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Spruz - spruz.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Spruz is a tool for creating social networks. Though that may be a scary term to parents and a concept prohibited in your school, this site provides private spaces for ...more
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Spruz is a tool for creating social networks. Though that may be a scary term to parents and a concept prohibited in your school, this site provides private spaces for classroom use in K-12. Because of concerns over COPPA (federal legislation protecting children on the web), it is recommended for ages 13 and up. Users outside the U.S. do not need to worry about this law. There are related blog posts and debate about whether the law applies if you configure your site a certain way, but TeachersFirst cannot recommend circumventing the law.

Spruz provides an online space for forums (threaded discussions), blogs, "friends," groups, personal spaces for members, and more. As the administrator, you can control the actual set-up. Make your space private or set to public. Members still have to join to be part of the site. Assuming you can access the URL at school, this tool can provide a PRIVATE online space for your classes or teaching team as an electronic home for use in and out of school. This site touts that they have beefed up their business model in order to continue to offer free services.

tag(s): blogs (89), bookmarks (59), chat (51), forum (9), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

Before you start, make sure filtering on the school network will not block your specific URL. See some of the tips from the Edge team. Set up a network, including name, URL, and description. Be sure to choose Private to limit viewing of your network to those you INVITE to join. Drag your desired features to create your layout. You can always change it later. Make appearance choices. Click on the parts of the site you wish to create such as chat, forum, blog, links, bookmarks, files, etc. Be sure to check the box that requires approval from the account owner for members to join. Change profile questions and options available to members easily.

A class social network has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Create groups for students to work on projects and use the space as a forum to work out tasks, scheduling, and file sharing. Get creative and ask students to play the role of a historical figure on a social network across time: Ben Franklin networks with Harry Truman to argue about the atomic bomb. Use the site as a forum for any simulated or real task. Invite parents to join to give their points of view on upcoming elections or public policy issues. Include the principal or superintendent in your class discussions of students' rights as you study the Constitution. Your students themselves will suggest ways to use this all-too-familiar tool from their world. Imagine the "profiles" they could create as characters from fiction or inventors from history! Create incredible discussions of environmental, political, or economic issues. Inviting members from another school or community provides incredible perspective into a variety of different beliefs and values. Definitely plan to model and use this tool in lessons about Internet safety and the "lasting" nature of one's Internet presence. Social networking is part of life today, and the opportunity to learn about it in a private space is important for today's students.

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Creative Commons Search - Creative Common

Grades
4 to 12
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Find digital images that are available for use without violating copyright. This search tool finds images licensed for use under Creative Commons licensing. While most major search...more
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Find digital images that are available for use without violating copyright. This search tool finds images licensed for use under Creative Commons licensing. While most major search engines have advanced features the allow you to filter out content by copyright privileges, the CC search website makes is easy and convenient. Be sure to READ the information about verifying licensing. The results are somewhat cluttered but provide extensive options that can be legally (and ethically) used in wikis, blogs, reports, and more, as long as you provide the attribution information. What a fabulous tool for students to use for interactive or traditional projects!

tag(s): air (163), copyright (49)

In the Classroom

Teaching students to understand and respect copyright of digital information can be difficult and overwhelming. The first step in helping students understand digital copyright is to get them to explore the terms of use and copyright of a variety of information. Create a scavenger hunt for students to find the terms of service and/or copyright for common websites. Once they realize that not all information is "free" for them to use, introduce the Creative Commons website and the symbols that are used to describe how the content is licensed by the owner. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate searching using the CC search site. Perform searches that yield results that show several different types of licenses. Discuss each type using scenarios of how the information can and cannot be used. As an extension activity for this site, students can create their own work and publish the work using a creative commons license. The work can be as simple as using a digital picture or as complex as creating their own derivative artwork, such as a collage or "photoshopped" image. It can be published on a commercial site such as flickr or on your school webpage. Make sure to follow any school guidelines before publishing student work. Perhaps you can create a class wiki of annotated creative images created by students with explanations of where they found the "parts" and how they created the original works from these parts. What a wonderful model to share with future students, as well. Teachers will also appreciate being able to find images you can freely use on class web pages and in online project samples, etc. (with attribution).

