TeachersFirst Edge - Collaboration

 

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Simplenote - automattic.com

Grades
K to 12
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Simplenote is a note-taking tool that updates information across all of your devices. Download the app for mobile devices and onto PCs. Notes update immediately, no need to save. Use...more
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Simplenote is a note-taking tool that updates information across all of your devices. Download the app for mobile devices and onto PCs. Notes update immediately, no need to save. Use the scroll bar to go back in time and find notes from a previous time. Use tags or search to find notes created. Simplenote also allows for collaboration with other users.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), organizational skills (106)

In the Classroom

Use Simplenote for all notes and ideas in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of Simplenote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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StackEdit - Benoit Schweblin

Grades
8 to 12
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StackEdit is a free MarkDown editor offering several options for creating, saving, and collaborating with documents. Choose the "Start Writing Now" link to create a document ready for...more
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StackEdit is a free MarkDown editor offering several options for creating, saving, and collaborating with documents. Choose the "Start Writing Now" link to create a document ready for publication to blogs. Go through the tutorial and then click on the folder symbol all the way to the right of the top menu bar. Select new document. Start typing your document adding images, hyperlinks, and more using the menu bar. The split screen allows users to preview content in HTML and see how the final view will look while creating it, making it easy to see the end product. Open, save, and collaborate using Google documents and DropBox content. Publish the finished product to WordPress, GitHub, and other blogging platforms, or save as a PDF. StackEdit is simple and intuitive, and first-timers will be very comfortable using it. At the time of this review, StackEdit ran very slowly on Chrome.

tag(s): blogs (80), coding (77), editing (79)

In the Classroom

Sometimes students (and teachers) get distracted by the appearance of a project instead of focusing on the content. Using StackEdit and Markdown language offers the opportunity to set up and format text before adding the "bells and whistles." Have students use StackEdit to create and polish content for blogs or other projects requiring HTML, then upload and add images, graphs, and maps later.

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Owl Eyes - Alex Bloomingdale

Grades
8 to 12
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Read, annotate, bookmark, and share literature, poetry, and nonfiction with Owl Eyes. Read any available selection without registration; however, free registration (with email) opens...more
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Read, annotate, bookmark, and share literature, poetry, and nonfiction with Owl Eyes. Read any available selection without registration; however, free registration (with email) opens up a world of options. Add any book to your library to add your own highlights or annotations. View analysis available on the site broken down by chapters and literary context. Options for annotating include adding highlights, questions, tags, and correlation to Common Core Standards. Create a classroom to assign books. Video tutorials reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. Find an alternative here.

tag(s): authors (121), book lists (128), DAT device agnostic tool (174), literature (265), poetry (222), reading comprehension (134), reading strategies (57)

In the Classroom

Use this site to assign reading of classic texts, nonfiction, poetry, and stories. Take advantage of the included annotations found with literature selections to build Common Core skills analyzing informational texts. Use this site to post and share discussion assignments on texts and selections from the text. Share Owl Eyes with students for use with literature circles (or small groups reading) as a tool to collaborate, improve reading strategies skills, and to present their book to the class.

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Twords - Anna Tulchinskaya

Grades
6 to 12
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Stick to your writing schedule, meet deadlines, and develop strong writing habits using the Twords web app! Create an account, and as you add writing, Twords uses graphs to display...more
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Stick to your writing schedule, meet deadlines, and develop strong writing habits using the Twords web app! Create an account, and as you add writing, Twords uses graphs to display writing progress, report on progress, and provides calculators for word goals based on your input. Add buddies as an extra incentive to keep you on track. Buddies receive alerts when you haven't written for the prescribed number of days and provide encouragement to get you back on track. Use Twords writing prompts to practice writing different genres. Use personalization options to set up features on the account to match your writing needs.

tag(s): journals (21), process writing (42)

In the Classroom

Share with students, then have them set up their own Twords account. Twords will be especially useful for longer writing projects to keep students on track without having to pull an "all-nighter" at the last minute! Use Twords in your classroom for journaling purposes to ensure that students maintain an up-to-date journal. Be sure to have students add you to their Buddy list. Use Twords to model writing. Add students as your buddies to help you keep on track with writing goals.

