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Interesting Ways - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. ...more
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Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. Topics range from "Ideas for Class Blog Posts" to "Use Web Conferencing in the Classroom" to "Use QR Codes In the Classroom" and countless other topics. Many Google Tools are listed here also. There is so much more on this site that you just have to go and investigate! This is definitely a must-see.

Users can comment on this site and the contents. Be sure to preview before having students investigate on their own. And be sure students are clear about your expectations regarding their own commenting on this site.

tag(s): qr codes (21), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

This is a professional resource to save in your favorites and share with your friends! With older students, challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one "interesting way" and then create a project (using the suggestions in their "interesting way") to teach the class about a topic currently being taught. Make the choices on this page the options for a student research presentation. What a fabulous way to truly learn the material.... teach it to the rest of the class! Students will also gain expertise at choosing the best tool for the task, a true 21st century skill!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This should now read "Thirty-Two Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher".

Editorial Note: we have updated our review. Thank you
Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Fun Photo Box - FunPhotoBox

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create amazing photo effects, animations, magazine covers, and more with this free site. Choose the effect, upload a picture, and save to your computer for use anywhere. Ads appear...more
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Create amazing photo effects, animations, magazine covers, and more with this free site. Choose the effect, upload a picture, and save to your computer for use anywhere. Ads appear throughout this site. Be sure to warn students to only use the tabs along the top and choose the photo effects under each tab.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (63), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to find and upload a photo on their computer or find the direct URL of an image on the Internet. Younger students would need a lot of assistance navigating this site. Adjust the picture using the easy to use tools (experiment to master them). Once the effect has been applied, you need to know where you are saving the picture and how to give it a meaningful file name to be found later. Be sure to check district policy about using student pictures, though the web site does not "keep" them. If using pictures from the Internet, be sure to discuss copyright issues and approve pictures that students use. Use these fun photo effects for creating interesting pictures for About Me information on blog and other sites. Use for pictures of lab events in science. These pictures can be incorporated into presentations or other multimedia products using online tools or PowerPoint. Students can dress as a historical figure, take and upload a picture, and use in classroom projects. Have students narrate their creative images using Thinklink, reviewed here.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Linkbunch - Aalaap Ghag

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Wishing to share a large number of links with others? Use Linkbunch by pasting in the address of the websites you wish to share. Click the Bunch button when done. ...more
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Wishing to share a large number of links with others? Use Linkbunch by pasting in the address of the websites you wish to share. Click the Bunch button when done. Instantly receive a short URL that you can share with others. When opened, all the URL's are live links that lead straight to the sites you are sharing. Share via twitter, email, or text.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Use this service to easily share multiple links at one time with others, especially younger students who have trouble with typing! Save class time by making "bunches" for different projects or topics. Use this as a professional resource to share with colleagues. Use this site to share lists of links with students and parents related to units of study, current events, and more.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kizoa - Kizoa

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create animated slide shows from uploaded pictures or those on Facebook. Use this free online image suite to store and organize photos. Edit photos using a variety of effects. With...more
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Create animated slide shows from uploaded pictures or those on Facebook. Use this free online image suite to store and organize photos. Edit photos using a variety of effects. With this easy to use uploader, store photos in your own online library. An excellent idea for backup of photos or to share photos with friends by sharing a link. Create slideshows from your library of photos. Add effects and pieces of music to enhance your photo slideshow. Use the online software to send links to friends. Use the embed code to add to blogs, wikis, or sites in order to share the content. With the paid premium version, burn your slideshows to DVD.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160), slides (63), video (254)

In the Classroom

Users must have knowledge of finding and uploading photos as well as navigating this easy to use site. Take time to play a little with this site and learn about all the functions and effects.

Use this site to add information to pictures for class and student projects and creations. Add attributions (copyright info and sources) directly to the photo. Add student responses to pictures of class experiments. Create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Make this a link from your class wiki so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos or make edited composites to communicate their message visually. As you study propaganda, have students create propaganda images to share on a class wiki or classroom bulletin board. Art teachers will love the ability to teach photo montage without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events, adding text and captions right into the photo. ESL/ELL, language, and special ed teachers can ask students to label images with sentences including correct vocabulary and grammar. Have students in your reading class create visual idiom images using digital pictures.