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Head Magnet

Grades
3 to 12
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HeadMagnet is a new twist on flashcards. You can create flashcards for any subject that you wish or use cards already available on the site. Once the cards are made, ...more
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HeadMagnet is a new twist on flashcards. You can create flashcards for any subject that you wish or use cards already available on the site. Once the cards are made, there are different study modes to choose - slide show, self-test and normal (type in responses). Study sessions can even be timed. After completing the study session HeadMagnet predicts which items will need more study time, enabling you to spend more time on material that hasn't been learned yet. Study lists can be shared with others, and you can search for already created materials. After completion of a study session, you can access statistics that show your overall memory of the material. You need to register to create your own materials but all items are free. Registration requires and email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): flash cards (47)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for any subject to review material being learned in class. Use this as a review for vocabulary before tests. As a pre-assessment, create a study list to use on the interactive whiteboard or projector to find out what students already know. Provide this link on your class website for students to use to create flashcards both in and out of your classroom. Learning support teachers may want to show students how to create their own cards. The process of creating the will actually reinforce skills, as well.

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Chogger - Chogger, LLC

Grades
2 to 12
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Create comics easily and simply by drawing, uploading pictures or graphics, and choosing as many frames as possible to complete your project. Registration is not required to use Chogger....more
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Create comics easily and simply by drawing, uploading pictures or graphics, and choosing as many frames as possible to complete your project. Registration is not required to use Chogger. Click "Create A Comic" to get started. The creator will launch in a new window. Note: to FINISH and share a comic by URL, you must establish a free account.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (269)

In the Classroom

Use a whole-class account created using a teacher (memberships) email for students to create comics that can be easily monitored/managed by the teacher. Click on buttons to learn the basics that can be used to create the comic. To use, click "Create" and then on "New drawing." Use the tools to create shapes, draw lines, change points, and drag segments easily. Click on the camera icon to take or upload a picture. Click Text tab to add caption bubbles and text. When finished, easily save your comic by adding a title and description. Comics can also be marked private, if you wish. Share completed online comics by copy/pasting the URL of the "finished" comic. Be sure to KEEP a record of these URLs or manage them using "My Comics."

Provide only the link to the "Create" portion of the site to remove possible viewing of public comics. If desired, require students to take a screenshot of their comic instead of saving to the site. Take a snapshot using the print screen (PrtScrn) button on a PC or using the screenshot shortcut in a Mac (apple/shift/4.) Images can then be uploaded to a blog, wiki, or other site for display.

Use Chogger to explain vocabulary words or other concepts from any class or subject area. Use comics to write summaries of current events, responses to reading assignments, expressions of teen problems, and creative works of humor. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share or create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the life cycle of the frog or ways to conserve energy. Use this site to integrate an art and writing lesson. Why not have students create comics to demonstrate a concept in science or social studies, rather than a traditional paper/pencil quiz? World language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance for students to demonstrate written language skills in the "context" of their comic situations. Emotional support /autistic support teachers and students can create comics to help explain social interactions.

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Connect a Million Minds - Time Warner Cable

Grades
5 to 12
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This site works to connect young people with after school opportunities in their communities that will lead to the betterment of their science, technology, engineering, and math knowledge....more
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This site works to connect young people with after school opportunities in their communities that will lead to the betterment of their science, technology, engineering, and math knowledge. The free registration involves making a commitment to linking appropriate students to appropriate community opportunities. After registering, teachers are linked to opportunities in their areas. Teachers are encouraged to create links to opportunities they know about. You can save opportunities you are interested in and also share them with other educators and parents. This is a growing site.

Registration at this site does require an email address. Rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): enrichment (13)

In the Classroom

Reference this site when referring students to summer enrichment programs that involve engineering, math, technology, and/or science opportunities. Collect site ideas from others in your school! Tell teachers new to your area about this site as well. Be sure to provide this link on your class website to share with students and parents at home.
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Freeology - Free Printable Graphic Organizers - Freeology.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This site offers over 50 downloadable PDF graphic organizers for the English/Language Arts classroom. Many of the graphic organizers (like the Venn diagrams) could be used in various...more
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This site offers over 50 downloadable PDF graphic organizers for the English/Language Arts classroom. Many of the graphic organizers (like the Venn diagrams) could be used in various subject areas. Some of the organizers include SQ3R, Pros and Cons Scale, KWL, Pyramids, and 10+ pages of other forms of graphic organizers!

