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FreeCol- The Colonization of America - FreeCol

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8 to 12
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FreeCol is a downloadable strategy game with the objective of the colonists creating an independent nation. Along the way trade with Europe and bring in the colonists while growing...more
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FreeCol is a downloadable strategy game with the objective of the colonists creating an independent nation. Along the way trade with Europe and bring in the colonists while growing your population. Attract colonists with money and/or religious freedom. Choose between becoming the Native Americans' friend or foe. Befriending them gives you new skills and items; while attacking their villages can result in lots of valuables while adding to the tensions. Choose from single or multiple player options and difficulty level.

tag(s): colonization (16), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Download FreeCol onto classroom computers for use as a computer center activity. Display on your interactive whiteboard or projector and discuss strategy options together as a class. Use a visual storytelling tool such as Check This, reviewed here, (no registration required) and have students write about strategies and decision-making processes.

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Junior General - juniorgeneral.org

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8 to 12
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Understand battle tactics from the stone age through modern times with hands-on gameplay with Junior General. Use printables from the site to create paper troops, and then choose from...more
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Understand battle tactics from the stone age through modern times with hands-on gameplay with Junior General. Use printables from the site to create paper troops, and then choose from different rules and scenarios to recreate a battle. Be sure to take advantage of the many articles offering tips and advice for using and modifying resources found on the site.

tag(s): battles (16), korea (15), vietnam (36), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Choose from the many different options on this site to create battle recreations offering a much better perspective of troop size and battle tactics. Pique student interest in reading the scenarios by having them cut and prepare figures, forests, and more in advance. Using the figures on Junior General takes some advanced planning, so have students start cutting and preparing figures a day or two before beginning the reading. Challenge students to create timelines of the major events of a battle (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier during a battle. Use the scenarios as informational reading to meet Common Core Standards.

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Andrew Carnegie's Story - Carnegie Corporation of New York

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7 to 12
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie beginning with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. ...more
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie beginning with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. Scroll through the site to read about Carnegie's youth and explore the timeline of his business. Continue reading to learn about his philanthropic side, including the founding of over 2,500 libraries across the United States. Use links at the top of the page to view specific portions of the site without having to scroll through all sections. The video at the end is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view it at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): 1900s (33), biographies (87), business (58), railroads (10)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this resource with a study of the 19th Century, famous businessmen, or philanthropy. Have students create maps of libraries in your state funded by the Carnegie Foundation using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Andrew Carnegie and his peers. Use this site as a starting point to compare Andrew Carnegie to current businessmen and philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

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Frontline: The Gulf War - WGBH Educational Foundation

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8 to 12
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While the US Gulf War may seem more a current event than history, the conflict is now 25 years in the past. Public Broadcasting's Frontline presents an overview of the ...more
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While the US Gulf War may seem more a current event than history, the conflict is now 25 years in the past. Public Broadcasting's Frontline presents an overview of the Persian Gulf crisis in 1990, including oral histories, maps, a timeline, and descriptions of the weapons and technology used by US and Allied forces. The site, first launched in 1996, now offers some fresh perspectives in light of current events.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (51), middle east (30), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

War in the Middle East has been a fact of life for today's students. Use the resources here to help students understand the current conflict in the context of the Persian Gulf crisis of 1990. Many of the major decision makers involved in the Gulf War are still politically active today. Challenge students to explore their influence over time. How have attitudes toward this conflict changed as the violence has persisted?

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Star Wars in the Classroom - EDventure Quest Learning LLC

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5 to 12
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Use the magic of Star Wars to spark learning and imagination in many curricular areas with resources found on this site. Choose the Content Areas link to find lessons and ...more
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Use the magic of Star Wars to spark learning and imagination in many curricular areas with resources found on this site. Choose the Content Areas link to find lessons and activities in mythology, social studies, science, and more. Be sure to check out the ELA resources that include many literature-related activities with themes such as good vs. evil and heroes and villains. The History content has sections on geography, world religions, elections, current events, and more. Several portions of the site include activities to download in PDF format.

tag(s): heroes (24), literary devices (11), literature (275), movies (65), myths and legends (25), planets (123), psychology (64), religions (61), robotics (25), themes (12)

