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OK2Ask: TeachersFirst Tech Tools Smackdown - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from August 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. There are many technology tools available for classroom use, but which ones...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from August 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. There are many technology tools available for classroom use, but which ones are teachers' favorites? This session will share and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite resources. Help us decide which tool is the session winner of our Smackdown! Participants will: 1. Learn about and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite technology tools; 2. Evaluate uses for one or more tools for classroom use; and 3. Share ideas for using resources with other participants. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): professional development (184)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Collabify - collabify.app

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4 to 12
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Participate in an online meeting with one click using Collabify, no registration or download required. Click to begin your session, then share the URL with the other participant. Features...more
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Participate in an online meeting with one click using Collabify, no registration or download required. Click to begin your session, then share the URL with the other participant. Features include chat, webcam access, screen sharing, and file sharing. Using this site without registration allows you to participate in one-on-one meetings, register to invite up to four participants.

tag(s): chat (45), collaboration (54), parent conferences (22), parents (53)

In the Classroom

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

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

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Construct3 - Construct.net

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K to 1
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Design and create games with Construct3. Choose from many different formats including puzzles, role-play, and storybooks along with a choice of beginner and intermediate level coding...more
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Design and create games with Construct3. Choose from many different formats including puzzles, role-play, and storybooks along with a choice of beginner and intermediate level coding ability options. Take advantage of the beginner's guide and tutorials to learn and practice the available features. All of the game options include drag and drop coding features. Free accounts offer you up to 25 events per game, two layers per layout, two effects per game, and one font choice. To share, publish your finished game to the site's arcade or download to your server.

tag(s): coding (77), game based learning (148), gamification (83), STEM (210)

In the Classroom

Include Construct3 with your other options for teaching coding to students. Take advantage of the included levels to differentiate learning based on knowledge of coding. If you are uncomfortable with coding, enlist students to become technology coaches in your classroom to teach and share their knowledge with others. Use and share Google Forms to create how-to guides for students to get started including images with tips and suggestions. Ask "in-the-know" students to enhance their learning and create one-page websites using Jimdo, reviewed here, sharing advice for individual games included in Construct3. As students become familiar with coding, have them use My Simpleshow, reviewed here to redefine what they learned by creating simple explainer videos detailing how to build and share personalized games.

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United States Courts Educational Resources - Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

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8 to 12
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Discover a wide variety of educational resources and interactive lessons teaching about the United States court system and Constitution. Choose the Educational Activities section to...more
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Discover a wide variety of educational resources and interactive lessons teaching about the United States court system and Constitution. Choose the Educational Activities section to find lessons based on Constitutional Amendments and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Within each of the different areas of this section are several activities that include a downloadable activity package for educators. Explore landmark Supreme Court cases and participate in interactive activities including a simulation of the Supreme Court decision making process.

tag(s): branches of government (58), constitution (92), supreme court (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free resources and activities to use in your social studies classroom when teaching about the U.S. Constitution. Instead of asking students to take individual notes throughout your lessons, take advantage of Google documents to create shared notes. Ask students to highlight and annotate important information shared. Use Wakelet, reviewed here to create "wakes" for students to organize information. Add websites, documents, videos, and more to any wake for students to access information in one site. As a final project, challenge students to use a video explanation tool like Rawshorts, reviewed here to share the background and information learned about Supreme Court cases and decisions.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ZineLab Digital Zines - ZineLab

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6 to 12
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Build, save, and share interactive magazines with ZineLab. Use the included templates to add many forms of content including images, video, maps, and text. After creating an account,...more
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Build, save, and share interactive magazines with ZineLab. Use the included templates to add many forms of content including images, video, maps, and text. After creating an account, select to begin creating your magazine. Watch the tutorial to get started or select items from the dashboard to upload and use. Uploaded images are limited to 2mb in size. When finished, publish your zine and share using the URL created. Free accounts allow you to access basic templates and create up to six zines.

tag(s): blogs (80), digital storytelling (143)

In the Classroom

Before using this site, share the tutorials and how-to information with students to get them started. Modify learning for your tech-savvy or gifted students to create a screen recording tutorial using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, or an explainer video using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, to share on your class website or blog for students who need additional help on any features. If image files are too large, reduce them using Web Resizer, reviewed here. Once students are familiar with the site, create magazines using student images to share class projects or use available images found in ZineLab to create and share research information.

