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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, pdfs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to log with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. ) Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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Quiz Factor - Quiz Factor Limited

Grades
4 to 12
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Quiz Factor offers quizzes that are not about your typical "education" topics. There are both popular and specialist subjects. Some topic examples are: Animals and Nature, Cinema and...more
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Quiz Factor offers quizzes that are not about your typical "education" topics. There are both popular and specialist subjects. Some topic examples are: Animals and Nature, Cinema and Actors, Fashion and Design, History and Politics, Religion and Traditions, Science, Sports and Games, Technology and Manufacturing, and many more. At Quiz Factor you can climb the Leaderboards and win prizes. There are three types of quizzes: The Ladder, Time Trials, and True/False. You can also make your own quizzes. (At the time of this review, this feature was "coming soon.") This site is from the UK, and some questions in the General Knowledge section test facts you would know if you've been to the UK.

tag(s): animals (276), cultures (105), design (84), fashion (10), quiz (85), quizzes (97), radio (27), religions (61), sports (97), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Set up a computer or two in your classroom for those earlier finishers to take a quiz on a topic of their choice. Do you have students who have a deep interest in a certain topic or subject? Allow them to create a quiz for Quiz Factor. Have the student save the quiz, so you can view it before submission. This would be a great activity for some gifted students! Have students create quizzes after they have completed a research project. They could present their findings to the class, then allow the class to use their notes from the presentation to complete the quiz.

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KikuText - kikutext.com

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers ...more
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Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers nor do the teachers see the students' or parents' phone numbers. Create an account easily with basic contact information, then share the class code with parents. Parents text the code to be added and begin receiving updates and to respond to text messages. Communication through this site is safe and secure. This service is free; however, standard text messaging fees apply.

tag(s): classroom management (135), parents (56)

In the Classroom

Send out whole-class reminders to parents of upcoming tests, project due dates, school events, and more. Set up this site (and parents and students numbers) during the first week of school or at Back to School night. Use this site as an alternative to conference reminder slips (and save paper). Keep parents "in the loop" about students' behavior, achievement, and more with this tool. Imagine sending a text as you discover missing homework. Suddenly, accountability steps up a notch!

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Grovo - Video Training and Online Learning - Andy Dunn & Ben Lerer

Grades
K to 12
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Grovo offers thousands of video lessons covering Internet products you love or didn't know about. There are dozens of topics ranging from email etiquette to using popular Internet sites...more
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Grovo offers thousands of video lessons covering Internet products you love or didn't know about. There are dozens of topics ranging from email etiquette to using popular Internet sites (such as Evernote, Twitter, or Dropbox). Each lesson is divided into short subtopics and is under 2 minutes long. Included with each lesson (video) is a short quiz, key takeaways, and a glossary. Email registration (free) is required to access the tutorials and features of the site. Some of the tutorials are "premium" (paid) content.

tag(s): tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

This site is a great professional resource for teachers at all grade levels. Share tutorials on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) in upper elementary to high school when introducing websites or using them for classroom projects. Make this site available as a reference for students (and parents!). You might want to create a class account for quick access. As a practical experience in informational writing, have students use these as a model to create their own online "tours" to explain their own favorite websites or those used in class using Screenr (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zotero - Center for History and New Media at George Mason University

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool...more
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool saves information several ways: through a click at the bottom of the web browser, by a click on favorite/bookmark bar, or manually. Files already on computers can be included with files saved from the internet. Items can be grouped and sorted according to individual needs. Information saved through Zotero can be accessed on any computer that has the extension installed. The site includes a helpful quick start video guide explaining features included with the program.

tag(s): citations (34), evaluating sources (13), note taking (32), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Depending on school computer settings, you may need to have tech support install the program for you. Use Zotero to collect and organize classroom resources. Share with older students as a resource for gathering and citing information. Demonstrate how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard including showing the quick-start video. One of the advanced features of the site is the creation of groups. Share this with students who may be capable of using the feature to collaborate with others.