In the Classroom

Appeal to students through the movies they love using Star Wars in the Classroom. Collaborate with teachers to create a cross-curricular Star Wars unit. Use resources from this site with gifted students or for independent learners. The lessons and units at this site lend themselves to having students make multimedia presentations about what they learned. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Tools, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a Star Wars character.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (51), authors (120), black history (59), civil war (145), commoncore (94), constitution (79), hispanic (18), jefferson (19), lincoln (86), new deal (6), primary sources (86), segregation (15), thanksgiving (37), veterans (19), washington (36), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. This tool allows users to narrate a picture. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Invasion of Normandy - Naval History and Heritage Command

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8 to 12
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Explore D-Day events through the perspective of the U.S. Navy. Choose from different links explaining military operations such as Exercise Tiger and Operation Neptune. Watch a 1944...more
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Explore D-Day events through the perspective of the U.S. Navy. Choose from different links explaining military operations such as Exercise Tiger and Operation Neptune. Watch a 1944 newsreel telling of the liberation of Rome or learn about famous Rear Admirals Ford and Cabanillas and their role in D-Day.

tag(s): d day (8), navy (9), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either in a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them share their findings with a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.

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D-Day: Teachers' Sources - Imperial War Museums

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8 to 12
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Investigate the events of D-Day and their impact on World War II with this simple but interesting resource. Scroll through the photos and short captions to see first-hand images of...more
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Investigate the events of D-Day and their impact on World War II with this simple but interesting resource. Scroll through the photos and short captions to see first-hand images of Allied Commanders, Hitler, soldiers going ashore, and more. Scroll all the way down the page to find a downloadable PDF with suggested activities, a D-Day PowerPoint, and a Hands on Science and Technology Challenge.

tag(s): d day (8), veterans (19), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a World War II unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, commander, or loved one during the D-Day invasion. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Make your D-Day lessons interdisciplinary by sharing the Hands on Science and Technology lesson with science teachers at your site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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American Experience: D-Day - PBS

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8 to 12
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This companion site for the PBS program of the same name offers a substantial number of resources with information about D-Day. Read the complete program transcript, stories from soldiers,...more
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This companion site for the PBS program of the same name offers a substantial number of resources with information about D-Day. Read the complete program transcript, stories from soldiers, and emotional letters sent to loved ones at home. Scroll through the timeline to understand how the events unfolded from 1939 through 1945. Choose the Teacher's Guide for several activities useful for understanding the impact of D-Day in the American and Global cultures.

tag(s): d day (8), veterans (19), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or as a guide for a lecture about D-Day within a US or World History Course. Have students create D-Day or World War II timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students make a multimedia presentation incorporating information found on this site using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.

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National D-Day Memorial - National D-Day Memorial Foundation

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8 to 12
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This informative site uses photographs, articles, maps, and videos to recapture the remarkable events of June 6, 1944. Choose the History tab to learn about D-Day events beginning with...more
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This informative site uses photographs, articles, maps, and videos to recapture the remarkable events of June 6, 1944. Choose the History tab to learn about D-Day events beginning with an overview of events leading up to the storming of the beaches of Normandy. Find background information on some of the important characters of this historic event. Be sure to scroll down the right side of the webpage to find links to Educational Tools such as lesson plans and first-hand accounts from Veterans of D-Day. At the time of review, some pages were still under construction so you may want to check back for updates. At least one of the videos is presented via YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): d day (8), veterans (19), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Feature this site during a single lesson on D-Day or as part of any World War II unit. Challenge students to make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. Assign students to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Direct students to use a mapping tool such as Mapskip, reviewed here, to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)! Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, leader, or politician involved with D-Day events.

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Technology Integration Matrix - Florida Center for Instructional Technology

Grades
K to 12
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The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) offers an evaluation tool to assess the use of technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. This rubric evaluates the level of technology...more
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The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) offers an evaluation tool to assess the use of technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. This rubric evaluates the level of technology integration along with characteristics of a learning environment. Click on a content subject in any of the evaluation tool boxes to view a video of an example lesson in a classroom demonstrating different levels of technology integration. As a complement to the evaluation tool, view resources found within the rubric sorted by grade level, type of digital tool, and resources by choosing links at the top of the page.

tag(s): rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use the matrix to evaluate how you use technology in your classroom. Share with administrators and peers as part of your ongoing professional development. View videos to understand different ways to incorporate technology in your classroom.

