TeachersFirst Edge - Presentations

 

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Tildee - tildee.com

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create tutorials for anyone about anything using this tool! Start from an easy to use template and share your tutorial via a unique URL. Your tutorial can have text, screen ...more
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Create tutorials for anyone about anything using this tool! Start from an easy to use template and share your tutorial via a unique URL. Your tutorial can have text, screen shots, and videos. You don't need to register to start a tutorial, but if you want to save, edit or delete it, you'll need to sign up with your email address. Tildee is free. You can also view public tutorials by searching. At the time of this review, there were many well done Tildees on topics such as: How to Use Google Translate, Lotus, MLA and How to Tame It, and much more. Be aware, some of the public tutorials on the home page may not be appropriate for classroom use. Please preview and consider only sharing the URL to your tutorial, rather than a link to this main site for student use. If students are creating their own tutorial, share the link directly to create the tutorial rather than the main page.

tag(s): assessment (119), tutorials (46)

In the Classroom

Tildee could become a very powerful tool in your classroom. Have students use it to demonstrate what they understand about any concept you teach. Tildee would be the ultimate in "show your work" to explain how students came to a conclusion. Students could use Tildee for persuasive speeches, or speech and debate by uploading facts, videos, and images to prove their point during their speeches. They can also use it to write sequenced directions. Students in history, math, science, art or music classes could showcase their knowledge by creating a tutorial about any topic: how an animal became endangered and the steps to reverse this, the major events that led up to the Civil Rights Movement, or the Holocaust, how to reduce a fraction, the cycle of a cell, or anything else you feel would be worthy of assessment. Physical Education teachers could create tutorials for any move for any sport or exercise, i.e. how to do a proper sit-up or push-up. Teachers can use this site to create tutorials for absentees and/or review and post the URL on your webpage.

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authorSTREAM - authorSTREAM.com

Grades
4 to 12
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authorSTREAM, an internet based presentation maker that is based on PowerPoint formatting, is easy to use and offers some very useful and unique features. Offering more than the basic...more
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authorSTREAM, an internet based presentation maker that is based on PowerPoint formatting, is easy to use and offers some very useful and unique features. Offering more than the basic PowerPoint creation greatly expands its value. Special features of authorSTREAM include the ability to make public presentations, download presentations as FLV, MP4, AVI, and WMV files, present live to an online audience anywhere in the world, and the ability to create a "channel" or collection of all your online work. With this application, you can add YouTube videos and sound narration directly to your presentations. Of these features, perhaps the two most unique are the ability to download in different formats. Using this, you can create a movie to be played on a television or create a file that can be shared by all of your audience on iTunes, since MP4 is iTunes language! With private presentations -- or even public ones -- you can protect access with a password. Also, this program has an add-on in PowerPoint that allows you to search web content directly from the application.

tag(s): multimedia (52), slides (62), video (264)

In the Classroom

Have you been contemplating a "flipped classroom" teaching style where you do the activities and hands-on things during class and the students listen to the information and lectures outside of class? This is a great tool for a flipped classroom or any use of sharable media. You can create your notes and lectures in PowerPoint, adding video clips and narration, download as an MP4, and then share with all of your students through iTunes. This greatly enhances the opportunities for extended thinking and active time in the classroom. More simply, try recording yourself giving an informational presentation, saving it here, and sharing with students via your website or wiki to access from home as a review tool or a catch-up for absentees. Have older students create their own presentations and share with the class and teacher via iTunes. Students who are normally very shy and uncomfortable can feel safe "presenting" in front of the class! High school students can also share links to their best work as part of a digital portfolio or college application. Art students can create online portfolios with narrated artist notes. Student-made book talks can be shared on iTouches in the library/media center. Link to them by QR code! Teachers at any grade level can share back to school night information with parents unable to attend.

