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Wikispaces - Wikispaces

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Looking for quick web pages that even students can author? Then "wiki-wiki" this way! (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian.) This is the one tried and true wiki to use. Create ...more
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Looking for quick web pages that even students can author? Then "wiki-wiki" this way! (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian.) This is the one tried and true wiki to use. Create your own Wikispaces site by creating a site name. Educators get a free upgrade to a non-ad site, so remember to confirm it is for educational use. Enter your students manually (or upload a list). Students can also create an account and "join" your wiki. Use Settings to manage privacy settings for viewing and editing. Be sure to check out many of the settings that make Wikispaces versatile including the ability to lock pages so others do not edit them. Individual students can have their own page and/or belong to a group page. Check the participation of individual students in the group by checking the history of the page to "see" what each student edited at specific times. Choose traditional Wikispaces which looks like traditional sets of pages on a site. Also choose from the new Wikispaces Classroom (this can be done at any time and can be converted back to a traditional wiki as needed). In Wikispaces Classroom, members of your wiki can be assigned to various project groups the teacher creates. Set the privacy settings for each individual group or for all of them. If private, only members of that group can see their information. Create announcements, calendar events, discussions, and more for individuals, single groups, or all groups. Wikispaces Classroom takes interaction and management of student projects to a new level. As they work on an assigned project, the teacher can view the activity of each student including pages editing and viewing. Follow help videos or simply play to learn the simple wiki editing toolbar and settings. Creating a site has never been so easy. If you have not tried a wiki yet, visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for a step-by-step explanation, starter help, and practical management and safety tips. Be sure to check your district's Acceptable Use Policy. We recommend having parents and students sign a Wiki Warranty (downloadable here ), spelling out wiki behavior and consequences.

tag(s): wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to create a collaborative space online with your students in any subject, allowing as many people to edit, make changes, and add new content. In its simplest use, use the wiki to post assignments by creating pages for each unit to place assignments. Enter these in text form, or upload documents/PowerPoints, teacher created videos, and other resources from around the web without having students leave the wiki to view. (Use the widget icon in the toolbar to paste the embed code of the resource you want to use). Weave your content around the many resources that can engage and connect learning in your classroom. When students create learning groups in your classroom, they can also create their own wiki page, documenting their learning within the page. For science, reporting about a lab can also include their digital graph, photos taken throughout the lab, and extensions of learning from the natural world. For Math, extend learning to the world around them such as determining circumferences of a variety of natural objects, etc. then reporting on them with pictures. Give students a problem and create a step by step tutorial on how to solve the problem. Students can embed their movie, podcast, PowerPoint, document, or even sets of images to show the solution. When answering discussion type questions, students can paste the link to the resources that they used. Create a wiki for art classes as a gallery showcase. Use with gifted students as a portfolio space. Use Wikispaces Classroom to create discussions (threaded discussions are to be developed soon) within groups or with the whole class. Discuss current events in Social Studies, ethics in Science or Civics, or create a literature circle in English. The uses of wikis are endless and can serve many different functions. Use for placing all your content on the web (great for absent students or for those who want to get ahead) while also creating some assignments that students can use with their individual pages and other assignments for their team pages. Student pages can be works in progress, allowing students to revisit and revise information whenever they want. Be sure to visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for dozens of ideas for using a wiki in the classroom.

Comments

Easy to use, versatile, free to educators. Can be kept private easily. Easier than PBWorks wiki. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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TeachersFirst Sample Wiki Warranty (Web Tool Permission Slip) - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Download this sample Word document to create a customized parent permission slip/student contract for use of a class wiki -- or any web tools and apps -- safely and within ...more
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Download this sample Word document to create a customized parent permission slip/student contract for use of a class wiki -- or any web tools and apps -- safely and within your school policies. (If you do not have Word software, you can upload and convert it to Google Drive/Docs to edit there.) The form includes many provisions and consequences. Simply delete the ones you do not need or that do not fit your classroom situation. Add/delete any specific tools you plan to use or ways you may use them. Please give proper credit in the footer of your new permission form as being "adapted from a sample form provided by TeachersFirst.com" and giving this url. Save AS a new file name to use as your own class or school permission form. For more ideas on the safe use of web tools, see the TeachersFirst Edge Tips. If you teach younger students, you may want to start with the form for elementary students reviewed here.

tag(s): classroom management (135), digital citizenship (59), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Save this document and your adaptations of it for use from year to year. If your school is still struggling to establish the terms under which it WILL allow access to web tools for students to create and publish online, use this form as a starting point for discussions with school administration.

