TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 15, 2017

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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deseat.me - Wille Dahlbo and Linus Unneback

Grades
K to 12
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Would you like to clean up your online presence? Perhaps you want to know what you signed up for in the past. deseat.me uses your Google email address to find ...more
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Would you like to clean up your online presence? Perhaps you want to know what you signed up for in the past. deseat.me uses your Google email address to find websites you have signed up for and then offers the option to delete or unsubscribe.

tag(s): internet safety (111)

In the Classroom

Include deseat.me with any lessons on cyber safety. Share how the site works on a projector or with an interactive whiteboard as part of your discussions about online safety. Be sure to think carefully about the account you use and preview before sharing with students. After considering the number of sites typical Internet users may have, ask students to research other ways to improve their online presence. At the end of your cyber safety unit have students make a multimedia presentation with online safety suggestions using Genial.ly, reviewed here.

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Bitmoji - Bitstrips Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Build an emoji with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an Android and Apple app, also available as a Chrome extension. Use email to create an account then follow prompts to create an ...more
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Build an emoji with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an Android and Apple app, also available as a Chrome extension. Use email to create an account then follow prompts to create an emoji with your likeness; save it as a png to your computer, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive. The fun starts after creating your emoji! Choose from countless options to share your Bitmoji in emails, messages, as an avatar, or anywhere you communicate online.

tag(s): creativity (121), DAT device agnostic tool (177), emotions (37), faces (4), images (274)

In the Classroom

Create a Bitmoji to use as your avatar on your class website or blog. Update your avatar to reflect current lessons, holidays, or events. Use emojis to appeal to students and draw their attention to important information. For example, choose the bitmoji with praying hands and "please" as a reminder to read all of the directions before beginning work. Choose a Bitmoji with an interesting background or phrase to use as a writing prompt. Insert a bitmoji into a Google form as feedback for student responses. Have older students (13+) take a picture of a portion of text and add a Bitmoji to share a connection or response to the text (also known as BookSnaps).

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Cult of Pedagogy Blog - Jennifer Gonzalez

Grades
K to 12
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The purpose of this blog and the accompanying podcast and videos is to support "a vibrant, encouraging, stimulating community of teachers, supporting each other toward excellence."...more
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The purpose of this blog and the accompanying podcast and videos is to support "a vibrant, encouraging, stimulating community of teachers, supporting each other toward excellence." General education, resource, and ESL/ELL teachers will find plenty of subjects of interest. Choose from broad topics including instruction, classroom management, or technology for ideas in honing your craft through topics of interest to any teacher. Dig deeper to find leadership ideas and hot topics. Check further down the page to browse and find information on specific subjects and grade levels.

tag(s): classroom management (157), learning styles (20), parent conferences (24), parents (59), professional development (162)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-add to any professional development activities. Be sure to check back often for the latest posts or follow The Cult of Pedagogy's Twitter feed for all of the latest updates. The podcasts are extremely engaging, interesting and helpful to all classroom teachers. Listen in your car on your way to and from school, or listen with your peers during your lunch period.

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Microsoft Translator - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft Translator provides translation between languages in two ways. First, use this tool to converse with single participants or groups via computer. Begin by choosing "start conversation"...more
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Microsoft Translator provides translation between languages in two ways. First, use this tool to converse with single participants or groups via computer. Begin by choosing "start conversation" and enter your name and language choice. Microsoft Translator provides a code to share with participants to log in to the conversation on their device using the Translator website or app. Speak or type your words, participants on the other end view text in their desired language. The other option is a text translator. Copy and paste text or a webpage URL into the first box and choose "Translate." Translator converts the text into your choice from many different languages.

tag(s): chinese (50), DAT device agnostic tool (177), french (93), german (68), greek (41), hebrew (20), italian (36), japanese (45), russian (29), spanish (111)

In the Classroom

Use Translator to greet "other language" speaking students and make them feel welcome in your classroom; encourage conversations between them and your class. Take advantage of Translator to widen your classroom's global viewpoint by sharing conversations with others around the world. Use this site in world language classrooms to have students copy their text to convert into the language being studied (or the reverse). Have students create presentations about other countries in the native language of the nation using a presentation tool like Canva, reviewed here. Take your presentations a step further to include multimedia. Use a tool such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, to incorporate multimedia like maps, surveys, video, audio, and more.

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SpryCanvas - sprycanvas.com

Grades
K to 12
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Sketch, collaborate and brainstorm with anyone anywhere with SpryCanvas. Create and verify your account to begin. Start your session by adding the email address of contacts to invite....more
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Sketch, collaborate and brainstorm with anyone anywhere with SpryCanvas. Create and verify your account to begin. Start your session by adding the email address of contacts to invite. Options allow you to add images, change text colors, and add notes. SpryCanvas also includes a chat feature for participant discussions. Download and save a picture of your screen during any session using the provided link.

tag(s): drawing (84), iwb (33), painting (67)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing so that another group can use it as a writing prompt. Use a SpryCanvas board as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups (or the class) share ideas for a major project or for solving a real-world problem. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is read aloud. As an assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, use SpryCanvas to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Alternatively, have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board.