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Hypothesis - Dan Whaley

Grades
6 to 12
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Hypothesis is an easy to use tool for annotating, collaborating, and sharing web content. Add any URL to the search bar on the home page to begin using Hypothesis after ...more
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Hypothesis is an easy to use tool for annotating, collaborating, and sharing web content. Add any URL to the search bar on the home page to begin using Hypothesis after creating your account. Create an annotation by highlighting text; the pop-up allows you to add notes including hyperlinks and tags to your annotation. Add notes or highlights using tools on the site. Save your notes for public viewing or just for your use. Invite others to view your notes or collaborate using the sharing link with your personal URL or with social media links. Click the Education tab on the top menu to see examples of classroom use, 10 Ways to Annotate With Students, Creating a Private Group, and more.

tag(s): citations (32), collaboration (54), note taking (41)

In the Classroom

Use Hypothesis as part of your flipped classroom. Annotate and share web resources with students and ask them to contribute notes and additional information. Ask ESL/ELL and resource students to write text to explain concepts by rewording, or to ask questions about the parts they do not understand. Add questions to math explanations, highlight landforms, or discuss information on maps. Share with students for use when collaborating on research projects. Install the Hypothesis bookmark on classroom computers for use at any time.

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Airtable - Emmett Nicholas, Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad

Grades
K to 12
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Airtable is an online database for collaboration incorporating many different online platforms. Attach files from services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote to share. Collaborators...more
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Airtable is an online database for collaboration incorporating many different online platforms. Attach files from services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote to share. Collaborators can view the change history, link data, and engage in chat. Free templates offer options for creating study guides, book lists, and more. Free accounts offer unlimited databases with storage of up to 1200 records each and a 2GB attachment limit.

tag(s): bookmarks (53), collaboration (54), DAT device agnostic tool (174)

In the Classroom

Use Airtable to collaborate on lessons with other teachers, both local and across the world. Share with students to use when collaborating on projects or to create study guides. Use the provided templates to catalog your books or share study guides with students.

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Prism - Scholar's Lab

Grades
6 to 12
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Prism is a tool for "crowdsourcing interpretation" of text. Create your own Prism or browse through Prisms available on the site. To create a Prism, add text and choose options ...more
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Prism is a tool for "crowdsourcing interpretation" of text. Create your own Prism or browse through Prisms available on the site. To create a Prism, add text and choose options for highlighting such as red for demonstrating foreshadowing or blue for feminism. Before finishing, add the title and author and include credit for the work using their drop-down tool providing options. Watch the introductory video, which resides on YouTube, for a full overview of how to create and use Prism. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.

tag(s): collaboration (54), literature (265), reading comprehension (134)

In the Classroom

Use Prism to explore text collaboratively with your students. Paste in portions of any text and have students highlight indicated features or ask them to highlight areas of confusion. Students will need a Prism account; however, their work is anonymous when added to Prisms. Use the completed Prisms to assess student understanding and as a springboard for classroom discussions. Use across the curriculum to highlight and interpret texts in all subjects. Create Prisms for newspaper articles from different sources, have students highlight factual information, then compare and contrast information found using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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MoocNote - MoocNote.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Add comments, links, and questions to online videos with MoocNote. Create a free account, then import any YouTube video or playlist by pasting the URL. Other options include adding...more
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Add comments, links, and questions to online videos with MoocNote. Create a free account, then import any YouTube video or playlist by pasting the URL. Other options include adding videos from DropBox or Google Drive. Return to unfinished videos from where you left off. Notes link back to the appropriate spot in the video and collect in one central spot for easy viewing. Options on the site allow you to create groups to share videos and adjust privacy settings.

tag(s): note taking (41), organizational skills (106), video (263)

In the Classroom

Be sure to view the User manual link at the bottom of the page for directions about how to use MoocNote. Share YouTube playlists with students using MoocNotes, add questions or additional information for student viewing. Only registered users can access your videos so that each student will need his own account. Another option is to set up a single teacher account and have all the students use the class login to avoid safety concerns. They could add their own information by including their code-name on notes. This tool would be perfect for adding student accountability to the flipped or blended classroom!