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Americans - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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Take a virtual field trip to the National Museum of the American Indian Americans exhibit that features the American Indian identity since before the birth of the United States. Click...more
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Take a virtual field trip to the National Museum of the American Indian Americans exhibit that features the American Indian identity since before the birth of the United States. Click on gallery images to read and learn more about the artifacts shared including coins, dolls, posters, and much more. Additional links take viewers to videos and displays telling the story of Thanksgiving, Queen of America (Pocahontas), The Removal Act, and The Indians Win.

tag(s): battles (20), native americans (82), thanksgiving (35), westward expansion (32)

In the Classroom

Replace some of your current written Native America resources with the genuine artifacts and stories available for viewing on this site. Introduce the site to students on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate the different features available and how to find them. After students have time to explore, create groups to do in-depth research within the four different featured areas. Create a Padlet, reviewed here, with four columns for students to share web and video resources found during their research. Instead of written or oral presentations, ask student groups to create quizzes for their classmates using a quiz-creation tool like Baamboozle, reviewed here. Baamboozle is a quick and easy resource for creating and sharing quizzes for teams of two. As a final project, transform student learning by using Book Creator, reviewed here, to create class books sharing information about Native Americans. Book Creator is a digital book creation site offering the ability to add images, text, video, and more. Be sure to share student-created books on your class website or blog after publication.

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Tuva - TuvaLabs

Grades
4 to 12
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Tuva offers a collection of data sets related to a variety of subjects and content. The free version offers 15 data sets including lessons with topics including United States Presidents...more
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Tuva offers a collection of data sets related to a variety of subjects and content. The free version offers 15 data sets including lessons with topics including United States Presidents and Weather Balloon Data. Find the free data sets by choosing the Content Library link then using the filter for the 15 Free materials. Choose your topic to see an overview, then access the data. Drag and drop attributes to create and view graphs. Each set includes a large selection of data points to view in a variety of formats. For example, choose to view data in different forms of graphs, including pie charts, dot plots, or line graphs. Each set also includes a variety of activities used by teachers and available to assign to students. View the free data sets without having to register; however, registration is required to create, assign, and use the site's activities.

tag(s): charts and graphs (203), data (158)

In the Classroom

Be sure to watch Tuva's tutorial video to get a full overview of what is on the site and how to use it. Use Tuva not only to view and sort data, but to make cross-curricular connections. For example, use the United States Presidents collection during math class to teach and share how to gather and share data in a variety of formats. Use the same collection during your social studies lessons to evaluate information on United States presidents, including the age when taking office and age of death. As students become comfortable with gathering data and graphing, replace paper and pencil charts and ask them to create their own graphs using this DIY Chart builder, reviewed here. Extend classroom technology use by having students create a website using Webnode, reviewed here, and include their charts and graphs along with written analysis of the content. Alternatively, include images of student charts created with ThingLink, reviewed here, to annotate and highlight data points providing context with annotations using text, video, or links to additional information. Thinglink can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation.

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Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton

Grades
7 to 12
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Humans of New York was supposed to be a photography project; then it evolved into a vibrant blog featuring the individual stories and portraits of people around the world. Browse ...more
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Humans of New York was supposed to be a photography project; then it evolved into a vibrant blog featuring the individual stories and portraits of people around the world. Browse through the site to read stories of people from every walk of life in the United States. Choose the countries link to read featured stories from over 20 countries around the world. Don't forget to visit the "series" link to find poignant stories based on themes like pediatric cancer and refugee stories.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (134), new york (27)

In the Classroom

Each story included on this site is only about a paragraph long, perfect to use with reluctant readers or as a short introduction to lessons on a variety of social issues. Help students identify the key concepts found in each story by creating a word cloud using Wordsift, reviewed here. Use the keywords found in your word cloud as a starting point for students to begin researching the topic further - examples might be research into refugees, drug abuse, or childhood illness. As students become familiar with the site, use it as an example to create your own site as a class related to your curriculum. For science create a Humans of Chemistry, in social studies create a Humans of the American Revolution, or in language arts create a Humans of Shakespeare. Use a presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here, to share finished projects that include student writing, photographs or drawings, videos, and other multimedia. Use Sway for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation. Have students work together to compare and contrast their findings as part of a discussion within ongoing podcasts. Anchor, reviewed here, is an augmentation tool offering free podcasting creation and sharing and many features for both new and experienced podcasting teams.

