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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CodeCombat - CodeCombat

Grades
3 to 12
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Harness the power of problem solving with CodeCombat. CodeCombat provides a unique challenge to learn code while playing an engaging game. Escape enemies or navigate a dungeon by typing...more
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Harness the power of problem solving with CodeCombat. CodeCombat provides a unique challenge to learn code while playing an engaging game. Escape enemies or navigate a dungeon by typing basic JavaScript commands. Each level of play provides a new challenge for programmers to experiment the best way to accomplish the goals of the game. Write JavaScript code to direct the character's actions, and then run the code to see what happens. Correct the code if needed to complete the level. Programmers earn accessories, XP, and achievement badges after conquering a level. A series of five stars indicates the difficulty for each level. CodeCombat never feels like a gamified coding course because it makes learning fun. The emphasis is on the game instead of the code. CodeCombat is free to play, but an email is required to create an account to save information and for the multiplayer option. A premium upgrade is available for a fee. This review is for the FREE portion only.

tag(s): creativity (93), critical thinking (69), problem solving (200)

In the Classroom

Learning to code is an opportunity to teach students to think and problem solve. Coding is a critical digital literacy skill for the future. Create an after school coding club for students to access the site. Challenge students to write stories to accompany each level of code they complete in CodeCombat. Encourage students to create as they become more advanced in CodeCombat. Provide an environment for students to collaborate to solve the levels.

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Prismatic - Prismatic

Grades
6 to 12
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Organize and collect article "feeds" for your personal interests using this social content tool. Prismatic calls itself "the home for all your interests." Sign up for a free account...more
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Organize and collect article "feeds" for your personal interests using this social content tool. Prismatic calls itself "the home for all your interests." Sign up for a free account (email required), and select general topics of personal interest. The topics are grouped under categories as varied as Arts, Nature, Health, Science, Music, DIY, Business, College Admissions, Parenting, Animals, and many more. There are scores of interests to choose from under each category. Once your select your areas of interest, click the little menu square (top left) to open a side menu. There you can click a topic of interest to see the latest articles. You can read and click to save, share, or remove. Your collection is your own. You can also follow others' Prismatic collections or share yours, similarly to the way you can share Pinterest boards. The articles in each feed include those recommended by other Prismatic members for that topic as well as recent tweets and published articles discovered by Prismatic. Use Prismatic to customize a reading list as you may have previously done using an RSS Reader but with more social options. You can integrate it with your Twitter and Facebook accounts (or not). Tip: click your name in the left menu to access "Support Center" for how-to information. Free app versions are available.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (99)

In the Classroom

Create a professional Prismatic feed on topics related to teaching and to your own subject matter. You might even want to include some parenting topics to discover useful articles to share at conferences. Create a class feed on topics related to your curriculum, such as global warming, weather, and environmental issues. Since this is a DAT (device agnostic tool), it would be terrific in BYOD/BYOT schools! The articles that "come in" can serve as prompts for class discussion or as real world connections to make curriculum more meaningful to your skeptical students. In math class, collect articles on architecture (scale, angles, etc.) and other applied math uses. In world language classes, collect feeds for culture from other countries. Set up a feed on U.S. politics for your government class. Collect recipes for your Foods class. Better yet, invite your students (over 13 and in accordance with school policies) to create their own Prismatic collections to find articles that relate to the topics you are studying. Give points for creating a feed that connects and encourage students to respond to the articles in blog posts or share them during a mad minute at the start or end of class. Teachers of gifted can encourage their students to follow personal interests and connect to real world experts using Prismatic. This tool might also be helpful for finding articles to use in your own grad classes.

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Virtual Science Hub - Global excursion

Grades
9 to 12
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Create or view Excursions to learn various science topics! Find the available Excursions by clicking on Browse. Click Educational to see the catalog topics in Mathematics, Physics,...more
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Create or view Excursions to learn various science topics! Find the available Excursions by clicking on Browse. Click Educational to see the catalog topics in Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Technology. This site includes Excursions created by the International community. Each Excursion plays like a PowerPoint. Advance through the slides to see embedded content included as part of the Excursion. Content includes Wikipedia entries, websites, quizzes, videos, and more. Create an account to make your Excursion. Click the + sign at the top to create. Add a title, description, and tags. Click to add content (photos, videos, text, quiz, etc.) Have a PowerPoint you would like to use? Export it as a PDF file and upload to Vishub. Another upload possibility is ZIP files, among others. Easy to use tools include changing background, animation, and style. Save, preview, and publish. Favorite and comment on popular excursions. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (239), cells (99), environment (294), medicine (53), plants (119), solar system (111), water cycle (29)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to create an excursion about a topic being studied in science class. This tool would be an excellent alternative to a conventional PowerPoint or other presentation tools. Consider assigning projects where students teach one another using this tool. Gifted students will love learning from already created excursions or extending their learning by creating their own. This tool would be useful for blended or flipped learning. Give students time to absorb information about content. Leave class time for individualized learning.