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Freemake Video Converter - Ellora Assets Corporation

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K to 12
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Convert, edit, and save video files with Freemake Video Converter. The video converter supports over 300 file input formats including video, audio, and image files. Use templates provided...more
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Convert, edit, and save video files with Freemake Video Converter. The video converter supports over 300 file input formats including video, audio, and image files. Use templates provided to turn photos or images into slideshows with a chosen soundtrack. Other features include the ability to clip and rotate video, upload to YouTube, and convert files to burn and save on Blu-ray or DVD. Be sure to watch the video on the site with directions on how to use this tool. It is a YouTube video so you may need to watch it somewhere other than at school.

tag(s): conversions (23), images (266), movies (65), multimedia (57), slides (63), video (254)

In the Classroom

Share with students for use with any multimedia or presentation project. Use this tool to backup videos on your YouTube channel. Bookmark and save this video converter for use as an alternative to Keepvid, reviewed here. This tool and Keepvid are both used to download and save videos at home that you wish to show to students, especially if they are blocked at school. If you want to use the video at school, you may need to save the conversion to a USB stick, if a CD drive isn't available.

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Fotojet - PearlMountain Technology Co., Ltd

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K to 12
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Create beautiful photo collages, cards, and posters easily with Fotojet. Choose from over 320 templates and upload pictures directly from your computer or Facebook. Edit photos for...more
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Create beautiful photo collages, cards, and posters easily with Fotojet. Choose from over 320 templates and upload pictures directly from your computer or Facebook. Edit photos for size, exposure, rotate, flip or mirror, add text (and edit), and more. When finished, share using links or download as a JPEG or PNG file.

tag(s): collages (17), graphic design (35), images (266), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Create cards, posters, or photo collages for any classroom presentation. Share what you created on your website or blog for students to review or for students who were absent. In the younger grades, teachers would be the ones creating the project. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Link or embed the introduction presentations on your class wiki and have others guess who they are about. Use this tool with your 1:1 art class for students to practice design principles and techniques. Share student projects with parents and others via URL. Be sure to demonstrate HOW to use this tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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A History of Poverty - Christian Aid

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover where poverty (and prosperity) have been most present over the past two hundred years through this interactive map. Explore global issues such as corruption, health, and inequalities...more
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Discover where poverty (and prosperity) have been most present over the past two hundred years through this interactive map. Explore global issues such as corruption, health, and inequalities through short videos. Use tools to zoom in on the map to view specific continents or zoom back out for a larger overview. Filters allow sorting views by continent and least and most developed countries. As the timeline progresses, read about important events impacting poverty, such as world wars and AIDS.

tag(s): climate change (64), disasters (39), diseases (66), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

Share this map and the accompanying films on your interactive whiteboard as part of discussions on world economies, countries around the world, or changes during the past two hundred years across the globe. Allow students to explore on their own, then create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Global Post - Philip S. Balboni

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6 to 12
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Global Post is a digital news site covering world events. It was the home-base of reporter James Foley who was held prisoner for almost two years by the Islamic State ...more
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Global Post is a digital news site covering world events. It was the home-base of reporter James Foley who was held prisoner for almost two years by the Islamic State in Syria. Scroll through the home page to find breaking news, latest articles, and editor's picks. Find specific topics and trending news using the menu bar on the site. Preview topics before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): journalism (46), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Broaden student perspectives about world issues by sharing articles from Global Post on an interactive whiteboard or projector as part of current events lessons. Create a link to this site on classroom computers and have students read and share articles with the class. Be sure to add a link to this site on your class webpage for students to access at home. After exploring articles and information in-depth, have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to give a recap of the article and state their opinion about the topic. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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40 Maps that Explain the Middle East - Max Fisher