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Zoom - Eric Yuan

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with up to 100 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting...more
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Collaborate with up to 100 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting times, and private or group chat. Up to 40 minutes of group meeting time, and unlimited 1:1 meeting time is included with the free meeting plans. Sign up using your email or social network account to begin hosting a meeting. The step by step instructions make it easy to quickly begin video conferencing at your convenience.

tag(s): chat (45), DAT device agnostic tool (174), parent conferences (22), video (263)

In the Classroom

Use Zoom to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Collaborate with experts such as authors and scientists with classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Consider using a tool such as Remind, reviewed here, to alert parents and students when your sessions are open. Use Zoom for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects! Buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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OneNote - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies...more
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies of files or documents from your computer into OneNote. Share and collaborate with others. Access your OneNote account by signing in to any computer or device.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), Microsoft (66), organizational skills (106), Storage (7)

In the Classroom

Use OneNote for all notes, ideas, and photographs in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of OneNote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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Flock - Cookies Riva FZC

Grades
8 to 12
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Flock is a free chat and collaboration service. Start by signing up for an account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video ...more
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Flock is a free chat and collaboration service. Start by signing up for an account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video conference. Add attachments, polls, a code snippet, or an emoticon. Create a to-do list for the group or project. With the free account, chat records are kept for 30 days. Be mindful of the laws and regulations. Use the web version or download the software.

tag(s): chat (45), microblogging (28), polls and surveys (48), video (263)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use the chat feature to communicate with parents or students. Collaborate with other educators on lesson plans and activities. Create groups of students during group projects for collaboration. Attach the directions to the chat and monitor the conversation by including yourself in the group and promoting good digital citizenship. Use the poll feature to check for understanding or use the chat as an exit ticket.

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Workflowy - Jesse Patel & Mike Turitzin

Grades
4 to 12
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Organize your brain and your life with Workflowy. This tool allows you to take notes, make lists and outlines, and use hashtags to create groups of items. Import lists from ...more
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Organize your brain and your life with Workflowy. This tool allows you to take notes, make lists and outlines, and use hashtags to create groups of items. Import lists from other documents directly into Workflowy. Share lists with others using the share button, use options to allow them to edit if desired. Quickly create an account using email and a password to begin. Once you create an account, be sure to take advantage of the many tutorial videos demonstrating Workflowy's features. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): calendars (38), organizational skills (106)

In the Classroom

Any student would appreciate having an online time management account, but learning support students and disorganized gifted students need one. You may want to model using Workflowy to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a mythical student and organize his/her Workflowy together so students can see how it works. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector the first week of school to help students set up their own accounts. Parents may also appreciate learning about this site. Use this site professionally to keep yourself organized!

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Genius - Genius Media Group Inc

Grades
8 to 12
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Genius allows you to "Annotate the World." Begin with the music portion of the site to view lyrics and crowdsourced knowledge for thousands of songs. In addition to music, Genius ...more
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Genius allows you to "Annotate the World." Begin with the music portion of the site to view lyrics and crowdsourced knowledge for thousands of songs. In addition to music, Genius also offers annotations for literature, news, sports, TV shows, and movies. Search any section to find specific content or browse through the latest offerings. Install the Chrome extension to use Genius's Web Annotator and add your own notes to any web page or put genius.it in front of any URL to annotate and read other user's notes on any web page. If your district blocks YouTube, some portions 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 Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Important: Content is not moderated, be sure to PREVIEW and check for inappropriate content before using with students.

tag(s): bookmarks (53), citations (32), note taking (41)

In the Classroom

After creating an account, type Teacher's Guide in the search box to find the link for a very complete guide. The guide has information for using Genius in the classroom and creating accounts. Use the information found with literature selections to build Common Core skills analyzing informational texts. Use the site to post and share discussion assignments on specific articles or even parts of articles. Find a relevant article to your subject. Highlight the part that you want students to read. For younger students, keep it short to reduce the intimidating reality of too much information for kids. Attach a note with a discussion question for the students. Have them comment on the link in a "class discussion" as an outside assignment.

