TeachersFirst Edge - Collaboration

 

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Scribophile, the Social Writing Community - Scribophile

Grades
10 to 12
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At Scribophile you can share your writing with others. It is self-professed as a community that takes writing seriously and wants to both give and receive feedback on writing. Publish...more
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At Scribophile you can share your writing with others. It is self-professed as a community that takes writing seriously and wants to both give and receive feedback on writing. Publish works, read others' work, write critiques of others' work, and interact with other writers. This is a good site for mature, serious writers. Joining is free but necessary to participate fully. The sample blogs given for each day are enlightening and have intelligent ideas presented in thoughtful ways. Within the "Community" section, read the spotlighted work and how others respond to it.

tag(s): creative writing (121)

In the Classroom

Caution is necessary with this site because it is completely open to the public. Be aware of what your district's restrictions are on this kind of activity. Depending on your circumstances and school district policies, this site might best be used under a teacher login. You can put models up on your interactive whiteboard for students to respond to either individually or as a class. You might have reactions to some of the blogs or have students write their own critiques of the spotlighted work before sharing what others on the site have posted. If your students are going to have their own accounts, create groups for your students to post their writing. In either of these circumstances using the "Community" section, you can read the spotlighted work and how others respond to it. That would be great for teaching students to critique each others' work in useful ways. All students would benefit from class or small group discussions of the daily blogs. Using this in class might also encourage students to seek out the writing on their own and may have them bringing in extra work for their classmates to comment on. This site might also be a good venue for students who work together on a high school literary magazine or high school gifted students seeking writing mentors outside teh school community (with parent permission, of course).

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Discover Design: A Student Design Experience - Chicago Architecture Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about architectural design and construction of buildings and more and about design in general. This site also gives teens a forum to post design ideas and receive feedback from...more
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Learn about architectural design and construction of buildings and more and about design in general. This site also gives teens a forum to post design ideas and receive feedback from others their age as well as teachers and design professionals. Discover Design also promotes challenges every year for student teams to create an innovative remake of something (community market, lunchroom, food stand, library and community center, etc.) for their community. Another design challenge is a CIRT Nation Design and Construction Competition. Examples of past challenges are designing Water Resource Management and Preservation, a National Pavilion, and a Gastronomic Center (a space for cultural exchange through styles of cookery). Check registration deadlines as one is usually in the spring and another at the end of the year. View the contest requirements and rules in great detail with forms on the site. Use this site for lessons and information without an account, but to use the forum tool you need to create an account.

tag(s): architecture (64), engineering (120), makerspace (41), measurement (125), modeling (8)

In the Classroom

Teach students about applied science and math through the use of design. Students will see real life applications, get energized about a possible career, and go beyond repetitious facts or abstract theories. Use this site to spark ideas for your students. Use one of the smaller past challenges for your class. Have students compete to create a new student locker or lunch tray. Have them do research and design prototypes. Have students display their work locally for the school and community. Judge work by the public or by classmates on a rubric. Even if you are not part of the larger Maker's Faire movement, your students can be involved in hands-on design and innovation.

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Just Beam It - Akshay Kannan, Hristo Oskov, and Pranava Adduri

Grades
4 to 12
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Share files hassle-free using Just Beam It! Drag your file into the designated space, share the URL link, and leave the WINDOW OPEN. You will get a message telling ...more
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Share files hassle-free using Just Beam It! Drag your file into the designated space, share the URL link, and leave the WINDOW OPEN. You will get a message telling you the transfer completed. At this point, it is safe to close the window. If you prefer the traditional file search to find sharable documents, there is a spot to click for that method of file identification. Just Beam It! works by streaming the file directly from your computer to your recipient, and is not stored on the website. Just remember, files cannot exceed 2 GB and keep the window open until the transfer is complete. Beam happily!

tag(s): collaboration (88), computers (106)

In the Classroom

Have trouble sharing files with students because they do not have email? Do they need to share files with each other for collaborative projects ? Try using Just Beam It! No email or flash drive needed. File transfer is quick. Drag, drop and share! So easy, a savvy fourth grader could do it.
 

