TeachersFirst Edge - Utilities

 

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Sign up genius - Skylark Productions

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create private or public sign ups for easy creation of snack lists, volunteer sheets, party planners, parent/teacher conference planning, or project preparation. Sign up for free using...more
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Create private or public sign ups for easy creation of snack lists, volunteer sheets, party planners, parent/teacher conference planning, or project preparation. Sign up for free using an email address (email verification not required.) View your created sign ups under "My Account." Be sure to view the Frequently Asked Questions for help in using this simple resource. Find complete guides for an even smoother sign up process under the "Planning Resources" tab. Follow the directions for creating your sign up including all the details. "Invite" and "Publish" to set your privacy options as well as enter the email information to send to others. Add a web button to your site to take users directly to your home page to find active sign ups (find this function under "My Account").

tag(s): charts and graphs (195)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, video cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with your signups! Share this tool at Back to School night (and with your room parent or PTO). Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit.

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Print what you like - printwhatyoulike.com

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Hate to waste paper? Use this free resource to print web pages without wasted white space, ads, or extra pages. Enter the URL (web address) of the website you wish ...more
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Hate to waste paper? Use this free resource to print web pages without wasted white space, ads, or extra pages. Enter the URL (web address) of the website you wish to print, rearrange the elements, and print! To rearrange, edit the items on the left navigation bar. Choose to show or hide the background, images, or margins. Change the font or font size. Save your changes as a pdf for later viewing. Create an account for more features such as "change sets" which allow your formatting options to be applied to other pages from the same website and clips. Use the clips or pieces from various web pages to create a simple page that houses them all. Add the bookmarklet to your browser by simply dragging it to your toolbar. Be sure to check out the demo and videos.

tag(s): conservation (128)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom to save paper and printing ink. Teach students to remove unwanted images and change margins to fit the content on a page. Be sure students save the page as a pdf to view and print again later if needed. Model an environmentally friendly classroom with the use of this resource. Be sure to check with your tech department on the ability to add bookmarklets to the browser toolbar. This resource can be used without signing up - a bonus for the classroom! Use this when technology access is low or you want to print an activity for students to do when you are not there to supervise the technology use. Create in-class reading from blogs or other websites appropriate for your classroom. Make a pdf that can be opened on your interactive whiteboard without all the ads and clutter of the web page so students can annotate, highlight, and even practice reading comprehension skills such as "main idea." List this link on your class website for families to try at home! Use it to share articles with parents, as well--as long as you model proper behavior by giving credit. Best practice ALWAYS includes a url and title/author on any printed article from the web.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Plagium - Septet Systems

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Identify plagiarized work quickly and easily with this free site. Simply copy and paste your text into the text box. Click the checkboxes to search over the web or the ...more
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Identify plagiarized work quickly and easily with this free site. Simply copy and paste your text into the text box. Click the checkboxes to search over the web or the news as well as advanced search options in different languages and other features. View results in a timeline form as well as summaries of where the passages are on the web. Click the links in the summary to go directly to the pages. Click "Check URL" along the top left. Enter a URL instead of copying and pasting text if your document is on a specific web page. Create an alert to enter your text found on the web. Plagium checks the web and alerts you when it has been used. This feature requires registration.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (50), plagiarism (37)

In the Classroom

Use Plagium for free without login unless you need advanced features such as ongoing alerts for plagiarism of your material by others. Use this service to check for student plagiarism in assigned work. Have students demonstrate it on interactive whiteboard or projector as you teach about plagiarism and/or evaluating web sources. This is a powerful way to show how difficult it is to determine original content on the web. Students will also find this tool useful in checking whether their sources are legitimate. Students may find this a useful service to be sure their own work is not plagiarized.