In the Classroom

This is a great site to help students sequence, brainstorm, and organize information. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector and fill out organizers after a lesson. Print out organizers and have students use them in cooperative reading groups. Use the organizers to differentiate for students who need extra scaffolding or for students who need extension activities. As students get older and learn which study skills help them best, they will want to access this site on their own to study for tests. Be sure to save this site in your personal favorites!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Girl Talk Radio - The Girls, Math, and Science Partnership

Grades
6 to 12
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This website is a launch site for GirlTalk Radio podcasts. Click "Start the Broadcast" to begin. The site contains podcasts of interviews created by teen female students (girls) with...more
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This website is a launch site for GirlTalk Radio podcasts. Click "Start the Broadcast" to begin. The site contains podcasts of interviews created by teen female students (girls) with an interest in science. Current interviews include Nina Kang from Google Maps, Erin Estell from the National Aviary, Mia Davis from the National Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and several others. The site promotes girls working and achieving in science.

tag(s): women (101)

In the Classroom

Use this with your students to encourage students, especially female students to seek knowledge in science. Have students listen to a podcast from the site. Then have the students think about a type of scientist that they would like to interview. Have them either role play as the scientist and student, or put the students in contact with real life scientists to interview. You could even have students create their own podcasts of their interviews using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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Online Personal Finance and Economics Game - Council for Economic Education

Grades
5 to 12
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This online interactive personal finance game has students work their way through 15 personal finance missions. Within each 30-minute mission, students are asked to help someone solve...more
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This online interactive personal finance game has students work their way through 15 personal finance missions. Within each 30-minute mission, students are asked to help someone solve a personal finance situation. Students create, choose teams and use online tools like the mission brief and geo-locator to help solve the mission.

tag(s): financial literacy (80), money (192)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have students work together to form their mission groups and create a friendly competition within your class. Another option is to work on this as a whole class and compete against another classroom. Use the training videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to prepare students for the missions. Have students blog or journal their experiences as they complete each mission. Lesson plans and materials are available at an additional cost. Teachers can sign up for their class.
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TeachersFirst's US Census Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States census and to plan related projects and classroom activities...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States census and to plan related projects and classroom activities for both math and social studies classes at all levels. The census gives us a new lens to view geography, economics, history, current events, pop culture, and-- of course-- math!

tag(s): census (19)

In the Classroom

Whether you spend one class or an entire unit on the census, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Consider other census connections, such as using a data or graphing resource to collect and manipulate data from a school mini-census, learning math skills at the same time.

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Repper - studio:ludens

Grades
2 to 12
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Is Open House or Back to School Night looming around the corner? This site is a pattern creator that "turns your images into eye-catching designs." Repper will help your students ...more
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Is Open House or Back to School Night looming around the corner? This site is a pattern creator that "turns your images into eye-catching designs." Repper will help your students create stunning covers for reports, student writing, or portfolios. Simply create patterns from your own digital photographs by downloading your image into Repper and then pick a section of the photo to duplicate. Students can re-size and drag the viewfinder to pick the most interesting section of your photo. There are endless possibilities for pattern designs from just one photo. Your creation can be downloaded to your computer or shared as a background on your favorite social networking site or class website. Students will love this tool and will most likely find a use for it after school as well.

tag(s): design (83), graphic design (35), patterns (85)

In the Classroom

This pattern-making tool is useful if teaching digital design or looking for a way to spruce up student presentations. All patterns can be downloaded as a JPG and therefore can be used, manipulated or incorporated with other image making media such as Animoto, iPhoto, iMovie, ThingLink, Photoshop, Flip movies and many more applications. It may also be useful for teaching geometry and making patterns in math class. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. All imagery created on Repper is available for public access through their website's online gallery. Viewers can also search for patterns in their database by any combination of tags, color, and size.

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100 People - 100 People Foundation and VIF

Grades
6 to 12
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This site takes the global population (there are 6.7 billion of us) and simplifies it to 100 People to help students understand what kind of people make up their community ...more
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This site takes the global population (there are 6.7 billion of us) and simplifies it to 100 People to help students understand what kind of people make up their community and the world beyond. On the first page of the website you will see a lesson plan video to view. There are 12 other videos for you to use.