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Creating Community and Getting Inspired with Blog Hops and Events - Krista Stevens/WordPress

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Discover blog ideas galore from the "friendly writers" at Wordpress, especially these ideas for connecting your blog with other bloggers via special events, such as "blog hops." A blog...more
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Discover blog ideas galore from the "friendly writers" at Wordpress, especially these ideas for connecting your blog with other bloggers via special events, such as "blog hops." A blog hop is simply a response to the same prompt during a fixed time frame, with links to the other bloggers' responses so you can "hop" to read the many takes on the topic from the original post or prompt. Share writing around a common theme, image, quote, or topic by checking out the offerings compiled here. Note that this collection is intended for the general blogging public (not schools), so some topics may not be school-appropriate. On the other hand, making contact with "real world" people blogging about how they write, do photography, stay fit, and more. Click on the link to the updated list of blogging events to find inspiration and connection, sorted by general areas of interest. Don't miss the detailed information about how to Start and/or Participate in a Blog Hop.

tag(s): blogs (88), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

In its simplest use, this is a place to find and READ blogs on curriculum-related topics. You can also find questions and prompts for your students to write about offline. Never again will you need to hunt for writing prompts or ways to connect your science or social studies students with the outside world. Of course this is a time to discuss proper netiquette and digital citizenship/safety for interacting with "strangers." If you do not yet have a class or student blogs, you might want to begin with Blog Basics for the Classroom. Be SURE you get parent permission. If your students have blogs, use these ideas as a model for your own weekly or biweekly blog hops on curriculum topics. Since your math students need to write about their problem solving strategies for Common Core, why not make it more fun with a blog hop? Trying to fire up interest in local history? Pose a blog hop prompt asking which local landmark could be replaced with a shopping mall. Looking for students to support arguments with evidence? Spark an environmental question for a blog hop. Browse some of the special topic blog events for discussions related to your current curriculum. For example, connect your plant study unit with gardeners' blogging events. If you teach gifted students, this is the ideal way to connect your students (even reluctant writers) with an outside world that will raise their level of writing and thinking. If you can connect with other teachers who have gifted students, perhaps via the #gtchat Twitter chat, you can set up a regular connection among students in several locations.. in science, social studies, math, or writing classes. Your gifted ones may pull in other blogging classmates, as well!

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Dimensions of Creativity: Sample Project Rubrics - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Include creativity in project rubrics with the tips and downloadable, editable rubric starters from this page. Make creativity something you can talk about with your students and something...more
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Include creativity in project rubrics with the tips and downloadable, editable rubric starters from this page. Make creativity something you can talk about with your students and something they can actually learn! Promote creativity using terms both teachers and students can understand as part of your rubrics (FFOE): Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration. You no longer have to simply make a category that says "Creativity (5 pts)." These rubric starters give specific ways to assess creativity projects at all levels and can easily be adapted to the projects you do (or want to do) in you classroom. This page is part of a longer article about Dimensions of Creativity.

tag(s): gifted (96), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Mark this page in your favorites and refer to it as you develop rubrics for upcoming class or independent projects. Use appropriate options from these samples to customize creativity rubrics for any student who needs a different target. If you teach gifted students, these rubric ideas will help you adapt your existing rubrics to challenge gifted students beyond simply requiring "more of the same." Challenge them to move beyond "excellent" and to know what the expectations are. Consider including them in goal setting as you develop the rubrics together. By including creativity elements in project rubrics you respect student creativity and expect it to grow.