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ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition - Ambient Design

Grades
3 to 10
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Traditional art media become digital with the free ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition paint program. Pencil, chalk, paint and marker tools smear, smudge, blend,and flow just like real art...more
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Traditional art media become digital with the free ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition paint program. Pencil, chalk, paint and marker tools smear, smudge, blend,and flow just like real art materials. You and your students can paint with thinned oils, use wet or dry markers, soften the pencil and control the hardness of the crayon, and much more. Scroll down the page to find the FREE 2.6 Starter download instead of the 30 day free trial of ArtRage 3.0.

tag(s): graphic design (35), photography (160)

In the Classroom

ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition can be downloaded and installed on machines running Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Macintosh OS X 10.3.9 or later. Check with your IT department or administrator for download and installation approval and help (if needed). ONly the need to download and install pushes this tool to the "Edge."

The ArtRage 2.6 interface is simple and intuitive, with large icons which clearly identify tools and options. While the program has a user guide and the website offers a quick start tutorial plus several technique-specific tutorials, fifteen minutes of clicking on icons, exploring the menus and playing with tools will give you a good start creating works of art. Teachers and students who are familiar with standard paint programs included in Windows and Mac machines will quickly grasp the basics and enjoy exploring the artistic possibilities of ArtRage 2.6. The program supports English, French or German language labels on tools and menus.

Be sure to ask student "experts" to demonstrate the ArtRAge tools on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use ArtRage 2.6 to create illustrations, drawings and paintings for storybooks, book reviews and author posters in English or language arts activities. Math and science concepts can be explained through illustrative drawings, such as a diagram of a flower's parts or the steps in oxidation. Make visual representations of mathematical operations or concepts such as fractions. Have ELL or foreign language students import images into ArtRage 2.6, trace and color them to create unique vocabulary cards and posters illustrating new words. Recognize and celebrate your students by importing their digital photos and applying textures and effects to create special birthday cards, awards, bulletin board pictures, and desktop signs. Share students' curriculum-related digital art projects on your class web page, blogs, or wiki (with parent permission) as well as your bulletin board. There are no safety concerns with this program because it is locally installed and does not involve interaction with the "general public" or social networking.

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podOmatic - podOmatic

Grades
1 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen ...more
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen to and/or download from the web. There are MANY free podcasts in a variety of subject areas (art, health, technology, music, business, and more.) We have linked this review directly to the K-12 area within the site. The site includes some social networking tools, so some schools may have it blocked. The site is a "general public" site, so the home page has links to recent podcasts that may not be appropriate for young people. Attach a mike or use your built-in computer mike; create the podcast by clicking a record button, (you may have to tell your computer to "allow" the site to access your mike). Choose a background for your podcast page. Share it with others using one of several sharing options on the "My Podcast" tab, including copying the link. Listeners can listen to it online or download to their MP3 player. See and hear a sample we made for you.. You can also create a "minicast" with a simple upload of images and audio that turns your images into a short video. Transitions are also available for your minicast. Share through a blog, twitter, a link or directly to Facebook. There are limits to the amount of file storage for free accounts. The site will tell you how much space each podcast takes and how much you have left. Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Podomatic now has a free iOS and Android apps.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a minicast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions; record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events; make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News;" have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!); have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages; allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic minicasts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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Imgur - Imgur

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for easier ways to share images? Pronounced "Imager," this site is easy to use. Use the super-simple photo-sharing site to upload photos or insert image URL addresses. Click...more
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Looking for easier ways to share images? Pronounced "Imager," this site is easy to use. Use the super-simple photo-sharing site to upload photos or insert image URL addresses. Click the upload button or enter the URL of the image from the Internet (obtainable by right clicking the online image and selecting "properties" or "Get info"). No need to register for an account. Uploaded images are private and only the person who uploaded has the URL of the image. Use the simple editing options to be sure the image fits in the blog, wiki, or site you are using it on. File upload is limited to 2 MB. Use a direct link or embed code to share your uploaded image wherever you need.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom to quickly upload and share images. Create albums where individual photos can be titled or captioned. Have students categorize photos and describe them. Use for any project, class explanation of concepts, experiments, or demonstrations. Share pictures of class happenings, speakers, field trips, and other opportunities you would want to share.