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Breaking News - NBC News Digital Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This current events site can take you places! Type in the topic you want to read about and view a list of headlines to stories about the topic. Choose one ...more
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This current events site can take you places! Type in the topic you want to read about and view a list of headlines to stories about the topic. Choose one of the headlines to read the story that comes from a variety of news sources. Click on the globe icon on the upper right of the news page to view the world map. This shows the location of where the stories originate. Clicking on the dots on the map also take you to the stories. This tool is available on web browsers, iOS, and Android devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (99), globe (14), maps (252), news (172), newspapers (50)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events projects. Assign students various weeks through out the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter. The reports should keep their peers up to date and informed. Have students research what is going on via this news site, and give a small presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Students can do an oral presentation or create a short video summarizing the same information. View several news articles from different areas and discuss bias and point of view from other cities and countries. Choose dots on the map randomly from the various sections to see what is trending in different regions. Have students create news briefs and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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MediaFire - MediaFire

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

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (99)

In the Classroom

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

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Kotobana - Kotobana

Grades
K to 12
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"Draw" a flower from the visual text of a single word using this simple Japanese tool. The basic tools are labeled in English. Browse the Gallery to see examples, including ...more
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"Draw" a flower from the visual text of a single word using this simple Japanese tool. The basic tools are labeled in English. Browse the Gallery to see examples, including this one our editors made using the word "teaching." Click +draw to make your own. Enter a single, short word and choose options such as font and color scheme. Give it a name, and it will be added to the Gallery. There are other sharing options for the designs you make, but many are labeled in Japanese! If you click to open it from the Gallery, you can copy its direct url from your address bar to save as a Favorite or share with others. Turn off autoplay in the Gallery to keep your design on the screen. Roll your mouse over a design (or tap it on a tablet) to make it spin! You can share to Facebook and Pinterest directly. The easiest way to share is by saving the url or by taking a screenshot of your finished design (Printscrn button on Windows or Command+Shift+4 on Mac). You also have the option to actually print. Note that the gallery could have word designs that may be in other languages or possibly be inappropriate for young people. Our editors found nothing objectionable at the time of this review. Preview to be safe. Click the sound on/off option in the footer to turn off the music as you enjoy the site.

tag(s): design (81), graphic design (28), symmetry (52)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate radial symmetry in an art or math class using this tool. As you teach letter shapes in kindergartens, try making a design to help your students see the shape in this colorful format. If you teach about fonts in an art or graphic design class, this tool can spark discussion about the design elements of letter forms. An idea for elementary or middle school teachers: Have students create "flowers" of their own names (or shortened nicknames) as a getting to know you activity during the first week of school. Post the design screenshot images on your class web page or print them to put in the hallway.

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Comment Bubble - Vivek Agrawal and Jean-Sebastien Legare

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

tag(s): assessment (71), video (188)

In the Classroom

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

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Scrim - Basem

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your ...more
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your email and add a unique ending to the Scrim URL to receive your unique code. Copy and paste the code for use on social networking sites, documents, or forums.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (101)

In the Classroom

Use Scrim whenever sharing your email address on Twitter or other social networking sites to avoid receiving spam. Share with older students as part of your cyber safety lessons.
 

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30 Hands - Cloud - Eric Braun & Carmen Ferrara

Grades
4 to 12
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30 Hands offers both social learning and a Learning Management System. They call it a learning studio. Use this tool to present all your lessons and store all the materials ...more
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30 Hands offers both social learning and a Learning Management System. They call it a learning studio. Use this tool to present all your lessons and store all the materials you will use for the lesson. In order to see all 30 Hands offers, click on "Take the Tour." Sign up for this tool with your email and create a course. Be sure to look on the right menu to find the course code to give to students when they sign up. In the creation of your course, you can include presentations, videos, assignments, a blog, student portfolios, surveys, discussion forums, groups within a class roster, and more. There are plenty of step by step directions for every aspect of setting up your course. Students can access 30 Hands on any device.

tag(s): assessment (71), classroom management (94), multimedia (37)

In the Classroom

Once you create the course you will have access to a home page that can include multimedia. Your courses can also include a calendar, digital bookshelves to organize content, a presentation showcase, a timeline and forum for discussions, a blog for students, student portfolios, small group collaboration, and interactive assignments. This tool can easily be your classroom online!

