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OK2Ask'®: Introduction to Writing with Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Writing is an important and powerful way to build and assess student understanding....more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Writing is an important and powerful way to build and assess student understanding. This fast paced session will help you find ideas and resources to implement Common Core ELA/Writing and science or social studies literacy standards as part of writing across your curriculum. This session is appropriate for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Explore a sampling of web-based writing tools and resources, including Common Core-appropriate writing prompts, word choice/vocabulary resources, common error help, tools for citations and research, writing templates, and more; Refer to Common Core to guide in selection of appropriate resources; Locate specific TeachersFirst writing resources appropriate for the his/her subject and grade level; Consider possible writing projects or activities that students can do in his/her classes using web-based resources; and (followup) Implement Common Core appropriate writing lesson(s) with students using web-based tools. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1c, 2a, c; 3a, b, d. Please read the full text at ISTE's NETS-T page

tag(s): commoncore (81), writing (310)

In the Classroom

Having trouble finding great writing resources for your classroom? Take your writing to the next level using the resources shared during this session. Learn more about the Common Core and how to implement the standards in your writing lessons. Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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Tocomail - Tocobox

Grades
2 to 6
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Tocomail is a safe and simple email service just for kids. Create a parent email account and build a safe contact list for kids to email with. Once the account ...more
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Tocomail is a safe and simple email service just for kids. Create a parent email account and build a safe contact list for kids to email with. Once the account is set up, kids receive and send emails in a kid-friendly format. Tocomail includes additional features such as custom avatars, a drawing board, and a picture timeline. Receive email online or through free apps for iPhones and iPads. (An Android app is in the works.) Premium features (not free) allow parents more detailed controls.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital citizenship (18), internet safety (90)

In the Classroom

Have students use Tocomail (with parent approval, of course) to correspond with each other from home with homework questions. Cooperate with parents to use Tocomail as a resource for teaching Internet safety and acceptable use of email. Ask them to set up accounts for their children and notify them when you will be asking students to write emails so they can see and monitor what children write along with you. Share with parents through your newsletter, back to school night, or blog as an alternative to typical email accounts. Together you can build good digital citizens and make electronic communication fun! Have students write you a "friendly letter" email for homework. Have them write an opinion piece with "arguments" a la Common Core and email it to a local official such as the school principal (and cc you so you can grade it). Encourage your ELL students to practice authentic writing skills by having them write emails to relatives.

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OECD Data Lab - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover graphical displays of statistics about education, death, employment outlook, migration, income distribution, and more. The best way to understand our world and to educate people...more
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Discover graphical displays of statistics about education, death, employment outlook, migration, income distribution, and more. The best way to understand our world and to educate people is to know what is happening in the many aspects of our lives. Hover over a graph to view an abstract of the data used for the graph. Each graph is interactive. Choosing various countries or other parameters changes the graph. Click on the "Create Your Own" button on most of these graphs to enter your own data for viewing and comparison. Compare your graph to others and share. Graphs even showcase gender differences in responses. The Better Life Index is a great place to start.

tag(s): agriculture (43), charts and graphs (176), critical thinking (64), cross cultural understanding (77), financial literacy (54), foreign policy (10), migration (53), writing prompts (76)

In the Classroom

Start with the OECD Better Life Index that brings together many factors to numerically rank countries by happiness or well-being. Assign this graph as a "Make Your Own," with students rating the topics (or more importantly, asking their parents or grandparents). Compare their results and look at gender differences. Students can brainstorm reasons for gender differences or ranking of topics in importance. Compare the United States to other countries. Allow class time to look at other data found on this site and brainstorm how these are connected. Connect the data to curriculum being discussed in class: economic policies, wars, global problems with food and agriculture, social norms, and more. Connect the information to headlines from around the world, both past and present. Encourage students to write an essay, opinion piece, or elevator pitch on one aspect or social issue that is important to change. What a great example of argument and evidence as required by Common Core! This assignment can also be delivered as a podcast, video, or part of a news segment the class creates. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here) to create podcasts. Try creating a video and share it using TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Skillwise - BBC

