TeachersFirst Edge - Collaboration

 

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Lore - Lore.com

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Lore is created for instructors to design their own MOOC type courses without needing adoption by a whole school or district. Most importantly, creating a course is unbelievably SIMPLE....more
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Lore is created for instructors to design their own MOOC type courses without needing adoption by a whole school or district. Most importantly, creating a course is unbelievably SIMPLE. Not sure what a MOOC is? A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is (usually free), open course offered by a teacher or university for anyone willing to learn. It is a student and community centered place for learning developed by university students. In Lore, teachers control who is in the network through use of a class membership code. Course materials, tests, and grades can be added and managed through Lore. Teachers can contact students and decide what to make public or private. Students are able to interact with and learn from each other. Learning becomes more interactive and extends beyond the classroom. Lore also features a discussion area, calendar, library, and gradebook. Each student and teacher have profiles which others can follow. Teachers and students can create academic groups for learning. Teachers can create a group with other teachers to develop a PLN.

Not sure where to begin or not ready to start on your own? Use elements of ready-made courses at Lore to experiment and enrich your curriculum. Search through the popular courses to look at what other teachers and professors are offering.

tag(s): classroom management (150), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create your course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Docs Demo: Master's Edition - Google

Grades
9 to 12
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Try collaborative writing with great authors using this Google Docs demo. You write a few words, and then a great writer intervenes, writing along with you in his/her own inimitable...more
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Try collaborative writing with great authors using this Google Docs demo. You write a few words, and then a great writer intervenes, writing along with you in his/her own inimitable style. The writing "collaborators" might delete some of your words and change to their own vocabulary or phrasal selections. A writer might add an adjective or change your verb to a more colorful and literary one! Writers include Emily Dickinson, Dostoyevsky, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allan Poe. Your completed document will often have parts by several of the famous dead authors, color coded so you know who is who. You can save and send your document, if you sign into your Google account.

tag(s): authors (121), creative writing (171), dickens (13), literature (274), poetry (224), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask high schoolers to identify exactly what makes the famous writer's intrusions specifically his/her own. Challenge students to write their own passage that will be edited. Once edited, have students save, print, or email their document. Take it a step deeper and have students explain WHY a specific author would have made a specific change. Have them find the original passage where the author used a certain phrase or quotation and explore its context there. Use this site during Poetry Month for students to create their own poems, to be edited by a famous author (or poet). Have pairs of students collaborate on creating a piece of writing and share after saving using a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here.
 

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GoCast.It - GoCast.it

Grades
7 to 12
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This free app creates an online shared video space so collaborating is so much easier. Use the web or your mobile device to access a GoCast learning or collaboration session. ...more
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This free app creates an online shared video space so collaborating is so much easier. Use the web or your mobile device to access a GoCast learning or collaboration session. Be sure to take the tutorial to be able to manipulate the various parts of GoCast. Each person and whiteboard appear as icons that can be rotated on your screen like a carousel. Use the icons below your video to change from normal color to black and white or sepia. Turn off your video or microphone easily with a simple click. Add more whiteboards to the session by clicking the whiteboard icon. A tool tray is found below each whiteboard. Hover over the icon on each whiteboard to expand it. Take notes using the collaborative notepad and comments using the comment bar. Wikipedia is just an icon away and is useful for sharing and research. Send an invitation to others by making a general Facebook announcement (if permitted) or sending a specific invitation by email. At the time of this review, a download of a required program is needed to use GoCast, but this download is not supposed to be needed in the future.

tag(s): video (276)

In the Classroom

Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Use this app for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects!

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Scrumy - Robert Brend, Mike O'Malley, Dan Kordi

Grades
4 to 12
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Scrumy is an easy to use project management or planning tool. Create a project by adding the name you want to the Scrumy URL. Or have Scrumy name your project ...more
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Scrumy is an easy to use project management or planning tool. Create a project by adding the name you want to the Scrumy URL. Or have Scrumy name your project for you by clicking on the "New Free Project" button. Once your page opens, a prompt guides you to click on "Create a Story." A story is really a grouping of tasks. It's a category or goal that you can split into multiple tasks. Prompts guide you through setting up the rest of your tasks. You can assign tasks to different people. The color coding allows you to quickly see who is doing what. There are To Do, In Progress, Verify, and Done columns to work with. Once you've learned the steps, you can hide the tutorial. If you need assistance, there is lots of help on their About page. If you don't see what you need there, their email support is almost instantaneous!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Are you responsible for multiple tasks at school over and above teaching? This program will help you stay organized. Teach project planning and sequencing tasks. Have students use this for planning "how-to" demonstration speeches, or students with IEPs can work toward goals with intermediate steps listed on Scrumy. Your gifted-but-disorganized students would benefit from trying this tool. You might even want to model and use it with an entire class during major projects to teach time management. When your students are working in small groups on research projects, presentations, and even literature circles, this would be a great program for them to stay organized. All you have to do is share the URL for others to see, move, create, and change tasks.

