Grades6 to 12
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In the ClassroomThe brief video clips on this site make it ideal for use when introducing or researching information. View together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Cue up and pause your video at a point AFTER the opening ad to save class time! Embed onto your class website or blog for students to view at home. Use the transcripts as examples of how-to speeches and have students both read and watch to analyze the details of how to organize such a speech before making their own videos or giving live informational speeches. Bookmark and save for use as How To questions arise throughout the year. For example, if you have a question about using Microsoft Excel, search Howcast to find about 30 videos explaining different tools and tricks within the program. Preview any search results before sharing with the class. Use Howcast videos as examples in any subject area and challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomCreate slide presentations for any lesson or teach students to create slides for class projects. In lower grades, create a project together on your interactive whiteboard or create them for your students to use. Create a presentation for use during Open Houses, class trips, or school events. Embed the slides on your class blog. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. The possibilities are unlimited. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. If you are lucky enough to have iPads for use in your classroom, download the app for students to create slide shows on their own.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for teaching the Titanic as part of an early twentieth century history lesson or as enrichment when reading any novel about the Titanic. Include the Titanic as one of many topics for twentieth century "decades" research projects. Discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources. Share the images on your interactive whiteboard or projector for the students to analyze and discuss. Have cooperative learning groups research the time period and the exploration of the wreckage. Have them write journal entries (blogs) from the point of view of one of the cruisers on board or as an explorer of the wreckage. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWhile this site is ideal for any student learning new vocabulary, it is especially useful for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students with vocabulary deficits. Share selected videos in primary grades to help students see how new words are defined and spelled. Challenge your gifted students to find new vocabulary words to share with the class. Use in any classroom as a model (sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Then assign cooperative learning groups to create Vidtionary inspired videos of their own to explain curriculum terms, world language vocabulary, or SAT words. Use a tool like Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomIn the classroom, use Project Mosaic to enhance your study of civil rights, storytelling, women studies, Florida history, or literature. The primary and secondary sources provide a deeper look into life in the early 1900's. In your leadership unit, examine the challenges Zora Neale Hurston faced in her life and how she turned these problems into stepping stones to meet her goals. Expand into other areas such as history and culture during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, or even Desert Storm using primary and secondary sources. Have students interview groups of people who lived during those time periods, discovering how opinions greatly influence world events. Extend the study into literature and artwork of the period. Encourage students to become involved in local, state, or world events. Have students create their own renderings of the time period using one of the multimedia TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomCreate animations of any image! Animate inanimate objects such as a leaf or other object by taking two different pictures of it so it can "change." Use your animations as a focus for story creation or free writing. Animate images used by students for their individual web pages to set the scene for their "About Me" introductions. Design and shoot images to animate as an introduction to a project or report. Challenge older students to create their own animated GIF images. (No registration is required.) Photograph and create GIFs to show two stages of insect development, the growth of a plant, or other scientific concepts.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool whenever Flickr Creative Commons pictures are used for any classwork or project. Be sure students understand the different types of images available and use ones that are licensed correctly. Use the embed code wherever you need to place the image, and BOTH the image AND the licensing will be displayed. Be sure to model use of this tool whenever using images from Flickr. What a handy way to include images on your own class web page! Post images as writing prompts, you-name-it science questions, or world language conversation starters, all from a simple Flickr CC image search!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomSet up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a potential funding source or make a donation. Join the site (free). Then take the time to write up a clearly-worded project proposal along with pictures and video. You can even make the project a challenge to your school community, if you wish. If you are a student council or Key Club adviser, make one or more of the projects on this site your targeted service project for the year. Or use this venue to collect funds to purchase materials for your own school or club service projects. Encourage philanthropy to support good causes: kids helping kids! Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a fundraising tool for any and all projects. Don't forget to send the project descriptions with local media such as small town newspapers, local TV, or service groups who might make a donation.
Grades3 to 12
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In the ClassroomThis resource is useful to hook your students at the beginning of your lessons or simply to get them reading non-fiction text. Use these as hooks to get your students thinking about content that will be introduced in the lesson. Students can find a Zidbit they are interested in. Poll students about possible answers and then report the actual answer and content needed in order to understand and explain it. Learn a new Zidbit yourself every week. If you teach public speaking skills, have students use these stories as inspiration or "hooks" for informational speeches, as well.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this tool in January, before the annual State of the Union. Allow time for groups of students to view specific charts and report upon the words used and their meanings. Students can research the time period the president served to understand the cultural, religious, and political climate of the day. Does the most common word (or top 10) appear in more than one presidency? Are there presidents who faced the same challenges even if not from the same time period? How did their State of the Union addresses differ (or were similar?) Discuss the uses of various words of which students may be unfamiliar.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate a class Minilog account to keep a running account of useful articles, videos, and items for use in class. Add content that the students find and discuss in class. Use for students to keep a running account of current events in the classroom, science news and the impact on society, and more. Minilogs could be used in music, art, government, and nearly any other subject. Create Minilogs about current (or past) presidents. Create a Minilog to share a specific art style or music genre. Collect videos on a certain topic, even from several content video sites like Khan Academy to "flip" your class with an entire playlist of options. The possibilities are endless. Challenge students to create their own Minilogs in cooperative learning groups or independently. If you are teaching about media literacy or advertising bias, Minilogs are the perfect way for students to create curated collections of videos with accompanying notes.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomDepending on the age you teach and your school policies, you may want to use a class account with a teacher-controlled email address to create with Popcorn Maker. Use a video from a presidential debate and add layers that fact check the statements made or view the media consensus at the time. Use this tool to create a video of a science experiment while creating pop ups of relevant information. Create a remix of a popular play or story that includes pop ups of information about the characters. Include their motivations or give the reactions of the readers with each story. Do you have a snippet of a discoverer? Add layers that show map routes, legends, unintended consequences on local peoples, etc. Use videos of sports teams to overlay stats, congratulation tweets, and more. Use world language videos with overlays of translations, dictionary references, and help in understanding. Analyze commercials (for example, foods targeted at children) with facts about the food and relation to diet and health. Create elevator pitches and upload to YouTube. Invite classmates to overlay the pitches with comments and suggestions. Use student created or existing YouTube videos that help to explain math and science concepts. Further enhance their helpful potential with overlays that elevate the learning. Pose a problem in the form of a YouTube video and invite students to remix the video to include possible solutions. Students can create presentations using this tool and show their reactions to current events or other world problem. Allow other students to remix and comment upon the presentation and add their own thoughts. Share the remixes on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If permitted, share the links to students' remixes on your class website or wiki. Teachers of gifted will love the creative (and critical) challenges this tool offers.
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GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse Slideful to create quick slideshows for any classroom use. Easily share images on your website or blog from field trips, classroom projects, or assemblies. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Create a slide show to introduce any unit and have students guess what they will be learning.
Grades9 to 12
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