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TeachersFirst's Summer Sparklers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of editors' choices from TeachersFirst will spark summer excitement for parents and kids alike. Whether your want to create something, ignite new learning, or hold on...more
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This collection of editors' choices from TeachersFirst will spark summer excitement for parents and kids alike. Whether your want to create something, ignite new learning, or hold on to what you already know, you will savor these safe, reviewer-recommended resources. Be sure to share with your friends, neighbors, and family. Teachers will want to share this page with students departing for summer break. Summer will never be "boring" again!

tag(s): enrichment (13), summer (12)

In the Classroom

Share the link to this special collection via your class web page, newsletter, or email to all your students as they depart for vacation. You will help parents and students alike. Avoid the "summer slide."

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Alternative to... - alternativeto.net

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K to 12
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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...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 (112)

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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PBWorks - PBWorks. Inc.

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

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

tag(s): social networking (112), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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Ramo Games - Ramo

Grades
K to 8
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This site contains many educational games sorted by categories. The range of topics goes from Math to reading and much more. There are geography map activities, logic puzzles, Fire...more
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This site contains many educational games sorted by categories. The range of topics goes from Math to reading and much more. There are geography map activities, logic puzzles, Fire Safety, and much more! Apps are also included for iphone users to download. Activities are a compilation of Ramo's own content and different resources on the internet, and the site is updated regularly.

tag(s): keyboarding (38), logic (235), maps (288), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computer and use it as a center. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate games students will use for specific content practice. This is definitely a link to provide on your class website or blog for students to access both in and out of school.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cliff Notes Math Study Guide - Wiley Publishing

Grades
7 to 12
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Understand basic math and algebra, as well as advanced math topics like calculus and statistics. These free CliffsNotes articles can help when you're doing math homework and taking...more
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Understand basic math and algebra, as well as advanced math topics like calculus and statistics. These free CliffsNotes articles can help when you're doing math homework and taking math tests. Articles begin with Algebra 1 and basic math skills and continue through Statistics and Trigonometry. Each article gives a written overview of the topic along with diagrams and charts. Each also contains a link on how to cite the article. Resources also include glossaries for Pre-Agebra, Geometry, and Statistics. Although the site is set up as a supplement to the familiar Cliff Notes books available as study guides, these materials are free and useful as resources in the math classroom. This site does include some unobtrusive advertisements.

tag(s): statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a supplement to resources used in the classroom for learning basic math skills. Use this site in English class as a lesson for citing internet articles. Share the site on your classroom website or blog for students to use as a resource when working at home. Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about math concepts and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.

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Digizen.org - Childnet International

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides information for kids, parents, and educators on the topic of digital citizenship. The site is broken down into three sections and is color coded so you know ...more
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This site provides information for kids, parents, and educators on the topic of digital citizenship. The site is broken down into three sections and is color coded so you know whether the material is for children, parents or teachers. The site contains interactives, lesson plans, movies and activities.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43), internet safety (108), safety (92)

In the Classroom

This site will be a good addition to any internet safety and awareness program. Teachers, counselors and librarians could put this site on the school or class webpage as a resource for parents and students to access. Use a projector or an interactive whiteboard and view the movie "Let's Fight it Together." Afterward have students do one of the activities contained in the downloadable lesson plan. Be sure to check out the "Things to Do" section for additional student activities, like password creation, digital values, and role playing scenarios. Videotape the role plays and have student groups upload them to TeacherTube, reviewed here. Challenge students to create an online poster using CheckThis, reviewed here, about the information they learned from Digizen.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use - Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides professional resources, articles, and handouts for parents, teachers, counselors and librarians to use to educate themselves and students about cyberbullying. Nancy...more
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This site provides professional resources, articles, and handouts for parents, teachers, counselors and librarians to use to educate themselves and students about cyberbullying. Nancy Willard is the head of the center. She is one of the top U.S. researchers and voices on Internet Safety and teaching about responsible Internet use. There are some materials for sale on this site, but there is plenty that is free.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43), internet safety (108), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Use the handouts and resources as part of a schoolwide anti-cyberbullying campaign. Have a parent information night, and provide them with the Parent Information Handbook that can be found in the "Articles and Reports" section. Send articles home with your weekly newsletter to keep parents informed about the latest information on cyberbullying. Have students create anti-cyberbullying glogs using GlogsterEDU (reviewed here) or traditional paper posters.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cyberbullying Research Center - Cyberbullying Research Center

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides parents and educators with handouts, publications, and videos that can be used to educate students, parents and teachers about cyberbullying. This website is updated...more
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This site provides parents and educators with handouts, publications, and videos that can be used to educate students, parents and teachers about cyberbullying. This website is updated frequently, so check back often as you teach your students about the dangers of cyberbullying.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43), internet safety (108), safety (92)