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scistuchat - Adam Taylor

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This grass roots effort by a Tennessee science teacher spawned a monthly Twitter chat between high school science students in MANY locations and practicing scientists in the "real world."...more
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This grass roots effort by a Tennessee science teacher spawned a monthly Twitter chat between high school science students in MANY locations and practicing scientists in the "real world." The site looks plain vanilla, but the topic is dynamite! Find information, preparation, and topics for upcoming chats, basic information about the chat formats, chat archives, past pre-chat prep resources, and Twitter handles for the scientists and teachers who participate in the chats. Don't forget to follow @2footgiraffe, the instigating teacher, and click through to his blog for some of the back story on how he was able to convince school administration to unblock Twitter (and other tales of tech challenges). The TeachersFirst editors met Mr. Taylor at the ISTE conference and knew this was a resource our users would want to know about.

tag(s): twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Even if you do not choose to join this particular Twitter chat with practitioners in the field, mark this simple site as a professional development resource to learn how to plan and organize successful Twitter chats between your students and the outside world. If you teach another discipline, try searching on Wefollow, reviewed here for people in the field that connect to your curriculum: writers, artists, curators, engineers, and more. Need to learn more about Twitter? Start with help from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Extend the curriculum for your gifted students by having them help organize a chat with professionals and write the questions.

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Diigo - Education - Diigo, Inc. 2010

Grades
1 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This interactive social bookmarking and collaboration tool does so much more than any ordinary bookmarking tool. It is a research tool, knowledge-sharing community, website annotation...more
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This interactive social bookmarking and collaboration tool does so much more than any ordinary bookmarking tool. It is a research tool, knowledge-sharing community, website annotation tool, and social information network all rolled into one "cloud" package. To get started, check out the About link. You will find information and videos on the uses of Diigo. Set up an account, being sure to click the FREE education edition upgrade. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

This tool can be used as a basic bookmarking tool, simply allowing YOU to save, sort, and access your own bookmarks from ANY computer or mobile device (once you are logged in). You have the choice whether your bookmarks are public or private. You can gradually ease into more advanced and interactive features: highlight parts of sites and save or share those annotations, add sticky notes to parts of websites, pictures, screen-shots, documents, audio, and more. Do group collaborative research. Organize your bookmarks by tags. Unlike sorting bookmarks into file folders, adding tags permits you to put multiple tags or "labels" on one site. The same site you tag for book reports could also be tagged for biographies, for example. Aditional Diigo features include groups (a way to share and exchange bookmarks with a certain group of Diigo users), messaging, and search features. You can search all the public bookmarks made by others and discover other people with similar interests, already bookmarked and ready for you to mark as your own. There are many groups you can join, such as those with a specific teaching interest or hobby. See "Tools" for many helpful options, including bookmarklets to make bookmarking instant on multiple devices. Bookmarklets drag directly to the toolbars on your computer and are well worth it. It goes beyond simple bookmarking and adds options like highlight, capture, send, read later, comment, search bar and Diigo message options. You decide your own level of use and desired tools to be shown on the bar. If choosing not to install the toolbar, then there is an applet called Diigolet that will be used in its place. It is not as strong a tool as the toolbar, but will work well if the toolbar installation is not possible. Check our sample group. You can also install a widget on your blog (or class web page) that will show your bookmarks there.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), DAT device agnostic tool (199), forum (9), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Teachers even in very early grades can use Diigo simply to share links with students and parents. To get more ideas on the potential education uses of this site, see this SlideShare powerpoint here. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