Grades
7 to 12
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Find extensive assistance for older ELL/ESL students with reading, writing, word forms, sentences, and speaking/listening activities. This site even includes some math skills. Explore...more
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Find extensive assistance for older ELL/ESL students with reading, writing, word forms, sentences, and speaking/listening activities. This site even includes some math skills. Explore the videos, activities, exercises, quizzes, and games to improve English. In addition to practice activities and interactives, the site contains tips and other help for tutors who work with students desiring to improve basic verbal and math skills. Although the site is aimed at adult survival skills, the basic learning required would be beneficial for most ELL/ESL students. At the time of this review, all content appeared appropriate for secondary students. However, always preview before you share - since activities were designed for adult learners. The site is created in the UK so spellings will vary from American English.

tag(s): capitalization (15), grammar (207), parts of speech (60), punctuation (41), reading strategies (28), sentences (42), spelling (155), verbs (37), writing (310)

In the Classroom

Bookmark (or save in your favorites) on your classroom computers for ESL/ELL students to use when they are working on their own. Pair up ESL students and native speakers, having the better English speakers follow the tutor guidelines. Learning Support teachers will find many activities suitable for middle and high school students to reinforce grammar and writing skills. Share this tool on your class website for ESL families to explore and learn together and for ALL students to use for extra practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wibki - Roy Pessis

Grades
K to 12
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Bookmark your favorite web resources in a visual interface with Wibki. Instead of just creating a long list of bookmarks, use Wibki to organize your favorite resources through categories...more
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Bookmark your favorite web resources in a visual interface with Wibki. Instead of just creating a long list of bookmarks, use Wibki to organize your favorite resources through categories and labels you choose. Through the use of icons, Wibki displays each bookmark in a visually appealing display, making them easy to find and use. View up to 40 icons at one time. This view is especially handy on a tablet. Registration is required (with email.) Share any link on Twitter or Facebook by clicking the edit (pencil) icon in the link. Use the Discover link to find new favorites offered by Wibki editors weekly. Click on the star to add to any of your categories. Add the bookmarklet to your browser bar to quickly add any website as a favorite. Wibki works well with touch and click features on any device.

tag(s): bookmarks (54), DAT device agnostic tool (48)

In the Classroom

Create a Wibki of the most used sites for your class. Link to teacher web pages, webquests, resource sites for your subject, and any other resource that is helpful for students. Consider creating a login for the whole class to update with suggestions from class members. Be sure to link your Wibki on a computer center in your room for easy access. Since icons are shown rather than words, you could use this site with your nonreaders. Create a Wibki mix for parents and students to access at home before tests. Team up with other teachers in your subject/grade to create chapter by chapter Wibkis for all your students.

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EverySlide - NetClick, Inc

Grades
6 to 12
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Improve your slide presentations with audience interaction using EverySlide. Upload any PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to your EverySlide account. You will then receive your unique...more
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Improve your slide presentations with audience interaction using EverySlide. Upload any PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to your EverySlide account. You will then receive your unique presentation URL. Viewers participate by typing in the code displayed at the top of your presentation. Participants can provide feedback via instant polls or question responses. Following your presentation, review feedback or download contact information and answers into a spreadsheet. Create instant polls, word clouds, class reports, and more. The free version works on any device (perfect for your BYOD - bring your own device classroom).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (48), slides (49)

In the Classroom

Use your existing presentations and upload them to EverySlide. EverySlide is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Use during your presentations to increase student interest and interaction. Check understanding of your ELL students by having them respond or pose questions throughout the presentation. Share with students for them to use during their own presentations, inviting other students to comment and answer questions. During Open House night with parents, demonstrate how EverySlide provides interaction. Use EverySlide during professional development presentations to invite discussions from colleagues. Anytime you need an engaging and interactive presentation platform... look no further than EverySlide!