In the Classroom

This site is a one stop shop for information on cyberbullying. Use the resources from this site to put together a parent information night on cyberbullying. Teachers, librarians and counselors can use the videos and present them at a staff meeting. Purchase copies of the book "Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard" and run a book club. Post the links to the resources for students on your website for students to access from home or during library time. Include this resource as part of a schoolwide anti-cyberbullying campaign, challenging students to make their own anti-cyberbullying posters, glogs, or songs.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Digital Is: National Writing Project - The National Writing Project

Grades
K to 12
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The Digital Is website hosts resources, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world. This special resource from the National...more
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The Digital Is website hosts resources, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world. This special resource from the National Writers Project looks at what digital writing is, what it might look like in practice, and the many new multi-media authoring tools and websites that redefine the kinds of writing students can compose in our classrooms. Writing today is so much more than pens and paper. Digital Is explores how we write, share, collaborate, publish, and participate today and in the future, and what that means for the teaching of writing. It is an emerging knowledge-base created and curated by its community of educators, kindergarten through university level. In today's world of texting, tweeting, blogging, and social networking, young people need new literacies to succeed in the information rich, fast paced world, and schools need to adapt teaching practices to equip students with the technology-related communication skills they need to thrive in the global workplace.

tag(s): multimedia (57), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites to integrate new technologies for 21st century learning. Then make a point of stopping to explore the new ideas on this site regularly -- or whenever you need inspiration. Challenge yourself to start by using one of these new writing ideas per marking period. You may get hooked. Teaching writing is undoubtedly undergoing a huge change, and the models, tips, and information from Digital Is can help you discover how to use digital writing as a means to develop critical thinking, strategies, and skills that enrich learning beyond just the traditional. An added bonus to trying these ideas is that your students will see writing as something "now" not something "required." Make digital writing part of your teaching vocabulary.
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Stop Cyberbullying - WiredKids Inc

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides information for kids, parents, and educators on the topic of cyberbullying. Learn what cyberbullying is, prevention, what's the law, and more. Each section is broken...more
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This site provides information for kids, parents, and educators on the topic of cyberbullying. Learn what cyberbullying is, prevention, what's the law, and more. Each section is broken down by age groups (ages 7-10, 11-13, or 14-17). Each age level includes the following areas: Are you a cyberbully?, Take 5!, Ms. Parry's guide to correct online etiquette (Netiquette), and "Because I can."

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43), internet safety (108), safety (92)

In the Classroom

This site will be a good addition to any internet safety program. Put this link on your class webpage as a resource for parents. The site is quite text heavy so use this site to help you put together a cyberbullying presentation. Administer the "Are you a cyberbully?" quiz and have students discuss the results in small groups. Use the information found in Ms. Parry's guide to correct online etiquette and have students work in groups to create skits. Teachers could use the materials section to create handouts and lessons.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual Pumpkin Carving - Kevin Jarrett, NCS Tech blog

Grades
K to 8
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This elementary computer teacher (and acclaimed teacher-leader in educational technology) has collected the very best of virtual pumpkin carving sites on his class blog. Scroll to the...more
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This elementary computer teacher (and acclaimed teacher-leader in educational technology) has collected the very best of virtual pumpkin carving sites on his class blog. Scroll to the wonderful Shockwave file version hosted right on this blog and to several other virtual pumpkin links below it. Go far beyond "mouse practice" to creative designs. You may be tempted to purchase several real pumpkins to try out the designs you work out here.

tag(s): fall (16), fall festival (5), halloween (40), holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Share these sites as part of pumpkin day at your school as you count and graph pumpkin seeds in math class, prepare pumpkin recipes in science, and write pumpkin stories. Save the mess and make a virtual pumpkin carving station on an interactive whiteboard or projector as part of a Fall Festival. Take a screen shot of your "best" pumpkin to accompany student writing on your class blog. On Windows, press the PrntScrn key to COPY your screen, then PASTE it into a document. You will want to use the crop tool to eliminate stuff around the edges. On a Mac, it's shift+command+4 to get a tool you use to select the portion of your screen to "screenshot." Then use the image file saved on your desktop as your illustration. You might even want to make a class book of pumpkin designs and stories.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Safety Land - AT&T

Grades
1 to 4
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Safety Land is an easy to use Internet safety game for younger student to learn about Internet safety by taking a virtual animated trip with Captain Broadband to help them ...more
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Safety Land is an easy to use Internet safety game for younger student to learn about Internet safety by taking a virtual animated trip with Captain Broadband to help them stay safe on line. Visit the library, mall, and school during your journey to learn more about Internet safety.