Assign students a research topic and allow them to use Diigo collaboratively to collect and share resources. Share teacher-selected options (complete with comments or directions) easily using Diigo. The research and conversations created through highlighting and annotating what they read can greatly enhance both their research skills and their online interaction on academic level skills. Or use Diigo to post discussion assignments on specific articles or even parts of articles using the highlighting tool. Find a relevant article for your subject, highlight the part that you want students to read. (If students are younger, keep it short to reduce the intimidating reality of too much information for kids.) Attach a sticky note with a discussion question for the students. Have them comment on the link in a "class discussion" as a homework assignment. If you are fortunate enough to have all students with computer access in your class and at home, such as in one to one laptop program schools, you can organize many assignments using Diigo. Use this site to help all of your students stay organized. Share this resource with your (not so organized) gifted students to help them manage projects and not "lose" the information they "found somewhere." Post assignments, readings, online interactive labs, and more. The site even allows students to submit responses by adding a comment. Of course others will see what they said, so you may not want the comments to be the only thing they do! If you assign gifted students to do projects beyond the regular curriculum, consider having them curate and annotate a collection of resources on a higher level topic. For example, extend your study of World War II by having them collect web-based primary sources showing the propaganda leading up to the war, political cartoons during the war, and advertisements from the time. Have them annotate the collection explaining each artifact and how it reflects the sentiments and biases of certain groups. That same collection could provide other students a class opportunity to interact with "objects" from the time. If you have contact with other teachers of gifted students, they could collaborate across different schools or classrooms.

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Teachit Timer - teachit.co.uk

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
TeachIt Timer is an online alternative to the traditional countdown or stopwatch timer. This free online timer displays a countdown timer and a count-up timer at one time. The most...more
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TeachIt Timer is an online alternative to the traditional countdown or stopwatch timer. This free online timer displays a countdown timer and a count-up timer at one time. The most incredible feature is that it allows you to schedule a series of up to eight timed alarms. There are also eight choices of sounds from whistles to bells to barking. Launch the timer right from your screen or download it to your computer to have easy access.

tag(s): classroom management (135), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. At the beginning of the school year, display on your interactive whiteboard or projector to time or count down any classroom activity. That will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Project the time TeachIt Timer while students take a test, solve a drag and drop, practice speeches, rotate between learning centers, or join cooperative learning groups. Be sure to turn up the volume! When rotating between centers or taking turns in a cooperative learning group, schedule the time sequence to keep everyone on track.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Great timer resource to use with visual students. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Scattervox - Scattervox

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use Scattervox to conduct a poll visually! For each of the possible items, poll responders click their answer on a graph. The result is an interactive poll that looks like ...more
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Use Scattervox to conduct a poll visually! For each of the possible items, poll responders click their answer on a graph. The result is an interactive poll that looks like an Infographic! To vote: Click on one of the possible items on the right and then click the spot on the graph to correspond to your answer. Once plotted, replace your choices by clicking on the item again and your new answer on the graph. Click "Vote" to record your choices. To "Create Poll": Enter a title, tags, and a description. Label the axes of the graph with two different variables to value the items such as expensive and inexpensive. (There are two different sets of axes to use for rating.) Enter the chart items that will be rated with your set values. Embed your Scattervox or share using email, Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter. Browse the gallery to get an idea of how the tool works. Membership is required to create a poll, but not to vote.
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tag(s): critical thinking (108), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

This free tool is a great way to identify a value or rating of various items. Use this in science class to poll students on various types of renewable and nonrenewable energies as cheap/expensive and clean/dirty for the environment. Poll students on types of cars, rating the cost and gas mileage. Follow up with research into the various makes and models. Poll about famous presidents and various influences on the economy and society. Compare characters in various novels in measures of motivation and other characteristics. In younger grades, gather data about students favorite animals and why (such as fluffy/ferocious) or favorite colors and mood. Learn more about your students through polling of various social and cultural topics such as fashion, movies, and songs. Use this to identify misconceptions and resistance to various subject areas. Identify foods and feelings for each specific kind of food in Family and Consumer Science or attitudes towards various sports. Conduct specific polls for Introduction to Psychology or Sociology about various topics and reactions to the topics. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs or wiki pages to increase involvement or 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 in issues that matter to them. For Professional development, rate the various types of technology tools for ease of use/difficulty and high/low value for instruction. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to increase parent involvement. Gifted students would love this tool to dig deeply into the multiple facets of issues they worry about.

