TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 23, 2021

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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Teachers' Guide to Global Collaboration - iEARN-USA

Grades
K to 12
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This guide provides educators with information and resources to find projects and collaborations with educators around the world. Use the different categories to learn, connect, search,...more
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This guide provides educators with information and resources to find projects and collaborations with educators around the world. Use the different categories to learn, connect, search, and submit ideas for collaboration. Educators looking for suggestions will find the search and project areas especially helpful. Use these portions of the site to find free lesson plans, project ideas, and much more.

tag(s): collaboration (89), cross cultural understanding (155)

In the Classroom

Discover the many free resources and recommendations to find a collaborative project for your classroom. Engage students in your project by brainstorming suggestions from students that include their interests, such as homes around the world, the environment, or art. Once you establish a project, extend learning by having students use Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, to share what they learned. Use Express to write blogs, create webpages, posters, and other graphics to share with their partners. Use Flip, reviewed here, to add student voice to the learning experience through short video responses.

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Google Jamboard - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Google Jamboard is a collaborative, online whiteboard application. Use the tool options to access the pen, eraser, add sticky notes, and upload images. Jamboard also includes some limited...more
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Google Jamboard is a collaborative, online whiteboard application. Use the tool options to access the pen, eraser, add sticky notes, and upload images. Jamboard also includes some limited options to change the background. Add "frames" to create whiteboard displays similar to a slide show. Email the link to your board to add collaborators using the share icon. Be sure to select the drop-down box to add collaborators as editors, not just viewers. When finished, use the three dots near the top of the page to rename your Jamboard, download your work as a PDF, save as an image. All work automatically saves within your Google Drive account. In October of 2024 Google Jamboard will sunset (close down). Jamboards will not be supported after December 31, 2024. "Between October 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024, the app will be placed in "view-only" mode and you'll no longer be able to create new or edit existing Jams on any platform." Import your current Jamboards into Figjam, reviewed here, using the "Import" button so you don't lose access to those files after Jamboard shuts down.

tag(s): collaboration (89), images (257), iwb (33), Whiteboard (12)

In the Classroom

Use Jamboard on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector) to share and highlight information for students. When finished, save and share as images for students to access in Google Classroom or on your class website. Enable the collaboration options for students to use when planning projects or as a tool for recording and sharing information. For example, ask groups working together on a science experiment to use this tool to share images and annotations throughout the experiment. Save Jamboard slides as images in digital portfolios. Seesaw, reviewed here, and Pathbrite, reviewed here, provide free online portfolio features for students at all age levels.

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Travelling Tales - Joel Bevans

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with classrooms around the world through this story-telling project. Sign up to create your collaborative tale based on a book and told through five different activities...more
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Collaborate with classrooms around the world through this story-telling project. Sign up to create your collaborative tale based on a book and told through five different activities (find these by clicking Resources). Work together with your assigned partner to define topics of study (each class chooses their own based on their own needs). Once started, participate in the five activities by completing each segment within 48 hours. The complete project takes place within a two-week time frame. Both classes use Adobe Creative Cloud Express, reviewed here, to share their final stories. To participate, complete the Google Form application on the Travelling Tales website.

tag(s): collaboration (89), cross cultural understanding (155), digital storytelling (144)

In the Classroom

Integrate reading, writing, and social studies objectives through participation in this global project. After signing up for the project, motivate students by predicting the location of your partner class before your assignment arrives. Instead of asking for student predictions, use an online survey tool like Stickies, reviewed here, for students to vote on the country you might be assigned. Include all students in your class project by asking them to use organization tools from ReadWriteThink, reviewed here. For example, have each student use the Plot Diagram interactive to tell a story then collaborate as a class on your final submissions based on student ideas. Extend student learning even further by learning more about your partner classroom's country. Share your learning using Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip to your collaborator's home country.

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Twitter Chat: Infusing Global Learning Experiences - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from July 2018 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is - Infusing Global Learning Experiences. Through this chat, participants will: ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from July 2018 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is - Infusing Global Learning Experiences. Through this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss the tenets of global learning initiatives, 2. Share ways to utilize technology to facilitate global learning experiences, and 3. Explore ways to provide students with an audience beyond the classroom to share their knowledge. Read the many comments and suggestions by both the moderator and other participants.

tag(s): twitterchatarchive (175)

In the Classroom

Learn new ways to infuse global learning experiences. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for sites and information for their classroom. Explore the various tools that are shared.