Users must be able to find a suitable image for upload from their computer or the Internet. Follow the very simple directions to manipulate the image. Since no registration is necessary, Imgur is easy and safe to use. Be aware that relying on services such as these can be a problem if the site no longer exists in the future. Be sure that students understand rules for sharing appropriate and inappropriate images and copyright concerns.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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KeepVid - keepvid.com

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Want to use YouTube videos but cannot play them at school? Download your video using this free service. No software download required, but you will need to have Java on ...more
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Want to use YouTube videos but cannot play them at school? Download your video using this free service. No software download required, but you will need to have Java on your computer. Find a video you want to save, then copy and paste the video's URL at KeepVid. The easiest way for your download to be successful to insert "keep" into the URL before the "YouTube." In our experience, this tool works without causing other problems. You may encounter warnings about applet security; we ignored these, but you may choose to do otherwise. If you decide to proceed, be sure to "allow" KeepVid access when your computer asks, and click "run" to begin the download. Select the quality you want to save the file to download (low, medium, or high quality FLV, MP3, or MP4 format.) Use KeepVid with a variety of video sites. If unable to view your file, either download a FLV viewer such as FLV Player (find a free one advertised on the site,) or convert your file into a more usable format. Drag the KeepVid button from their site into your browser's links toolbar. Find your video. When it starts to stream, click the KeepVid button in your toolbar. Choose the link to download and save.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (23), movies (65), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use this service to backup videos on your YouTube channel. Use to download and save videos at home that you wish to show to students, especially if they are blocked at school. Users must be able to find, copy, and paste the URL of the video to be downloaded. Once the program starts, you will be prompted to save it. If you want to use the video at school, you would save it to a USB stick.The MP4 format is fast, and it will play on an Apple or Windows computer. If you want to download in FLV format, you must also be able to play FLV files on the computer or be able to download an FLV viewer. No registration or login is required. This should primarily be a teacher resource. If using with students, discuss appropriate and inappropriate uses of the technology as well as choosing necessary videos. Be careful about videos found on the KeepVid site. These may not be family or student appropriate.

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Schoology - Schoology

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site is for adventurous, organized technology users looking for a complete online environment for class management. Manage your classes completely through this online environment...more
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This site is for adventurous, organized technology users looking for a complete online environment for class management. Manage your classes completely through this online environment whether you do/do not have access to school-required tools such as an online gradebook. Use this platform for administering quizzes and tests as well as other assessments. Use the social networking aspect to post messages to a large group of students or to individuals. Use the calendar tool and use the interface for students to find and use all documents and materials. Create and share using this exceptional tool. Note: This tool could be time-consuming in initial set-up. Be sure you have permission to use this tool with student accounts before even considering its use. Watch the video tour and check out the features list for the free features that are included with this vast tool.

tag(s): assessment (100), blogs (88), classroom management (135), forum (9), game based learning (103), gamification (65), quizzes (96)

In the Classroom

This tool can operate your whole class for the entire year and is a complete learning management system (LMS.) Take advantage of this FREE professional resource. Users must be somewhat familiar with web 2.0 tools in order to decide what to use and how best to use them. Be sure to check out all the support material on this site for help in using and setting up the features. Be sure to check with your district's policy concerning the use of such a tool. Be sure that access to this tool is with your classes only.

