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Howcast - The best how-to videos on the web - Howcast Media

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Howcast is an aggregator of the "best" how-to videos across the Internet. These short, easy to follow videos cover a wide range of topics, including pop-culture. They are created by...more
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Howcast is an aggregator of the "best" how-to videos across the Internet. These short, easy to follow videos cover a wide range of topics, including pop-culture. They are created by HowCast "experts." One very handy feature is the text transcript included with each video (scroll down to see it). Browse through the categories or type a search term into the search box to view available videos. Categories include Fitness, Home, Food, Health, Arts, Tech, and more. Click "Share" on each video page to share via social networking sites or copy the embed code to share the video on a website or blog. The HowCast videos are not simply YouTube searches, so they have different offerings from what you might find there. Not all content at this site is appropriate for the classroom. Please be sure to preview before you share with your students. This is not one that you want students to explore on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), careers (132), computers (94), financial literacy (80), money (193), politics (99), sports (96), video (253)

In the Classroom

The brief video clips on this site make it ideal for use when introducing or researching information. View together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Cue up and pause your video at a point AFTER the opening ad to save class time! Embed onto your class website or blog for students to view at home. Use the transcripts as examples of how-to speeches and have students both read and watch to analyze the details of how to organize such a speech before making their own videos or giving live informational speeches. Bookmark and save for use as How To questions arise throughout the year. For example, if you have a question about using Microsoft Excel, search Howcast to find about 30 videos explaining different tools and tricks within the program. Preview any search results before sharing with the class. Use Howcast videos as examples in any subject area and challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Haiku Deck - haikudeck.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit...more
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit layouts, and add notes to personalize each slide. Upload your own images or type a phrase to find images included in Haiku Deck's extensive library. Save and share using social networking links or embed code when finished. Finished decks may also be saved as a PDF or exported to SlideShare reviewed here. Set your privacy options as public, restricted to only those with the url, or private. At the time of this review, Haiku was available on the web and iPad platforms only.

tag(s): images (265), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Create slide presentations for any lesson or teach students to create slides for class projects. In lower grades, create a project together on your interactive whiteboard or create them for your students to use. Create a presentation for use during Open Houses, class trips, or school events. Embed the slides on your class blog. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. The possibilities are unlimited. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. If you are lucky enough to have iPads for use in your classroom, download the app for students to create slide shows on their own.

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Sinking of the Titanic - NBC Learn/Scientific American

Grades
4 to 12
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Sink into the Titanic using this boatload of FREE resources. A collection of archival news videos, Scientific American articles, photos, and other teaching and learning resources commemorate...more
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Sink into the Titanic using this boatload of FREE resources. A collection of archival news videos, Scientific American articles, photos, and other teaching and learning resources commemorate this historic event. View a video of a live report from a ship doing a 3-D scan of the wreckage or an interview with oceanographer, Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic wreckage. Each video has a transcript, and support is available if you are having trouble viewing the videos. You can also read a photocopy of the hand-written account by the captain of the RMS Carpathia describing his response to the distress signal received "by wireless" from the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912, after the Titanic collided with an iceberg. NBC Learn charges for access to many of their resources but offers this collection for free.

tag(s): 20th century (51), decades (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for teaching the Titanic as part of an early twentieth century history lesson or as enrichment when reading any novel about the Titanic. Include the Titanic as one of many topics for twentieth century "decades" research projects. Discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources. Share the images on your interactive whiteboard or projector for the students to analyze and discuss. Have cooperative learning groups research the time period and the exploration of the wreckage. Have them write journal entries (blogs) from the point of view of one of the cruisers on board or as an explorer of the wreckage. Have students create blogs using Throwww ( here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. Compare and contrast the students' accounts of the sinking of the Titanic.

