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Exploratree - Futurelab

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Exploratree is a free online library of thinking guides where you can choose a graphic organizer/mind map and fill it in. Or, you can create your own thinking guide. There ...more
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Exploratree is a free online library of thinking guides where you can choose a graphic organizer/mind map and fill it in. Or, you can create your own thinking guide. There are many highly interactive features: printing, emailing, and collaborating with others in real time. The home page has several videos that show you how to use the features of the site, and it has many ideas for how to use Exploratree in your classroom.

tag(s): brain (72), brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Play with the tools and toolbars to create a mind map; use toolbars to collaborate, publish, or print diagrams. Creating the organizers is of easy to medium difficulty depending upon how elaborate your organizer is. You and your students must be registered and logged in to share, or comment on each other's thinking guide. Note: to use the collaboration feature, collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access. You can also export the mind maps in pdf format, text, or as an image (gif).

Make sure your students use a code name or number when registering. Be sure to save their names/numbers, for when they "forget."

Have students create graphic organizers in cooperative groups as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. In science classes, have groups generate visual illustrations of processes such as photosynthesis. In literature, generate story maps or diagram the relationships between characters. In social studies, illustrate different factors that lead to a war or economic meltdown. Share and compare the organizers on an interactive whiteboard or projector in class and allow classmates to suggest changes. Use student-made organizers as an informal formative assessment part way through any unit.

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Polldaddy - Automattic

Grades
K to 12
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Use Polldaddy to create polls or surveys to place on a blog, wiki, or site. Sign up to register (email address is required.) Choose your template and style. Change various ...more
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Use Polldaddy to create polls or surveys to place on a blog, wiki, or site. Sign up to register (email address is required.) Choose your template and style. Change various features such as progress bar, restrictions, and notifications. Choose from Free Text, Multiple Choice, or a Matrix. Enter your question and choices. Upload media if desired. Click Finish and Embed when done with the survey. Use the embed codes and links for either creating a pop up page, or embedding directly into a page on a blog, wiki, or site. View reports of the results, locations, and participants of the survey.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to determine the question and possible responses to generate the poll online. Remember to Publish your quiz to be able to share it.

This tool does not show the individual votes of students. Though this tool can be used by students, it may be best used by a teacher. Students using this tool, need an email to register.

Use polls created using Polldaddy on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit, asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and a means of formative assessment. Have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase read involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections or for critical thinking activities dealing with interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues that matter to them.

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Quiz Snack - Smartketer LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Use Quiz Snack to create polls or surveys to place on a blog, wiki, or site. Choose among Poll, Survey, or Personality Quiz. Enter your question and choice. Click the ...more
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Use Quiz Snack to create polls or surveys to place on a blog, wiki, or site. Choose among Poll, Survey, or Personality Quiz. Enter your question and choice. Click the boxes to Shuffle Options and even display a Show Results button. When done, click Save and Customize to choose from templates. Change styles and colors. Click Publish to share via a link, obtain an embed code, or share through Facebook, or email.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to determine the question and possible responses to generate the poll online. Remember to Publish your quiz to be able to share it. This tool does not show the individual votes of students. Though this tool can be used by students, it may be best used by a teacher. Students using this tool, need an email to register.

In the classroom: Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study by asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and a means of formative assessment. Place on a teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement.

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Spicynodes - IDEA

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a website map or mindmap easily with this free site. Create a login (requires an email address.) Add interest to your site as visitors choose a node and new ...more
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Create a website map or mindmap easily with this free site. Create a login (requires an email address.) Add interest to your site as visitors choose a node and new options open up for them. Spicynodes is a mindmap but all portions are not displayed until they are clicked on, activating greater interactivity to your sitemap or mindmap.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Create a new map by entering the details such as a title. Choose from the template styles given. Preview the template, zoom in and out, and scroll around the mindmap using the simple tools. Click the "Edit Content" tab to change each node in your mindmap. Edit the name of the node, the description, and upload or link to a picture. Nodes can also link to a You tube video. When done, click preview to not only see the finished mindmap, but to publish on the Spicynodes site or copy the embed code for placing on a wiki, blog, or other site.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Create a site map that guides users throughout the features of your class website.