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SimilarSites - Similar Group

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an alternative site to one you are unable to access or use? Use SimilarSites to search types of sites and read recommended replacements. View the title, description, and...more
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Looking for an alternative site to one you are unable to access or use? Use SimilarSites to search types of sites and read recommended replacements. View the title, description, and click on the URL to go directly to the site. Click on review to provide a review of the original site being compared. While older students can use this site themselves, teachers of younger students could also find this tool useful as a professional resource to find sources/replacements. The site uses the keywording that site creators provide and other metadata to find the "similar" sites.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Find similar sites such as for photo editing, etc. when in the need of a new resource. Allow students time to look at the alternatives and make a choice based on their needs and availability. Create a class discussion about certain aspects of the sites being analyzed. Art teachers can use this tool to find artist portfolios to share -- and to avoid sites with art content you had best not to share in a school setting!
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iRubric - Reazon Systems, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create your own rubric for multimedia and other projects or search the gallery from many that already exist for all grade levels. (Also use the gallery to get great ...more
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Create your own rubric for multimedia and other projects or search the gallery from many that already exist for all grade levels. (Also use the gallery to get great project ideas!) Search the type of rubric or project to find a related rubric. Use the buttons at the bottom to preview, edit (customize and save your own version from existing ones), or copy. Share by URL or embed code in a wiki, blog, or site. Keep bookmarked rubrics in your account on the site. Create free personal or group accounts (for educators). Create classes, join educator groups, and more.

tag(s): assessment (104), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

To save rubrics and modify existing ones, educators must create an account. Find great project ideas, rubric examples and criteria. Build on the expertise of others to create excellent rubrics. Consider creating categories and using the advice of students to help identify criteria that is important to the project. You might even want to create differentiated rubrics to match multiple intelligences, learning styles, or varied ability levels. With such easy adaptations, you can start alter different versions very easily.

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Portfoliovillage - Site Maker Software Company

Grades
4 to 12
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and ...more
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and drop editor makes it easy. There are also editable flash widgets and the thousands of stock images and animations. You can create a flash portfolio website with media rich components: videos, audio, a play list, create forms, chats, and blogs. Be sure to watch the introduction video and read about the features provided.

PortfolioVillage must be updated every six months to stay free. Your portfolio will be deleted if not updated.

For those of you with iPads, this Flash site won't work for you. However, you might try Google Swiffy reviewed here. Google Swiffy is a tool that lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone.

tag(s): creativity (116), portfolios (30)

In the Classroom

There are a gazillion ways to use an eportfolio! Have your students upload their current and past work that they think they might want to showcase. They can have an area for all their different talents whether it is drawing, writing, acting, creating games or codes, designing anything, or athletic prowess. Students could create an online presence to share in college or job applications.

You may want to start out slowly, allowing your students to choose a talent that may fit within traditional curriculum. Have students select several pieces to demonstrate their talent and upload it to a working portfolio. You can then have the students reflect on each piece in writing. Students should then choose one artifact to showcase; have them write about why that was their choice. The eportfolio can be presented in class by students using a projector or an interactive whiteboard. Teachers who have students for more than one year (such as in a gifted program or Art classes) can encourage students to show growth in their talents.

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Strike - Zurb

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create and collaborate on to-do lists with this easy-to-use tool. You can create an account or not. If you do not create an account, be sure to SAVE the URL ...more
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Create and collaborate on to-do lists with this easy-to-use tool. You can create an account or not. If you do not create an account, be sure to SAVE the URL of your list to return later. Mark list items as completed by dragging them to the left or right of the list window or simply check them off. Double click the list item to edit it as needed then click off of it to save. Send the url for your list to collaborate with others. See what others have done by clicking on the small person icon across the top. When making changes, enter your name, and the site keeps track of who completed specific items. What a great twist on your "to do" list.

tag(s): organizational skills (127)

In the Classroom

Use this simple tool to create "to do" lists for group projects or research. Be sure to spend time breaking down complex tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. This is a great tool to help students learn time management when organizing a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be known and the best steps to take to complete the project. Organize tasks and set due dates to assist students in being timely completing projects. Use the tool together a few times on a projector or interactive whiteboard, returning to check off items, then have student groups try it as they do projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers at all levels will appreciate this tool for professional organization of their own tasks, especially during busy times like report cards!

Comments

Excellent for time management, long term projects, even personal projects! Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Accompl.sh - Accomplsh, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is...more
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is not meant as a "to do" list but as a way to make meaningful changes toward life goals. Create your list by answering "I want to..." Create a title for the list, add 10 goals, then lock in the goals. Click on a goal to create a comment (these can be identified as progress reports using the checkbox below the comment box.) Accompl.sh has a user community that can help in motivating you towards your goals, so be aware that your input is visible to the public. Whether it is New Years or another milestone day, this is the tool to get you started.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Identify the goals needed to become a better student, be more organized, or other life or study skills that students would find useful. This is a great "tracking" system to help students in class and at home. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, so families can make group goals together. Promote solid study skills and project planning using this tool.