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Vidtionary - vidtionary.com

Grades
K to 12
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in...more
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in the background. Browse entries using the search bar or view featured collections. Browse alphabetically or explore collections. Because of the wide range of topics and difficulty levels, these vocabulary words could be used with any age. Video lengths run less than one minute per definition, many as short as 10-15 seconds. Originally designed to teach English to speakers of Korean and Japanese, the visual nature of the site appeals to all language learners.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

While this site is ideal for any student learning new vocabulary, it is especially useful for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students with vocabulary deficits. Share selected videos in primary grades to help students see how new words are defined and spelled. Challenge your gifted students to find new vocabulary words to share with the class. Use in any classroom as a model (sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Then assign cooperative learning groups to create Vidtionary inspired videos of their own to explain curriculum terms, world language vocabulary, or SAT words. Use a tool like Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Project Mosaic: Zora Neale Hurston - Rollins College

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover Zora Neale Hurston through African-American history combined with traditional liberal arts subjects such as art, art education, anthropology, education, and history. Enhance...more
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Discover Zora Neale Hurston through African-American history combined with traditional liberal arts subjects such as art, art education, anthropology, education, and history. Enhance your awareness of African American History and of Hurston, famed novelist of Their Eyes Were Watching God and other 20th century works, through the primary and secondary sources featured on the site. Art work, articles, exhibitions, and lesson plans feature life in the time of Zora Neale Hurston.

tag(s): authors (120), literature (275)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use Project Mosaic to enhance your study of civil rights, storytelling, women studies, Florida history, or literature. The primary and secondary sources provide a deeper look into life in the early 1900's. In your leadership unit, examine the challenges Zora Neale Hurston faced in her life and how she turned these problems into stepping stones to meet her goals. Expand into other areas such as history and culture during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, or even Desert Storm using primary and secondary sources. Have students interview groups of people who lived during those time periods, discovering how opinions greatly influence world events. Extend the study into literature and artwork of the period. Encourage students to become involved in local, state, or world events. Have students create their own renderings of the time period using one of the multimedia TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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GIFMaker - GIFmaker.me

Grades
K to 12
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and...more
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and upload the images that you want to use (in PNG, GIF, or JPG format). Choose your animation speed and image size. You can even choose an image from your smartphone. Animations can be run backwards to create another different animation. Download the finished creation to your desktop.

tag(s): animation (63), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Create animations of any image! Animate inanimate objects such as a leaf or other object by taking two different pictures of it so it can "change." Use your animations as a focus for story creation or free writing. Animate images used by students for their individual web pages to set the scene for their "About Me" introductions. Design and shoot images to animate as an introduction to a project or report. Challenge older students to create their own animated GIF images. (No registration is required.) Photograph and create GIFs to show two stages of insect development, the growth of a plant, or other scientific concepts.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ImageCodr - Xteq Systems

Grades
5 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this tool to correctly use and give proper credit for images from Flickr Creative Commons on any web age or wiki. Search for images using Flickr Creative Commons reviewed ...more
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Use this tool to correctly use and give proper credit for images from Flickr Creative Commons on any web age or wiki. Search for images using Flickr Creative Commons reviewed here or from the handy link provided on ImageCodr. Enter the URL for the picture page from Flickr, and ImageCodr will generate a block of HTML code for you to include on your web page or other online project. This code will make both the image AND the appropriate credit display. A brief licensing summary shows as a caption when you use the embed code. Note that this tool does not work for including images and credits in offline projects such as PowerPoint slides. It will work in any online tool that allows embed codes!

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this tool whenever Flickr Creative Commons pictures are used for any classwork or project. Be sure students understand the different types of images available and use ones that are licensed correctly. Use the embed code wherever you need to place the image, and BOTH the image AND the licensing will be displayed. Be sure to model use of this tool whenever using images from Flickr. What a handy way to include images on your own class web page! Post images as writing prompts, you-name-it science questions, or world language conversation starters, all from a simple Flickr CC image search!