Collaborative Projects: Have small groups research together a topic such as unsolved mysteries of the world, planets, legends from their countries, plants, famous mathematicians, or any topic that can be broken down into parts. Each student would have their own node and color and would then upload pictures, videos, links, and other information they have found about their part of the topic. If the whole class is researching a topic, students with the "like" assignments could get together to share information and create their part of the small group node (also know as jigsaw in cooperative learning). Once all the nodes are completed, the original small group would share information with each other. There are a variety of ways students could use this mindmap. You could just leave it at the small group share out. Or, you could have the groups decide what information is important enough to present to the class and put their ideas on a Writeboard document reviewed here. A third step could be that once they've honed down the information, they could create a presentation for the class in a variety of formats: Glogster reviewed here, or Animoto reviewed here are only two of the many presentation formats we have reviewed on TeachersFirst.

Student project ideas: Have students... organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum."

Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. Be sure that they RENAME it before they start work to an individual name so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in.

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Testmoz - testmoz.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or ...more
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or to take the created tests. Simply click "Create a test," enter the test name, and create a password. Note: Be sure to remember the password somewhere because it is not possible to recover it. Read the directions on the Test Control Panel to adjust settings, add questions, and publish the test. Bookmark the URL of the finished test you make so you can find it later. After publishing, copy and paste the URL of the test into a wiki, blog, or site, for student access. View reports when students are done with the test.

tag(s): quiz (85)

In the Classroom

Skills required: Be sure to remember the password for your tests, as well as the unique URL. It would be wise to copy/paste them into a document you keep somewhere for reference. Users are unable to access the tests without the URL. Be sure to not share this ahead of time. Items in Testmoz are not made public.

Use where automatically graded tests are required, such as for formative assessments to check student understanding. Use as a "ticket out the door" to see what students know at the end of class. Be sure that this is the medium you want to use for testing. Be flexible with students who find it difficult to take online testing. Entering all the material ahead of time can be time consuming, so this may not be the best format for long tests. Use this quiz application to create study quizzes for review for students to complete as homework (or during class time). Have students rotate to create daily check quizzes for their peers (earning a grade for test-creation). Learning support students and others who need a little extra review might like to make quizzes to challenge each other or themselves. Have students who are preparing to give oral presentations in any subject prepare a short Testmoz for their peers to take at the end.

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MindMeister - MeisterLabs GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free ...more
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free mind maps. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. There are many highly interactive features: printing, sharing (emailing), and collaborating with others in "real time."

tag(s): brainstorming (23), DAT device agnostic tool (199), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Realize that you can only make 3 maps for free, but you can always delete old ones to make room. Play with the tools and toolbars to create a mind map; use toolbars to collaborate, publish, or print diagrams. Creating the organizers is of easy to medium difficulty depending upon how elaborate you desire your organizer to be (don't miss the notes feature!). A handy revision "history" helps you see what changes were made when. See the blog for helpful video tutorials and tips. Note: to use the "real time" collaboration feature, collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access.

Note that maps that are "published" can be seen by the public (read only, so they cannot be altered). If a map is shared via a URL, only those that were "invited" to view the map will be able to see it. However, this does require each viewer to sign up (free) to MindMeister to be able to view this map. You can specify members who may collaborate and make alterations to a map that is not "published." You can also invite other members to view (but not change) unpublished maps.