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Just Paste It - JustPaste.it

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
JustPaste.it is a quick, online way to share text and images with others. It features an easy-to-use text editor with text formatting function. Just paste text from another webpage...more
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JustPaste.it is a quick, online way to share text and images with others. It features an easy-to-use text editor with text formatting function. Just paste text from another webpage or word processor and text formatting and images will be preserved. By using the "Upload images" module you can easily add new graphics to your notes. If you have written your note originally using a word processor: Microsoft Word, MS Works or Open Office, simply upload it to the server using "Import from file" function. Text formatting and graphics will be preserved. When finished creating your text, click Publish to receive the html code, forum code, and url link. Or create your own custom url through the Custom page name option at the top right. Notes can also be edited through the link provided after publication. The finished product can also be easily saved as a PDF file, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the save to PDF link. This tool is simpler than setting up a Google Docs account, since it does not require email registration.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (278), note taking (44)

In the Classroom

Copy and paste important information found on websites while viewing as a class into Just Paste It, then save as a pdf for students to have a hard copy or share a link to the information through your classroom website or blog. Challenge students to create their own "Paste It" to use to take research notes, write study notes for vocabulary, or many other uses. Have students create individual pages as part of classroom projects then share them using a tool such as Padlet (reviewed here) to create an online bulletin board to use to display information learned. Why would a teacher share text or images this way? Teachers can offer an assignment, a writing prompt, a vocab list, a story starter, handout, or even a permission slip for parents to download, print, and sign.

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ZimmerTwins.com - Jason Krogh

Grades
1 to 8
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Looking for a different, engaging way for students to create reports? At ZimmerTwins.com you can create and share movies on your own or using their starter videos. Share created movies...more
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Looking for a different, engaging way for students to create reports? At ZimmerTwins.com you can create and share movies on your own or using their starter videos. Share created movies using the code generated after publication. You must be a member to save movies; membership is free. You can create one account to be used by both you and your students. There is a page just for teachers with lesson ideas to use with your students. Students do not need drawing skills; they simply insert and edit characters and text available with the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153), movies (68), video (264)

In the Classroom

Even in the younger grades, the students would enjoy sharing these clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a class video together on your interactive whiteboard. Publish the video on your website or blog. Assign groups of students to create videos with facts on lessons learned (one group does reptiles, another mammals, another birds, etc.) to create a group of videos to cover your entire unit. Challenge students to create a persuasive video as a starter before a writing project. Use the movies already on the site as story starters for struggling writers.

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Font de Music - Rightwork, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Font de Music lets you add sound and movement to words. You write your text, select font, choose color, and add movement to your words by moving your mouse up ...more
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Font de Music lets you add sound and movement to words. You write your text, select font, choose color, and add movement to your words by moving your mouse up and down. Creations can be shared via a link or through Twitter. No limit on words is stated on the site, but it appears that you can put in a few words. Note: this site loads more slowly at high traffic times. You will notice that the site creators are not very good at spelling in English. Some directions are misspelled, but the tool works. Here is an example of a musical vocab word created by TeachersFirst.

tag(s): animation (60), firstday (24), vocabulary (315), word study (78)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spice up some lessons around vocabulary -- what "mood" would you choose for an individual word? Or, if students were to create one of these musical pieces around their name, what decisions would they make for font, color and music? Students can use the site to make online presentations interesting, just link to their creation for inclusion in reports in Prezi reviewed here or other presentations. Use the site as an interesting way to begin a lesson and capture students' attention. Use this site as a first week of school activity. Have students write in their names and favorite hobby or color and put it to music!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zoho Show - ZOHO Corporation

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint...more
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint with your students. It is very advantageous if you have assigned a project and students do not have access to PowerPoint at home. This can be accessed anywhere with no cost to the student, the parent, or you. Sharing and collaborating is also simple. Upload, edit, and save your documents easily.

tag(s): multimedia (52), slides (62)

In the Classroom

To use this site, you will need to create an account. You will need to navigate using onscreen instructions. There is a video tour of the features if you would like to view it, but it is just as fun and easy to play with the tool. Slide themes are limited, but the tools are simple and it is easy to publish to a URL that can be shared with everyone.

Use this tool to create presentations when students will need more than class time to finish. Have students make individual presentations. Instead of presenting on projector, have them share to the class wiki or within their zoho group to promote discussion and peer review. Assign a round-robin peer review so everyone gets some feedback.