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Google Swiffy - Google

Grades
8 to 12
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This tool lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone. Choose the file, then upload and convert. Swiffy renders ...more
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This tool lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone. Choose the file, then upload and convert. Swiffy renders a product that is very good, with a slightly larger file size than the original. This simple to use, one step solution provides an alternative for viewing Flash based ads and animations. This site is unable to convert files that contain audio.

tag(s): computers (92)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to convert animations or other items needed in class to a file that students can view on their non-Flash devices such as iTouch or iPad.
 

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Paper Rater - paperrater.com

Grades
6 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free ...more
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At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free version you are able to check for plagiarism, grammar, vocabulary, word choice and style (transitions). No login is required. PaperRater offers a premium version for a fee.

tag(s): book reports (36), editing (66), essays (22), grammar (215), plagiarism (37), proofreading (24), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to find their document and copy and paste into the correct fields. Follow the easy directions to determine grammar errors and create a better document. Use without a login or sign up.

Have students use Paper Rater to check their rough drafts. Have students work in pairs, as a peer review, to help each other improve their papers using the suggestions given by Paper Rater. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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TeachersFirst: Sifting Through the Filters - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Web filtering is a common topic of frustration and mystification for teachers. Do you wonder why it's there, how it works, and what other schools do? Are there sites you ...more
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Web filtering is a common topic of frustration and mystification for teachers. Do you wonder why it's there, how it works, and what other schools do? Are there sites you read about but cannot access? Are you worried that your students may access "bad" things under your supervision? Learn the basics of Internet filters, consider key questions, and take a quick poll in Sifting Through the Filters, another teacher-friendly interactive module. In just a few minutes, you will gain a new perspective on filtering and some ideas to advocate for positive change (for best viewing, turn off your pop-up blocker).

tag(s): internet safety (104)

In the Classroom

Read through this on your own or share it in a staff meeting where you discuss use of the Internet and teachers' role in Internet safety. You may also want to share the link with your principal or other decision-makers to open dialog on ways to include teachers in the process.
 

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Fraboom Online Children's Museum - Flying Rhinoceros

Grades
K to 8
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Inspire the cartoonist in your class. Fraboom free Daily Doodle live page provides online art teachers, learning communities, video tutorials, and interactive activities. Fraboom TV...more
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Inspire the cartoonist in your class. Fraboom free Daily Doodle live page provides online art teachers, learning communities, video tutorials, and interactive activities. Fraboom TV has videos on how to draw faces, noses and mouths as well as educational videos about dinosaurs, ants, outer space and much more. There are also engaging interactive books to listen to and view.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (66), artists (77), comics and cartoons (74), creative writing (168), drawing (78)

In the Classroom

Inspire expressive writing with cartooning. Play the video lessons about drawing cartoon faces as part of a writing mini-lesson. Encourage students to incorporate evocative facial features in their story illustrations. Afterward, prompt students to include expressive language in their writing that supports their drawings. Be sure to preview the online learning space before allowing students to participate. Fraboom monitors all chats and content before posting. An adult needs to enroll students in order for them to participate in the online drawing classes. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in online discussions. Spell out permissible use and consequences in advance. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. Be sure to screen all portions of the site before implementing it in class and check if it is available when using your school's network.

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Speakit! - Google Chrome

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, it ...more
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Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, it works exclusively on Google Chrome. You can use this extension in many different languages. All you do is highlight the text, and it reads it aloud. The tool works only on website text, not documents, etc. This extension uses text to speech service and might not be accessible to those whose computers prevent download/installation of software. There are some errors in the program they are still fixing.

tag(s): listening (92), text to speech (17)

In the Classroom

Use Speakit as your teacher's helper. Be sure to test it out on classroom computers and devices before using it with students. During research or computer explorations, allow students to use this read aloud feature. Honor the students who heavily rely on hearing as their preferred form of comprehending material. In lower grades, research on computers now becomes an easier task. This extension is perfect for ESL/ELL or learning support students to help with vocabulary development, comprehension, fluency, and repetitions.