The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or, you can assign students in cooperative groups to create a mind map as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Curriculumbits - curriculumbits.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find great curriculum materials that would be perfect for students to use on standalone computers for individual students or for group and class work using an Interactive Whiteboard...more
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Find great curriculum materials that would be perfect for students to use on standalone computers for individual students or for group and class work using an Interactive Whiteboard or projector. View the "Featured Resources" section or search the variety of subjects listed in the "Subjects" area. View the "Online Resource Library" to find games, quizzes, animations, and videos in every subject area. Search using specific search terms as well. No registration is required to use materials.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Allow students to choose and use activities to enhance and improve their learning of classroom material. Here are a couple of examples of Whiteboard tools: Whiteboard quiz generator and Whiteboard quiz generator 2 team. Be sure to use resources where students are manipulating the interactives and using the resources for their learning. These resources are best used when they are student centered (student chosen and student run) instead of an activity the teacher performs for the class.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Whiteboard quiz scorer - curriculumbits.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use this Interactive whiteboard screen to keep score of student teams right and wrong answers for whole class quiz games. Enter the names of the 4 teams. Quiz scorer does ...more
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Use this Interactive whiteboard screen to keep score of student teams right and wrong answers for whole class quiz games. Enter the names of the 4 teams. Quiz scorer does not load or retain any actual questions. Use the up and down arrows to add and remove points from teams in accordance to how you choose to quiz students. View the teacher notes for information on how to use.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use this site in ways to maximize student involvement. For example, assign the creation of quiz questions for units and chapters to the students. Use these questions for quizzing of the entire class. Reinvent your role in this process by not being the reader of the question. Instead, take the role of the judge panel needed to arbitrate when judgement calls are required. Provide the top student who has earned the right to skip quizzing to be the emcee. This job can also be rotated among all students (the role of the emcee could also be to explain why answers are right or wrong.) Be sure to have students reflect on correct and incorrect answers to identify misconceptions and correct knowledge.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

This will be great to use in the classroom prior to taking a quiz or test. Veronica, NC, Grades: 5 - 12

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Tagul - tagul.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for ...more
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for any blog entry or web page (including newspapers online) to create a word cloud of the text. This resource is currently free while in beta and intends to keep it free for NON PROFIT only. Enhance basic word clouds by using this site to create clouds in various shapes, use mouse rollover options, use font effects, and more. Elevate your word clouds into an art form. Once registered, change your password by clicking on the profile tab and entering your changes. Before creating a word cloud, agree to their terms that includes only using appropriate content. Copy and paste series of words or use the url of a page where the words can be found. Choose a shape such as a heart, cloud, or geometric patterns. Choose a font as well as other options, and then click "Build the Cloud." Preview your cloud before saving.

tag(s): images (266), vocabulary (324), word choice (26), word clouds (10)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to copy and paste text or provide a url to a page of text as well as determine parameters of more advanced word clouds. Alternately, these word clouds can be kept very simple. After creating the word cloud, be sure to save the image (or use a screen capture) to share with others. Another idea, use the url of the cloud or embed into a place to share such as blog, wiki, or site.

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Help students develop creative fluency by creating their own taguls of words and ideas from scratch. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create taguls of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Collect thoughts about the class subject at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year to determine changes in thoughts about the subject matter.

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Tagxedo - Hardy Leung

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. ...more
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Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. Create a visual representation of a passage to pull out and identify important words or show the text in an interactive, visually appealing way. The resulting cloud pops out the words as you roll over them, so viewers can "see" each word separately. See a sample, created by the TF Edge review team. Explore the gallery for many inspiring examples, including some that use the customizable image shapes uploaded from your own computer (premium feature). Some features may change slightly after the beta phase, but developer Hardy Leung assures TeachersFirst users, "Even after beta you'll be able to save the animated version of the Tagxedo for free to your computer or to the web without the paid version. I may require a membership, though unlikely, but even then I'll make sure there is a free version for teachers and students."

Tagxedo requires Silverlight. The site will appear as a blank page with the "Install Silverlight Plugin" button if your computer does not have it installed. See your tech folks to allow download and installation of this plug-in if school computers do not have it and/or are "locked down."

tag(s): vocabulary (324), word choice (26), word clouds (10)

In the Classroom

NO membership required to create a cloud, though saving may require a (free) membership in the future, according to developer Hardy Leung. Click "Create" and then "Words." Paste URL to "cloud" words from a web page or copy/paste (or type) a passage of words into the given field. (Repeat words to make them larger). Experiment with various settings and "themes" to create the different colors and shapes of the word cloud. Change the theme, shape, direction, layout, and other parameters easily. Click SAVE to easily download a static image of various sizes or take a screenshot using shortcut keys. Saved images do not have the cool "pop-out" feature (rats!), though the developer tells TeachersFirst that users will be able to download animated versions in the future. You can also save and obtain the direct URL to your animated cloud. Be sure to bookmark it or copy/paste the URL for safe keeping in a document, wiki, etc. During beta, the tool allows you to save and copy embed code, but this feature will cost money later.