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Global Virtual Classroom - AT&T and Give Something Back International Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time...more
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time and has learned what is needed to create global citizens. They've done everything for you from Lessons, Resources, and a Web Design Contest, to directions for becoming part of the community, providing a list of other educators who would like to participate, and a Clubhouse for your students. Be sure to register by mid September each year!

tag(s): competitions (13), cross cultural understanding (134), cultures (114), wikis (13)

In the Classroom

Take students to another place, encourage them to understand other cultures and create global citizens by signing up to join GVC. After introducing GVC on an interactive whiteboard or projector, create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here, to vote for which country or region to communicate with and share information. Begin a blog for each student to share reflections. Consider asking the partner teacher to have their students blog, too, and encourage students to respond to each others' blogs. Students' writing improves when they have an authentic audience. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

Another idea would be to use a projector and Lino, reviewed here, (no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom students will be working. Lino creates virtual sticky notes on a bulletin board. Once the project is underway, go back to Lino occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Before culminating the project, ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Lino. Consider starting a lunch time or after school club for students to have more time to participate in the Clubhouse.

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Typewrite - Josh C.

Grades
5 to 12
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Typewrite.io is a collaborative writing tool that is in real-time so multiple editors can be working on the same document at the same time. It is distraction free, and you ...more
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Typewrite.io is a collaborative writing tool that is in real-time so multiple editors can be working on the same document at the same time. It is distraction free, and you can save versions and revert to previous versions. When viewing versions, changes will be highlighted. Sign up using email and get started right away. There is no waiting for approval. Share documents via email to have them edited.

tag(s): editing (79), proofreading (24), writing (361)

In the Classroom

Have your students set up collaborative groups for projects, lab data, and more. Anything students can do on a single computer; they can do collaboratively with this tool, accessing their work from any online computer. Be sure to test out this tool before using with your class. It may be a good idea to set up the groups with the teacher as a "member." Make sure you are protecting the safety of student work and identity and are within your school's Acceptable Use Policy.

This tool facilitates teacher comments on student essays by not having to wait until students turn in their papers. Have them share links with you to their works in progress. Check essays online, monitor progress, and even make suggestions for revisions to provide feedback along the way and drive successful evidence support, proofreading, and editing skills. Challenge gifted students on their drafts and push their thinking further, adding questions or responses. Since most of us do not have time to provide such individual challenge throughout the writing process, why not connect them with other gifted students to collaborate and debate beyond just your classroom? Obviously, this tool is also fabulous for collaboration among students or teachers creating a shared writing piece at any level. You could even use it for parent input into draft IEPs.

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Dotstorming - Gareth Marland

Grades
2 to 12
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Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet, reviewed here, or Lino, reviewed here) for brainstorming and...more
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Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet, reviewed here, or Lino, reviewed here) for brainstorming and VOTING on any topic. The voting is what makes this tool different. Create an account. There is no waiting for email approval. Add a board, title, select how many votes the participants will have (up to 10), and start adding posts with text, images, and video. Add images and video via URL or upload from your computer. When participants join, they give their name. Participants can add posts. Names of participants using the board appear below the chat box. Participants name's appear when they make a comment in the chat. However, comments on posts don't have the participant name. Once the board is complete, the creator can finalize the board so no new ideas can be posted, but the voting feature is still open. At the time of this review, a free account allows you to have one fully featured board. If you wish to create another board, you will need to delete your existing board.

tag(s): bulletin boards (18), gamification (83), images (269)

In the Classroom

Share your board with a projector or interactive whiteboard. Put the URL link on your website for students to access. If you don't want to share the link that way, then use a tool such as Stich, reviewed here, for students to type in (and reduce input mistakes). You may want to think about students using only their first name or their code to participate. Dotstorming does not show which posts belong to which student, so you may want to require that students identify their post and comment by putting their initials, their first name, or their code on their contributions to get credit. If you plan to allow all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss Internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences.

Use Dotstorming to collect WebQuest links and information to share with students. Assign a student project. For example, have students create a board about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a board around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. The voting is perfect for that idea! Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a board. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use Dotstorming to create a board with class news and updates.

Use Dotstorming as an "idea bin" where students can collect ideas, images, quotes, and more for a project. Require them to share a brainstorming Dotstorming board to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and rank by votes) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or a "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Dotstorming as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

Use Dotstorming as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Have students submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on.