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Reframe it - Reframe it

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this browser add-on to comment anywhere on the web. Reframe It is a Firefox and Internet Explorer extension. Make specific comments next to the text or images of any ...more
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Use this browser add-on to comment anywhere on the web. Reframe It is a Firefox and Internet Explorer extension. Make specific comments next to the text or images of any website. Share your thoughts with friends and groups in Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and more. Add critiques or questions to share with others. You can share the annotated pages by url, even if the recipient does NOT have the add on. Find sample documents to try before downloading the add on here.

tag(s): browser (6), writing prompts (95)

In the Classroom

Use to comment and annotate on pictures and information anywhere on the web. This is a great tool for you (or your students) to annotate research and information on the Internet. Create teacher annotations or question and answer comments on pages. Ask comprehension questions or guiding questions for places you send students on the web. Ask questions that students can complete as homework to show that they accessed the web resource assigned. If students have access to the add-on with individual log-ins, they can converse and debate about web page content. This tool wold also be a powerful way for students to point out bias on a web page or for art students to comment on images and design elements. Create writing prompts by adding questions or comments to a web page and sharing it with students.

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Pen.io - Anthony Feint

Grades
K to 12
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Write and publish a very simple blog post or writing piece instantly. This is a simple tool and requires NO membership. Pen.io is also ideal for collaborative drafts. All you ...more
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Write and publish a very simple blog post or writing piece instantly. This is a simple tool and requires NO membership. Pen.io is also ideal for collaborative drafts. All you need to do to create a page is to choose a name and a password for editing. (You may have to try a few names to find one that is unique.) You receive a URL you can give to others along with the password to be able to collaborate. Or simply share the url for them to read only. You can include an image by dragging and dropping.

tag(s): blogs (90), editing (69), process writing (46), proofreading (24), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Publish student writing projects such as short stories, poems, and reports. Publish study guides before tests. Publish directions for assignments. With the options for password protected editors, students could post a collaborative report and have others help edit the work. This is an easy way to set up a student blog, especially if the focus is on writing rather than multimedia. Have students write a progressive story where they each add a portion. Practice vocabulary in English or world languages by having students add sentences throughout the year, continuously using the newest words. Just make sure that students use the same password for all the stories started in a class.

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Widbook - Flavio Aguiar

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others...more
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Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others to make contributions to your books. Create a profile on the site to begin your book or collaborate with others (or you can skip this step). Books you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook members can add content and or comments to your books. You can change setting to allow comments and additions on a book or not. Likewise, you can search for others' books and contribute to their books. The only way to share your books is with others logged into Widbook or other social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).

tag(s): creative writing (171), descriptive writing (44), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17), persuasive writing (56), process writing (46), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Create books on any subject for your students to review or learn. Set up a whole class account or use individual accounts with those 13 and older if school policy allows it. Challenge students to create a book as a multi-media presentation instead of a typical book report. This would be great to use for a student/star of the week presentation. Each week add a student's information. Do this together as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link (and log in) on classroom computers for students to view the book when they wish. Use this tool for groups to collaborate on science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool with a whole class account, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. Have students create a book as an end of the year culminatng/review project.

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Vialogues: Meaningful Discussions Around Video - EdLab

Grades
4 to 12
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A Vialogue is an online video with a group discussion feature. Upload a video of your own, from YouTube or one of the public videos available on Vialogue. Define the ...more
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A Vialogue is an online video with a group discussion feature. Upload a video of your own, from YouTube or one of the public videos available on Vialogue. Define the purpose of the Vialogue, provide some discussion questions, and click create to finish. Settings are easy to manage, including adding participants, managers, and making videos public or private. View comments with a time stamp connected to the section of the video discussed. Register using email and a unique user name.

tag(s): chat (53), video (276)