tag(s): bullying (52), computers (94), internet safety (108), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work individually or in pairs to use their mouse or keypad to become a certified hero by clicking on the answers to 8 multiple-choice questions. Upon completion, you can print an Internet Safety Certificate and a copy of the questions for review. Make frequent reference to the basic principles learned from this site to reinforce them whenever students go online. Have cooperative learning groups explore this site together and write down the key topics highlighted at this site. Challenge groups to create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here, highlighting the Internet safety tips they learned while visiting this site. Be sure to share the link with parents on your class website or in your class newsletter. They will appreciate the cooperative approach to protecting their children and can reinforce the same skills at home.
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color hunter - color hunter

Grades
5 to 12
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Color coordination has never been easier. Color Hunter generates a complete color palette directly from a photograph. Upload your own digital image or access color schemes from previously...more
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Color coordination has never been easier. Color Hunter generates a complete color palette directly from a photograph. Upload your own digital image or access color schemes from previously loaded Flick'r API photo thumbnails. Search for color schemes with a tag, "hex" color code, or an image's URL. Locate and click on a desirable color swatch and new color ranges and photographs appear. Each color comes with a useful color code. You can also use Color Hunter to separate out colors from a photo to "see" what colors might be used to create a painting of the same subject matter. Users do not need to open an account to access the tools in Color Hunter. Having an account does provide a "favorites" file to store previous photos and palettes. There are ads along the right side of the screen and links to other sites across the bottom of the page. They are not obtrusive but remember to advise students to avoid them.

tag(s): design (84), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to use this tool to enhance projects and presentations. With "Color Hunter," multimedia presentations can have the look and feel of their subject. For example, enhance a report on Ancient Greece by entering a key word such as Parthenon and immediately receive color schemes characteristic of this period in time. Suggest this page as a tool to help students create online posters using sites such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or GlogsterEDU reviewed here. Students studying web design can use this free site to develop web pages around a key photo. Art teachers can also use this tool on a projector or interactive whiteboard to show analogous/complementary color schemes in photos, then "pull" the colors to help students "see" them.

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YoLink - TigerLogic Corp.

Grades
4 to 12
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Go beyond a normal search with YoLink. YoLink looks into pages and documents for context based searching. One click tools seamlessly edit and use the content in a new document. ...more
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Go beyond a normal search with YoLink. YoLink looks into pages and documents for context based searching. One click tools seamlessly edit and use the content in a new document. Use the desktop application or the browser plug in. Add a search widget to your blog or site. The desktop application requires Windows. Browser plug-ins can be used with Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer on Windows or Mac. Use the search bar in the upper right hand corner of the YoLink site to search your term. View the search results not only by a title and link, but also excerpts of paragraphs with the search term highlighted. Click on the excerpt to be taken to the exact spot on the website where it is found! No more scanning page(s.) Click to check the box next to the excerpt, and choose from options in the upper left to star, share (with a social network,) or save (to Google Docs.) Others can use the search tool right from the box at top right to "see into" their search results with new tools.

tag(s): note taking (32), search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Familiarize yourself with the specifics of YoLink by viewing the information on the front page.

Be sure to teach copyright (for material instantly copied to a Google doc) and how to use good keywords to search when using this tool. Students may find comparing results of YoLink with those of Google, Wolfram Alpha, Yahoo, and other popular search engines very productive. Compare the findings on an interactive whiteboard or projector to discuss not only the usefulness of the search results but also how different words in the search query can bring different results.

Use this site as you discuss how to search and use materials on the web. Practice showing different searches and aspects of the searches that are useful. Challenge students to use these sites for individual research projects. Use YoLink to find specific information about a curriculum topic and use the search results to begin discussion of the concepts.
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Five Sentences - Five Sentences

Grades
K to 12
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Use this exceedingly simple idea to manage your time handling email or to generate writing prompts that are meaningful in today's world. The site itself simply explains the rationale...more
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Use this exceedingly simple idea to manage your time handling email or to generate writing prompts that are meaningful in today's world. The site itself simply explains the rationale for limiting all email responses to five sentences, saving you time digging through the mailbox and increasing the likelihood that others will actually read your response.

tag(s): writing (358)

In the Classroom

Adopt this idea in your professional life as you correspond with parents (or suggest it to your administrator). Try adopting Five Sentences as your New Year's resolution. Though students today rarely USE email, share emails with them -- and the Five Sentences limit -- as writing prompts for a five sentence response to teach concise, purposeful writing and 'netiquette. (Note that this review, not including this aside, is 5 sentences!)

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The Data Liberation Front - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Do you use various Web 2.0 items and are unsure how to move information from one to the other (or from the cloud to your computer?) Use this site to ...more
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Do you use various Web 2.0 items and are unsure how to move information from one to the other (or from the cloud to your computer?) Use this site to learn how to move information from one area to another. For example, learn how to import and export bookmarks. Also learn how to import, export, or zip google documents to your computer.

tag(s): directions (20), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Provide this link as a resource to your students. Allow them the opportunity to learn techniques to move and manage their online information. Consider putting this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.
 