There are two lesson plans for this site. The first one, "World Portrait" is where students survey and select 100 people to represent their community and the world's population. There are also suggestions for how a class might select one person. The plan is download-able and has ideas that include criteria for the people who are nominated, discussion topics and activities, questions for the community profile, a questionnaire for the people nominated, an image release form, just to name a few. Student results are to be captured in film, photography, music and text. The other lesson plan on this site is titled "100 People Under the Sun." In order to download this lesson you must register, it is free, but you will have to log in when viewing the plan. With this lesson "...students will develop key leadership skills to help raise their community's awareness of its energy use, as well as its motivation to advance sustainable approaches."

tag(s): population (60), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

This project is the perfect opportunity to collaborate with others in your building! Math students could complete a school and community survey (which could tie in with 2010 U.S. census). Social Studies students could interpret data collected in the survey (also could be tied into the 2010 census) and extrapolate parameters for nominations. Language Arts students would finalize the nominations and develop the essays. Technology, yearbook, and art classes can draw the portraits or produce them digitally, create a video for submission to 100 People project, and your more advanced technology students can create a website for content display. Glogster EDU, reviewed here or a wiki would be great tools to use for the website! Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

Of course, you don't have to collaborate with others. This unit would work well in any world culture class at any level, or even in language arts when studying multicultural literature and settings. Here's another idea: Many of us have seen the video "Did You Know? Predicting Future Statistics." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7FP1kgtD8U). The beginning states "If you are one in a million in China there are 1,300 people just like you." But it also gives statistics like "During the course of this presentation 60 babies will be born in the U.S., 244 babies will be born in China, and 351 babies will be born in India..." You can use your and your student's ideas to come up with your own statistics. Something like how many people will be working and sleeping between the hours of midnight and 6:00 A.M. in the U.S., China, and India (or any other country you wish to include). Use this to lead to discussions of time zones and all sorts of other peripheral ideas and decisions students will have to think about.

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Kwout - kwout

Grades
1 to 12
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Use kwout to grab a screenshot or quote of any web site to post anywhere else you need. Show snippets of information from anywhere on the web and insert on ...more
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Use kwout to grab a screenshot or quote of any web site to post anywhere else you need. Show snippets of information from anywhere on the web and insert on any site, blog, or wiki where items can be embedded. Add a "my kwout" badge to your blog or website that will display your quoted items in one place. Here is a sample "kwout" of the Kwout site:

kwout | A brilliant way to quote via kwout

tag(s): bookmarks (59), quotations (23)

In the Classroom

Use kwout by adding a bookmarklet to your browser. Users will need to know how to add bookmarklets in the specific browser being used. You can test out kwout by using the demo on their home page, but this will slow down your ability to kwout pages as you browse the web. Network administrators may block download and installation of bookmarklets on district machines. Be sure to check with your IT department on the possibility of adding bookmarklets. Users of kwout need knowledge of using embed codes to display quoted image maps in the site of their choice.

After adding the bookmarklet to your toolbar, find a website you wish to quote. Click the kwout bookmarklet and view the popup screenshot of the webpage being viewed. Drag your mouse to choose the portion of the screenshot wishing to be quoted. Click "Cut out" to cut that portion of the screenshot that will now become an image map and hyperlink. Copy the embed code that is displayed to paste into the site being used to show the image map.

Add the bookmarklet to your browser window of computers authorized to do so. Be certain to only quote items that are appropriate for viewing and use in the classroom. Require students to show work prior to embedding in a blog, wiki, or other site to be certain of appropriateness.

Use as a way to aggregate content in one place. This tool is best suited for teacher use below grade 6 because unless your students are familiar with embed codes! As students find quoted material, use for discussions of different viewpoints or content needed to understand a specific subject area or topic. For example, have students create a wiki collection of kwouts to show different perspectives on an environmental issue such as global warming. Use teacher-made kwouts as prompts for blog posts or free writing activities in the classroom. Find a specific kwout (quote) that students must respond to and embed in a blog, wiki, or site of your choice. After students read the quote, provide time to respond to the quote and post their thoughts in a blog post or other type of writing. If students require more information or wish to read more, advise them to click on the quote to view the entire resource. View snippets or quotes from a variety of sites for students to analyze. Use this idea for many subject areas including history (multiple viewpoints of conflicts), environmental or economic problems, or other issues. You can also use kwouts to provide a collection of links to review and enrichment sites on your class web page. Non-readers will be able to "see" the sites and now where to click.
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Livebinders - Livebinders, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Compile and share information from all over the web -- and text and images you add -- with others by creating a Livebinder on a topic or theme. Add tabs ...more
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Compile and share information from all over the web -- and text and images you add -- with others by creating a Livebinder on a topic or theme. Add tabs with specific information, easily accessed across the top of the binder. Interested in sharing information in a new way? Check out this extremely easy and exceptional site that can easily manage digital clutter. Gather and organize links, videos, information, charts, news, etc. in one neat and organized binder. As you update your binder in the future, all your changes automatically show to everyone who accesses the binder by URL or embedded version. Binders can be public or password-protected ("private"), so use of copyrighted images is possible under Fair Use, as long as you limit access to your own students via password (they call it a "key").
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Once an account is created, add the bookmarklet to your browser bar for quick access. Check with your IT department to have the ability to download bookmarklets on your computer. Knowledge of embed codes are required to manage Livebinders in other sites. To get a better idea of Livebinder basics, watch the 90 second video tour before you "play."