Comments

Michael, NY, Grades: 0 - 12

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Draw It Live - Luis Montes

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Draw It Live is a LIVE online whiteboard collaboration and sharing tool. There is no membership required. Simply click on the screenshot of the words "Collaborative Whiteboard" to create...more
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Draw It Live is a LIVE online whiteboard collaboration and sharing tool. There is no membership required. Simply click on the screenshot of the words "Collaborative Whiteboard" to create your whiteboard and add a username. Copy the link provided for the whiteboard or enter emails of those you wish to invite. Use the chat area on the left of the screen to discuss your whiteboard with other users as you all draw in real time. Tools provided include text boxes, shapes, colors, and more. Use the Clear the Drawing option to start over without having to go to a new whiteboard link. (Remember to SAVE your whiteboard link as a Favorite or email it to yourself so you don't lose it! You can return later to add more!) Note: this tool works great on tablets using the web browser! No special app needed.

tag(s): colors (79), DAT device agnostic tool (199), drawing (78), iwb (31), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, that another group can use that as a writing prompt. Use a Draw It Live board as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups or the class share ideas for a major project or to solve a real world problem. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is being read aloud. As a creative assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how a democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, use Draw It Live to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Or have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board. Then have them work through it together, noting all of their reasoning and steps of work along the way. Have them "turn in" their work by url, or post the url on the class wiki to compare with others. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. This would be a great tool for gifted students (or any students) to collaborate with others outside of their own class, even from other schools. It is simple enough for ANY student to figure out and get started without a membership.

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Webnode - Webnode AG

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Webnode is a free and easy website builder. Create an account. Choose from hundreds of template design options, including personal blogs. Add many site features: photo galleries, polls,...more
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Webnode is a free and easy website builder. Create an account. Choose from hundreds of template design options, including personal blogs. Add many site features: photo galleries, polls, forums, social features, and much more. Webnode saves changes as you make them, so information is stored in real time. Possible uses are only limited by your imagination!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create a Webnode class website at any grade level for parents and students to stay updated about what is happening in the classroom if your school does not offer a class web site tool. With teens (and in accordance with school policy), try using Webnode for: "visual essays;" digital biodiversity logs (with digital photos students take), online literary magazines, and personal reflections in images and text. Consider using Webnodes for research project presentations, comparisons of online content, such as political candidates' sites or content sites used in research (compared for bias). The tool requires that a member be 13+, so you will want to create an account for your younger students to use. Using a whole-class account under your supervision, students can create pages documenting experiments or illustrating concepts, such as the water cycle, and "Visual" lab reports. Create digital scrapbooks on a class or individual page using images from the public domain and video and audio clips from a time in history -- such as the Roaring Twenties, Local history interactive stories, and Visual interpretations of major concepts, such as a "visual" U.S. Constitution. Imagine building your own online library of raw materials for your students to create their own "web pages" as a new way of assessing understanding. For younger students, provide the digital images, and they sequence, caption, and write about them on the class site under your supervision. For older students, provide the steps in the design as a template, and they insert the actual content of their own. After the first project where you provide "building blocks," the sky is the limit on what students can do. Even the very young can make suggestions as you "create" a whole-class product together using an interactive whiteboard or projector. You might consider making a new project for each unit you teach so students can "recap" long after the unit ends.

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Google URL Shortener - Google

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool makes it easy to share a LONG URL with less characters. Copy the address for the site from the address bar. Paste it into the field of this ...more
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This tool makes it easy to share a LONG URL with less characters. Copy the address for the site from the address bar. Paste it into the field of this tool and click "shorten URL." Share this new address with others to easily share the web address. Sign in to your Google account to see how many times the URL is visited.

tag(s): blogs (88), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Use this whenever long links to sites need to be shared. Share on any printed material, wiki, blog, or site. This shorter address is much easier for students to type into their own computers/BYODs, if the sites aren't already provided on your class website, blog, or wiki. Share this handy resource with parents to use to shorten URLs at home.