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Watch2Gether - Sailer Interactive

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this free site to create a private chat room where you can watch videos with others at multiple locations in real-time. Create a chat room and use the link ...more
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Use this free site to create a private chat room where you can watch videos with others at multiple locations in real-time. Create a chat room and use the link to send to others. Use the Facebook app to post to Facebook. Watch the video synchronously while making comments in the chat window. Note: Members of the chat can change the video at any time, and it will change for all those in the private room. You can lock this function by going to settings, find this function, and choose between All members or Moderators only. Want to save the chat? Copy and paste to share later or use screenshots (command/shift/4 on a Mac or print screen on PC.) Save your room and go back later to view the chat and watch more videos with your friends. You can monitor the chat the same way you did for changing the video, moderators only. See How to Use Watch2Gether to find which video formats are supported.

tag(s): blended learning (37), chat (41), differentiation (83), Online Learning (42), remote learning (59), social media (54), video (259)

In the Classroom

Use for teaching a concept with others by viewing portions of videos and chatting content and main points. Use for reviewing materials for exams or preparing for project creation. Be sure to set up who can change videos and monitor the chat when in sessions with others. All of the following suggestions will extend your blended learning classroom: set up a snow day or evening video viewing time and URL to watch and discuss videos together with the teacher for extra help or enrichment; an online back to school night, share a video at a specified time and invite parents to join you and chat their questions. What a bonus for parents who travel and can't be there! Offer video/chat how-to sessions for major projects, such as science fairs or other major independent work. Enhance video instructions for any significant assignment by scheduling a Watch2gether session. Use Watch2gether with Khan Academy videos for math class. Make your "flipped" or blended learning classroom more social using Watch2gether.

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Trello - Fog Creek Software

Grades
2 to 12
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Trello organizes your projects into boards. It tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. Updates are shown in real time, ...more
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Trello organizes your projects into boards. It tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. Updates are shown in real time, so refreshing the site isn't necessary. The two main items used on boards are cards and lists. Cards are tasks; create a card for each task and drag it to the list. Attachments such as videos, due dates, user notes, and more can be attached to cards. Then pull each card into a list and place in any order necessary to complete the tasks. You can be identified with an @symbol and receive instant notifications.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (144), graphic organizers (49), organizational skills (90)

In the Classroom

Use this site in the classroom for organizing any long term project such as a research report or collaborative projects. Create a board for each group with a timeline and assign parts for each project. Gradually release the responsibility from one project to the next, asking students to create their own task lists so they learn time management. Teachers of learning support and gifted will love this tool as a way to teach organizational skills. Share it with parents to support their organizationally challenged students. Yearbook or school newspaper advisors may want to consider this site for organizing and assigning tasks. Share this site with your school's PTA as a resource for organizing and planning school events.

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ClassDojo - Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don

Grades
K to 8
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Manage behavior and boost involvement in class quickly and easily. ClassDojo allows you to recognize desirable behaviors and accomplishments in real time. Use it on any Internet-connected...more
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Manage behavior and boost involvement in class quickly and easily. ClassDojo allows you to recognize desirable behaviors and accomplishments in real time. Use it on any Internet-connected device in your classroom. Be sure to check out the Resources from the top menu for helpful, timesaving items like a Back-to-School night resentation, a Parent Introduction letter, a Student Introduction video, and Student Account Facts. You can choose an avatar for each student. Student behavior records are automatically created, updated, and reports generated with just one click by you. You can even write comments to parents about why a student lost a point. Weekly summaries are automatically emailed to parents. Students can earn badges. On ClassDojo students can now have their own portfolio to share photos and videos of their successes. The wording on the ClassDojo site indicates that ClassDojo "will always stay free for teachers."

Please be aware that ClassDojo falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use ClassDojo with their child.

tag(s): behavior (43), classroom management (128), DAT device agnostic tool (144), game based learning (173), gamification (73), Special Needs (54)

In the Classroom

Consider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Using ClassDojo for group behaviors will give immediate feedback to students if projected on your whiteboard or your projector. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Use ClassDojo to offer both negative and positive feedback to parents and students.

Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use Class Dojo to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to special education teachers or parents. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.

