GradesK to 12
If you are not sure which wiki tool is best for you, see our detailed TeachersFirst review of PBWorks (formerly PBWiki) features, pros, and cons(done as part of the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through). Ignore the persistent and pervasive suggestions that you upgrade to a fee-based membership!
In the ClassroomClick through the first two steps to create a free wiki, including the name (which becomes part of the wiki URL). Be sure to select "education" as the answer to "What is this wiki for?" Wait for your confirmation email (may take a while...check junk mail folder). After the email, choose whether your wiki is public or private (visible to members only or to the public). Set a "key" (password), if you wish. Bypass the offer to PAY. Use the Quickstart steps to configure the wiki just the way you want it or simply play to learn the Clickable editing toolbar. Add and edit pages, invite new members, explore the three template options and a few options for "skins." You may want to become familiar with the tool as a teacher-created site at first so you know its capabilities before turning students loose.
See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for practical management and safety tips.
Safety concerns: Students need email accounts to have individual log-ins. Note: with this wiki tool, you do not have the option of "locking" certain pages or setting different "levels" of users. You and your students have equal access to make changes, once you make them "members." There are also "plug-ins' (widgets) available from the toolbar, some of which may connect you to sites with unmonitored content. Decide ahead of time what you policies are concerning use of the "plug-ins."
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): speeches (17)
In the ClassroomUse this site to feed information used in group or individual presentations to the class. Set this up on another computer when recording video and audio recordings. Why use this site? Information fed through the prompter can be read at a steady and consistent pace. Teachers promoting oral reading fluency can make practice more engaging by having students pretend they are newscasters. If you advise the school announcement crew, try this handy tool to make them sound and look more professional.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomExplore the site with your class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to bring up some sample images on the board and apply or explore some of the concepts and annotate images using the pen tools. Share the site as a resource when researching famous mathematicians. Share the site with music, art, and social studies teachers to use as a resource. Use this site for research and have students complete a multimedia presentation using a site such as Smilebox (reviewed here) to create a slide show, collage, or more.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomShare the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector to accompany curriculum topics in science, art, physical education, language arts, health, or family/consumer science. Or show the videos to a class as examples for writing how-to (demonstration) speeches and/or videos done in language arts classes. Challenge students to create their own videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Look here also for ideas of holiday craft projects. Share the link on your class web page for students to try activities at home during breaks.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): safety (91)
In the ClassroomHow often do you find great clips and video shorts from YouTube and you can't show them or are afraid to show them even if you can get them through the school filter? Try using this to show clips or long videos from to your class via the interactive whiteboard or projector. There are some great, clean "Bill Nye" video portions that can be found and shared using this site for science class.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): songs (53)
In the ClassroomCreate a classroom signup for students to use under your supervision. An email address is required for registration. You could create a class registration. 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. Project this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector during music class. ESL/ELL students may benefit from being able to use language in song. Use the singing as an opportunity to look at song lyrics as a form of poetry. Use in world language classes or in primary grades (some song classics for kids!) and for ESL/ELL.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): classroom management (147)
In the ClassroomAdd Post-it notes to your back-to-school supply list and "stick" to this website for ideas that will make teaching and learning fun, motivating, and practical. Maybe even ask for Post-it contributions from home. Find unique ideas for using the repositionable sticky notes for Venn Diagrams and more comparing and contrasting techniques, timelines, story maps, bulletin boards, classroom management, and other sticky ideas.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomAfter you have checked out the site, offer individual portions to ESL/ELL students as review and supplementary activities. Share the site with modern language teachers as well. Consider providing this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMark this in your professional favorites for planning and finding webquests. The webquest format has been around for years and can be adapted many ways. Start from this collection and consider designing a webquest "Task" that uses a collaborative, web 2.0 tool such as those reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge listings. Today's students will love the authentic, creative tasks and collaboration made possible by today's tools. TeachersFirst Edge reviews include ways to use the tools safely and within school policies, for a learning "win-win." You might even want to have student groups design their own webquests for classmates to try as a new twist on "jigsaw" learning.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): digital storytelling (153)
