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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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In-sites to Einstein - Jen Farr

Grades
7 to 12
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories,...more
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories, and even quotes he has made. A vast array of sites is listed in each section, and much of the information is actually located elsewhere on the web.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), scientists (68)

In the Classroom

Have groups of students spend time perusing the topics and taking time to collect information. Share information learned with other members of the class to get a great background on the life and works of Einstein. Use to understand the theories he developed and discuss the difference between laws and theories. Have students (or groups) explore a specific part of this site and write a blog post about what they learn. Use a site such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Use this site as part of a unit for the gifted on Great Minds.

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Cellular Visions - Harvard University

Grades
9 to 12
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Find great videos of animations (including narration) of the inner life of the cell, the mitochondria, and other topics. Each video opens in a new window, and the web address ...more
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Find great videos of animations (including narration) of the inner life of the cell, the mitochondria, and other topics. Each video opens in a new window, and the web address can be copied to be shared on a blog, wiki, or website. The inner life videos also can be found without audio. Some of the videos require Flash; others require QuickTime.

tag(s): cells (102)

In the Classroom

Use the animations without audio as an introduction to cell biology. Allow time for students to note what they observe and to guess which cell parts that these may be. Show the video with audio to marvel at what we now know about the internal working of the cell and the cell parts. Follow the video with activities that allow for modeling of the cell on a larger scale to learn the parts.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Metro: Sustainable Living - Metro

Grades
6 to 12
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality...more
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality life for you, your family, and the planet.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): environment (317), natural resources (59), recycling (57), resources (112), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Though originally for residents of Portland, Oregon, anyone, anywhere can use this resource. Use as a start for good ideas and search for additional information for better understanding. Create blog posts, websites, posters, or other media to share ideas with others to create community involvement in sustainable living. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. When researching and discussing environmental issues, be sure to add practical ways for others to DO something. Challenge your students to create their own community of young people at your school to become involved in sustainable living. Use this site for ideas to launch Earth Day initiatives and public service announcements.

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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (86), independent reading (126), interviews (16), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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Thunks - Get Thunking - Ian Gilbert

Grades
4 to 12
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A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking yes/no question that stops you in your tracks to look at the world in a whole new light. Over a thousand Thunks are included ...more
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A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking yes/no question that stops you in your tracks to look at the world in a whole new light. Over a thousand Thunks are included on the site with simple yes or no responses. View results easily, read comments, or submit your own comment by including your name, email (will not be displayed), and comment. Thunks can be chosen by categories such as good and bad, human condition, or friendship. At the time of this review, we found no evidence of inappropriate public comments (and we looked hard!) , but you might want to preview before turning young people loose on the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Display a Thunk on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a discussion/debate starter. Have students choose a response and defend their answer. Allow students to discuss their answer throughout the week and survey responses again. Have students create their own Thunks to be discussed in class. Create a bulletin board and allow students to post comments and reactions to the question posed. Use a Thunk as a journal writing prompt. Make this page available for students who are "stuck" thinking of something to write about.

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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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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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Wondermind - Tate Liverpool

Grades
4 to 12
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for...more
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for the interactive video that explains an aspect of the brain, such as how we learn language, how the brain develops from childhood to adulthood, how memory works, how we sense our own location, and how we learn self-control. Wondermind, set to the theme of Alice in Wonderland, will delight you with the quirky, clever, or just plain weird art inspired by Alice in Wonderland and used as part of the designs. The activities can be skipped if you prefer to just view the videos.

tag(s): body systems (57), brain (72), human body (120), logic (235), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for students to try the challenges and then view videos on your interactive whiteboard together. Check out the learning resources link to view a video with additional ideas for visual perception games and activities. Use as part of your Alice in Wonderland or Lewis Carroll units. If you teach psychology, anatomy, or health, this exploration will offer a new angle into how the brain works. Use the game and video about memory during a unit on study skills and discovering how students learn best. Teachers of gifted may also want to explore this site as part of a unit on the gifted mind. Learning support teachers may also want to use portions to help students better understand why their minds operate differently -- not "badly." Bright Asperger's students might be fascinated by the portion on the prefrontal cortex and how we learn self-control.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Agriculture - 4-U - Mark Thompson

Grades
K to 12
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Agriculture - 4-U offers an explanation of where and how we get our food. Though developed for the United Kingdom, much of the information also applies to the United States ...more
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Agriculture - 4-U offers an explanation of where and how we get our food. Though developed for the United Kingdom, much of the information also applies to the United States or any other country. There are sections for teachers, learners, and the "Farm Yard." The teacher portion contains many links to videos, lessons, and activities divided into student age ranges from Foundation (preschool) through Secondary. The Farm Yard contains videos and data on crops, livestock, disease, and agricultural careers. The learner portion has sections to learn about crops, livestock, and careers. Although some activities are immediately available (especially those in the learners and Farm Yard portions), you can access everything on the site after completing the free trial application (free until further notice!) requiring your name, email, and school information.