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TryIt - Isaiah Baldissera

Grades
6 to 12
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TryIt is a curation site for STEM learning experiences. Similar to Pinterest, educators choose and create collections of videos, tools, and events. Students build collections of scholarships,...more
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TryIt is a curation site for STEM learning experiences. Similar to Pinterest, educators choose and create collections of videos, tools, and events. Students build collections of scholarships, internships, and available learning opportunities. Browse by selecting categories or experiences. Register using email to create and curate your collections. The videos on this site reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): bookmarks (67), careers (140), engineering (129)

In the Classroom

Bookmark TryIt for reference when teaching any STEM-based lesson. Curate collections based on topics you teach. Create and share collections for student use with resources and activities. Suggest that older students create their own account to gather information on scholarships and internships of interest. Collaborate with fellow educators to create collections for lesson planning.

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Microsoft Educator Community - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Welcome to the Microsoft Educator Community! This extensive network of educators is the place to find lessons, collaborate with fellow teachers, and earn badges and certificates through...more
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Welcome to the Microsoft Educator Community! This extensive network of educators is the place to find lessons, collaborate with fellow teachers, and earn badges and certificates through training courses. Register for virtual field trips from across the globe with exciting partners such as an elephant sanctuary or climbers hiking up Mount Everest. Sign into your account to add lessons as favorites or upload your lessons to share with the community.

tag(s): collaboration (18), PLN (8), preK (294), professional development (162), skype (13), virtual field trips (52)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many resources on the site for use in your classroom and to share with peers. Find partners for Skype lessons, participate in virtual field trips, and download lessons for use. Watch tutorials to learn how to use Microsoft Tools such as OneNote, Sway, and others with your students. Enroll in the online courses for personal learning in many topics or share with others in your building and learn together. Earn badges and points and become a Microsoft Innovative Educator. Include all courses as part of any professional development plan.
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

Grades
K to 12
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (67), professional development (162), social media (22)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your professional learning network (PLN) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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tchat - Congo Labs

Grades
6 to 12
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Focus on the Twitter chats you want to follow easily and in real-time with tchat. Sign up for tchat through your Twitter account. Input the hashtag you wish to follow ...more
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Focus on the Twitter chats you want to follow easily and in real-time with tchat. Sign up for tchat through your Twitter account. Input the hashtag you wish to follow and all other tweets will be filtered out. tchat opens in a new tab; that means you can still see other Tweets on your Twitter account tab at the same time you are following a chat. Reply right from tchat without leaving the page; send and continue reading the conversation. The menu bar at the top allows pause and play, it stops refreshing, allowing you to find what you are looking for and to reply or retweet the information without losing it, and then resumes when you click play. You can also block retweets. Either sign in to stop the pop-up when you want to respond, or use tchat without signing in to have the pop-up and see all of the chat on the side. Each reply will automatically include the hashtag.

tag(s): chat (54), microblogging (40), PLN (8), social networking (111), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Sometimes it's hard to stay focused on a group Twitter chat. Take advantage of this tool to avoid distractions and communicate only with the members of the chat session. It's a relief to use this tool and be able to take your time commenting back and forth and not have to hunt through countless other Tweets to find your group and that one comment where you want to reply. tchat is the perfect tool to use with Twitter in the classroom so students will stay focused on your topic. If your class is following a scientist, engineer, politician, or any other professional, invite them to a chat to converse with your students and have the students stay focused. If you are taking an online class and one of the requirements is to participate in a Twitter chat, this tool is perfect to help you meet your goal.

Use tchat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss using an assigned hashtag. Ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use tchat, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

Use tchat to collaborate with other classrooms or teachers at a distance. Use a whole class Twitter account to contribute to a regular chat. Professionally, teachers can join subject or grade level specific Tweet chats that happen in real time. See the Twitter Chat Schedule, reviewed here or Educational hashtags listings here to find real-time groups you can join using tchat.

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TPS Teachers Network - Metropolitan State University of Denver

Grades
K to 12
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TPS Teachers Network is a social networking site for social studies and history teachers. The Library of Congress funded this as part of their Teaching With Primary Sources Program....more
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TPS Teachers Network is a social networking site for social studies and history teachers. The Library of Congress funded this as part of their Teaching With Primary Sources Program. Create an account to begin using features on the site (email and password required). Once enrolled, options include participating in a chat, adding friends, and searching using keywords. Use the tag cloud on the main page to find specific information by grade level or topics such as primary source sets. Create albums on the site, including primary and secondary sources, to easily share with students or fellow teachers. Be sure to check out the Help section at the bottom of the page when you first get started for Quick Tip Tutorials to make the most of the site. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): bookmarks (67), primary sources (92), professional development (162), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save TPS Teachers Network as an excellent professional development and social networking site. Share with your colleagues to create your own professional learning network on the site. Create albums with primary sources for use throughout the year in one easy to find location.