Comments

I prefer Moodle - more versatile and automatically private. So check that out, too. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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SlideShare - SlideShare, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Have no fear, SlideShare is here! Whether you consider yourself techno phobic or ultra savvy, this site offers something for every level of user. This site hosts tons of prefabricated...more
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Have no fear, SlideShare is here! Whether you consider yourself techno phobic or ultra savvy, this site offers something for every level of user. This site hosts tons of prefabricated slide shows or Power Point presentations, and considers itself the largest presentation sharing website available. As educators, we know the value of professional borrowing and this site puts slide show resources for any content area right at your fingertips. For the more daring, upload your own slide presentation creations. Once posted, you can see how many people have viewed your show. View comments left by people who have viewed your show to gain feedback and participate in educational discussion. Shows can be embedded in blogs, social networking sites, or downloaded to your computer (Where - YES! You can edit it to suit your specific needs!) This is not a slide show creation tool, but rather a sharing resource for educators and civilians alike.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Pull published slide shows for use in your classroom. Download a slide show as a template and modify it for your specific needs. In science class, have students record each other completing a lab activity. Then have the students put that footage into a slide show with snapshots of work and products of the lab. Have students create a voice over track and sync it using the slidecast part of the site. It would make for a powerful learning experience. Post slide shows of class notes and have students comment on what they understand or do not understand as an online discussion. If you teach online through cyberschool or virtual learning programs, use slidecast to create "teaching tracks" to go with your notes. It allows you to create a short, but helpful lecture for your distance learners. They will appreciated the verbal aspect of the learning.

This website allows you to upload, so you will need a basic understanding of where your files are located on your computer to do this. However, you are not required as a member to upload anything unless you want to do so. An interesting and valuable feature of this site is that it will allow you to sync audio files or podcasts with your slide show, creating what the website has coined a slidecast. You can create groups to share slideshows privately to only your group members.

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Storybird - Storybird Inc.

Grades
K to 8
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others....more
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others. The final story is available for sharing via URL or email (or keeping private) and printing it is an option. Basically, write text and titles, create a book cover, add graphics, and pass the product to a co-writer (if collaborating) who adds more until both feel the story is complete. A demo video explains the basics. A special section for artists encourages art contributions and explains how to use the art to enhance the stories. an Education area provides a way for teachers to set up accounts for a class with or without student email. 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): stories and storytelling (33), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.

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ThumbScribes

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to ...more
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Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to choose, and you can be public or private. When using ThumbScribes privately, you will invite your students via email to join in the writing. Scribes are collaborative works, created and passed between ThumbScribes' authors, where each adds a new section to the story, poem, novella, etc.

tag(s): poetry (228), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to collaboratively write a story, poem, or novella using Thumbscribes. Use ThumbScribes in conjunction with Story Writing Tips for Kids (reviewed here), to have students write create a story together. Write a story or poem about a topic being taught in science, a current event, math concept, biography of a hero, or nearly any other subject area. Create a class book at the beginning of the school year to collaboratively share what your students did during the summer months.

Through the "Sneak Peak" you can read any public poem, story, etc. In order to write or "co+create" you will need a screen name and e-mail. Once you've signed up, you can start by creating a new scribe. All you need to do is click on the "Start Writing" button at the top of the page.

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Drop Event - dropevent.com

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This fabulous site allows you to post and share photos related to a certain event with others. Create an "event" and share the link for others to upload photos. Only ...more
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This fabulous site allows you to post and share photos related to a certain event with others. Create an "event" and share the link for others to upload photos. Only the creator of the event must register on the site. All others upload without registering. Email photos to the event site as well. Set permissions for instant sharing or moderate pictures before they show on the Drop Event site. Choose to make your event public or private. Note: If public, it will show up in Drop Event searches and be visible to others. When you create your event, answer questions to create your free account. Note: Most recent events appear on the main page of this site. Be sure to check for appropriate content before showing to students. Consider directing students to the URL of the actual event page.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

This site is great for students to upload photos from field trips or other events. Keep track of project accomplishments by uploading pictures of the process. Have a class project such as DNA models or types of plants? Get them out of the classroom by taking pictures and uploading them to Drop Event. Make a collection for local history or photos of lab results during a bridge-building or pumpkin seed counting activity. Collect images that students can then use in Thinglink, reviewed here, "lab reports" about their discoveries. Place the link to the event page you have created and invite parents to view the creations. Take snapshots to create a Day In The Life event for your classroom. What better way to share memories! Have parent volunteers? Have them upload their pictures too! Whatever project or event you have, sharing and collaborating with Drop Event is easy and fun!