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PocketMod - PocketMod.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This VERY simple tool lets you or your students make simple, folded small booklets that fit in a pocket. You choose what will appear on each page: from blank space ...more
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This VERY simple tool lets you or your students make simple, folded small booklets that fit in a pocket. You choose what will appear on each page: from blank space to lines to calendars or checklists. Then print the single sheet (and run copies!) for a student "organizer" useful for homework assignments, long-term project deadlines, checklists, even student-made study guides. Students use the booklets the old fashioned way: by WRITING in them; but the clever, customizable format lets you teach organizational skills in a way that works.

See a sample PocketMod checklist, notes, and calendar booklet (with a separate page of folding directions) and one made from a PDF of the Pennsylvania Science and Technology Standards, converted using the free downloadable software.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (127)

In the Classroom

Go to PocketMod and follow the simple drag-and-drop visual screen to create the PocketMod from their many organizer options. Print and fold (NO Acrobat Reader required). More skilled users should consider downloading the free "PDF to PocketMod" converter that will take any pdf document and format it to the small, foldable format. If you have handouts in pdf format or can make them from your scanner/copier, you can make ANYTHING into a PocketMod. The converter assumes you have Acrobat Reader.

Have students design their own study guides before a chapter test or maintain a project checklist to be submitted along with the completed project to build better organizational skills. Warning: Students will quickly learn that PocketMod is a great way to make CHEAT SHEETS. Be forewarned of student cleverness!
 
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Daytum - Ryan Case and Nicholas Feltron

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Are you looking to collect and analyze class data easily? Choose from 16 different ways to view data. Decide the items you wish to count (the free plan allows up ...more
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Are you looking to collect and analyze class data easily? Choose from 16 different ways to view data. Decide the items you wish to count (the free plan allows up to 1000 different things to be counted.) Also determine the category the items can be placed into (use up to 24 different categories in the free account.) Add a statement panel to your display panel to add notes and make comments about the data. Be sure to click the How To at the bottom of the home page to learn how to use the Daytum site. Also click the "Watch A Screencast" link for additional help. Data can also be collected via text or Twitter tweets.

tag(s): data (148), infographics (42), statistics (123), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Some of the best data to collect is anything that is a habit: types of drinks students drink at home, hours watching TV/playing games/doing homework, meals/fast food, etc. Use the site to collect data from other students or classes for a Math, Social Studies, or Psychology class. Use Daytum for a Science class by counting animals at a feeder, recycling efforts, amount of paper used in the classroom, days of rain/no rain, etc. Anything that can be counted can be used by Daytum! Be sure to identify students who will be counters and recorders of the data.

Before using Daytum, be sure to follow the directions on the How To page. Be sure to decide the goal first and the data to be collected. Having an idea of the kind of data to be collected as well as how it will be displayed is necessary before using. This tool is best used as a class activity rather than creating individual accounts. Create a class account and use a class computer or computer attached to a projector or whiteboard to collect data as students enter the room. Set up the parameters of the data to be collected (or enlist the help of an ambitious student.)

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Shareaholic.com - shareaholic.com

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free Firefox or Chrome add-on to quickly share sites and content with others in your network. Download the add-on and click the Shareaholic button to share what you ...more
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Use this free Firefox or Chrome add-on to quickly share sites and content with others in your network. Download the add-on and click the Shareaholic button to share what you are reading easily with others. Customize the add-on to offer only the ways you want to share by choosing only certain services such as: Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Delicious or Google Reader.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

After installing this add-on, choose the applications you wish to share on the next screen by simply clicking on the names. Protect your settings by creating a username and password. Click profile to create your account. Click on the connections tab to allow Shareaholic to access your Facebook account among others.

Use this service where add-ons are allowed to be used on the computers. Recommend only the services allowed by your district such as Google Reader or Diigo. Students can easily share with their classmates using approved services. Students should be made aware of proper sharing of information and consequences for inappropriate use.

Use this browser add-on to quickly and easily share with others, generating a library of information (articles, bookmarks, and other data) that all students can use. For example, when studying the animal kingdom, world wars, works of Shakespeare, or other content, assign students the task of collectively sharing articles and sites that they find to enhance the learning of all students in the classroom. Consider assigning each group a different aspect of the information to be found which would result in an unbelievable bank of links for the entire unit of study. Decide which service you would wish to use such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, & bookmarklets.

