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Limnu - David Debry and David Hart

Grades
K to 12
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Sketch, collaborate, and brainstorm without having to register or sign up using Limnu's online whiteboard. Follow links to open your whiteboard. You may want to complete the tour to...more
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Sketch, collaborate, and brainstorm without having to register or sign up using Limnu's online whiteboard. Follow links to open your whiteboard. You may want to complete the tour to learn about features before use. Options allow you to add images, change text colors, and add notes. Limnu also offers a chat feature with a video room (available with Chrome, Fox, and Opera browsers). Free accounts get three boards with a seven-day expiration; however, educators receive free premium time after signing up and contacting Limnu through the educator form. Under Limnu's Privacy Policy it is stated that this site is designed for ages 13+. If using this in younger classrooms, it should remain a teacher-led activity only.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), drawing (77), iwb (31), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, so another group can use it as a writing prompt. Use a Limnu board as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups (or the class) share ideas for a major project or for solving a real world problem. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is read aloud. As an assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, use Limnu to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Alternatively, have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board.

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NBC Learn Free Resources - NBCUniversal Media, NBC News

Grades
5 to 12
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This collection of free streaming videos, mostly under six minutes, supports school curriculum using material from NBC News, one of the largest news archives in the world. Topics include...more
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This collection of free streaming videos, mostly under six minutes, supports school curriculum using material from NBC News, one of the largest news archives in the world. Topics include language arts, humanities and social sciences, and parenting information. The majority of videos feature STEM content. Specific sample topics include: Mysteries of the Brain, Writers Speak to Kids, Science of NFL Football, and many others. All videos include transcripts. Some have lesson plans and/or activities which are available in a side tab in the video window when launched. Most have closed captioning, and a few have a Spanish language option. The majority of NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, is fee-based. This review is for the free material.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), civil rights (117), news (261), olympics (47), pi (22), sports (97), STEM (134), sustainability (19), video (254)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for flipped or blended learning classrooms but will spark interest in most classroom lessons. Use the search box in the upper right corner to find free content of interest. NBC Learn uses a proprietary media player "Cue Card," and provides suggestions if you are having trouble playing. The whole class can watch the videos, many of which are parts of a series. Have individuals or small groups view and share information. The transcripts and close captioning will be helpful for struggling learners. Transcripts can be used alone for informational text reading practice.

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Badge List - Knowledgestreem

Grades
K to 12
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share ...more
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share with those seeking to earn the badge; they upload evidence of accomplishment using one of the five supported formats. Once achieved, awarded badges are displayed on an individual's profile and can easily be shared online. Since the free portion of Badge List is public, it is important for teachers to keep student identities anonymous. Use a code for the student name that is only known by the teacher. Also, be sure to obtain parent permission before using this tool with students. At the time of this review, stated by Badge List: "Badge List is currently developing simpler privacy settings to help K12 teachers protect student data. Until these features are released, teachers will need to take extra precautions to make sure that student data is safe."

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (135), game based learning (103), gamification (65), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Badges are the "stickers' of today and much more. Use Badge List to keep track of student progress with large assignments, rewarding badges for each completed step. Present awards using badges such as Student of the Month, Math Hero, Perfect Attendance, and more. Share this site the first week of school as you set up your classroom expectations. Autistic support and behavior support teachers will find this tool useful and easy to use for reinforcement and tracking. Gamify your class using badges as reward levels. Challenge students to progress through different achievement levels by providing badges along the way. Share student login information with parents so they can track progress and accomplishments at home. (Be sure to keep the login information yourself, just in case students misplace their login). Keep track of mastery of various topics or skills, much like a sticker chart! Students can embed their class badges in other sites, such as personal blogs, using the embed code.

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TinyTap - Yogev Shelly

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows...more
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows creators to include drag and drop activities, videos, quizzes, and more - all in one activity. Create groups to assign activities to different students. Most games are free; however, some games by professional authors are not free. Play games and activities on any device; however, creation of games requires you to download the free iPad app. At the time of this review, TinyTap worked well on most browsers (except Safari). The free version is public and comments are permitted. Be sure to preview anything before you share with students.

tag(s): assessment (100), DAT device agnostic tool (198), game based learning (103), quiz (84), quizzes (96)

In the Classroom

Use the embed code provided with activities to embed activities on your class website for play at home. Create a link to activities on classroom computers. Create your own activities (or have older students create review materials) to include with lessons. Be sure to watch the demo video for information about creating your own games.

