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The Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE) - NISE Net

Grades
K to 12
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NISE is the online home of a community of scientists and other partners with an interest in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. The site includes programs and activities...more
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NISE is the online home of a community of scientists and other partners with an interest in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. The site includes programs and activities for ages four through adult. Use filters on the activities section to choose age level, topics, and product category. Be sure to check out the over 120 lesson plans available through NISE and the free Professional Development for teachers and scientists.

tag(s): carbon (21), cells (102), diseases (66), electricity (89), energy (197), environment (317), measurement (159), medicine (67), plays (37), preK (279), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Bookmark NISE as a resource for finding STEM lesson plans and activities. Some of the lesson plans include theater plays and scripts, take advantage of these to incorporate the arts into your STEM lessons making them STEAM. Share NISE activities with students for use with math and science fair projects. Be sure to include a link to activities on your class web page for parent use at home. Share the Professional Development section with your administrator and fellow teachers.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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tchat - Congo Labs

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6 to 12
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Focus on the Twitter chats you want to follow easily and in real-time with tchat. Sign up for tchat through your Twitter account. Input the hashtag you wish to follow ...more
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Focus on the Twitter chats you want to follow easily and in real-time with tchat. Sign up for tchat through your Twitter account. Input the hashtag you wish to follow and all other tweets will be filtered out. tchat opens in a new tab; that means you can still see other Tweets on your Twitter account tab at the same time you are following a chat. Reply right from tchat without leaving the page; send and continue reading the conversation. The menu bar at the top allows pause and play, it stops refreshing, allowing you to find what you are looking for and to reply or retweet the information without losing it, and then resumes when you click play. You can also block retweets. Either sign in to stop the pop-up when you want to respond, or use tchat without signing in to have the pop-up and see all of the chat on the side. Each reply will automatically include the hashtag.

tag(s): chat (51), microblogging (44), PLN (4), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Sometimes it's hard to stay focused on a group Twitter chat. Take advantage of this tool to avoid distractions and communicate only with the members of the chat session. It's a relief to use this tool and be able to take your time commenting back and forth and not have to hunt through countless other Tweets to find your group and that one comment where you want to reply. tchat is the perfect tool to use with Twitter in the classroom so students will stay focused on your topic. If your class is following a scientist, engineer, politician, or any other professional, invite them to a chat to converse with your students and have the students stay focused. If you are taking an online class and one of the requirements is to participate in a Twitter chat, this tool is perfect to help you meet your goal.

Use tchat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss using an assigned hashtag. Ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use tchat, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

Use tchat to collaborate with other classrooms or teachers at a distance. Use a whole class Twitter account to contribute to a regular chat. Professionally, teachers can join subject or grade level specific Tweet chats that happen in real time. See the Twitter Chat Schedule, reviewed here or Educational hashtags listings here to find real-time groups you can join using tchat.

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Workflowy - Jesse Patel & Mike Turitzin

Grades
4 to 12
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Organize your brain and your life with Workflowy. This tool allows you to take notes, make lists and outlines, and use hashtags to create groups of items. Import lists from ...more
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Organize your brain and your life with Workflowy. This tool allows you to take notes, make lists and outlines, and use hashtags to create groups of items. Import lists from other documents directly into Workflowy. Share lists with others using the share button, use options to allow them to edit if desired. Quickly create an account using email and a password to begin. Once you create an account, be sure to take advantage of the many tutorial videos demonstrating Workflowy's features. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): calendars (44), DAT device agnostic tool (196), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Any student would appreciate having an online time management account, but learning support students and disorganized gifted students need one. You may want to model using Workflowy to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a mythical student and organize his/her Workflowy together so students can see how it works. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector the first week of school to help students set up their own accounts. Parents may also appreciate learning about this site. Use this site professionally to keep yourself organized!

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XMind - XMind Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Develop mind maps, concept maps and a variety of charts with this powerful, easy to use tool. Register with an email to begin. Watch several very comprehensive tutorial videos and ...more
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Develop mind maps, concept maps and a variety of charts with this powerful, easy to use tool. Register with an email to begin. Watch several very comprehensive tutorial videos and get started by downloading XMind. Creation is easy! Simply double click Central Topic and add the topic name. Click tab to add main topics, click tab again to add subtopics. Xmind has many features to add organization to your mind map: Drag and drop arrows to organize, colored boundaries, add images and websites (search the web from within XMind), add Audio Notes, background or wallpaper, and much more. Share your map via PowerPoint, Excel, Evernote, PDF, PNG, JPEG, and several other universal formats. If your district blocks YouTube, the tutorial videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

To demonstrate this tool, have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story. Assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this tool for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study. They can color code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question. Have students map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future. Students can also map out a step-by-step process (such as a life cycle or how to solve an equation).