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Class Messenger - Learn Anything, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting...more
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting up an account takes you about 30 seconds! Create an account and a class. Students and/or parents create accounts as well. Parents (or students) then search for teacher name, class, or username to join. You can choose messages to be received through the app, by text message, or via email. Requests to join must first be approved by the teacher before receiving any messages. From the teacher dashboard, compose the type of message you wish to send, choose the recipients of the message, and type the body of the message. Messages are sent to each of the recipients using their chosen method. If students choose the SMS option, be sure they obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply.

tag(s): classroom management (134), DAT device agnostic tool (196), homework (44), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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PledgeCents - pledgecents.com

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need funds for a classroom project or equipment? PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to classroom and school fundraising. Begin with a fundraising idea and a goal. ...more
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Do you need funds for a classroom project or equipment? PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to classroom and school fundraising. Begin with a fundraising idea and a goal. Create your class page with a project description, pictures, videos, and other relevant information. Share your page through social media links to Facebook, Twitter, and more. More simply, share the link on your class web page. Donors click to "invest" in your cause and are guided through a simple process to donate either by name or anonymously. After the project deadline, collect funds easily and safely for use with your project.

tag(s): grants (19), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a potential funding source or make a donation. Join the site (free). Then take the time to write up a clearly-worded project proposal along with pictures and video. You can even make the project a challenge to your school community, if you wish. If you are a student council or Key Club adviser, make one or more of the projects on this site your targeted service project for the year. Or use this venue to collect funds to purchase materials for your own school or club service projects. Encourage philanthropy to support good causes: kids helping kids! Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a fundraising tool for any and all projects. Don't forget to send the project descriptions with local media such as small town newspapers, local TV, or service groups who might make a donation.

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Teachable Moments - Walch Education

Grades
5 to 12
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Find several "teachable moments" lesson plans based on articles and current topics, ready for download in PDF format. Topics include a variety of topics such as Pluto is no Longer ...more
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Find several "teachable moments" lesson plans based on articles and current topics, ready for download in PDF format. Topics include a variety of topics such as Pluto is no Longer a Planet, Vending Machine Bans in Schools, and Is the Internet Making us Dumber? Click to download and view each lesson including background information, standards, worksheets, and options for use. The lesson plans are quite thorough and include links to related articles. They encourage "close reading" a la CCSS with engaging material in science, social studies, and other subjects. You can ignore the ads for purchase of "related materials."

tag(s): canada (30), civil rights (117), differentiation (47), energy (197), planets (123), poetry (227), politics (99), population (60), recycling (57), slavery (72), sports (96)

In the Classroom

These interesting, topical lessons would make a great resource for days when a substitute will be in your classroom or may fit perfectly in your regular curriculum. The Internet plan is well suited for digital citizenship and/or research curriculum. Save in your sub folder for a ready-to-go class activity. Print and use lessons as part of class debates and projects. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here) for students to present results.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zidbits - Zidbits media

Grades
3 to 12
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do...more
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do trees die from old age?" or "What is the most lethal poison?" Find facts for history, science, health, entertainment, and news on this site as well as fun facts. This site doesn't provide just a quick tidbit, but also gives background information and additional details.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): infographics (42), questioning (31), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

This resource is useful to hook your students at the beginning of your lessons or simply to get them reading non-fiction text. Use these as hooks to get your students thinking about content that will be introduced in the lesson. Students can find a Zidbit they are interested in. Poll students about possible answers and then report the actual answer and content needed in order to understand and explain it. Learn a new Zidbit yourself every week. If you teach public speaking skills, have students use these stories as inspiration or "hooks" for informational speeches, as well.

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Popcorn Maker - Mozilla

Grades
4 to 12
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Remember the PopUp video (of VH1 fame?) This tool will "mashup" content to any video. Enter the embed code of a YouTube video to use or search for a video ...more
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Remember the PopUp video (of VH1 fame?) This tool will "mashup" content to any video. Enter the embed code of a YouTube video to use or search for a video directly within Popcorn Maker. Drag and drop the video into the screen. Add layers of any live content to the video. Add photos, maps, links, social media feeds such as Twitter, Wikipedia pages, and more. Use this tool to remix the "remixes" of others! Unfortunately, you cannot mix two videos, and videos must come from YouTube. Due to the range of content types, endless combinations are available for remixing. Access Help from the small multi-line rectangle icon next to the log in space for great directions and ideas. If your school blocks YouTube, you could create a remix at home, but this tool will not work in the classroom without YouTube.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), images (265), video (253)