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Lookwork - Ben Pieratt and Eric Jacobsen

Grades
6 to 12
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Lookwork is an RSS Reader displaying images drawn from the "feeds" of over 400 of the world's most creative blogs. Browse by scrolling through images on the home page. Choose ...more
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Lookwork is an RSS Reader displaying images drawn from the "feeds" of over 400 of the world's most creative blogs. Browse by scrolling through images on the home page. Choose from subjects such as Photography or Architecture or Illustration to narrow your search. Create your own personal Lookwork feed after creating an account and choosing topics to include. Note: Content is unmoderated so take precautions when sharing with students.

tag(s): architecture (61), creative writing (123), design (72), graphic design (31), images (201), photography (129), writing prompts (76)

In the Classroom

Use Lookwork as an excellent inspiration for creative writing projects. Find interesting images to display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for students to use as inspiration. Use in Art class as a source for creative artwork and photography to discuss design elements and principles. Have your more advanced art students create their own accounts to "feed" their own artistic appetites.

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Worldcrunch - All News Is Global - Jeff Israely and Irene Toporkoff

Grades
8 to 12
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Worldcrunch delivers news from top world-language outlets, translated into English and providing a non-U.S. "view" via reputable sources. The collection was created by a former Time...more
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Worldcrunch delivers news from top world-language outlets, translated into English and providing a non-U.S. "view" via reputable sources. The collection was created by a former Time bureau chief and foreign correspondent for various U.S. publications. He has teamed with a media collaborator from France. Worldcrunch is a great resource for locating news and culture from around the world. During periods of controversy or high international tension, this is an informative source for teens to adults. Explore the interactive map to find news from specific locations or browse through headlines on the main page. This site is very up to date and includes articles from the news today around the world. Choose from topics such as World Affairs, Tech/Science, or Culture/Society. Easily share articles using social networking and email links. Use the "Read Later" link to email, send to Pocket reviewed here. Free app versions are available for both Android and iOS.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (77), DAT device agnostic tool (48), journalism (29), media literacy (36), news (162), newspapers (43)

In the Classroom

Share with your students to show them different perspectives on world events. This site would also provide contrasting texts for close reading as required by Common Core. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast coverage between two newspapers. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here after reading and comparing many different articles. Build student awareness of the limited view provided by some publications, especially during times of international tension. Explore this site during Newspaper in Education Week or as part of a unit on the basics and nuances of journalistic writing. World language teachers can use newspapers to teach about both language and culture. Have world cultures or social studies students learn about local culture through advertisements and articles and share their findings using a screencast (or screenshots) of the newspaper and talking about their discoveries. Use a free tool like Screenr, reviewed here, to create screencasts.

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GrabChat - Dean Jenkins

Grades
K to 12
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Grab and archive Twitter chats easily to view whenever you wish! Grabchat uses the chat hashtag to "grab" the full conversation. Set limits on the number of people or resources ...more
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Grab and archive Twitter chats easily to view whenever you wish! Grabchat uses the chat hashtag to "grab" the full conversation. Set limits on the number of people or resources to be included in the GrabChat. Set your parameters. Enter the chat hashtag after the "#" sign and click "Submit." New to Twitter? Check out the Twitter for Teachers page here. Unsure of what hashtag to grab? Use the 2012 A-Z list of Educational Twitter Hashtags, reviewed here.

tag(s): microblogging (31), twitter (40)

In the Classroom

Use Twitter chats from the "real world" in class by using a hashtag used by professional group, such as chemists or artists. Share the GrabChat with students to showcase information shared among professionals. Use GrabChat to keep up with the ever fast paced world of professional educators sharing information. Note: This is especially helpful if you are active in many groups and would like to keep a record of tweets from one particular group to digest and refer to later. Have your class grab Twitter hashtags from NASA missions or political movements to learn and become a media-wise citizens.

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Noisli - Stefano Merlo

Grades
4 to 12
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Stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds and colors to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that...more
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Stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds and colors to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that sooth and relax while promoting creative productivity. These sounds are much better than plain, white noise. Classic sounds for relaxation include thunder, rain, waves, summer night, forest, white noise, and more. Even Coffee House is a sound that is the general hum of a business and not distracting to your work. As the music plays, the background color changes through a variety of harmonious colors to match the mood of the sound. Click on multiple sounds to create your own mix that is sure to please. Note: Be patient for the music to start, and be sure to click the icon again to stop it before choosing another sound if not mixing them. There is also a link to click and be taken to a blank writing page. (It may not be a white background though, but rather red, yellow, or green.) Click on the lines on the right side of the site to access the writing area. Click the arrow to SAVE your work. Use the music to inspire your writing.

tag(s): creative writing (123), learning styles (10), sounds (64)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students (and their parents) looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use these background sounds as mood music to set the stage for your story. Why not listen to waves or water while studying it! Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Let a student "DJ" create a class relaxation or creativity soundscape. Consider using as background sounds for student presentations. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use the writing tool available at this site to motivate your students with music, color, and more. If you talk with students about discovering their own learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support (and autistic support) teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students. Some students may find them overstimulating, while others may find the sounds very helpful.