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Empatico - Builders

Grades
2 to 5
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Although Empatico is no longer a tool to connect to other educators and students through video, it still offers an Empathy Framework with numerous excellent activities for your K-12...more
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Although Empatico is no longer a tool to connect to other educators and students through video, it still offers an Empathy Framework with numerous excellent activities for your K-12 classroom. Use the search at the top of the page to find lessons and activities for your students. Scrolling down the page, find Featured Activities, the Empathy Framework, Daily Practices, Classroom Activities, Virtual Exchanges, and activities in Spanish. Daily Practices offers valuable lessons such as mindfulness, managing big feelings, compassion, and more. Classroom activities include Kind vs UnKind Words and several Book Club topics like Gratitude, Building Bridges, and others. A note about the Virtual Exchanges: Empatico is no longer a video connecting tool, so they suggest using Zoom, reviewed here or Google Meet.

tag(s): climate (81), collaboration (89), commoncore (75), communication (133), cross cultural understanding (155), cultures (132), empathy (27), family (52), globe (12), maps (208), weather (165)

In the Classroom

Expand upon the activities included with Empatico to dig further into the topic of your activity. If you typically have students write in paper journals, try an online blog using a simple blogging tool like edublogs, reviewed here. edublog offers tools for creating class and individual blogs. Enhance and extend your Empatico project by finding a partner classroom using ePals, reviewed here; enroll your classroom and collaborate with others asking your partner classroom to participate in one of the Virtual Exchanges from Empatico. Instead of a written report at the end of your sessions, have students create an original video using Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker, reviewed here to share information and new perspectives gained through your Empatico activities.

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LivingTree - livingtree.com

Grades
K to 12
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LivingTree is an online collaborative tool for teachers, parents, and students. Share messages, photos, files, and more in 100+ languages instantly. Create a shared calendar for all...more
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LivingTree is an online collaborative tool for teachers, parents, and students. Share messages, photos, files, and more in 100+ languages instantly. Create a shared calendar for all members to access and contribute information. Calendars offer the ability for parents and volunteers to easily sign up for events such as conferences and field trips. There are introductory videos, and video guides for teachers, parents, administrators, and organizations. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): classroom management (125), communication (133), DAT device agnostic tool (143), organizational skills (90)

In the Classroom

Use LivingTree to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar, with automatic reminders, so students can easily find due dates and deadlines for homework and projects. Share information with parents to keep them up to date. Use the discussion feature as a resource for keeping students involved over long holidays or on a snow day.

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

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

tag(s): collaboration (89), communication (133), competitions (10), cross cultural understanding (155), cultures (132), wikis (15)

In the Classroom

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

Another idea would be to use a projector and Padlet, reviewed here, and use the columns feature on Padlet to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom students will be working. Padlet creates virtual bulletin boards. Once the project is underway, go back to Padlet occasionally, and add what students learned and whether it coincides with their original ideas. Before culminating the project, ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Padlet. Consider starting a lunch time or after school club for students to have more time to participate in the Clubhouse.

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Classtools Twister: Create Fake Tweets - Classtools

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a Twitter wall and fake tweet quickly and easily by entering minimal information. Enter a (fake) user name, full name of the person you are impersonating, your tweet, and ...more
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Create a Twitter wall and fake tweet quickly and easily by entering minimal information. Enter a (fake) user name, full name of the person you are impersonating, your tweet, and a date to show on the tweet. Your tweet will appear on a wall with an image of that person ready to share through links provided at the bottom of the page. Twister also includes several ideas for consideration when creating an update such as possible hashtags and most important moments to include. Share via social networks or simply COPY the URL of your finished Twister page to share it. There is also an option to save as a PDF for easy printing.

tag(s): creative writing (119), digital storytelling (144), social networking (65)

In the Classroom

Share examples found at this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate possible uses. This site is wonderful for creating interest in many subjects. It is perfect for the social studies classroom as a quick end of class review or homework assignment to summarize each day's lesson. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artists, a Civil War soldier, and much more. Use Twister to study literature, create an update for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. For a unique twist in science class, create a Twister update for a periodic element or another science topic. Use the update to describe "the life" of that atom or element. The possibilities within the classroom are endless (as is the creativity and engagement)! In World language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the new language they are learning. Create a Twister update for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. In the media center, have students create twister pages for authors or about favorite books. Challenge students to create and share an update about themselves during the first week of school.