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SRecorder - SRecorder Company

Grades
K to 12
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Record a PC desktop with or without sound using free software from SRecorder. This software works only with Windows Operating Systems. After downloading and installing the software,...more
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Record a PC desktop with or without sound using free software from SRecorder. This software works only with Windows Operating Systems. After downloading and installing the software, use the desktop shortcut to begin the recording. Choose to view the entire desktop or select a specific area using the crop box provided. Click the red button to record, then use the icons on the screen to save to your computer or share to social networking sites.

tag(s): video (263)

In the Classroom

Use SRecorder to record instructions for using websites. Share how to perform problems, step by step directions for any project, and much more. Leave a video message for your substitute teacher or even your class! Create a video message to share with parents about current projects, clips from field trips, and more. Share on your class website for students to view at home.

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GoConqr - ExamTime Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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GoConqr (formerly ExamTime) is a crowdsourcing site for uploading and sharing class notes, flashcards, quizzes, and more. Free membership offers you access to 3 subjects and 20 public...more
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GoConqr (formerly ExamTime) is a crowdsourcing site for uploading and sharing class notes, flashcards, quizzes, and more. Free membership offers you access to 3 subjects and 20 public resources. Sign up using your email account to begin using GoConqr's features. Be sure to watch the video tutorials for creating resources for your personal page. Use the search feature to find and access resources already designed and shared on the site. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): classroom management (147), flash cards (40), homework (39), mind map (24), quizzes (92), social networking (92), test prep (90)

In the Classroom

Share GoConqr with students to build and use study skills. Although an individual can use the site on their own, it is best to use it as a sharing site for study information. Encourage students to sign up and build a network of friends for creating and sharing resources. Learning support teachers and teachers of gifted-but-disorganized students will want to share the tools and encourage their students to create groups and collaborate with their peers. Have students create review activities and swap them with peers. Use this tool with colleagues to co-create materials to use with content units or materials to use for flipping the classroom. Use this tool for professional development.

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FreeConferenceCall.com - freeconferencecall.com

Grades
K to 12
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Conduct virtual conferences with up to 25 people at one time with Free Conference Call. Instantly share your screen during online calls for participant viewing. Other features allow...more
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Conduct virtual conferences with up to 25 people at one time with Free Conference Call. Instantly share your screen during online calls for participant viewing. Other features allow for recording and sharing meetings when finished. After creating an account, follow instructions for inviting participants and setting up the conference call. This tool works on any device with a modern web browser and Internet access.

tag(s): chat (45), DAT device agnostic tool (174), parent conferences (22), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Use Free Conference Call to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work.

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The Wonderment - Kidnected World

Grades
3 to 9
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. Given ...more
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. Given a choice to follow many different paths, kids determine the subject of interest. The paths are real-world problems from around the globe. View a video, story, or idea. Design a response using text, photos, or a video. Join a chat to allow comments or ask questions to make global connections. After each posting, special points are added to make the bot design more elaborate. A personal Wondermeter rises with each response. Through donations, this non-profit brings technology to children around the world. A call for adults to serve as mentors to respond to each child challenges adults to join in the fun and make the world a better place. Register with email. Children under 13 need parent or teacher approval to participate. Watch the two short videos to see an explanation for The Wonderment and How It Works.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (134), enrichment (12), gifted (79), listening (84), problem solving (293), social media (37), social networking (92), social skills (26), speaking (23)

In the Classroom

Wonderment is a problem based learning adventure for each student around the world to communicate and collaborate with other students. This venue allows great lesson ideas for digital citizenship and digital footprints. Begin by choosing a path for the entire class and feature on an interactive whiteboard. Have students work in small groups to choose their best response. Discussions after can focus on creativity, problem solving, and collaboration between the group and others from around the world. In a gifted class, use as a way to challenge kids to break through the "right answer" and find the "best answer." Use this as a model for finding authentic needs in your community. Be sure to share a link to this tool on your class blog, website, or Edmodo account. Use this tool as the answer for the parents who always want more challenge and enrichment for their students at home. Be sure to share at a staff meeting to spread the wonder for other students and adults.

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