In the classroom: This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In primary grades. Enter a group of related words into the text box, such as sight words, words with the same spelling cluster, or vocabulary terms. Then have students roll over the words to read them aloud as they pop out (only works in the ONLINE version of the clouds). Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize terms and important vocabulary, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Use themes and shapes that coordinate with the word cloud (for example, use a bird shape when creating a cloud about flight or a heart when interpreting a love poem. Consider using a word cloud as a first week of school activity where students discuss summer vacation or what they did over the summer. As a first day activity, students could also make a cloud with words about themselves, then have classmates guess which cloud matches which person.

For a free gift for special occasions, make word clouds about mom for Mother's Day or Thanksgiving "I am thankful" visual poems. Share them by emailing the URL or in printed form.

Comments

Very versatile, creates word clouds in specific shapes. Adds another dimension. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Evernote - Evernote

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this fantastic application for note-taking and idea collecting from ANY device. Think of Evernote as a ubiquitous set of notebooks ready for you to add and read from ANY ...more
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Use this fantastic application for note-taking and idea collecting from ANY device. Think of Evernote as a ubiquitous set of notebooks ready for you to add and read from ANY computer or web-connected device. Evernote is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. Take snapshots of whiteboards, products, or whatever you like and upload them to Evernote. Search your uploads through the search function which will also search handwritten or printed text sections in photos and images. Sync everything through Evernote across all the platforms. Use Evernote to create notes and to-do lists and even clip entire Web pages. Use to manage passwords or even record audio. Everything added to Evernote is automatically synchronized across platforms and devices and made searchable. Evernote offers a free account as well as a premium paid version. If you use it a LOT, you may max out the free allotments for data, but try it to see! Our editors use it and have never hit the max. Categorize and organize information using tags, note titles, and notebooks. Keep track of several projects with the "Notebooks" feature. Use the web version or downloadable version of Evernote to share read-only notebooks with others. Download Evernote to add an extension to your browser to do web clipping with a click of a button. Click "New" to create a new document in your notebook. Use the search function at the top and even save searches for later use. Safety/security tip: If you have sensitive information (such as passwords, etc.) on your Evernote notebook but want to share other parts? Simply highlight and right click to choose "Encrypt Selected Text" to remove from the page to be shared.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), images (266), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Consider creating a class account that can be used by all students. Spell out the use of the site and what is allowed, not allowed, and the penalties. Even though all students have the same login, create different notebooks for different tasks that students can use to upload information that can be shared by all. Create separate notebooks for student groups who can then share their notebook with other groups. Use Evernote to snapshot and share links, documents, files, and pictures for any group project or class work. Whole class accounts can be used by a class scribe during class and accessed from home for review, etc. If your students are permitted individual accounts, they can collect notes in Evernote and share their research notebooks with you as evidence of completion of that phase of long term projects. Encourage creativity with your gifted students (or any students) by having them set up individual Evernote notebooks to use as "idea bins." Idea bins are a place to collect quotes, snippets of writing or poems they have started, questions and thoughts, artistic project ideas, images they like, or even voice memos to remember creative inspirations. It is important for students to know that idea bins (by whatever name) are an important part of the creative process, even for engineers!

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Cacoo - Nulab, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy way to create diagrams? This free site is easy to use and allows collaboration in creation of drawings. View the overview video on the front page ...more
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Looking for an easy way to create diagrams? This free site is easy to use and allows collaboration in creation of drawings. View the overview video on the front page of this site to familiarize yourself with its functions.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), drawing (78)

In the Classroom

Users must be willing to play with this great resource. Drag shapes from the stencil area. Use the Inspector to add text, change colors, change sizes, and rearrange among many other functions. Use the toolbars along the top to upload an image, add items such as lines, take a snapshot, as well as other snapshots (hover over these buttons to read what each item is.) Use the buttons in the upper right, to export as a PNG, save, or share your drawing. Use the Save URL to embed in a wiki, blog, or other site.

Though an email is required, it is not necessary to begin using this resource. The tool does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If students are using as a group, you may want to spell out specific consequences for project "vandalism," depending on your students. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students.