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IDroo Online Educational Whiteboard - idroo.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Teach, learn and collaborate easily with this multi-user whiteboard. Everything that is drawn or written on the whiteboard is visible to all participants in real-time. IDroo supports...more
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Teach, learn and collaborate easily with this multi-user whiteboard. Everything that is drawn or written on the whiteboard is visible to all participants in real-time. IDroo supports an unlimited number of meeting participants, the only limitations are computer power and internet connection speed. There is a professional math typing tool built-in making it easy to teach or work through math problems collaboratively. IDroo is integrated with Skype to enhance the online collaboration experience. Currently it only works on Windows systems and requires a software download.

tag(s): iwb (32), virtual field trips (79)

In the Classroom

IDroo would be great for any online collaboration session with other classrooms, teachers, or virtual classroom visitors. Use this to tutor students virtually by setting up a time for online work sessions.

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Wridea - Octeth Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Wridea is an idea management, brainstorming, and collaboration tool. It's a place to organize and categorize your ideas, share them with others for input, and store them. To collaborate...more
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Wridea is an idea management, brainstorming, and collaboration tool. It's a place to organize and categorize your ideas, share them with others for input, and store them. To collaborate using this tool, you must have individual memberships (email required). Note that maps that are shared can be seen by the public, but not altered. You specify the members who may collaborate and make alterations. At this time, this site does not work properly in Internet Explorer. However, it is a great tool to use in Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or other browsers.

tag(s): brainstorming (17), concept mapping (17), graphic organizers (49), mind map (26), organizational skills (90)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to create their own Wridea tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group study guides or review charts before a test. Have students use Wridea as a study guide by brainstorming all the important concepts they remember about the unit being studied in history or science, and then have them share their Wridea with another student who will add concepts that were left out. Build student creative fluency by having them use Wridea to create categories of wonder, question, and answers for research; map out a story or plot line, or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings based on pivotal points.

Comments

This resources looks like it has a wide variety of applications suitable to upper elementary and secondary classrooms. Sign up was quick and easy, but I received a message upon completing those steps that Wridea doesn't support Internet Explorer. It "suggested" using Mozilla Firefox instead. I'm a strong advocate for being comfortable with using several browsers, so, this doesn't throw up any huge roadblocks to me, but if you do not have or use Firefox, you will need to take that extra step as well before actually making use of this tool.

Editor's Note: the review has been updated to reflect this new information.
Rita, WA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Tricider - tricider.com

Grades
3 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tricider is an exciting tool to help people brainstorm and make decisions. You put a question in the appropriate box and then select who is eligible to comment and vote. ...more
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Tricider is an exciting tool to help people brainstorm and make decisions. You put a question in the appropriate box and then select who is eligible to comment and vote. Invite people to join in making decisions via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Options include setting a time limit, or closing down the question or discussion. There is no registration required, and the site is completely free.

tag(s): brainstorming (17), conflict resolution (9), debate (37), persuasive writing (55), polls and surveys (46), questioning (32)

In the Classroom

Introduce Tricider on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site to develop arguments sides for an upcoming debate or persuasive writing assignment. Promote higher level thinking by asking students to brainstorm options and set criteria to choose. Build mental flexibility as they see alternate points of view on an issue. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects, decision making, and organization.

If you have students create book ads in your class, or projects, your students can vote on which book they want to read next or which project they would like to investigate further, etc. Teachers can also use Tricider to survey students about what resources on your website are the best, what further explanation they may need about a unit in math or science, which project students would like to do as a summative assessment, or ways to encourage "green" practices in your community. Be sure to have your students use a code or number instead of an actual name.

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DOGOnews - Meera Dolasia

Grades
2 to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Need kid-friendly online news? This safe site, written for kids, by kids, offers news from a younger point-of-view. You can create a class page where you can load a variety ...more
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Need kid-friendly online news? This safe site, written for kids, by kids, offers news from a younger point-of-view. You can create a class page where you can load a variety of articles, add a book list, a calendar, favorite sites list, add lesson plan instructions, monitor student comments, and more. DOGOnews is kid-friendly, colorful, and flexible. After all, DOGO means young or small in Swahili. You can select articles from a number of categories (Social Studies, Science, World, Current Events, etc.). There is an integrated dictionary for challenging words and maps for geographical context. Some of the articles include short video clips. Students may leave brief comments about each article (no login required). Also, typing the word "video" in the search box will bring up the Video of the Week for the past several weeks. The videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. In addition, find a Book and Movie section with a brief summary for the book or movie, and comments. You don't have to join to read the articles, but you do need to join to create a class page. There are many benefits to creating a class page, and it's all free! Don't want to create a class page? You can also embed articles on your current web page.