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Popcorn Maker - Mozilla

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this free tool for video editing and remixing! Import your audio or video media from sites like SoundCloud, Vimeo, or YouTube. Add layers of text, images, maps, or Wikipedia ...more
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Use this free tool for video editing and remixing! Import your audio or video media from sites like SoundCloud, Vimeo, or YouTube. Add layers of text, images, maps, or Wikipedia entries to enhance the original clip. Note: Videos cannot be uploaded from your computer. In the tool, the video appears in the middle screen. Added layers are managed along the side. Be sure to check out the Tutorial button for an interactive introduction to this tool. To use, click "Start from scratch." This editing tool uses a timeline to manage the video editing. Import your video from the available sources. Only one video can be used at a time. Multiple videos are unable to be merged together. Click on the Events tab to view the tools for remixing. Use the Text Event to add transitions and other options. Use the Image Event to add images to your video either from your computer or a url. Add a Pop up Event to add a quote or an alert to the video. This tool also includes a Twitter Event to display live tweets in the video (this part of the tool is set to a specific keyword or username). The editing tool can also be used to skip sections of video or continually loop a section. Use the Wikipedia Event to add content that supports your remixed video. This type of content is actually pulled in each time the video is played and therefore could be different every time as the content changes. Create an account to save and share. Publish your videos (which can then be remixed again). Videos can be embedded in a site, blog, or email or shared using the Twitter or Google+ button.

tag(s): copyright (46), creative commons (19), images (218), video (188)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to teach how to annotate audio and video clips. This encourages research and adding information learned to the audio or video. Use videos made in class to enrich the material with concepts learned and other additional information. For example, students can create and film a skit about class content, then upload it to YouTube for the remixing. Students demonstrate their understanding of the content by adding pictures, maps, or Wikipedia entries. This tool is a great way for students to visually demonstrate their learning. Popcorn Maker also elevates the discussion of fair use, Creative Commons, and copyright in the classroom setting. The techniques learned in this tool are easily transferrable to other video editing tools. Use this tool to critique artwork or performances. Interpret favorite characters portrayed in video, drawing on information about social factors affecting their lives. Use ordinary videos of science concepts such as the carbon or water cycle, tying it into current environmental problems or concerns. Use videos to connect history, bringing in various cultural perspectives. Once created, other students can remix it again, adding more perspective and elevating the learning.

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Tracker - Douglas Brown

Grades
9 to 12
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So what can you do with a tool that is used for analysis of videos? How about tracking the motion of an object across frames, including data on position, velocity, ...more
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So what can you do with a tool that is used for analysis of videos? How about tracking the motion of an object across frames, including data on position, velocity, and acceleration? Download this tool for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Start by obtaining a high speed video using YouTube, a portion of a taped movie on a DVR, or from other video footage. Open the Tracker software and import the video. Find the portion of the video you want to use (frame numbers are given). Click video properties in the lower right. If the video segment is large, change the step size (number of frames looked at each time) to more than one. Set the end frame number. In order to view speed, you need to create a scale for the video. For example, choose an object in the video that you can measure. (Make sure you know how big the object actually is.) Click the tape measure tool, then drag the blue arrow around to define the size of the object. Use the tutorials on the download page to learn to manipulate and analyze the position time graph. Be sure to check out the Tracker Video Tutorials for directions for using Tracker.

tag(s): forces (30), motion (52)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to get your student's attention using a well known video. For example, analyze the speed of blasters in Star Wars or any other movie with awesome effects. Use this tool to track the position, velocity, and/or acceleration of sports, performance of magic tricks, etc. Use this tool for Physics experiments and analysis of the motion.
 

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slides - Whim, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides...more
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Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides uses html5 to accommodate iOS. Sharing slides is a cinch with all the features offered to creators, and this site accommodates your presentation preferences. Send a Slides presentation through email, print as a .pdf, present offline, or sync with your DropBox account (reviewed here). Collaborate with a teammate or keep your work secure and private. Custom CSS is available for your own themes or tweak slides templates provided for your convenience. Slides offers other fantastic features such as math formulas to insert in your presentations as well as a revision history. The many style options make slides a slick site to create presentations. Premium options are available for purchase. However, this review only highlights the free features of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): slides (52)

In the Classroom

Use slides to support presentations in the classroom. Challenge your writers to create short stories that include their artwork, and publish with slides. Search for Creative Commons licensed images related to classroom content using Compfight reviewed here to create a slideshow. Slides is a great resource for your BYOD classroom. Create supporting presentations for lessons and take advantage of the math formula feature. Encourage students to create presentations to support book talks and share them on a library website. Slides is your collaboration destination for students to work together on assignments.

