Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomSet up Hootsuite by providing information such as your Twitter and Facebook name. Create columns for the various conversations such as "All Friends," "Facebook status updates," "Direct Messages," and more. Create a new Column to follow all the tweets of a particular person or a specific hashtag. Simply enter the username or the hashtag to instantly follow all conversations. Have more than one Twitter account? No problem. Follow all conversations by adding up to five accounts. Click on the picture of each follower for simple commands such as "Reply," "Retweet," "Direct Message," or "Other actions" to manage the user or the Tweet given. Easily follow or unfollow others. Create a column for each hashtag for the best way to keep track of chats on education topics.
Check that Twitter is accessible at school. Twitter is safest used as a whole class activity. If using Twitter with students, be sure you are following the students in order to monitor their use. Set up searches for curriculum-related topics, such as climate change or earthquakes. Use this tool to manage some of the best professional development around. Learn from other like educators, and challenge thinking and learning to greatly impact the lives of your students. Create connections that help you grow as an individual and an educator. Find more ideas in TeachersFirst's Twitter review.
If you teach gifted students, use Hootsuite on classroom computers for them to set up specific searches related to the topics your class is studying. Challenge them to act as your class Twitter curators, checking out related articles and links that will bring more real-world examples to the rest of the class or raise related debates that the gifted student can investigate. Find professionals in the field for your gifted students to ask questions about their science experiments and interests. Be sure to discuss safety and responsible online behavior if you permit students to send tweets on their own. Of course you will be able to "see" what they have sent if they use a class account.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare polls on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit, asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why students would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to check student understanding as a means of formative assessment. Use a class account to have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase reader involvement. Have students create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with the interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues and current events that matter to them.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomCreate a cube with various aspects of information about curriculum content to be shared with students. Even the non-readers could navigate a teacher-created cube if videos (or graphics) are included instead of words. Use a Brainy Box cube to give directions and examples to a specific project assigned to students. Create a cube about a particular person or event from history. Decide on the parameters for each of the sides of the cube before assigning. Create a cube to include specific information from characters in novels. Create a Brainy box to include related images or words. Students can brainstorm how these images or words are related. Assign a Brainy Box with student's favorite artwork and reasons chosen from their work through the year. Use a Brainy Box as a visual aid for student presentations. Challenge students to create their own Brainy Box on nearly any subject. Some additional ideas shared from Brainy Box: Produce a "Who" cube with an image and five key aspects of a character; Summarize a key topic with two facts, two images, and two videos; and Summarize a key event looking at different times in history. The possibilities here are endless! See more ideas in this review of a similar tool (3D Photo Cube) that creates a cube of still images.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse BookRX as a fun way to find book recommendations you may not otherwise know about. In lower grades, this is likely to be a teacher-only tool. Share with older students who actively use Twitter to help them find new reading material. Use with your classroom Twitter account to find books related to curriculum topics your class has been tweeting about or experts you have been following. Teachers at ANY level who have established a Twitter presence can use it to find professional reading materials. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark (or save) this site for students to use on classroom computers. Demonstrate HOW to use existing activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Experiment together to learn how to build your own activities, as well. Challenge your gifted students to create a simple activity on their own or with a partner, and share it with the class. Find great explanations of various math concepts on this site. Use the search by tag feature. Use to explain the rules of various problems or functions in Math. Have students look over the solutions to the problems and discuss the rules for solving similar problems. Provide time for students to teach the solutions to the class. Follow up with additional problems for practice. Consider using embeds from this site to create your own homework help section of a blog, site, or wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Teachers of gifted will love the open-ended challenge of having students create their own interactive "worksheets."
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomCreate slide presentations for any lesson or teach students to create slides for class projects. In lower grades, create a project together on your interactive whiteboard or create them for your students to use. Create a presentation for use during Open Houses, class trips, or school events. Embed the slides on your class blog. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. The possibilities are unlimited. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. If you are lucky enough to have iPads for use in your classroom, download the app for students to create slide shows on their own.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomCreate animations of any image! Animate inanimate objects such as a leaf or other object by taking two different pictures of it so it can "change." Use your animations as a focus for story creation or free writing. Animate images used by students for their individual web pages to set the scene for their "About Me" introductions. Design and shoot images to animate as an introduction to a project or report. Challenge older students to create their own animated GIF images. (No registration is required.) Photograph and create GIFs to show two stages of insect development, the growth of a plant, or other scientific concepts.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool whenever Flickr Creative Commons pictures are used for any classwork or project. Be sure students understand the different types of images available and use ones that are licensed correctly. Use the embed code wherever you need to place the image, and BOTH the image AND the licensing will be displayed. Be sure to model use of this tool whenever using images from Flickr. What a handy way to include images on your own class web page! Post images as writing prompts, you-name-it science questions, or world language conversation starters, all from a simple Flickr CC image search!