tag(s): journalism (72), news (229), reading comprehension (143), sports (78)

In the Classroom

Non-fiction reading and background knowledge have found a new emphasis with The Common Core State Standards. It is more important now than ever to help connect students with quality, non-fiction reading and viewing material. Find great news resources and videos of the week to create assignments for your class at DOGOnews. You may want to create a class page and load several news articles. Have students choose from the articles, and email it to themselves. Have students print out the article and complete a "close reading" of the article by annotating it. Then have students who chose the same article get together in groups to discuss their reactions about the article, create a summary together, and create four or five open-ended questions about the article. Lastly, create groups of four, with each student having a different article, and have them present their article to the others in the group and ask them their open-ended questions to trigger a discussion. Create a class magazine from the articles. Or better yet, have students create a multimedia presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint Online, reviewed here. This site allows you to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Strengthen reading comprehension by having an 'article du jour' on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students arrive. Link this site on your homepage.

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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. This site offers a neat twist to creating a blog. It features an easy-to-use text editor with ...more
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JustPaste.it is a quick, online way to share text and images with others. This site offers a neat twist to creating a blog. It features an easy-to-use text editor with text formatting function. Just paste text from another web page 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: (such as Microsoft Word), simply upload it to the server using the "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 site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (66), communication (136), images (263), note taking (34)

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 LMS. Use this tool to create a simple 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 (blog posts) 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, a handout, or even a permission slip for parents to download, print, and sign.

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Protagonize - Taunt Media

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
As of June 2017 Protagonize is no longer updated, however there is a note that all contents remain for those who would like to explore. Protagonize was originally a ...more
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As of June 2017 Protagonize is no longer updated, however there is a note that all contents remain for those who would like to explore. Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories are available for others to comment on or add to. You can easily specify two endings like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series or leave the story's ending unfinished. Alternatively, choose to create different "chapters" of a story. Before writing, choose from many different story genres. If you prefer not to have outside input on the story, you can select "solo" writing. It is easy to change solo to collaborative writing, however. There is also an option to digitally link the chapters. The site is very flexible, and you can write poetry, drama, song lyrics, and writing exercises including role plays. Before writing, students set up "story guidelines" so that future contributors can see the parameters of the piece. Students can also view the work of others. Mature content is marked with a "Mature" marker. Students and other writers have an obligation to report inappropriate content. PDF format or RSS feeds allow the created work to be saved to another format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (121), digital storytelling (144), expository writing (31), narrative (14), persuasive writing (55), poetry (190), six traits of writing (4), songs (44), stories and storytelling (42), word choice (14), writers workshop (31), writing (317)

In the Classroom

You may wish to set up a group or class account, so that you can keep a careful eye on what outside additions are made (use an RSS feed!) . Students would then need to sign their writing or their comments on other class members writing, with a code known by you. Or you can invite students through email, and then create a group on the program that would include your students; however this group would also be open to the public.

Create groups of students who would like to work together on a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story connected to a science or social studies topic. Have the students create the story guidelines and parameters. Once the students have started the story, have them use your projector and interactive whiteboard and get feedback from class members about the different directions the story could take. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

Have your students create "solo" stories, and then have them switch to "collaborative" to receive comments and input from other members in their writing group or class. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

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SlateBox - SlateBox

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial...more
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial after sign up for the basics. The FREE account is only for ONE user. So if you plan to have students use the site, you will have to have each student register individually, or each group create an individual account. Note that free accounts make all your "slates" public for others to collaborate/change.