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podOmatic - podOmatic

Grades
1 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen ...more
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen to and/or download from the web. There are MANY free podcasts in a variety of subject areas (art, health, technology, music, business, and more.) We have linked this review directly to the K-12 area within the site. The site includes some social networking tools, so some schools may have it blocked. The site is a "general public" site, so the home page has links to recent podcasts that may not be appropriate for young people. Attach a mike or use your built-in computer mike; create the podcast by clicking a record button, (you may have to tell your computer to "allow" the site to access your mike). Choose a background for your podcast page. Share it with others using one of several sharing options on the "My Podcast" tab, including copying the link. Listeners can listen to it online or download to their MP3 player. See and hear a sample we made for you.. You can also create a "minicast" with a simple upload of images and audio that turns your images into a short video. Transitions are also available for your minicast. Share through a blog, twitter, a link or directly to Facebook. There are limits to the amount of file storage for free accounts. The site will tell you how much space each podcast takes and how much you have left. Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Podomatic now has a free iOS and Android apps.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (176), podcasts (59)

In the Classroom

Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a mini cast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions, record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events, Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News." Have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!), Have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini casts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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SlideShare - SlideShare, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Have no fear, SlideShare is here! Whether you consider yourself techno phobic or ultra savvy, this site offers something for every level of user. This site hosts tons of prefabricated...more
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Have no fear, SlideShare is here! Whether you consider yourself techno phobic or ultra savvy, this site offers something for every level of user. This site hosts tons of prefabricated slide shows or Power Point presentations, and considers itself the largest presentation sharing website available. As educators, we know the value of professional borrowing and this site puts slide show resources for any content area right at your fingertips. For the more daring, upload your own slide presentation creations. Once posted, you can see how many people have viewed your show. View comments left by people who have viewed your show to gain feedback and participate in educational discussion. Shows can be embedded in blogs, social networking sites, or downloaded to your computer (Where - YES! You can edit it to suit your specific needs!) This is not a slide show creation tool, but rather a sharing resource for educators and civilians alike.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (278), photography (152), slides (62)

In the Classroom

Pull published slide shows for use in your classroom. Download a slide show as a template and modify it for your specific needs. In science class, have students record each other completing a lab activity. Then have the students put that footage into a slide show with snapshots of work and products of the lab. Have students create a voice over track and sync it using the slidecast part of the site. It would make for a powerful learning experience. Post slide shows of class notes and have students comment on what they understand or do not understand as an online discussion. If you teach online through cyberschool or virtual learning programs, use slidecast to create "teaching tracks" to go with your notes. It allows you to create a short, but helpful lecture for your distance learners. They will appreciated the verbal aspect of the learning.

This website allows you to upload, so you will need a basic understanding of where your files are located on your computer to do this. However, you are not required as a member to upload anything unless you want to do so. An interesting and valuable feature of this site is that it will allow you to sync audio files or podcasts with your slide show, creating what the website has coined a slidecast. You can create groups to share slideshows privately to only your group members.

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Storybird - Storybird Inc.

Grades
K to 8
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others....more
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others. The final story is available for sharing via URL or email (or keeping private) and printing it is an option. Basically, write text and titles, create a book cover, add graphics, and pass the product to a co-writer (if collaborating) who adds more until both feel the story is complete. A demo video explains the basics. A special section for artists encourages art contributions and explains how to use the art to enhance the stories. An Education area provides a way for teachers to set up accounts for a class with or without student email. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153), stories and storytelling (36), writing (367), writing prompts (91)

In the Classroom

Have pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.

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Easy Prompter - Michael Drob

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Ever think that you could look more professional if you used a teleprompter just like the President? Try this free version then! Simply copy and paste your text into the ...more
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Ever think that you could look more professional if you used a teleprompter just like the President? Try this free version then! Simply copy and paste your text into the field, highlight words if desired, and then click "Start prompt." Click play on the next screen to start the prompter. Speed up or slow down the speed of the prompter using the "+" or "-" buttons. The size of the prompter text can also be increased easily. Users must be able to copy and past text from one application to another. Player controls look much like standard video player controls. Follow the demo to watch how it is used or take a few moments to play with it. Close the site, and the information in the prompter is lost. Want to use this without the Internet? Download the program (click "standalone portable version") for free and drag to a flash drive to have anywhere.

tag(s): speeches (19)