Click on "start a blank binder," enter a description, tags, category, and mark it private or public. Click yes to "use Google search to fill a binder" to find plenty of information fast. Your new binder will instantly be filled with a new tab for each site matching your search term. After entering "climate change," a new Livebinder was created with tabs that matched research I had previously spent a lot of time to find. Now it can be instantly shared. Click on "edit menu" in the upper right of your binder to change description, title, etc. as well as fonts, tabs, and other details. To share, click on share this binder along the bottom right to share by email, Facebook, Twitter, or embedding via link or embed code. Embed your Livebinder in a blog, wiki, or other site or provide the link for access by others.

Safety/Security: Users must be 13 years of age to create an account. Teachers can create an account and share Livebinders for student use at any age. Create a class account with a global login and password. Students use the same login to access the Livebinder and create tabs on various topics. As each collaborator would not be known, ask students to add initials to tabs they create so you know the source. Check your school policies on whether student work may be displayed online and what information is permitted, then enforce that policy with your students.

Create a Livebinder to assemble information and requirements for a student project. Make the Livebinder the actual ASSIGNMENT sheet. Use a new tab in the binder for each type of resource or topic of information. In English classes, use to offer spelling, writing, or grammar hints for students. Create a binder for specific sports teams that showcase team accolades, resources for increasing skills, or to create snack lists and travel information. Create a Livebinder for groups of students to plan or report on vacation plans, learn about cultures or countries, or maintain information for student projects. Students can use Livebinders to assemble information for group projects that can be discussed with the teacher to track progress. Consider creating a binder for assignments for students that focus on the use of information versus just the searching for the information. Any content or subject area can be easily managed by creating a Livebinder for student learning. Create an art or music gallery easily with a Livebinder. Use each tab of a Livebinder for each cell part necessary for the functioning of a cell. Create tabs in a binder for each battle or campaign in a specific war. Create a tab for each candidate in a specific election. Have students or student groups (13 and over) create Livebinder "tours" or annotated collections on a topic such as the pros and cons of organic foods, a cultural tour of a country, or applications of geometry in architecture. Of course their student-written annotations and commentary will be key to make these collections into meaningful products. They might even create tasks and questions for other students to try to learn about the topic.

If you are simply looking for a way to share technology-infused project assignments with students from grade 2 and up, a teacher-made Livebinder is an easy way to do it, and you can share the assignment with parents and learning support teachers by simply providing the URL.

Comments

I've used LIveBinder successfully at the 3rd/4th grade level to share web pages with students on specific subjects and topics. My students went back to the binders to read more, even when that unit was finished. I also create and fill binders as I am planning and gathering webpages as I plan my units. Linda, IL, Grades: 3 - 4
Takes some getting used to, instructions not as clear as they could be, but very helpful for sharing lots of resources that share a common theme. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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2010 Census: It's About Us 2010 Census in Schools - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Help your students learn what the census is and why it's important. This site includes lessons and maps for students in all grades. Thematic units focus on history of the ...more
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Help your students learn what the census is and why it's important. This site includes lessons and maps for students in all grades. Thematic units focus on history of the census for using and collecting data. There is information on all territories of the United States (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, etc..). There are links for teachers, parents, and administrators. And the Family Take Home Pages are available in 27 languages!

tag(s): census (19), population (60), states (162)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the numerous lesson plans, maps, and other ideas this site offers. Don't forget to check out the diversity lessons and ideas. Have students individually check out the two interactives focusing on geography and history. Encourage parents to check out the section entitled Families. You may consider providing this link on your class website.
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Census in Schools - Scholastic and U.S. Census Bureau

Grades
K to 12
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This census site is huge! It will help you teach your students what they count and why! Developed by Scholastic, this site is for grades K-12. "Census in Schools" has ...more
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This census site is huge! It will help you teach your students what they count and why! Developed by Scholastic, this site is for grades K-12. "Census in Schools" has so many resources they can't all be given justice here. There are four tabs at the top for teachers, kids, teens, and materials. There are other tabs that have word games, memory games, and quizzes. There are a plethora of links to other sources on each page.