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SMS Generator - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking...more
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking either speech bubble will begin the text message, and click the other one to reply. Save the presentation with a password. Share via embed or QR code or URL.

tag(s): book reports (36), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Engage students with what they know, text messaging! Inform students you will be creating a text conversation between two historical figures, fictional characters, scientists - anything from something the class is reading. On the whiteboard or with a projector display the SMS Generator. Show students how to use it by having them create the conversation. The text is not limited, but keep it reasonable. Besides using SMS Generator for presentations, it could be used to teach or refine social skills, practice writing in a new language, or explaining a math or science concept to a peer.

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OK2Ask: Innovation with Gamification Level Up your Learning! - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Gamification is an innovative way to transform classrooms. Learn how...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Gamification is an innovative way to transform classrooms. Learn how to maximize the students' learning potential by using game design and game elements in the classroom. Explore innovative resources and strategies to foster student engagement with gamification methods. This session is appropriate for teachers at Intermediate technology levels.

tag(s): game based learning (103), gamification (65)

In the Classroom

Engage your students and inspire your lessons by applying game principles and elements to non-game activities. These activities can be high-tech or low-tech. It is not about the tool as much as it is about the emphasis on game-like mechanics. Start small and become comfortable with the terminology and process. Choose some aspect of your classroom practice to gamify. You might choose to gamify components of professional development, classroom management, centers, entrance/exit slips, activities, or even whole units. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Code Avengers - Mike Walmsley

Grades
4 to 12
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Code Avengers offers free introductory courses for learning computer coding. Teachers receive access to all lessons; students have access to introductory lessons in HTML/CSS, JavaScript,...more
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Code Avengers offers free introductory courses for learning computer coding. Teachers receive access to all lessons; students have access to introductory lessons in HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and Python 3. Introductory courses run about one hour in length and include video instructions along with opportunities for practice of tasks. Participate in lessons without registration. Registration does allow you to save work and return to the stopping point at any time. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (94), engineering (125), gamification (65), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Although only the introductory lessons are free, they provide excellent tutorials for beginners. Create a link on classroom computers for students to learn at their own pace and develop an interest in pursuing further coding instruction. If you are looking for more ways to use coding in the classroom, check out TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom page. Make coding part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Include it as part of the scientific method or discussions about careers in science. You may even want to portray coding as just another "world language" in today's world.

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The Art of Questioning in Mathematics - Henrico County Public Schools

Grades
K to 12
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Find a very simple, but very useful file for asking questions in (mathematics) classes. Even though these are labeled for math, they are open-ended questions that will work well for...more
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Find a very simple, but very useful file for asking questions in (mathematics) classes. Even though these are labeled for math, they are open-ended questions that will work well for any subject. The one page PDF file provides questions to help students rely on themselves to provide answers, solve problems, and connect (mathematical) ideas.

tag(s): questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Don't skip over this one if you teach math! These questions are good to use in many discussions on many topics. Print this file and include it with all (math) lesson plans. Take one section per month and focus on using those questions with students. Share with your peers as part of your professional discussions in questioning techniques. Include this print out with your Meet the Teacher activities to help parents understand how they can use questions to help students understand math.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Math = Love - Sarah Hagan

Grades
6 to 10
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Math = Love is a blog by a high school math teacher specializing in Algebra with a goal of making math fun for all students. Frequent posts detail specific lessons ...more
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Math = Love is a blog by a high school math teacher specializing in Algebra with a goal of making math fun for all students. Frequent posts detail specific lessons and student work along the way. Most posts include a link to download the lesson file. Choose the Free Downloads tab to find a large assortment of downloadable files for posters, bulletin boards, and forms for classroom use. Find specific topics by clicking on the tags on the right side of the page or use the search bar to explore the entire blog.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88), charts and graphs (195), data (148), equations (155), logic (235), polynomials (32), pythagorean theorem (35), quadratics (32)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free lessons and downloads on this site. Be sure to sign up to receive email notifications of new blog entries or follow her on Pinterest. Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year. Have students create blogs discussing math concepts using Throwww, reviewed here. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided, and this tool is as easy as using a basic Word program! Be sure to share Math=Love with your department and especially a new teacher.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bystander Revolution - Take the Power Out of Bullying - MacKenzie Bezos

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a stand against bullying with practical ideas and information from Bystander Revolution. Choose the All Videos link to filter solutions from different perspectives, or filter by...more
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Take a stand against bullying with practical ideas and information from Bystander Revolution. Choose the All Videos link to filter solutions from different perspectives, or filter by specific problems or solutions. Most videos run less than two minutes in length. The presenters include well-known celebrities as well as "typical" students. Sign up for the weekly newsletter that includes a simple transformative task to complete each week along with other helpful tips and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): bullying (52)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to talk to your class about bullying with these videos. Use this discussion to prompt a journal entry, skit, or other personal response on the topic of bullying and how to handle it. Provide this link for parents to view at home with their students. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos addressing bullying issues. Start with Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, for students to plan their skit. Share them on a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Be sure to share this site with your school's counselors and anyone else who deals with students who are being bullied.