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Paradise Tossed - John Robert Ladd (Founder & Editor) and the Crew

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Paradise Tossed provides a starting point to break from the traditional methods of reading and writing poetry to experience the richness that technology can offer to this genre. This...more
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Paradise Tossed provides a starting point to break from the traditional methods of reading and writing poetry to experience the richness that technology can offer to this genre. This poetry and technology blog is mainly to use as a professional resource for discovering ways to merge the reading and writing of poetry with all the advantages that technology offers. There are screenshots, video clips, blog entries, and much more. Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to be a reader or writer of poetry without involving, embracing, and interacting with technology. Visit this site to find some of the best poetry resources from across the web, and tools to use with them. Although this site is not frequently updated, there is some wonderful information and resources to explore. This site was moved from its original location and left at this url in "archive" format so people could continue to use it. If it "disappears," please leave a comment notifying TeachersFirst of the "loss." That would be another (teacher) paradise "lost" !

tag(s): blogs (88), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

This site is a place that opens doors to thought provoking ideas for high school English students. Please be cautious and check with your school's policy about sharing blogs. You might want to bookmark the site for yourself, hide your pen and paper, and try some of the online tricks to look at the same old poems, or create new ones, in a whole new light. Then, show off your skills on an interactive white board. Next, it's the students turn to try it on individual computers. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Paradise Tossed provides teachers with a starting point to break from the traditional methods of reading and writing poetry to experience the richness that technology can offer to this genre. Be Aware: some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your school 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.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Skloog - Skloog, LLC

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places...more
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Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places you visit repeatedly. The tiles make it visual and so easy to use! Can't find the logo? Submit a site by clicking on a button at the bottom of the home page. Access and add to your Skloog bookmarks from anywhere using any computer, your mobile phone, or email. Make Skloog one of the tools on your browser's tool bar in order to add to your favorites quickly and easily. Add or change the preset category tabs that show at the top. Search your favorites by tags, URL, or website name. An added feature is the Skloog tab in the upper right corner of the menu on your short cut page. Click to find some of Skloog's favorite sites.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

This resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use on specific projects or as general course links. Use this site to share with other professionals, team members, or parents. Use the categories to save bookmarks for different units you have in your classroom. Make your Skloog page the homepage for your computer, too.

Consider having a category for student use for webquests, tools you want them to use, and creative commons images, music, etc. Also, create a category where students update with suggestions from class members. Use different colored alphabet tiles on a Skloog for younger, non-reader students. For example, give each subject its own distinctive color. They will also recognize logos well before they read!

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Mugeda - mugeda.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and...more
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and publish HTML5 animation. Basic tutorials guide you to create content with easy to follow instructions. Animation applications include; games, ads, cartoons, tutorials, or persuasive commercials. Use tablets, PCs, smartphones, or tablets. Note that HTML5 works on iPads and iTouches, where most Flash-based sites do not.

tag(s): animation (63), comics and cartoons (74), DAT device agnostic tool (199)

In the Classroom

Bring along Mugeda in your bag of tricks to capture and intrigue all of your students. Use Mugeda to illustrate class content, support debate, persuade, and entertain. The possibilities are endless! Add the creations to your website to share with your community. Use on school news programs to add student content without cost, and make information available for all levels of student abilities. Create commercials for your content or to convey information. In history classes go back in time to envision popular opinion that made history happen. Use during campaigns to promote your side of the debate. Science fairs will never be the same. Highlight projects to create anticipation. Send messages to students using the embedded tool. This programming tool has applications in all subject areas. Gifted students, ELL/ESL students, and remedial students will be captivated by this high interest way of expressing themselves.

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Box - Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith

Grades
4 to 12
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in ...more
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in Box and it is accessible everywhere you use it. Copy, save, or move the document simply and easily. Syncing and sharing is simple. No access to Internet at one of your locations? No problem! Your Box file stays in your Box account, and the next time you are online it will upload it for you. Share Box files with others for easy collaboration. Apps for Box are available (at the time of this review) for Windows, iOS, iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others through the tabs in the Account Settings. Though not a complete back up of all your documents, Box can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any item you can work with using Word can be used with Box. Teams of teachers can also use this download to save tests, share activities, and more.

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Iowa Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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Home page for the state's department of education. ...more
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Home page for the state's department of education.

In the Classroom

Mark your state's Department of Education in your Favorites for quick reference.

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Georgia Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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Home page for the state's department of education. ...more
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Home page for the state's department of education.

In the Classroom

Mark your state's Department of Education in your Favorites for quick reference.

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Reach Every Child - Horace Mann

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This blog offers at least 12,000 free resources and has over 200 features for every kind of teacher. Find features about the latest classroom innovations, lesson plans, information...more
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This blog offers at least 12,000 free resources and has over 200 features for every kind of teacher. Find features about the latest classroom innovations, lesson plans, information about scholarships, contests, and awards, and much more. Guest bloggers cover different areas of education.

tag(s): blogs (88), printables (38)

In the Classroom

Share ideas from the blog with other teachers and use images for inspiration in your classroom. Print and use free resources from the site such as bulletin board ideas, lesson plans, and more. Post a link to this blog on the school's website for others on your campus to use.