While exploring, our reviewer visited the "Teacher" tab and clicked on "lesson plans" and found lesson for mapping, the history of the census, and relating the census to the student's classroom. There were two sets of lessons here for K-2 and 3-4. Standards/benchmarks for language arts, math, social studies, and geography for K-2 and 3-4 were included. There were worksheets to download for both levels, a story to read, "Who Counts," with comprehension questions to answer, and mapping activities. The site also had links for additional resources and a letter for the parents about the unit....and that was only ONE link on the "Teacher" tab. Whew! The rest of the site is just as thoroughly and professionally done as the lessons for K-4 lessons.

tag(s): census (19)

In the Classroom

The K-4 lessons are perfect to use the way they are, or you might want to do some comparing of information between the different grade levels within your school. Another idea is to pair up third and fourth graders with the kindergartners or first and second graders to read the story and work on the worksheets together. Of course, using your projector and interactive whiteboard with the whole class is a must for explanations of the lessons. This site is very colorful, so project what you can! You may want to introduce this unit with a catchy, educational song and video about the census reviewed here. For teachers of older students there are "Lessons Using the 2000 Census Data," "Quick Facts," and much more. One last suggestion: Once you've completed your census unit, discussion, etc. You might want to have your class participate in the "100 People: A World Portrait" project reviewed here.

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Prezi - Prezi

Grades
3 to 12
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Prezi is a visual, "zoomable" presentation tool. It is similar to PowerPoint and Keynote, but there is so much more to Prezi! You can graphically arrange a large amount of ...more
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Prezi is a visual, "zoomable" presentation tool. It is similar to PowerPoint and Keynote, but there is so much more to Prezi! You can graphically arrange a large amount of content, such as a big idea with its supporting information. It creates very dynamic presentations. See samples by clicking "log in" then "Explore" (instead of logging in). Choose a background, follow the instructions and prompts of the program, and before you know it, you will have your very own Prezi to share. If you like to see directions, watch the quick intro video. You can also view Prezis created by others and use them as templates for your own work. Check out the sample created by the TF Edge team here. This tool works in ANY device's web browser, from iPod to Android to laptop. Collaborate on a Prezi with other Prezi members in real time using the Share function. Have a "meeting" to work on the same Prezi in real time. There is a free "edu enjoy" level of membership (requires a school issued email and verification) that allows you to keep your Prezis private, out of public sharing. The regular "enjoy" membership is free for only one month, and its Prezis are public. File storage limits apply to free accounts. It is worth noting that some people find Prezi causes motion-sickness if it zooms too much!

tag(s): graphic organizers (42), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

You could map your entire lesson, chapter or unit in one Prezi. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great way to connect prior knowledge with the next step if you share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector throughout the unit. Or you could post it to your web page or give kids the URL so they can review as often as they need it. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create timelines of relevant events, or in science or math class have them map steps in a process. Have students create Prezis for different events, and then have them post the link to their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Prezis. The possibilities are endless!

If you have gifted students n your class, offer Prezi as one alternative for sharing extensions to the regular curriculum. If they already know the material, have them investigate a related process or example and share it in the form of a Prezi.

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Twiducate - Twiducate

Grades
2 to 12
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Looking for a microblogging (think twitter) alternative for collaboration or networking in your classes? Use Twiducate to create a microblogging platform for the students in your classes...more
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Looking for a microblogging (think twitter) alternative for collaboration or networking in your classes? Use Twiducate to create a microblogging platform for the students in your classes without venturing into the more complex public interactions of Twitter. Maintain privacy and a safe structure for collaborative learning. Post questions to elicit responses or use the safe environment for students to receive feedback on works in progress. Not sure about this resource? Twiducate was created by a group of teachers in Southwest Ontario to provide this type of service to students and teachers.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social networking (111), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Create an account easily with information about your school and title. Though an email is required, create your account without email verification. Make a class name and code that students can use for Twiducate. Manage many options through your home page including adding students, entering bookmarks to share with students, viewing the public timeline (you may find a teacher to collaborate and share with,) and create more classes. Students do not need to register themselves and are added in through the teacher. As students are added, a password is generated for them.