In the Classroom

Depending on the age you teach and your school policies, you may want to use a class account with a teacher-controlled email address to create with Popcorn Maker. Use a video from a presidential debate and add layers that fact check the statements made or view the media consensus at the time. Use this tool to create a video of a science experiment while creating pop ups of relevant information. Create a remix of a popular play or story that includes pop ups of information about the characters. Include their motivations or give the reactions of the readers with each story. Do you have a snippet of a discoverer? Add layers that show map routes, legends, unintended consequences on local peoples, etc. Use videos of sports teams to overlay stats, congratulation tweets, and more. Use world language videos with overlays of translations, dictionary references, and help in understanding. Analyze commercials (for example, foods targeted at children) with facts about the food and relation to diet and health. Create elevator pitches and upload to YouTube. Invite classmates to overlay the pitches with comments and suggestions. Use student created or existing YouTube videos that help to explain math and science concepts. Further enhance their helpful potential with overlays that elevate the learning. Pose a problem in the form of a YouTube video and invite students to remix the video to include possible solutions. Students can create presentations using this tool and show their reactions to current events or other world problem. Allow other students to remix and comment upon the presentation and add their own thoughts. Share the remixes on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If permitted, share the links to students' remixes on your class website or wiki. Teachers of gifted will love the creative (and critical) challenges this tool offers.

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Slideful - slideful.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Slideful is a free online slide show maker. Upload up to 10 images from your computer to begin. After images upload choose the "next" button. Select the width and height ...more
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Slideful is a free online slide show maker. Upload up to 10 images from your computer to begin. After images upload choose the "next" button. Select the width and height of your slide show from several options or create your own custom size. Add text, edit backgrounds, or add blank slides to further customize presentations. Continue creating your slide show with options for frames, transitions, speed settings, and slide show player options. Create an account to save your slide show and edit later. Share using links provided for HTML code, download to your desktop, or get the direct link to share your slide show. View an example here, created in less than 10 minutes.

tag(s): images (265), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use Slideful to create quick slideshows for any classroom use. Easily share images on your website or blog from field trips, classroom projects, or assemblies. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Create a slide show to introduce any unit and have students guess what they will be learning.

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Ruby Bridges: Connecting Lives - Scholastic

Grades
5 to 8
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Find a complete two-part lesson plan for middle school lessons on Ruby Bridges. Read about Ruby Bridges in selected texts and write about your reactions in a double-entry journal. Another...more
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Find a complete two-part lesson plan for middle school lessons on Ruby Bridges. Read about Ruby Bridges in selected texts and write about your reactions in a double-entry journal. Another activity entails designing and building a suspension bridge, connecting the strength of the bridge with Ruby's personal strength. An interesting interview with Ruby Bridges is the highlight of the lessons.

tag(s): african american (113), black history (59), civil rights (117), racism (18)

In the Classroom

Follow the directions to have your class build suspension bridges, individually or in pairs. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime, reviewed here, to create an interactive timeline of Ruby Bridges' life. Have students create an online book of images and captions about Ruby Bridges using Bookr, reviewed here. (Bookr uses Flickr images, so first upload or find the images on Flickr). This activity could be an alternative to the double entry journal.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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You Made That - Interactive Abstract Art Creator - New York Times: Christoph Niemann and Jon Huang

Grades
4 to 12
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Create your own abstract art using tools in this engaging and colorful "abstract expressionist" interactive! Click on options available such as a paint palette, salt shaker, flower,...more
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Create your own abstract art using tools in this engaging and colorful "abstract expressionist" interactive! Click on options available such as a paint palette, salt shaker, flower, and more. When ready, drop it onto your canvas. Continue creating to build your masterpiece. Then share using the unique url provided. You can also share using Facebook or Twitter buttons. (If you have any difficulty getting the activity to work in Safari, try switching browsers to Chrome or Firefox. Some versions of Safari do NOT work, including latest iOS/iPad. Be SURE to TEST on the computer/devices you plan to use with this site.)
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): art history (69), colors (79), design (84), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use this tool in art class to introduce color, shape, and texture or to discuss abstract expressionism. Create your own abstract art image (or have a student do one) and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a creative writing starter. Have students create an image to use for descriptive writing lessons. This is a great link to share on your class website for students to explore (and play) at home.