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Twubs - Twubs, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
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Looking for an easy way to follow hashtags or conversations on Twitter? Use this tool for more useful hashtags that pull tweets, videos, images, and more in a convenient place ...more
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Looking for an easy way to follow hashtags or conversations on Twitter? Use this tool for more useful hashtags that pull tweets, videos, images, and more in a convenient place in real time. Hashtags are not just for fun, but also for finding and curating content from professional learning networks (PLN's). Use this tool to follow and participate in a chat easily and efficiently with no other tweets clogging up the stream. Enter the hashtag to view the active (or already completed) chat. Choose the speed of the chat flow. Use the Pause feature to stop the chat temporarily while checking a specific tweet or replying. View the hashtags with or without signing into Twitter. Note: New to Twitter and hashtags and unsure how to use it in the classroom? Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at the TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Be sure to check with your district's policies before using Twitter and Twubs with students.

tag(s): chat (54), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Create a hashtag for use by students when quoting and reacting to comments from presenters. Follow the hashtag for various events occurring elsewhere in the world to obtain perspectives from people of different nationalities. Use a segment of a prior chat (screenshot an image of the Twubs) to share with students. Use to identify different perspectives from those around the world. Find shared commonalities among people and differences that allow students to understand world happenings using a different lens. Follow Tweets from scientists (such as #MarsRover) or for content (#STEM). Use results from a Twitter chat to create essays, stories, or artwork depicting content from the chat. Find chats for all kinds of teacher interests to build not only your PLN, but your knowledge base in the document Twitter Chat Schedule, reviewed here.

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Learning Front - Learning Front

Grades
K to 12
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Learning Front is a free online community of tools for social, professional learning. Tools for professional development aim to improve teaching and learning in the 21st century online...more
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Learning Front is a free online community of tools for social, professional learning. Tools for professional development aim to improve teaching and learning in the 21st century online platform. Connect and collaborate with individuals or teams. The e-Learning Teacher offers learning modules on many professional development tasks for teachers, new or experienced, or pre-service teachers. Wiki Task features units, lessons, and data displays for professional learning. Find lessons to support your subject area. The Networking link allows you to find other colleagues in your area of expertise. They can join your efforts and work with you. Download many free resources.

tag(s): professional development (162), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

Joining Learning Front is a great way to build your professional learning network (PLN). Expand your expertise and knowledge in your field by discovering what others are doing. Gain knowledge and networking connections to help yourself and your school. Add this site to your professional development plan as a resource. Ask new contacts you discover on Learning Front whether they have a Twitter account or belong to any other networks they would recommend to you.
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Google Hangout - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Create a group video chat with anyone, anywhere! (A Google membership is required.) Choose Google members from your own contact list or invite others. See who is currently talking in...more
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Create a group video chat with anyone, anywhere! (A Google membership is required.) Choose Google members from your own contact list or invite others. See who is currently talking in the Hangout via a display of the name and the video of the person. Thumbnail videos of the others also in the Hangout appear along the bottom of the screen. Easily toggle between rear and front facing cameras, turning off video or microphone, or ending the Hangout. Broadcast a Hangout through your Circles in Google Plus. Use Hangouts for more than video calls. Hangouts are also a great way to hold a chat, embedding images and documents to share with others participating in the Hangout. Be sure to try the Hangouts mobile app, available for Android and iOS. Unlike the web version, the app currently does not show which of your contacts are online. The introduction video requires YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then it may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to school "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): chat (54), DAT device agnostic tool (177), video (278)

In the Classroom

Start a Hangout and invite others from your Circles or Google contacts. Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Connect experts such as authors and scientists to classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Students interested in graphic design can connect with an expert or artist far away and share current work in a virtual critique. Connect students with mentors or older students for help with homework. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Whole buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond! Be sure to connect with other educators on your own and enjoy the professional development that also exists within the Hangouts! Be sure to create Circles within Google Plus to meet any concerns with your administration regarding privacy.

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Twitter for Teachers Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in...more
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Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in other schools. This collection of reviewed resources related to Twitter will help you get started using Twitter safely for your own learning and possibly expand into using Twitter for class connections with other classrooms. The information includes basic terms such as "hastag," and even features a "widget" to show current "tweets" by educator-specific hashtag groups. Watch the sidebar (if it is not blocked in your school) to get a sense of the sharing possible on Twitter.

tag(s): social networking (111), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Make this page a must-learn for teaching in the 21st century. Mark it in your favorites to return often to watch the embedded tweets from educators all over the world. Then muster your courage to set up a Twitter account of your own. Follow @teachersfirst or our lead Thinking Teacher @morerukus2, and we'll be sure to welcome you!

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