View the video for a quick introduction on copying, moving, and linking boxes. Use the template panel to drop nodes needed for your new slate into the drop panel. Hovering over the box shows tools for editing text, creating links to other boxes (click and hold on the icon while dragging to another box.) Control the colors, borders, template, etc. in the right navigation pane. Export your slate to a pdf document or create an embed code to place into a wiki or blog.

tag(s): concept mapping (17), mind map (26)

In the Classroom

Create a template mindmap and add collaborator leaders (perhaps one in each group) who can --in turn-- add the rest of the group to collaborate. Assign portions of a template to a group of students. Groups can collaborate on paper or your whiteboard and then choose the best ideas for the slate being created. You can also use Slatebox with a whole-class account. Show SlateBox creations using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit or change elements easily with class input. Use for mapping content being studied in the current unit, problem solving, vocabulary, and more. Use this site to help students interact with and organize ideas. Construct points of a short story, identify main points of passages, or generate a map of the basic points of paragraph development. Wrap up a lesson by having the students create a "diagram of the day" (the main points of the lesson). Students can use this site to map ideas in passages of a textbook. If each student or group maps a specific passage, ideas from chapters can be seen visually. Be sure to include the links to student-created "diagrams" on a class wiki or web page so students can use them for review. If your students have Internet access outside of class, assign them to create a simple diagram of an assigned reading as homework and embed it into a wiki or blog.

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X (formerly Twitter) for Teachers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Learn the basics about X (formerly Twitter), the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other...more
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Learn the basics about X (formerly Twitter), the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in other schools. Start the tutorial with Module 1 and learn what X (formerly Twitter) is and why you will want to use it professionally. Next, you'll be taken step-by-step through how to effectively use X (formerly Twitter): setting up an account, following other users, creating a username, picking an avatar, and writing a short bio blurb. Lastly, you will learn about X's (formerly Twitter) search feature. In Module 2, learn about X (formerly Twitter) terms and symbols. Module 3 focuses on students understanding of X (formerly Twitter) and their Digital Footprint or Tatoo; they will learn to use the handy acronym THINK and will discuss the difference between privacy and security. Teachers will get many ideas and information about using X (formerly Twitter) in the classroom. Module 4 has even more suggestions for using X (formerly Twitter) in the classroom with all age groups, X (formerly Twitter) Chats, and lots of resources to connect with on X (formerly Twitter). This tutorial will help you start using X (formerly Twitter)safely for your learning and possibly expand into using X (formerly Twitter) for class connections with other classrooms. You can also earn 1 unit for completing the modules for a professional learning certificate. Best of all - it's FREE!

tag(s): social networking (66), twitter (19)

In the Classroom

There is a wealth of information about X (formerly Twitter) on this site, so you will want to bookmark it in your favorites to return to often. Make this page a must-learn for teaching in the 21st century. Refer this tutorial to other teachers and administrators in your building. Once you finish with module 1 you will have a X (formerly Twitter) account of your own. Follow @teachersfirst, @OK2Ask, and our lead Thinking Teacher @morerukus2, and we will surely welcome you!

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Teach Collaborative Revision with Google Docs - Google

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Teach Collaborative Revision with Google Docs helps you teach some of the final important steps of the writing process in a meaningful and practical way. The secure, sharing features...more
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Teach Collaborative Revision with Google Docs helps you teach some of the final important steps of the writing process in a meaningful and practical way. The secure, sharing features of Google Docs enable your students to engage in group work and peer editing in a safe online environment. This will add a critical piece to your classroom writing curriculum and everything you need to know to get started, along with easy-to-follow directions, are available right from this web site. There are several reproducible PDF pages filled with student-friendly tips and techniques for revision, as well as a teacher's guide that provides innovative ideas for lesson plans and how to use these materials with Google Docs. To begin, treat yourself to Teachersfirst "tour" of Google Docs by clicking on this link. You will be amazed at how easy it is to get started!