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Global Virtual Classroom - AT&T and Give Something Back International Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time...more
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time and has learned what is needed to create global citizens. They've done everything for you from Lessons, Resources, and a Web Design Contest, to directions for becoming part of the community, providing a list of other educators who would like to participate, and a Clubhouse for your students. Be sure to register by mid September each year!

tag(s): competitions (16), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Take students to another place, encourage them to understand other cultures and create global citizens by signing up to join GVC. After introducing GVC on an interactive whiteboard or projector, create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here, to vote for which country or region to communicate with and share information. Begin a blog for each student to share reflections. Consider asking the partner teacher to have their students blog, too, and encourage students to respond to each others' blogs. Students' writing improves when they have an authentic audience. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

Another idea would be to use a projector and Lino, reviewed here, (no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom students will be working. Lino creates virtual sticky notes on a bulletin board. Once the project is underway, go back to Lino occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Before culminating the project, ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Lino. Consider starting a lunch time or after school club for students to have more time to participate in the Clubhouse.

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Ourboox - Mel Rosenberg & Ran Shternin

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, ...more
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, add a title, choose the style of your book (Square Book - a picture book with up to 15 lines of text, or a text-oriented book, more like a long story or novel). Choosing a Square Book enables the ability to have an image (jpeg, png). You can also upload animated GIFs or embed a YouTube Video. Ourboox will step you through the process of getting your book online and publishing it. The pages of the book will flip, and the tool has an accommodation for languages that read from right to left. It can take up to 24 hours for new books to process. Before starting on your own book, you may want to look at others' books to get ideas about the format.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), ebooks (41), writing (358)

In the Classroom

There is no end to the ideas for stories! Now you can easily publish and share them with Ourboox. At the beginning of the year have students develop stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. In science, create a photo story of famous inventors or have students explain their understanding of cell division. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales from their home countries. Encourage your older students to use this tool for digital storytelling projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Add Text - FlamingText.com Pty Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change ...more
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change the color of the text or elect to add more text. Share using FaceBook, Twitter, or Google+ or the URL given. At the time of this review, all images in the Gallery were appropriate for the classroom. However, we recommend to preview the images before you share with younger students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (109), digital storytelling (142), editing (60), images (265)

In the Classroom

Use this easy tool to add captions to images, create memes, or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyric?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class webpage, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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PARCC Practice Tests - English and Math - Pearson Education

Grades
3 to 11
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This site offers practice tests for grades 3-11 in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. Choose one content area to begin, and then select a grade level. Find many options...more
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This site offers practice tests for grades 3-11 in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. Choose one content area to begin, and then select a grade level. Find many options within each grade level for online or paper tests, Spanish and Braille, and large print for visually impaired students.

tag(s): test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use as a teaching tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector to help students understand how standardized tests will look. Continue to use individually or as small group instruction. Share a link to practice tests on your class website for use at home.
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eMathInstruction - eMathInstruction Inc

Grades
6 to 12
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eMathInstruction offers free e-textbooks for Algebra 1, 2, and Trigonometry. Click on any of the three books to view individual lessons and download in PDF format. Each Algebra 1 lesson...more
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eMathInstruction offers free e-textbooks for Algebra 1, 2, and Trigonometry. Click on any of the three books to view individual lessons and download in PDF format. Each Algebra 1 lesson also includes a video tutorial. In addition, each lesson includes homework classified as either skill building, application, or reasoning. If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): equations (155), functions (70), inequalities (29), polynomials (32), probability (130), quadratics (32), ratios (53), sequences (16), square roots (24)

In the Classroom

Use eMathInstruction lessons to flip your classroom. Assign lessons to students to complete at home, then discuss information in class. Share a link to videos and lessons on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice with Algebra skills. Recommend this site to parents for help in understanding math concepts.
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Parable of the Polygons - Vi Hart and Nicky Case

Grades
6 to 12
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Parable of the Polygons is a playful, yet serious, interactive look at how racism shapes our communities. The underlying theory is that people are generally tolerant and will only want...more
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Parable of the Polygons is a playful, yet serious, interactive look at how racism shapes our communities. The underlying theory is that people are generally tolerant and will only want to move if less than 1/3 of their neighbors look like them. Using that pretext, you move unhappy polygons until everyone is happy through an ongoing scenario of different situations.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), percent (82), racism (18), ratios (53)

In the Classroom

Parable of the Polygons is excellent for use in both math and social studies classes. Use in your social studies class to discover how bias affects diversity beginning with small situations through a larger picture. Challenge students to explore and interact through different scenarios to view changes. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here. Share this site as an excellent interactive for use during math fairs.