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Realtime Board - Multivitamin Project

Grades
K to 12
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Try this "easy to use" collaboration tool and templates to enhance your interactive whiteboard (IWB) or make ANY projector or computer screen behave like a collaborative IWB. See Examples...more
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Try this "easy to use" collaboration tool and templates to enhance your interactive whiteboard (IWB) or make ANY projector or computer screen behave like a collaborative IWB. See Examples to get the idea. Once you join, choose from dozens of different board templates (left sidebar) including a traditional whiteboard. Create sticky notes, text boxes, and upload images or PDF documents. Draw freehand on the whiteboard using a brush. Change colors, add symbols, lines, and more. Rotate and resize items. All menu items are seen at the bottom of the board window. Invite collaborators using the menu at the top right. When finished, publish as an image or PDF document. You can also easily embed the results within a site or your class wiki. Connect to Google Drive to share with collaborators and others.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), drawing (78), graphic organizers (43), iwb (31)

In the Classroom

Assess prior knowledge as you start a unit by generating a class whiteboard. Save it under your class/teacher account to re-access throughout the unit, adding new topics and content. Make the URL available from your class web page for students to use as a review or for learning support teachers to reinforce what has happened in class. Have student groups map out the content of projects. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Have students create review organizers to share with classmates. Allow students to use their whiteboard as their visual during speeches. Map the sequence of steps in a chemical reaction. Then share the URL for absent students to "see" what happened in class. Annotate design principles directly on top of an uploaded image. Have young students use a whiteboard to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. The real asset is that the files are saved and available from ANY computer!

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MapStory - MapStory Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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This tool is an interesting way to visualize geographic information by telling it in a story format. You organize knowledge in MapStory by becoming storytellers who create, share, and...more
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This tool is an interesting way to visualize geographic information by telling it in a story format. You organize knowledge in MapStory by becoming storytellers who create, share, and collaborate. You can help to improve understanding of worldwide issues over the course of history. MapStory is much like Wikipedia. It is a global database to tell stories over time using maps. View fascinating maps such as trends in US poverty, the spreading of diseases such as the Swine Flu, and the increasing use of the US Postal Service. View many topics from endangered species to economic development -- anything you can place on a map! By clicking on the "play" button, you can see the change over time through an unfolding story. Hover over the tabs along the top of the toolbar to select a category of stories. Be sure to also notice as maps scroll across the top of the screen. Click on maps of interest and view tools for saving in favorites or embedding in a site. Search the site for StoryLayers. The StoryLayers are data that have been uploaded to the site to apply in maps. Be sure to check out the YouTube videos which explain how to use this fascinating site. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share with your class, if needed. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): interactive stories (32), maps (288), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Find great MapStory maps to introduce a concept or explain a portion of the concept that may be difficult to introduce in class. Use one to show initially, eliciting thoughts and questions from students. Because it is an open database, maps could contain errors. Have students be on the lookout for any possible errors. Students can fact check, research, and rewrite information as needed. Consider creating an assignment that shows a change in information over time. This project would be applicable to any subject area. Consider creating a class account to maintain the MapStories created by your students. Imagine new information being added every year with new updates to the map! World language (or world cultures) classes could collaborate to create a map story about a specific culture.