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Draw.io - JGraph, Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows...more
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows that graphic organizers promote strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Draw.io is a simple, free online tool for creating mind maps -- or diagrams for any purpose -- using shapes and arrows. Just drop and drag the shapes (or nodes) you want to the panel, connect the nodes by dragging the arrow, and double-click in the shape to add text. Use the simple toolbar at the top to insert images, change, bold, color and enlarge text, etc. Printing and exporting is also an option. If you click on the "Help" tab at the top, you will see "Video Tutorial" which uses flash. Draw.io uses JavaScript, not Flash, so it works on iOS devices.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25), venn diagrams (16), visual thinking (10)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate creating a mind map or other diagram on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use Draw.io to create family trees or flow charts. Learning support students could team up to map out the important concepts from a unit visually as a review activity. Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature, social studies, or science. Have students demonstrate their understanding by creating a graphic organizer about the main points or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle). Be sure they name their organizer BEFORE they start work with their name --or code name-- so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in. Anonymously share and compare different students' "views" of a unit so students can "see it through someone else's eyes."

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Spider Scribe - spiderscribe.net

Grades
2 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. Organize ideas by connecting notes, files, maps, calendar events, and more. Use this tool to collaborate and share maps...more
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SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. Organize ideas by connecting notes, files, maps, calendar events, and more. Use this tool to collaborate and share maps online with others. SpiderScribe has an easy to use interface. Drag the various stencils (elements) to the screen to begin. Watch the demo video to understand the basics of this free tool. You will be started in less than a minute!

tag(s): brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Easily add images to maps for young students, ELL learners, or non-readers to understand relationships and learn vocabulary. Or you can assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Internet Safety: Rules of the Road for Kids - Common Sense Media

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This site contains all the information that educators and parents need to keep kids safe online. There are resources, articles, videos, and links to help teach students about digital...more
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This site contains all the information that educators and parents need to keep kids safe online. There are resources, articles, videos, and links to help teach students about digital citizenship.

tag(s): cyberbullying (43), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter to help parents learn about Internet safety. Use the videos to help students learn how to be safe online. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use the information to run a parent information night.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Trello - Fog Creek Software

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Trello organizes your projects into boards. It tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. Updates are shown in real time, ...more
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Trello organizes your projects into boards. It tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. Updates are shown in real time, so refreshing the site isn't necessary. The two main items used on boards are cards and lists. Cards are tasks; create a card for each task and drag it to the list. Attachments such as videos, due dates, user notes, and more can be attached to cards. Then pull each card into a list and place in any order necessary to complete the tasks. You can be identified with an @symbol and receive instant notifications.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), graphic organizers (43), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use this site in the classroom for organizing any long term project such as a research report or collaborative projects. Create a board for each group with a timeline and assign parts for each project. Gradually release the responsibility from one project to the next, asking students to create their own task lists so they learn time management. Teachers of learning support and gifted will love this tool as a way to teach organizational skills. Share it with parents to support their organizationally challenged students. Yearbook or school newspaper advisors may want to consider this site for organizing and assigning tasks. Share this site with your school's PTA as a resource for organizing and planning school events.

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ThingLink - Thinglink.com

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
ThingLink is an interactive image tool offering a unique way to link "things" within images. Teachers and students should register using the EDU area. Although the example on the home...more
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ThingLink is an interactive image tool offering a unique way to link "things" within images. Teachers and students should register using the EDU area. Although the example on the home page uses Facebook to share a ThingLink, you do not have to use Facebook at all. Start with an image from upload, online url, or Flickr. Select specific items within your image (called "things") and link them to resources or other websites. By clicking an area within the image, viewers can access the "thing" (website) that you have linked. Add multiple links to separate items from areas within a single image. Choose or upload an image and click on the ThingLink icon on your image to begin editing. Click on specific spots to add information to the link. If you plan to create many Thinglinks from your own images, it may be easier to use a class or personal Flickr account to pull images from instead of using the maximum number of images to upload. Preload your images to that Flickr account before starting your ThingLinks. Free Android and iOS apps are available. Teacher tools include making student groups and more.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), DAT device agnostic tool (199), game based learning (103), gamification (65), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use digital images of lab experiments or class activities for sharing on a class wiki or blog with clickable enhancements offering additional information. Have students add links or even a blog reaction or explanation to their project or experiment image. Use the site for making a photography or art portfolio blog. Have students annotate images to explain their work or various techniques they used. World language or ESL/ELL teachers can enhance images with links to sound files or other explanations for better understanding. Use in world language to label items in an image with the correct words in that language. Young students could write simple sentences to practice language skills while explaining about a favorite picture or activity. Use in Science to explain the experiment or in a Consumer Science class to explain cooking or other techniques. Consider creating a class account for student groups to use together. Teachers can create a ThingLink of an image with questions and links that students must investigate to respond as a self-directed learning activity. An image of a tree could have questions and links about types of leaves, photosynthesis, and the seasons, for example. Gifted students could create a collection of annotated images that link to sound files to add "personalities" to science objects (think of the talking trees in the Wizard of Oz) or create an annotated image of a almost anything they research to go beyond regular curriculum they have already mastered: Annotate an image of a food product to link to information about its sources and potential harms. Annotate an image of a campaign poster and "debunk" its claims with links to video clips that show the politician in action, etc. Annotate an advertisement with links its propaganda techniques. Teens with a sophisticated sense of humor will especially enjoy linking to ironic examples that debunk or offer a satire of the original!