In the Classroom

If you don't feel comfortable creating your own Vialogue, use the explore feature of the site to view Vialogues previously created by others. Use for teaching a concept with students viewing portions of videos and chatting content and main points with each other. Use for reviewing materials for exams or to prepare for project creation. Set up a snow day or evening video viewing time and URL to watch and discuss videos together with the teacher for extra help or enrichment. As an online back to school night, share a video at a specified time and invite parents to join you and chat their questions. Offer video/chat how-to sessions for major projects, such as science fair or other independent work. Enhance video instructions for any major assignment by scheduling a watch together session. Use with Khan Academy videos for math class. World language teachers could challenge students to chat new dialogue in their new language. Special ed teachers can create Vialogues with prompts to help students focus on key concepts in a video.

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Dweeber - SmartWired

Grades
7 to 12
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Create an online study group with Dweeber. Though Dweeber has the social network look, it targets study groups, classmates, book groups, and all other types of educational groups to...more
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Create an online study group with Dweeber. Though Dweeber has the social network look, it targets study groups, classmates, book groups, and all other types of educational groups to help each other with academics. Created with young people in mind, Dweeber has an ultra-cool look, and strict, upfront safety precautions. There are several components that make Dweeber unique. Their S.M.A.R.T. profile (stands for Successes, Mind Patterns, Attractions and Interests, Resources, and Thinking Talents) helps you to get to know how you and your friends learn best. My Sites/Top Sites is where you can store the sites that help you learn and study and is a place for you to vote on the best websites in the entire Dweeber network. Dweeber lists the sites that users have rated the highest. Up to eight people at a time can engage in a real-time study session using the collaborative whiteboard.

tag(s): homework (46), learning styles (20), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students create your own accounts. Then invite each student as friend. Go to the "My Dweebs" tab on the top, and click "New team" in the upper right corner. Create teams of any size. Engage student groups in discussions about current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Set up teams for students to work on projects or literature circles. Use the space as a forum to work out tasks and scheduling. Use the chat area for students to discuss the current novel they are reading or to ask peers for clarification about assignments. Students can brainstorm ideas for their group presentations or help each other work out math problems using the real-time collaborative whiteboard. Your students will likely suggest additional ways to use this tool from their world.

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ThinkBinder - Thinkbinder, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Thinkbinder lets you create an online study group. Enter a name for your study group and click create. Next enter your name, email, and password, and then create your account. ...more
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Thinkbinder lets you create an online study group. Enter a name for your study group and click create. Next enter your name, email, and password, and then create your account. Invite others to your group via email. Your study group will have access to group chat, video chat, file management, a collaborative whiteboard, and a bookmark button to share pictures, videos, and links from anywhere on the web. Enter topics you work on, and team up with others in your study group by giving them the code for the topic. Only the introductory video uses Flash.

tag(s): homework (46), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create your own teacher account and invite each student via email. Use the topics code to invite students to specialized groups like literature circles, research groups, etc. Engage student groups in discussions about current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Use the chat area for students to discuss the current novel they are reading or to ask peers for clarification about assignments. Students can brainstorm ideas for their group presentations or help each other work out math problems using the real-time collaborative whiteboard.

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ScratchED - MIT

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for project ideas to use with Scratch? Take a look at this generous community where teachers are sharing great...more
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Looking for project ideas to use with Scratch? Take a look at this generous community where teachers are sharing great ideas, handouts, videos, and more about using Scratch. Only the introductory video requires Flash.

tag(s): creativity (119), interactive stories (31), video (276)

In the Classroom

View the resources without creating an account. Consider joining the community to learn more about using Scratch in the classroom. You'll want to bookmark, comment, and participate, but you need to join to do that. View and use activities to increase programming knowledge and the use of the Scratch program. Mark this one in your Favorites as a reference. Don't be afraid to allow Scratch-hooked students to explore some of the suggestions, as well.