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Wefollow - Jeff Hodsdon, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use WeFollow to search for Twitter users by interest and sort them by their "Prominence Score," an "objective measure" that WeFollow uses to designate "how established someone is in...more
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Use WeFollow to search for Twitter users by interest and sort them by their "Prominence Score," an "objective measure" that WeFollow uses to designate "how established someone is in the interests they care about." The Prominence score analyzes Twitter patterns to see who "listens" to each person and is useful in finding, following, and learning from prominent people around the world. You can locate experts in any field by entering a search term like "biologist" or "Shakespeare." Find an explanation of this score in the About section. Enter your own expertise information to be part of the ongoing database of Twitter users and their interests! New to Twitter? Learn more at TeachersFirst'sTwitter for Teachers page. Note: As with any tool that involves interaction with the public, searches may bring up unintended results not appropriate for young people. Use this tool under supervision or recommend specific search terms.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Increase your learning by finding others to follow -- and learn from their tweets. If using with a class, find those who can help with content students are learning. For example, follow scientists, artists, or writers to enhance your class discussion and learn from others outside the classroom. World language classes may want to follow experts on certain cultures. Earth science classes could follow experts on plate tectonics or volcanoes. Library/Media specialists will want to add this to your reference tools to help teachers or students seeking content experts. Be sure to follow the recommendations in the TeachersFirst review of (Twitter). This is a great tool to help students build a personal learning network in an area of interest, especially for gifted students who may have unusual interests and need the challenge of contact and collaboration with "real world" experts.

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Places to Publish for Gifted Young Writers - Carol Fertig

Grades
7 to 12
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This blog post suggests a few places for publishing the writing of your gifted and talented students. Each suggestion offers sites that cater to "real" audiences for young students,...more
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This blog post suggests a few places for publishing the writing of your gifted and talented students. Each suggestion offers sites that cater to "real" audiences for young students, often audiences of their own peers. Explore resources that offer feedback and contests as well as more independent sites that accept submissions from student authors. Although quite short, this post is a great starting point for finding publishing resources for your students.

tag(s): process writing (42)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this article and explore the resources suggested for publishing student work. As you plan for ways to challenge your gifted students, this resource can provide ideas to extend their exposure and collaboration experience with other writers. Of course you will want to have parent permission before allowing interactions from your classroom, but parents of gifted students will probably delight in cooperating and even join in monitoring interactions as needed. Share this resource on your class web page so parents of your talented student-writers can encourage them at home, too.

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Nine Do's and Dont's for Cultivating Student Autonomy - Sandy Merz

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover classroom-tested techniques for building autonomy in the classroom with tips learned by a National Board Certified teacher of engineering and algebra. Each piece of advice...more
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Discover classroom-tested techniques for building autonomy in the classroom with tips learned by a National Board Certified teacher of engineering and algebra. Each piece of advice offers specific information on why and how specific components contribute toward building student success. Within the article, find references that also offer suggestions on how to build student autonomy within the classroom. Click the X to get to the article and away from the many advertisements.
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tag(s): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Be sure to click the X when opening this site to view the article. Sign up for a free membership to receive additional education stories, newsletters, and more. Print using the printer friendly link and save this article as a resource for building student autonomy within your classroom. Include suggestions from this article as part of professional development sessions. Take one tip to explore further each month before beginning to implement student autonomy in your classroom.