Use this safe, private, closed system to blog and network in your classes. Students are able to access this site outside of school and collaborate there as well. Invite parents into this network and let them see what is going on. Teachers are able to moderate all posts and remove any unwanted posts. Consider printing the screen of student names and passwords for a hard copy in order to access the information. Be sure to discuss rules of etiquette for posting and commenting in order to teach students effective use of these types of services. Be sure to include actions for broken rules. Check your school policies about using such a resource and whether special permission slips may be required.

The possibilities are endless. Use for posting homework assignments. Share and publish bookmarks for students to use. Respond to students trying to get test dates and other assignments changed! Collaborate among small or large groups. Create study groups for review and learning of information. Use small time information gathering more effectively: Assign every two students a concept to research and share learning with the rest of the class for discussion. How can you be sure that each student has completed work? Have them blog their information through Twiducate. Each group would have a specific key word that they use at the start of their posts. Search for a keyword at the top of the screen to bring up all those related posts! Watching a movie that requires students to answer questions? Post prepared questions throughout the movie to elicit responses from students. Allow students the ability to blog their reactions to documentaries and work together for understanding. During poetry month, have student do oral poetry reading while others microblog their reactions to the poem as they listen. Share weekly links and comments about current events via microblog. If you are willing to risk it invite students to microblog questions and reactions to teacher and student presentations in progress. Suddenly listening is an active endeavor! Provide this resource for groups to collaborate in and out of class and offer options for learning at any time.

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Basic Intergenerational Financial Literacy - National Center for Family Literacy

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides tools for financial literacy including an introduction to basic financial ideas and vocabulary, budget decision practices, and ideas for including students in conversations...more
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This site provides tools for financial literacy including an introduction to basic financial ideas and vocabulary, budget decision practices, and ideas for including students in conversations about money. Although the page looks very text-heavy the linked activities are more interactive. Activities may be introduced at school but are well-suited for parents and students to do together at home.

tag(s): money (192)

In the Classroom

Use the resources on this site to enrich a mathematics unit on money or a mini-society social studies unit. Share the site links and printables with parents at open house or conferences, so students can further engage in financial literacy topics. Use the value ranking resource as a discussion starter for older students. Students can complete activities independently and then share with a peer.
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Dare to Compare - Nation Center for Education Statistics

Grades
4 to 12
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Students will enjoy comparing their knowledge with students around the country and the world through the interactive quizzes on this site. Six subject categories are offered (math,...more
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Students will enjoy comparing their knowledge with students around the country and the world through the interactive quizzes on this site. Six subject categories are offered (math, civics, history, geography, science, and economics)at 3 different grade levels (4th, 8th, and 12th). You can also choose 5, 10, 15, or 20 questions. Upon completion of quizzes, scores are shown along with all correct answers. Questions are provided from Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Civic Education Study (CivEd) and National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) - all are institutes which are involved in assessing student achievement and performance. The questions are higher level, and many include diagrams and other visual aids.

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

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a pre-assessment for a new unit or as a mind bending class challenge. Reinforce and review lessons previously learned with your students. This is a terrific site during the run-up to high stakes testing. Use the questions as classroom conversation starters after taking the quizzes. Print out questions from the quizzes and provide your students with the correct answers and see if they can match them up with the questions. List this link on your class website for students to practice at home. Challenge small groups of students to create their own set of 5 questions about a current unit of study and create a multimedia presentation. Why not have cooperative learning groups create online books (one question per page) using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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TeachersFirst's Comics Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about and create comics in any subject area. Comics have become mainstream in...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about and create comics in any subject area. Comics have become mainstream in "graphic novels" and can express or explain major concepts, portray the underlying tensions behind an issue, or simply help students remember terms and definitions. The storytelling potential of comics goes back to cave drawings and can be as simple as a stick figure or as elaborate as a photograph annotated with voice bubbles. Explore these resources for tools and ideas to "draw" comics into your classroom as a tool for learning. Many of these resources trace the history and technique of various comics, providing an interesting area of study or examples for student-made comics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Choose a comic creator tool for students to use in your class to reinforce curriculum concepts. With younger students or those who need examples, create the first comic(s) together on interactive whiteboard or projector as a closure activity to reinforce concepts before a test. Gradually allow students to create their own comics (or collections of comics) to tell stories, review concepts, or make political comments. More techno-savvy students will appreciate the variety of tool options offered here.
 

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