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Arcademic Skill Builders - Arcademics

Grades
1 to 9
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Looking for engaging interactives for math, language arts, geography, and even more? Look no further than this colorful site. These activities are great ways to build skills and work...more
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Looking for engaging interactives for math, language arts, geography, and even more? Look no further than this colorful site. These activities are great ways to build skills and work on math and language arts concepts for all students. The activities are divided into multi-player and single-player games in such categories as "Addition and Subtraction," "Multiplication and Division," and "Fraction and Ratios." There are also language arts interactives! After signing up, enroll your students in the Free membership, assign games, and keep track of student progress. Arcademics uses HTML5, so you can use any device with a web browser. Find apps for Android and iOS, too. HTML5 allows students to play together from any device, anywhere; this means students can play some of the games with classes around the world. Talk about collaboration! Need help? See the step by step instructions for troubleshooting available at the FAQ link. Access information for grade levels, subjects, and more across the top of the website. To choose a game, roll your mouse over it to see its title, then click. Read the quick introduction to understand the activity. Provide direction in whether students should enter a player name or use the randomly generated name from the site. Choose to play a new game or join an existing game. Create a private game if you wish, which requires password creation. No email address or personal information is required for these excellent practice activities. There is a subscription (at a cost) offer for this site. This review is for the free portion of this resource "The free Arcademics Basic includes student powerups and achieivements, but no data analysis."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (128), collaboration (89), DAT device agnostic tool (143), division (98), fractions (159), game based learning (175), multiplication (122), ratios (46), subtraction (109), verbs (27), vision (45), vowels (6)

In the Classroom

Use these games for individual practice for students who need extra help. The instant feedback provides great learning opportunities for students and builds confidence. Group students in multi-player games that is engaging and interactive. Focus on students' honing skills, building confidence and working together as a group of learners. Use these activities with an interactive whiteboard or projector to elicit large group participation or when computers are limited. Provide this link on your class website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. The instant feedback for students and keeping track of student progress makes Arcademic Skill Builders perfect for remote learning or the blended classroom! Extend student learning by having students use Flip, reviewed here, to ask clarification questions and to reflect on their learning. Require students to comment on their peers questions and reflections.

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Padlet - Padlet

Grades
2 to 12
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Padlet offers many tools and resources for creating online bulletin boards to display and organize information on any topic. Create a new board from scratch or choose from many templates,...more
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Padlet offers many tools and resources for creating online bulletin boards to display and organize information on any topic. Create a new board from scratch or choose from many templates, including timelines, maps, storyboards, KWL boards, and many more options. Padlet also offers AI features to use as a tool to automatically create interactive activities and custom boards based on topic, grade level, and additional details such as standards or teaching objectives. Customize the appearance and format of your Padlets using options such as allowing comments on posts, moderating posts and comments before they are publicly posted, and sorting options for easier viewing. When adding posts, users can add links, images, documents, polls, and more to their responses. Free accounts allow you to make 3 Padlets that include search, themes, stats, premium wallpapers, and cross-device support for uploaded videos. You can always delete an old Padlet to create a new one. Find video tutorials and examples by scrolling to the bottom menu and clicking "Support" on the left side of the page. Padlet 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): artificial intelligence (116), biographies (95), blogs (65), book reports (28), brainstorming (17), bulletin boards (15), DAT device agnostic tool (143), images (257), journals (16), rubrics (34), timelines (52)

In the Classroom

Use a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students can access it for free, no matter what device they have. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."

Use a Padlet to collect Webquest links and information to share with students. Leave the wall open to comments, and solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.

Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.

Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

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