Use Cacoo much like other drawing and flowchart software. Use to take notes, create decision-making flowcharts, illustrate concepts, sketch a story/plot pattern, and more. Create classification diagrams on the type of animal being studied. Create dichotomous keys for identifying any kind of object or making a decision. Use to identify roles and responsibilities as pre-planning for a group project. Use as a storyboard as part of pre-production for a movie or podcast to be created by either individuals or a group. Ask students to share their storyboard or group responsibilities with you. Use as an alternative to a quiz by having students diagram a process such as oxidation or the steps from a bill to a law.

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Memorize.com - Memorize.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily ...more
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily accessible to all. Choose pre-made flash cards or create your own. If you choose to create your own, you can create an account or let the system create one for you. Options to switch between flashcard, multiple choice, and matching formats are provided. Diagrams and explanatory text can also be included with your choices.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Join the site or let them create an account for you -- but be sure you remember that username, etc. so you can access it again! (email required). Read through the various options or use their "wizards" to create materials.

Create materials for review and practice with basic information, terms, and more. Students can collect and save rows or information they missed to aid with their learning. Ask your students to create their own flashcards or memory set to review before a test or quiz. Have students make practice materials for each other, as well. Learning support teachers will find their students enjoy reviewing more if they are creating something themselves, and the process of MAKING the cards is actually a review in itself.

Share this link on your website for parents to review with their student. This format is very flexible and can be used to create materials for everything from math to Social Studies.

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Word It Out - Worditout.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Create impressive word clouds from any text! What is a word cloud? Word clouds show not only the words in the text sample, but also display the frequency of the ...more
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Create impressive word clouds from any text! What is a word cloud? Word clouds show not only the words in the text sample, but also display the frequency of the words by showing often used words in a larger font. No login or registration required. Click "Create a word cloud," enter or paste your text and then click "word it out." View your word cloud, drag the arrows on the sides of the screen to make larger or smaller, and change the colors and specifics of the word cloud in the space below. Click "Save" to save as either public or private (an email address is required to save.)

tag(s): visualizations (14), vocabulary (324), word choice (26), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to copy/paste text passages (ctrl or command + C, then ctrl or command + V to paste. Think Velcro to stick it there!). If you wish to Save, you must join the site (email required). Alternately, capture the image using screen capture (apple/shift/4 on a Mac or Print Screen on a PC.)

Use a word cloud in virtually any class. With emergent readers, enter multiple words with the same consonant cluster or vowel sound, so they can SEE a visual grouping of that sound on your interactive whiteboard and guess the sound. Project a teacher-created word cloud at the start of a new lesson or unit and have students determine what the lesson will be about. Have students use word clouds to proof their own essays or stories. Use word clouds for students to identify the subject and frequently used words to check if they are on target with their intended message. Have students find overused words in their own writing as part of lessons on word choice. Teachers could create and save a word cloud then share it as a visual prompt for students to work individually or in groups to identify words they know (and the definitions) as well as the words they are unfamiliar with. Create word clouds of passages or stories and allow students to guess the author, title, subject, or meaning of the story. Underscore motifs in literature by creating clouds of passages, especially poetry. Have students work together to make clouds of alternative ways to say "said" or "went" in story-writing to post in your classroom as a reference. Create word clouds of opinion passages to determine the bias of the author and possible reasons for that specific opinion. Make word cloud posters on health topics such as the potential health risks of smoking. Make word clouds of different food groups. Create higher order thinking activities by approaching text in a unique way.

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Brainflips - Brainflips, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are ...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are literally HUNDREDS of ready to go flashcard packets: presidents, addition, algebra, music, and more.

If you are creating your own, you can add images, video, or audio. Study flashcards online or share with others in created study groups. Use flashcards to learn new information (question and answer are side by side,) study (shows the question and then the answer,) or quiz themselves by entering answers. Create a game with the flashcards by using a timer and score board on the site. Share flashcard sets with others by sending a URL address or create study groups to share. View public flashcards created by others by using their search feature.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (46), presidents (131), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You can access the already created flashcards without any account, email, or age requirements. However, if you wish to create flashcards, an email and birth date is required to create an account. Users must be 13 years of age or older.

Using Brainflips: Use the Deck panel to enter flashcard deck title and other basic information. Use the Card panel to add, edit, and change the order of the flashcards in the deck. Create text or multiple choice answers for each flashcard and even enter alternative answers. Click "Insert" above the question field to add images, audio, and video to flashcards.

