TeachersFirst Edge - Wikis

 

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Twine - Chris Klimas

Grades
6 to 12
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click...more
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click on "use it online" just under the download button. Twine helps you stay organized with little Post-It type squares with arrows to connect each section to one or more other sections. See how to do this by watching this short YouTube video, here. Drag and drop the squares on the page, and they will stay connected. There are a few templates to choose from, and you can upload images. For those who are adept at programming, click on Wiki and see the other quality, development resources Twine offers. Work is saved in your browser, not on a server. That means there is no sign-in or sign-up, but it also means losing your work unless you remember to click on the Archive button. Click on the Twine Wiki for FAQs, Vimeo Tutorial Videos, and other helpful information. On YouTube watch several video tutorials. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (66), computers (101), creative writing (169), game based learning (137), interactive stories (28), writing (363)

In the Classroom

View the Getting Started tutorials together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) before students begin to write stories. Also, be sure to have the tutorials as a link on class computers and your class webpage. Create a short story together as a class to become familiar with the site. Have students create a story diagram before beginning a story on Twine; then use the site to complete the project. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Twine to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Using this tool in a computer programming class would be ideal. Going to either Wiki, FAQ, or Forum will show you other development resources such as custom macros, stylesheets, code references, and so forth. Teachers of gifted could use this for students to develop elaborate fictional or informational pieces. Again, a graphic organizer for planning and organizing evidence is a must!

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Better Lesson - BetterLesson

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers over 10,000 lessons aligned with the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. The lessons were created by 130 Master Teachers. You can browse resources...more
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This site offers over 10,000 lessons aligned with the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. The lessons were created by 130 Master Teachers. You can browse resources without registering. Click the blue "Browse" button to get started. Choose along the top from Common Core Math, Common Core ELA, or Next Generation Science. Lessons are arranged by grade level or Math, Language, and Science subjects. However, if you want to create your own resources, registration is required. After registering, create a class and then create a unit for that class. Finally, create a lesson for that unit, fill in an objective, select a state standard, and estimate the total time on task. Upload files (or drag and drop) to assign them to the lesson or keep them "unassigned" for later use. Additionally, simply add other users' files to your own curriculum. Search for files by keyword, age-level, and type of format. Click on a result to see every lesson plan using that file.

tag(s): commoncore (89), professional development (160)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create lessons for students to follow. Use this site to share inspirational lessons you create or to find inspiration in the work of others. Meet the Common Core goals by using the tools and lesson plans offered at this website. Though the site deals with the technical aspect of lesson planning, many ideas exist to reverse engineer to your own lessons. Create a course to maintain and tweak your lessons for your classes. Expand PD to others in your school or in other schools to learn from the best ideas of others!

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PBWorks - PBWorks. Inc.

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

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

tag(s): social networking (108), wikis (15)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to ...more
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to parents and administration, and how to get started. There are over 50 examples of activities you can do with a wiki and links to a free tool to get started. A fresh revision of the Walk-Through in 2008 includes comparison reviews of the top three wiki tools for education. We even give you the downloadable handout to send home.

tag(s): wikis (15)

In the Classroom

This is listed as a TeachersFirst "edge" entry, but our step-by-step walk-through takes the edge off and makes your wiki a walk in the park. Check it out now, while there is still FREE classroom wiki space available from the three wiki tools we review in detail.
 

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