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The Library of Congress American Memory - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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American Memory provides this digital record of American history and creativity through written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet...more
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American Memory provides this digital record of American history and creativity through written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. Some of the categories are Advertising, Environment and Conservation, Immigration and American Expansion, Performing Arts, Sports and Recreation, and many others. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that make up America.

tag(s): advertising (26), african american (109), architecture (61), branches of government (37), cities (20), conservation (116), cultures (82), environment (279), immigration (47), industrialization (11), literature (218), maps (229), native americans (56), north america (18), presidents (111), religions (43), sports (76), women (89)

In the Classroom

Use American Memory in your study of either state, or United States history providing further primary and secondary resources to bring life into your subject matter. Discover point of view or popular opinion found in the collections. Use on your interactive whiteboard with the class, or even as a resource on projects to give a personal reference. Combine with literature for understanding of a place or time in American history. Look at the year of birth for your students to compare and contrast for today. Use as an example for your year of learning in your subject area or even grade level. Be sure to list as a resource on student computers or your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teaching Florida - Florida Humanities Council

Grades
3 to 12
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Teaching Florida will bring Florida's history alive. Study Spanish Influence, Explorers, Native Americans, or Parts of Florida. Lesson plans, primary and secondary resources, maps,...more
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Teaching Florida will bring Florida's history alive. Study Spanish Influence, Explorers, Native Americans, or Parts of Florida. Lesson plans, primary and secondary resources, maps, paintings, and references make the subject matter come alive. Extend your learning by finding resources for summer workshops, district programs, and resources for teachers.

tag(s): explorers (50), florida (11), maps (229), native americans (56)

In the Classroom

Integrate fiction and nonfiction sources into your studies of explorers, Native Americans, or Spanish influences. Compare and contrast the differences between primary and secondary sources. Integrate units of English Language Arts Common core standards and Social Studies standards.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Writing Reviser - SAS Curriculum Pathways

Grades
6 to 12
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to ...more
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to use the features and how to revise your writing. You do have to join to be able to see anything beyond the general demo video. Once logged in, you can paste in an essay, explaining your intended audience and purpose. There is automated feedback about organization, style, and grammar. See statistics about your writing and discover things to improve and revise. You can delve into very specific aspects of your writing, such as verbs, pronouns, cliches, sentence variety, power sentences, and much more. The explanations are a little bit text-heavy, but they are very helpful. There is also free access to the Writing Planner and Writing Drafter from this tool. Explore the entire writing process at your fingertips!

tag(s): editing (33), process writing (28), writing (310)

In the Classroom

Give students the benefits of immediate feedback. Use this formative tool to help students focus on their purpose, audience, structure, and use of language (sentence economy, variety, power, and clarity). Start with whole-group instruction by projecting the demo, and work on one strategy at a time. Suggest individual areas for each student or let each one decide on an area of personal writing "need." You might want to start with Sentence Power (verbs). Show students the "About" and how to change "was" to an active verb. Allow students time to work on their own sentence power before moving to the next revision strategy or letting them choose another. Once the students know the program, use it for peer conferences or at home on their own time. Once you set up your account, enroll your students with your school. Their parents can also set up an individual student account. In 2014, SAS plans to develop a teacher "dashboard."

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Bringit - Lisa Bouchard and Charles Forcey

Grades
K to 12
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Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets...more
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Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets for easy online access. (Those signing up do not need a Bringit account.) Add items, times, tasks, or whatever you need to your sign up sheet. Share the link using the URL or share through social networking links. Customize your sign up sheet to allow others to add information if desired. Two days before the date of the event, those who sign up will receive an automated reminder.

tag(s): organizational skills (77)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, video cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with your signups! Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical (or actual) event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit. Use this tool for your high school club or sports team to organize their own events.

