Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomA whole class twitter account can follow favorite authors and authors' read through of class novels. The class can direct message them with questions about the book: how they came to write the story, are the characters based on anyone the author knows, and any other ideas your students might come up with. In literature circles a different member of the group each week can Twitter the author of the book as part of the "author analyzer" job. Learn more about Twitter and find many more ways to use it from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomPress the Record button. Use and re-size the rectangle on the screen to determine the portion to be recorded. Press the "Record" button again to begin recording and then "Done" when completed. Be sure to allow time for the site to process the recording.
Use this free resource by using a twitter account to login. No other registration option is available. Check our review of Twitter for information including creating a Twitter account.
Create screencasts showing how to use do various computer tasks or use web sites. Demonstrate how to use a web site or software for specific tasks within the classroom. For example, show how to use the comment feature in Word for annotating class notes, reading passages, and other items. Make how-to demos for instructions on using and navigating your class home page, class wiki or blog, or other applications you wish the students to use in creation of their own projects. By narrating how you want students to navigate through a certain site or section, you can eliminate confusion, provide an opportunity for students to replay the information as a refresher for the future, and maintain a record for absent students. Software demonstrations add an increased flexibility with helping students who need it while allowing students to begin and work at their own pace. Added audio is a great asset for many students including learning support and those who might need to access the material in smaller "chunks." Use this site for students to give "tours" of their own wiki or blog page. The presentation of their web-based projects and resources can be more engaging. Use screencasts to critique or show the validity of websites, identify a resource site they believe is most valuable, or explain how to navigate an online game. Social studies teachers could assign students to critique a political candidate's web page using a screencast. Reading/language arts teachers could have student teams analyze a web site to show biased language, etc. For a powerful writing experience, have students "think aloud" their writing choices as they record a screencast of a revision or writing session. You will probably need to model this process, but writing will NEVER be the same! Math teachers using software such as Geometer's Sketchpad could have students create their own narrated demonstrations of geometry concepts as review (and to save as future learning aids). Teachers at any level can create screencasts to demonstrate a computer skill or assignment, such as for a center in your classroom or in a computer lab. Students can replay the "tutorial" on their own from your class web page and follow the directions.
In the ClassroomTo browse the activities, no special skills are required. If you plan to create your own activity, a Skype account is necessary. Use your Skype login to use this site. Be sure to check with school authorities before scheduling or using Skype with students. Be sure the Acceptable Use Policy covers the use of such tools. Spend time discussing appropriate and inappropriate behavior with students prior to using Skype or participating in many of the projects found on this site.
Browse through the projects link to find ideas, tips from other teachers, and to find teachers to collaborate and connect with your students. You can search the project ideas by project, age range, language, subject, tags, and more. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors (check out their web sites or this blog for contact information). Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom at this valuable website.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be familiar with Google documents and forms. You must also have a Google account (FREE). Follow the demo and overview to become acquainted with this tool. This tool is best used by teachers for ongoing formative assessment. If allowing students to create formative assessments, be sure to create a separate class Google and Flubaroo account for use. Consider assigning groups to to make daily quizzes for the whole class to take as an ongoing formative assessment. Use for check point quizzes to check on terminology, general understanding, and to identify weaknesses in student understanding. Be sure to save this site in your favorites to use professionally to save time and keep your learning tasks organized.
I would be curious to know how good you have to be with Google docs to be able to use this. Sounds like a summer project for me!Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomIt is helpful to have a Flickr account to organize photos. Users must be able to find and upload/provide the URL of a specific photo. This tool is so simple with very little steps for creating. Simply upload your photo, select from a few options, and then create.
Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.
Options here are endless. Find out what students understand about a concept by creating a 6 word story. Students find a suitable picture and sum up the concept in 6 words. Students can use the Motivator tool reviewed here to create. Place their creation on a blog, wiki, or site and have students write about how their understandings of the concept have changed throughout the study of it. Create Badges for field trips and other activities. Use the Trading Card Maker reviewed here to identify what a student understands about a concept. Create trading cards of the many species that exist in the world or of places to visit, past leaders of nations, or states and other countries. Create vocabulary trading cards. Use social networking in the classroom? Create an Avatar to use on these spaces. Reading a book or viewing documentaries? Create Movie Posters to share information or to inform others about various times in History. Whatever you use this tool for, it is powerful for students to use a great image and word captions to display their knowledge.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Requires registration/log in (NO email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomCounselors and English teachers, this is a huge site, and students might give up on finding what is important. It would be best for you to peruse the site and make recommendations for your students to look at. Share the weekly TV show on your interactive whiteboard or projector. English teachers may want to project the site in class and show students the advice about writing a resume, interviewing techniques, or how to develop your own content for Google, so when someone does a Google search on you, you look sharp!