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn about the complex and changing borders and demographics of the Middle East through the view of 40 different maps. The maps offer a look at the region from many ...more
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Learn about the complex and changing borders and demographics of the Middle East through the view of 40 different maps. The maps offer a look at the region from many perspectives such as religion, Arabic dialects, and Oil and Gas in the Middle East. Click any map to view the larger image. All maps also include a short explanation of the contents and many include links to additional information. A few maps are presented via video on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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 video from YouTube.

tag(s): iran (12), iraq (32), israel (17), maps (287), middle east (30), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Be sure to include this site on your class webpage for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Create a link to these maps on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Use an online tool such as an Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare different countries, religions, or time periods included in the maps.

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Closr (Beta) - Closr.it

Grades
K to 12
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Engage your audience with zoomable images using Closr. Create an account and upload an image to begin. Add "Spots" and descriptions of any location on the image. Use the zoom ...more
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Engage your audience with zoomable images using Closr. Create an account and upload an image to begin. Add "Spots" and descriptions of any location on the image. Use the zoom feature to zoom in on any area on the image. Highlight and describe information. When finished, share using the embed code, URL, or social media links. Free plans include creating up to 5 canvases. Currently this site is also available as an iOS App.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (266)

In the Classroom

Share Closr with your school's art teacher as an excellent way to highlight and feature details on artwork. History and science teachers can use Closr to zoom in on parts of the microscope, cells, historic buildings, battles, and more. Have students upload an image to demonstrate different parts of plants, landforms, or shapes found in images.

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Watchkin - Alan Cheney

Grades
K to 12
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Watchkin provides tools for a safer and cleaner view of YouTube videos. Use Watchkin to remove text, comments, thumbnail images, and most ads from any video on YouTube. Copy and ...more
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Watchkin provides tools for a safer and cleaner view of YouTube videos. Use Watchkin to remove text, comments, thumbnail images, and most ads from any video on YouTube. Copy and paste the video URL into the Watchkin search box for automatic redirection to the clean version of the video. Install the bookmarklet on your search engine toolbar for easy video clean up while on the YouTube site. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos 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.

tag(s): internet safety (109), video (254)

In the Classroom

How often do you find great clips and video shorts from YouTube and you cannot 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 to your class via an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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New York Film Academy - How to do Stop Animation - New York Film Academy

Grades
1 to 12
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Jump into stop animation using video devices instead of drawing. Find all you need to know when creating a stop motion animation (SMA) at the New York Film Academy. Discover ...more
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Jump into stop animation using video devices instead of drawing. Find all you need to know when creating a stop motion animation (SMA) at the New York Film Academy. Discover simple, detailed instructions and the type of equipment required. The site also lists accompanying links to make SMA projects a breeze! There is a warning at this site for SMA - it is very time consuming and requires a great deal of patience!

tag(s): assessment (100), digital storytelling (144), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Use stop motion animation as a new form of multimedia project for students to demonstrate their knowledge of the content, literature, and creativity. Use puppets, pictures, still photographs of people, Legos, or any other object to tell the story. Using any video recording device, incorporate with captions or sound to tell the story. In language arts, use SMA with retelling, alternate endings, students' writing, or commercials. In content area subjects use to demonstrate understanding of the topic with a digital story. Use as an alternate form of formative or summative assessment. Use as a journal for reflections. Offer as a choice for demonstrating knowledge. Put a link for these directions on your class webpage for students and parents to use at home.
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Hash - Today's Talking Points - Joseph Mark & Stephen Phillips

Grades
6 to 12
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Hash is a Twitter feed aggregator showing Twitter's trending news in a beautiful display. Click on any picture's title, or hashtag under it to open up information about any image. ...more
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Hash is a Twitter feed aggregator showing Twitter's trending news in a beautiful display. Click on any picture's title, or hashtag under it to open up information about any image. View a short Wikipedia description of the item, then scroll through Tweets containing the hashtag. Choose the "Share Story" link to share via social media, email, or URL.

tag(s): news (261), PLN (4), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Display Hash on your interactive whiteboard to find the latest information on current events. Have students explore a story then create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Add items throughout the month or any length of time to follow major events around the world. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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