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Alternative to... - alternativeto.net

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Alternative to... and find a new alternative to one of your favorite online tools. Use the social-network powered database to suggest the new application. Find featured applications...more
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Use Alternative to... and find a new alternative to one of your favorite online tools. Use the social-network powered database to suggest the new application. Find featured applications ready to view. Use the tabs below to find the applications with the "Most views," "Most likes," "Recent," or even those that do not have an alternative. Join/follow the site to vote on favorite and alternative apps as well as uploading new applications to be considered.

tag(s): social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Click on one of the applications to see a great list of alternatives that may meet your needs or those of your students. Offer this site as a means for students to differentiate and express their understanding of the content in different ways. In a technology class, provide time for groups to explore the variety of options and report on ease of use and features for each. Be sure to check whether the sites listed are blocked by any filters in your school first.

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Bitstrips - Core Matrix

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the...more
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Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props and settings. Several actions are available: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, typing dialog into the bubbles, scaling items in the frame, rotating items, and more. There is a "Bitstrips for Schools" link; this feature does offer a 30-day free trial, however it is fee-based after 30-days.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Have small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of something you just read in class. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon about the characters and plot. You can also have your students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant or the planets.

Register and play with the simple tools to choose how many frames, settings, people, dialog bubbles, and props. Save your work to come back later or you may "publish" right away. You have a choice about whether others are allowed to view and "remix" your work. You also have the option to edit work or embed it in a website, blog e-mail or wiki. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy, (since you own the master account).

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Zooburst - zooburst.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create a 3D digital pop-up book that can be seen without the 3D movie glasses. Be sure to check out the Gallery to view great examples. Use ZooBurst's editing tools ...more
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Create a 3D digital pop-up book that can be seen without the 3D movie glasses. Be sure to check out the Gallery to view great examples. Use ZooBurst's editing tools with public domain (or Creative Commons) pictures or clipart to create your book. Create an account, choose a title, and read their instructions. Take your idea, manipulate with the simple to use tools, and add text, images, and animation. Edit the angle of the pop-up, speed of the pop-up, and even view your creation from a variety of angles. Use the left side panel to search the web for an image by simply entering a search term. Upload a picture from your computer easily. Click on the picture to add to your book. Drag and drop these elements into various positions in the book. Use the right side panel to change size, rotation, and color of the images. Add a chat bubble to the pictures and fill with text. Use the text box below the book to describe the scene on the page. Add new pages or switch between pages through use of the bottom window. Easily save your book and find your creations in the My Stuff link along the top. For those interested in Augmented Reality, here is a screencast that shows it in action.The free version of the tool currently allows 10 books up to 10 pages each. A free iPad app is available. Premium memberships offer more features--at a price.

tag(s): creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

Create a Zooburst book to embed in a wiki, blog, or site to provide back to school information about your class or teaching team. Introduce the teacher(s), subjects, curriculum content, contact information, sites to view, etc. Use for creative writing in any subject area. Have students: make a book to recreate a historical event (or create an alternative ending), explain a scientific term in simpler words, write their own story, or explain how a math concept can be applied in the real world. Create a book and read it to the students during story time. Use Zooburst to create an introductory story for a new concept or unit. Use as a means for students to deliver presentations, reports, or explain complex concepts. You can put together a story using digital pictures from around your school and share it with your students during story time. Or have students work on stories in groups or individually to exercise their creativity, and maybe produce the next classic children's book.

If you have a gifted one or two in your class, set up a free class Zooburst account for them to create extensions of the curriculum in Zooburst: a Civil War tale, a modern day restaging of a Shakespeare play, a biography of a famous scientist or author.

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Popplet - Notion, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Popplet combines a great number of features for creating mindmaps into one package. Share and collaborate with others. Create detailed and easily customized mindmaps. Be sure to check...more
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Popplet combines a great number of features for creating mindmaps into one package. Share and collaborate with others. Create detailed and easily customized mindmaps. Be sure to check out the features section and video tutorial found on the main page. A small amount of example Popplets appear on the main page for inspiration. Change the color of Popplets (mindmap boxes). Draw or insert images and videos from Flickr, Facebook, You Tube, and even your desktop. When you begin your Popplet, follow the mini tutorial that appears to quickly learn the features. Create up to 5 Popplets for free. Though Popplet looks simple and limited, it is probably one of the easiest to use. Have an iPad? Use the Popplet app!

tag(s): mind map (25), myplate (28)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to navigate the simple controls in this online tool. Videos and other information are found on the site and in your account page for a quick overview of learning the tool. If having difficulty saving the Popplet, be sure to remember to save a screenshot using the Print screen function on a PC or the Ctrl/shift/4 on a Mac.