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Zentation - Karl Siegert

Grades
5 to 12
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Do you have a PowerPoint presentation AND YouTube video to combine for your next presentation? Zentation helps you combine these two tools into one dynamic presentation with both the...more
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Do you have a PowerPoint presentation AND YouTube video to combine for your next presentation? Zentation helps you combine these two tools into one dynamic presentation with both the slides AND the video showing side by side. This presentation method can share the "live" presenter (from a video) and his/her slides together on the screen. Watch the demo to see what the results look like. After creating your account, choose New Presentation to begin. Provide a name and description. Click the Start under the Public column. (Premium Private provides additional paid options.) Copy/paste in the link to your prerecorded YouTube or Google video. Upload your PowerPoint from your computer or link to a SlideShare presentation and choose "Upload PPT." Once all uploads finish, use the sync option in your account to add descriptions and modify slide display time as needed to sync with the video. Use the share button to share your finished project via URL, embed into your blog, send through email, or create a link with thumbnail images. If your district blocks YouTube, you may not be able to use this tool at school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): slides (49), video (164)

In the Classroom

Use your existing presentations along with video of you narrating them (or other video) and upload them to Zentation. Zentation is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. It does use Flash, so iOS devices will not display the results. Use during your presentations to increase student interest and interaction. Share with students for use to combine their own slides and video to create a more dynamic presentation. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Use Zentation as an excellent resource for creating and sharing review materials on your website. It would also be a great way to "flip" your classroom. Use the video area to include examples of a scientific process (found on YouTube) or even video of students themselves explaining student-created review or presentation slides in a format you can easily share and archive on a class web page or wiki. Anything you can put on video can go in the left video box! If you have students who are too shy to present in person, this would be a great way for them to record and combine slides with video of themselves. Teacher-librarians could record students doing booktalks alongside slides of images from the book or illustrations the students draw themselves.

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Geddit - Justin Mann

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this free online tool to receive instant feedback from students about understanding of classroom content through their mobile devices. The tool works in the web browser on any mobile...more
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Use this free online tool to receive instant feedback from students about understanding of classroom content through their mobile devices. The tool works in the web browser on any mobile device (no app needed). Feedback options include self-assessment, multiple choice, and short answer responses. Choose the teacher button to add classes to your account. Input names individually or upload your class list from your computer. A different option offers the ability to provide students with a code to create their own account. Be sure to view the quick tutorials for using Geddit and suggestions for classroom use.

tag(s): assessment (52), classroom management (55), DAT device agnostic tool (48), polls and surveys (30)

In the Classroom

For those lucky enough to have a classroom set of mobile devices or laptops or who teach in a BYOD classroom, use Geddit to deliver quick assessments, receive student feedback on classroom information, or involve students in classroom lessons. This is a great tool to engage students in the learning process. During a lesson, throw a random "thought" question to everyone based on what you are teaching. Create "ready to go" quick quizzes on any topic. Survey students on their thoughts about issues that they may not feel comfortable answering by raising their hands or speaking out loud. Find other tools that work on ALL types of devices at TeachersFirst's at BYOD tools.

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Zeemaps - Zee Source

Grades
4 to 12
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Generate maps with unlimited markers easily with this tool! NO membership is required to create, save, or collaborate on maps, and you do not need to install software. Enter a ...more
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Generate maps with unlimited markers easily with this tool! NO membership is required to create, save, or collaborate on maps, and you do not need to install software. Enter a title, description (optional), an admin password for others to collaborate, and a starting location to create your map. Add simple or detailed markers to your map. Input data from multiple formats: KML, CSV, Excel, and more. Add video, audio, and information to each of the markers. Markers can also be customized icons. Be sure to check out the menu options available such as Additions, where areas of the map can be highlighted and Annotations can be added to the markers. Share your map by URL or publish in a webpage.

tag(s): directions (17), map skills (64), maps (229)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one is a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Teach map skills by letting students explore and annotate their own community. This site is great on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Create multiple markers for various points within your community. Annotate the markers with specific information that students research. Remember to create an admin password (and save it somewhere safe!) for others to collaborate on the map. Research various places around the world, and create markers of must-see places, historical finds, and other locations of interest. Create a map of news hot spots around the world. In Biology, find places where environmental or biodiversity concerns are occurring. Collaborate on a map to include annotated information of student research about these problems. Create a map to introduce various cultures around the world. Enter video, audio, information, and links that students can use to "uncover" the content to be learned.