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Wideo - Wideo

Grades
K to 12
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Create animations using a wide variety of characters, props, templates, and backgrounds with this free tool. Easily upload your own images. Add your own music or voice overs. Even...more
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Create animations using a wide variety of characters, props, templates, and backgrounds with this free tool. Easily upload your own images. Add your own music or voice overs. Even though this is a very easy to understand tool, be sure to check out the tutorial after registering. The handy templates allow you to "re-use" a sample, adding your own text to a video that already has music, special effects, and more! No "techy" expertise needed. View the sample Wideos. Visit the gallery for more ideas. Add characters, props, backgrounds, and more with the plus button along the top left. View the timeline for your scene along the bottom. Flip, zoom, or arrange items on your page using buttons above the timeline. To animate your object, drag the character where you would like them to move. Your animation can either be private or public! Check out a video on Wideo here.

tag(s): animation (63), video (253)

In the Classroom

Wideo is much like Go Animate reviewed here. However, Wideo's advantage is in the ability to upload your media. (Note: This could be a disadvantage if inappropriate material from the general public is uploaded. The site does have a public gallery, but nothing inappropriate was viewable at the time of this review. It is always wise to check the gallery prior to using in class (or simply steer the class away from the gallery.) This tool has a wide variety of applications for the classroom. Have students make an animation about a historical figure or a character in a novel. As students write their own story, use Wideo to animate the characters. Use Wideo to explain lab procedures or make a commercial about the superpowers of an element. If you use a template, the work will be quick and can focus on content instead of glitz. Students can explain vocabulary words, chemical equations, solving for X and more. Challenge your gifted students to create an entire animated series. ESL/ELL or world language students could create animations to practice or explain their new vocabulary. Use one of the templates to "advertise" an upcoming class project or even the daily homework assignments on your class we page. Have students help create ads for new books in the library!

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Writers Speak to Kids - NBC Learn

Grades
K to 8
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Learn about the craft and techniques of writing straight from real authors in this series of videos at NBC Learn. Choose from 17 short videos, each less than 5 minutes, ...more
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Learn about the craft and techniques of writing straight from real authors in this series of videos at NBC Learn. Choose from 17 short videos, each less than 5 minutes, focusing on a specific craft such as writing poetry, sources for inspiration, and the writing process. Each video includes a transcript of the author's conversation. The authors write popular books for a variety of age ranges.

tag(s): authors (120), creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), poetry (227), process writing (42)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Look for authors of favorite read-alouds you use in your classroom and share their videos. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a learning center. View an author's video then share their books in your classroom reading center or as an author of the month. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to explain their own writing process.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Alice - Carnegie Mellon University

Grades
6 to 12
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Alice will have your students in wonderland as they use this innovative 3D programming environment targeted to middle and high school students. Be the director of a movie or the ...more
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Alice will have your students in wonderland as they use this innovative 3D programming environment targeted to middle and high school students. Be the director of a movie or the creator of a video game. 3D objects appear in an on-screen virtual world imagined by the creator and move around according to the directions you give by dragging and dropping tiles. The drag and drop technique provides a more engaging programming experience for first time programmers. Alice provides exposure to object-oriented programming. Alice has practical value for students to learn how computers think. The instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. While using Alice, programmers are able to immediately see how their animation program runs and the behavior of the objects in their animation. Manipulate camera angles and lighting to make further enhancements. Alice is a revolutionary method to teach programming, especially to first-time learners. It allows students to understand programming concepts, a 21st century skill.

tag(s): animation (63), digital storytelling (142), video (253)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Plan ahead as you request that this application be installed on your classroom or laptop cart computers. Alice provides an opportunity for students to create and learn how to problem solve. Subscribe to the teacher list to receive updates and integration ideas for Alice. The purpose of this list is to provide an easy way to ask questions and collaborate with the Alice teaching community. View and use activities to increase programming knowledge and the use of the Alice program.

Students quickly catch on to Alice when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools as well as the drag and drop interface. Have students use a storyboard to organize their creation in order to keep tabs on students and their creations. Build games to review curricular material for assessments. Have students create videos or digital stories to bring a subject to life. Teachers of gifted can turn their students loose to create animations about individual interests or research projects.

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