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Makewaves - Mark and Tim Riches

Grades
1 to 12
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Makewaves is a social learning platform for schools to create and publish blogs, videos, pictures, and audio. Free accounts allow you to create a school site with any number of ...more
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Makewaves is a social learning platform for schools to create and publish blogs, videos, pictures, and audio. Free accounts allow you to create a school site with any number of teachers and students. Audio and video uploads are limited to 30 minutes and you can create three badges. Use personalized badges to create your own missions that relate to classroom studies or current events. Take advantage of the many badges already available on the site. The teacher dashboard allows teachers to monitor and manage student content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (134), gamification (65)

In the Classroom

Create a class account as a tool for sharing and publishing student creations on Makewave's secure platform. Even if you aren't ready to join Makewave, take advantage of the many lessons and badge activities to incorporate into your teaching units. Share Makewave with parents as a resource for individual learning projects for their student.

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Connect Fours - Russell Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Connect Fours is an interactive that is a takeoff of the popular British Gameshow Only Connect. Create a game show using a minimum of 16 cards with word sets or ...more
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Connect Fours is an interactive that is a takeoff of the popular British Gameshow Only Connect. Create a game show using a minimum of 16 cards with word sets or phrases that will fit into four or more categories. After clicking "Create a New Quiz" you can upload a CVS spreadsheet or simply type in the words. Clicking Help, Example, or Submit will bring up directions for the exact formatting needed to have for the successful creation of a quiz. Don't forget to title your quiz! Save the URL or bookmark it to share it with others. Tip: when clicking the cards they ding. You may want to turn the sound down on the computer.

tag(s): game based learning (103), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Create a Connect Fours game with various aspects of information about curriculum content to share with students. Develop activities to review any topic and save for use as a classroom center. Have students create review Connect Fours as a study tool. Be sure to demonstrate how to make and share Create Fours before having students set up their own. Ideas for categorization activities are unlimited, but can include categorizing types of animals, literary elements in novels, habitats, characteristics of geographic areas, and much more.

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newhive - Zach Verdin, Cara Bucciferro, Abram Clark

Grades
2 to 12
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Use newhive as a clean slate to express your ideas, artwork, videos, and more. Begin by using an email address to sign up for a free account. You will then ...more
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Use newhive as a clean slate to express your ideas, artwork, videos, and more. Begin by using an email address to sign up for a free account. You will then see a blank white slate to start. Easily add text, images, video, audio, files, and shapes. Once you are finished adding content, save to your account by giving your multimedia project a title and tags. Then decide if you want it public or searchable. This tool is simple, quick, and easy to use. The tool requires that a member be age 13 or older.

tag(s): multimedia (57), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Students can use newhive to demonstrate learning of any kind across grade levels and content areas. They can practice good digital citizenship by citing images, videos, and online content properly or use student-created images, videos, and other content. Use this tool as a portfolio for any subject. Art, music, and language arts are naturals for collecting original student work, but what about science? Students can photograph experiments and write up labs and post to newhive for their portfolio. Teachers can use the site as a jump page to guide a lesson or create WebQuests. Make a work prototype page and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. The uses for this tool are wide open!

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shortText - shortText.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Post text online quickly and easily, without registration using shortText. Type or paste text into the text box and click Create URL. Instantly receive the URL to share or use ...more
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Post text online quickly and easily, without registration using shortText. Type or paste text into the text box and click Create URL. Instantly receive the URL to share or use as desired. Options allow users to include a link to a video or image, allow comments, or make the message private.

tag(s): blogs (88), creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), writers workshop (31), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use shortText for quick writing projects on an interactive whiteboard or projector. When modeling writing or notetaking in class, open shortText instead of a word document! Enabling comments would allow students to ask questions about the assignment. When finished, share on your class website using the URL created. Have students use shortText in your classroom when using mobile devices to write a short journal entry or exit ticket at the end of a lesson. Be sure to give students the URL for this and have them identify themselves, so you don't end up with 30 URLs to open and assess. Use this site in world language classes to have students write a blog entry in the new language. Have students write about how they solved a math problem and include an image of their work. Create a standing assignment for elementary and middle schoolers on snow days. Have students write a post about the snow using shortText and share the URL on a class wiki.

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