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Roon - Sam Soffes

Grades
4 to 12
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Roon is a very simple blogging tool. Simply create an account (requires email but no wait for activation), start typing, upload an image, and publish. That is all there is ...more
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Roon is a very simple blogging tool. Simply create an account (requires email but no wait for activation), start typing, upload an image, and publish. That is all there is to it, and there are no ads. You can also embed videos from YouTube, etc. Share using Twitter and Facebook links or go directly to the blog page and copy the url to share. Viewers of the blog can share using a link provided or "like" your post by clicking on the heart at the bottom of the page. There is no commenting by readers since Roon intends that people will comment via Twitter. You can create many blogs from ONE log-in, so you can be as creative as you wish! Roon works on all devices, including web browsers on smartphones and tablets, while maintaining image sizes and quality. There is also a free iOS app.

tag(s): blogs (74), digital storytelling (79), images (201)

In the Classroom

Use Roon for blog-style presentations created by you or your students and do not worry about comments from outsiders. The multiple blog capability means that, assuming you have parent permission, you can set up a blog for EACH student using a single, teacher-controlled account-- something especially handy for younger students or students who do not have email. Have science students display photos and information about lab work or research findings about a famous scientist. Language arts students can use this to post as the main character in a book. Have literature circle groups create one Roon to present the book and its different characters. Create a Roon for current events, biographies, or explanations about curriculum topics such as plants.

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The Republia Times - Lucas Pope

Grades
6 to 12
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Try your hand at newspaper editing for a dystopian community. Explore the limitations of not having a free press. Your task is to select which articles paint a positive picture ...more
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Try your hand at newspaper editing for a dystopian community. Explore the limitations of not having a free press. Your task is to select which articles paint a positive picture of the world by reading a one sentence summary and looking at the headlines. There is a time limit for editing (within 3 virtual days -- about 45 seconds). As the editor, you must make sure the bosses stay happy and also that the public interest is substantial in reading the selected stories. At the end of the given time, editors receive two grades, one on successfully completing the paper and the other on engaging your readers. Editors continue work for three days, each day trying to improve the positive attitude and interest more readers. A threat to the editor adds to the suspense and tension of selecting articles carefully.

tag(s): freedom of speech (5), media literacy (36), newspapers (43), propaganda (10)

In the Classroom

Share this exercise (once) on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on propaganda or while reading a dystopian novel. You can also include it during government/civics units on the power of media. Have students try out editing on individual computers or as a learning station. Ask students to write the imaginary articles that go along with the headlines from two points of view, both positive and negative about the regime. Find headlines from a local paper or the Internet and have students rewrite headlines, changing the feeling of the article from negative to positive or vice versa.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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My Study Life - Virblue

Grades
7 to 12
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My Study Life is a web-based and mobile app for a student to manage classes, tasks, and assignments. Features include tracking tasks, adding exam dates, managing classes, and notification...more
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My Study Life is a web-based and mobile app for a student to manage classes, tasks, and assignments. Features include tracking tasks, adding exam dates, managing classes, and notification reminders of upcoming events. Enroll through email, Facebook, or Google. Once enrolled, add course schedules to set up a schedule. After entering courses, add tasks with due dates or exam dates. All tasks and information displays on the homepage along with approaching due dates. My Study Life shows both tasks completed and unfinished. At the time of this review, there are free apps for Android and Windows phones, with iOS "coming soon."

tag(s): organizational skills (77)

In the Classroom

Share this tool with students for planning homework assignments, tasks, and exam dates. Create an account to share with your learning support teacher and specialists to collaborate and know upcoming events in each other's classrooms. Share with parents as an option for student use. Use this site personally to keep yourself organized! If you have students aged 13 and up, encourage them to choose a consistent planning tool like this one to stay organized. Promote organizational skills with your learning support or gifted learners.

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