Use this tool for brainstorming or creative planning. Create a concept map of facts or concepts in any subject area. Plan an experiment in Science. Determine the sequence of events in History. Create study materials that are easily edited and shared by others. The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or you can assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or My Plate food group portions in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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PBWorks - PBWorks. Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, ...more
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This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, etc. You may be familiar with wikipedia, but wikis can be so much more! A recent poll of "high tech" educators cited wikis as the one web-based tool they could not live without! If you have not tried a wiki yet, visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for a detailed, step-by-step explanation and starter help, including dozens of ideas for ways to use a wiki in your classroom.

If you are not sure which wiki tool is best for you, see our detailed TeachersFirst review of PBWorks (formerly PBWiki) features, pros, and cons(done as part of the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through). Ignore the persistent and pervasive suggestions that you upgrade to a fee-based membership!

tag(s): social networking (112), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Click through the first two steps to create a free wiki, including the name (which becomes part of the wiki URL). Be sure to select "education" as the answer to "What is this wiki for?" Wait for your confirmation email (may take a while...check junk mail folder). After the email, choose whether your wiki is public or private (visible to members only or to the public). Set a "key" (password), if you wish. Bypass the offer to PAY. Use the Quickstart steps to configure the wiki just the way you want it or simply play to learn the Clickable editing toolbar. Add and edit pages, invite new members, explore the three template options and a few options for "skins." You may want to become familiar with the tool as a teacher-created site at first so you know its capabilities before turning students loose.

See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for practical management and safety tips.

Safety concerns: Students need email accounts to have individual log-ins. Note: with this wiki tool, you do not have the option of "locking" certain pages or setting different "levels" of users. You and your students have equal access to make changes, once you make them "members." There are also "plug-ins' (widgets) available from the toolbar, some of which may connect you to sites with unmonitored content. Decide ahead of time what you policies are concerning use of the "plug-ins."

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TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in...more
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Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in other schools. This collection of reviewed resources related to Twitter will help you get started using Twitter safely for your own learning and possibly expand into using Twitter for class connections with other classrooms. The information includes basic terms such as "hastags," and even features a "widget" to show current "tweets" by educator-specific hashtag groups. Watch the sidebar (if it is not blocked in your school) to get a sense of the sharing possible on Twitter.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Make this page a must-learn for teaching in the 21st century. Mark it in your favorites to return often to watch the embedded tweets from educators all over the world. Then muster your courage to set up a Twitter account of your own. Follow @teachersfirst or our lead Thinking Teacher @cshively, and we'll be sure to welcome you!

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Easy Prompter - Michael Drob

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Ever think that you could look more professional if you used a teleprompter just like the President? Try this free version then! Simply copy and paste your text into the ...more
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Ever think that you could look more professional if you used a teleprompter just like the President? Try this free version then! Simply copy and paste your text into the field, highlight words if desired, and then click "Start prompt." Click play on the next screen to start the prompter. Speed up or slow down the speed of the prompter using the "+" or "-" buttons. The size of the prompter text can also be increased easily. Users must be able to copy and past text from one application to another. Player controls look much like standard video player controls. Follow the demo to watch how it is used or take a few moments to play with it. Close the site, and the information in the prompter is lost. Want to use this without the Internet? Download the program (click "standalone portable version") for free and drag to a flash drive to have anywhere.

tag(s): speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site to feed information used in group or individual presentations to the class. Set this up on another computer when recording video and audio recordings. Why use this site? Information fed through the prompter can be read at a steady and consistent pace. Teachers promoting oral reading fluency can make practice more engaging by having students pretend they are newscasters. If you advise the school announcement crew, try this handy tool to make them sound and look more professional.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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