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Fake Movie Poster - Fake Movie Poster

Grades
5 to 12
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Design a fake movie poster with your own image and text using Fake Movie Poster. There is no registration required! Choose a poster from three pages of templates to begin. ...more
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Design a fake movie poster with your own image and text using Fake Movie Poster. There is no registration required! Choose a poster from three pages of templates to begin. Upload your image and complete the blanks provided with your movie name and actor information. You can customize the text offered in the samples to fit your needs. Click "Generate Fake Movie Poster" to view and share your finished poster. Use links to share on Twitter, Facebook, or with a direct link to the poster URL. Other sharing options include using the provided embed code to embed directly into your class website or blog.
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tag(s): book reports (36), collages (17), images (266), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Use Fake Movie Poster to create a simple end of unit or novel study project. Use posters for covers for research projects or for a quick and colorful classroom display. Have students make posters "advertising" books from independent reading or for the library/media center. Advertise a curriculum concept with posters such as "The Exciting Life and Times of Pi," "Plate Techtonic Superheroes," or "The Misunderstood Sentence Fragment." To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create curriculum videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Then have them create and share their own movie poster to promote their video!

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Screencastify (Beta) - Chrome Web Store

Grades
K to 12
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Screencastify is a screen capture/screencast software created for use ONLY with Chrome browsers. It even runs on Chromebooks. Choose the "Free" link to add the extension to your Chrome...more
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Screencastify is a screen capture/screencast software created for use ONLY with Chrome browsers. It even runs on Chromebooks. Choose the "Free" link to add the extension to your Chrome browser. Screencastify captures video and audio within tabs. Find the application icon on your browser toolbar and click Record to easily record presentations, tutorials, and more. Be sure to ALLOW Screencastify access to your microphone to enable voice recordings. Choose from recording tabs or your entire desktop. Recording the desktop is currently experimental, however, and may not work as well as the tabs option. Once your recording is complete, return to the Screencastify icon on your browser to name the recording, download to your computer, or upload to YouTube.

tag(s): tutorials (47), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create screencasts showing how to do various computer tasks or navigate websites. Demonstrate how to use a website or software for specific tasks within the classroom. For example, show how to use the comment feature in Word for annotating class notes, reading passages, and other items. Make how-to demos for instructions on using and navigating your class home page, class wiki or blog, or other applications you wish the students to use in creating their own projects. By narrating how students should navigate through a certain site or section, you can eliminate confusion, provide an opportunity for students to replay the information as a refresher for the future, and maintain a record for absent students. Software demonstrations add an increased flexibility with helping students who need it while allowing students to begin and work at their own pace. Added audio is a great asset for many students, including learning support and those who might need to access the material in smaller "chunks." Use this site for students to give "tours" of their own wiki or blog page. The presentation of their web-based projects and resources can be more engaging. Use screencasts to critique or show the validity of websites, identify a resource site they believe is most valuable, or explain how to navigate an online game. Social studies teachers could assign students to critique a political candidate's web page using a screencast. Reading/language arts teachers could have student teams analyze a website to show biased language, etc. For a powerful writing experience, have students "think aloud" about their writing choices as they record a screencast of a revision or writing session. You will probably need to model this process, but writing will NEVER be the same! Math teachers using software such as Geometer's Sketchpad could have students create their own narrated demonstrations of geometry concepts as review (and to save as future learning aids). Teachers at any level can create screencasts to demonstrate a computer skill or assignment, such as for a center in your classroom or in a computer lab. Students can replay the "tutorial" on their own from your class web page and follow the directions. As a service project, have students write and record how to screencasts to help elderly or less tech savvy computer users navigate the web, register to vote, or find important health information. Writing for such a project would fit right in with CCSS informational writing and digital writing standards in middle and high school.

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Tube Offline - TubeOffline.com

Grades
K to 12
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If you cannot access YouTube and video sites because of filters, Tube Offline may be the perfect solution for your needs! Maybe you simply want an offline copy of a ...more
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If you cannot access YouTube and video sites because of filters, Tube Offline may be the perfect solution for your needs! Maybe you simply want an offline copy of a video to use when you do not have Internet access. Download videos from YouTube and other video services directly to your computer using Tube Offline. Copy and paste the URL, then click "Get Video." Once the preview is loaded, click "Generate" to download the file. Other options include social media sharing links, a direct link, and embed code. Tube Offline uses Java to generate videos for saving, so be sure to read instructions for using with your browser and operating system. Some Mac users may have to enable Java.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

Use this service to backup videos from your YouTube channel or to download any YouTube video. Use to download and save videos at home that you wish to show to students, especially if YouTube is blocked at school.