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Group Maker Tool - Instant Classroom

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

In the Classroom

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

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Thematic - Parade Labs, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Create a story using your own pictures. You may upload up to twenty photos. Choose photos from your computer (simply drag and drop) or a Dropbox file. Learn more about ...more
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Create a story using your own pictures. You may upload up to twenty photos. Choose photos from your computer (simply drag and drop) or a Dropbox file. Learn more about Dropbox here. Enter the text and description to each photo and change the font color, if desired. Click the lock below the last picture to change your story from public to private (or back again). Click done to finish the story. Easily edit and view all of your stories and even share via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email. Click embed to get the code to share on a wiki, blog, or website. Viewers of the story can like, comment, or share. You are allowed 50 characters for the title and 240 characters for the description. Note: This is a public site. Be sure to look for appropriate examples of stories created by others.

tag(s): digital storytelling (84), images (218), photography (136)

In the Classroom

Decide whether to share student created stories with the public or make them private depending upon the content, parent permission, and school guidelines. Use this tool to create simple projects using images to tell the story. Use to show the story of an invention that resulted from a scientific discovery or law. Share the many things made from a particular element. In English, create a visual story and create titles for a cover photo or practice using adjectives or adverbs. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as significant battles in World War II. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. Students can take pictures of their creations and write a photo story inspired by the images. Students can swap files of photos, using one another's pictures to create a photo story that comes to mind!

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PushPage - Meir Lakhovsky and Jared Jaffe

Grades
8 to 12
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PushPage is an interesting way to learn about your friends and celebrities using a question and answer format. Explore the site to discover fascinating interviews with actors, chefs,...more
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PushPage is an interesting way to learn about your friends and celebrities using a question and answer format. Explore the site to discover fascinating interviews with actors, chefs, politicians, and others. There are also interviews with everyday users, such as yourself! Learn about favorite songs, snacks, and favorite causes. Get involved and create your own PushPage. Sign up and begin your interview, so others learn about your interests. Share the page with the world or use privacy settings to only share with select friends or a private group. Ask your own questions of your community to create and personalize your sharing experience. PushPage will also work on your iPhone.

tag(s): biographies (43), digital storytelling (84), social networking (99)

In the Classroom

Incorporate PushPage into math data analysis lessons. Have students explore a question and collect answers from several pages and then graph the results. For example, one question asks "Where is the favorite place you have traveled to?" Follow that question to explore all of the different answers (including images). Have students choose one location to investigate further. Create PushPages for members of any classroom, sports group, or social organization as a way to get to know each other and build team work. Have students create their own question for the PushPage community and collect and analyze results. Students can research their favorite celebrity and write up a biography, practicing putting the information in their own words.

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Dowce - Dowce

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for an easy to use way to take a screenshot in Windows? Look no further! Download this tool. Once installed, a button appears along the top in your toolbar ...more
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Looking for an easy to use way to take a screenshot in Windows? Look no further! Download this tool. Once installed, a button appears along the top in your toolbar (look for the red "d"). When you wish to take a screenshot of something, click on the "d" button, then "Make new selection." Use your mouse to highlight the portion on your screen. Choose from one of the saving options available in a pop-up window: Save to dowce, save to the clipboard, or save to your computer. Note: This is for Windows computer only. Mac users can easily take a screenshot by holding down the Command-Shift-4 buttons then using the mouse to drag the cross hair over the items to be saved as a screenshot.

tag(s): images (218)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to copy items to share on your blog or site. Use to copy graphs, images, specific text, or other items useful to share either with your students or with colleagues. Remember to follow copyright and always cite your source when sharing the item in the screenshot.
 

Edge Features:

Products can be embedded

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Maptia - A World of Stories - Dorothy Sanders, Dean Fischer, and Johnny Miller

Grades
6 to 12
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Maptia is a bold, beautiful world of thoughtful and inspiring stories told through photographs by photographers, adventurers, and writers. Explore stories categorized by places, themes,...more
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Maptia is a bold, beautiful world of thoughtful and inspiring stories told through photographs by photographers, adventurers, and writers. Explore stories categorized by places, themes, and storytellers. Stories focus on portraying an individual perspective of the location and why it matters on a personal level. Find a collection of inspiring stories by people and organizations who are making a difference in many corners of the world. When browsing through offerings, information includes a short synopsis along with the location featured and an estimate of time to read the story. Create an account to add your stories. Bookmark and save favorites for viewing at any time. Maptia works well for viewing in all browsers, but it is optimized for Chrome and Safari when creating stories.

tag(s): creative writing (140), digital storytelling (84), narrative (21), photography (136)

In the Classroom

Share Maptia on your interactive whiteboard or projector to discover personal stories from anywhere in the world. Share with students as examples of personal narrative writing. Challenge students to create an account and add their own personal stories. To find even more stories like those under Causes see The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heros, reviewed here, and follow their ten steps for writing about people who make a difference. Create a class account and bookmark favorites. Share with students through a link on your class web page. Display photographs for use as a creative writing prompt.