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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

Grades
K to 12
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), professional development (123), social media (16)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your PLN (Professional Learning Network) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve - INFOhio, http://www.infohio.org

Grades
4 to 10
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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is a free online interactive and engaging tool for students to learn the formal research process. There is no registration required. The information is divided...more
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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is a free online interactive and engaging tool for students to learn the formal research process. There is no registration required. The information is divided into three modules, introduced by teenage Voki avatars, reviewed here. Each module links to resources and materials from various reliable sources. Modules may include text, video, and/or audio. Through these activities, students work through each section learning how to select a topic, evaluate, use and cite information, and create a final product. Don't miss the helpful LiveBinder Teachers Guide linked on the right of the menu bar at the very top.

tag(s): citations (34), digital citizenship (59), evaluating sources (13), inquiry (37), media literacy (58), organizational skills (122), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is an easy-to-use introduction which demystifies and simplifies teaching the research process. Use this to meet the Common Core standards for research in a content area. Have students work through the site in sequence or pull out areas to teach skills, as needed. Don't forget to refer to the LiveBinder Teachers Guide for more fabulous ideas for the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National Robotics Week - iRobot Corporation

Grades
3 to 12
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The U.S. is a leader in robotics technology development! Join the yearly celebration by participating in some of the events and activities found at this National Robotics Week site....more
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The U.S. is a leader in robotics technology development! Join the yearly celebration by participating in some of the events and activities found at this National Robotics Week site. Use the activities on this site to inspire students to pursue careers in robotics and other STEM-related fields. Download robot trading cards featuring 10 of the most famous robots. Cards include their stats, coaches, and fun facts. Read about the Instuctables contest where you can enter to share your robot projects with the world and even win some cool prizes. Clicking on Bleaker the Rechargeable Dog will take you to comics that include robots. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find a map showing events by state. Once you get the map, scroll down the page and find the Filter Events By State and a list of all events.

tag(s): engineering (124), robotics (25), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Start a discussion about what students know about robots. Introduce them to the National Robotics Week celebration and get them involved in one of the events or the Instructables contest. Not sure where to start? Check out the resources on this page. Alternatively, try a robotics simulation at Wonderville Robot Factory, reviewed here. Give small teams of students a choice to use Mindmeister, reviewed here, and create a mind map for the steps they have to take to build a robot. Have students create a comic strip about building a robot or something the robot will do using Cartoonist, reviewed here.

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Classtools Countdown Timer - Classtools.net

Grades
K to 12
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to...more
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to your timer. Choose the Get Started button to begin and follow prompts to choose included music or select your own from any YouTube video. Click the save icon to receive a personalized URL for sharing.

tag(s): classroom management (135), counting (119), time (144)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. Get out your interactive whiteboard or projection screen (or even the classroom desktop computer) and make sure the speakers are turned up. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit the time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature for timing the rotations from center to center. You can even use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups! A clever classroom management tool would be to start the visible count-down on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Select calming music for quiet times. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Kindergarten students can practice counting along with the watch!

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Twitter Fictional Account Template - Ryan O'Donnell

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a...more
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a background for the wall and upload photos of known associates. As with any Google Doc, choose to share your creation in the upper right corner. See an example here. It is unfinished, so you can see how the directions are directly on the page, and you can get an idea of how it will look.

tag(s): book reports (35), creative writing (166), creativity (108), digital storytelling (144)

In the Classroom

Engage students in classroom learning with the Twitter Fictional Account Template. This site is terrific for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Twitter account page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Create "followers" using other people associated with the main person who were famous at that time. You could use the "followers" boxes to create a mini-timeline. For the backgrounds of each user/follower, you could create a montage about what the person was famous for, or images from that period to establish a setting. Think about using the persons "nickname," if they have one, as their username. Use the Twitter template to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, and then share with students while studying the material. To use the Twitter template to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. Challenge students to use the template as an alternative for a book report. Have them present it orally, embellishing on each character's role in the book. For a unique twist in science class, make a Twitter template page for a periodic element or another science topic. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Twitter template page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make the Twitter template one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. If your students aren't familiar with Twitter, or if you're 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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Newsela - Students Vote 2016 - Matthew Gross

Grades
4 to 12
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Create informed citizens and voters with Newsela's Student's Vote 2016. At their reading level, students learn about the candidates and vote in the "student primary." Newsela publishes...more
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Create informed citizens and voters with Newsela's Student's Vote 2016. At their reading level, students learn about the candidates and vote in the "student primary." Newsela publishes high-interest news articles, from the best news sources, at five reading levels. See the TeachersFirst review here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75), news (261), newspapers (94), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

If you haven't already, sign up for Newsela and create your class. Add students by using a teacher (or parent) provided code rather than an email address. Go to the Election Text Sets and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading level versions. Be sure to set up a time for your students to vote on election day.