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Drop It To Me - JAJAdesign

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
DropItToMe is a nifty tool that complements DropBox (reviewed here). It allows you to create a secure email address that is password protected so...more
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DropItToMe is a nifty tool that complements DropBox (reviewed here). It allows you to create a secure email address that is password protected so that anyone you provide with this information can send you files. The files go to your Dropbox account. This is bigger and better than regular email. DropItToMe can accommodate files that are too large to be sent through regular email. This can also help when you may not be able to access email accounts because of filtering software and firewalls. Dropittome makes the need for access to email for sending documents obsolete. Note: Some schools block Dropbox, so check first!

tag(s): homework (46)

In the Classroom

This tool would be mighty handy for online assignments and anything that is completed digitally. Best of all, as the teacher you can set up one email account, share the password with all of your students, and they can send you files. They never need to access anything but this website. This is extremely handy for those who are conducting or pushing towards paperless classrooms.

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Interesting Ways - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. ...more
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Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. Topics range from "Ideas for Class Blog Posts" to "Use Web Conferencing in the Classroom" to "Use QR Codes In the Classroom" and countless other topics. Many Google Tools are listed here also. There is so much more on this site that you just have to go and investigate! This is definitely a must-see.

Users can comment on this site and the contents. Be sure to preview before having students investigate on their own. And be sure students are clear about your expectations regarding their own commenting on this site.

tag(s): qr codes (21), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

This is a professional resource to save in your favorites and share with your friends! With older students, challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one "interesting way" and then create a project (using the suggestions in their "interesting way") to teach the class about a topic currently being taught. Make the choices on this page the options for a student research presentation. What a fabulous way to truly learn the material.... teach it to the rest of the class! Students will also gain expertise at choosing the best tool for the task, a true 21st century skill!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This should now read "Thirty-Two Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher".

Editorial Note: we have updated our review. Thank you
Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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GoodReads - Good Reads

Grades
10 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Goodreads--it's an intersection between Facebook, your local book club, and your neighborhood library. While it is a social networking site (and TF warns all teachers of the complications...more
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Goodreads--it's an intersection between Facebook, your local book club, and your neighborhood library. While it is a social networking site (and TF warns all teachers of the complications and dangers of encouraging such sites in a school setting), English and social science teachers, especially, will find benefit in the intellectual commentaries written about certain books. Perusing this site is like viewing the personal library of all your friends. You may want to create your own Goodreads page to prove to your students and colleagues that you take reading seriously. It will encourage your students to do likewise. You may even want to form a network of teachers to post valuable educational books for professional development. Of course, if monitored closely, your high school students will enjoy creating their own Goodreads page to promote their favorite 'good reads.' We definitely suggest that you watch the 'tour' at the top right to learn about the inner workings of this site. Don't miss the Quotes area, available by clicking "more quotes" after the featured one in the sidebar.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (121), independent reading (129), quotations (23), social networking (113)

In the Classroom

Share this site to promote independent reading as a life habit or as a way to facilitate book discussion and book sharing among your mature students. Since the site is intended for the general public, not just for schools, it includes ALL books and open discussions. Be sure to have discussions about safety concerns in an online environment. You might also want to use a whole-class account to be able to monitor activity. Have students initial their own comments. Use the quotes available on this site as writing prompts or daily class starters or encourage students to "collect" their own favorite quotes about writing and other topics. For more visual students, suggest that they create an online multimedia response space for their independent reading using Glogster, reviewed here. They can include quotes, images, and responses to the books they discover via Goodreads.

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Alternative to... - alternativeto.net

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Alternative to... and find a new alternative to one of your favorite online tools. Use the social-network powered database to suggest the new application. Find featured applications...more
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Use Alternative to... and find a new alternative to one of your favorite online tools. Use the social-network powered database to suggest the new application. Find featured applications ready to view. Use the tabs below to find the applications with the "Most views," "Most likes," "Recent," or even those that do not have an alternative. Join/follow the site to vote on favorite and alternative apps as well as uploading new applications to be considered.

tag(s): social networking (113)

In the Classroom

Click on one of the applications to see a great list of alternatives that may meet your needs or those of your students. Offer this site as a means for students to differentiate and express their understanding of the content in different ways. In a technology class, provide time for groups to explore the variety of options and report on ease of use and features for each. Be sure to check whether the sites listed are blocked by any filters in your school first.

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