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Scrumblr - scrumblr

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free tool to create an online whiteboard with as many columns you create and sticky notecards you place on the board. No sign up or membership needed! ...more
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Use this free tool to create an online whiteboard with as many columns you create and sticky notecards you place on the board. No sign up or membership needed! Just start right in. You can type information on a each new card you make and drag it into place. Start by entering a title for your board. This becomes part of its url. Add sticky notecards with messages to your board using the plus sign at lower left. Draw attention to specific sticky notecards -- or color code them into groups-- by dragging one of the colored dots (lower right) to each notecard. Anyone who has the link will be able to add to the whiteboard. Add or remove column dividers on the whiteboard by using the + or - icon to the side. Label pro/con columns or other categories for as many columns as you wish. Don't forget to copy the url for your board before you close it! Paste it somewhere you won't lose it or mark it in your favorites.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use this as a place to put web quest links and information. As a project idea, have students create a wall about their summer vacation. They can include links and other information to display. Have elementary students build a class homework board each day, having a different student add the assignment for each subject; then share the link to the board for them to access at home. "Writing down" assignments can be fun! Any activity you can do by sorting and ranking words, terms, or ideas can be done instantly (and changed later) on a Scrumblr board. Use this tool as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words or science unit terms. Create walls of pro/con for debates or high level thinking viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Stixy here. Decide which one you prefer!

This is the perfect quick start tool for your gifted students to record the ideas that occur to them during class. Have them create their own boards with a "what if" column for the crazy questions that pop in their heads, things like "What if Shakespeare wrote in a different meter?" or "Would Poe and Stephen King get along?" Give permission for far-fetched questions and graffiti! Have them create pro/con boards for tough topics such as gun rights during a unit on the Constitution, including links to evidence to support the statements they make on notecards. This tool could also help them brainstorm and sequence steps for a major independent project, sometimes a real challenge for the brightest students!

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Mining the Riches of History: Creating Oral Histories - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This installment in the Help I lost my library/media specialist series offers a step by step approach to an oral history research unit, written by an experienced elementary library/media...more
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This installment in the Help I lost my library/media specialist series offers a step by step approach to an oral history research unit, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this plan will inspire any teacher to incorporate interviewing skills and oral histories into your teaching. Lesson ideas and resources for interviewing, primary sources, and sharing make this unit especially exciting.

tag(s): interviews (16), local history (13), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Mark this in your Favorites as a way to develop information literacy in your classes, even if you no longer have a library/media specialist to help out.

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NetFamilyNews - Anne Collier

Grades
K to 12
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Founded in 1999, NetFamilyNews has become one of the leading sources of current technology information for parents. Subscribe to the site to receive a weekly email of the latest articles....more
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Founded in 1999, NetFamilyNews has become one of the leading sources of current technology information for parents. Subscribe to the site to receive a weekly email of the latest articles. Parents that subscribe to a web reader can add an RSS feeder to receive the updates. For information on a specific topic just make sure the www.netfamilynews.org button is checked under the search box before you search otherwise you will be searching the entire web using Google. Monitoring a child's use of technology is a difficult daunting task. NetFamilyNews will help parents make knowledgeable and informed decisions.

tag(s): cyberbullying (43), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Include this site on your class web page for parents as a reference to help them deal with technology issues at home. If you do not have a web-page consider sending a newsletter home. If you are doing an Internet safety lesson with your class, parents can reinforce the lesson at home with information and ideas from NetFamilyNews. Have students make a poster with rules that help them stay safe when using technology such as the Internet and cell phones. Students can take this poster home, share it with parents and add rules for use at home. The poster can be displayed by the computer or in students' bedrooms.

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