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Infographics from the gallery to begin a new unit or lesson. Share the infographics on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Annotate them on the whiteboard to "dig deeply" into the information. Engage students in brainstorming, critical thinking, or asking questions. Create Infographics to share with others by choosing relevant information from the NASA archives. Connect information learned in class to real world space information. Use this information as part of a project to report upon an aspect of space.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomSet up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThis tool is great for creating and visualizing math concepts from basic geometric shapes and area to complex constructions and trig. Use on a whiteboard or with a class projector for interactive classroom use. Save or retrieve creations with Dropbox, reviewed here or Google Drive, reviewed here. Use for hands-on work with any geometry or trigonometry functions. Since this tool works on such a variety of devices, it would be ideal to use in a BYOD (or 1:1) geometry class. Art teachers who want to "draw in" their more mathematical students can offer this as a design option, especially when teaching about perspective.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate a class Minilog account to keep a running account of useful articles, videos, and items for use in class. Add content that the students find and discuss in class. Use for students to keep a running account of current events in the classroom, science news and the impact on society, and more. Minilogs could be used in music, art, government, and nearly any other subject. Create Minilogs about current (or past) presidents. Create a Minilog to share a specific art style or music genre. Collect videos on a certain topic, even from several content video sites like Khan Academy to "flip" your class with an entire playlist of options. The possibilities are endless. Challenge students to create their own Minilogs in cooperative learning groups or independently. If you are teaching about media literacy or advertising bias, Minilogs are the perfect way for students to create curated collections of videos with accompanying notes.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomDepending on the age you teach and your school policies, you may want to use a class account with a teacher-controlled email address to create with Popcorn Maker. Use a video from a presidential debate and add layers that fact check the statements made or view the media consensus at the time. Use this tool to create a video of a science experiment while creating pop ups of relevant information. Create a remix of a popular play or story that includes pop ups of information about the characters. Include their motivations or give the reactions of the readers with each story. Do you have a snippet of a discoverer? Add layers that show map routes, legends, unintended consequences on local peoples, etc. Use videos of sports teams to overlay stats, congratulation tweets, and more. Use world language videos with overlays of translations, dictionary references, and help in understanding. Analyze commercials (for example, foods targeted at children) with facts about the food and relation to diet and health. Create elevator pitches and upload to YouTube. Invite classmates to overlay the pitches with comments and suggestions. Use student created or existing YouTube videos that help to explain math and science concepts. Further enhance their helpful potential with overlays that elevate the learning. Pose a problem in the form of a YouTube video and invite students to remix the video to include possible solutions. Students can create presentations using this tool and show their reactions to current events or other world problem. Allow other students to remix and comment upon the presentation and add their own thoughts. Share the remixes on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If permitted, share the links to students' remixes on your class website or wiki. Teachers of gifted will love the creative (and critical) challenges this tool offers.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse Slideful to create quick slideshows for any classroom use. Easily share images on your website or blog from field trips, classroom projects, or assemblies. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Create a slide show to introduce any unit and have students guess what they will be learning.
Grades4 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUse this tool in art class to introduce color, shape, and texture or to discuss abstract expressionism. Create your own abstract art image (or have a student do one) and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a creative writing starter. Have students create an image to use for descriptive writing lessons. This is a great link to share on your class website for students to explore (and play) at home.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAssess prior knowledge as you start a unit by generating a class whiteboard. Save it under your class/teacher account to re-access throughout the unit, adding new topics and content. Make the URL available from your class web page for students to use as a review or for learning support teachers to reinforce what has happened in class. Have student groups map out the content of projects. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Have students create review organizers to share with classmates. Allow students to use their whiteboard as their visual during speeches. Map the sequence of steps in a chemical reaction. Then share the URL for absent students to "see" what happened in class. Annotate design principles directly on top of an uploaded image. Have young students use a whiteboard to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. The real asset is that the files are saved and available from ANY computer!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomFind great MapStory maps to introduce a concept or explain a portion of the concept that may be difficult to introduce in class. Use one to show initially, eliciting thoughts and questions from students. Because it is an open database, maps could contain errors. Have students be on the lookout for any possible errors. Students can fact check, research, and rewrite information as needed. Consider creating an assignment that shows a change in information over time. This project would be applicable to any subject area. Consider creating a class account to maintain the MapStories created by your students. Imagine new information being added every year with new updates to the map! World language (or world cultures) classes could collaborate to create a map story about a specific culture.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWideo is much like Go Animate reviewed here. However, Wideo's advantage is in the ability to upload your media. (Note: This could be a disadvantage if inappropriate material from the general public is uploaded. The site does have a public gallery, but nothing inappropriate was viewable at the time of this review. It is always wise to check the gallery prior to using in class (or simply steer the class away from the gallery.) This tool has a wide variety of applications for the classroom. Have students make an animation about a historical figure or a character in a novel. As students write their own story, use Wideo to animate the characters. Use Wideo to explain lab procedures or make a commercial about the superpowers of an element. If you use a template, the work will be quick and can focus on content instead of glitz. Students can explain vocabulary words, chemical equations, solving for X and more. Challenge your gifted students to create an entire animated series. ESL/ELL or world language students could create animations to practice or explain their new vocabulary. Use one of the templates to "advertise" an upcoming class project or even the daily homework assignments on your class we page. Have students help create ads for new books in the library!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Plan ahead as you request that this application be installed on your classroom or laptop cart computers. Alice provides an opportunity for students to create and learn how to problem solve. Subscribe to the teacher list to receive updates and integration ideas for Alice. The purpose of this list is to provide an easy way to ask questions and collaborate with the Alice teaching community. View and use activities to increase programming knowledge and the use of the Alice program.
Students quickly catch on to Alice when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools as well as the drag and drop interface. Have students use a storyboard to organize their creation in order to keep tabs on students and their creations. Build games to review curricular material for assessments. Have students create videos or digital stories to bring a subject to life. Teachers of gifted can turn their students loose to create animations about individual interests or research projects.