Grades7 to 12
There are suggestions, resources, and support to empower your students and give them the energy to take action and make a difference. Whether their passion is to feed the homeless, end bullying, help even the playing field of educational inequalities, or many more needy causes, this website is chock full of easy to access information and strategies that encourage teenagers to decide for themselves how they can contribute their time and desire to make a difference.
tag(s): service projects (25)
In the ClassroomDo you believe that kids can change the world? What are you doing about that? If you have been thinking about involving your class in some type of community service, but need some direction, DoSomething.org is a phenomenal place to "shop" around for ideas. Perhaps you may want to start by showing the film, Pay It Forward, or with a writing prompt, "If you were given time in school to come up with one idea that could be put into action right now by people your age that would make this school or this community a better place, what would it be and how would you put your plan into action?" Have students share ideas in small groups, then introduce them to DoSomething.org by projecting it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, viewing some of the short videos, and using the power of the internet to empower them to act now. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Club advisers, school counselors, and teachers of gifted can use the empowering resources of this site to inspire students to ACT.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to place this link in a prominent location on a wiki, site, or blog for discussion and review by students. Allow students to remix the video (really, you are allowed!) to show specific examples of copyright and the use of creative commons in your class. As you teach about ethical use of electronic media, compare and contrast what users are permitted to do under Copyright vs. Creative Commons. Conduct a mock debate where students play the roles of writers, artists, publishers, and end users. Even if you are teaching computer literacy skills, the understanding of "rights" is essential in knowing what is possible vs what is ethical (and legal). Start with this video.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): safety (93)
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.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomBring galleries from all around the globe right into your classroom and project them in full view on your whiteboard or screen. Whether your objective is to explore curriculum connections to topics you are studying, introduce and examine concepts such as a particular theme or time period, practice descriptive writing, pair works of art with literary selections and historical documents, or develop art appreciation, start by selecting a museum, and then either chose to explore the museum or view the artwork. The drop-down menus and information bars let you navigate easily between the museum and artworks. Choose the "Create an Artwork Collection" feature to build a class collection of specific views of the artworks and add comments; then share online. Create and annotate a class collection to pair with a literary work or invite each student to select a work for a Favorites Museum, explaining his/her choice in written comments. Then share the link for parents to tour the "museum" and comment back. For more ideas, lesson plans, and projects, check out the National Gallery of Art reviewed here and browse the online resources for teachers and students. Try inviting the art teacher to collaborate on a joint venture with you.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): ebooks (41)
In the ClassroomThis resource may reshape the way you think about science notebooks. Notebooks are an active communication tool between students and teachers and help students understand concepts, allowing for quick and easy formative assessments. Plus, using a notebook strategy such as this allows your students to create their own version of the science textbook. All of the student's work is in one place, making organization a lot better than random papers falling out of a folder. Try this strategy in any science, especially in the middle level classrooms from sixth through eighth grade. Students will learn greater organization skills and develop stronger understandings of the science they are studying. The organizational skills can easily transfer to other subjects, as well, if you are on a teaching team interested in reinforcing organization.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomListen to one of the oral histories as a class (turn up the speakers), and then encourage your students to develop their own questions and record an interview with an older family member. An option on the site allows students from countries with no recorded essays yet to submit their own oral histories to the site. Consider having students record their interviews and create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Begin your study of civics in your classroom with the Civic Voices Student Survey. Before your study of basic citizen rights, check the Memory Bank Narratives to see what countries offer recorded interviews on certain selected rights. Discuss why the students think some countries have not collected social histories on certain topics. Ask your international students to check their own home countries and see if they agree with what has been recorded.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTeachers, plan professional development using the free videos and resources from the site. Share the web link on your school's webpage for parents to access. In addition, encourage your PTO/PTA to host an Autism Speaks evening for all interested parents. If you are dealing with an autistic child in your own classroom and feel ill-prepared or uncertain of the best strategies to use, the explanations and ideas on this site will definitely help.
GradesK to 12
*Note from the creators of the site, "Firefox 4 compatibility - Add-Art does not work w/ Firefox 4, yet. But it is an open-source, volunteer project and has always been improved by people like you. The code is free for you to modify so you don't have to start from scratch."
tag(s): safety (93)
In the ClassroomBlocking ads on school computers is a great way to avoid inappropriate content and will reduce the confusion that visual inference can cause. Be sure to get permission from your IT department before installing this ad-on to school computers. Maybe you can even convince them to install it schoolwide! Preview the artwork that Add-art uses by clicking on "Shows" before installing this ad on. Plug-ins such as Add-Art are not permanent and are easy to disable.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): independent reading (125)
In the ClassroomTrying to motivate reluctant readers to pick up a book or to require independent reading is not always an easy task. Make the task more glamorous by providing your students the link to Whichbook. Demonstrate the site and invite students to try it on your whiteboard to witness the fun they will have discovering books they want and need. Then, provide a direct link on your class web page or wiki to make it easily available. Technology has built-in appeal; therefore, the idea of using it as a method to choose a book offers an imaginative way for promoting reading. As always, while in the classroom or computer lab, caution should be taken to oversee students' use of the website as it is possible to type in characteristics that may not be appropriate for the grade level. As an extension or book report alternative, challenge students to make their own simple graphics categorizing books they have read using the same system, determining where they would fall on each of the different scales. Have them explain why they would label the book that way. Share the student-made graphics and explanations on your class wiki.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThese lessons are great for the new SMART Board user or the seasoned pro. Use these if you need a lesson but don't have time to create one from scratch. View the lessons and use them to help you create your own lesson. Click the different tabs to view the different grade levels. Please note that all of these activities require SMART Notebook software (which comes with SMART brand IWBs). Don't have SMART brand IWB's? Some files will work using the SMART Notebook Express online viewer available here. (Download the notebook file from Longwood's collection to your desktop and then upload to SMART Notebook Express site.) If you use a lesson, go to the staff directory under District Information -> Email Directory and send the creator a thank you. Think how great it would be to receive an email from a teacher "out there" thanking YOU for sharing?
GradesK to 12
tag(s): iwb (31)