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.
Browse the full listing of detailed safety/school policy tips or save time by reading them as needed from each tool review.
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:
GradesK to 12
tag(s): editing (71)
In the ClassroomRecord your class singing or reading their compositions to share with parents on your website or blog. Record and edit sound to be included with PowerPoint presentations. Use with a creative writing project to record stories for selected images. Share with students to use with multimedia projects to create background audio or original audio presentations. View the features of the site on your interactive whiteboard together with your older students, then allow them time to explore and experiment with the available features. Instead of having students share a written speech as an oral presentation, ask them to use Beautiful Audio to record their presentation and add original features to the soundtrack. Include this recording as part of a multimedia presentation using a site like Sway, reviewed here. Sway offers tools to create interactive presentations available for all devices.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse MrOwl to organize and save resources for all classroom content. Have students create and share branches with resources used in research projects. Share with students as a way to organize information for review of any content.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomRecord classroom activities and student learning with photos or written anecdotes. Show students how to create a portfolio, then document their learning and make comments in their portfolio. Share portfolios with parents, not just at conference time, but anytime the student portfolio is updated to keep parents in the loop.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomCreate puzzles and activities to review spelling or vocabulary terms. Create bingo cards and use as an introduction to new concepts. Share a link to this site on your class website for students to create their own puzzles for review at home.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse MapHub for personalized lessons in using maps and defining locations. Create a map to share on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector) to highlight landforms, state capitols, or locations within a novel. As you teach about events in history such as the Civil War add markers to your map to share locations and information from that event. Add notes to your icons sharing information from each location. Include a link to this map on classroom computers or embed onto your class blog for students to view from any device. Add URLs to additional resources within your descriptions of points on a map. This allows you and your students to create visual presentations with access to multiple resources. Flip your classroom to create an interactive lesson using MapHub. Have students view your map as an introduction to a new unit. Instead of a traditional book report or class presentation, have students use MapHub to create an interactive map sharing their learning.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): charts and graphs (199)