TeachersFirst Edge - Wikis

 

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Twine - Chris Klimas

Grades
6 to 12
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click...more
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click on "use it online" just under the download button. Twine helps you stay organized with little Post-It type squares with arrows to connect each section to one or more other sections. See how to do this by watching this short YouTube video, here. Drag and drop the squares on the page, and they will stay connected. There are a few templates to choose from, and you can upload images. For those who are adept at programming, click on Wiki and see the other quality, development resources Twine offers. Work is saved in your browser, not on a server. That means there is no sign-in or sign-up, but it also means losing your work unless you remember to click on the Archive button. Click on the Twine Wiki for FAQs, Vimeo Tutorial Videos, and other helpful information. On YouTube watch several video tutorials. 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): coding (26), computers (78), creative writing (167), game based learning (101), interactive stories (31), writing (355)

In the Classroom

View the Getting Started tutorials together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) before students begin to write stories. Also, be sure to have the tutorials as a link on class computers and your class webpage. Create a short story together as a class to become familiar with the site. Have students create a story diagram before beginning a story on Twine; then use the site to complete the project. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Twine to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Using this tool in a computer programming class would be ideal. Going to either Wiki, FAQ, or Forum will show you other development resources such as custom macros, stylesheets, code references, and so forth. Teachers of gifted could use this for students to develop elaborate fictional or informational pieces. Again, a graphic organizer for planning and organizing evidence is a must!

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Better Lesson - BetterLesson

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This site offers over 10,000 lessons aligned with the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. The lessons were created by 130 Master Teachers. You can browse resources...more
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This site offers over 10,000 lessons aligned with the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. The lessons were created by 130 Master Teachers. You can browse resources without registering. Click the blue "Browse" button to get started. Choose along the top from Common Core Math, Common Core ELA, or Next Generation Science. Lessons are arranged by grade level or Math, Language, and Science subjects. However, if you want to create your own resources, registration is required. After registering, create a class and then create a unit for that class. Finally, create a lesson for that unit, fill in an objective, select a state standard, and estimate the total time on task. Upload files (or drag and drop) to assign them to the lesson or keep them "unassigned" for later use. Additionally, simply add other users' files to your own curriculum. Search for files by keyword, age-level, and type of format. Click on a result to see every lesson plan using that file.

tag(s): commoncore (92), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create lessons for students to follow. Use this site to share inspirational lessons you create or to find inspiration in the work of others. Meet the Common Core goals by using the tools and lesson plans offered at this website. Though the site deals with the technical aspect of lesson planning, many ideas exist to reverse engineer to your own lessons. Create a course to maintain and tweak your lessons for your classes. Expand PD to others in your school or in other schools to learn from the best ideas of others!

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Wikispaces - Wikispaces

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Looking for quick web pages that even students can author? Then "wiki-wiki" this way! (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian.) This is the one tried and true wiki to use. Create ...more
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Looking for quick web pages that even students can author? Then "wiki-wiki" this way! (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian.) This is the one tried and true wiki to use. Create your own Wikispaces site by creating a site name. Educators get a free upgrade to a non-ad site, so remember to confirm it is for educational use. Enter your students manually (or upload a list). Students can also create an account and "join" your wiki. Use Settings to manage privacy settings for viewing and editing. Be sure to check out many of the settings that make Wikispaces versatile including the ability to lock pages so others do not edit them. Individual students can have their own page and/or belong to a group page. Check the participation of individual students in the group by checking the history of the page to "see" what each student edited at specific times. Choose traditional Wikispaces which looks like traditional sets of pages on a site. Also choose from the new Wikispaces Classroom (this can be done at any time and can be converted back to a traditional wiki as needed). In Wikispaces Classroom, members of your wiki can be assigned to various project groups the teacher creates. Set the privacy settings for each individual group or for all of them. If private, only members of that group can see their information. Create announcements, calendar events, discussions, and more for individuals, single groups, or all groups. Wikispaces Classroom takes interaction and management of student projects to a new level. As they work on an assigned project, the teacher can view the activity of each student including pages editing and viewing. Follow help videos or simply play to learn the simple wiki editing toolbar and settings. Creating a site has never been so easy. If you have not tried a wiki yet, visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for a step-by-step explanation, starter help, and practical management and safety tips. Be sure to check your district's Acceptable Use Policy. We recommend having parents and students sign a Wiki Warranty (downloadable here ), spelling out wiki behavior and consequences.