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Sketchfab - Alban Denoyel, Cedric Pinson, & Pierre Antoine Passet

Grades
6 to 12
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Sketchfab is a large online community for publishing and viewing 3D materials. Think of it as YouTube for 3D. Explore the site to find over half a million uploads of ...more
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Sketchfab is a large online community for publishing and viewing 3D materials. Think of it as YouTube for 3D. Explore the site to find over half a million uploads of animations, models, and images. Use the keyword search to find specific content or browse through the different categories. Embed or share images using links provided with each image. If you create your own 3D content, free membership allows you to upload using several different file types. Use their online editor to adjust and fine-tune your creations.

tag(s): animation (63), architecture (83), planets (123), plants (145)

In the Classroom

Share some of the many 3D models such as a human heart, the White House, or monarch butterflies. Display these on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Share with students with advanced knowledge of gaming and 3D as a resource for sharing their own 3D models and viewing materials made by others. If your school has a computer club, share this site with its sponsor for use with students. Do you or someone on your campus have a 3D printer? Explore and find printables to download and print. If you don't have access to a 3D printer you may want to write a grant for one. See GetEd Funding, reviewed here, for grant writing.

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MetPublications - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
6 to 12
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Find five decades of the Metropolitan Museum of Art publications available for free download or online reading at this extensive public collection. Browse by keyword, date, title, or...more
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Find five decades of the Metropolitan Museum of Art publications available for free download or online reading at this extensive public collection. Browse by keyword, date, title, or topic as you choose from over 450 available titles. Choose your publication, and then follow the links for downloading in PDF, reading online, or other options. Not all titles have all options available.

tag(s): art history (70), artists (74)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's art teacher. Explore artwork from different time periods or places as part of social studies lessons. Encourage students to explore this site on their own to learn more about the various components of art. Have students create an annotated image of different pieces of art including text boxes, related links, and videos using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Global Oneness Projects - Global Oneness Project

Grades
8 to 12
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Search this site to find photos, articles, and videos used to explore various issues spanning the world. Learn about different lifestyles and cultures from all over the globe. Sign...more
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Search this site to find photos, articles, and videos used to explore various issues spanning the world. Learn about different lifestyles and cultures from all over the globe. Sign up for the newsletter to receive more free lesson plans, stories, videos, and more to go along with spreading cultural awareness.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115)

In the Classroom

Promote global awareness by sharing the videos, articles or photos and using the accompanying lesson plans to enhance the learning experience. Explore how other cultures are different from your own using the artifacts found on the site. Have the students watch the videos on their own and complete a discussion about the video on a discussion board or in class. Starting a new study of a different culture? Use one of the videos as an anticipatory set. Share the video on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Channel One News: One Vote - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company

Grades
3 to 12
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Channel One News: One Vote is sure to appeal to and educate young readers. They will meet candidates, and learn how the election process works through engaging videos, infographics,...more
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Channel One News: One Vote is sure to appeal to and educate young readers. They will meet candidates, and learn how the election process works through engaging videos, infographics, and interactive pages. Find a delegate tracker and a field guide to the candidates (both interactive), a Presidential Trail Calendar and Results, information about One Vote's mock election, and more. Scrolling towards the bottom of the landing page you will find 60-second wrap-ups for each week, two quizzes about the importance of voting and where you stand, and various articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75), news (261)

In the Classroom

Make sure your students know what the U.S. primaries are about and why voting is so important. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce One Vote to students. Set up a link on class computers, or at a learning center for students to take the two quizzes. They can learn about why each ballot counts and find a match to the candidate they lean towards. This will help them see where they stand on issues like taxes, immigration, and climate change. Each week show the 60-second wrap up and hold a discussion. Consider using a tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, so the quiet and shy students have a chance to participate in the discussion, too. View the information about mock elections to see if you would like to set one up for your class or school. Put a link to this site on your class webpage for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Journeys in Film - Journeys in Film and USC Rossier School of Education