tag(s): agriculture (54), careers (132), plants (144), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Include this site during a unit on farming or careers. You can also include it in geography class discussions about use of natural resources and regional economies. Show videos on your interactive whiteboard or create a link on classroom computers. Challenge students to create a word cloud of terms about agriculture or farming using a tool such as Wordle reviewed here. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of crops found in the United Kingdom verses those found in your area.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Convert center - Baltsoft Software

Grades
4 to 12
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This quick and easy tool converts between units of measurement. Useful in both math and science, find any kind of conversion for many different types of measures. Use the From ...more
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This quick and easy tool converts between units of measurement. Useful in both math and science, find any kind of conversion for many different types of measures. Use the From and To boxes to find your specific conversion. Find many odd and seldom used units for conversion. (This would be a great time to research where and why some units were used in the past!) Conversions to many different units are included, and a link to the results is displayed to share with others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (22), measurement (159)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Family and consumer science and world language teachers will also find the U.S. liquid measure and weight conversions handy when converting recipes from English/U.S. to metric and vice versa. Have students create infographics SHOWING the relationships between units of measure during your math or science unit on measurement.

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Squishy Circuits - AnnMarie Thomas

Grades
2 to 10
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Squishy Circuits takes the fear out of electrical engineering and replaces it with fun! Using two different home-made play dough recipes, this scientist devised a way to teach her toddler...more
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Squishy Circuits takes the fear out of electrical engineering and replaces it with fun! Using two different home-made play dough recipes, this scientist devised a way to teach her toddler about electronics. Turning her kitchen into an electrical engineering lab was easier than you may think. Two different play dough recipes provide conductors and resistors. Demonstrate how electricity moves by attaching the play dough to a battery pack and using LED lights. All ages will love "playing" with electronics. Watch the short video explanation of how this project started, and see a great demonstration by the creator of the project. Directions are available video video or as a PDF.

tag(s): circuits (20), electricity (89)

In the Classroom

Budgets are tight and times are tough, but using these activities, we can still keep the lights on electrical engineering. Have students make the play dough in lab or make it in advance for them. Color the recipes with different food colors so that you can easily identify which recipe is which. Explain how the battery packs and indicator lights work, and then let them play with the play dough and the battery packs. Please advise students of safety hazards and caution them against putting sensors directly against the battery pack. Once they have had time to play, have them identify different circuit parts using correct electrical terminology. Challenge students to create more and use their imaginations to try different situations and scenarios. Have different groups share their findings with the class, and allow the groups to share ideas to reach even further.
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TED - TED staff

Grades
6 to 12
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TED is the home of the award-winning TEDTalks video site, a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In the beginning, the TEDTalks mission was to bring together people from...more
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TED is the home of the award-winning TEDTalks video site, a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In the beginning, the TEDTalks mission was to bring together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. However, its scope has broadened to challenge the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers to give the talk of their lives (in approximately 18 minutes or less). At the time of this review, TED.com has more than 1,100 of the best talks and performances by speakers with powerful ideas from around the world. The talks are free and the collection continues to grow. The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas, thus it aims to provide a platform for the world's smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries, and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Easily search the site by topics, disciplines, newest releases, or most favorite. TEDTalks offers subtitles in various languages which enhances the accessibility for the hearing-impaired, and for those who speak English as a second language.

tag(s): cultures (105), politics (99)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for a clearinghouse that offers free inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, this ever-evolving site is perfect for engaging your students with digital videos of the global issues facing our world today. Use your projector or interactive whiteboard to project videos. Watch your students' enthusiastic reactions in science, social studies, or English classrooms as they view a TED video and then follow-up with a debate on the future or the impact of technology on society, or use them as a springboard for interesting writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Challenge students to do a compare/contrast activity using an online Venn Diagram tool (reviewed here). Most of the videos are less than twenty minutes, which makes it real doable to embed in a one-period class lesson.
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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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How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs Spreadsheets - MakeUseOf

Grades
4 to 12
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making...more
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making the process much easier. You need a Google Doc account and some familiarity with using spreadsheets. This site does include comments. At the time of this review, all comments were appropriate for classroom use.
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tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards to share with your students. Students can run them from a computer or download an app that can read the two column format of a spreadsheet to view on the go. All information for using the flashcards is explained in this resource. Use for any subject matter for any age. Challenge students to create their own flashcards to use to study for the big test! This tool can be used in ALL subject areas.

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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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Physics animations - physics-animations.com

Grades
11 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Watch easy to understand animations to explain even the most complex ideas of Physics. Choose from Waves, Optics, Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Electricity. View an animated image,...more
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Watch easy to understand animations to explain even the most complex ideas of Physics. Choose from Waves, Optics, Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Electricity. View an animated image, the explanation of the theory, and a video for each concept. Some of the videos require specific plug-ins, depending on your browser. So preview before you share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): electricity (89), heat (15), optics (13), waves (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Save this link on your class webpage for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Use this site to help explain many physics concepts that may be difficult to understand. Use in conjunction with other interactives, animations, and laboratory experiences to provide better understanding of the concept.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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