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ShowMe - The Online Learning Community - San Kim and Karen Bdoyan

Grades
K to 12
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ShowMe is an open learning community where you can learn or teach any subject. Explore topics such as math, science, world languages, social studies, art, and more. Explore the links...more
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ShowMe is an open learning community where you can learn or teach any subject. Explore topics such as math, science, world languages, social studies, art, and more. Explore the links on the home page or search for a topic with the search bar at the top of the page. Results are divided into subtopics and can be sorted by featured, popular, or recent videos. High school teachers may be especially interested in the ShowMe SAT offerings available through a link at the bottom of each page. Creating a ShowMe of your own requires a download of the app from the iTunes store (and an iPad). The download is free. If you are worried about students seeing questionable material, you may want to provide the link directly to the video you wish students to view. At the time of this review, all material appeared appropriate. Although it is not available yet, Showme hopes to offer an Android version of the app, as well.

tag(s): test prep (96), tutorials (47), video (253)

In the Classroom

Share the site (or individual videos) with your students to access at home for homework help using the Facebook, Twitter, email, or embed link on each video. List the ShowMe link on your class website. View tutorials on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a whole class. Encourage students to share links to specific videos they find helpful on a "Video Reviews" page of your class wiki. For a very real challenge, have students create their own simple review videos using the ShowMe app on iPads (if available) then embed them on your class wiki for a year-to-year student-made study guide! For examples of sophisticated topics simplified in whiteboard stick figure videos, see Common Craft, reviewed here.

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Vokle - Robert Kiraz

Grades
6 to 12
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required...more
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required to host an "event" but isn't necessary for viewing recorded events available on the site. After registering, create an event (or series) by providing a title, description, and category. Schedule an event for a future time or go live immediately. Invite others to the event by embedding the code on your website, Facebook page, Twitter link, or by sharing the url. Encourage participation through viewer comments and questions that can be screened and chosen by the host. Sessions are recorded and can be viewed at a later time making this very useful for the classroom. Search for sessions by browsing events and viewing available categories. The learning category may be a useful starting point.

tag(s): chat (51), video (253)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect to use when collaborating with other classrooms, for holding an author visit, or for professional collaboration. After hosting an event, share the link with students (or parents) who could not attend or who want to watch it over again. Encourage students to host their own event with topics such as book talks, interactive discussions on solving difficult math problems, or discussions of current events. Create a Vokle for parents to view, sharing your educational philosophy, classroom procedures and expectations, and other school-related information. Create a Vokle for students who were absent from class or who may want to watch the lesson again. Even elementary classes can make a Vokle under teacher supervision for special events such as Earth Day or the 100th day of school.

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Spreeder - 7-Speed-Reading

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn to read at a faster pace with much better reading comprehension using Spreeder, a free online speed reading service. Use passages of your choice by simply loading (or copy ...more
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Learn to read at a faster pace with much better reading comprehension using Spreeder, a free online speed reading service. Use passages of your choice by simply loading (or copy and paste) the text, and Spreeder will pace through it at a speed you set. You can adjust your speed as your reading comprehension increases. There is also a feature to increase "chunk" size, an effective strategy used in reading instruction. Get the free app for Chrome or use the practice box on the site. There is a paid "training" portion for this tool. This review is only for the free portion.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): reading comprehension (116), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

In this era of high-stakes testing, it is imperative that students be able to read and comprehend at an expected rate in order to complete the tasks within the designated time. Think about the implications for improving state test scores and PSAT or SAT college entrance exams! Demonstrate Spreeder on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard by copying and pasting practice passages from your state's Department of Education link to state testing. Link to SAT practice sites such as College Board SAT Preparation Center, reviewed here, or Test Prep Review, reviewed here. Provide opportunities for students to try it on individual classroom computers. Provide a direct link to Spreeder from your classroom web page or wiki. This will enable motivated students to take charge of increasing their own reading speed, or you may want to incorporate it with homework assignments and make parents aware of it.

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Pomodoro Timer - Ryhan Hassan

Grades
3 to 12
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Manage time more effectively using this online timer that reflects the Pomodoro time management technique. Based on the belief that proper time management and use of materials will...more
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Manage time more effectively using this online timer that reflects the Pomodoro time management technique. Based on the belief that proper time management and use of materials will increase productivity, this timer is set for 25 minutes. This allows for a 5 minute rest period before restarting the activity. Click start and the timer counts back from 25 minutes with a digital display and timeline bar.

tag(s): organizational skills (122), time (144)

In the Classroom

Display the timer on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to encourage students to maintain focus and put forth effort for 25 minutes with the understanding that a break will follow. Challenge older students to research the Pomodoro time management method and share other time-management techniques.

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Photoshop Express Online - 2012 Adobe Systems

Grades
6 to 12
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Photoshop Express Online is a free online storage site for all of your digital photos. Upload, edit, and organize your own library with 2GB of free storage. Create your own ...more
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Photoshop Express Online is a free online storage site for all of your digital photos. Upload, edit, and organize your own library with 2GB of free storage. Create your own personalized homepage that can be private or shared with friends. Find online tutorials such as; Light, Color, and Composition, Envisioning Improbable Realities, Keeping Ideas Fresh, and Combining Artistic Mediums. Submit questions or join the blog, After photo editing, add a description, or share with friends and family. Fill out a profile to get notifications of the latest products (NOT free).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Find plenty of room for all of your classes photos! Edit the photos to create quality prints. Organize into libraries to share with students and parents. Have a library for every class, assignment, every year, or yearbooks. In lower grades, set up a teacher account for the whole class. Communicate with parents, pen pals, or with collaborations between schools. In art classes, look at the possibilities of quality photography. In upper grade technology classes, create free galleries for each student (over 13), and highlight some of the latest photo editing software and apps. Use in science classes as a way to store data in digital images. In language arts, create stories through photos or make wordless picture books. Store student portfolios in digital format in your gallery. Journal throughout your school year in pictures.

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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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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 ...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 (96), 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
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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 ...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 (134), 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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Skloog - Skloog, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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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...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 (196)

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 (358)

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 (108)

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.
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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 (196), 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 (196), game based learning (103), gamification (65), images (265)

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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