Grades
8 to 12
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Journeys in Film provides lesson plans for teaching cultural and global understanding through movies. Use links to download lessons including correlation to standards by subject area,...more
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Journeys in Film provides lesson plans for teaching cultural and global understanding through movies. Use links to download lessons including correlation to standards by subject area, global issue, or culture. This site doesn't provide access to films used in lessons, but it does share options for renting. Other downloads include discussion guides for films with accompanying clips available on the Journeys in Film site.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), holocaust (39), journalism (46), movies (65), video (254), women (101)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans for classroom use. These resources and videos are extremely flexible for classroom use. Use the film clips for current events, and to highlight events from the past. Use a video segment to get students thinking about their understanding of issues, solutions, and whether today's environment has changed from that of the past. View a variety of clips from one theme and discuss events in the clip or use a writing assignment to provide time to process the events. Discuss in what ways these clips are similar and other societal, economic, and political factors that affected them. Be sure to brainstorm how different people, in other areas of the world, would view these issues. Research these issues using resources from other areas of the world. Use Today's News, reviewed here, to see editorials and news clippings that are not of American origin. If you'd like to to create your own clips from these films try using a tool like EDPuzzle, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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New York Times Spanish Edition - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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Read New York Times articles and original content in Spanish with this site. The information ranges from politics, global news, business, technology - even pop culture. Reading this...more
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Read New York Times articles and original content in Spanish with this site. The information ranges from politics, global news, business, technology - even pop culture. Reading this version of the NY Times will be useful in any Spanish language classroom as well as for ESL/ELL students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): journalism (46), news (261), newspapers (94), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for advanced Spanish language learners for current events projects or for ESL/ELL students to stay up to date on current events- assign students different weeks throughout the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter, keeping their peers up to date and informed. Have students research what's going on via this news site, and present a short presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own news videos using a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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American Archive of Public Broadcasting - Library of Congress & WGBH

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover and watch publicly funded radio and television programs from America's past with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Built as a means to preserve public broadcast...more
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Discover and watch publicly funded radio and television programs from America's past with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Built as a means to preserve public broadcast programs from the 1940's through the present, over 7000 programs are available for streaming with additions ongoing. In addition to streaming programs, this site also includes curated exhibits on topics of historical significance, such as Climate Change and Voices from the Southern Civil Rights Movement.

tag(s): 1900s (33), earth (228), radio (26), religions (61), sports (97), video (254), women (101), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Bookmark the American Archive of Public Broadcasting for use as primary source material for classroom lessons. Browse by topic or keywords to find videos to share on your interactive whiteboard or share a link on your class website for students to view at home. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about an important figure from America's recent past. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here, to demonstrate what they learned from one of the radio programs, videos, or exhibits.

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Zoom - Eric Yuan

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with up to 50 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting...more
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Collaborate with up to 50 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting times, and private or group chat. Up to 40 minutes of meeting time is included with the free meeting plans. Sign up using your email or social network account to begin hosting a meeting. The step by step instructions make it easy to quickly begin video conferencing at your convenience.

tag(s): chat (51), DAT device agnostic tool (198), parent conferences (22), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use Zoom to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Collaborate with experts such as authors and scientists with classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Consider using a tool such as Remind, reviewed here, to alert parents and students when your sessions are open. Use Zoom for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects! Buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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Mindset Kit - The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS)

Grades
K to 12
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons...more
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons and activities provide tools for developing positive mindsets, in turn, leading to increased academic performance. Choose the section for teachers to find seven lessons for educator teams, or take advantage of ten lessons for parents to learn about growth mindset and how to instill this in students. Other portions contain ideas for specific content areas and mentors.

tag(s): brain (72), learning styles (19), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons and ideas on this site in your classroom and when working with parents. These tools are especially useful for times when a student (or parent) claims that they were never good in a particular subject. Share ideas with your peers as part of your ongoing professional development, discuss ideas from this site and how they can be incorporated as part of a school-wide action. Take advantage of the many ideas featured in the Popular Practices section to learn how to use ideas in any classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OneNote - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies...more
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies of files or documents from your computer into OneNote. Share and collaborate with others. Access your OneNote account by signing in to any computer or device.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use OneNote for all notes, ideas, and photographs in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of OneNote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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