tag(s): editing (90), proofreading (21), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Create an innovative, exciting revision experience for students to edit each other's writing and engage in the peer review process by using the collaboration feature of Google Docs. This tool facilitates teacher comments on student essays by not having to wait until students turn in their papers. Check essays online, monitor progress, and even make suggestions for revisions to provide feedback along the way to drive successful proofreading and editing skills. After students are entered as collaborators, they will each have a different color to distinguish what they contributed to the document, and you can easily see who made what revisions. Suggested lesson plans for peer editing, complete with downloadable, reproducible handouts and online tutorials are provided. The ease of access to Google Docs makes these lessons a breeze to carry out from any internet connection, so you may start it in the classroom and continue as a homework assignment.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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lino - Infoteria Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The "Give it a shot!" button has a ...more
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The "Give it a shot!" button has a "How to" canvas has stickies explaining how to use lino. Join and create your own canvases to share stickies, reminders, files, and more. Change sticky colors from the menu in the upper right hand corner or use the easy editing tools that appear when the sticky is selected. Use the icons at the bottom of each sticky note to "peel them off," share, edit, and more. Create a group from your lino page to share and collaborate on canvases. You can also share canvases publicly so anyone with the URL can participate. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): bulletin boards (14), collaboration (88), collages (19), creative fluency (5), creativity (91), DAT device agnostic tool (144), gamification (73), note taking (34)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.

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MindMeister - MeisterLabs GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free ...more
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free collaborative mind maps. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. There are many highly interactive features: printing, sharing (emailing), and collaborating with others in "real time."

tag(s): brainstorming (17), DAT device agnostic tool (144), graphic organizers (49), mind map (26)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Realize that you can only make 3 maps for free, but you can always delete old ones to make room. Play with the tools and toolbars to create a mind map; use toolbars to collaborate, publish, or print diagrams. Creating the organizers is of easy to medium difficulty depending upon how elaborate you desire your organizer to be (don't miss the notes feature!). A handy revision "history" helps you see what changes were made when. See the blog for helpful video tutorials and tips. Note: to use the "real time" collaboration feature, collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access.

Note that maps that are "published" can be seen by the public (read only, so they cannot be altered). If a map is shared via a URL, only those that were "invited" to view the map will be able to see it. However, this does require each viewer to sign up (free) to MindMeister to be able to view this map. You can specify members who may collaborate and make alterations to a map that is not "published." You can also invite other members to view (but not change) unpublished maps.

The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or, you can assign students in cooperative groups to create a mind map as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Stormboard - Edistorm.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Take brainstorming to a whole new level, including easy collaboration with others. Use Stormboard to place sticky notes, photos, and videos on a shared whiteboard. As you enter information...more
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Take brainstorming to a whole new level, including easy collaboration with others. Use Stormboard to place sticky notes, photos, and videos on a shared whiteboard. As you enter information on your sticky, new suggestions pop up along the bottom. Use this phenomenal aspect of Stormboard as suggestions by their "Idea Bots" may take you closer to your goal. Revisit "storms" as they are saved which adds more perspectives when viewing later. Let others' ideas incubate a bit and return to see what they have added. Free accounts allow up to 5 users, 1 administrator, and unlimited "storms."

Begin by entering the name of your storm, choosing privacy options, adding a description, and inviting users to join in (Stormboard members or by email). Type on the stickies. Drag them to arrange. Stormboard will suggest possible new stickies along the bottom. The center sticky on your screen will drive the "smart" suggestions. If Stormboard's suggestions take you away from your goal in your description, move another sticky into the center spot or close the suggestions area. Use the viewfinder to see where all your stickies are located. Group related ideas together by aligning them together or color-coding them. Contributors can drag an "idea vote" to mark the ideas that they like best. Click on the tab "Top Ideas" to view those with most votes. Click on "All Unrated" to view all, including those with no votes (great idea if you may have missed one).

tag(s): brainstorming (17), creative fluency (5), organizational skills (90)

In the Classroom

Consider creating a classroom account for use with your students. Require them to initial their stickies in order to know which idea is whose. Use for any decision-making activity such as "What kind of pet should I buy?" Also use to generate related vocabulary words about a topic by entering their first word and letting the "Idea Bots" suggest stickies along the bottom. This is especially good if students must find information for a presentation or learn about a particular theme or topic. Share this site with your gifted students to use for organization, brainstorming, or collaboration with others outside their class. Social studies classes could brainstorm on how they might travel back in time to solve a political crisis or avoid a war. Lit classes could "storm" better outcomes for a novel or play based on evidence from the first portion of the text (for example, what if Romeo and Juliet had used Stormboard first?). Many issue-based or ethics-based problems in Science and Health can also be organized, debated, and discussed in this space. Why are some ideas "Top rated" over others?