In the ClassroomFind great project ideas from educators who have used Voicethread in the classroom. For example, in Math find great projects about measurement, probability, and problem solving. In Science, view stories about Astronomy. View projects about Ellis Island and the Reconstruction along with other Social Studies examples. Find great projects on these subjects as well as Language Arts, Foreign Language, Information Technology, Professional Development, and Performing Arts. Have a great project using Voicethread? Join the community and submit your as well.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomPresent the activities within this site as activators for new skills and lessons. Share parts of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide the activities within center time for reinforcement of new skills or for those students who may be struggling with a prior skill. Consider providing this link on your class website for students to explore at home.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomShare this website on your projector or interactive white board. Present the activities within this site as activators for new skills and lessons. Provide the activities within center time for reinforcement of new skills or for those students who may be struggling with a prior skill. Be sure to list this link on your website for students to access both in and out of class for additional practice.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then, have students "play" through the activity by reading the onscreen instructions and having them play a scale. (Explain what a scale is to students who are not musically trained or inclined.) Next, have students try to play some of the familiar tunes at the bottom of the screen. Classics and easily recognizable tunes are available at the site. The students will want to play indefinitely with this new found "toy." To keep it educational, prepare a set of five to ten questions asking students things such as "How do string sounds and woodwind sounds differ? How are they the same?" Have students compare the two types of instruments using a tool such as, "Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram" (reviewed here). Also, have students create questions for the rest of the class to try to answer. Students can create their own melodies and record the numbers pattern they used to create it. Then have students exchange patterns and play each other's. There are many possibilities with this site when learning about sound, learning to play instruments, or to include as an interactive in a basic music class.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomMusical skills are not a "must" for this site, however would make its use more productive. Beyond listening and clicking ability, the instructions are on screen. It's a great site to creatively "dabble."
If students do create user names, encourage them to use non-identifying names as the posts with their user names are open to the public. Sharing student work may be a safety risk as your students are probably minors.
This tool would be great for independent music studies and/or performance class. Have students compose their own accompaniments to be used as they play for the class. Or, in a less advanced music class or general music class have small groups of students create music using the interactive whiteboard and share with the class. Try using computer programs such as Garage Band or Windows Media Player to record the music to your computer. Students could then share files with each other and listen to a variety of different student created music.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUsers need to be able to record music on their own computer, locate files on their computer, and follow onscreen instructions. Parents and family can hear their student's work as long as the student shares the URL with them.
Have musically gifted students use this to create school sound tracks for the school television show or announcements. Have students create their own drama club or musical interludes for performances. In music clubs, have students record their music to their artist page, share the URL with others in the club, and remix each other's work. In music class, use as a submission space. Have students upload work to their artist page and check work digitally.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomA music site that is not just for musicians and music teachers! Students in all classes can use files from this site when preparing multimedia class presentations that require music or background sounds. Use this site when preparing lessons on plagiarism, copyright, and the open source software concept. Musically inclined students who enjoy this site should check out ccMixter reviewed here for more enriching types of musical interaction and collaboration!
Grades7 to 12
Keep in mind, music on this site is submitted by the general musical public and may include lyrics inappropriate for school. The "Hip Hop" genre includes some inappropriate offerings, so teachers will want to decide the best way to handle use of this site by students.
Each genre has its own URL, so it is possible to make only certain areas available. The "classical," "jazz" and other instrumental areas are safer. Depending on the maturity and trustworthiness of students, teachers may want to directly supervise use of this site.
In the ClassroomMusic teachers and content area teachers alike have a perfect opportunity to explicitly teach ethical use of internet materials and especially music. This discussion could spark a debate about plagiarism, copyright, patents, or inventors' rights, depending upon the course that is being taught. This can also be used in any content area as a free source of music for different multimedia class projects. If your students are mature enough, share the link to this site via your class web page (with a disclaimer about possibly inappropriate lyrics). Music teachers with talented composer/performer students may want to share the site as a potential place for students to share their work (with parent permission). Use this site during creative writing blocks (sharing the music on speakers).
GradesK to 12
tag(s): rhythm (20)
In the ClassroomMusic teachers trying to build understanding of basic rhythms will love sharing this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard and having students create their own rhythms online, then duplicate them with their own hands to build music listening skills. Health teachers can use the site to draw attention to the new CPR and invite students to send it out to their friends and family members.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Print the coloring pages for use in your classes. Use the activities and tie in to concepts in class (matching, etc). Share this link on your class website for families to explore together.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): keyboarding (37)