this site. Create quick questions or even a short quiz using NowComment. Use this with ELL students, encouraging them to add questions about passages of text they do not understand. Make NowComment an integral part of your flipped classroom by assigning readings and student comments as part of at-home learning. Use NowComment for peer reviews, collaborative authoring, and online assignments. Share web pages and have students comment on media bias in online articles or practice CCSS close reading skills to comment to show where the writer includes supporting evidence in opinion pieces. Since commenting requires an account, you will either have to set up class accounts or use this with students who have email to set up their own accounts.

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Eventbrite - Kevin and Julia Hartz

Grades
K to 12
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of...more
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of the option for creating bar coded tickets to send to participants (choose free tickets for the free account, paid tickets have a small charge to cover credit card costs). Once your event page is ready, get the word out using Eventbrite tools such as emailing personalized invitations or various social media options. Use the mobile features to check attendees in at your event and scan bar coded invitations.
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tag(s): calendars (33)

In the Classroom

Use Eventbrite to increase excitement for any classroom event. Be creative and have students attend an "event" to review for exams (with bar coded tickets they can earn by sharing a student-made review activity). Offer tickets to in class enrichment "events" for those who test out of a unit. Have student groups design "events" instead of giving class presentations. The "event" could be a quiz show or game session that teaches a curriculum topic, such as "World War Wonders." Have your class work together to plan a culminating "event" such as a tea for famous Americans, and issue invitations and tickets to students who play the parts of the people they researched. Invite parents to Open Houses and Conferences. (Perhaps provide a small door prize for those using the Eventbrite app as their admission ticket!) Use Eventbrite to manage events with limited seating or a limited number of participants. If you provide professional development sessions, this is an excellent way to spread the word and manage participation. If you are an advisor for a school club, this tool would make club-sponsored events easier to organize.

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Powtoon - powtoon.com

Grades
K to 12
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description....more
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description. Modify slides by changing text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Change styles easily by choosing a different style within the program. Select from the royalty free music options offered by Powtoon to enhance your presentation. Share the finished presentation via social media buttons on your page to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular pages or export to YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then using YouTube may not be your best option. Use the embed code provided to easily embed in your website or blog -- or simply share your Powtoon using the URL provided. Exports are not included with the free membership plan. Email is required to register and use Powtoon.
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tag(s): animation (49), movies (51), multimedia (32), slides (49)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own PowToons. Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. The possibilities are really endless, and students will come up with hundreds more uses. Flip your classroom using PowToon presentations. Use PowToon to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to share information with the class when a substitute is in your classroom. Embed your PowToon creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a PowToon on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use PowToon to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create PowToon book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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QR Code Generator - Visualead

Grades
5 to 12
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Create and share QR codes in a hurry with this easy to use QR code generator. Choose to create a QR code to share text, URL's, contact information, or phone ...more
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Create and share QR codes in a hurry with this easy to use QR code generator. Choose to create a QR code to share text, URL's, contact information, or phone numbers and personalize with information of your choosing. The QR Code Generator converts your information to a QR code to save, share by link or embed onto any web page. Customizing options allow you to change the size of your QR code to fit any need. Sign in using your Google account to change your codes from static to dynamic. This allows you the option to change information embedded in the code at any time. Creating an account also saves codes onsite instead of having to save to your computer.
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tag(s): qr codes (19)

In the Classroom

Create a QR code that directs to your class site or blog and include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers to questions. Expand knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that expands upon what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, student's reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of a series of words that need to be typed.

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Kaywa QR Code Generator - Kaywa AG

Grades
5 to 12
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Turn any URL into a fully functioning QR code using the Kaywa QR Code Generator. Create your free account using your email, Facebook, or Google login. Copy any URL into ...more
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Turn any URL into a fully functioning QR code using the Kaywa QR Code Generator. Create your free account using your email, Facebook, or Google login. Copy any URL into the generator to create dynamic or static QR codes. Free accounts include storage of five dynamic codes or unlimited static codes. Be sure to watch Kaywa's informational video for explanations. Another interesting option includes a QR generator for contact information. Add a photo as well as your address, email, and other information to create your personal QR code for sharing. When complete, download your QR code, share using the url created, or embed into your blog or website.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (49), qr codes (19)

In the Classroom

Make a classroom poster with a QR code that directs to your class site or blog. Have students download a free QR code reader and scan the QR code to instantly open your web page. Be sure to have a flyer or business card ready with the information and the QR code for those who do not have "QR capable" phones at school, in case their parents have them at home. To learn more about QR codes and how to use them in the classroom, you might want to visit QR Codes and Ideas for Using Them in the Classroom reviewed here. Make an interactive "This Day in History" calendar by placing QR codes on certain dates. Put QR codes in text books or on worksheets to link students to videos that help them better understand events or people in history, concepts in science, or how to solve a problem in math.

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10 Minute Mail - Devon Hillard

Grades
5 to 12
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10 Minute Mail quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration/activation. The best part is that no registration is required to use...more
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10 Minute Mail quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration/activation. The best part is that no registration is required to use this EASY site! Use 10 Minute Mail as your solution for registration on free, membership-required sites requiring individual sign-up using an email address. This is the spam, update, and junk email dumping ground! Your disposable email is only available for 10 minutes unless you click the link to extend your session another 10 minutes. The genius of this site is that it is temporary but completely functional for protecting individual identities. The only downside to using a short term email address is that you will never receive the "forgot my password" emails. You won't receive the endless annoying emails, either!
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tag(s): internet safety (90)

In the Classroom

Have students create a 10 Minute Mail address in the beginning of the school year as part of your introductory lesson on acceptable use procedures. Use 10 Minute Mail anytime you visit a site that requires registration, but you don't want to receive additional information. Be sure to share a link on your class website or blog for students (and parents) to use at home.
 

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