In the Classroom

Use this site to feed information used in group or individual presentations to the class. Set this up on another computer when recording video and audio recordings. Why use this site? Information fed through the prompter can be read at a steady and consistent pace. Teachers promoting oral reading fluency can make practice more engaging by having students pretend they are newscasters. If you advise the school announcement crew, try this handy tool to make them sound and look more professional.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SlideBoom - iSpring Solutions Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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The simplicity of this online slide presentation tool can be used by anyone! SlideBoom is an online presentation share and store site. The site is somewhat "vanilla" in that there ...more
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The simplicity of this online slide presentation tool can be used by anyone! SlideBoom is an online presentation share and store site. The site is somewhat "vanilla" in that there are not a lot of extras or flash, however in some situations it may be very handy. Access other people's slide presentations and share your own with the world. This is the free version, so its capabilities are limited. But it would be great for kids to use to move presentations back and forth between school and home if Google applications are blocked.

tag(s): images (278), photography (152), slides (62)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to locate files on their computers to upload. Beyond that, a few clicks that follow onscreen instructions will complete the job!

Use this site as transportation to and from school when students are working on powerpoint presentations for class. This tool could be used in any subject or topic area. If Powerpoint isn't available at your school, use this site to create presentations instead of traditional book reports. Use this tool in social studies to have students create presentations about the branches of government, continents, or economics. The possibilities are endless.

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Smilebox - Smilebox, Inc.

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This resource allows you to create slide shows, greeting cards, scrapbooks, invitations, collages, and more. There is a free basic program, but there are paid upgrades available if...more
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This resource allows you to create slide shows, greeting cards, scrapbooks, invitations, collages, and more. There is a free basic program, but there are paid upgrades available if desired. For educational purposes, the upgrades are not needed. Photos, videos, and music can all be added to your creations. A Smilebox template must be used to make your creations. Products made with this program can be shared to web pages and blogs, social networking sites, or emailed for free. Several themes in each category are free. You no longer have to download this program.

tag(s): blogs (80), images (278), movies (68), photography (152), slides (62)

In the Classroom

Upload images from your computer. You can save web images or use screen shots, as well, to be used in your creations. Watch copyright! Check out Awesome Screenshot, reviewed here, for details for a screen shot taker. From there, it is easy to simply click and follow the on screen instructions. The program is simple to navigate and very user friendly for those who are accustomed to web tools.

With the variety of formats, Smilebox has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! For basic technology integration extend learning with this tool. Use in history class to have students create collages of different periods of time such as the American Civil War. Create topics such as the Lincoln's Election, the Gettysburg Address, Battle of Antietam, Emancipation Proclamation, Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee's Surrender. Have pairs or groups of three select topics at random, and then have them create a collage or "scrapbook" of the event. Try having students choose a role from which to create their assignment such as a Rebel soldier, a Union Soldier, a volunteer nurse, a mother or father of children fighting on different sides of the war, etc. Have students collect copyright free images online for their use or create their own by reenacting and creating visuals to take pictures for their productions. Unleash student creativity by showing them this tool as resource in creating presentations and projects for your class and others. What a fabulous tool to use on the first day of school (as a welcome), beginning of a new unit, or back to school night with the parents! Elementary classes could create whole-class scrapbooks of curriculum projects, such as their science garden or Colonial Days celebration.

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WinkBall - WinkBall

Grades
K to 12
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to ...more
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to email or post on video blogs and walls. Choose to communicate with the general public, set groups, or speak to only one person. Winkball supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files and imports videos directly from YouTube. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. There are no ads except for a very short Winkball ad that appears at the end of each video clip. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to check to be sure that all portions you plan to use in class will be available using your school's network.

tag(s): journalism (59)

In the Classroom

Winkball requires the use of a webcam or video camera. Simply adjust the camera for a good shot and click record. The preview feature allows users to clear away initial takes and start again. Download video camera footage onto the computer and then directly upload it to Winkball. The site supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files. Enter a title and description for each video clip. Students can also embed videos from Youtube onto video blogs or walls. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. The site is intuitive and involves little more than point and click abilities. Create a single class account using your "extra" email address, so you can monitor and submit student work.