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Interactive.I - interactive.illimitably.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Interactive.i allows you to make whiteboard drawings and to "paint chat" in an online space you can share with others. Create your own space in three simple steps: choose a ...more
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Interactive.i allows you to make whiteboard drawings and to "paint chat" in an online space you can share with others. Create your own space in three simple steps: choose a font style for chat, name your room, and designate if participants can chat, draw, or both. Once in the room, share the url with all participants. Chat appears below the drawing and not in the drawing itself and does not show when you share or save the final product. Options are available for activities such as a drawing challenge and newspaper. Be aware that the newspaper may offer options such as gay marriage or other topics you may not want to address with your students. Save drawings to your computer or online. Avoid the public gallery where drawings may not be classroom appropriate.

tag(s): drawing (81)

In the Classroom

You can avoid the public galleries entirely by creating the space for your students to use. It takes only seconds, and they can join directly by url. Have students collaborate on the creation of story webs or classroom presentations. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Allow students to use this site as their visual during speeches. Have young students use a whiteboard to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. If you know an artist, cartoonist or illustrator, invite him/her to visit your classroom virtually to share his/her drawing process while you class uses the chat to ask questions.

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Discover Design: A Student Design Experience - Chicago Architecture Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about architectural design and construction of buildings and more and about design in general. This site also gives teens a forum to post design ideas and receive feedback from...more
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Learn about architectural design and construction of buildings and more and about design in general. This site also gives teens a forum to post design ideas and receive feedback from others their age as well as teachers and design professionals. Discover Design also promotes a challenge every year for student teams to create an innovative remake of something (lunchroom, food stand, locker, etc.) at their school. The registration deadline is in the first week in April with final project due the second to last week in May. Judging begins the last week of May and ends the second week of June. View the contest requirements and rules in great detail with forms on the site. Use this site for lessons and information without an account, but to use the forum tool you need to create a user account.

tag(s): architecture (84), engineering (127), measurement (159), modeling (10)

In the Classroom

Teach students about applied science and math through the use of design. Students will see real life applications, get energized about a possible career, and go beyond repetitious facts or abstract theories. Use this site to spark ideas for your students. Use one of the smaller past challenges for your class. Have students compete to create a new student locker or lunch tray. Have them do research and design prototypes. Have students display their work locally for the school and community. Judge work by the public or by classmates on a rubric. Even if you are not part of the larger Maker's Faire movement, your students can be involved in hands-on design and innovation.

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Watch2gether - Sailer Interactive

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this free site to create a private chat room where you can watch videos with others at multiple locations in real time. Create a chat room and use the ...more
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Use this free site to create a private chat room where you can watch videos with others at multiple locations in real time. Create a chat room and use the link to send to others. Use the Facebook app to post to Facebook. Watch the video synchronously while making comments in the chat window. Note: members of the chat can change the video at any time, and it will change for all those in the private room. There is no way to lock this function. Want to save the chat? Copy and paste to share later or use screen shots (command/shift/4 on a Mac or print screen on PC.) Save your room and go back later to view the chat and watch more videos with your friends. Note that the videos are from YouTube so may not be accessible in schools. There is no way for adults to monitor the chat other than being part of it.

tag(s): chat (53), video (276)

In the Classroom

Use for teaching a concept with others by viewing portions of videos and chatting content and main points with each other. Use for reviewing materials for exams or to prepare for project creation. Be sure to set rules on changing videos when in sessions with others. Set up a snow day or evening video viewing time and url to watch and discuss videos together with the teacher for extra help or enrichment. As an online back to school night, share a video at a specified time and invite parents to join you and chat their questions. Offer video/chat how-to sessions for major projects, such as science fair or other major independent work. Enhance video instructions for any major assignment by scheduling a watch together session. Use together with Khan Academy videos for math class. Make your "flipped" classroom more social using watch together.

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Vokle - Robert Kiraz

Grades
6 to 12
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required...more
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required to host an "event" but isn't necessary for viewing recorded events available on the site. After registering, create an event (or series) by providing a title, description, and category. Schedule an event for a future time or go live immediately. Invite others to the event by embedding the code on your website, Facebook page, Twitter link, or by sharing the url. Encourage participation through viewer comments and questions that can be screened and chosen by the host. Sessions are recorded and can be viewed at a later time making this very useful for the classroom. Search for sessions by browsing events and viewing available categories. The learning category may be a useful starting point.

tag(s): chat (53), video (276)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect to use when collaborating with other classrooms, for holding an author visit, or for professional collaboration. After hosting an event, share the link with students (or parents) who could not attend or who want to watch it over again. Encourage students to host their own event with topics such as book talks, interactive discussions on solving difficult math problems, or discussions of current events. Create a Vokle for parents to view, sharing your educational philosophy, classroom procedures and expectations, and other school-related information. Create a Vokle for students who were absent from class or who may want to watch the lesson again. Even elementary classes can make a Vokle under teacher supervision for special events such as Earth Day or the 100th day of school.