tag(s): wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to create a collaborative space online with your students in any subject, allowing as many people to edit, make changes, and add new content. In its simplest use, use the wiki to post assignments by creating pages for each unit to place assignments. Enter these in text form, or upload documents/PowerPoints, teacher created videos, and other resources from around the web without having students leave the wiki to view. (Use the widget icon in the toolbar to paste the embed code of the resource you want to use). Weave your content around the many resources that can engage and connect learning in your classroom. When students create learning groups in your classroom, they can also create their own wiki page, documenting their learning within the page. For science, reporting about a lab can also include their digital graph, photos taken throughout the lab, and extensions of learning from the natural world. For Math, extend learning to the world around them such as determining circumferences of a variety of natural objects, etc. then reporting on them with pictures. Give students a problem and create a step by step tutorial on how to solve the problem. Students can embed their movie, podcast, PowerPoint, document, or even sets of images to show the solution. When answering discussion type questions, students can paste the link to the resources that they used. Create a wiki for art classes as a gallery showcase. Use with gifted students as a portfolio space. Use Wikispaces Classroom to create discussions (threaded discussions are to be developed soon) within groups or with the whole class. Discuss current events in Social Studies, ethics in Science or Civics, or create a literature circle in English. The uses of wikis are endless and can serve many different functions. Use for placing all your content on the web (great for absent students or for those who want to get ahead) while also creating some assignments that students can use with their individual pages and other assignments for their team pages. Student pages can be works in progress, allowing students to revisit and revise information whenever they want. Be sure to visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for dozens of ideas for using a wiki in the classroom.

Comments

Easy to use, versatile, free to educators. Can be kept private easily. Easier than PBWorks wiki. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Engrade - Engrade

Grades
3 to 12
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Engrade will no longer be free starting in September 2016. Alternative tools to use would be Edusight, reviewed here, ClassFlow, reviewed...more
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Engrade will no longer be free starting in September 2016. Alternative tools to use would be Edusight, reviewed here, ClassFlow, reviewed here, Otus, reviewed here, or Easyclass, reviewed here. Engrade is a comprehensive grade book program complete with tools to create quizzes, wiki pages, calendars, flash cards, create discussions and send messages to and from students, parents and administrators. The best part is all of this is free and both FERPA and EU Safe Harbor compliant. Student information security is a top priority for this company. This is a great way to slim down the number of log-ins and passwords students must have. Instead of using three different log-ins and passwords in three different programs for grade book, online tests and quizzes, and wikis, it is one stop shop. This site could help you save time and confusion for both teachers and students.

tag(s): quiz (85), wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Sign up for an account (email required) and keep track of student scores, create quizzes for students, and make discussion boards for online conversations about things that happen in your classroom. Quizzes can be graded from the grade book program, directly entering the scores into your records. Be sure to provide this information (link) on your class website for parents to access.

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PBWorks - PBWorks. Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, ...more
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This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, etc. You may be familiar with wikipedia, but wikis can be so much more! A recent poll of "high tech" educators cited wikis as the one web-based tool they could not live without! If you have not tried a wiki yet, visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for a detailed, step-by-step explanation and starter help, including dozens of ideas for ways to use a wiki in your classroom.

If you are not sure which wiki tool is best for you, see our detailed TeachersFirst review of PBWorks (formerly PBWiki) features, pros, and cons(done as part of the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through). Ignore the persistent and pervasive suggestions that you upgrade to a fee-based membership!

tag(s): social networking (112), wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Click through the first two steps to create a free wiki, including the name (which becomes part of the wiki URL). Be sure to select "education" as the answer to "What is this wiki for?" Wait for your confirmation email (may take a while...check junk mail folder). After the email, choose whether your wiki is public or private (visible to members only or to the public). Set a "key" (password), if you wish. Bypass the offer to PAY. Use the Quickstart steps to configure the wiki just the way you want it or simply play to learn the Clickable editing toolbar. Add and edit pages, invite new members, explore the three template options and a few options for "skins." You may want to become familiar with the tool as a teacher-created site at first so you know its capabilities before turning students loose.

See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for practical management and safety tips.

Safety concerns: Students need email accounts to have individual log-ins. Note: with this wiki tool, you do not have the option of "locking" certain pages or setting different "levels" of users. You and your students have equal access to make changes, once you make them "members." There are also "plug-ins' (widgets) available from the toolbar, some of which may connect you to sites with unmonitored content. Decide ahead of time what you policies are concerning use of the "plug-ins."

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TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to ...more
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to parents and administration, and how to get started. There are over 50 examples of activities you can do with a wiki and links to a free tool to get started. A fresh revision of the Walk-Through in 2008 includes comparison reviews of the top three wiki tools for education. We even give you the downloadable handout to send home.

tag(s): wikis (20)

In the Classroom

This is listed as a TeachersFirst "edge" entry, but our step-by-step walk-through takes the edge off and makes your wiki a walk in the park. Check it out now, while there is still FREE classroom wiki space available from the three wiki tools we review in detail.
 

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