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Surfmark - Vivek Agarwal

Grades
K to 12
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Collect, express opinions, and collaborate on any web content easily using Surfmark. Get started with the quick sign-up process. Add the Surfmark bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar...more
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Collect, express opinions, and collaborate on any web content easily using Surfmark. Get started with the quick sign-up process. Add the Surfmark bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar or add the Chrome or Firefox extension. Visit any web page and activate the app when ready. Type in thoughts and annotations as notes, then save. This creates your Surfmark. Add additional annotations to any page, or highlight text directly from web content. View saved pages as a collage, or create books for multiple pages. Privacy options allow for public editing or password protection to access saved information. View other user's pages and grab their pages to add to your own. Easily share any creations using the share link with a custom url or links to social networking options. Because public content is shared on this site, adults may want to explore this site on your own and not send students to explore unsupervised.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), organizational skills (122), professional development (123), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Use Surfmark to collect and organize information for lessons throughout the year. Share with older students (age 13+) -- if school policies permit -- to use when collaborating on projects or as a resource for gathering and organizing information for year end review. Create a Surfmark and share the link on your classroom web page, have students add their own notes and thoughts then share the finished session on your interactive whiteboard. Surfmark provides opportunities for limitless collaboration and sharing of information from across the web, not only with your class but with others around the world!

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Jooners - Jooners Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Create, coordinate, and manage sign up sheets online in just 2 minutes. There is no registration required! Create your own sign up from scratch or choose from examples of different...more
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Create, coordinate, and manage sign up sheets online in just 2 minutes. There is no registration required! Create your own sign up from scratch or choose from examples of different types of sheets to modify for your use. View a preview and publish when complete. Send finished sheets to email recipients. Recipients click on the link in the email to sign up using options provided. Optional registration (FREE) allows members to save up to 5 sign up sheets for use at a later time. A premium version offers additional options, but the free version gets it done!
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tag(s): calendars (44), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the pre-made templates for many school events such as conferences, recess duty, lunch helpers, and spring carnival. Use Jooners to coordinate helpers and items for classroom parties or teacher luncheons. Use Jooners to plan for your class field trips, special events, and more. Jooners is perfect for all of your Parent Teacher Organization events. Share this site as an easy way to coordinate all school or extracurricular activities.

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Cumberland Trace Gifted - DAP Tool - Julia Roberts and Tracy Inman

Grades
K to 12
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The DAP (Developing and Assessing Products) Tool is a set of rubrics developed to assess student products at varying levels of expertise. The intent of the DAP Tool is to ...more
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The DAP (Developing and Assessing Products) Tool is a set of rubrics developed to assess student products at varying levels of expertise. The intent of the DAP Tool is to differentiate while taking the ceiling off higher level and creative thinking skills (perfect for gifted learners). There are four components for all products: content, presentation, creativity, and reflection. The tool offers rubrics at three performance levels. Especially appropriate for removing a "ceiling" for gifted students is the inclusion of an expert or "professional" performance level rating. This rating acknowledges work that one would expect from a professional in the content area. The criteria for each level increase in sophisticated. Level 1 would be for younger students or those with less expertise. Level 3 might be for high school and/or your most gifted students-- at any grade level. There are fourteen different product rubrics and a blank rubric at each level. The blank rubric suggests descriptions for all but the presentation component. Some of the products are PowerPoint, poster, pamphlet, diorama, service learning, monologue, model, and more. Download the rubrics in PDF format.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), differentiation (47), essays (21), interviews (16), posters (36), rubrics (32), service projects (25), speech (92), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Offer individualized rubrics for every project so each student can demonstrate appropriate expertise. These rubrics are perfect to use in the heterogeneous classroom where you might have a mix of ESL/ELL, gifted, and learning support students. Many of these activities are ideal for differentiating for your gifted students and providing challenges more suited to their ability, creativity, and thought process.
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