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DelanceyPlace.com - Richard Vague

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8 to 12
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Delancy Place provides brief, daily emails to subscribers with interesting quotes and writing excerpts along with a short commentary. Common topics include information based on history-based...more
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Delancy Place provides brief, daily emails to subscribers with interesting quotes and writing excerpts along with a short commentary. Common topics include information based on history-based non-fiction writing. Browse the archives that date back to 2007 for a quick look at the latest topics such as The Vikings and Young Beethoven. Use the search feature to find information by keyword, author, book title, subject, or publisher.

tag(s): churchill (7), congress (42), england (57), novels (25), parts of speech (70), presidents (135), vikings (12)

In the Classroom

Be sure to subscribe to the daily email for Delancy Place to stay up to date with the latest commentaries. Use this site as a terrific resource for non-fiction supplemental reading materials for students in social studies classes and as a resource for motivating student interest in the many varieties of topics included. Include a link to the site on classroom computers for student use, or include a link with other useful student resources using a bookmarking site shared with students. SearchTeam, reviewed here, is an excellent bookmarking and sharing tool to use with older students due to it's feature that allows you to add comments. Share an article from Delancy Place with your students and add a question in the comments for students to consider during reading. After reading the article and considering your questions, have students share their answers and reflections with a video response on FlipGrid, reviewed here. Transform student learners into student teachers by asking them to use this site as an example to take classroom reading material and create their own video commentaries using Moovly, reviewed here. Use Moovly's templates and editing tools to create professional-looking video presentations to share.

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Mix - StumbleUpon

Grades
6 to 12
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Are you looking for some of the best content on the web? Use Mix to browse and search for information based on your interests and those of like-minded people. ...more
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Are you looking for some of the best content on the web? Use Mix to browse and search for information based on your interests and those of like-minded people. Mix imports content from news sources, popular blogs, and additional world-wide resources. The more you browse and save material, the more Mix will refine its understanding of what you like. Create collections by adding information found on the site or by keeping links to web content found as you browse the Internet. Use Mix's web browser extension to save URL's to collections with just one click. When ready to share your collection, use the share icon to copy the link, send via email, or share on social media.

tag(s): bookmarks (53), evaluating sources (16), social networking (92)

In the Classroom

Use Mix for your personal research and professional development. Visit Mix occasionally to find new ideas and new sites for teaching. Create and share collections of websites to share with students for use with research projects. For example, as you prepare to teach a science unit on plants, create a collection containing news articles, explainer sites, and online games for students to use as a virtual resource for supplementing classroom lessons. Include documents, slide presentations, and more from your Google Drive for student access from any device. Another use of Mix is to create collections when teaching students how to evaluate online resources. Create a collection from a variety of different resources based on the same topic and ask students to reflect upon the validity of the information and the source. Ask them to use a presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here to share their findings by including links to the information along with supporting evidence. Another idea for using Mix is for students to create collections to share as part of multimedia projects as a virtual bibliography. In addition to websites shared, ask them to add their written work, images, or other creations. Mix is an excellent tool for creating an online portfolio for students to use when applying to college. Show students how to easily create new collections using their work, but personalized to individual college applications.

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Creative Drama - Janine Buesgen

Grades
3 to 12
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This revamped site's primary focus is on dramaturgy. Dramaturgy is becoming part of theatre education at all levels. Help all students participating in your drama classes to understand...more
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This revamped site's primary focus is on dramaturgy. Dramaturgy is becoming part of theatre education at all levels. Help all students participating in your drama classes to understand their role in producing a play through this site. Find a collection of practical teaching ideas and suggestions for drama teachers. In addition to classroom ideas, there are warm-ups, theater games, and play suggestions. This site was created by a "real teacher," so the content is direct and helpful.

tag(s): acting (24), plays (29), readers theater (12), writing (361)

In the Classroom

The resources at this site are especially exciting! You'll find definitions, examples of activities, and visual examples of how you can use all methods such as improvisation, building a character, group cohesion, and other skills. Use playwriting for another aspect of language teaching. Use this site as the starting point for group projects like having the students write and produce their own play(s). The dramaturgy explanations and examples are a great find for gifted students as the playwriting, and acting techniques can easily be adapted. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos of the plays they write and produce then edit and save them using wevideo, reviewed here. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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