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Lingua.ly - Dr. Jan Ihmels and Dr. Orly Fuhrman

Grades
4 to 12
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Linugua.ly helps you learn a language by "digital immersion." It is available for beginner through advanced language learners. Import word lists that reflect your interests and Lingua.ly...more
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Linugua.ly helps you learn a language by "digital immersion." It is available for beginner through advanced language learners. Import word lists that reflect your interests and Lingua.ly will fill your feed with real articles from the web to fit your pursuits. Use the highlighted words to create flashcards (with auto-pronounce that can be turned on or off), a pronunciation guide, and an excerpt of the online text to put it into context. Choose other words from the articles by double clicking on them. There is a dictionary for over 40 languages (Arabic, Spanish, Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Dutch, and others). Lingua.ly works via the Chrome extension or on any mobile device. Turn the Internet into a language learning tool by signing up for Lingua.ly.

tag(s): arabic (18), DAT device agnostic tool (99), french (85), german (62), hebrew (13), italian (33), portuguese (17), russian (25), spanish (99)

In the Classroom

Use Lingua.ly in world language classes as another form of practice and enrichment. Have world language students use this digital immersion tool to help read and translate authentic text. Have students create an account and enter words. Challenge students to use words from the language they are learning or from their interests and hobbies. For students under 13, create a class account with a class password and create a list of words for student's interests or subjects they are learning in class. For an ELL/ESL classroom, provide extra, specific practice in reading English. Offer this site as a supplement when you study cultures from around the world. Gifted students are sure to enjoy the challenge of learning some language phrases. Share the link on your teacher web page for students to use as extra practice or study for tests. This tool is perfect for your BYOD or 1:1 class, since it will operate on any device.

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TrackStar - 4Teachers.org

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

tag(s): bookmarks (56), webquests (31)

In the Classroom

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

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YouTab - YouTab

Grades
6 to 12
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Write down the chords and lyrics to your music in this wiki-style community for music artists. Tablature, or "tab," is a system for writing down guitar chords for any song, ...more
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Write down the chords and lyrics to your music in this wiki-style community for music artists. Tablature, or "tab," is a system for writing down guitar chords for any song, and YouTab provides handy online tools to do just that -- and to share music with others. You can easily find ready to play music shared by others. Be sure to read the Terms of Use and DMCA information about copyright linked from the footer. YouTab states, "YouTab respects your copyrights and the copyrights of others and therefore requires that you only annotate tablature of your own music or of music that you are licensed to annotate (such as public domain music)" and invites any copyright holder to report violation of their copyright. That said, there are many popular, current songs displayed with embedded music videos from YouTube next to the user-submitted tab and lyric notations for the song. We advise that users stick to copyright-safe use. Click to "Explore Music" or join for free to add your own. NO membership is required to view the songs, only to add your own. The song display pages can include YouTube videos of your song performances, displaying the tab and lyrics to the music as you listen to the song. The Tips and Tricks link in the footer shows how to use the tools. The lyrics display along with the chords and can flow in sync as the recorded song plays. As with any "crowd-sourced" site, there is the possibility that some songs may not be appropriate for young people. Preview first. The site does include commenting and other social features. Some videos are hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, these videos won't work.

tag(s): lyrics (19), musical notation (22), poetry (217)

In the Classroom

Share YouTab with your general music or guitar students or any students interested in writing or playing music. English teachers may want to offer this musical option during a poetry unit so musically inclined students can compose lyrics with music instead of simple poetry. In any class where you use this, you will want to have a discussion about whether sites such as YouTab that publish lyrics and user-generated "notation" for songs are good or bad for professional musicians. Displaying an embedded and credited YouTube music video published by the artist is certainly legal, but what about writing out copyrighted lyrics? Encourage your musicians to write songs, create a video, and provide tab notations to spread the word about their creative endeavors. This site would be great for small ensembles or gifted musicians seeking an outlet. Be sure to get parent permission before having students share any music online!

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