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Evernote - Evernote

Grades
9 to 12
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Use this fantastic application for note-taking and idea collecting from ANY device. Think of Evernote as a ubiquitous set of notebooks ready for you to add and read from ANY ...more
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Use this fantastic application for note-taking and idea collecting from ANY device. Think of Evernote as a ubiquitous set of notebooks ready for you to add and read from ANY computer or web-connected device. Evernote is available on the web, but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. Take snapshots of whiteboards, products, or whatever you like and upload them to Evernote. Search your uploads through the search function which will also search handwritten or printed text sections in photos and images. Sync everything through Evernote across all the platforms. Use Evernote to create notes and to-do lists and even clip entire Web pages. Use to manage passwords or even record audio. Everything added to Evernote is automatically synchronized across platforms and devices and made searchable. Evernote offers a free account as well as a premium paid version. If you use it a LOT, you may max out the free allotments for data, but try it to see! The free account offer 60 MB of new uploads per MONTH, and syncing across 2 devices. Categorize and organize information using tags, note titles, and notebooks. Keep track of several projects with the "Notebooks" feature. Use the web version or downloadable version of Evernote to share read-only notebooks with others. Download Evernote to add an extension to your browser to do web clipping with a click of a button. Click "New" to create a new document in your notebook. Use the search function at the top and even save searches for later use. Safety/security tip: If you have sensitive information (such as passwords, etc.) on your Evernote notebook but want to share other parts? Simply highlight and right click to choose "Encrypt Selected Text" to remove from the page to be shared.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (144), images (263), organizational skills (90)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Consider creating a class account that can be used by all students. Spell out the use of the site and what is allowed, not allowed, and the penalties. Even though all students have the same login, create different notebooks for different tasks that students can use to upload information that can be shared by all. Create separate notebooks for student groups who can then share their notebook with other groups. Use Evernote to snapshot and share links, documents, files, and pictures for any group project or class work. Whole class accounts can be used by a class scribe during class and accessed from home for review, etc. If your students are permitted individual accounts, they can collect notes in Evernote and share their research notebooks with you as evidence of completion of that phase of long term projects. Encourage creativity with your gifted students (or any students) by having them set up individual Evernote notebooks to use as "idea bins." Idea bins are a place to collect quotes, snippets of writing or poems they have started, questions and thoughts, artistic project ideas, images they like, or even voice memos to remember creative inspirations. It is important for students to know that idea bins (by whatever name) are an important part of the creative process, even for engineers!

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Mailinator - ManyBrain, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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Frustrated at creating sub accounts with your gmail account for more than 100 students? Try Mailinator as a possible solution to the problem. Make student accounts for the web 2.0 ...more
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Frustrated at creating sub accounts with your gmail account for more than 100 students? Try Mailinator as a possible solution to the problem. Make student accounts for the web 2.0 tools you would like your individual students to use. Create a "spoof" email account from one email account (preferably the teachers gmail.) Use this "spoof" account to enter when creating web 2.0 accounts. Mail can be viewed online for any verification if necessary. The bonus? Less spam when signing up for other sites!

In the Classroom

Use your teacher gmail account to create different Mailinator accounts for each student by sending an email to the "spoof" account. For example, a student sends an email to gottalovebio@mailinator.com. Magically, your "spoof" email address has been created. Use this "spoof" email all year long for any web 2.0 tool you wish to sign up for. Find emails sent to the "spoof" account by viewing on the mailinator site (type in your "spoof" email address) or following an RSS feed (use a feed reader to view them all.) Important Note: emails must be read within a few hours as they are then permanently deleted. Caution students not to use these email addresses for anything important as it is not a regular email address. Use only for creating logins and registrations for other web 2.0 tools. Stumped with coming up with a unique name. Possible name choices are given on the site (refresh to see more options.) Be sure to read the FAQ's to familiarize yourself with the service and answer any questions you may have. Check to be sure this is not blocked by your school. If available on a teacher computer, consider cycling each student through your computer to get them signed up while being monitored. Record their "spoof" emails in case these are needed later and students forget. Be advised that these email accounts are public. If the same email address is entered on the site by someone else, those emails will be viewed. Despite this, use the service to quickly enter students to use the variety of cool online tools found on the Internet today.
 

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