Safety/Security: Since an email and birth date are required, consider creating a class account for teacher use or for groups of students to use. Create teacher flashcards for class use by creating card decks and providing the URL for students to use. You may want to send students to the flashcards via a direct link to the deck.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names --- all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. You can use multiple tags, too! In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or using teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere with a specific URL that can be placed on any teacher blog or website. No email address is needed to use the cards, only to create the cards. Include the link to your sets on your web page for students to study before tests. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials" with color coding, images, and more.

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Wordnik - Wordnik

Grades
K to 12
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Use Wordnik (merged with the former wordie.org) to find definitions, examples, pronunciations, and more about words. Many examples of the word used in context will help you better understand...more
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Use Wordnik (merged with the former wordie.org) to find definitions, examples, pronunciations, and more about words. Many examples of the word used in context will help you better understand the definitions. No need to register (even though there is an opportunity to sign up), as searching for words does not require a log in. Simply enter your word and click "find a word" or click one of the random offerings on the home page. Several examples, definitions, and other dictionary entries appear, including recent Twitter posts using the word, statistics on its use, and even Flickr photos related to this word. Click on links across the top or scroll down for "related words," "pronunciations," "examples," and "etymology." Under pronunciations, play an audio file to learn how to pronounce the word.

Important note: As with many dictionaries, students will be able to find words that are not appropriate for the classroom. A quick check of the web browser's History will tell you what they have been looking up should you notice a bit too much "interest" in looking up words! Wordnik does add an exclamation point graphic next to inappropriate (swear) words.

If you register, you can add notes to each entry for future use, report typos, and enter information about words. You can also create personal wordlists and more.

As a "social" word tool, Wordnik, is a site for any technology user and could serve as a vocabulary hub for your individual students to become wordaholics by sharing, exploring, commenting, and more -- all about words!

tag(s): dictionaries (56), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use wordnik when students are stumped with definitions or uses of a word. Demonstrate how context clues can help readers understand meanings. Increase vocabulary by finding words that are giving students problems during a lesson and assigning those words to be examined by students. Use wordnik to find words of the day. Students can use wordnik to find examples of the word and create technology or conventional displays of information. Have students create online posters displaying their new vocabulary words. Encourage ESL/ELL students and those with weaker vocabulary to use Wordnik often, possibly creating personal word lists, recording pronunciations, or sharing words with each other (see safety concerns). Use an online poster creator, such as Glogster, (reviewed here). Another technology infused idea: create an online glossary book as a class (or in cooperative learning groups) using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

Since the general public can share, make comments, etc, on this site, use this opportunity to discuss netiquette of commenting, and other appropriate behavior on "social" sites before allowing students to establish accounts. Spell out consequences and be sure you know the usernames and passwords your students use. Less mature students may be very tempted by the opportunities to play with "bad" words or record their voices.

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Funnelbrain - Funnelbrain

Grades
2 to 12
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Be smarter and use smarter flashcards! Browse, use, or create flashcards for studying in a variety of courses from basic to advanced. Take flashcard creation one step further...more
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Be smarter and use smarter flashcards! Browse, use, or create flashcards for studying in a variety of courses from basic to advanced. Take flashcard creation one step further with this free site that not only uses collaboration in the creation of flashcards, but also chooses the next cards based upon correct/incorrect answers in order to move information from short to long term memory. Add explanation, links, and mnemonics to the flashcards. Create and join groups for creation and study of the flashcards. For an overview, watch the video tutorial to learn how best to use Funnelbrain.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (46), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Create a new group by finding an already listed school or adding your own. Create flashcards easily by entering the question, answer, explanations, and mnemonics in the appropriate tabs. Students can create a profile and join or create a group.

Consider creating a class account that has a global login and password that all students can access. Students would need to be cautioned against deleting or changing flashcards created by other students. Students would not be able to join groups using this option. All projects are public. Check your school policy for posting student work online.

Create flashcards for students to study or have students create them as an assignment. Create the original questions of the flashcards and assign students to determine the answers, find links for additional information, and add hints and mnemonics to complete the deck. Have groups of students use the flashcards for study time and for critique of the flashcard deck creator(s.) No matter the topic or subject, this flashcard site has great uses for student learning. Use flash cards for terminology, test review, or reinforcement. Have students create and critique sets as the actual assessment, replacing traditional tests and quizzes.