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Abduzeedo - Fabio Sasso

Grades
6 to 12
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Abduzeedo is a blog to inspire designers on a daily basis. It is a perfect resource for artists to share their work and receive quick web tutorials for applications such ...more
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Abduzeedo is a blog to inspire designers on a daily basis. It is a perfect resource for artists to share their work and receive quick web tutorials for applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Pixelmaker, and Fireworks. Some tips will also work with free online photo editor tools such as Pixlr, reviewed here. The site originates in Brazil but now draws artists from all across the world. Illustration, logo design, photography, architecture, and typography are the primary areas of interest. Artists can submit work for possible inclusion in their daily gallery posting. There are also interviews with top designers that contain examples of their work.

General Tips and Reminders: There are ads along the top center that may interfere with the sites content. Be sure to thoroughly review the site before using it with students.

tag(s): design (84)

In the Classroom

Teachers of design tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator will want to take advantage of the site's free web tutorials. The systematic directions are perfect to use on an interactive whiteboard for whole class instruction. Create a resource library full of links to Abduzeedo's design tutorials for students to practice with both in and outside of class.To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabbloreviewed here. Art teachers may want to take advantage of the sponsored ads on the right side of the page. These can lead to wonderful additional sites such as the "art house co-op" that is full of global art projects such as the "Sketch Book Project." Some of the other links contain valuable excursions, but could lead to inappropriate material.

Obtain parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site. There is also an accompanying app for Mac users available for free on iTunes.
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Building Schoolwide Literacy With Free Web 2.0 Tools: A Grade by Grade Elementary Model - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students,...more
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TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students, teachers, and parents. The free web 2.0 tools suggested here are by no means the only tools that might work. These exemplary tools were chosen by the TeachersFirst Editors for ease of use and versatility in classroom and home use, and could easily be implemented at grade levels other than those suggested here. As students and teachers master a new tool at each grade level, they develop rich literacy skills and vital technology skills, all in the context of reading, writing, speaking and listening across the curriculum.

tag(s): listening (91), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

Explore the tools and project suggestions by grade for your individual use as a teacher or work together with others in your school to build literacy across all subjects and grades by systematically adopting and repeatedly using a fixed collection of tools so students master the tool skills as an aside to reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Try the practical suggestions for implementing this model in your school or grade level team.

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Jing - TechSmith

Grades
5 to 12
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Jing is a tool to take a picture or video of your computer screen. Download the free Jing software in either Windows or Mac versions. Screen captures can be easily ...more
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Jing is a tool to take a picture or video of your computer screen. Download the free Jing software in either Windows or Mac versions. Screen captures can be easily shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr through a quick link on the site. Mark up your screenshot with a text box, arrow, highlight, or rectangle to enhance items shared. Find lots of suggestions for using the site in the classroom through the "How it is Used" link. Jing allows you to screen capture whatever is on your computer screen, share it to Screencast.com, and then send the URL link to anyone so they can watch a sequence of things you do on your computer. The application says it is a way to share what you are seeing on your screen during your online conversations. This is useful, but for educators, check out the teacher uses to see some other possibilities.

tag(s): images (265)

In the Classroom

The software needs to be installed, but it is easy because onscreen directions are given. Just a click or two and you are ready to use Jing. Once it is installed and the program is running, there will be a sun in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Scroll over the sun, and you will see three rays come out of it. Capture (to take a picture of your screen), History (a type of screen scrapbook), and More (which has preferences and the quit to turn off the program).

Users unable to install software on school computers should request that the tech department install Jing on at least SOME machines.

Try to record a screen sequence using this web 2.0 tool to make how-to directions for projects and post to your class web page along with the assignment. Students can make a "tour" of online PROJECTS they CREATE or a tour of a web site they critique. Record a demo of safe internet practices and include it on your class web page for parents and kids, and help learning support students (or techno-apprehensive teachers) with VISUAL directions for computer tasks. Have students make projects that show how misleading some Internet advertising can be or to explain effective design principles used in a web site. Take an image of part of a site and annotate it, create a link for students to access from home on your classroom website or blog. Pronounce and define key vocabulary. Provide directions to explain and/or demonstrate how to create classroom projects, how projects will be graded, or where to find information on the internet. Narrate an Internet path, a site, or a series of pictures. Create an online book or comic strip and then narrate it, share your creation on a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Use in math or science to show and describe the steps in an equation or process.

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Clipart ETC Homepage - Florida Center for Instructional Technology

Grades
K to 12
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This site has accurate, organized clipart for all different content areas, organized by educators so the categories make sense for both teachers and students. ...more
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This site has accurate, organized clipart for all different content areas, organized by educators so the categories make sense for both teachers and students.

tag(s): clip art (10)

In the Classroom

Use clipart in powerpoint presentations. Share the site with the students and have them create presentations with them. Just remember to give credit to the source!

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