Winkball has the potential to extend learning beyond the confines of your school. It can provide learning opportunities for students physically unable to attend class or who need to receive coursework from another school. Students can film various features of a field trip and share them on a video wall. Video chat will allow students to record interviews with people outside of the local community. Coordinate collaborative learning projects by having students share resources on video blog. The video blog could also serve as an on-line journal for phases of a long-term unit of study, experiment, or class project. Record the stages of a student's thinking process when engaging in creative problem solving activities. Share the value of this learning process with parents and family by posting a video wall on the class website. Create a broadcasting club and post regular news reports about school events on the school website. Upload a film clip about a historic event onto a class video blog and include a probing question that asks students take a stand on an issue, express their opinion, or debate one another on-line. Provide homework help by recording step-by step procedures to solve a particular type of math problem at home. Model ways parents can help their student with their reading. Post live coverage of class plays, concerts, and school performances so that parents at work can still be in the audience. Make language learning more authentic by using video messaging to communicate with students across the globe.

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PhotoPeach - Nota, Inc

Grades
3 to 12
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample ...more
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample here. Shows can be shared or embedded into other social networking type sites.

tag(s): images (278), photography (152), slides (62)

In the Classroom

You also must be able to locate files on your computer to upload. Follow onscreen instructions to create a project. The instructions are very easy to understand. In a few short steps, there is a finished product. Share the finished show by URL or embed code (for those who know how to copy/paste this code).

Use this site in science class to make a slideshow of a completed lab as an alternative to a laboratory report. Use this in history class to create short videos about different people and places in history. Use in math to have students explain a word problem or complex algebra problems in a slide by slide (step by step) manner. In lower grades, use a whole class account to create a slideshow about a class project or special event such as pumpkin day and all the calculations you do with pumpkin seeds, the weight of pumpkins, etc. Share the slideshow as an embedded object on your class web page/wiki or share the link with parents so they can ask their child about the activity and reinforce the concepts simply by having him/her talk about it at home.

If students create their own shows using images from the web, be sure they are using Creative Commons licensed photos or images without copyright restrictions, sine the products are shared online. Of course you will want to require a credit for any photo used to be included in the show.

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Prezi - Prezi

Grades
3 to 12
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Prezi is a visual, "zoomable" presentation tool. It is similar to PowerPoint and Keynote, but there is so much more to Prezi! You can graphically arrange a large amount of ...more
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Prezi is a visual, "zoomable" presentation tool. It is similar to PowerPoint and Keynote, but there is so much more to Prezi! You can graphically arrange a large amount of content, such as a big idea with its supporting information. It creates very dynamic presentations. See samples by clicking "log in" then "Explore" (instead of logging in). Choose a background, follow the instructions and prompts of the program, and before you know it, you will have your very own Prezi to share. If you like to see directions, watch the quick intro video. You can also view Prezis created by others and use them as templates for your own work. Check out the sample created by the TF Edge team here. This tool works in ANY device's web browser, from iPod to Android to laptop. Collaborate on a Prezi with other Prezi members in real time using the Share function. Have a "meeting" to work on the same Prezi in real time. There is a free "edu enjoy" level of membership (requires a school issued email and verification) that allows you to keep your Prezis private, out of public sharing. The regular "enjoy" membership is free for only one month, and its Prezis are public. File storage limits apply to free accounts. It is worth noting that some people find Prezi causes motion-sickness if it zooms too much!

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

You could map your entire lesson, chapter or unit in one Prezi. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great way to connect prior knowledge with the next step if you share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector throughout the unit. Or you could post it to your web page or give kids the URL so they can review as often as they need it. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create timelines of relevant events, or in science or math class have them map steps in a process. Have students create Prezis for different events, and then have them post the link to their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Prezis. The possibilities are endless!

If you have gifted students n your class, offer Prezi as one alternative for sharing extensions to the regular curriculum. If they already know the material, have them investigate a related process or example and share it in the form of a Prezi.

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Skype - Skype Technologies S.A.

Grades
K to 12
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Every teen and college student knows Skype, the free tool for making calls from computer to computer anywhere in the world. By downloading and installing free software and setting up...more
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Every teen and college student knows Skype, the free tool for making calls from computer to computer anywhere in the world. By downloading and installing free software and setting up a free account, you can talk and/or make a video call to a similarly equipped computer elsewhere in the world for free. Skype uses a lot of "bandwidth" so is not suitable for very slow networks or dial up connections. It may also be slow at high-traffic times on a good network. Some patience and pretesting is required before you can be sure it will work for your needs. Connect to classrooms, experts, authors, virtual special speakers, or interview subjects using Skype.

tag(s): virtual field trips (54), webcams (7)

In the Classroom

Download and install the Skype software. If you are not allowed to install software on school computers, ask to have a single laptop available that is Skype-capable so you can borrow it or else explain to your principal that you are planning a series of Skype visits in your classroom so your techies will install it in your classroom. You will need a computer with built-in or separate microphone and speakers and optional webcam. If you plan to use a webcam, you must know how to start it. A single teacher-controlled Skype account will work in most school settings.