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KikuText - kikutext.com

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers ...more
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Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers nor do the teachers see the students' or parents' phone numbers. Create an account easily with basic contact information, then share the class code with parents. Parents text the code to be added and begin receiving updates and to respond to text messages. Communication through this site is safe and secure. This service is free; however, standard text messaging fees apply.

tag(s): classroom management (150), parents (59)

In the Classroom

Send out whole-class reminders to parents of upcoming tests, project due dates, school events, and more. Set up this site (and parents and students numbers) during the first week of school or at Back to School night. Use this site as an alternative to conference reminder slips (and save paper). Keep parents "in the loop" about students' behavior, achievement, and more with this tool. Imagine sending a text as you discover missing homework. Suddenly, accountability steps up a notch!

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Box - Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in ...more
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in Box and it is accessible everywhere you use it. Copy, save, or move the document simply and easily. Syncing and sharing is simple. No access to Internet at one of your locations? No problem! Your Box file stays in your Box account, and the next time you are online it will upload it for you. Share Box files with others for easy collaboration. Apps for Box are available (at the time of this review) for Windows, iOS, iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
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tag(s): writing (369)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others through the tabs in the Account Settings. Though not a complete back up of all your documents, Box can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any item you can work with using Word can be used with Box. Teams of teachers can also use this download to save tests, share activities, and more.

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Trello - Fog Creek Software

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Trello organizes your projects into boards. It tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. Updates are shown in real time, ...more
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Trello organizes your projects into boards. It tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. Updates are shown in real time, so refreshing the site isn't necessary. The two main items used on boards are cards and lists. Cards are tasks; create a card for each task and drag it to the list. Attachments such as videos, due dates, user notes, and more can be attached to cards. Then pull each card into a list and place in any order necessary to complete the tasks. You can be identified with an @symbol and receive instant notifications.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), graphic organizers (42), organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Use this site in the classroom for organizing any long term project such as a research report or collaborative projects. Create a board for each group with a timeline and assign parts for each project. Gradually release the responsibility from one project to the next, asking students to create their own task lists so they learn time management. Teachers of learning support and gifted will love this tool as a way to teach organizational skills. Share it with parents to support their organizationally challenged students. Yearbook or school newspaper advisors may want to consider this site for organizing and assigning tasks. Share this site with your school's PTA as a resource for organizing and planning school events.

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Write It - Scholastic

Grades
7 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
At this publishing site for secondary students, you have many opportunities to learn the craft, view other writers in action, have work critiqued, and interact with other student writers....more
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At this publishing site for secondary students, you have many opportunities to learn the craft, view other writers in action, have work critiqued, and interact with other student writers. You can take a master class with featured writers that include conversations with authors discussing their challenges and triumphs. There is a chat forum to post work and get input from fellow students with suggestions for revision (participation in chat requires registration to the site; however, the chat logs can be viewed without registration). An online portfolio can be created after registration on the site. The "Authors in Action" section is a wonderful resource to view short videos of student authors performing their own work and is sorted by genres.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (171), descriptive writing (44), poetry (224), process writing (46), writers workshop (34)

In the Classroom

Share videos from the site with students when discussing the writing process. The master classes are perfect for use on interactive whiteboards or a projector as a way of starting classroom discussions on the writing process and different techniques and methods used by authors. Have students read their own finished works of writing and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. If you do Writers Workshop in your classroom, use videos and information from the site to demonstrate writing and critiquing methods.

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Flock Draw - free online drawing tool - FlockDraw

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Flockdraw, an online based painting and drawing tool, makes it easy to draw with multiple people. Unlimited people can be in a room, and the drawing updates in real time. ...more
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Flockdraw, an online based painting and drawing tool, makes it easy to draw with multiple people. Unlimited people can be in a room, and the drawing updates in real time. Different colors, shapes and text are available. Navigate the right panel to choose color, brush size, line tool, fill tool, text, brush tool, and eraser. Arrows change tools, colors etc. Finished products can be embedded onto your website or blog or saved as a png file on your computer. CAUTION: This tool can be used by 10 users at the same time. Be warned that inappropriate words or drawing could appear while using this site. You may want to avoid the "open rooms." Click Create Your Session" to start your own session (non-public).
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tag(s): colors (80), drawing (81), painting (65)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings through this site as responses to literature. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, then another group can use that as a story prompt. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) setting to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is being read aloud.

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