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Cobocards - Cobocards

Grades
K to 12
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This site allows you to create flashcards, and includes sharing and group capabilities. Many teachers will be able to navigate this free site very easily. Enter vocabulary terms and...more
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This site allows you to create flashcards, and includes sharing and group capabilities. Many teachers will be able to navigate this free site very easily. Enter vocabulary terms and definitions as well as any html (web page language), such as images and charts to create electronic flashcards and quizzes for word study to use in language or other content areas. Create individual sets of flashcards, or invite others to interact and learn the same words. Teacher or students can create groups to share word lists. As with other collaborative tools, the revision history is easily accessible.

tag(s): flash cards (46), grammar review (37), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Sharing with friends for collaboration does require the sending of an email invitation.

Explore the guided tour to learn an overview or find answers to specific use questions. Save your "sets" and decide whether you want them to be completely public, just for you personally, or shared with a "group." Create your own groups for each class or subject. Publish your cards for others to use. Published sets can be altered to create a new and personalized set.

Teachers in lower grades will want to create cards their students can use and perhaps have more techno-savvy help with the process. Content and English teachers may choose to set up their own network of users. Learning support teachers could suggest that their students create their own flashcard sets to assist learning of the concepts. Use the interactive whiteboard or projector for quick flashcard or electronic testing using your sets as a whole class or in small groups in the classroom. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period.

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Padlet - Padlet

Grades
2 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a ...more
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Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a new board. You can add images, links, videos, and more. You can return to add more later. Installing Padlet Mini in your browser allows you to add the page you are browsing to your Padlet and gives you a shortcut to view your Padlets. Settings allow you to make your wall completely open for public contributions, completely private, or moderated by you (you approve all contributions before they show). This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), DAT device agnostic tool (199), gamification (65), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."

Use a Padlet to collect webquest links and information to share with students. By leaving the wall open to comments, solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.

Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.

Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

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Jeopardy Labs - Matt Johnson

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking to make a great jeopardy game with no fees, registration, or powerpoint slides involved? Now you can with Jeopardy Labs! Create your own Jeopardy game or browse the already...more
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Looking to make a great jeopardy game with no fees, registration, or powerpoint slides involved? Now you can with Jeopardy Labs! Create your own Jeopardy game or browse the already created jeopardy games! Be aware: there are over 6,000 Jeopardy Templates ready to use in the classroom, beginning at kindergarten! You may notice that some of the already created Jeopardy Templates are not in "question" format. The topics include nearly everything one can imagine: European Settlement, South America, various books, specific math topics, media, aircraft, and many, MANY more.

Note that all jeopardy templates created become part of the domain and can be used by others.

tag(s): grammar (216), keyboarding (38), literature (275), meiosis (15)

In the Classroom

Use any already-created game as a quick assessment of prior knowledge or review on projector or interactive whiteboard.

To prevent others from editing your template you create a password when you start. Others will be unable to edit your created game without your password. After creating your password, you are taken to the familiar blue jeopardy screen. Here, enter the title at the top and the topics at the top of the columns. Click on a dollar amount under each topic to enter the clue and the What is... question in a pop-up box. Click done to enter the information. The dollar value square becomes blank to let you know it was completed. When done, click "Save." Click on Browse to view random template titles or enter a term into the search bar. On the "Build" page, follow the quick instructions and even browse tips for editing. When done, an internet link will be given for your Jeopardy game. Put this link in any website, blog, or wiki for students to click on and review information for study.

Use this as an introductory activity to uncover misconceptions. For example, prior to a unit on viruses, create a jeopardy game about myths and truths about viruses. Share the Jeopardy activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these as a starting point for understanding concepts in the unit. Create review games for students to learn and remember content. After making one game together as a class, allow students to make their own games to challenge each other on segments of the material. This not only provides students with material to review, but the creation of a game takes thought and understanding of the material. Be sure that students understand how to create such a game and how to choose parts carefully. Check student games prior to saving. Maintain a page of Jeopardy links for review of a wide range of curricular topics.

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