If you prefer written directions go to Help >> Step by Step Help to get started. Or ask a student to show you (without seeing your password). You will need to explore the tools in Skype to locate where to enter the SKYPE name of the person you wish to call, start the call, and answer calls. Do NOT set your copy of Skype to "remember me" on a school computer! If students are to participate in the Skype call, you may want to have a "hot seat" at the Skyping computer so they can sit at a mike so their questions will pick up better for the person at the other end.

Be sure to set Skype so it does not open every time you start up the computer. Manually start the program when needed and do not leave an obvious Skype icon on the desktop for "clever" students to find. Protect your password -- do not post it on the computer. A teacher-controlled account is best for Skype classroom use to prevent unauthorized calls by students. Your user name will show on the screen for students to see, so be aware of that when you create your account.

Anything you can do by telephone or video call you can do on a projector with your entire class. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors (check out their web sites or this blog for contact information). Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share, for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share, for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (87)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Vocaroo has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! For basic technology integration extend and enhance learning with this tool. Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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Screencast-o-matic - Big Nerd Software

Grades
4 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy ...more
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Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy way to create a tutorial from your own computer screen. When you visit sites that have tutorials on how to use their software, you are looking at a screencast. Use this site to give specific directions on how to use different applications in and out of the classroom. Audio is not necessary for the screencasts but may be beneficial, depending upon the tutorial.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): tutorials (46)

In the Classroom

Users will need to know how to use whatever computer software, website, or skill they are demonstrating. Following basic directions and managing browser windows or tabs are a must, as well as the managing settings of the computer being used. The site demonstrates how to troubleshoot problems on both PC's and Mac's.

Click "create" to start. As the screencast is being created, files will need to be written temporarily to the desktop. A security screen will pop up that asks to run the application. You will be asked to "trust" or "not trust" the security certificate. Depending upon your school's Acceptable Use Policy and computer security settings, you may not be able to complete these steps. Choose the screen size when played and whether audio will be needed (audio can be tested here as well, which is recommended: settings may need to be adjusted for different microphones.) Open a new tab or browser window and enter the web address of the site (or software) that will be the subject of your screencast. Drag the black frame by clicking the line and dragging it in order to choose what will be recorded during the screencast. The microphone icon has a green bar that shows recording levels. A green arrow showing instead of a green bar denotes that sound is not being captured. The red button is used to start recording while the black "X" stops the recording. Once you stop recording, click on your screencast tab or browser window and preview your recording. You can then either upload or discard your screencast. At this point you can create an account easily. Save your screencast to a channel of your own. Use the embed code to place your screencast into a blog, wiki, or other site. You can also use a widget code to embed the screencast player into a website. Screencasts can then be made from your other site and will save directly to your screencast channel. Screencasts can be set to different levels of privacy and comments can be turned on or off.

Teachers who must request certificate approval by tech staff may want to try this tool at home and create some sample projects to convince administration of its educational value. Unless checked to turn off comments, this site will allow comments on your work. Many districts prohibit such interaction and steps should be taken to prohibit commenting from others. When using the widget, the tool does not attribute work to specific students. You may wish to have the students identify their work while creating the screencast. Screencasts will only be able to be viewed when using an embed code in a site, wiki, or blog. By marking the screencast "searchable," it can be available to the public. Recently created screencasts do not appear on the home page of screencast-o-matic. Students are able to self-register, but you may want to keep a record of logins and passwords for students who forget.

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 creation of classroom content. By narrating how you want students to navigate through a certain site or section, you can eliminate confusion, provide an opportunity for students to use 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. Challenge your gifted students to create a screencast as a final project rather than a more traditional project. 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 web site to show biased language, etc. For a powerful writing experience, have students "think aloud" their writing choices as the 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.

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